"The epicenter of Love is the pendulum swinger." -Indigo Girls
Call to Worship
[One] Peace be with you.
[All] And also with you.
[One] Receive the Holy Spirit.
[All] We open our hearts to the movement of the Spirit.
[One] Just as God sent Jesus, our Christ, so also does the Christ now send us.
[All] We have felt the breath of the Divine flowing through our bodies and souls; we have felt the stir of Love within, and so now we gladly claim the power of the Holy Spirit and pass it along in the laughter we share, the lives we touch, and the loves we embrace!
Opening Hymn "The First One Ever"
I wasn't taken with this, but when Tallessyn mentioned at Special Music that this is the last Sunday of Women's History Month, which got eclipsed what with Lent and Easter, I understood at least why she had chosen it.
Gospel Lesson John 20:19-29
Contemporary Lesson "The F-Word" by Julie Todd
Reflection [blogspot, 7Vilages]
Tiffany talked about how this scene occurs just after Mary has told the disciples that she has seen the risen Christ and how both realities (what Mary says is true, or isn't) would have been equally terrifying to the disciples, and so they remain closeted up in that stuffy room. And then Jesus shows up anyway. This is the Messiah you abandoned...but he doesn't condemn them or anything, instead the first thing he says to them is "Peace be with you."
She also mentioned how Jesus breathing on them echoes Genesis.
She also mentioned that evangelicals will say that what's unique to Jesus is that he died to save us from our sins, that he can forgive our sins, and yet in this passage he tells the disciples "If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained." She said, "This is no 'I have the power' He-Man Jesus."
She said that William Sloane Coffin said that fear seeks safety. Tiffany said the disciples "were seeking safety, but the truth found them instead."
She said there's a lyric in an Indogo Girls song about "wrap your fears around you like a blanket" ["Closer to Fine"] and how that can feel comforting sometimes but that it's not what we're called to do.
She talked about writing her dissertation and the upcoming General Conference and searching for joy and listening to Ani DiFranco songs like "face up and sing" and "what if no one's watching".
Special Music "Pendulum Swinger" by the Indigo Girls
The Prayers of the People
Someone lifted up the fact that college acceptance/rejection letters come out soon, which I had forgotten about. (My life is still structured around the academic calendar, but everyone I interact with is undergraduate and beyond.)
For the Jesus Prayer we are back to the usual version.
Passing of the Peace
Bobby's back. I forget if I've talked about him in any of the church writeups I've finished, but he's a mentally handicapped guy who makes me uncomfortable. He's not physically threatening, but he took a liking to me, so he'll always talk to me and like kiss my cheek and yeah I'm a bad person. He said hi to me before church, and I shook his hand and very purposefully held myself so as to not encourage anything more and he said, "Can I give you a little kiss?" and I said, "No thanks," but during the Passing of the Peace I let him, in part because I was feeling more comfortable, but I should probably make a decision before next Sunday as to whether I'm going to consistently say Yes or No. There's no good answer... is this the kind of uncomfortable I'm supposed to learn to Get Over because he's harmless and handicapped? My instinct is to say, "To hell with that, if I feel uncomfortable, I have every right to say No" -- which I recognize as good and healthy and strong and all that ... and any arguments about how he's handicapped sound like rationalizations ... I guess I'm just conscious of the fact that I'm a bitch who hates people and so I wonder if I should be modulating my reactions.
7pm next Sunday, we're showing For the Bible Tells Me So.
Closing Hymn "The Dawn of Resurrection"
This was a rewritten (words on insert) version of a hymn we'd sung in morning church, but I felt like there was more energy this time around.
The dawn of resurrection! Earth, tell it out abroad;***
The Passover of gladness, the Passover of God.
From death to life eternal, despair unto the sky,
Our Christ hath brought us over; we raise our hymns on high!
Our hearts be pure and open, that we may see aright
The Christ in rays eternal of resurrection light;
And tending to this glory, we know, so plain and calm,
The humble words of comfort from God's Beloved One.
Now let the heavens be joyful! Let earth the song begin!
Let the round world keep holy, and all that is therein!
Let all things seen and unseen their notes in gladness blend,
For Life in Christ hath risen, our joy that hath no end.
At small group on Thursday, Eric and I talked about music a bit, and I mentioned the gym and he said he has extra headphone-earbuds and would be happy to give me a pair. He said he'd try to remember, so of course I went home and drafted a reminder e-mail to send him on Wednesday, but he had them for me at church tonight. Woot!
Kirk signed to me during dinner, and I have this awful habit of nodding as if I understand when I totally don't. I was also reminded of how crap my comprehension of fluency-speed finger-spelling is.
Mark's flying to Orlando, Florida tomorrow with his mom tomorrow. They're going to The Holy Land Experience (and possibly also Sea World). I thought this was just his (family's) jokey way of referring to Disney, but no.
There was Church Council tonight, but it was actually just filling out the NCD survey (that was . . . interesting) and talking about that v. briefly and then helping Diane & Jan stuff Affirmation newsletters. So I didn't get home until like 9, but that's okay.
Diane said something about their church in Andover, and Mark from Lynnfield commented that like everyone here goes to another church in the morning (he has a church in Lynnfield, Ron and Barbara I think go to Old South in Redding, etc.). I said I do really appreciate that, that it makes me feel like I'm not the only crazy person who goes to two different churches in one Sunday. Michele said this is the only church she goes to, and I said, "That's okay. We accept you, too."