You may remember that just over a month ago Ehi spoke to us about his job, his faith, and the place where they intersect. Jen blogged about that experience both here and at her personal blog. What you may not know is that was the first part in what we hope will be a monthly series for some time to come. This Sunday Gilda will lead us in part two of that series. So come prepared to learn about what makes Gilda tick and the reasons she’s chosen to teach English as a second language in the NY City public school system. I’m sure we’ll hear some of her frustrations, as well as her triumphs. Be prepared to be touched and be ready to learn more about one of our members in a way that isn’t often presented in a normal church environment.
Archive for July, 2009
At 7:30 pm on July 21st, Opal June Hays was born weighing 8lbs. and measuring 20 in. long. Laura is doing well and in Joe’s words, “Opal is absolutely perfect.”
Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Congratulations, Hays family. (I’m sure there will be more details and photos to follow at Joe’s blog).
May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships so that you may live deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and the exploitation of people so that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace.
May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and turn their pain into joy.
And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.
*while the author of this beautiful prayer is unknown, I’m sure he/she wouldn’t mind you adding a few lines of your own…
As a parent, church is one of my favorite places to take my daughter. She loves “Brooklyn church.” We even have a song about it that we sing on Sunday mornings to express her anticipation: “we’re going to go to Brooklyn church, Brooklyn church, Brooklyn church, we’re gonna go to Brooklyn church, because it is so fun.” That’s just the first verse; the song goes on forever, because she names everyone she wants to see at Brooklyn church, and everyone gets their own verse. Generally the song ends with, “we’re gonna see Aunt Sarah…and she is gonna chase me…and I’ll get scared and run.” At that point Clare is usually overcome with delight and the song is done.
I love it that at church, even if I can’t see/hear where she is or what she’s doing, I can count on the fact that someone else is watching out for her. It’s not just that it’s a couple hours of free babysitting. I love it that Clare gets to experience a whole community of grown-up people (well, you know, we’re mostly all “grown-up”) who care about her and watch out for her and teach her, just like I do. And this constitutes “normal” for her. She knows I love her, and her daddy loves her, but she also knows that this whole roomful of people love her too. And she loves them: she makes up stories about them and takes them on imaginative excursions with her and sings songs about them and names them as friends.
And that’s beautiful.
This coming Sunday we will welcome and bless CCfB’s two newest and youngest members. As part of the thanksgiving and blessing service, the full assembled community of CCfB will be asked,
“Church, will you as a community of faith and family of God welcome these children into your loving care, share responsibility in their growth toward fullness of life in Christ, and surround them and their parents with your love, encouragement and support for the strengthening of their life together?”
And we will answer,
“We will, with God’s help.”
The world’s oldest Bible, Codex Sinaiticus, is online.
If you showed up at PS261 on Sunday and wondered “why didn’t anybody tell me,” you weren’t alone.
Nobody knows why the gates were locked.*
Nobody knows why the janitor (and his key) weren’t on duty.*
Nobody knows why Stonehenge was built… but that’s another story.
Heartfelt apologies to anyone who was inconvenienced on Sunday by our unexpected cancellation of services. We’ll be back on track next week. We promise.
In other news, Ashley sent me this note last week and I thought I’d send it to you as well…
“There’s a really great group called Reverend Vince Anderson and the Love Choir (yes he’s a real reverend) that performs every Monday at Union Pool in Williamsburg. The shows are free, but they do go on a little before 11pm. It’s definitely something worth checking out if you don’t mind being a night owl. You can check out their music on MySpace. The Reverend has this great raspy New Orleans voice and he’s for so to get the crowd clapping their hands and giving praise.”
*retraction: we now know why the gate was locked and where the janitor was, but it’s not a very interesting story. It doesn’t involve dragons or industrial espionage. Still, we hope nobody went hungry for lack of free bagels last week!
I don’t particularly trust my emotions, especially when it comes to things related to faith. I have a tendency to think faith is too important to be influenced by flip flopping feelings and ever changing emotions. A lot of that has to do with my personality type. I’m an INTP on the Myers Briggs scale, and I’m heavy on the T and the I. Basically this means it’s easy for me to live inside my head. It’s easy for me to spend all my time thinking about minutiae and analyzing the world and my own thoughts. But I have a hard time just allowing myself to feel something without dissecting it and analyzing it until I can’t feel it anymore. About 6 months ago I was introduced to the African Bible Study at our Thursday night gathering on Hoyt Street. As we went around the room reading the passage and sharing our gut reactions my stomach was in a knot. I didn’t want to give my reaction because all I kept thinking was, “’What’s the context of this passage? Why are we only reading a few verses out of one book? This is stupid and I wish I could leave.” Then we got to the final section, the section of the study where you say. “From what I’ve seen and heard, I feel God wants me to….” I almost got off the couch and walked out of the room. That’s when I knew I needed to seriously work on myself when it comes to the discipline of meditation and listening to God. I needed to spend some quiet time, not dissecting, but just being in God’s presence. That was six months ago, and I’m sad to say that I haven’t been completely successful, but I’ve slowly been becoming more comfortable making time to listen for God’s voice.
One resource that’s been particularly helpful to me for the past few weeks has been the Jesuit Media Initiatives “Pray as you Go” podcast. I haven’t been using it every day, but every time I’ve used it I’ve come away refreshed. It follows a simple formula that’s carefully designed to help you reflect and pray and listen. There is the opening call to prayer, followed by some music (usually chant), then the scripture for the day. After which there is some quiet time, and then questions for personal reflection. Then more quiet time, a repeat of the scripture, and time for some final reflection. The first time I listened to one of these podcasts I had the same reaction as the first time I participated in an African bible study. I thought it was hokey, but as soon as I let that go, it became a very valuable tool.
This Sunday, our service will be designed to help us mediate, feel, and listen.. We will be spending most of our time in the Book of Psalms. Our songs will be based on Psalms, our readings will be from Psalms, and even one of our prayers will be from Psalms. Then before Jeremy leads us in communion he’ll have us listen to one of the above mentioned podcasts. And as a group we’ll meditate, each to ourselves, but in the presence of community, and some of us will be comfortable, and some of us will be stretched, and we’ll all be lifted up.