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Repent, and Cancel Your Zoom Meetings

Kip Dooley

May 17, 2020

What we are confronted with, then, is a foreign land, a passage through a desert: testing and discernment.  But in this same land, from which God is not in fact absent, the seeds of a new spirituality can germinate.  This spirituality gives rise to new songs of the Lord. 

-Gustavo Gutierrez

What new songs are we being asked to sing today?  How is this passage through the desert testing us and leading to deep discernment?  We are living in a strange kind of exile right now: an exile from the physical presence of one another.  We’re unable to share hugs at church, to pass communion from hand to mouth, to rest our heads on one another’s shoulder as we recite our prayers and blessings.  I was so looking forward to finally getting to watch Collin Bosley-Smith play baseball this spring, to sit in the stands with Dixcy and Nolan on a warm spring night, munching on popcorn, smelling the fresh grass and hearing the boys’ banter from the dugout, to jump to my feet and pump my fist in the air as Collin zipped a fastball past another hapless batter.

Breath -- Wholeness

Luisely Melechio-Zambrano

May 10, 2020

Texts: Acts 6:1-7
          1 Peter 2:4-9
           John 14: 1-12

Hello Eighth Day!   For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Luisely.  I am Crisely’s sister, Alfonso’s sister-in-law, and Santiago’s aunt. 

Would you take 30 seconds to remember anyone who has mothered you, loved you into being, in your life?  I’ll tell you when the 30 seconds are over.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Something we can thank our mothers for is that each one of them, no matter what, gave us enough life to take our first breath.  So in gratitude for them and in celebration for the life given and constantly received I invite you to breath with me.

If it’s comfortable and you are able, place your hand on your ribs.  And inhale through your nose feeling your ribs widen as much as is comfortable for you.  Pause a bit and then allow all that air that filled up your lungs to release with ease through your nose.  We’ll take five breaths together in this way, if you’d like.

Being Sheep

Dixcy Bosley

May 3, 2020 
     Psalm 23
     John 10 1-10
What a time to be reading the most familiar of psalms.  The six verse message of Psalm 23 written by David after Goliath was killed around 1044 BC brings relevance to our faith in 2020.  Blessed with both good health and safe shelter, I’ve been tending to my home, my lush garden, old friendships , dusting off cupboards and attic spaces where I found the old Bible story book I had to read as child.  Mother had me reciting this psalm at the bedside.  So in some ways.  Sito’s invitation to share today was a bit of a dusting off of my own soul.  

Who does not find this psalm comforting?  

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want ...

The Life of My Father: Making His Path By Walking

Paul Fitch

April 26, 2020

Good morning.  Today I will share about the life of my father.

I remember going on a walk with my him in Rock Creek Park, which began just across the street from our house on Colorado Avenue here in DC.  I was six years-old.  We were just walking through the woods, without even following a trail.  After a while I asked my Dad, “which way is Rock Creek?” He answered by asking me, “if you dump out a bucket of water, which way would it go?” I said “down” and he said “that’s right,” and we continued down through the gulley until we came to the creek right by where I took this picture a couple days ago.

So began a life of knowing my father as a walker, as one on a journey.  Throughout the remaining 85 years of his life, he continued to journey, sometimes taking me and others of the family along, sometimes on his own, and sometimes with other journeyers.  At times he encouraged me, and he inspired me and I was blessed, especially at times from the mid 1980’s on, to have many close times of sharing with him. 

The Emptiness of the Tomb

Jonathan Nosly

Text: John 20: 1-18

Christ is Risen!

Good morning, 8th Day, and happy Easter Sunday!   It’s been a strange week for me, thinking about what I want to say on Easter while also trying to hold all of the emotions of Holy Week.  For me, this present crisis has made it more important than ever to take things one day at a time, so writing about the empty tomb on Good Friday was a challenge.

It’s also been hard to think about what it means to celebrate the brightest and happiest day on the Christian calendar in our present moment.  Easter bunnies and pink eggs don’t really fit with pandemics and economic collapse. 

But the more I thought about it, the more it actually felt kind of right.  A lot of that brightness and happiness we think of with Easter is a lens we’ve added after the fact.  That first Easter Sunday probably felt at least as grim and confusing as this one.

One Thing at a Time

Michaeo Schaff & Crisely Melecio

March 29, 2020

Introduction to Scripture readings:

Michael Schaff: Welcome. Thank you for joining us this morning.

Crisely Melecio-Zambrano: While I was very doubtful we could make this work, Michael assured me we could do it! Michael and I were hoping that all of you could interact with these readings in new ways. When we first read through the readings for this weekend together, Michael noted that he noticed things he hadn’t heard before, so I invite you to listen to and/or watch these readings with openness to receive something new. Each of these readings has rich imagery, so even those of you who are joining us via phone can sit back and imagine each reading unfold with your different senses.

Oscar Romero at 40 years since his martyrdom, a light for our times.

Videlbina and Paul Fitch-Flores

March 22, 2020

Greetings to all, in this different time, when we are physically apart but in which we seek to be unified in a Lenten spirit of tragedy and triumph as we journey together towards Christ’s death and resurrection.

Our scripture readings for this week express, from Ephesians 5,

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord.” … “we were in the darkness, but now are in the light of the Lord and, as children of the light, we are to find out what pleases the Lord”.

In the Gospel reading, from John, chapter 9, we learn of a man who was blind from birth, to whom Jesus gave sight, and for whom was the source of great perplexity for the Pharisees. It shook their sense of order, of how they considered that things should be.

As we are inundated by a flood of news, information, opinions, and actions regarding the novel coronavirus, our sense of order, of how we consider things should be, have been thrown off. We enter into moments of malaise where we do not know exactly what to do. Wash your hands, isolate ourselves from one another, stay home becomes our new mantra.

Wild Hope

Gayle Boss

March 15, 2020

Text: Romans 5:1-11
         Exodus 17:1-7
         John 4:5-42

Good morning.  I’m honored to be with you.  Eighth Day was the sister church to which my husband, Doug, and I first belonged to when we stumbled into the Church of the Saviour in 1980, unaware that we were in the home of spiritual giants and were about to be changed for life.  We still talk about how grateful we are that God dropped two 23-year-old newlyweds here.  Church of the Saviour, beginning with the Eighth Day Community, has shaped our whole life since the first month of our marriage.

I’m here at the invitation of Jennie Gosché and the New Creation Mission Group.  Jennie, and I know others of you, too, enjoyed my first book, All Creation Waits, and invited me after learning about my new book, Wild Hope: Stories for Lent from the Vanishing.  The vanishing, in this case, are twenty-five of the world’s wild animals that we may lose in the next few decades unless we radically change the destructive way we live on planet Earth, animals like the polar bears that Jennie loves and photographs.

Old-Age Diminishments

Marja Hilfiker

March 8, 2020

Texts: Genesis 12:1-7
           John 3:1-17

There is a specific mention in the Genesis story that Abram was 75 years old when he responded to God’s call to leave Haran where his father had been buried.  It was clearly unusual for an elderly patriarch to uproot his extended family and take off for a destination 500 miles away. 

I have been trying to picture how God talked to Abram.  His conviction that God was calling him probably grew over a period of time.  Life in Haran may have been difficult because one of the meanings of the Hebrew word haran is “parched.”  Earlier, Abram’s father had actually planned to move his people to Canaan, but for some reason he had stopped at the city of Haran, which is now in modern Turkey.  It seems likely that Abram would have heard God calling him to complete his father’s journey to Canaan while he still had some strength left.  Canaan was also on a trade route and known as a more fertile area.   Abram was buoyed by God’s promises of an amazing legacy, “I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you… and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” He knew he had to go.

Planting, Watering, and Tending for Life and Growth from God

Emily (Owsley) Everhope

February 16, 2020

The lectionary scriptures for today make me grateful to live under the ‘New Testament’ way of faith — sort of.  There is much focus on rule-following, life-and-death, and not-messing-up from the Old Testament passages, along with some compelling symbolism and imagery around land, fire, and water.

The gospel message this week is a tough one for me, where Jesus sets the bar even higher for how we should behave and the lengths we should be willing to go to keep ourselves in line —   like getting rid of body parts that cause us to stumble and really harsh rules around marriage and divorce — so I’m not going there this morning…