Greta McDonald's blog

A Reward for Wholeness

Earlier this week, I heard about a couple of students who took Valentine's Day to a new level. One was a middle-school girl, who made 1,800 red paper hearts with a hand-written, encouraging message on each one, and taped a Valentine on the locker of each student in her school.

The other student was a high school boy who purchased 600 roses (setting him back $450), de-thorned and trimmed each one, and handed a rose to every girl in his high school.

Joyous Work

Today you may have watched the Inauguration ceremony, witnessing one of the strengths of our nation in the peaceful transition of power from one President to another.

Following the ceremony, as a helicopter carried the former President and First Lady away from the Capitol building, one television commentator noted that they would be moving to a new residence in the area, and President Obama would be "coming back to Washington simply as a citizen." 

Epiphany Reflection

It's very possible that it may have escaped your attention, but today, January 6, is Epiphany, a special day in the Church year. It's the day we officially remember the visit of the Magi to the child Jesus, and celebrate their journey of curiosity, frustration, faith and discovery that in many ways mirrors our life journeys. It's the day that the Christmas Season officially ends, and a new season, the Epiphany Season of paying fuller attention to the ever-present Light of Christ in our world, begins.

And it's the day some Christians "chalk their doors."

Christmas Music

Wasn't it great to receive the gift of the Chancel Choir's Cantata last Sunday - A Carol Trip Around the World. We heard Christmas music in so many global styles - some almost somber as they expressed the hopes for healing and new beginnings promised in the Christ Child; some practically boisterous in their celebration of God with us.

God's gifts in our hands

On Monday many of us made a point to peer into the sky at the  "Supermoon," during those hours when the full moon, in its slightly elliptical orbit, would be at its closest point to the earth, closer to the earth than it had been since 1948, and closer than it would be for until 2034. Some of us had telescopes and studied the craters we could see more vividly than usual; some of us simply stood outside in the darkness, absorbing the visual gift.

A Calling to All of Us

Today is Veteran's Day, a day we remember the courage and sacrifices of the men and women who served in our nation's armed forces, with the deep hope that what they gave would help to defend and protect the freedoms and rights of people in our nation and others.

This Veteran's Day comes at the end of a Presidential Election week that has left our nation deeply aware of divisions of thought and goals, and deeply aware of mistrust between groups of people. As one pastor put it, "half of our nation is pleased; half is hurting."

Join in the Song

"Go Cubs Go!"

Can't Wait for the 'Encore'!

I didn't get to go to the "Encore!" concert at church last October, because I'd just had surgery and was still on my mandatory "R and R." But I sure am looking forward to attending this year's concert on Sunday afternoon! That's because last year I got to see an amazing Sunday afternoon transformation in Jim before and after he went to the concert.

Ready...Set...Grow!

This Sunday is Rally Day! To kick-off the church fall season, we'll gather for a special "Together @10" service in the sanctuary. The Chapel Choir and Chancel Choir will join forces to lead music, Pastor John will share a special message with the children and we'll start our "Simple...But Not Easy: Loving God and Neighbor" series with one of those simple to say, but much more challenging to live, passages from the Bible (I John 4:16, 19) - "God Is Love...We love because God first loved us." 

See you Sunday! 

Dreams

It's been fun (though I've been staying up way too late these past two weeks!) to watch portions of the Olympic Games from Brazil. In addition to the breathtaking moments of victory and the sometimes heartbreaking moments that lead to a loss, I've enjoyed hearing about the roots and backgrounds of the individual athletes. In each case, someone had to sense that young athlete's potential and support him or her in their dreams and in the long, slow, training process to become world-class.

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