May 26, 2016
AfterWords on Identity: Honor the Reality - We Are One.
A mission for unity is what initiates this entire movement within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). It is ironic that division preceded the movement for union, but there is (perhaps!) principle within it. As Barton Stone authored in his Last Will and Testament of the Springfield Presbytery, it was the hope that the church would "die, be dissolved, and its members sink into union with the Body of Christ at large..."
This calling and purpose are still upon us within the identity of Pilgrim Christian Church, and that is a blessing because this calling and purpose are in such great need currently. To be a people who see the good in one another, to be a people who bring people together, to be a people who can understand that unity does not mean uniformity - this is all a radical blessing in our world. For it does seem as though so many struggle to see the good in those who think and vote differently; many live, work, and worship within homogenous communities; many have allowed ideology to supersede community and even family ties.
Into this fragmented world, we can be a movement for wholeness (Disciples Identity Statement). Indeed, that is part of what we do at Pilgrim Christian Church. This is part of the sacrament of church that we participate in daily and how we are blessed and encouraged to go into the world to be a healing, gracious, and uniting presence - for we are all One and we are blessed when we live into that reality.
This Sunday, we'll continue exploring our identity with the aid of a story where the disciples wish to rain down fire upon the Samaritans who believed differently from them and chose not to welcome them... (Luke 9.51-56). We'll consider the response of Christ to transcend the divisions rather than to turn against them, and consider what that may offer to us as we live within a world of pronounced divisions and fragments.
I want to thank our Sunday School teachers again for all the work they've done this year. Roz Kvet, Cindy Hopkins, Cheryl Hederstrom, and Heather Penrod are invested in the religious education of our children and do a fantastic job! Thanks to our substitutes, Jen McCreight and Kristen Yeomans, for their willingness to step in and teach at any time. You are all doing God's work!
The nursery and the 4 and 5 year old class will continue for the summer thanks to many willing volunteers!
Thanks to Paul Hederstrom for the junior high devotional! I'm sure we can use it in many ways.
A MEDITATION FROM MARIA: ON PENTECOST
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them.
In the book of Acts we are informed that the Holy Spirit filled the apostles, empowering them as they began their transformational ministry through the preachings of Jesus-- the fulfillment of God’s mission to the world. Through repentance and the water of baptism all who hear these words are invited to know and enter into this new reality. Our world can be filled with the life-giving spirit of God(Acts 2:38) and everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. Prayer, silence, the Eucharist, liturgy, the needs of the world, and a sense of sharing in the Church's mission are essential elements in our religious renewal, spiritual growth and acknowledgment and maintenance of our Holy Spirit
When they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31) We open ourselves to God’s empowering grace and see more clearly the countless ways His Spirt is at work within and around us, our church community, our country, our world. It all begins here. It all begins with us Our individual spirit is not bound by our bodies; our spirits can reach across the miles of our earth to touch the heart of a loved one or expand to become one with the universe our spirits are ever renewing and eternal..
If you have a child or grandchild that will be graduating College or High School please contact the office no later than June 1st.
OFFICE VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
We need office volunteers for June 9 & 10 and 13-17th. This will involve answering phones and collecting the mail. If you are able to help during this time please contact Cheryl in the office.