Februry 21, 2020
"And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white… Then Peter said to Jesus, 'Lord, it is good for us to be here:…'"
Matthew 17:2, 4
This coming Sunday the season of Epiphany concludes with the story of Jesus' transfiguration. Throughout this season we have heard stories, beginning with that of the visit of the magi, and including Jesus' healing ministry, his preaching and teaching, and now, concluding with this story of transformation and revelation. All of these stories serve to help us understand how this baby born in such lowly circumstances came to be revered as the "Christ, the Son of the Living God" as Peter so pointedly stated when Jesus asked the question, "Who do people say that I am?" In many ways, we can think of the story of the transfiguration as the culmination of this revelatory process.
The apostle Peter, experiencing this vision of transfiguration and the appearance of such notable figures of the past, rightly recognizes that he and his companions are indeed in a good place. They knew that it was a holy place, a sacred moment, and one that should be relished. While it was not meant to last and the time would come for them to go back down from this mountaintop experience it was nevertheless important for them to enter fully into this experience of the holy. By doing so, this experience would be transformative leaving them as different people than the ones who had gone up the mountain just a few hours before.
Experiences of the "holy" are not limited to a few individuals who happened to be close colleagues of Jesus, but can be experienced by each one of us on any given day. We may think of them as being "ordinary" experiences, but even the ordinary can be extraordinary when we allow ourselves to enter more fully into them. Whether it be a sunrise or sunset, the first crocus of spring or the dying leaves of fall, an unexpected gesture of kindness or the experience of falling in love, each of these "ordinary" events can be sacred moments that transform us and leave us with a clearer sense of reality.
So, in honor of the transfiguration of our Lord, determine today to linger longer with the ordinary events of your day. Look to the western sky at twilight and take in the fading sunlight; cherish the arrival of darkness at the end of your day; sit quietly in silence to reflect on your day; and otherwise be open to the mystery of God's presence in the ordinary and the extraordinary events of today.
2/23 The Transfiguration of Our Lord
Anthem- by the choir
Scripture: Exodus 24:12-18; Matthew 17:1-9
Theme: It is Good to Be Here, But…- The apostle Peter recognized a good thing when he saw it as he and his companions witnessed a magnificent sight on the mountain with Jesus. Such experiences of the "holy" are indeed wonderful, but they are not an end in themselves. What is the greater purpose that they serve?
VESTRY ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS
TO ADDRESS THE TOPIC OF YOUNG ADULTS, SOCIAL JUSTICE AND THE CHURCH
During the months of January and February the Adult Sunday School class that meets in the vestry will be exploring the topic of "Young Adults, Social Justice, and the Church" using the Vital Conversations Series provided by the General Commission on Religion and Race of the United Methodist Church. In this series "millennial" pastors and lay members share what is important to them as they seek to be the church of Jesus Christ in the 21st century. They will touch on issues pertaining to racism, welcoming refugees, ethnic identity and diversity, welcoming differently abled persons, and other social justices concerns. As we seek to be a church that welcomes everyone we need to hear what our millennial members have to say about the importance of these and other social justice issues. Pastor Rich will lead this class with hopefully the assistance of some of our church millennials. The class on February 16th will be led by Pastor Rich and we will be viewing the video titled, "Building a Just, 'Green' Faith Community".
CONFIRMATION PLANS ANNOUNCED
Confirmation classes for youth in grades 7 – 12 will be held during the months of March and April. It has already been decided that the classes will be offered during the regular Sunday School time at 9:00am each Sunday morning. Confirmation itself will take place on Sunday, April 19th. Classes will be led by Pastor Rich along with assistance from various members of the congregation.
ASH WEDNESDAY SERVICE TO BE HELD AT THE ARLINGTON STREET UMC
This year the service will be held at the Arlington Street UMC. The service will be held on Wednesday, February 26th at 7:00pm and will include music by a joint choir and preaching by the Pastor Rich. The disposition of ashes will be available for all who would like to receive them.
Please note that ashes will also be available from 7:30am-10:00am in the chapel.
One is All - Wednesday Morning Lenten Class
March 4, 11, 18, 25, April 1, 10:30 AM – Noon, Vestry
Come join us on a Lenten Journey using the spirituality of nature as we broaden our perspective and move from All is One to One is All. There will not be a class book, but rather we will use sacred texts and poetry from a variety of faiths. We will spend class time in small group conversation, sing hymns and have creative experiences. Child care will be provided. We left February 26, Ash Wednesday, free so you could use your time to attend a service. A sign-up sheet and pre-class assignment will be available during coffee hour
or email Pam Breniser (class facilitator) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Heifer Project Easter Tree of Life
Heifer International's mission is to end hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth using gifts of livestock, seeds, trees and training in sustainable agriculture community development projects to help millions of people become self-reliant. Since 1944, Heifer has helped transform the lives of more than 30 million families by giving them gifts of cows, goats and other livestock. Look for our Easter Tree of Life, and honor someone with the gift of an animal. Fill up our tree! We offer vegetarian options.
"Coffee and Causes" for Retirees
March 6th, 10:00am, Hunt Community, Nashua
At this meeting, we'll be learning how retirees can help support inclusion of social and emotional learning in school curricula in Nashua and around the region through the "Choose Love" Enrichment Program. Shannon Desilets, Program Coordinator for the effort in New Hampshire will speak about the project. Contact Sara Ceaser at email@example.com or (603)864-0201 to register.
OPERA ON MAIN STREET RETURNS
Our collaboration with Jane Cormier and the offering of a "salon" series of operatic concerts has resumed. This month:
February 29 - Sacred Music selections from Malotte, Gounod, Hadyn, Schubert, and Mozart.
All concerts take place in our sanctuary at 7:00pm. There is a cost of $12.00 per person or $10.00 for senior citizens with children and youth free. A portion of each ticket supports the church's organ fund.