It took me a while to fall asleep last night, so I was tired at church this morning. And definitely. I find Tom difficult to listen to anyway. His voice and way of speaking just don't seem very engaging to me. (Plus since he no longer attends here, he follows the bulletin but it doesn't really flow.) At Coffee Hour, someone mentioned that he was co-minister with Pat (the minister who preceded Karl) before she became full-time.
The Scripture readings were Philemon and Luke 14:25-33 . It took me a minute to remember that Philemon is an actual book (I recalled the line 'Titus and Philemon" from that kids' song to memorize all the books of the Bible). Alex said he wondered if it was one of the ones unlikely to actually be Pauline -- that the ones stressing obedience to authority are considered unlikely to actually have been written by Paul (which I find ironic given the bad rep Paul has amongst progressives) and "obedience" definitely cropped up at the end of this book.
I was awake for the opening, about the "useful" ("Onesimus") pun in Philemon, and for the ending, about the commandment to love your neighbor as yourself.
Alex said he thought it was actually a fairly good sermon. It was about the central tenets of our faith and the faith vs. works discussion (with Tom emphasizing the importance of works). I'm sorry I slept through that. Though I'd prefer exegeses of the specific lectionary text to "All you need to know about Christianity, in under a half an hour."
Gusti's back. I was glad to see her, but I continue thinking that I really don't feel connected to this church in meaningful ways -- there are some people I like and a lot I'm indifferent to or could do without -- though I don't feel really strong connections anywhere that I am. I think checking out the Congregation would be a good idea of me, but I don't wanna lose what connections I do have here, so I'm not sure I wanna do this.
They changed the font or something of the bulletin. It feels more accessible. And they now list the titles as well as the numbers of the hymns, which I appreciate.
Open us, O God, to the multicolored world around us;
To deep, rich colors, bright lights and the contrast of black on white;
To soothing rich tones, exhilarating music, and the consonance of your word;
To smooth surfaces and jagged edges;
To the sweetness of honey and the bite of lemon;
To the joy of play and the rewards of work.
Open us to the fullness of your creation, O God,
that we may properly praise you for the gift of life. Amen.
Prayer of Confession
Gentle and holy God, we acknowledge to you, to one another, and to ourselves that we are not what you have called us to be. We have stifled our gifts and wasted our time. We have avoided opportunities to offer kindness, but have been quick to take offense. We have offered not contribution to peace and justice, and have excused ourselves from taking risks. Have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and help us to live our lives differently: in the name of Jesus Christ, whose call to follow haunts our every prayer. Amen.