Well, last Sunday was a challenging day. In a small community like ours, missing a couple of key people can way lay the best made plans. And still we managed to worship and share, to sing and pray, listen and learn, which are the really important things. Thanks to everyone for pulling together at the last minute. It was also challenging to say good-bye to our friends Soo Kim and Doug Lee as they return to Korea. Doug, Soo, and Hegene have become beloved members of our “family” over the past five years and we will miss them very much. We promise to hold a place for them and they promised to come back to visit.
This Sunday is known as Ascension Sunday in liturgical tradition. On the Sunday before Pentecost, we remember that the Christ ascended into heaven as recorded in Acts or returned to God as he predicted in John’s gospel. After the Ascension, when Christ was no longer plainly visible to his followers, the Holy Spirit descended on them, imbuing them with great power to carry on Christ’s mission in the world. In the Ascension story in Acts 1, the angels ask the dazed disciples why they’re standing there looking into heaven when there is work to be done on earth. This is a fair question to ask every follower who may be more focused on what is to come than what is needed now to usher in God’s Beloved Community.
In Adult Spiritual Formation, we will wrap up our study of the Parables with a look at “The Parable of the Talents.” Please join us for worship, education, and community time and bring someone along to share the day. At 2:00 PM, we will hold a memorial service for our beloved Marilyn Hunwick, which will be followed by a reception hosted by the family. If church members are wanting to help with the reception, please contact the church office.
Remember, our theme for this year is “All Are Welcome in this Place.”
Let’s make certain that it is so.
Our focus scripture for this Sunday will be Acts 17:16-34. In this story Paul has stirred up trouble in Athens by preaching the gospel. He is called before the Areopagus, a kind of civic council, to account for himself and the claims he was making. He takes the opportunity to make a brilliant speech about the “unknown God” to whom the Athenians have erected a shrine. He goes on to challenge them to consider whether this might be an entry point to knowing the “living God” he serves, the One in whom we “live and move and have our being.” This is an inspirig tale and a powerful early witness to the faith tradition we claim as our own.
After Worship, we will hold the first cook out of the season and the weather is promising to cooperate. So, bring salad or a side dish to share. The rest will be furnished. Come early to help set up or stay after to help clean up.
Sadly this Sunday we will say farewell to Soo Kim and Doug Lee as they return to Korea. It has been a joy to have them sojourn with us the past 4+ years. We will miss them very much. We celebrate them in the service and at the cook out.
Remember, our theme for this year is “All Are Welcome in this Place.” Let’s make certain that it is so.
This week we will focus on the notion of standing firm. In Psalm 31, God is pictured as the rock of our refuge. In John 14, Jesus promises those a believe a new home in God. In Acts 7, Steven sees a heavenly vision of what life can be like even as he is being stoned to death. In First Peter 2, the writer says, of Christ, “Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” The writer goes on to proclaim that Christ followers are a “chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people,” but “in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” To be embraced by God is not only a great promise of security and well-being it is call to carry the light of God to the ends of the earth, n out words and in out living witness.
Come Sunday at 10 AM, to share in worship, education, and community. In Adult Spiritual Formation, we will continue our study of the parables with a look at the Parable of the Talents. Invite family, friends, colleagues, strangers – anyone and everyone – to join in this joyous time.
Our theme for this year is “All Are Welcome in this Place.” Let’s make certain that it is so.
PS There is a new sign up sheet for Hospitality in the coming weeks, including this coming Sunday. Please sign up or let me or the office know if you can help out.