MeditationBeth opened with a reading from Psalm 16 (I didn't catch the verses).
"I do not understand the mystery of grace -- only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us. It can be received gladly or grudgingly, in big gulps or in tiny tastes, like a deer at the salt."
--From Anne Lamott's Traveling Mercies
The Opening Hymn was "I Am The Dance." (Slightly different wording than this -- mostly making it more inclusive, but not clunkily at all, which I appreciate: "I danced for the fishers in the early dawn," "I am the dance that will set you free [...] And I'll lead you all in the dance with me.")
Beth did the Children's Message sermon, which was based on a Bible story I wasn't familiar with, so I was kind of annoyed at just having the kid version of the story and not knowing the original, but that's just me. The message was: "we can help people feel better."
Next was the Scripture reading, Luke 6:6-11, which was clearly the story the Children's Message used, so I was less annoyed
I wasn't impressed by Beth's sermon, but I reminded myself that different people have different levels of abilities -- and it's not like I'm awesome at this either. (And reasons I couldn't be a pastor, besides my misanthropic tendencies, is the intimidation of having to write a sermon every week.) I did like the emphasis on active participation in one's own restoration.
Part of the service today was Reception of New Members. Tiffany said that all United Methodism asks of members is that you offer your prayers, presence, gifts, and service. She said that all that is required is that you want to know God in your life. And that we would not be using Wesley's words -- "desire to flee from the wrath to come" :)
After the Peace, Michele said to me: "Thank you for staying with me on Thursday; that meant a lot to me."
Heart. (I assume she must mean Maundy Thursday -- which I have not yet finished writing up -- where we were sitting next to each other and the congregants were invited to remain in silent prayer after the service as long as they wished and she had been crying earlier in the service and we stayed so long I was wondering whether anyone would ever kick us out. [As always: "What I Learned from My Mother" by Julia Kasdorf -- "I learned that whatever we say means nothing, what anyone will remember is that we came"]
Will had the bread and said: "This is a sign of Christ's presence with us."
Beth had the cup and said: "This is a sign of God's love for us."
I'd been to the last Church Council meeting and had been thinking I'd skip tonight's, but I ended up staying through it after all. It wasn't bad.
Tiffany, Marla, etc. are pushing Convo.
It's the first weekend in August, so it wouldn't interfere with any of my other plans (birthday celebrations throughout July, the UK & Prague in mid-late August). Cheap registration is until April 30, so I have a little time to make up my mind.