Pastor’s Blog/Grace Waves 04.17.20

Friends:

  “Resurrecting Love – Bursting New Life!”

A response to the Seder/Maundy Thursday question “Why is this night different from all other nights?”

Each moment, the flame flickers and the wax melts a little more
The candle and we won’t be the same again
Alone or together, people take care best they can where they are
Inside homes, hospitals, shantytowns, refugee camps, detention centers, and the open air
Weeping as good-byes are shared from near or far
With loved ones whose final, profound breath departs on its return this night
While others linger as inspiration still flows inside. (Elizabeth Hopkins-Kurz)

Our First Sunday of Easter prayer video will arrive on Sunday morning at 9:45 am.

Thus far, everyone at Peace appears to be healthy in light of covid.  Isolation, anxiety, old wounds are taking their toll.  For now we continue prayerfully in the midst of disastrous threats and  experiences we could never have imagined.

Did you work with an Intention during our Lenten Season and Holy Week?  If so, be sure to record what you learned/experienced.  It will be part of future conversations when we return and see each other face to face.  I hope those who are keeping a Journal (reflections or art images) – are finding this a valuable practice.

I placed a Basket with all the Palm Crosses that Christa and Grace made at the entrance to Peace.  During Holy Week they all disappeared except for the few I reserved.  When burnt, these palm ashes will be used for our Ash Wednesday service next year.

Thanks to all who are able to financially contribute to Peace at this time.  There were a number of special Easter Gifts.  And people are contributing by checks, through their banks or online through Venmo! Remember to check with your company for matching gifts… Peace thanks you!!

Treasurer Diane Kurtz told me there is a passage in the Bible which says, “Give until it feels good,”  but I’m not quite sure where that is.

Enjoy this four minute beautiful prayer of blessings and gratitude to be discovered in the midst of the covid crisis. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCYoikGaI6U&feature=youtu.be

Please keep in your prayers:  Betty, Bob, Ed, Heather, Jose, Marshall, Stanley Ngesa, Jim and Barb Heinzer, Ruth, all who are at risk, ill, dying; all healthcare workers.  Dorie Larsen who many of you knew died last Sunday on Easter.  Prayers for her family.

Greetings from Susanna and Raddi — wherever they are on the planet now; and from Ceil and Dave who are in Florida!

Oikonomia (Greek for Economy) – original meaning: Household–  to care for the well being of the whole household.  Economy does not mean making money, making a profit, exploitation of human beings and the earth.  It means to care for the wellbeing of the whole family or whole community.  Who really are the Essential Workers upon whom our society depends? Do you remember the $15/hour Living Wage Campaign?  Ironic isn’t it that most of the people who we now call “Heroes” would be the beneficiaries of that Living Wage Campaign:  healthcare workers, store clerks, restaurant workers, sanitation workers and so many more on our front lines today.  Can Covid, hideous as it is, open our eyes to fresh perspectives? 

New Metaphors for our Time:

We grew up in a time when heroes were idealized.  But what if things have changed so drastically around the world that no hero can rescue us?  In our era of expanding human numbers, decadent wealth piling up in many countries right alongside lethal poverty – no hero can save the day.  Perhaps what can replace the mythic heroes’ perilous journey is the self-sustaining community.  What if the security of peace and wisdom is not to be found within old ideas and structures?  What if the horizons of greatest importance are now instead to be found within us?  You have heard: “The Way forward is the Way Inward.”  Nourishing of the person, nurturing our self awareness beyond ego fixation…. could this be our vital path?  To lead us beyond the self-consumed Me to the Self-Giving We?  When we restart our economy inequality, exploitation, and desecration, will not protect our grandchildren. (adapted from Barry Lopez)

Pray for the people of Wisconsin who during Holy Week had to make a choice:  Vote and die or don’t vote;  and pray for the Supreme Court, who didn’t stand in line all day exposing themselves to illness while waiting to vote, and who has now decided to hold their sessions virtually.

50th Anniversary of Earth Day arrives next week. In the midst of this time of uncertainty, grief, and disruption, we want to celebrate Earth Day in a way that centers our interconnectedness, lifts up the hope available to us in God’s creation, and provides pastoral resources to the Church and especially to our broad Creation Care community. Even in trying times, our commitment to care for God’s creation is strong and brings us together. Knowing that fundamental changes are happening across our country and the world, we come together to pray for the just world that could be built, bringing new life for our people and for the Earth. (The Episcopal Church)  Look for Interfaith Earth Day celebration opportunities in your inbox next Tuesday.

Honoring Earth Day: Karen and Jose stopped by and suggested we might buy something special for our Courtyard Garden.  Perhaps a statue to commemorate these times and the beauty Ken, Austin and God have created?  If you have any ideas/suggestions please let me know!  They are walking the Labyrinth next Wednesday, you may, too!

Mini-Concerts:  Rabbi Dan told me that the people of Beth Chaim have been filming Mini-Concerts in their homes and then sharing them online with the rest of their congregation.  A great idea, right?  So why don’t we begin to do the same?  Musicians and singers have at it —  2 or 3 Songs/ or 10 – 15 minutes in length!   How about the poets and dancers?  Storytellers?  How about chefs, cooks and bakers? Could be great fun.  You don’t have to wait for me to ask.  I know there is already a Disco video out there!  Send them to me/Kari at:  office@peacejourney.org.

In this spirit, Elizabeth is already contributing and enriching us.  She discovered the following when she Opened the Door for Elijah at the Seder:

Fear and safety play hide and seek
Angst and calm walk side by side
Sorrow and joy dance hand in hand
Loss and gratitude mingle in the same cry
Bitterness and forgiveness give chase in swirling circles
And the guides who have gone before gently whisper
“Stay and let your heart be open to it all”

Easter Blessings,

Pr. Steve

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