March 4, 2016
In worship Sunday morning, I offered a hope that, with your generosity, we could collect enough money to purchase the gift of a heifer for a family. Together, we surpassed that hope and Pilgrim Christian Church will be able to make the gift of a heifer, a pig, and a flock of chicks to a family!!! This is spectacular! Your gift and generosity will provide food and an income to a family, and in time, the offspring from this gift will be shared with that family’s neighbor, providing them with food and an income. This continues and creates a blessing that continues to unfold lifting families and communities out of poverty and hunger. What a gift!
Lent is a season to return - to return home to God. We have seen an image of return from the Prophet Isaiah (55.1-9) and this Sunday, we will hear one of the most popular and striking parables about the image of return in the Prodigal Son. Within all of this, Scripture is attempting to break through the cultural norms that have been ingrained within us since birth that we must earn everything - even our return home; even Grace; even Love. It is right and necessary to hear Scripture week after week, day after day, that speaks a counter narrative and a deeper Truth: You are, always have been, and always will be Loved, welcomed, and embraced by God. At some point… we stop resisting it, stop disbelieving it, and just fall into it. When we do… that may be what we call salvation.
This Sunday, we’ll hear the words of Christ as they speak about this Grace, and consider what it means to get it and accept the invitation of Paul to take part in sharing this good news with all the world.
Many thanks to my friends, Marlene and Stacey Papp, who donated 3 large bags of craft materials to Sunday School. These included scrapbook paper, construction paper, feathers, coloring books, and much more.
We're in the planning stages of an evening program for 4th grade and older children. We'd like to hold an abbreviated fast as part of the 30 Hour Famine, play board games as well as foosball and air hockey, and end the evening with a snack. Please speak to any member of Christian Education if you're interested in joining us.
Join us for movie night on Friday, March 11th, at 6:30 p.m. We'll watch videos, make a craft, and have snacks. Hope to see you there!
VOICES IN THE WILDERNESS
Every so often, I will stumble upon a reading that articulates the work or purpose of contemplative prayer to me. Today, it comes from John O'Donohue, who speaks of that "inner voice,” which may be understood in connection with or to simply be that “imago dei” that has the power to breathe and speak within us. I will simply share his words and invite you into a practice that seeks to be still and quiet that this inner voice may utter and be heard.
THE INNER VOICE
Somewhere in every heart there is a discerning voice. This voice distrusts the status quo. It sounds out the falsity in things and encourages dissent from the images things tend to assume. It underlines the secret crevices where the surface has become strained. It advises distance and opens up a new perspective through which the concealed meaning of a situation might emerge. The inner voice makes any complicity uneasy. Its intention is to keep the heart clean and clear. This voice is an inner whisper not obvious or known to others outside. It receives little attention and is not usually highlighted among a person's qualities. Yet so much depends on that small voice. The truth of its whisper marks the line between honor and egoism, kindness and chaos. In extreme situations, which have been emptied of all shelter and tenderness, that small voice whispers from somewhere beyond and encourages the heart to hold out for dignity, respect, beauty and love. ~ John O'Donohue
If you are searching for the time and space to listen, please consider attending our Lenten Worship Service on Wednesday evenings from 7:00pm-7:45pm in the Sanctuary.
LENTEN WORSHIP SCHEDULE
Voices in the Wilderness: Wednesdays through March 23 at 7:00pm in the Sanctuary.
Maundy Thursday: March 24 at 7:00pm in the Sanctuary
Good Friday: March 25 Ecumenical Service from 12-3 - Service of Prayer 7 PM