Renate responded to this week’s lectionary passages with thoughts on complaining and lamenting in the spirit of “Being Human Together.” She touched on listening to the unspoken lament within our unfiltered grievances and the potential of kvetching to be artful, fun and meaningful when thoughtfully shared with friends.
Jess Williams reflects on home and the longings of the heart that led her to St. Stephen. She talks about loving her heart for leading her well, and how her (sometimes messy!) life, and belonging to this community is teaching her to let go of perfectionism (fear!) and trust that our belovedness has nothing to do with what we are able to achieve or perform.
Rachael considers what trigger warnings we might want the Romans 12 lectionary reading to come with in light of the harmful ways it’s sometimes been interpreted and used, and then how a “renewed” interpretation can offer us transformational wisdom for our real lives and beloved selves.
This morning, Walter emphasized the importance of a rhythm that encourages us to acknowledge goodness and take a real rest – the rhythm of Sabbath. We hope that your summer is giving you an opportunity for good rest! (Walter forgot to start the recording, but you can read the transcript and look at the powerpoint. And notice that the powerpoint ends with a slide set celebrating some of the wonderful things that we’ve seen in our church community since our transitions and re-structuring at the end of last year! Also, after that slide set, Walter ended by showing these two versions of “A Wonderful World” to help us fall in love with the Beauty of the Earth and Humanity) Planet Earth version and Playing for Change version.
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In the lectionary readings this week, we read how Jesus explained the Kingdom of God as “the new and the old.” Mark Groleau focuses on how polarized Jesus’ time was – just like today. But Jesus’ “new way” was compassion, and the conviction that he had started a new age of healing and equality among his followers.
Rachael shares some summer story-telling from her month in England, featuring an ancient oak tree and with a guest appearance from a moorland river. Woven through the personal stories are reflections and questions related to the nature of prayer and God