As we entered the second week full week of Lent we found ourselves personally and as a church family in a very real wilderness experience. The news of Pastor Daniel’s heath concern and surgery hit each of us deeply and may have dug up feelings from our own personal experiences we had thought had been long past resolved.
Times like these are the very reason we are a part of this church family, because of faith. It was a week where we needed to put everything we have learned into action. It was a time we needed to remember to look to God in prayer, and hardest of all, to trust God.
As I struggled with my own feelings about this happening to my friend, pastor and boss, I was reminded to lean on what I had learned in Sunday school to pray the familiar prayers (the 23rd Psalm, the Lord’s Prayer and the Mitzvah). In doing this, I had the strength I needed to do what needed to be done.
We found strength in our time together this week in prayer, in meetings, in Bible studies, in sharing a meal, in e-mails and phone calls, in choir practices and in even more ways that I could possibly list. Continue to care for one another; that too is faith in action.
I thank you for being the church and putting love into action. Many of you have stepped up and taken on tasks that needed to be done: from registering the adults and youth for the regional youth event(so we could still get the discount), to baking bread with the youth, teaching classes or moving things down to All Saints on Sunday. For this, I am very grateful.
I know we all want to do something in times like this so I ask you to think about one of these as an option:
1. Pray: Pray for Pastor Daniel and her continued health, pray for her family, pray for the staff and pray for each other.
2. Write: Write Pastor Daniel a note telling her how she has touched your life, or write someone else and tell them the same thing.
3. Cook: If you are inclined, as you cook a meal, freeze a one small portion that you can share if called upon to do so. Why not seek out someone else who could use a home cooked meal too?
4. Outreach: Do something for someone or a group in need in honor of Pastor Daniel.
In the days to come, we may ask you to fill in in other ways. I ask that you trust us/me. We hear those offersand will take you up on them.
I thank you for your faith in me as we walk through this time of wilderness together.
With a grateful heart,
Kim Sexton, Associate for Children’s Ministry
March 4 Third Sunday in Lent Contemplate God’s Glory
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.
It is so easy to just fire off an email or Facebook update or Twitter “tweet” or text message without thinking much about it. Challenge yourself to be more mindful of your words in these contexts this week. Take a deep breath before you respond to anything and make space in your heart before you start typing or texting. Notice how this mindfulness affects your sense of connection to others. We will share in Holy Communion this morning. The Senior Choir will be singing.
***Please note the 10:30 service will be held in the Great Hall at All Saints Episcopal Church.
Adult Education, Sunday, February 4 9:30 – 10:15 a.m. “Let’s Talk”
A WAY OTHER THAN OUR OWN Led by Esther Ziegler
Devotions for Lent by Walter Brueggemann
Lent recalls times of wilderness and wandering, from newly freed Hebrew slaves in exile to Jesus temptation in the desert. God has always called people out of their safe, walled cities into uncomfortable places, revealing paths they would never have chosen. Despite our culture of self-indulgence, we too are called to walk an alternative path, one of humility, justice, and peace. Walter Brueggemann s thought-provoking reflections for the season of Lent invite us to consider the challenging, beautiful life that comes with walking the way of grace.
See the photos on the page below
Kim Sexton for Rev. Dr. Barbara Kershner Daniel, Senior Pastor
Evangelical Reformed Church, United Church of Christ
15 West Church St, Frederick, MD 21701
301-662-2762 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
March Four Our Lives Rally on March 24th
The students of Parkland, Florida have organized a March for Our Lives in Washington, DC on March 24 th . We have secured two buses — school buses — to travel to DC that day. We are requesting a $20 donation per seat but please do not let funds be a hindrance to your witness.
Youth, parents, grandparents, people who love children… Let’s take action. Now.
If you are interested in attending, please contact Pastor Daniel or the church office. Seats are limited so please reserve your space by March 5. At that time, we will be opening it up to other people in the community.