March 4, 2021
This comes to you while I am learning and playing with my clergy support group — Hal, Curran, and Jeff. Five years ago, we were blessed to participate in a program named CREDO through the UCC health insurance program of the Pension Boards. CREDO is a wellness program targeted to for clergy in mid-career to assess our spiritual, vocational physical and psychological, and financial health. During the week-long program, we met as a large group for worship and presentations. We were also assigned to a cohort group of four colleagues from across the country to share hopes and dreams and goals for continuing strong in ministry.
My small group has been in contact almost monthly since we first met in October of 2015. We have met in person each year to play and learn and to find renewal and rest. Our time together, it gives me a safe haven where four pastors serving very different congregations hold each other accountable to personal goals, celebrate successes, console each other in hard times, and encourage each other. We explore new ideas in an atmosphere of trust that sings with synergy, creativity, and honesty.
I am grateful for this group of colleagues and friends and the time we have spent together.
Worship Notes: Third Sunday in Lent
Psalm 19 “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O God.”
With the image of God as a rock, the end of the Psalm 19 uses an image from Creation for God that alludes back to the Creation language at the beginning of the psalm. Skies and rocks speak of God. The individual or leader who prays this psalm prays to live in dependence on God, and in harmony with all Creation. John 2:13–22 speaks of Creation and justice in a different way. In the ancient world, the temple was understood as a microcosm of Creation. This relationship to Creation is evident in the architecture and decorations of the temple. Jesus cleansing the temple is a cleansing of Creation from injustice. In calling his body the temple, Christ holds together spirit and matter. The body is spiritual, is God’s temple. Christ’s body is a microcosm of Creation. If this is so, then Creation could be understood as the body of God. We will share in Holy Communion this morning. Have some bread and a cracker and a cup of water, wine or juice at your worship centers.
Food for Thought:
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.” (George Bernard Shaw)
Rev. Dr. Barbara Kershner Daniel, Senior Pastor
Evangelical Reformed Church, United Church of Christ
15 West Church Street, Frederick, MD 21701