This Sunday is the last in the season of Epiphany, often called Transfiguration Sunday. It's the dramatic story of mountain and light, dazzling clouds and the appearance of spiritual ancestors. Sometimes the story is seen as a sneak peek of the resurrection for the disciples. It's a turn in Jesus' life toward Jerusalem so it prepares us for Lent.
I appreciate the rhythms of the liturgical calendar. It reminds us that people of faith have lives that aren't oriented around nominal civil holidays. We serve a deeper purpose and our gathering isn't ever nationalism, cultural pride, or sentimentality. "It organizes and shapes our lives by the Christian story, instead of the things the kingdom of the world holds valuable." (Patheos.com) Intentionally choosing a gospel-centered organization system helps us to maintain our first allegiance to Christ and his kin-dom. We serve the way of Christ that calls us to rise above the noise of culture wars.
And of course, there are the changing colors of the liturgical year and meaningful symbols that guide us through the nuances of the gospel stories. The liturgical calendar unites us with the larger, longer church tradition, observed in one form or another, since the actual events themselves. It disciplines us to consider parts of the story we might overlook, to linger in the valley instead of rushing toward the mountaintop. It is the antidote to our culture's obsession with instant gratification and busyness.
Easter doesn't happen without the terror and anguish of what comes before, so on Ash Wednesday, February 22, we're invited to "walk with Christ for those 40 days, to see him ride into Jerusalem over the path of palm branches, dine with him in the upper room, fall asleep in the garden, and feel the hammer locked in our palm's grip as the nails pierce our Savior's body." (Patheos.com)
We will take on the ashes of repentance, as a sign of the cross on our foreheads, as a symbol of our willingness to walk the way of Christ, not the way of the world. We will set aside a season for introspection as we listen to Jesus and the pain of the world. We will not look away. We will spend our days reflecting on the justice Jesus envisioned rolling down like waters and the righteousness that flows like a mighty stream.
Our District Superintendant has asked us to respond this week (today) with an Equalization Member for our Annual Conference. This is an important role and we need to take advantage of this opportunity. Please contact Pastor Kelly or Lisa Svenson if interested immediately.
Especially needed are young persons between the ages of 12 and 17, and between the ages of 18 and 30, please see guidelines below.
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). The deadline for our team is quickly approaching, so use the button below to JOIN our team! It's always fun and challenging with stops along the way and exercises (and social media assignments) that relate to their ministries. OR 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! There is a DRIVE option as well and they suggest following the 1/2 Marathon Route for that, so if you want to sign up and DRIVE the route, that would also help the cause…..
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.