Happening Now Blog

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pastor's Weekly Message

"....yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth branches like a young plant."      Job 14:9

It was the day off and there was a chance to begin the trimming that I didn't think I would be doing again.  But such things cannot be put off and so the work began.  It was a beautiful day and the grapes were the first to be cut back.  Some of these vines have been around for a while and they still produce bountifully, and from the buds I saw they will again.  Then it was on to an apple, pear and plum tree.  The sun felt warm on my back, and there was a lot of chattering and movement from the birds.  There were robins, towhee, starling, doves, various sparrows, quail and more.  There was singing and grousing.  There were flowers blooming as well.  Daffodils I know, a Lenten bush (is that the right name?) and others I would not hazard a guess at.  So much beauty and life.
Which brings us to those words from Job quoted above.  They are about a tree being cut down that will "sprout again".  That made me think of the life that continues on even when I get done with my inept hacking.  In the words of scripture that follow things are not nearly so hopeful about humanity.  I understand the meaning, but at the same time the resurrection that I see going on all around me fills part of me too.  All of creation seems to share it's very life with us. 
There is even that "scent of water".  The very next day, after the cutting and pruning, there was at first a hint of moisture in the air, and then a gentle rain.  After a few dry days it smelled grand and clean, and on taking it in there the reminder that it is not only the vegetation that "put forth branches like a young plant."  It waters us all.
Thanks for the beauty and the gifts Lord, may they lift us all to a sense of hope and the promise of grand things to come.
In the peace and power of the Christ,
Pastor Randy
"Lord of creation and God of grace, we thank you for the yearly miracle of the spring, as the earth awakes from its winter sleep and is arrayed again in the glory of resurrection life. Send into our hearts the Spirit of the living Christ, to raise us to newness of life and to clothe us with the beauty of his holiness, for your honour and glory." Frank Colquhoun
Lenten Soup/Bread supper this evening 5:45 pm
Vesper Service (following soup supper) 6:30 pm

Remember in prayer;

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pastor's Weekly Message

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:21
Today is Ash Wednesday and with it begins the season of Lent.  The verse above is part of a section of the gospel according to St. Matthew that is about not making a big deal of what it is that we do, but to just go about our business doing good and sacrificing of ourselves. 
The idea of giving up something for Lent is a long standing tradition in the church, though it isn't thought of so much anymore.  The idea was to give up doing something we would actually miss, but then with the words from Matthew reminding us not to make a big deal of it.  There isn't a need to let everyone know how much we might be suffering for our faith.  Rather we might be surprised , even enriched, by what we  can live without. 
Frederick Buechner writes, "In many cultures there is an ancient custom of giving a tenth of each year's income to some holy use.  For Christians, to observe the forty days of Lent is to do the same thing with roughly a tenth of each year's days.  After being baptized by John in the river Jordan, Jesus went off alone into the wilderness where he spent forty days asking himself the question what it meant to be Jesus.  During Lent, Christians are supposed to ask one way or another what it means to be themselves."
What means the most to us?  What might we give up?  Or even, what we might add on, making a commitment to do something we know we need to do but don't?  Give up, or add to, make this Lenten season a time to enrich our lives, as Christians, quietly.
In the peace and power of the cross,
Pastor Randy
"Gracious God, out of your love and mercy your breathed into dust the breath of life, creating us to serve you and our neighbors.  Call forth our prayers and acts of kindness, and strengthen us to face our mortality with confidence in the mercy of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one god, now and forever. Amen.
Ash Wednesday Service this evening at 6:30 pm
Soup/Bread suppers begin Wednesday February 24 @ 5:45 pm
followed by Evening worship at 6:30 pm

Congregational Meeting/Quarterly Town Hall Meeting at 12:00 pm, Sunday 2/21
Remember in prayer:
Darlene, Larry, Helen, Jessica

Monday, February 15, 2010

Feb 21 Congregational Mtg

Just a reminder that we have scheduled a Congregational Quarterly Town Hall meeting for this Sunday, February 21st - right after second service.  Please plan to attend. Child care will be provided and, because it is the lunch hour, there will be a snack available downstairs for the kids who are staying. After service ends, we will give folks about five minutes to use the restroom and get a beverage. Then we will start the meeting. We will address the budget first; secondly updates on other issues; and then concerns from the congregation.

Our GOAL will be to keep the meeting to ONE HOUR. We plan to record the meeting for those who must be absent (in addition to our written record). The agenda will be finalized at our Council meeting on Thursday. Feel free to send questions or requests in advance.

A Winning Souper Bowl!

A fantastic job and congrats to the confirmation class on a successful Souper Bowl Sunday.  A total of $348 and 296 cans of food were collected, handily beating the goal of $300 and 75 cans of food for Shepherd's Storehouse.

Also congratulations to Mark who won the Sweetheart Lasagna Dinner, and Christine, winner of the Super Bowl Basket!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pastor's Weekly Message

"Love one another with mutual affection; out do one another in showing honor."             Romans 12:10
One tradition says that in 270 A.D.l a Christian priest named Valentine was imprisoned and executed in Rome for performing marriages.  According to Claudius II, marriages were a threat to national security, because they made soldiers less willing to fight.
On the eve of Valentine's execution he wrote a note of thanks to the jailer's daughter, who had shown him kindness during his imprisonment, and signed it "Your Valentine".  That is credited for originating the custom of showing affection on Valentine's Day with a card or a note.
That has escalated a bit.  Now there are lots of advertisements, in the paper, on radio and TV, all about Valentine's Day.  It is not like the idea behind it all is a bad one.  I intend on getting a little something for the ones I hold dearest to my heart.  Though it does seem a bit sad to have one day set aside to express love, and there are all kinds of experts quoted and interviewed about how best to express that love. 
Do we really need that kind of coaching?  Probably, yes.  But we can keep trying none the less, and not just in the romantic sense that has come to dominate Valentine's Day. (Because in that respect maybe Valentine's Day has become too limiting.)  That is where those words of Paul from his letter to the church in Rome really come in to play, "mutual affection and showing honor".  Take a moment to think of the folks who are a blessing in our lives, give thanks, let them know of their importance.  Chances are it might take more than one day to do such a thing justice.
Thanks for the love Lord, and may we indeed love as you first loved us.
In the peace and power of the cross,
Pastor Randy
"O God of love, who has given us a new commandment through your only begotten Son, that we should love one another even as You have loved us, the unworthy and the wandering:  We pray that you will give us, your servants, all our life on this earth, a mind forgetful of past injuries, a pure conscience and a heart of love for our brothers and sisters; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen."

Wednesday evening worship at 6:30 pm
Thursday, 11:00 am Fundraising Meeting, everyone invited
Wednesday February 17th; Ash Wednesday Service 6:30 pm
Sunday February 21, Congregational/Town Hall Meeting 12:00 pm
2010 Budget copies available in the Narthex for your review.
Prayers of Healing for Helen, Larry, and Darlene

Monday, February 8, 2010

Rx Brown Bagger

Don't Forget~
SOV members, family members and neighbors; a FREE consultation with a Registered Pharmacist.  
Tuesday February 9th -- from 1:30 pm-6 pm  at Rite Aid Pharmacy located @ the Tanasbourne Shopping Center (Cornell Rd & 185th)
There will be Pharmacists available for consultations re- your medications and information-re "over the counter" (non-prescription) medications..
They will answer your questions as well as give you information re- how some drugs may have adverse reaction with "over the counter" medications.
You DO NOT need an appointment.
Privacy will be provided  and confidentiality is a "given" !
My contact person @ Rite Aid is Pharmacist Jaishree Patel.
This is  a great service by Rite Aid .-----------so we give Thanks.
Note: Be sure to bring your medications in their containers in a bag  ------ not just a list of your meds!  This is important and is why we call it  Rx Brown Bagger!!!
Corrine Gilbertson, Parish Nurse

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Congregational Meeting

Soon you will all be receiving the constitutionally required written
notice of our congregational meeting scheduled for Sunday, February
21st immediately after the second service.

It was decided to not include lunch in this meeting in order to get
started immediately and keep with a business focus.

The proposed 2010 budget will be presented and, hopefully, approved.
Also this meeting will serve as one of our quarterly town hall
meetings so the agenda will also be open to other issues.

Please plan to participate.

The Executive Committee

Mark your calendars!

Ash Wednesday Service is February 17th
Lent begins February 21

Soup/Bread suppers begin February 24 at 5:45 pm followed by half-hour worship at 6:30 pm.

Soup suppers will be 2/24, 3/3, 3/10, 3/17, 3/24

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Pastor's Weekly Message

"And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful."  Colossians 3:15
Standing outside, the time is approaching the passing into another new day.  The night is dark of course, but not as dark as the past few.  The moon, just a couple of days past full (it was called the "wolf" moon this month) is now just barely visible above the trees to the east.  It looks amazing.  There are stars over head, some clouds streaking by in the silver light.  And then I hear the great horned owls talking to one another.  Their conversation is a welcome one to listen in to. Experts no doubt could make some sense of such things (and I would welcome the knowledge, but tonight just  to hear the hooting is sweet enough.)
Used as an allegory or not, those hoots from owls speak to hope and life in the darkness.  Sometimes things do seem pretty dark, life challenges us, as individuals and as a community.  And even then God speaks to us, or maybe especially then, and takes us by surprise.  That is what I believe in, sometimes cling to, and then I end up, in spite of myself, with words the likes of which Paul offers, "let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts ... be thankful".
Ah yes, "be thankful", that is sometimes very difficult to remember to be.  Sometimes things are very dark, in reality, in the seasons of the soul.  But there is much to be thankful for, and may we take in such moments, and in them, even in darkness, know the "peace of Christ".
Listen. In the peace and power of the cross,
Pastor Randy
"Steadfast and loving God, so often we come before you bearing only our concerns.  We get so weighed down with our worries that we forget to sing for joy.  So now we lay our grief, pain and worries aside for a short while, with the assurance that they are already safe with you.  So with the psalmist we give thanks for - the dawn of a new day and the splendor of creation, the joy of seeing things anew through the eyes of young children, for friends who share our laughter and tears, for those who create art with any media, for scientists who  search for new ways to eradicate diseases, for the diversity of thought and culture and gifts among your children, for the smells of food, the flowers of spring, the gifts of your love for us sent in so many ways.  For all that we have and all that we are.  Thank you!  Amen!"
Wednesday Evening worship at 6:30 pm
Men's Night; Thursday February 4th, 6:30 pm at Old Chicago Pizza
Sunday, February 7th 'Souper Bowl Sunday' Bring Cans of Food for Shepherd's Storehouse, also
The confirmation youth will be selling raffle tickets for two baskets;
Basket One; "Super Bowl Basket" features $15.00 in pizza certificates and all the extras that go with super bowl.
Basket Two; Features Homemade Lasagna and Bread along with extras.
tickets are $2.00 each or 3/$5.00
(need not be present to win)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Your parish nurse invites you...

Members, family members and neighbors can have a FREE consultation with a Registered Pharmacist
Tuesday, February 9th 1:30pm - 6pm at Rite Aid Pharmacy located @ the Tanasbourne Shopping Center (Cornell Rd  & 185th)
There will be Pharmacists available for consultations re- your medications and information-re "over the counter" (non-prescription) medications..
They will answer your questions as well as give you information re- how some drugs may have adverse reaction with "over the counter" medications.
You DO NOT need an appointment.
Privacy will be provided and confidentiality is a "given"!
My contact person @ Rite Aid is Pharmacist Jaishree Patel.
This is a great service by Rite Aid--so we give Thanks.
Note: Be sure to bring your medications in their containers in a bag -- not just a list of your meds!  This is important and is why we call it Rx Brown Bagger!!!
Corrine Gilbertson, Parish Nurse