Greta McDonald's blog

Mother's Day

This week, I ran across a quote from Abraham Lincoln about his mother's influence:  "I have always remembered my mother's prayers. They have clung to me all my life."

On Mothers' Day, May 8, people across the country will be thinking of their mothers, or the women in their lives who have been, in some way, like a mother to them. In the church, we celebrate every woman on Mothers' Day, thankful for the ways their particular personalities and gifts have influenced us in our lives and faith, and have influenced the world.

Sunrise Mass

We hope that you, your family and your friends will join us this Sunday at 9:30 or 11:00 a.m. for the Chancel Choir Spring Cantata, Sunrise Mass. This evocative contemporary cantata, by Norwegian-American Ola Gjeilo, consists of four movements  - The Spheres, Sunrise, The City, and Identity & The Ground - which move from transparent and celestial to emotional and dramatic. The cantata will include projected images designed to enhance the listener's experience and will feature a guest orchestra.

Living Easter!

Just as I expected, the music from last Sunday's Easter services echoed in my mind throughout the week - reminding me of the gift of Christ's resurrection even in the midst of the more ordinary days of the week.

Easter, of course, is much more than just one day - it is reality that changes how we live the other 364 (or, in the case of 2016, 365) days of the year.

A Day to Remember

This Sunday, we'll hear together what happens when Jesus helps to lead worship at a local synagogue.  Not surprisingly, he shakes things up a bit with his different perspective on a standard religious idea - this time on what it really means to "remember the Sabbath."

How do you "remember the Sabbath" in your life? Do you find ways to pause in the midst of your week for an hour, for a day, for a change of pace that allows your spirit to be refreshed, or to make some space to listen for God?

Happy New Year!

Pastor Greta and Pastor JimThis is the time of year we often focus on fresh starts - perhaps in diet or exercise, perhaps in tackling new projects, or setting new goals. And it can also be a time of "fresh starts" in our spiritual lives.

We will start off 2016 with a "Covenant Renewal Service" on Sunday, January 3 at each of our worship services - 8:15, 9:30, and 11:00 a.m.

The Covenant Renewal Service has been used by Wesleyan-related churches for over 200 years. This traditional service helps us to reflect on the year past, recommit ourselves to God in the year ahead and return to a life of integrity, service and joy in the world. Our scripture for the day is Matthew 2:1-12, the account of the wise men's journey to find Jesus, and Pastor Jim's message will be "Interpretive Understanding."

We hope to see you Sunday - the first Sunday in 2016!

- Pastors Jim and Greta

Sharing the light of Christ

Christmas Day is just a week away and while this realization brings delight to the younger people among us, the older people may be experiencing anxiety or even panic!

One of our local publications recently published an article titled "7 Tips to Help You Get Through Christmas" (which, truth be told, was actually a pretty helpful article). This article picked up the sense we have regarding the expectations we attach to Christmas so that it is requirement to be completed rather than a promise to be lived.

This Sunday, we will sing

Once again, we will be gathering for worship on Sunday morning with devastating news from the week weighing deeply in our hearts - this time from the violence and taking of life in San Bernardino, California.

The Gift of Being Together

This Sunday, October 25, we will focus on being together as a congregation. We'll be sharing in one of our Together @ 10 services, where the 9:30 and 11:00 congregations get a chance to worship, sing, pray, laugh and ponder together. Our worship, on this Choir Dedication and Commitment Sunday, will be a special time of celebration, as we receive music from all of our choirs, and dedicate our gifts to God for the year ahead through our financial pledges and service interest sheets.

God's Gift in Our Hands

One of the gifts of being sequestered at home for a couple of weeks after surgery, unable to drive, was that I could indulge in lots of quiet reading and pondering time. It brought me a surprising amount of joy to still be in my robe, sipping coffee and reading, when Jim left for the church office each morning.

Giving to God

One of the little things I missed last Sunday was that moment near the end of the worship service when I drop my offering envelope in the plate - last week, and this Sunday, I sent the offering over to church (via my patient husband, who has done lots of helping and "gopher"-ing these days!). It's a small thing, for sure, but I notice when I am in worship, and place something in the offering plate, that it helps me see how my one gift is part of a bigger picture.

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