February 9, 2020
[Special thanks to Kent Beduhn for ideas, editing, and fellowship]
I came to Church of the Saviour and 8th Day in a way that seems both totally by chance and by design. For about six years I had been searching for a church and a community I could call home. I was looking for a denomination that offered both the structures of tradition, that would help connect me with my Irish Catholic ancestry, and the openness and flexibility that I needed, as a person who had experienced God in many forms, through things like Yoga and Zen meditation.
February 2, 2020
Here are the notes from Steve's portion of the sharing:
Welcome to Black History month ... black history... or as our anti-racism group likes to say: -- “history.” White supremacists like to think black history began with slavery. This history is the forgotten ignored stolen forbidden history. This true history is removed from the schools and history books to make way for propaganda. The propaganda has said that black people are sexual perverts and thieves. The only thing they're good at is entertaining. They're also lazy even though they were the back bone of the development of the American economic superpower.
Texts: Matthew 1:18-25; Romans 1:1-7
“Of the Father’s Love Begotten,” one of my favorite childhood hymns, would always move me deeply. “Begotten,” what is begot? I actually looked it up: it’s bringing into being, birthing, it’s creating. The participle form is begetting. We do a lot of begetting in this congregation, a lot of creating of new things. Love—if we’re thinking about love today—may be the Presence, the beginning, middle & end to our entire Christian Story. So, where does an experience of God’s love, as this chant evokes, from the 4th Century, come from? Can we grow in understanding the origin and essence of God’s love in us, in and among us?
The kind of awe, mystery and opening of my heart that that particular chant evokes is something I felt as a child—not even understanding the words entirely. I still feel chills every year, up and down my spine, whenever we sing that. I don’t understand why.
December 15, 2019
Texts: Isaiah 35
Psalm 146: 5-10
Hope, Peace, Joy and Love: the Advent themes are ones that invite us to reflect and go deeper. They are threads that move through our lives as followers of Jesus. Three of them are what Paul names as the fruit of the Spirit: love, peace and joy (Galatians 5:22-23). They invite us into the reign of God, into God’s tapestry. We are to take up our needles and threads and weave our lives as people of God, hard and never-ending work. Our scriptures for today call us to Joy, but we can’t honestly reflect on joy without naming its opposite--suffering & tragedy.
December 8, 2019
Psalm 85: 8-13
Romans 15: 4-13
We are in the Second Sunday of Advent. Advent is all about watching and waiting; imagining and dreaming. The colors for Advent are purple or deep blue. For some these colors reflects the color of the autumn's night lit by moon and stars. The days are short, and the nights are long. The moon is called traditionally Cold Moon. The Old English/Anglo-Saxon name is the Moon Before Yule.
These long nights are fertile ground for dreaming and imagining the advent themes of hope, peace, joy, and love. Last Sunday, Ann Barnet taught about Hope with its emphasis of keeping awake and living in expectation. Next week we explore the theme of Joy with Marcia. This Sunday, the theme is Peace with its dream of harmony as a Peaceable Kingdom.
In today's scripture reading, Isaiah announces the coming of the Prince of Peace to the Hebrew people:
A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse... The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge.... He shall judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear; but with righteousness he shall judge the poor and decide with equity for the meek of the earth. (NRIV).
December 1, 2019
This grey and rainy Sunday is a good one to reflect on what causes us to hope. We’ve lost a pillar of our community, Fred Taylor. My faithful co-mission group member, Joe Collier, died a few weeks ago. My foster-son Arthur died unexpectedly on November 12th. Maria just lost her mother. Eleanor is grieving over the death of her niece. And so it goes.
A few weeks ago Fred Taylor and I talked by phone about this teaching. He said that he hoped he could attend in person. That was not to be, but I truly believe he is here in spirit. Fred was a person of radiant inspiring hope. He found hope in this community.
November 17, 2019
One day at a time, sweet Jesus
That's all I ask of You
Just give me the strength to do
What I have to do
Yesterday's gone, sweet Jesus
And tomorrow is a vision of happiness
Lord, help me today, show me the way
One day at a time
When reading through today's scriptures, what really leapt out to me is their focus on covenant renewal — on relationship renewal. Since we know that God is always pursuing and reaching out and longing for relationship with us, it's only common sense that cultivating renewed relationship with God is really up to us. It's our decision to extend our hands, our lives and our hearts to God. This is what is meant in Mark 1:15, "“The time has come,” … “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent (originally metanoeo, meaning change one's mind or think differently) and believe the good news!”