Subject: Worship This Evening: Stay SafeWhen I left my house around 4:30, and the snow had mostly stopped (and lots of nearby neighbors had snowblowed!) and it was like bluish light on the snow, which was really lovely, though halfway there it turned into more like rain. On the way home it was back to snow (misting), which I was glad of. I think the bottoms of my pants iced. I did a lot of tromping through snow (Tufts adjacent didn't seem to really get cleared today), which I really didn't mind -- though hey, solid ground feels so nice after tromping through snow. Walking home it had that satisfying crunching noise. There was almost no traffic both times, and coming home I felt really exposed crossing Boston Ave. 'cause I was crossing way more in the intersection than I usually would (because there was no point in walking along the edge of the sidewalk into Boston Ave. to cross in the crosswalk and then walking along the edge of the sidewalk back to College Ave. when I could just cross in a straight line and there was no traffic to worry about); partway across, a Tufts police van came slowly towards me (I was walking in what would be my lefthand lane because that's the side of the street my origin and destination were both on); I felt like I was in a zombie/apocalypse movie or something.
Friends at CWM,
Due to the weather and reports of ice this evening, we are asking folks not to drive to church this evening. Pastor Tiffany will be there along some local folks. A small worship will be held and dinner available for those who may not get this message.
However, given the dangerous evening conditions, we are suggesting that folks stay home and stay safe.
For those who wish to worship at home, the bulletin is attached.
Tiffany (obviously) and Marla (lay-leader-in-town) and Sean (member of the Collective, so came with Marla) and Mark (I think he lives off the bike path) were at church. We brought in a few chairs so we could just do a semi-circle in the chapel rather than sitting dispersed in the pews. I was like, "But we're facing away from the altar, this is weird -- sorry, I'm not trying to be difficult ... I just do it without trying." So I moved the chair I was gonna sit in and we adjust so then it was a semi-circle facing the altar and I felt much better.
Scripture: Luke 1:26-56 [Annunciation and Magnificat]
Tiffany talked about how it's easy for us to get hung up on all the plausibility issues of the "virgin birth" narrative, but that Mary's hymn doesn't say anything about the conception, rather what she believes in is the promise -- and that that's what we should be focused on. She talked about how Mary sees herself as co-creator of the promise, not just heir to the promise.
She said we should believe in not what we think is possible but what God tells us is possible.
She had opened with a story of herself at 5, wanting a baby brother, and absolutely believing that God/Santa could make this happen (after all, God had given Mary a baby) and when she got a baby doll for Christmas she wasn't disappointed because she believed she would still get her Christmas wish. On Epiphany, a relative's 14-year-old drug addict daughter gave birth to a baby, and they wanted to give the baby up for adoption, but to family, so they called Tiffany's family, and Tiffany's parents bundled her up and brought her across town to the bad part of town, and there in an apartment with no electricity and a mattress on the floor, "there I found my Christmas wish." I could have cried -- not because her child-like belief/hope was fulfilled (she acknowledged that not all stories end like that) but the echo of the First Christmas.
Tiffany's been doing Prayers of the People such that after everyone's said all their prayers, instead of her listing them all, we say each other's -- which makes it feel like more of a community activity, plus it forces us to be more engaged with the prayers of others.
I had said that I was really excited about Ari coming to visit, and Marla said "Ari and Elizabeth!" and kind of giggled. I immediately thought of Ari's tag :)
We were out of there at 6:15, which has got to be the earliest I have ever left CWM.
Mark recommends Let the Right One In; good to know.