Not everyone departed for the summer, but most of us were gone for part of it. So, this Sunday, 9/10, we’ll welcome back everyone who was away. I hope you’ll join me for an intergenerational worship service entitled, “We Need Each Other,” a Harvest Lunch hosted by the Deacons, and the annual Interfaith Unity Walk down Massachusetts Avenue.
We Need Each Other: Now, more than ever, we need one another. Everywhere we look there’s political chaos, natural chaos (Texas, Florida, Barbuda, Bangladesh, Mumbai… our prayers are with you), and, in response to all this, a good deal of personal chaos as well. It’s difficult to stay centered when the vortex of the world threatens to suck us into its maw. So, here are a few suggestions I hope you will find helpful. At least once a day:
1) Connect with other human beings. This could be a coffee break at work when you put down your phone and interact with a colleague, a family dinner (or snack or…) when you put down your phone and check in with one another about your lives, or a walk with a friend in the park (nature is a balm when she’s not wreaking havoc).
2) Connect with God (and the still small voice within). Just stop. Put down the phone. Turn off as much noise as you can (radio, TV…). Take a deep breath. And, listen. Open your heart and your mind to whatever God has been trying to tell you. Receive.
3) Have fun (ideally with other human beings). This can be as simple as a shared bike ride or story about the silliest thing you heard during the day. Because laughter is life-affirming! In fact, this might be the one time I recommend using your phone. Pick it up, find the funniest SNL sketch or animal video (or_______ insert your own humor vendor here) and laugh your rear end off!
The point is, we all need to take regular breaks from the intensity of the world as it is. We need one another, we need God, we need silence, and we need laughter. I hope you will join me for a service this Sunday that offers a little of each.
Harvest Lunch: This is a tradition dating back to a time when it was called “Ploughman’s Lunch.” Under any name, it’s a delicious meal (hosted by our Deacons) and a chance to connect with one another. If the weather cooperates, we’ll set up tables outdoors.
Interfaith Unity Walk: I’ve participated in this walk since 2011, and it’s gotten better each year. Currently hosted by the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington, it’s a wonderful opportunity to connect with our neighbors in faith along Massachusetts Avenue. See below for specific details: I hope you’ll join me after the Harvest Lunch.
How good and pleasant it is when brethren dwell together in unity. Psalm 133
Peace and Blessings,
October 29 Book Discussion
Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race: Debbie Irving writes, “This is the book I wish someone had handed me decades ago. My hope is that by sharing my sometimes cringe-worthy struggle to understand racism and racial tensions, I offer a fresh perspective on bias, stereotypes, manners, and tolerance.” If you’d like to read and discuss this fascinating book with me after worship on 10/29, please go to Politics and Prose or order it online at Waking Up White: Amazon.
Sunday School Teacher Training, 9/9—All Sunday School volunteers are asked to attend this fun and informative training event from 9:30-11:30 am (brunch included). RSVP: Mirabelle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome Back Sunday & Harvest Lunch, 9/10—We’ll begin the fall with a worship service for all ages. Afterward, the Deacons will host a Harvest Lunch with sandwich makings, salads and desserts. All are welcome!
Unity Walk, 9/10—After the Harvest Lunch, Pastor Ellen will accompany those who wish to participate in the annual interfaith walk down Massachusetts Ave. This family friendly event begins at 1:30 pm at Washington Hebrew Congregation, 3935 Macomb St., NW. We encourage you and yours to meet our friends and neighbors from a variety of faith traditions. To register in advance: www.ifcmw.org/unity-walk/
Confirmation/Coming of Age Class Kick-Off, 9/16—Ten young teens will gather for a day long Ropes Course Adventure to initiate their year of learning and activities. Questions? Email Pastor Ellen: email@example.com.
First Day of Sunday School, 9/17—All Pre-K-6th Grade children and youth are invited to join us for a year of fun and learning. Our lead teacher, Kimberly, will return as will our wonderful volunteer assistants. Questions? Email Mirabelle: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cabinet Meeting, 9/17—The bi-monthly meeting of our church’s lay leadership will take place after worship. This is an open meeting, and all are welcome.
Poetry Hour, 9/17—Join us from 4-5 pm in the church parlor and bring one or two poems on any theme to read (with 8 copies to share). Invite a friend! Questions? Le Rowell at email@example.com.
Strategic Planning Listening Session, 9/24—After six years, it’s time to embark on the creation of a new strategic plan for our congregation. Please join us after worship for a session designed to elicit your hopes, dreams, suggestions and questions.
FaithLife Group, 9/24—This year’s group will kick-off with a selection of thought-provoking topics from the magazine, Christian Century: Thinking Critically, Living Faithfully. The group will also discuss and choose its direction and focus for 2017-18 (one Sunday a month, 5:30-7 pm). New participants, ideas and questions are welcome! For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.