March 12, 2014

Our services for this coming Sunday, the 15th of March and the Fourth Sunday of Lent, will be at 8 and 10. Due to the plaster fall in the nave of the church (see last week’s MEMO for details) and the fact that we have not yet had a formal inspection for safety issues, the 8:00 service will be in the Prince Room and the 10:00 service in the Parish Hall. As you may note from the pictures from last Sunday, the location did not keep us from having lively and engaged liturgies. Thank you for your flexibility and faithfulness. And thank you to Melissa, assisted by her family, for providing our annual opportunity to purchase Girl Scout cookies!

The 4th Sunday of Lent is known by a number of different names (Mothering Sunday, Refreshment Sunday, Simnel Sunday, Laetare Sunday, Mid-Lent), each of which points to the tradition of relaxing the penitential observances of Lent on this particular Sunday – a “little Easter” before we head into the two weeks leading up to Holy Week. With the current hint of Spring in the air, we have all felt a new lightness in our step and dress! Come gather to celebrate with us. If we’re luck, there may even be flowers, new green leaves, and simnel cake!
Readings for this Sunday: Numbers 21:4-9, Psalm 107: 1-3, 17-22, Ephesians 2:1-10, John 3:14-21.

Our Wednesday Lenten Simple Soup Suppers continue. Gather at 5:30 in the Prince Room on March 18th. We’ll enjoy soup, salad, and fresh bread, along with reading and discussion, closing by 7:00 with prayer. We will continue with our exploration of how we live into the gift of Time, focusing next week on prayer and work. While there is no assignment in advance, if you would like to tap into the source of the material for this, go to
Food for Thought … Reflections on Wednesday’s Simple Supper Conversation…
Last night 11 of us gathered and began to explore the great gift of time that we have been given, with the understanding that no matter what stage of life we are in, God’s invitation is that we be intentional in how we use our time in order to discover the abundance of life God desires for each of us. That, on the seventh day of the creation story in Genesis, God names the day itself as holy can be seen as a sort of wake-up call for all of us! The very first thing God calls holy is time. Many of us do a fair amount of fighting with time – wishing we had more of it, scolding time for having flown by, being disheartened because time “drags on.” Maybe it’s time for a change!
So the big question for exploration is How might we redeem time? We talked about Sabbath time – what Sundays were like for us growing up and the ways in which that day was different from other days, and how that felt. (Often it meant a day with a more relaxed focus that involved the whole family – whether it was family play time – walks, skiing, swimming, a nice family mid-day dinner in the dinning room, or permission to eat leftovers (or even cereal!) in on a tray in the living-room in front of Disney’s Wonderful World of Color! We also looked at the ways in which mindless distraction can be an enemy of how we use our time, and yet how sometimes mindless tasks are just what we need to down-shift from our frenetic pacing. And we explored the crucial importance of being able and willing to STOP – to begin to recognize the tyranny of busy-ness and work that keeps many of us from slowing down.

When we are in the grip of the tyranny of busy-ness, it’s like looking through a pitcher of water: you can see what’s on the other side, but it’s all a blur; when we take the time to slow down we can see more clearly and respond more effectively.
Join us this coming week to think about Prayer and Work as we explore how we might we redeem time – allowing us to experience the precious gift of time for fully.

In the words of the poet Mary Oliver, “What is it that you intend to do with this one wild and precious life?”

See you in church,
Blessings,   Heidi+