On Books – and Stories of Renewal
I love books and am always curious to see what other people are reading. I recently took a look at the paperback fiction best sellers list printed in The Washington Post and was taken aback to see that three of the top ten bestselling books that week were Fahrenheit 451, 1984, and Lord of the Flies (and all had been on the list for many weeks.) Why is it that so many of us are reading dystopian and post-apocalyptic novels these days? (Or watching similar shows on television?)
These types of books have been popular for a long time, but they seem to be “having a moment” right now. Some people have theorized that we read these books as a way of trying to make sense of a world that often doesn’t seem to make sense. Others have argued that we read these books as a form of therapy—the idea being that, however scary our current world may seem at times, these books show us that things could always be worse. I, for one, find it reassuring to know that the world envisioned by George Orwell in 1984 (which was published in 1949) did not come to pass (although some people do find interesting parallels to today.)
Our ‘80s and ‘90s service this past Sunday gave us a window into what the world was really like in 1984 and the years that followed, at least here at CPC. As I listened to stories and reminiscences from Katherine Stevens, Serena Wiltshire, Marion Smith, John Buchanan, Margaret Goodman, and Dirk Joldersma, it became clear that the ‘80s and ‘90s were interesting and important decades at our church. In fact, the mid-1980s seemed to mark a turning point in the life of this church and the beginning of a period of growth and renewal that continues to this day.
The renewal was helped along by a reinvigoration of our music program thanks to Dorothy Mora and Dan Stokes, who were both recognized for their contributions to the church during last Sunday’s service. I will have more to say about the ‘80s and ‘90s service in my next Moderator’s Memo and will share a picture of some of our church members sporting their best ‘80s and ‘90s fashions. In the meantime, I hope you will join me in thanking all of the people who are part of our music program, which brings so much joy and inspiration to us each Sunday.
EVENTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Coffee Hour Conversation: Faith and Film, 9/30—Washington Post movie critic, Ann Hornaday, will lead a discussion about the relationship between movies and spirituality in contemporary culture. How does religion shape culture and vice versa? What makes a movie “Christian?”
Memorial Service for Dick Jorgensen, 10/6—All are invited to attend this 1:00 pm service for longtime member, Dick Jorgensen, who died May 20, 2018.
Blessing of the Animals Service, 10/7—We’ll celebrate our annual Blessing of the Animals during the morning worship service. This is a beloved, intergenerational (and interspecies!) tradition, and all animals on leashes or in crates are welcome. You may also bring a photo or stuffed animal to be blessed.
Bible Study, 10/14—This monthly group will meet after worship in the parlor to discuss Genesis, chapters 12-25. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org. New members welcome!
Unity Walk, 10/14— The annual Interfaith Unity Walk down Massachusetts Ave begins at 1:45 pm at Washington Hebrew Congregation, 3935 Macomb St., NW. This is a great opportunity for all ages to meet our neighbors from different faith traditions. To register, go to ifcmw.org.