President Abraham Lincoln said, “I care not for a man’s religion whose dog or cat is not the better for it.” Our religion is meant to change the way we live for the better both in the smallest of ways that would affect our dog or cat and in the biggest of ways that affect the lives of our family, our neighbors, our church, our community, our nation and our world. How we live this life matters.
How we respond to suffering especially matters, both our own suffering and the suffering of others. As Bishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter Mpho write in this Sunday’s Silent Meditation, “Transformation begins in you, wherever you are, whatever has happened, however you are suffering. Transformation is always possible…. We are not responsible for what breaks us, but we can be responsible for what puts us back together again. ”
We will hear one of the most fascinating and puzzling passages in the gospel this Sunday (Luke 16:1-13). Jesus tells a story about a dishonest manager who cheats the rich man he works for, who then praises the manager for his shrewdness. Jesus shocks us by telling us to be as shrewd ourselves. It seems to make no sense until we delve into it and find practical wisdom that we desperately need right now in our church and world. We will hear two other passages about the kind of wisdom Christ calls us to have, one from Proverbs 8 and the other from Matthew, Chapter 10, verses 16-20.
It was a privilege to host the Jeremiah Ingalls Singers from Newbury, VT during our service on August 28, 2016. The Rev. Donald Towle led the singers and gave a very thought-provoking sermon. Below are a few photos and a video of the singers.
It was a very sweet Sunday on September 11, 2016. We welcomed back those who had been away for the summer with balloons, the children escorted the big Bible to its home on the lectern, and we enjoyed ice cream sundaes at coffee hour!
We will be worshipping this week in the context of the 15th Anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11/01. It might seem strange to have a service of celebration and quiet joy on such a day, but Christ leads us there with his teaching in the lectionary for this week. Luke 15:1-10 has the recurring theme (Sunday’s sermon title), “Rejoice with Me, For I Have Found What Was Lost!” We live in a world that gets lost, as we did on 9/11, and we ourselves stray from the Way of Christ over and over. We can rejoice that Christ rejoices every time we turn back, and welcomes us with his loving, forgiving, shepherding arms. The 51st Psalm is also in the lectionary with its moving, poetic affirmation of the same spiritual truth.
We will celebrate Welcome Sunday with the children helping to wheel the big lectern Bible into the sanctuary as they start up a new school year of Sunday School. The choir will have us rejoicing as it returns for its first Sunday after summer vacation. The Diaconate is hosting once again its fabulous Welcome party after worship with make-your-own sundaes in the vestry, as well as delicious non-sweet foods. Please invite friends, old and new, to join us this week! Continue reading Upcoming Service Notes, September 11, 2016, Welcome Sunday, Sundae Sunday→
The Apostle Paul had a slogan in his churches, “For freedom Christ has set us free!” Jesus said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” I have been inviting the congregation in my Epistle articles to think about the positive difference our church makes in our lives throughout the week. Clearly one difference church is meant to make is to lead us to the freedom to have life and have it abundantly. Jesus does not want anything to hold us back. This Sunday in worship we will think about what this means for our lives as individuals and as a congregation. The scripture readings helping us do that will include Psalm 1, Deuteronomy 30:15-20 and Luke 14:25-33. We will celebrate some of the ways in which we are not holding back from a life rich in meaning, love and joy.
We were very pleased to celebrate the baptism of Arabella DiLorenzo on Sunday, July 31, 2016. Arabella is the daughter of Nicholas and Valerie DiLorenzo and the granddaughter of Lynda and Frank DiLorenzo and Daniel and Anita Perry. Arabella’s great-grandfather, Deacon Dan Perry, assisted in the baptism.