Pastor’s Blog/Grace Waves

A message from our Peace Council regarding the financial picture of Peace

Friends:

Easter Joy!  It is not true that life is short.  Our life is not short, eternity has begun for us now.  We do not have death before us, but infinite joy.  We are not born to die, but to live into eternal compassion.  We do not grieve that time passes so quickly, because it is not life that passes, it is time that passes.  The future evolves from how we live the present.  What lies ahead is the open-ended exploration of love – the Eternal Present, the dynamic spacious, gracious, maturing experience of love we call God.  Don’t waste your time fearing death.  At baptism we began to enter a more whole, more real, more vital life.  Our destiny: Becoming more Alive – are you ready?

A Letter from the Peace Council regarding the financial picture for our congregation is coming to you next week. 

Mini Concerts for Peace:  Calling all artists – have you a video to share of yourself performing music, poetry, dance…or cooking lessons?  Would be fun to share these with our congregation and beyond.  10 – 15 minutes in length.  You do have to film it.  Mp3s or Drop Box delivery is helpful but Kari can assist you with this part.  Let me know if you need assistance.

Our thanks to Barb Ghinazzi for our “Deja Vu”/Pandemic History piece and to Linda Elsdon for the beautiful photo accompanying our Earth Day Prayer “A Clean Safe Place” by Bob O’Sullivan. A note re: Pandemic poem: This text is actually a modern-day poem written during the COVID-19 coronavirus disease pandemic by author Catherine M. O’Meara. O’Meara posted this poem to her blog The Daily Round on March 16, 2020.

Labyrinth – Meditation Walking:  Many people are walking our Labyrinth these days and expressing their appreciation. Bev shared with me that someone in “TV Land” officially endorsed Labyrinth Walking as one of the best things you can do for your physical, mental and spiritual health during this time of Covid Crisis.  I am deeply persuaded that our Spiritual Community is constantly preparing/providing anticipatory healing practices and environments that initially seem idealistic or unnecessary but suddenly prove themselves – like our Labyrinth – to be anchors of reality.  In addition, on Earth Day Polly placed Eco-wise educational/advocacy literature at the entrance of Labyrinth for our guests and friends.

Matching Funds: Some companies have matching finance programs for churches, if the funds are designated for a specific purpose, e.g., emergency preparedness, COVID-19 response, kitchen renovation project, etc.   Have you or your family checked with your employers for matching gifts?

Great Literature:  Since we have time to read….how about the Two Greatest Volumes in Western Literature?  The Bible and the Iliad! They have attained this majesty because each expresses the full mystery, madness, magnificence, beauty, absurdity and joy of human life.  We speak of a Shakespearean world (his birthday was 4/23), a Joycean world, the world of Dostoevsky, or Dickenson, Melville or Emerson – because they unveil the niches of of human experience but they do not communicate the overwhelming “Terrible Grace of God” or “The Seeming Indifference of the Fates”.  I highly recommend Stephen Mitchell’s translation of Homer’s The Iliad because he attempted to delete the textual accretions gathered over centuries and his poetry therefore moves with dynamic force.  Of course Phil Stanley would recommend you read it in Greek but I will let Phil argue (or teach) his own case.  Regarding the Bible:  After 4 years of in depth study during seminary and a lifetime of preaching my respect and delight for the wisdom transmitted has been heightened beyond explanation.  Recommended:  Genesis, Exodus ch. 1 – 20, the Psalms, Isaiah 40 – 66, Amos, Matthew’s Gospel, Philippians, Galatians, and Colossians. Pick one – savor and enjoy.

Lynne Goodman sends her greetings from Fresno. She misses her friends at Peace and sends her love.

The Bill DeMichele Art Exhibit remains up and open in our sanctuary.  It has become a strong witness to life in this season of crisis.  It is possible on Wednesday afternoons for individuals to come into the sanctuary to absorb these fine works of art.  How elegantly great art speaks to the needs of our spirit especially now.

Keep in our prayers:  Betty Watson, Bob Mantei, Elise Wigton, Marshall Moore, Stanley Ngesa, Carol, Heather, Jim and Barb Heinzer, Carlo, those ill or dying with the covid virus, healthcare workers, the ninos and ninas separated form the families at the Border, Muslim friends at the beginning of Ramadan, the unemployed, the people of the southlands overwhelmed by tornadoes, our Partners in Laurel Galan and Lwamondo Parish who are mourning the death of their Bishop, and those besieged by swarms of locust in Africa.

Volunteering? Monica Laurlund recommends…

Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano The Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano needs your help to provide fresh food. Check out the work they are doing to end hunger! www.foodbankccs.org

“Peanuts” first debuted October 3, 1950 Developed by Charles M. Schulz, who was raised a Lutheran. “Peanuts” ran for nearly 50 years and was published in 75 countries. A great source of theological insight. Thanks to Martha Mantei for these cartoons

Easter Blessings,

Pr. Steve

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