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Community News - February 19-26, 1017

 

Morning Worship                                                        February 19, 2017

11 a.m.                                                                                    Black History Month

“Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon To White America”

Rev. Bruce Southworth

My sermon title is the same as the title of Michael Eric Dyson’s most recent book.  Dr. Dyson is a Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University, a NY Times contributor, and an ordained Baptist minister.

Among his themes that I shall wrestle with are white privilege, white supremacy, and white innocence. 

See you at Community!

Memorial Service – Celebrating the Life of Odella N. Washington

1 pm – Hall of Worship

 

Morning Worship                    February  26, 2017

11 a.m.                                                Music Sunday

“They Called Her Moses”

A Cantata by Robert De Cormier and Donald McKayle

Gerald A. Brown and Rev. Bruce Southworth

Harriet Tubman’s picture has been selected to appear on the twenty dollar bill, replacing Andrew Jackson. In recognition of this historic move, this morning the expanded choir will present a cantata based on the life of Harriet Tubman. The songs

help to tell the story of the journey to freedom on the Underground Railroad, which prior to the end of the Civil War led thousands of slaves to the Free states and to Canada.

See you at Community!

 

Classical Vocal Arts For Children

Sun., Feb. 19, 12:30 pm

 

Young Adult Gathering

Sun., Feb. 19, 12:45 pm

 

Memorial Service

Odella Washington

Sun., Feb. 19, 1:00 pm

 

Yoga with Nafisa

Tues., Feb. 21, 6:00 pm

 

Henry George School

Wed., Feb. 22, 6:00 pm

 

AARP Tax Assistance

Thrs., Feb. 23, 10:00 am

 

Henry George School

Fri., Feb. 24, 6:00 pm

 

Yoga with Nafisa

Sat., Feb. 25, 12:30 pm

 

Classical Vocal Arts For Children

Sun., Feb. 26, 12:30 pm

 

Poor Peoples Campaign

Sun., Feb. 26, 1:00 pm

 

Studying Humanism

Mon., Feb. 27, 6:30 pm

 

Social Tea (Cancelled)

Tues., Feb. 28, 2:00 pm

 

Yoga with Nafisa

Tues., Feb. 28, 6:00 pm

 

AARP Tax Assistance

Thrs., Mar. 2, 10:00 am

 

LIFESPAN RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

                        —Albert Einstein

The lesson was miracle and awe. One Sunday we spoke about what a miracle might be. Everyone was stumped, then I mentioned the: Universe, sun, stars, earth, seasons, snowflakes, fingerprints, childbirth, breathing, thinking, love, a beating heart, our senses, growing, healing, a flower pushing through an asphalt road. I heard a unanimous , "Ahhhh, yes, 

It was as if we woke up to the possibility that miracles don't have to be explained events.

This week Kevin Maxwell guided them to "stay awake" or to look with absolute attention and paint what one sees from memory or from a visual. Each chose an animal that was significant to them in some way to their lives. The artistic exe was significant to them in some way to their lives. The artistic exercise of paying close attention will be revisited to encourage our  own capacity for “direct experience of mystery and wonder.”

Last week as I was shoveling snow from my front steps I was reminded of that even though it was cold and icy, I "woke up" to the beauty and wonder of each delicate and unique snowflake.        

Paz, Esther

 

COMMUNITY CALENDAR

SUNDAY–February 19

9:30 am                       Choir Rehearsal

11:00 am                     Worship Service

11:00 am         Sunday School

12:15 pm         Fellowship Hour

MONDAY–February 20

Presidents’ Day

Church Building Closed

WEDNESDAY–February 22 

6:30 pm                       Board of Trustees

SUNDAY–February 26

9:30 am                       Choir Rehearsal

11:00 am                     Worship Service

11:00 am         Sunday School

12:15 pm         Fellowship Hour

12:45 pm                     Volunteer Choir Rehearsal

WEDNESDAY–March 1

6:30 pm           Gallery35 Meeting

 

Minister’s Corner – “Love Saves Us”

“Absurdity is king but love saves us….” 

            Albert Camus (in A. MacLeish’s RIDERS ON THE EARTH)

Once upon a time, I invited myself for a visit with Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982). He was a renowned 20th century public servant, professor, and author. As an essayist, poet, and playwright, he had won Pulitzer Prizes in poetry (twice) and drama (for J. B. – a modern update on the biblical figure Job).  I was and am a fan.

I was delighted that he welcomed me to his farmhouse retirement home in rural Massachusetts, where we visited for a couple of hours in his study. His gifts of time and conversation were a great blessing, and my thanks to him were profuse.

Shortly afterward, he sent a gracious thank you note (another blessing in its poignancy and heart), plus copies of his volume of essays Riders on the Earth: Essays and Recollections. His wisdom and provocations go with me these many years.

On the wall of MacLeish’s study was a large framed photograph of the whole Earth rising above the moonscape (from one of the Apollo moon landings). In my personal “loose-leaf Bible” of spiritual writings is his title essay, which includes:

“To see the earth as we now see it, small and blue and beautiful in that eternal silence  where it floats, is to see ourselves  as riders on the earth together, brothers [and sisters] on that bright loveliness in the unending night – [sisters and] brothers who see now they are truly [sisters and] brothers.”

 

For me, this image of the Earth – “small and blue and beautiful” – is a potent, sustaining, and liberating religious symbol.

In these divisive times, such symbols are all the more important. Within this one is a challenge to radical individualism and arrogance and to tribalism.

Another poet that I embrace is Marge Piercy, and last Sunday I offered her invitation:

 

Some – the luckiest – can love 

themselves without narcissism

just saying, Well I am this, 

I could do better now and probably I will. 

                        [“The Crooked Inheritance”]

 

In this spirit of Love’s inclusiveness, Nikki 

Giovanni writes

 

I am a mirror

 

I reflect the grace

   Of my mother

The tenacity

   Of my grandmother

The patience 

   Of my grandfather

The sweat 

   Of my great-grandmother

The hope 

   Of my great-grandfather

The songs

   Of my ancestors

The prayers

   Of those on the auction block

The bravery

   Of those in middle passage

 

I reflect the strengths

   Of my people

And for that alone

I am loved                                  (I Am A Mirror)

 

Life is a gift. Our days are brief. 

People are precious. Caring counts ultimately

We need one another, and the world needs us.

Love saves us, if we work for justice.

                                                Faithfully, Bruce

 

The kind of beauty I want most is the hard-to-get kind that comes from within – strength, courage, dignity.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Ruby Dee

“The Spiritual State of the Union”

Sermon Brief – Sunday, January 22, 2017

… One of my guiding aspirations comes from the prophet Micah. “O Mortal, what is required of you, but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly…”

From the Christian epistle, Galatians: “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."

Buddhism affirms Mindfulness and Compassion…

Islam, like other traditions, invokes the Golden Rule, “to do unto others as you would have them do to you.”

Too little of this is at hand….

Yet, blessings of spirit appear again, and again. A couple of weeks ago, as some Republicans sought to eliminate the Office of Congressional Ethics, an enormous public outcry caused the House to reverse itself.

… So, think of the State of our Union with the hope these voices offer.  While it is not unimportant who our President is and how he behaves, you and I know the more important matter:  Who are we and how shall we behave?

… to make “America, America again.” (L. Hughes) For everyone… And Yes, we can. Our spiritual health includes

            o    silencing the cruelty of others, 

            o    the daily acts of citizenship,

            o    keeping our faces toward change with free and bold spirits, and

            o    affirming our shared love of building bridges.

Surrounded by the seductions of consumerism, materialism, tribalism, and now the blood sport of political insults, with heightened misogyny, xenophobia, racism, and narcissism, I am strengthened by Howard Thurman, the preacher, mystic, teacher, and mentor to Dr. King, and friend of our church, who would affirm, “Everything is sustenance.”

How so?  His grounding was powerful:   “Life is alive.” New Life always awaits us as we embrace wellsprings of Spirit and Life: Generosity, Hospitality, Gratitude, and Solidarity (with thanks to Taquiena Boston). Yes, we can….                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Rev. Bruce Southworth

http://images.acswebnetworks.com/1/1791/12217TheSpiritualStateoftheUnionSermon.pdf

 

 

 

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