This morning I had an email which made me happy.
I sat with LizL at CHPC.
The Scripture Readings were 1 Corinthians 5:6-10 and Mark 4:10-34. The sermon was titled "Small, Secret, Surprising." I was bored at the beginning of the sermon (blah blah blah prefatorycakes) and totally fell asleep partway through.
Today was LizL's last Sunday at CHPC. I'm scheduled to lay-read next Sunday, though, so no church-hopping for me yet. I am really feeling done with CHCPC, though. There was almost no one in church this morning, and almost none of those raised any prayers (I lifted up celebration of Pride and concern for my best friend; it felt weird to do my whole prayer litany when almost no one was saying anything). I don't feel a depressed lethargic vibe from the congregation, but I also feel like the church as a whole doesn't have any driving energy around anything. I remember when I started coming here it was really clear that they felt strongly about the Israel-Palestine issue, and I didn't. I haven't seen any programming around PJM [Peace, Justice, and Mission] stuff, or any West Somerville Ecumenical stuff since the Palm Sunday donkey walk, or any GLBT stuff (yes, I'm still irritated that More Light Sunday was the frontpage of the newsletter but nothing got done that Sunday and there wasn't any talk leading up to Pride or anything). I feel like, "Why should I -- or anyone -- come here on Sunday morning instead of any of the many many other Sunday morning options?" During Prayers, Liz mentioned a meeting this past week with a lot of other area Presbyterian churches about how they're all struggling, and she celebrated that there was so much positive energy and Presbtery seemed open and wanting to help and stuff, and I hung out near various conversations about this during Coffee Hour, and I'm definitely pleased for them, but yeah.
Ross and I were gonna meet this afternoon, but I hadn't looked at the book he loaned me since last Sunday and was still feeling stupid-tired, so I texted him to cancel. I finally managed to nap from about 3:30-4:30 (I set my alarm so I wouldn't miss CWM).
LizL met with Tallessyn around 3:30 and stayed for the first hour of service. (She had another commitment, said it wasn't that she hates the queers. Similarly, her installation is at 3pm on a Sunday, so I'll probably have to leave early to get to CWM, but I don't hate straight people ;) )
Prelude and Moment of Meditation: "Hope will never be silent." -Harvey Milk
Our Opening Hymn was "In the Midst of New Dimensions," which Tallessyn had rewritten to be more inclusive. Yes, this is the church I go to.
In the midst of new dimensions, in the face of changing ways.
Who will lead the pilgrim people wandering in their separate ways?
[she forgot to include the Refrain in the insert
God of Rainbow, fiery Pillar, leading where the eagles soar,
We the people, ours the journey, now and ever, now and ever, now and evermore.]
Through the flood of starving people, warring factions and despair,
Who will lift the olive branches, who will light the flame of care?
Through the years of human struggle, walk a people long despised:
Lesbian, gay and bi neighbors, fighting to be realized.
We are black and we are Asian, Indian, Hispanic, White,
We a rainbow coalition, all of value in thy sight.
We are man and trans and woman, all persuasions, old and young,
Each a gift in your creation, each a love song to be sung.
Should the threats of dire predictions cause us to withdraw in pain,
May your blazing phoenix spirit, resurrect the church again.
At the Children's Time, Tiffany talked about how seeds grow in unexpected places.
The Scripture Lesson was Mark 4:26-34.
Tiffany's sermon was way longer than I felt it needed to be. She opened by talking about how Jesus seems to be preaching a Pollyanna-ish "Plant seeds and then just sit back and watch them grow," and I felt like, "No, actually, that's not how I read it, can we move on to how it should be read already?"
Farmers (and gardeners) get it. Seeds have to be nurtured. A simple planting would not a full harvest yield. It's a joint-venture which cannot be controlled by us.
I would have been happy ending the sermon there, but it's Pride Sunday, and the 40th anniversary of Stonewall is in 2 weeks, so there was a whole second half of the sermon. Which I didn't need, though I did like near the end when the Pentecost parallels were more clear -- the idea of this rebellion exploding into a movement. "We weren't going to go away." One person said, talking about the days of riots: After years of bars you get into by speaking to someone through a peephole, we were out. Allen Ginsberg wrote, "the people were so beautiful because they'd lost the wounded look they had all these years."
 blogspot version of the sermon [/edit]
Prayers of the People took 20 minutes. I love my church :)
We blessed Chelsea and Jeremy, and Jeremy was crying as they stood up there.
Our Closing Hymn was "Bring Forth the Kin-dom of God," which is so high-energy :)
Over dinner we sang the Grenfell (read: extended version) Happy Birthday song for Linda and for one of the ~eight college-aged bicyclists staying at the Collective (they're traveling across the state doing education about climate change), and I actually didn't mind it.
After dinner, I talked with Marla some about the Boston Interfaith Service (Michael from the MCC had asked her to read) and about doing interfaith services, generally. I'd definitely like to have more sit-down conversations with folks about that.