Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical

First Congregational Church [also: blogging, etc.]

I was gonna rotate out after the Women in the Bible series ended, but the pastor is away this weekend.  I hoped it would be be Len -- whom I remember fondly from back when we did summer services and who retired as pastor of FCCN a few years back.

mom: Say hi to Len if he's preaching.
me: So if he's not preaching I shouldn't say hi?
dad: Yes, you should shun him.

Turns out they're leaving for a 3-month trip.  And they vanished like immediately following the Passing of the Peace.  Sigh.

A woman named Linda did the bulk of the service.
"No joys?  No concerns?  No snide remarks?"

The Processional was "Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above," which felt too slow in tempo for what it says.

Anthem: "Lord I Lift Your Name on High," which always makes me think of the hand motions from when the kids at UCN did it.

Two girls sang it in duet, they were maybe age 10, and when the second one (who looks far less striking than the first one) started singing I was really taken aback. Such a strong voice -- and a good one, too.

For the Children's Message, prefacing John 10:1-11, Linda brought in a stuffed sheep and talked about the phrase "wolf in sheep's clothing" and also about Jesus as shepherd.

Linda: Do you think this is a sheep?
kid: It's a puppet.

Linda: [pulls a stuffed animal out of the sheep]
kids: [decry]
Linda: This is all that TJMaxx had!
kid: That's Toto!
[It was a brown terrier(?) wearing a dark sweater.]

Before giving the reading, Linda had talked a little about sheep and shepherd and how the passage made her think of the movie Babe.  I of course then got thinking about Brokeback :)

Scripture: John 10:1-11

Message: "Seek, Listen, Surrender"
By a woman named Ellie.  She talked about how Pastor Hamilton was away today and how she was giving the message because he wanted lay people to be involved, we're all important, our gifts are valued, blahdyblah.  This made me roll my eyes because I feel like I so get a brushoff from him, though I admit that my initial e-mail to him didn't necessarily encourage dialogue (I'm too used to LiveJournal) and pastors seem to have a thing against conducting conversations via e-mail.  Anyway.  She had good presence, and her sermon was kind of all over the place but she did pull it back to her "Seek, Listen, Surrender" setup with some regularity, which I appreciated.

Besides the Scripture listed in the bulletin, she also referenced John 5:19 [about Jesus listening], Isaiah 40:10-11, Isaiah 41:10,13; Deuteronomy 32:10-12a
[Her: "My notes are all out of order, but it makes me feel better to touch them."]

She talked about how throughout his Word, God is respectful, thinks well of us, and I get what she means but I couldn't help thinking of how harsh God is towards the not Chosen.  And I was amused to see examples on facing pages for some of the OT bits she referenced -- Isaiah 40:15-17 and Deuteronomy 32:19-, for example.

She talked about seeking and how even if you have a wonderful family, great job, etc., there's still that emptiness that can only be filled by God.  Per usual, I thought of the many people I know who seem to have sufficient inner fulfillment and aren't hungering and aren't believers in (the Christian) God either.

She cited some book whose title I didn't fully catch in which an eight-year-old said that you know you're loved when you like the sound of your name in that person's mouth.

She talked about how surrender means being willing to be willing.

One of the kids led the congregation in "Awesome God."  She sang it twice and then we sang it like six times.  And they had the words in the bulletin.  It's really not that hard, people.  ("Our God is an awesome God, He reigns from heaven above With wisdom, power and love; Our God is an awesome God.")

Pre-Offertory, Linda said she recently spent a week in Las Vegas and saw so many lost sheep there -- gamblers.  "So many people are not here to hear this message, and they need to," she said.  And I thought of how, like Lindsey, I get frustrated by the lowest-common-denominator watering down sometimes, so on an intellectual level I appreciated it, but at the same time I get a little squicked by the We are/have the Truth.

Offertory: "Love Grows Here"
The words and sentiment reminded me of "They'll Know We Are Christians By Our Love."

on the back of the bulletin:
"I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly." -John 10:10

from the bulletin insert:
Back By Popular Demand
We've heard your cries... Fellowship hour will now feature both regular and decaffeinated coffee.
Yeah, who called that?
Adult Bible Study will not meet on February 26th.  We will resume meeting on March 5th, the first Sunday in Lent, to begin our Lenten series.
Yay Lenten series!
Sunday March 19
The Youth in our church will lead us in our worship service this Sunday morning.  The theme will be "Words That Change Your Life".  You don't want to miss this special congregational event!
I'm as yet undecided as to whether I want to go to that.

Coming home at 11am, weather.com said it was 22F feels like 9F.  And yeah, I'm a freak who minds this not at all.

I went to SuperCuts 'cause my hair was bugging me and then got pants at TJMaxx.  (The world is a strange place when I am a size 6.  "Stretch pants," but still.  I imagine it's a designer thing but really, is your ego that tied to the tag of your clothes?  I just want to be a consistent size so I don't have to go back to the racks umpteen times when I'm shopping.  Three for <$50, so that was good.  I was gonna go to the Pru tomorrow, but I think I might stay home.)

I opted not to go to the bisexual Harvard thing tonight.  In part because the way the trains run I would have big gaps on time on each end and because there are CSI reruns tonight I haven't seen.  (My mother kindly okayed viewage of those instead of the usual Olympics.)

Called a couple people today.  I feel lame 'cause I don't have anything interesting in my own life to talk about (every day I have anecdotes from work, but there's no big thing to talk about, just "Yeah, I'm looking at apartments") but people are good.  And I've been catching up on e-mail this past week.  ♥ Stacey so much.

Googling Pride jewelry again.  Kinda tempted by the rainbow bead necklaces that have a labrys axe pendant -- 'cause it makes me think of Xena and the Buffy scythe -- but it also feels too cheesy 1960s/70s.

I've been considering actually using the tag function -- for ease of searching within categories, such as First Churches or Emmanuel Lutheran Evening Prayer Services.  The Memories would still be The way to find stuff, but tags would allow me to search within category for stuff that wasn't necessary worth Memorying.  My big sticking point, however, is the fact that tags only show the last 50? 75? 100? entries with that tag.  This is a serious design flaw and makes tagging kind of useless.  I would estimate I went to First Churches 25wks/yr, for 3 years, for example.  For another example: I might tag my tv watching entries, for ease of use by readers and also as a fallback for when the Memories function is being tetchy; but by the time your show hits 5 seasons you've hit 100 episodes.

There is talk about blogging going around -- superplin and ann1962.  I've been thinking off and on for quite some time about making a blog, most recently prompted by offbalance making a blog.  (I like the LJ interface so much, however, that it would probably still be housed on LJ.)  It would basically be a selection of the content already on this LJ, so I'm not sure it's particularly worth doing.

[Sidenote: superplin's post was prompted by the Blogher Conference, and I was surprised to see ann1962 say, "On my bloglines, where I read lots o’blogs, 7/55 are discernibly male. Several are group blogs so those are variable," because when I think of blogs almost all the names that come to mind are male.]
Tags: church: norwood: first congregational, lj: features: tags

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