How was church today?

revsdd

Well-Known Member
Messages
5,410
Reaction score
5,463
Thanksgiving theme obviously. Used "Come, You Thankful People, Come," (Voices United) "Give Thanks With A Grateful Heart," (on the screen), "Gratitude" (More Voices) and "We Plough The Fields And Scatter" (Voices United) as the hymns. The choir sang "Sing To The Lord of Harvest" as their anthem. My colleague did children's time, using a special bouquet of wheat to introduce a Thanksgiving theme. Have to admit (as she did later to me) that the children were unusually quiet today. My sermon was a take on the saying "when life gives you lemons, turn it into lemonade." I titled it "A Lemonade Recipe." I looked at the origins of the saying, written by Elbert Hubbard, whose original version was “He picked up the lemons that fate had sent him and started a lemonade stand.” It was a reference to his friend Marshall P. Wilder - a "dwarf" who became a very successful and famous actor and author in the late 19th/early 20th century, and reflected on his experience and the experience of God's people in exile in Babylon (Jeremiah 29:1 & 4-7 from the Lectionary) as way of saying that even in adversity we need to remember to be thankful for what we have, because the alternative is a life of grieving, lamentation or bitterness - but no joy. The message seemed well received. Service was good and had a great atmosphere.

For those interested:
A Lemonade Recipe
 

Lastpointe

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,240
Reaction score
1,453
My husband and i are struggling with his cancer diagnosis. Because of weekend events we dont attend church very often. But today, in town, thanksgiving' we did

One of the hymns, while praising in some verses really hit us both with thoughts of death.

But i like that church pushes me out if my comfort zone.

We have cancer, death is upon is. We need to face that reality

Death will mean pain. It will be hard

But i also know my saviour will be with us. And it is a help
 

Pinga

Room for All
Messages
9,816
Reaction score
5,359
Lastpointe, gentle thoughts coming your way. I remembered that your husband had a diagnosis, but, maybe become of my treatment, I hadn't realized it was a terminal diagnosis. Thinking of you today, and all others who face changes.
 

Carolla

wondering & wandering
Messages
6,893
Reaction score
5,076
Sorry to hear of your family's struggles Lastpointe. Challenging times, and I am heartened to know that you feel sustained and accompanied by your faith.

Was thinking of my own mom today - it was 17 years ago on a sunny Thanksgiving weekend that our family gathered to spread her ashes at her beloved cottage. Much has transpired in our family since then, some of it painful, some of it joyful ... all of it just life unfolding.

Church was good - many people were away visiting it seemed. Met a new family who are bringing their youngest daughter (they have 3!) for baptism. Met the husband of a new woman who has joined our choir. Great anthems by our children's choir (just a trio today!) and the adult choir. Good sermon on gratitude, and letting go of things in life that we worry about yet cannot impact or control. Ah - that ubiquitous and seductive "C" word - causes so much trouble in life.

Now, back to the ball game - bases loaded, 2 out for the Jays - c'mon boys!!
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
Messages
41,487
Reaction score
3,609
Thanksgiving theme obviously. Used "Come, You Thankful People, Come," (Voices United) "Give Thanks With A Grateful Heart," (on the screen), "Gratitude" (More Voices) and "We Plough The Fields And Scatter" (Voices United) as the hymns. The choir sang "Sing To The Lord of Harvest" as their anthem. My colleague did children's time, using a special bouquet of wheat to introduce a Thanksgiving theme. Have to admit (as she did later to me) that the children were unusually quiet today. My sermon was a take on the saying "when life gives you lemons, turn it into lemonade." I titled it "A Lemonade Recipe." I looked at the origins of the saying, written by Elbert Hubbard, whose original version was “He picked up the lemons that fate had sent him and started a lemonade stand.” It was a reference to his friend Marshall P. Wilder - a "dwarf" who became a very successful and famous actor and author in the late 19th/early 20th century, and reflected on his experience and the experience of God's people in exile in Babylon (Jeremiah 29:1 & 4-7 from the Lectionary) as way of saying that even in adversity we need to remember to be thankful for what we have, because the alternative is a life of grieving, lamentation or bitterness - but no joy. The message seemed well received. Service was good and had a great atmosphere.

For those interested:
A Lemonade Recipe

I translated the sermon into a version of respect and appreciation for pain is a learning message ... sour to those that would sooner not know and remain in blissful state ...

Alien powers beyond us shake their heads as a host and say: "when will they ever learn about appreciation for all things ... even the dark and unknown ... but be concerned about how you get into it."

The solution: put some Dick there first as learned in Primary Readers and texts ... see Dick! Then he came ... to read a wee bit. Some stop at grade 4 levels according to some theological psychologists ... as if that was the last word to learn ... the field of word is extensive ... goes on and on ... and at least inky!

With luck, observers of what I learned will assume I learned nothing and thus ignore me ... thus no Moor will be seen!
 

Seeler

Well-Known Member
Messages
6,750
Reaction score
4,917
Carolla - the Jays won! A bit late for Seeelerman and me - but we were still up when Donaldson made his dive for home in oveertime. Then we sent a text to my sister/

Lastpointe - I'm glad that you and your husband found some comfort in worship on Thanksgiving.
 

revjohn

Well-Known Member
Messages
7,125
Reaction score
5,579
I was invited to preach by a local congregation.

Which felt good. It has been a while since I last got to lead worship. I did preach once this summer in St. Anthony (one of the most awkward services I have ever neen involved in).

The local congregation is entering into the search phase and several approached me following the service hoping that they could keep me. Which was encouraging.

I preached from Deuteronomy 26: 1-11 and asked, rhetorically, why we rethought thanksgiving and if the rethink resulted in something better.

Played with the idea of first fruits in a non-agrarian context and what we might consider the equivalent.

Reminded all of us that thanksgiving is more communal than family contexts typically allow.

Hosted our final family thanksgiving in the house that has been home for the last 9 years. Bittersweet because it means soon we uproot and there will be several generational splits. My parents and both of our daughters will be left behind in Ontario. Meaning come February our first grandchild will be so far away.

That said we were grateful for the day together and filled it with much laughter.
 

Carolla

wondering & wandering
Messages
6,893
Reaction score
5,076
Awww ... Grandpa John - that's a nice bit of news! And yes, I'm sure you'll be wishing to be closer ... the tug and pull of changes.
 

PilgrimsProgress

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,057
Reaction score
1,372
It's Mental Health Month here in Oz, and here is part of my reflection that I gave last Sunday in Ashfield Uniting Church - a mission church for the poor and dispossessed, many of whom have mental health issues.............



Like most of my talks, I’ll begin with a story. Many of us were introduced to stories on our mother’s lap, and thus our mind is tuned to them.
This is a Cherokee Indian story from the USA.
It is often first nation people, who, living in tune with their natural environment, gain wisdom that often eludes those of us who live in modern high-rise cities.
It is by observing other animals that they interact with on a daily basis, that they have a keen understanding of us, the human animal.
A Cherokee Indian Tale Of Two Wolves
One evening an old Cherokee Indian told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all.
One wolf is Evil.
It’s anger, envy, jealousy, greed, resentment, and lies.
The other wolf is Good.
It‘s joy, love, hope, kindness, empathy, generosity, truth, and faith.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: ‘Which wolf wins the battle?’
The old Cherokee replied, ‘The one you feed.’

“The one you feed” – it’s a great answer, isn’t it?
It’s a lovely story, so simple and yet so true. I think we do all have these two wolves running around inside us.
Feed the Good Wolf and it will show up in our character, habits and behavior.
But feed the Evil Wolf and our whole world will turn negative: like poison, it will slowly eat away at our soul.
The crucial question is “Which wolf are you feeding?”
Time for some unpacking of this tale.
At first glance it might be suggesting that you just acknowledge the good wolf - think only positive thoughts and continually walk around looking happy.
But, is this realistic?

It’s not just those of us with a mental illness, but everyone, who has dark moods and thoughts at times.
Hurt, anger, grief, and despair are a part of all our lives. We cannot escape these unhappy times – they are a part of the journey.

It’s been my experience that the way to deal with pain affectively, is to go through it, not try to avoid it.
I’ll repeat that.
The way to deal with pain affectively, is to go through it, not try to avoid it.

So, how do we go through our pain and get back to feeding the good wolf?
The answer is both simple and difficult.

First, allow yourself to feel your pain.
If it’s been buried in you for a long time you may need professional help.
Otherwise, seek out folks who are prepared to listen. When folks listen to us we feel both supported and understood, and it can be enormously beneficial.
And please don’t forget God. God shares our life with us, and we can always talk to HIM through prayer.

Make that first step feeling your pain, and then you are free to move on to the next stage – the stage where you can reframe your perception. For example, when my husband died, I felt somehow cheated that our time together was too short. But, when I went over many happy memories, I realized how fortunate I was to have had him in my life at all.
At this stage we spend part of our day feeding the bad wolf, and part of the day feeding the good wolf.
By that I mean there are moments when our pain is acute, and the bad wolf snarls and bares its teeth –upsetting both ourselves and those around us.
But there are also moments when we feel at peace, and our pain seems to be at a distance. The good wolf comes closer, and we can see him across a clearing, without feeling fear.

Now it may take many years, but there is a further stage that can be reached.
With God’s help our pain –and we ourselves – can be transformed.
We accept what has happened, and learn from it.
We may even see that we have grown, both in our understanding, and acceptance of others and ourselves.
It’s here we can see we are free to not only feed the good wolf, but let him come close enough to lick our hand.
Thank you.
 

Luce NDs

Well-Known Member
Messages
41,487
Reaction score
3,609
Now is god everything, all inclusive, even down under as a differing humility? Tis enough to call for a whet ... if you can bear with the satyrs ...
 

Tabitha

journeying
Messages
6,437
Reaction score
4,058
very nice pilgrim. Short to the point and good practical advice from one who has been there. If you are ever at my church you would be welcome to share this.
 

Carolla

wondering & wandering
Messages
6,893
Reaction score
5,076
well stated Pilgrims - I trust your words were well received, and will linger with those who listened.
 

Carolla

wondering & wandering
Messages
6,893
Reaction score
5,076
Church was good today - choir is swelling & the music was great. Good sermon message about 'family' and secrets & history - how we often gloss over the not so good or downright painful times; and also heartfelt well written prayers. Afterward, we gathered to to begin some working tasks with our Intentional Interim minister. We sat, grouped at tables according to which minister was in leadership at the time we joined the church - so that was interesting to see. Groups going right back to 1955! We turned our thoughts to 3 questions in order - What was going on in the world at this time? What was going on in our neighbourhood at this time? What was going on in our church at this time? Then of course sandwich lunch was served while we listened to the groups reports & reflected (only briefly) on many ups & downs over the decades.
 

Jae

Sensing Feeler
Messages
31,535
Reaction score
3,856
Church was good. We had a soloist who just came to Canada sing a special worship song. One of our pastors gave a solid, missional message on, "I am the Good Shepherd." Afterwards, a lovely Phillipines-style lunch and then business meeting.
 

Tabitha

journeying
Messages
6,437
Reaction score
4,058
WE are in the middle of a month of stewardship and gratitude. "Fair" before church-table displays of the many groups/ things we do. I did the Children's church. Then I left when kids did and taught church school. The emphasis was on finding and using our gifts. Read a story, playdough craft, good talk and reflection. Then after church we were back in the big room, split into groups with a variety of discussion topics. Light lunch and budget presentation.
To sum up we are grateful to our church and what it provides.
We are encouraged to look at the time and money we contribute.
We spend more than we take in,
series will continue 2 more weeks.
 

Jae

Sensing Feeler
Messages
31,535
Reaction score
3,856
@Jae, What do you call a missional message?

One that shares how a passage of Scripture...
...reads us and our world
...fits into God's mission to lovingly redeem all of Creation unto himself
...guides us in transformation (both individually and corporately)
...equips us for and then sends us on mission in our neighborhood
...reveals to us what God's Kingdom will be like once it comes in its fullness
 

Pinga

Room for All
Messages
9,816
Reaction score
5,359
I didn't go to church today, and wouldn't you know it ...it was a service that I would have loved. It is all good. i chose to be home.
The service, though, was a service led by the youth and the congregation made blessing bags.
 

Seeler

Well-Known Member
Messages
6,750
Reaction score
4,917
Church today was actually a weekend retreat when 30 or so people from our congregation gathered for a retreat in the beauty of October on the banks of the St. John River. Wonderful time - we do it every two or three years. My fourth, Seelerman's second retreat. No TV or computers, very little obvious use of smart phones - not forbidden but it seemed that people respected and responded to the need to get away from the distractions of busy lives and form a community among our group. Lots of music, strolling or hiking for those who enjoy the great outdoors, quiet conversations, gathering for theme time and worship. Serious discussion, a few tears. Lots of laughter. Everyone explored their creative side as we made mandellas, and placed them on the alter for our final worship gathering and communion this morning. Comfortable, but not luxury, rooms. Good meals. Over too soon.
Seelergirl shared that the 30 or so missing from the congregation was noticable at our church this morning. Our full-time minister led worship at our church; our half-time minister helped with the retreat.
 
Top