Last Sunday’s service focused on spring cleaning and the importance of knowing what to keep and what to let go. I quoted Jan Richardson from the Painted Prayerbook, in which she writes: I can only find what belongs by clearing away everything that doesn’t. Jan’s an artist, but I feel confident her words apply to each one of us, whether or not we’ve ever picked up a paintbrush!
As we move toward the end of Lent, I encourage you to keep asking the questions I’ve been posing. What do you want to do with the time you have left (realizing none of us knows our “expiration date”)? How can we make space for what really matters? In the words of poet Mary Oliver (whose expiration date was this winter): What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
This Sunday we’ll continue our inquiry by considering what it means to “risk.” Might we be willing to gamble a bit of our privilege and safety to make a difference in the world? If so, what would this look like? If not, what’s holding us back?
Seabury Celebration of Service: Yesterday, I had the honor of celebrating the wild and precious lives of a few dozen elders at the Washington National Cathedral. Our own Jane Hardin was one of the honorees, and several congregation members and I accompanied her. As I wrote for her nomination:
Jane has served our church in multiple ways…. She’s held lay leader positions, preached about her participation in the 1963 March for Jobs and Justice, taught Sunday School, and served on search committees. But her most important role has been reaching out and connecting with other church members on a regular basis…. From the boy who received a congratulations card after reading scripture, to the siblings of a new baby who were mailed their own little gifts, to teens mentored for Confirmation, Jane has shown (and continues to show) our congregation what it means to love one’s neighbor…
Capital Campaign: Many thanks to Katherine Stevens, Serena Wiltshire, and Don Blanchon for leading us in a discussion about the upcoming Capital Campaign after worship last Sunday. We learned about the importance of renovating our century old foundation so it will last another hundred years. Potential renovations include replacing basement pipes and other aging infrastructure, making our historic building more accessible to those with mobility issues, and creating additional restroom and meeting space— all in an environmentally responsible manner. We remain committed to tithing (giving at least 10% of) our Capital Campaign income to Mission & Social Action, so this means we’ll also engage in a process of discerning God’s call for how best to live out our mission of nurturing love of God and neighbor in the world. It’s an exciting time to be here!
See you Sunday,
EVENTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Visitor Information Session, 4/7—Please join Pastor Ellen after worship for an informal conversation and Q&A session in the church library. All are welcome! RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bible Study, 4/14—We’ll meet after coffee hour to begin discussion of the Gospel of Luke. All are welcome. For more information: email@example.com.
Maundy Thursday Service, 4/18—Join us for a 7:00 pm service of Communion and Tenebrae (Latin for “shadows”). This hauntingly beautiful Holy Week Service celebrates Jesus’s Last Supper & New Commandment and commemorates his death at Calvary. If you’d like to read one of the parts in the Passion Story, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Good Friday Meditation, 4/19—Come between 1 and 3 pm for a time of silent meditation and gospel reflection. On the half hour, Pastor Ellen will read from the gospels and provide prompts for reflection. We’ll meditate in silence between readings.
Easter Sunday, 4/21—Join us for a 10:30 am service of Joyful Alleluias! The choir will perform special music, children and youth will participate in a celebratory Sunday School and Easter Egg Hunt, and we’ll all enjoy a festive Coffee Hour.
FaithLife, 4/28 (note time change)—Join us from 6:30-8 pm for a conversation about our lived faith. This month’s topic follows up Pastor Ellen’s 3/24 sermon on mortality. We’ll engage in the Death Awareness Practice she introduced and discuss the questions she posed. For more information or the list of questions, email: email@example.com.