Happy Snow, Sleet, Slush Day!
As I write in Maryland, the snow is falling heavily, but I’m told it will switch over to sleet and rain later on. I hope, wherever you are, you’ve had some of the beautiful white stuff before it turns to slush.
This is life, isn’t it? Sometimes soft beauty, others grimy slush. Both are bound to happen, so I suggest embracing beauty wherever and whenever it is. The trick, as Hemingway once wrote: “is to enjoy it, while it was there and it was good.” Islands in the Stream
Recently, amidst the grimy national news of wildfire and gunfire, there have been some wonderfully beautiful (and uplifting) events at church. Last Saturday, we held the fourth annual Art Exhibit & Charity Auction to benefit Joseph’s House (hospice care for the homeless). Donald Clarke, Edmund Frost, Wesley Meacombs and Katherine Stevens each donated their own works of art (along with work from other artists in Don’s group at the Torpedo Factory). And the combination of their generous contributions and your generous bidding raised over $10,000 for Joseph’s House! See below for some photos. It was a lot of fun (many thanks to the Fellowship and Mission & Social Action Committees for their support), so if you missed it, I hope you’ll join us next year.
Last Sunday, we welcomed several old-time members and a full house of current congregants to our final 10Oth Anniversary “Homecoming” Service. The focus was Small Church, and I preached:
“I like small church! It’s human sized. We know each other… Close to 150 members, we’re a “large” small church, but a small church nonetheless. And this means we’re agile, vital. We can try new things, reconfigure staff, program for each year’s needs, and connect with one another as individuals. In fact, we mirror a lot of Schumacher’s “small is beautiful” ideals!”
I closed by saying “… the way we “do” small church is to live out our mission of loving God and neighbor in the world. We interact with one another and learn from those interactions… Then we go out, and in the words of Schumacher, echoing the teachings of Jesus, live our lives as if people (and the planet) really mattered.”
And this is what I’ll leave you with today: what you do matters. We never know what’s going to happen, what bump in the road or miracle of the day. We just can’t predict it. All we can know (control) is what we choose to do in any given moment. And the way we respond, how we (re)act, makes all the difference. So, I urge you— choose kindness. Compassion. Live the way you want others to live. Treat them the way you want to be treated. Model Love in the world. Be an ambassador for peace. Don’t wait for the world to get less grimy. Be Beauty. And don’t let anyone ever tell you you’re anything less than beautiful!
With love and blessings,
EVENTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Stewardship Sunday, 11/18—THANK YOU to everyone who has made their 2019 pledge! For those who have not: please consider submitting it during this Sunday’s offering (there are pledge cards in the pews). Our 2019 budget calls for a 4% increase in pledges, primarily due to this year’s 2.8% COLA for our dedicated staff. You can also fill out an online pledge card. Questions? Contact Vice Moderator Carol L. Rogers at email@example.com.
Poetry Hour, 11/18— Join us this Sunday from 4-5 pm in the church parlor and bring one or two poems on any theme to read (with 8 copies to share). Friends are welcome! Questions? firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winter Warmth Drive for Friendship Place, thru 11/25—We’re collecting gently used winter coats, gloves, scarves, hats, and blankets (along with new socks and long underwear, L-XXL sizes preferred) for individuals in need. Questions? Email Bruce at email@example.com.
Secret Santas for Shaw Community Center, thru 12/9—Gift request tags are now on the Mission Bulletin Board in the parlor. Please take a tag, sign the sheet (so Ashley knows whom to contact) and bring your wrapped gift (with request tag attached) to church by Sunday, 12/9. For more information, email Ashley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saint Paul’s Food Pantry, 12/1— We need six volunteers to serve from 9 am-Noon at St. Paul’s Food Pantry, 4900 Connecticut Ave, NW, www.stpaulslutherandc.org. RSVP to Jennifer: email@example.com.
Advent Retreat: Let It Be, 12/8—This time of year we can all use some comfort and joy! Join Pastor Ellen from 1:30 to 5 pm for an afternoon of peace, prayer, poetry and spiritual reflection. RSVP: pastor@cpcc