Pastor’s Blog/Grace Waves 05.29.20

Friends – A Pentecost Blessing (originally titled A Non-traditional Blessing) by Ruth Fox, OSP.  It was given to me by Marlene Garrity.

May God bless you with anger at injustice for persons who experience abuse and exploitation so that you will work for justice, equality and peace. 

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from the pain of rejection, starvation and war so that you will reach out your hand to comfort them and to change their pain to joy. 

May God bless you with the foolishness to think you can make a difference in this world so that you will do the things which others tell you cannot be done.

If you have the courage to accept these blessings then God will also bless you with happiness because you will know that you have made life better for others;  you will live in peace because you will have worked to secure peace for others; laughter because your heart will be made light; and faithful friends because they will recognize your words and works as a person. 

These blessings are yours not for the asking but for the giving from the One who wants to be your companion, our God who lives and reigns forever and ever.” 

Ruth Fox was an alumni of St. John’s University School of Theology.  She is an archivist, organist, Formation Director and former Prioress of Sacred Heart monastery in Richardson, North Dakota. This blessing was composed for a graduate breakfast at Dickenson State College (now University) in 1984. It was first published in 1989 in Living Faith magazine as a blessing.  It so touched my heart.  Marlene Garrity

Pentecost is the Third High Feast Day of the Church Year.  With the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on this day we become the Body of Christ in the world.  Jewish practice and Christian faith share a common pattern:  Enslavement and crucifixion / Liberation and Resurrection / Revelation of Torah and Revelation of the Holy Spirit.  50 Days after Pesach/Passover (called the Counting of the Omer) the Torah was revealed to Moses on Mt. Sinai.  50 days after Easter Pentecost (which means 50 days) celebrates the Descent of the Holy Spirit birthing the church.  Do you see the similar thread here?  Two religions sharing a common DNA derived since the Creation.  And Creation is ongoing in every moment – Creation never stopped, it is constantly evolving and growing, it is never past tense!  We live in the stream of an ancient history that shapes who we are and motivates how we live through Our Core Story:  We were Slaves, we were Freed, we Found out Why!  With the Spirit comes clarity and discernment of purpose.  Without us acting  Christ’s New Creation – nothing happens.  With abundant love and laughter here is the contemporary Jewish interpretation of Our Core Story:  We got stuck, we were freed, let’s eat!

Homilies Transcribed: Every week Libby transcribes my homilies and/or teachings.  These are available for all who would like copies.  As you know our Sunday Worship Videos are kept and available on both our website Home Page and Homilies Archive page.  My homilies have been recorded (pre-covid) but due to other pressing demands are not yet on our website. We are in the process of making them available; I will let you know when they are.

Reopening Committee:  Our Committee (Margaret, Jim, Howard, Kari and myself) had our initial meeting this week.  No decisions were made because there is far too much information to absorb.  The Lutheran Bishops of California are asking us to wait until much later in the summer.  We long to come together again without undue haste because we refuse to become a haven of contagion which happens when congregations open prematurely. We will begin conversations with our AA and NA groups.  For me it is significant  that Peace Congregation continues to act responsibly as a Community Leader with wisdom and thoughtfulness.  We want health and safety to open the way for all of us.

New Directory – ready to publish:  If you have any last minute changes in your personal contact data, please notify us at:  office@peacejourney.org. …before we go to print next week.  And yes we will have this available online as well!

Curator Bill Carmel invites you on a Virtual Tour of the DeMichele Art Exhibit at Peace:  Thanks to Bill’s keen eye and incredible grasp of art history and contemporary context, you will thoroughly enjoy this tour of our Sanctuary Art.  It is 18 minutes in length.  You can keep coming back to it as I do. This is the first of our Mini-Concerts – showcasing the talents of members and friends of Peace. This is also posted on our website.  Link:  https://vimeo.com/418324477 Our thanks to Julie and Will DeMichele for sharing the art of their husband and father.

Pentecost Art:  Look for Mary La Casse’s Art Invitation as part of our Pentecost Worship Video this Sunday too!

Keep in your prayers: For the 100,000 people in the US who have died from Covid in the last 4 months and for their families; for the 250,000 who have died from Covid around our world, for the healthcare workers and researchers; for Dana, Winnie, Roger, Don, Elise, Stanley, Ed, Bob; Thais’ mother, Betty, Kevin and Gloria, Marshall, Jean, Heather, the people of Minneapolis, the people of Brazil and countries of Africa where the pandemic is exploding,; for immigrants / refugees / children separated from their families on the border, for all who are accounted as Nobodies in this world…..and in whom Christ finds his home.  God, in your mercy.

Need more playfulness in your life?   Cynthia Winton-Henry of Body Wisdom Interplay invites you to check this out:   http://www.interplay.org/index.cfm/go/events:event/happening_id/2821/returnEvent/byLocation/

Unemployment Rates:  In Germany the unemployment rate has jumped from 4 – 5%; meanwhile in the US it has jumped from 4 – 17%.  Why the difference?  In Germany (and other developed nations) firing workers is not the solution to economic crises.  Teams composed of management and labor work together to figure out solutions and in critical times like these work in consultation with government advisors.  When our President forces meat packing workers to return to work and does not force employers to create clean, safe and healthy work environments, he implements grave injustice for those least able to survive the covid crisis.  To pray for the unemployed is not enough.

Traditionally I invite you to honor Pentecost by Wearing Red:  In fire, storm and earthquake God delivered Torah to Moses on Shavuot; in fire, wind and earthquake the Spirit gave birth to the Church in the first disciples.  It has come to my attention recently that not all of you are formally dressed for church on Sunday mornings – so at least Wear Red Pajamas!

Pentecost Blessings of Creativity, Imagination and Joy! Pr. Steve

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