This Sunday, we’ll hold our annual Blessing of the Animals in the sanctuary as part of the 10:30 am worship service. If you have a four-legged, winged or finned friend, you’re welcome to bring it (on a leash or in a crate/cage) to be blessed! We’ll also happily bless photos of pets and/or stuffed animals.
In addition, we’ll welcome five new members on Sunday. We often say that each time someone joins us, we become a brand-new church, and I believe this is true. I look forward to yet another renewal as we welcome: Tyler Bond, Holly Hancock, Sarah Pugh, Liz Ragland and Ben Schumann. Bonus: Liz and Tyler are about to become new parents!
This past weekend I was in Maine, visiting my 94-year-old Uncle Bob on Billings Pond Farm in Blue Hill (I love the alliteration). He has fairly advanced dementia, but our family has always loved sing-a-longs, so on Sunday evening my mom suggested singing some oldies as we sat around the table after dinner. As we began to sing (Harvest Moon, Teddy Bear’s Picnic, You Are My Sunshine…), Bob perked up. At first his body just rocked to the beat, but then he joined in the song! It was an incredibly sweet moment, and I’ll always remember it: my parents and I, my aunt and uncle, and my cousin, Maral, whom I hadn’t seen in thirty years. Sitting around a farmhouse table. Singing. Sometimes life is just right.
The View from Here: And sometimes life goes way off track. This past week has been a doozy. I’m appalled by the defensive and entitled privilege adamantly asserted by some with power. And I’m in admiration of the courage it takes to speak truth to power. I don’t know how this will end, but I pray our youth will learn from us that mistakes happen: it’s what you do after you make a mistake that shows the kind of person you’ve chosen to be.
I also want to say, statistically, at least one out of three women (and some men as well) in our congregation has been sexually abused/assaulted at some point in her life. If this is true for you and you don’t already have a personal or professional support system (or even if you do), I invite you to reach out. I am here for you.
Looking Ahead: I want to thank the folks on the Tech Task Force for evaluating our church’s sound system, internet connection, media capacity and building safety. As we complete our 100th Anniversary, it’s time to move into the 21st century! I also want to thank the members of the Stewardship Team as they prepare another fun (really!) and inspiring pledge drive.
Please see below for all our Upcoming Events, including three ongoing groups: Poetry Hour, Bible Study, and FaithLife. Participating in any of them is a great way both to connect with other people in the congregation and deepen/broaden your faith.
Peace and Blessings,
EVENTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Bible Study, 10/14—This monthly group will meet after worship to discuss Genesis, chapters 12-25. For more information: email@example.com. New members are welcome!
Unity Walk. 10/14— The annual Interfaith Unity Walk down Massachusetts Ave will begin 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: www.ifcmw.org.
St. Paul’s Food Pantry, 10/20— We need six volunteers to serve from 9 am-Noon at St. Paul’s Food Pantry, 4900 Connecticut Ave, NW, www.stpaulslutherandc.org. Please contact Jennifer: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coffee Hour Conversation: Occupied Territories, 10/21—Rev. Loren McGrail will join us for worship and a discussion about the Israeli occupied territories of Gaza and the West Bank. Rev. McGrail has lived in Palestine for many years and brings a wealth of information and firsthand experience.
Poetry Hour, 10/21— Join us from 4-5 pm in the parlor and bring one or two poems on any theme (with 8 copies to share). Friends welcome! Questions? email@example.com.
FaithLife, 10/21— This group meets once a month on a Sunday from 5:30 to 7 pm. This fall we’re discussing James Fowler’s Stages of Faith Development. Our first conversation was fascinating! Please join us for the second. To receive the short online reading list, email Dan Sack: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coffee Hour Conversation: SELF-ish: A Transgender Awakening, 10/28— Chloe Schwenke will speak during worship on building a welcoming and accepting community for transgender people and lead a Coffee Hour Conversation on her newly published memoir, SELF-ish: A Transgender Awakening (available at Kramerbooks, Politics and Prose, and Amazon).