Last week at this time I was so sick I couldn’t even drink water, and now I’m well! This seems like a miracle to me, as there’s nothing like pain and suffering to make one appreciate health and well-being. I want to express how grateful I am to be on the other side of the flu and also to thank everyone who led worship in my absence— I’m just sorry I couldn’t be there for our very special Mindful Memorial Day Service.
This June we’ve scheduled a variety of fun and meaningful events—from Pride Week Movie Night next Wednesday, June 6, to a 60s & 70s Service on June 17 to the kick- off of our Summer Social Documentary Series on Wednesday, June 20. Please see below for more information, including details about the films.
This Sunday our service will focus on the wild side of Sabbath. Over the years, Sunday has gotten a bad rap as “the Lord’s Day,” which for many people meant sitting around doing nothing, wearing uncomfortable clothes, and/or spending hours in church. But I don’t think that’s what Jesus had in mind when he claimed to be “Lord of the Sabbath.” Rather, I think that, as usual, he was subverting our preconceived notions and pushing us to think beyond the typical parameters of holiness and religion (aka propriety and tradition). If you’d like to hear more, come Sunday! I promise not to bore you…
Each June I share the following poem at least once. And, since it bears some relation to our worship theme this weekend, I’ve decided to share it today:
The Summer Day
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth, instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last and too soon?
Tell me, what it is you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
— Mary Oliver
Tell me—what is it you plan to do this summer? I pray it includes strolling, paying attention, being idle, and kneeling in the grass…
Peace and Blessings,
P.S. It’s evaluation time! Every summer, we aim to evaluate our overall ministry as a church community. In order to do this, we ask each program or committee to evaluate its work according to the strategic plan goals. The pastor’s ministry is reviewed according to these goals as well. Kris Davis, the Chair of the Pastor-Parish Relations Committee, asks the following: Each summer this committee shares feedback with Pastor Ellen on her ministry with the church over the past year. You are invited to share your appreciations, concerns or observations about Pastor Ellen by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-441-4074 on or before Friday, June 8. Thank You!
EVENTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
St. Paul’s Food Pantry, 6/2—We need six volunteers to serve from 9 am-Noon this Saturday at St. Paul’s Food Pantry, 4900 Connecticut Avenue, www.stpaulslutherandc.org. Contact Jennifer: email@example.com.
Cabinet Meeting, 6/3—The Cabinet will meet after worship this Sunday. This is our bi-monthly meeting of the church’s lay leadership, and all are welcome.
Pride Week Movie Night, 6/6—Join us from 7-9 pm for a viewing and discussion of Check It, an acclaimed documentary about a local transgender gang that’s working to help its members break the cycle of poverty and violence that’s defined their lives. “Acceptance is worth fighting for!” Admission is free, with donations going to Casa Ruby, the only bilingual multicultural LGBT organization in DC. Everyone is welcome! www.checkitfilm.com
DC Pride Festival, 6/10— Come celebrate the LGBT community and visit our UCC Open and Affirming booth downtown after worship. Questions? DonaldHClarke@gmail.com
Bible Study, 6/10—This monthly group will meet after Coffee Hour in the parlor to discuss Genesis, chapters 12-20. All are welcome. firstname.lastname@example.org
100th Anniversary 60s & 70s Service, 6/17—Join us for a service celebrating these groovy decades, followed by a Coffee Hour lunch and mission activity. We’ll also celebrate Father’s Day and two baptisms!
Summer Social Documentary Series, 6/20—We’ll kick off this series with Before the Flood, a National Geographic documentary focusing on climate change and its effects on communities around the world. Join us at 7 pm for the movie followed by a discussion. Admission is free, with donations going to the faith-based environmental group, Interfaith Power and Light. www.beforetheflood.com Questions? email@example.com.