You can help others feel like they're "in the know" this summer by contributing to the Sunday morning worship experience. Even online we can form community by streaming worship together and sharing in the live-stream comments or joining the virtual fellowship time. I've noticed how precious and excited your comments are in passing the peace and prayer concerns. And you can also share photos/videos of when you were surprised by beauty during the week (send them to Debra or Pastor Kelly to post). And we're collecting Haikus for this series--poems of compassion and contemplation, beauty and noticing. A haiku is a short poem from the Japanese tradition consisting of three phrases with 5, 7, 5 patterns of syllables. For our contemplative series, Beguiled by Beauty, designed to help us deepen the well of spiritual resources we have to better cope with the suffering of these days, here's one:
Welcome to wonder here to cultivate compassion beauty surprises
Or based on your incredible feedback from our first service last Sunday we might say:
Space to breath deeply meaningful worship needed grateful for beauty
Many of the images used on Sunday morning come from our own people. You can help by using #BeguiledbyBeauty on your Instragram posts (see related article below).
We have a game of I-Spy going on the altar thanks to the visual efforts of Pam and children's time requires props located at home each week (if you didn't get the email detailing the items parents need to prep, please contact Debra).
In the sermon I mentioned Valarie Kaur's book, See No Stranger. Join me in reading this "urgent manifesto and a dramatic memoir of awakening" by a daughter of Sikh farmers in California. A perfect compliment to the worship series, this book calls us to "see no stranger but instead look at others and say: You are part of me I do not yet know. Starting from that place of wonder, the world begins to change: It is a practice that can transform a relationship, a community, a culture, even a nation." We'll discuss together, Wednesday evening, September 2. Because of Kaur's powerful storytelling and the way she integrates the songs of her faith, the audible version, read by the author, is especially compelling. In this increasingly polarized nation during an election year, the skills of encountering others with curiosity and compassion are especially needed.
The latest option to help us all stay connected in this time of physical distancing is our "Virtual Coffee Hour" starting right after Sunday Worship (approximately 11:30am). We have three "rooms" available each week. Stop by the Vestry and catch up with your friends (bring your own coffee and snacks). If it seems too crowded in the Vestry, and you can't get in a word in edgewise, move over to the Lobby or the Kitchen where it is usually quieter. If you are a Facebook user, you can coordinate where to meet-up with others via the chat before/after Worship, or by indicating that you are "Going" to one of the three Facebook events each week. The actual rooms are via Google Meet and don't require Facebook at all, and may be attended by phone, by app on iPhone/iPad/Android/or by Computer. Access information is below. If you need some hints at using Google Meet there are some instructions and screen shots at https://www.mainstreet-umc.org/activities/coffee-hour that might help you get acclimated.