So many folks give something up for Lent – meat, sugar, cursing. At last night's Ash Wednesday service, Jaye, the online host, suggested giving up negative self-talk and self-loathing for Lent. Instead of being annoyed by a body that is too whatever (sick, fat, bumpy, in pain), why not try softening to its realities, or a little gratitude for how it partners with you to move through the world? Another worshiper said they were giving up Facebook for Lent. I know some Greek Orthodox Communities, who traditionally have given up certain foods each week, have also offered a progressive technology fast. Where, each week, you refrain from another source of technology until by Holy Week, you're technology-free. So you might choose to let go of social media, then television, YouTube, Xbox, email, etc. There are some weeks I wouldn't mind giving up Zoom. I remember a colleague's son choosing to "give up" the gaming system on the very last week, so he only had to endure a week without video games.
Lent is an invitation to do things differently. To not resign ourselves to the well-worn patterns we have, but to examine how those habits serve us and our neighbors. It's never too late to turn toward God. To try on a new way of relating to God and your faith, if only for a season. It is not our humanness that we repent of but our tendency to deny the belovedness of our humanity. And how we can use our humanness, like Jesus, to serve the world.
Can the hand of God, the voice of love find me even here?
O forgive me Lord, I've denied your grace.
May I die in peace with a song of grace.
The Commission on Religion and Race offers this prayer for the beginning of Lent.
This is a day of repentance, God of mercy and of justice. And it is a day of remembering our mortality, God of eternity and today. But what if we realized that those aren't the same thing? What if, this Ash Wednesday, we decided not to repent of our humanness, but to repent of those things that made us less than what you created us to be and to do? Call us to repent of those thoughts and deeds that make us less than human, less than a part of this creation. And invite us to celebrate our oneness with the world in which we live and the whole, multicolored tapestry that is your human community. Let us be marked with a reminder that we are bound up with those we often call "other." Let us be repentant of that which demeans ourselves and our neighbor and you. In the name of the one who wore our flesh, Amen.
We are excited that more people have joined our team for the Nor'ester on Sunday, Feb 26 after service (noon after a quick lunch). It's always fun and challenging with stops along the way and exercises (and social media assignments) that relate to their ministries. DONATE to the cause of helping the United Way support all the wonderful non-profit agencies in town. Each of us needs to raise at least $50. On donations to MSUMC, mark Nor'easter or put our team name: Frosty Frogs! You can donate using the button below as well!
IF YOU ARE WALKING WITH US, YOU MUST JOIN THE TEAM THROUGH THE LINK BELOW!
ATLANTA — The United Methodist Committee on Relief continues to work with its humanitarian partners to aid earthquake survivors in Turkey and Syria. UMCOR has released initial solidarity grants to International Blue Crescent and Forum for Development Culture and Dialogue to help provide shelter, food and first aid kits to those who have been displaced. Winter weather and a cholera outbreak are complicating the response.
MARCH 23, 2023 DATE MOVED - AGAIN! NEXT PLANNING BOARD HEARING
Pastor Kristy and Nancy Long have continued to attend visibility events coordinated by GSOP to educate the community about the asphalt plant proposal for Temple Street. This plant will be harmful to the many neighbors near the site, who will be subjected to pollution, noise, and a significant increase in asphalt truck traffic on pedestrian routes. The Planning Board hearing has been tabled again until March 23rd.
We would appreciate those who are willing to write letters to the planning board to please do so at email@example.com. If you are willing to speak against the plant at the next meeting (at this time both zoom and in person are available), please reach out to Pastor Kristy for more information on how to do so and what criteria are most important to the Planning Board.
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