June 3, 2020 Message from Pastor Alessandri

June 3, 2020

 

 

GRATITUDE AND GODSIGHTING
From Cindy Rhodes
Hello, Pastor Linda! I had a moment tonight with Ethan that I wanted to share!

To set the scene… Ethan and I were somewhat struggling with his math lesson for the day. I had just got home from work and he was looking everywhere but at his iPad.  We were outside on the carport and my back was to the back yard.

Ethan was on the steps looking down to the yard and he said, “Mommy…  there’s a baby bird!” Of course, I thought, yeah.. right… a baby bird… out in the open… that won’t happen! He insisted, so I turned around and, there on the gate to our back yard from the side yard was an odd looking bird… like, not a baby, but not grown yet. I keep saying he… not sure but a feeling is all.. so there he was, sitting so contentedly on the gate, watching us watching him. Then I see a Momma Robin come up to it.. obviously eyeing us, but she had a big red berry in her mouth, apparently wanting to feed her baby… the baby on the gate watching us! She hopped on over from the wood pile, and I saw her go right up to the little one, and then fly away.. as I was trying my best to take some pictures! Ethan giggled out.., “I saw her feed her  baby! That was so COOL!!!”!

Needless to say the math lesson took a back seat to the baby bird.  He sat on that gate… the look on his face showed such… pride maybe, confidence. He seemed to know he is beautiful and unique and precious!  His wings aren’t fully formed… his tail isn’t grown out all the way… he still has a few of the baby feathers making it look like he has a crown of white feathers off the back of his head! But he was beautiful!  And he stayed long enough to let me take several pictures of him, his Momma off looking for food for him, let us get about 2 to 3 feet away! Then, he flew away… into the pine tree… and we followed! He chirped for food… Momma came back, fed then flew away again.

It was just one lovely moment of the afternoon!  Probably the best actually! Just because it made me stop and see … just stop… and SEE!

I know…  long message… but I just felt I needed to share!

Hope you’re having a wonderful start to June!

Blessings and hugs!

 

Washington County Interfaith Coalition

INTERFAITH PRAYERS FOR A DIFFICULT TIME
June 3, 2020

The Vedas (Hindu)

May there be peace in the higher regions;

May there be peace in the firmament;

May there be peace on earth.  May the waters flow peacefully;

And may the herbs and plants grow peacefully;

May all the Divine powers bring us unto peace.

The supreme Lord is peace.

May we all be in peace, and only peace;

And may that peace come unto each of us.

Martin Luther

The fewer the words,

The better the prayer

The words we utter come from the essence of life—its peace, its despair, its pain, its hope.  Our moment to moment feelings sometimes emerge when we least expect them.  May we find in each other’s words, and actions, the depths of feeling they express…and know, in our own hearts compassion and acceptance rather than judgment and condemnation.  May we all find new ways to share our hopes and desires.  And may we live in peace—not surrender— holding on to the holy in all our thoughts and actions. Amen.

Reverend Valerie Wills, Co-coordinator
Washington County  Interfaith Coalition

Happy Birthday

Pat Pile

 

A PAUSE IN GOD’S WORD
Read:  2 Corinthians 13:11-13
11 Finally, brothers and sisters, farewell. Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. 12 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you. 13 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.

Reflection:
St. Paul addresses many issues in his letters to the Corinthians. One of the major problems in this fledgling church was division. As the community was trying to live out the gospel and life of Jesus, they kept bumping into the divides that had been a part of their upbringing, culture and experiences. Were you a Jew before you became a Christian or a Gentile? Were you a slave or a person of means? Did you have the spiritual gift of speaking tongues or prophecy? In all these cases and more, there were people who thought one religious background, social standing or spiritual talents was better than the other and/or more deserving of elevated respect or position within the new church. This led the Corinthian church to have some practices that discriminated and excluded some of its members.

St. Paul speaks strongly against these human divides. In Christ, all the followers of Jesus — Greek or Jew, man or woman servant or free — were brothers and sisters of the same Father, redeemed by the same Christ and empowered with gifts and a calling by the same Spirit. There was no place for some getting better seating or the best food by virtue of some social, economic or political status. We sing this very truth in this popular communion song:
“One Bread, one body, one Lord of all;
one cup of blessing which we bless,
and we, though many throughout the earth,
we are one body in this one Lord.
“One Bread, One Body” ELW #496

In this ending of his letter to the Corinthians, he tries again to summarize what is needed to live out the gospel as a community of Christ. He asks them to take his words and teaching to heart, agree to build a community around Christ and live in peace with one another.

“For Paul, agreeing with one another or, more literally, thinking the same way should not be read as an appeal to uniformity. The apostle has recognized and has applauded the diversity of this congregation (1 Corinthians 12:12-27). Rather, this appeal to think the same way is an appeal to think “according to Christ Jesus” (Romans 15:5) or to have the same mind as Christ when he voluntarily humbled himself and died for the sake of the world (Philippians 2:5-11). Having that kind of love for another will facilitate living at peace and mending the factions that have torn this congregation.” (Carla Works, “Commentary on 2 Corinthians 13: 11-13,posted on www.workingpreacher.org)

Finally Paul implores them to greet one another in Christ. No ignoring a fellow believer because he does manual labor or she was not raised in a Hebrew family. He reminds them that they are united with other believers they will likely never meet. (“All the saints greet you.”) And then Paul offers the prayer you hear most Sunday mornings after the opening hymn, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.”

Pray with Paul’s words today. We are always in danger of creating categories of “us” and “them,” in which “them” are held in suspect and we the privileged ‘us.” Jesus consistently stepped over those line when he walked among us. He often chose to be among “them,” who many deemed objectionable — gentiles, Samaritan woman, lepers, tax collectors, blind, poor. Pray with Paul’s words today. Pray that we may come to see our common humanity, sisters and brothers created and loved mightily by the same Lord.

Prayer: (Prayer for the Human Family, ELW p. 79)
O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son. Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred that infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and, through our struggle and confusion, work to accomplish your purposes on earth; so that, in your good time, every people and nation may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

Music:

“One Bread, One Body” ELW #496  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oboSmzG4bUg
“We All Are One in Mission” ELW #576  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EeLfgD9Awnc

“Gather Us In” ELW #532 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ar0BXa82F9M
“Hold Us Together” (Matt Maher) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sxOdBeo0BE

 

 

 

 

 

Or maybe Wednesday.

God IS with you!
Pastor Linda M Alessandri