This week we mourn the death of long-time congregation member, Chester Gray Dunham. Chester and his wife, Georgie, were founding members of the Adult Bible Class and participated actively in the overall life of our congregation for twenty-five years. We’ll celebrate Chester’s life this Friday afternoon with a Memorial Service to which all are invited.
Last Sunday: On Sunday morning, we celebrated the life of all creation with a St. Francis focused worship service, and in the afternoon we held our annual Blessing of the Animals in the side yard. Over thirty people and their pets (including guinea pigs and a hermit crab!) gathered together, joyfully singing “All God’s Creatures Got a Place in the Choir.” And, of course, every pet received both a special blessing and a special treat.
Environmental Stewardship: We probably don’t talk often enough in our congregation about environmental issues and the ways in which we can live more simply so that, as Ghandi once said, “others may simply live.” However, there are many things we do that help the earth. Mike Davis, our Buildings and Grounds Chair, carefully monitors our heat and AC usage, setting the temperature conservatively and timing it carefully so that we’re only heating or cooling the building when it’s actually in use. Likewise, Mary Jane Glass is a wonderful environmental steward of our lawn and gardens. Last fall she composted every single leaf, and this fall she and Allen Hengst are spreading last year’s leaves on the beds. They also compost all soft growth and saw up woody pieces to use as kindling and firewood (hence, our Fireside Christmas Eve service!). In addition, friend of the congregation, Henry Chance, works at a wonderful pair of environmental camps, Kieve and Wavus, in Maine and would be happy to share information with anyone who might be interested. He can be reached at email@example.com.
This Sunday: This coming Sunday, as we move ever closer to the November elections, I plan to preach on Mark 10:35-45, the passage where Jesus talks about what it means to serve. He tells his disciples, “Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.” With last night’s presidential debate still ringing in our ears, I suggest these words of Jesus merit careful consideration.
Thank You: I also want to take time this week to offer gratitude to the many people in our congregation who serve. You are Deacons and Cabinet members and committee heads and mission volunteers and Sunday School teachers and Coffee Hour hosts and so many others. We do way more than most congregations our size, and it’s all because of you wonderful devoted volunteers. Cleveland Park Church reflects the best of our congregational tradition in the wonderful participation of its members, and I appreciate all of you!