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Pastor Barb’s Weekly Message 6/4

Grace and peace to you all!

This Sunday, June 4, is Pentecost: the birthday of the Christian church! During worship we’ll tell again the story of how the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples, 50 days after Jesus’ resurrection, with a rush of wind and appearing as flames on their heads. We’ll hear again how they spoke the Gospel in many tongues, and how the Good News began to spread to the people and the world around them.

Wear red to worship this Sunday! We’ll show the Spirit’s fire as we gather together.

And do some reflecting: when have you been “on fire”? When have you been filled with a holy energy for a project or a cause that brings life to the world? When have you burned with gratitude for a great happening in your life, or for the ordinary joys of daily living? When has something been kindled in your spirit that’s been an extension of the Spirit – something of God, something that’s undeniably holy, something that you did not create yourself but were simply blessed with? That’s a kind of Pentecost, too: a visitation from the Spirit of Life and Love. It’s one way God continues to move in the world.

May the Spirit’s blessing and energy and joy be yours, this Pentecost and always

Pastor Barb’s Message 1/1/17

Grace and peace!

It’s the fifth day of Christmas (“Five go-old rings”).  The songs of the angels are still echoing in the sky as the Christmas story shifts from shepherds to Magi who, according to Christian tradition, show up to worship the baby Jesus on the 12th day of Christmas, January 6th.

My colleague Steve Garnaas-Holmes has imagined this prayer Magi might have pondered in their journey toward the star.  His words describe my own hopes for how I can live my faith in the coming year.  May it spark your own pondering and reflection, too.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 God of truth, open my eyes to your light
and give me faith to follow,
to seek signs of your grace, to notice,
in nature, in dreams, in people.
Give me devotion to seek your presence,
to come close to you, to drew near.
Give me faith to forsake all else that glitters
and follow the light of your love alone.
Give me resolve to leave the familiar
and make of my life a holy pilgrimage.
Give me humility to ask directions,
to seek help from other seekers.
Give me steadfastness to seek and not turn back,
despite challenges of distance and strangeness.
Give me courage to stand against Empire
and its desire to use me.
Give me generosity to give of my gifts.
Give me insight to bow to holiness
in whomever I may see it.
Give me wisdom and readiness to go by a new road.
God of love, may this day be a new life,
guided by the light of your presence,
led by wonder, trust and love. Amen.

 

 

2016 Chicken Pie Supper

Thank you to everyone

who helped and supported our chicken pie supper this year.  As in years gone by it was a GREAT success.  Our chicken pie supper  has been a tradition since 1925 “when there was no running water and the ladies brought their own dishes for serving the meal“.

Our Church,  as well as the community,  look forward to this wonderful experience each year.  The chicken pie supper helps to support not only our Church, but also aids the Women of the Church Missions.

Thank you to everyone who helped with this year’s dinner.   Go to our Photo Gallery and get a glimpse of a few of the workers that helped make this year another success.

Pastor Barb’s Weekly Message

Pastor Barb’s Weekly Message
Grace and peace to you all!
Like all of you I come to the end of this week with a heavy spirit, after last Sunday’s terrible car crash that claimed the lives of five teens from Harwood High School and Kimball Union Academy. There are so many emotions: grief, shock, bewilderment, anger, and more grief.

All this week, these lyrics from the musical “Hamilton” have been echoing in my heart. In the song “It’s Quiet Uptown,” Alexander and Eliza Hamilton are grieving the dueling death of their 19-year old son:
There are moments that the words don’t reach
There is suffering too terrible to name…
The Hamiltons…are going through the unimaginable.
In the midst of this unimaginable tragedy, there is nothing we can offer to make it go away. We can only go through this together.

Ruth Magill sent out an invitation this week to walk the labyrinth in prayer for the victim’s families. That’s a powerful way to offer ourselves to this great grief – praying with our hearts and our bodies, walking an ancient pattern to the labyrinth’s center.

As we pray – whether in the labyrinth or elsewhere – I believe that God’s Spirit prays with us and weeps with us. As we pray, I believe that we open a spiritual space where somehow God’s slow work of healing can begin, in our own broken hearts and in the broken hearts of others.
And so we pray. Individually and together. We pray. With God and each other, we somehow find a way to live with the unimaginable.

Last Sunday’s accident came on the heels of another tragedy: Hurricane Matthew, which caused devastation in Haiti and elsewhere. In this case, we can do more than pray; we can offer assistance to those whose homes and livelihoods have been destroyed. On Sunday we’ll take up a special offering that will be sent to the UCC and UMC disaster relief ministries which are already hard at work.

Thank you for the opportunity to journey together as we seek to embody God’s love in and for the world.

Pastor Barb’s Weekly Thoughts

Pastor Barb’s Weekly Thoughts

“Grace and peace to you all!

Today (Friday) my husband and I are planning to hike up Mt Abraham. We’ve not done that trail before, but we know that it’s well marked and I suspect there will be plenty of hikers who will be out there to point the way. And the foliage should be lovely! Twenty years ago, when we lived in the Adirondacks, we often would hike mountains that were much less well-traveled, and often the trails were sparsely marked, if at all. Part of the excitement was finding the way to the top without getting lost (or at least, not very lost). We had a topo map and a compass, and we knew how to use both to orient ourselves and find the best way forward. We have to cross unfamiliar territory in all kinds of ways, in our physical and our spiritual lives.

How do we keep our souls centered when events begin to spin beyond our control and there’s no clear path ahead? This Sunday I’ll be speaking about finding our Inner Compass, that solid, faithful core where we meet the Holy and where we can find guidance, healing, challenge and wisdom. It’s the beginning of a series of sermons focused on prayer and connection with the God who loves us and calls us to be more than we ever thought possible.”