[FirstChurch Mailing List] I'm watching the snow startWhen I left work, snow had only accumulated on the coldest patches of ground, but I was still busting out gleeful walking through campus -- really dunno whether that was actually related to the weather or not, 'cause I was kind of like, "Where did that come from?" When I left church around 7:30, the snow was falling more heavily (though I wouldn't actually call it "heavy") and it was windy and the ground was mostly all covered. When I got home, my housemate said, "So the snow is about 12 hours behind schedule."
Wouldn't it be fun to bundle up and come out in the snow to church tonight for Rest and Bread at 6:30, and our big leadership night at 7? We'll have bread and wine at Rest and Bread and pizza at 7:10. Music for meditation begins at 6:15.
Snow angels are showing up around 5:30 to prepare the way of the Lord.
Hope you all can come, will come.
We finally changed the altar cloth to green for Ordinary Time (I liked having it white, so I wasn't agitating for liturgically appropriate -- and white is what I'm so used to on the Communion table, that I think after Epiphany I just didn't register it as a parament). And we adjusted the Call to Worship again. And Laura Ruth asked me if it would be okay if we added in "I Surrender All" as a transition between Confession/Grace and Communion -- actually, she opened by asking, "Do you know [sings] 'I surrender all...'?" and I said I'm familiar with it enough to recognize it when she was singing it but not enough to sing it on my own without looking at the words, and she said they were thinking of adding it into the service for Lent blah blah blah and I said I didn't remember it well enough to know if I have theological problems with it -- "Not that that would necessarily stop you from using it, which is fine" -- and she said they'd actually changed the language some, so it's, "I surrender all ... my loving Savior ..." and I said "I like it thus far," and she said that was it, and I said I was okay with that. She wiped her brow in relief :) [Looking it up now, I guess we're just using the chorus.] And Keith asked me if I had any Assurance of Grace I'd like to swap out the current one for, and I said I really like the one we're using now, and I really hadn't thought about liturgical planning for Lent. He said they were leaning toward keeping the current one, but that if there was one I'd been burning to use -- "But you probably would have told us already if there were" :) He asked if his playing piano for the meditative music worked, and I said yeah, and he said something like he knew I could be trusted to tell him if I didn't think so, and I said yeah, I might not necessarily volunteer that opinion but if I'm asked outright... He said that's rare and valuable -- to have someone willing to give honest negative feedback. I said there are times I hesitate, because I think the person asking doesn't really want to hear my honest negative opinion, but yeah.
Sacred Text: Matthew 19:16-29 (Inclusive Bible version)
Keith did the Reflection, and he talked about approaching the text from multiple perspectives -- said we tend to read this text from the perspective of the rich person, to feel it as a judgment on ourselves and to take the discussion in the direction of what do we do with that tension, but that while yes, living where there may be violence but not war, hunger but not starvation, we are in some ways in a position of privilege, but there are other places and moments where we are very much not in a position of privilege -- having our marriage not recognized by the government, being afraid to come out to people we love, being victims of racism or harassment, etc. He said that Jesus' primary audience wasn't the rich and powerful, and that one message of this passage is that the Kingdom of God is so important that we should push all else aside for it, and so maybe we can be thankful when there is less between us and the Kingdom of God.
Yes, I totally said "Kindom of God" when I did the Call to Confession (I talked about how sometimes we turn from opportunities to do good and sometimes we actively place more stuff between us and the Kindom of God -- and I said "Reign of God" at one point as well, and I talked about God welcoming us into [God's Kindom, or whatever term I used] of love and peace and justice).
Apparently Lenten morning prayer service will begin on Ash Wednesday and will include an Imposition of Ashes? And then there's a 7pm Ash Wednesday service with Imposition of Ashes (no Rest and Bread, though the chapel will be open at 6:30 for meditation).
Lenten Midweek House Church - The early Christians went deeper in faith by gathering in faith by gathering throughout the week in small groups for prayer, conversation, and a holy meal. We do the same each year during the 40 days of Lent, a time of deeper introspection and spiritual growth. This year's Lenten theme is "Simple Shifts." Every Wednesday in Lent we'll explore a different way to simplify our lives -- YOU will create the agenda on our first Wednesday together, and every Wednesday thereafter we'll explore one topic to determine what Christian scripture,tradition, and new revelation have to teach us.Edit: After I'd gone to bed Wednesday night, someone emailed the listserv announcing a pancake breakfast after church this coming Sunday. /edit
Wednesdays work like this:
6:30 Rest and Bread worship
7:10 Simple Soup Supper
7:35 Small Groups
ACCOMPANY IMMIGRANTS IN DETENTION - Some Boston-area church folks are organizing to visit detained immigrants in Suffolk County Detention Center once a month. The idea is that as people of faith, we offer accompaniment as spiritual caregivers to detained immigrants. We don't offer legal help or advocacy, we offer our presence, hear people's stories, and let them know that they are not forgotten. This is part of a larger campaign around immigrant rights that's being organized by the New Sanctuary Movement, a coalition of churches. A faith-based group that does spiritual care-giving at the detention center, the Refugee Immigration Ministry (RIM), is doing a comprehensive training for anyone who'd like to commit to the visiting program. [...] The visiting schedule will be one Monday evening a month 7-9 pm-ish, plus a "support" meeting once a month (which may be optional). Visits are usually done in pairs and you should be able to commit to one year of visits.I think I can't make the trainings (it's Thurs. Feb. 18 - Sun. Feb. 21, so it would mean missing my second Singspiration in a row, plus being late to the first CWM led by the new pastor) but I was thinking later that this would be really good practice for being in ministry (since my big resistance to ministry is that I don't want to have to care for people -- I totally do care for people already, but those are people I chose at some level or another, not a congregation I got handed).
And while I'm thinking about giving of my time and talents: Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic
Edit: Oh, so there was annual leadership meeting after Rest and Bread, but all were welcome to join for dinner, so I did (yay pizza -- though I would have liked the toppings in writing). FCS-Ian (Church Moderator) said, "If anyone feels moved to offer a blessing over the food, then we can move over to the pizza," and Althea said something like, "I move that we say grace," and he said, "I didn't mean it had to be so formal" -- I honestly don't know whether she thought he was seriously saying we had to formally move to do this (it occurred to me later that the meeting hadn't even been called to order, right? so you can't make any formal motion -- yeah, I am so going to end up purchasing a copy of Robert's Rules of Order along with all those hymnals, aren't it? And yes I know various denominations have their own meeting rules, but I'm not sure I'm that hardcore and if I were to be it would be the UMC rules I would be learning and I feel that Robert's Rules is always a valid neutral default.) but NGL my default reaction was "seconded" -- though I didn't actually say that, 'cause Ian spoke first.