Above is a photo of just some of the LOVE CREW that assembled the scores of bags, totes, bins and baskets full of sweets and joys and handmade Valentines. All these Sunshine Baskets were blessed on Sunday, February 14 before being hand delivered to each person, group home, and family. 20+ individual bags, 20+ couple totes, a half dozen or so large baskets containing breads, cookies, candies, fruit, drinks, popcorn, and Valentines handmade by children. . . so much love! Our church has been sending out these Sunshine Baskets for many years now. (More photos of the assembly in progress below.)
Want to be a Book Angel for the Sunday School library? There are 3 categories of $5, $10 and $15. Pick a book you’d like to sponsor and you will be that book’s Book Angel!
A huge THANK YOU to all the folks who participated in the Book Angels project on Valentine’s Day. Together we provided more than 20 new books to begin a children’s Sunday School library. More books will be available for purchase at the Christian Education’s Winter Warmer Dinner on February 20th.
This just in from the Bradford Food Shelf: right now they’re in great need of pasta, canned fruit, and canned stew. Anything you can donate will be GREATLY appreciated.
Lent is a season of change. This second Sunday the scriptures talk about the need for change and the power of God to transform us and transform the world. (Psalm 27, Philippians 3:17-4:1 and Luke 13:31-35) Psalm 27 puts it beautifully: “I believe that I shall see the goodness of God in the land of the living.” Lent is a wilderness journey, and that journey can be a struggle. It can also be full of hope. The Promised Land and Easter dawn wait at the end.
Last Sunday Mary Sanborn reminded us that it was President Lincoln’s birthday last week. She asked why we never hear about him in church. She said we hear about the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., which she approves, but we should hear about Abe Lincoln, too. This Sunday we will feature them both! Continue reading Upcoming Service Notes, February 21, 2016
We have a choice of how we view Lent. We can take the view that it is all about dreaded deprivation and punishing self-discipline, a long mud season that is all about the mud, or we can see it as a time of spiritual deepening and exploration and growth, a mud season that is all about the seeds and bulbs beneath the ground that are starting to send up their shoots toward the coming spring.
I use the word lugubrious half-jokingly about Lent–only half joking because February and mud-season can be a little dismal, and sometimes seriously dismal, and yet I love the moments when we first notice how strong the sun is feeling on our face, or how happy the streams are sounding, or we hear the first redwing blackbirds sing.
The somber Lenten music and scriptures that confront us with our shadowy false selves lead us to discover the light that shines in the darkness that the darkness does not overcome. That is the joy of Lent. A butterfly needs to struggle out of the cocoon in order to strengthen its wings to fly. We need to pass through the wilderness of spiritual struggle to prepare ourselves for the flight from the tomb at Easter dawn.
This First Sunday in Lent we will read the beautiful promise of Psalm 91 of the protection, salvation and blessings that will come to those who love and make God their refuge. We will see a model of this in the story of the children of Israel reaching the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 26:1-9) and Jesus in the wilderness (Luke 4:1-14). We will reflect on our own lives and our church and the potential for transformation our own wildernesses offer us. We will sing Be Still My Soul and the great Lenten hymn, Forty Days and Forty Nights. Continue reading Upcoming Service Notes, February 14, 2016, First Sunday in Lent
Please click here to visit the new page on this website for information about the first three workshops in this series!
We have begun the process of searching for a new settled pastor. The search committee will soon be reaching out to the congregation for input on this important and exciting process! Your search committee is (L-R): Marcia Tomlinson, Bridget Peters, Sue Eastman, Charlotte Welch, Kathy Munson, and Rob Taylor.
Transfiguration Sunday is one of the great bursts of light of the church year. It is always full of wonder and joy. We read the story of the miraculous vision that the disciples had on the mountaintop where they saw Jesus as a being of light and we sing some of our favorite hymns. We will have all that usual delight this Sunday–we will sing Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise and In the Bulb There Is a Flower, and Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee, and we will read one of the most beautiful Psalms, #139, that affirms that even the darkness is as light with God, and we will hear the Transfiguration Story in Luke (9:28-43a).
What makes this year even more joyous is the transfiguration that is taking place in our church. Take a few minutes next time you are in the vestry to look closely at the changes taking place. Start in the corner just to the right inside the door, and see the “Growing in Love!” bulletin boards with photographs of our church family and the beloved words of our Covenant, Identity and Aspiration Statement and Communication Guidelines. Then step in a little farther and see the new Board of Mission and Social Action bulletin boards about helping Syrian refugees (and sign up to help!). Then walk across to the children’s corner to see the changes that have transfigured it and transformed our children’s experience of it. Continue reading Upcoming Service Notes, February 7, 2016, Transfiguration!