Greta McDonald's blog

Those Sundays after Easter

Some of my favorite Sundays in this congregation are the Sundays right after Easter. Those Sunday mornings include special celebrations and observances that help to flesh out how we live as people of the Resurrection now.

Last Sunday, at the 11:00 service, 21 8th grade youth inspired us as they shared what being confirmed meant to them, before answering the Confirmation questions about being followers of Christ, and growing, active participants in the Body of Christ today.

Christ the Lord Is Risen

The weather forecasters are telling us Easter will be a beautiful day - sunny, and with temperatures in the 70's. A great day to notice signs of new life outside on our way to church!

And Easter will be a beautiful day as we gather in the sanctuary for worship - the chancel filled with spring flowers, the choirs filling our hearts with glorious music, the scripture recounting the unexpected discovery of Jesus' resurrection, and we, the congregation, starting worship off by singing the powerful strains of "Christ the Lord is Risen Today!"

Palm Sunday

For the past several weeks in worship, we have focused on the season of Lent. We have used this time for self-examination and reflection as we prepare for Easter. This Sunday we celebrate Palm Sunday and the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. At our 8:15 service, I will reflect on Matthew 21:1-11, which tells of his journey.

Entering Life

Following their energetic Pre-Tour Concert last Sunday, the Chapel Choir will embark on the 2017 Spring Break Tour, Stand for Peace, tomorrow morning. The Choir will enjoy a week-long trip, making stops in Missouri, Mississippi and Louisiana on their way to their final destination, New Orleans. All are invited to welcome the Choir back to DGFUMC at their Home Concert on Sunday, April 2.

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."

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