Pastor's Corner


Even the Critters Know

posted Oct 11, 2019, 12:30 PM by Tricia Sheffield

Grace and peace to you!


This Sunday is one of my favorite Sundays on our church calendar. It’s the Blessing of the Animals! Certainly, there is joy in God’s house every time we worship together, but what I love about this Sunday is the chaotic rejoicing that happens when people bring their animal companions for a blessing. The occasional bark, a soft meow, and the sound of the birds around us all remind me that there is something special about worshiping God outside in creation. Perhaps, this was how worship was first intended. 


In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light . . . 


And it was so. God saw everything that God had made, and indeed, it was very good.


So begins the Book of Genesis, illustrating God’s creative power through light and darkness, water and dry land, swarms of living creatures, birds, cattle, wild animals, creeping things, and finally humans. When God created, God had a vision for the world to be one of unity, peace, and order in a covenantal relationship.


Wonderfully, I get to witness God’s vision almost every day as the beautiful creatures of Olivia’s Forest amble in for their morning or evening feeding. After four years of living in Coventry House, I have borne witness to generations of critters allowing me to share in their world. Some have stayed around all this time, while others have moved on or died. To be sure, tending to my “farm,” I’ve been given an extraordinary gift from God as to how all of creation may live in peace. Sure, there are squabbles between the deer of who gets to eat the corn first, complete with a hoof whacking on the backside of the one who is eating, usually followed by a snort of disapproval. The birds often contend with one another for the best perch on the feeder, pushing the other aside with his or her wings and letting out a squawk of dismay. And the chipmunks and squirrels squeak out their claim to territory as to who gets the few niblets of corn left over by the deer, or the seeds dropped on the ground by the birds. I’ve lost one “barn” cat, but another litter came and now I have Chloe, with Mama Molly and Father Charlie still going strong outside and greeting me with a sweet meow.


There’s snorting; there’s feathers flying; there’s squeaking; there’s meowing. But, they all manage to live in harmony and peace together. And because they have negotiated this peace, guess what? Every creature eventually gets something to eat, miraculously trusting me enough — a human — not to harm them and to provide food.


This Sunday we will celebrate the swarms of living creatures, birds, cattle, wild animals, and creeping things as examples of the harmonious, peaceable kingdom. Please bring your beloved furry, feathery, slippery, and scaly companions to worship with us humans. I will be preaching from Genesis 1.1-5, 26-31 and Ephesians 1.9-10 and my sermon title is God’s Speech Creature. What’s more, during worship the children will make Pine Cone Bird Feeders for all who are in attendance to take home for our avian friends. Also, we would be grateful if you could volunteer your time and talents tomorrow (Saturday) at 3 PM to help Lynn Scarano put up the canopies for our worship.


Unity. Peace. Order. Covenant. This is God’s will and purpose for the world, and you know what? Even the critters know it. Maybe one day, humans will too.


It’s going to be a glorious day of worship and I look forward to celebrating it with you on the Great Lawn!


In gratitude for the joy of being your Pastor and the holy call of loving you,


Pastor Trish

World Communion Sunday and Some Amazing God-is-Great News

posted Oct 4, 2019, 11:13 AM by Tricia Sheffield

Grace and peace to you!


I first want to thank you, beloved of Middletown Reformed Church, for your love of all God’s people, and for the face of Christ I witnessed in each of you during our congregational meeting last Sunday. As your pastor, it was overwhelming. For those who were unable to attend, please know we were unanimous in saying that no matter what happens with the outcome of Vision 2020, our church will continue to be a place where all people, especially our LGBTQ siblings in Christ, are welcome at God’s table of grace and into the full life of the church. After stories were shared and tears were shed, I felt — and possibly heard — a collective sigh of relief as we realized we can now begin to move forward in freedom and joy to the ministry God has called us to do.


Not only did we rejoice in our call of welcome and affirmation for all people, but we also launched our new Capital Campaign called 24 for 24. As I wrote last week, this campaign is focused on the repair and restoration of the front steps of the church. The campaign was received quite well and we got several pledges and some donations.


But then, you’ll never believe what happened the Monday after our meeting. I was approached by two people — who will forever remain anonymous — who said they were each donating $25,000 to the project because God had moved their hearts to repair the steps as soon as possible. My goodness! You can imagine my reaction! I shed tears of joy and gratitude when they told me their intention, and all week I’ve been giving praise and thanks to God for such generosity and faithfulness. 


The one request from our donors is that the 24 for 24 Campaign continue because there is still much that we need to do around the church. For example, we need to paint the sanctuary and repair the plaster and ceiling tiles as the interior of the church has not been painted in over 40 years; the steeple also needs to be painted; we still would like an accessibility ramp for the Education Building so that all people may be welcomed and participate in the events in this building; and the list could go one. But my goodness, again! I still am walking around in amazement at how the Holy Spirit moved our congregation in so many ways this week. God is good . . . all the time! I am grateful, so very grateful for your faithful witness to love in our community.


I hope to see you this Sunday at 10:30 AM when we will rejoice in God’s extravagant love and grace. It is World Communion Sunday and worship will be adapted from “The Communion of Saints: Resources from the Worldwide Church” by Anne E. Zaki. This will be a multi-vocal, multi-gender, multi-lingual, intergenerational worship that acknowledges the unity of the Church Universal. Think how beautiful it will be as we participate with people of faith around the globe, all gathering around the Lord’s Table on this very special Sunday. What a wonderful illustration for the potential of the body of Christ! Our New Jericho Choir will be singing; the Joyful Noise Adult Choir will lead us in congregational singing; and  Deborah Burke, Diane Grady, Dan Pannebaker, and Izaak Thorpe will be our featured ensemble, with Jacie Thorpe on percussion. And after worship we will gather around another table in the Education Building for our First Sunday Brunch. A free will offering will be taken to support the ministries of the church. 


It is going to be a glorious day of worship and I look forward to celebrating it with you!


In gratitude for the joy of being your Pastor and the holy call of loving you,


Pastor Trish

The Surprise Joy of Twisted, Fuzzy Flowers

posted Sep 20, 2019, 11:42 AM by Tricia Sheffield



Greetings of peace to you!


With the imminent arrival of fall, I decided it was time to purchase season appropriate potted plants for the porch. I usually get the standard mums, but this year I wanted something more interesting and vibrant. So, I picked up some curvaceous celosia at a local store because I just love their twisted, fuzzy flowers, reminding me of a colorful caterpillar. The other day I went out to water the plants and to my surprised delight there were monarch butterflies feasting on the celosia. And not one or two, but lots of butterflies, more than I had ever seen in the garden. 


I sat down on the stoop and watched them for a while, swooping here and there, landing on one flower, moving on to other plants, and then rising again in the air in a winged dance with each other. After a bit, it occurred to me that the mums had never attracted these beautiful creatures, and I was so glad I had chosen to get different flowers this year. Had I gone with my usual mums, I would not have been given this small moment of nature’s joy.  


Sometimes it’s a little change in our routine and decisions, or choosing a different path from the well-worn one we travel on that moves us to see our world in a different manner. These decisions we make can be minor, like buying different flowers. Or our thought process may be more difficult, knowing that even though a decision is not easily made, it will be one that will challenge and encourage us toward new growth. Whatever the case, what the celosia and butterflies assured me of is that the Holy Spirit is forever poking and prodding in order to get us to explore new ways of thinking and becoming. And when we follow the Spirit, we are certain to get a more intimate glimpse of holy joy all around us. 


Come this Sunday at 10:30 AM to find out to what joy the Holy Spirit is leading you. Tim Anderson will be the featured artist in worship and will stir our souls with the Prelude, “If With All Your Hearts” and the Offertory, “Let Justice Flow.” Dan Pannebaker will be our Worship Leader. The Joyful Noise Adult Choir is back (hooray!) and will bless us with the anthem, "Somebody's Knockin' At My Door.” I will be preaching from Luke 16. 1-15 and my sermon title is Shrewd Saints?


I look forward to welcoming you to God’s house of joy on Sunday!


In gratitude for the joy of being your Pastor and the holy call of loving you,


Pastor Trish


Rally Day this Sunday

posted Sep 13, 2019, 9:33 AM by Tricia Sheffield

Grace and peace to you in the name of our Triune God!


It’s official. The time for summer vacation is gone and fall is peeking around the corner, with the hint of cooler temperatures, pumpkin decorations, and fall wreaths already adorning front porches. With these signs of autumn around us, this means it’s the start of a new program year. 


As I looked back on what I wrote to you last year at this time, I realized much of what I said remains the same, but with even greater excitement concerning your faithfulness and witness in our world. Allow me to share my previous thoughts from 2018:


Over the summer, I’ve been planning and dreaming, asking afresh what God wants MRC to do and where God wants MRC to go in our local and global communities. I’ve been wondering what is the Holy Spirit up to now for the fabulous church of love. As you are aware, Red Bank Pre-K is no longer with us, and we are currently seeking a new ministry partner for the Education Building. At the same time, though, we are already enjoying having more space for events and classes, and a dedicated room for our Youth Group. 


That said, I remain committed to the vision that over time (It ain’t gonna happen over night!), we will become financially self-sufficient through our generous giving, have the space we need for the spiritual life of the church, AND have a partner in the Education Building. I have complete trust in God for this vision because I’ve been sensing the Spirit moving in our congregation over the summer . . . that is for sure.


And guess what? Even though a year later we are continuing to look for a full-time ministry partner/tenant for the Education Building, we’ve enjoyed a greater and deeper spiritual life together because of the easy availability of our building. We’ve had a town-wide rummage sale; fundraising dinners and BBQ gatherings; First Sunday brunches; New Member classes; and Confirmation classes. And we’ve extended our welcome further out by hosting Vacation Bible School again this year; we’ve been a venue for several baby showers, and we now are the meeting place for the Middletown Lions Club and a Girl Scouts troop. Our Education Building has become a type of community center for Middletown! Whereas previously many people didn’t even know about the property “up the hill” (I’ve heard this comment a lot in the last year), now they are aware of a fabulous church of God’s love.


Not only do people have a greater knowledge about us in the town, but you have been generous in your giving, pledging yourself to our goal of becoming financially self-sufficient. Sure, we still have a few building and grounds projects that need our pressing/immediate attention, and more will be said about that at our Congregational meeting on September 29. But for now, let me say thank you for your ongoing generosity in giving to the ministries of MRC. I continue to believe in our vision of financial independence; I continue to trust God — and you — as we remain steadfast in sharing the powerful legacy of love that MRC has had for almost 183 years. 


So, come this Rally Day Sunday at 10:30 AM and let us celebrate our continued vision with a new program year! The New Jericho Choir will bring us the Word from the Children singing, “Power of God” and “Lord, Listen to Your Children Praying.” We will have our annual Blessing of the Backpacks, Students, and Teachers. I will be preaching a message for all ages from Luke 15.1-10, and my sermon title is God’s Lost and Found Box. We will also be taking a special offering for Hurricane Dorian Disaster Relief with our partner World Renew Disaster Response Services. For those who wish to give, please make your checks payable to Middletown Reformed Church, and we will then send one check from the church. After worship, we will celebrate our new program year with a brunch in the Education Building. A free will offering will be taken to support the ministries of the church. My goodness. Look at what the Spirit is doing at MRC just this Sunday! 


If you’ve been away for the summer, or maybe even longer, I invite you to come “home” to MRC for Rally Day. As you are aware, all of God’s beloved are welcomed, all are affirmed, and all are celebrated. And if you know someone who is looking for a church to attend, this is the perfect time to invite them. I know many in our congregation have come because they were extended a personal invitation from a member of MRC. That’s how the Holy Spirit works. That’s how we build the reign of God here on earth, by telling someone that we know a place where they will feel the love of God in a meaningful and profound way; then that person brings all their gifts for ministry, and the concentric circles of God’s love and grace keep going out and out and out into our world. Thanks be to God!


In gratitude for the joy of being your Pastor and the holy call of loving you,


Pastor Trish


The Starting Point of Worship

posted Sep 7, 2019, 5:56 AM by Tricia Sheffield

The grace of our friend and Savior be with you all!


Worshiping God has many elements — prayer, liturgy, confession, the Word preached, offering, and most certainly music. But before all this, worship starts with us making ourselves available to be with God in our faith community. Last Sunday we had such a soul-stirring worship, especially in regards to music. Our trio blessed the congregation with various songs and a Taize chant, and Juliet Gallagher had some of us in tears with her rendition of “Amazing Grace.” As I watched many of you cry, close your eyes in prayer, or sing along with Juliet, I remembered a quote from Carl Orff I had previously sent to Judy, Music begins inside human beings, and so must any instruction. Not at the instrument, not with the first finger, nor with the finger position, not with this or that chord. The starting point is one’s own stillness, listening to oneself, the ‘being ready for music’ listening to one’s own heart-beat and breathing. 


Your faces and your varied reactions are what moved me to tears last week; I witnessed your being ready for God as Juliet sang. And because we were ready, still, and breathing in God’s amazing grace; indeed, the Holy Spirit hovered over and around us, singing and worshiping along.


The music this Sunday at MRC will be just as special. Dan Hillyer will be singing the Prelude, “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’” and Deborah Shields will be chanting a portion of Psalm 139 and singing “Spirit of the Living God.” I will be preaching from Luke 14.25-33 and my sermon title is When We Follow Jesus . . .


I will see you in God’s house on Sunday. Come, let us worship God!


In gratitude for the joy of being your Pastor and the holy call of loving you,


Pastor Trish


The Wisdom of Pooh Bear

posted Aug 30, 2019, 10:19 AM by Tricia Sheffield

Grace and peace to you in the name of our Friend and Savior, Jesus! I came back from vacation on Monday, and I’m very glad to be amongst the beautiful people of MRC once again.


The other day a friend of mine on Facebook shared the photo below and I knew when I saw it, especially as we enter into the unofficial end of summer, I had to share it you. It’s from The Tao of Pooh.



 

Yes, summer is ending and next week many of us will be back at school or starting new programs and projects. As we do, though, I hope you will embrace the wisdom of Pooh and listen first. Listen for God; listen for peace; listen to the birds and squirrels; listen to your heart; and listen to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit. It’s much better care for the soul than being Busy and doing something others deem Important. And when we practice the important art of listening, this creates a space in which to do the vital ministry that God is calling us to share with our community. 


Come to church this Sunday at 10:30 AM and listen for what is important — a word from God. We have very special music planned for worship with a trio — Juliet Gallagher, Dan Pannebaker, and Izaak Thorpe — leading us in song. Juliet will be the featured soloist for the anthem, “Amazing Grace." And our Offertory will be a Taize all-sing called “The Kingdom of God is Justice and Peace.” I will be preaching from Luke 14.1, 7-14 and my sermon title is A Place at the Table. Also, we will gather around God’s table of grace and celebrate the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper together.


I have missed worshiping with you! I look forward to being with you in God’s beautiful house on Sunday and sharing the peace of Christ with you.


In gratitude for the joy of being your Pastor and the holy call of loving you,


Pastor Trish

Thoughts While Observing Mr. Red

posted Aug 10, 2019, 6:13 AM by Tricia Sheffield

Grace and peace to you!


How is your summer going? Have you traveled? Read some books? Gone to the beach? Or enjoyed the hot lazy days of summer quietly at home? For me, it has been more of the latter. I have been mindful to follow my own gentle call to be still and know during this season. And the other day, I was so grateful I was being still, for I would have missed something had I been busy or distracted.


I was sitting outside watching the many birds come to the feeder. There were purple finches, sparrows, blue jays, mourning doves, grackles, and cardinals. One particular male cardinal — I call him Mr. Red — was underneath the feeder, feasting on the seeds being cast down by other birds. Next to him was a baby bird, squeaking with mouth open, tittering its wings, begging for Mr. Red to feed it. 


But the baby bird wasn’t a cardinal. It was a cowbird.


Some of you may know that cowbirds don’t raise their young. They are brood parasites. They lay their eggs in other birds’ nests, and those birds then sit on the eggs until they are hatched. I’m not sure if the host bird realizes that the incubating eggs are of a different species but it doesn’t seem to matter. I witnessed Mr. Red feeding baby cowbird for several days in a row, making sure the little one survived. 


Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them (Matthew 6.26).


Even though cowbirds don’t “parent” their young, somehow God has designed it that they will survive and flourish through the care of other birds. 


Oh, that humans could learn a lesson from Mr. Red! That no matter what, no matter who, no matter where, we would take care of each other, recognizing that each person on this planet is a child of God and worthy of dignity and love and God’s grace; and that we, as people of faith, are commanded to love our neighbor as ourself. I am grateful that I serve a congregation that gets this truth. Thank you for being a church of Mr. Reds! My prayer is that as we continue to witness in our community to God’s love, more and more people will see this love shining through us, and God’s peace will take flight into our world. 


Come this Sunday and let’s witness to God’s love, peace, and care together! As it is the Second Sunday, we will have our first service at 8:30 AM. Come early to church and worship God in our beautiful Meditation Garden. We will celebrate the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper outside in creation. Sarah Gordon will be playing flute and Mike Steib will sing and bless our souls. And then, at 10:30 AM we will worship again. A special quartet — Debbie Burke, Diane Grady, Dan Pannebaker, and Izaak Thorpe —  will sing the anthem, “Spirit Song” and the Offertory song, "Faith, While Trees Are Still In Blossom.” I will be preaching from Hebrews 11.1-3, 8-16 and my sermon title is The Things Hoped For. 


See you in church!


In gratitude for the joy of being your Pastor and the holy call of loving you,


Pastor Trish


We Do! Once Again

posted Aug 2, 2019, 8:46 AM by Tricia Sheffield

Grace and peace to you!


After worship this Sunday we will have the 14th Annual Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II Youth Group Memorial Scholarship BBQ and Picnic where we will remember and honor our beloved Dennis, who gave the ultimate sacrifice for his country. In addition, we will award seven $500 scholarships to our continuing and beginning college students, and enjoy LOTS of food and wonderful conversation on the Great Lawn of the church and inside the air-conditioned Education Building. A special thanks to Jo-Ann LoSapio and the Scholarship Committee for their good, hard work that has made this day possible.


As many of you know, this event is always a special time in the life of our church. Not only do we get to worship and break bread together, but we also get to live out, once more, the vows we made to these young adults so long ago. The Memorial Scholarship BBQ and Picnic helps us to remember the promise we made to them when we answered the following question at their baptism: Do you promise to love, encourage, and support these brothers and sisters by teaching the gospel of God’s love, by being an example of Christian faith and character, and by giving the strong support of God’s family in fellowship, prayer, and service? At that moment in their lives, we responded with a joyous “We do,” and we continue to say we do when we encourage them through our financial support, love, and prayers for the next step in their life’s journey. I am convinced that our young people know that they are unconditionally loved by God, and also loved by this church. And MRC beloved, I hope you understand what an incredible gift you are to them. I am very proud to be the pastor of a church that has committed so steadfastly to our young adult’s lives. So, thank you. Thank you. I am grateful for your witness to Love in the world.


Come this Sunday at 10:30 AM to worship with your church family. Judith Daugherty, Director of Music, will play a special piece by Chopin called Prelude (Raindrop) Opus 28, No.15 in D-flat Major. I will be preaching from Hosea 11.1-11 and Luke 12.13-21, the Parable of the Fool. My sermon title is Don’t Be a Fool! We will celebrate the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper around God’s wide-open-welcome table, and after worship we will gather around the picnic table to continue the feast of God.


I look forward to welcoming you to God’s house where we will bless our scholarship recipients as they go into the world. 


May the rhythms of your creation be the heartbeat which sustains our very life. May the lamp of your word guide our feet on the unsure paths of each day. May your breathing be the winds which lead us across strange new oceans. 


Go in the name of the Spirit who moves across the surface of the waters and in the beating of the human heart,

Go in the name of Jesus, the God-Man who died, rose and lives on for us,

Go in the name of the Creator and re-Creator, the mother of grace. Amen. 


In gratitude for the joy of being your Pastor and the holy call of loving you,


Pastor Trish

Prayer Musings

posted Jul 26, 2019, 1:02 PM by Tricia Sheffield

Grace and peace to you in the name of our friend and Savior Jesus Christ!


Prayer is a gift, and it is always my great joy to pray for you and with you anytime and anywhere. As our lectionary text this Sunday centers around the Lord’s Prayer and Jesus instructing us on how to pray, I thought I would go back and look at some of my thoughts concerning the life and meaning of prayer. I was especially drawn to the following two quotes: 


Prayer is the breath of faith. — Pope Francis


We are not asked to believe in prayer. We are asked to believe in the God to whom we pray. — M. Craig Barnes


I also looked at a sermon on John 17, specifically Jesus’ final words around that last supper table. Those last words? They were a prayer for his disciples. Certainly, Jesus went to be alone and pray quite often, and I’ve always been curious as to what he prayed during those times. In John we get a glimpse. Jesus, knowing he was going back to God, prayed for his beloved followers and for what they would have to endure once he was gone. Jesus, the Son of God, the second person of the Holy Trinity, the Lord of all, who is one with the Creator and the Sustainer of the universe, prayed for his friends. 

 

So often we are the ones who pray to Jesus, petitioning him, thanking him, maybe even pleading with him. But how many of us have considered that Jesus is praying for us? In the Gospel of John, Jesus knows he’s about to die and instead of praying for himself saying, “Please, God, don’t let it be that bad," he prays for his followers, claiming them as his own, and thus as God’s own. And then a bit further, Jesus prays for those who will believe in him through the witness of the disciples. 


When Jesus prayed, he prayed for us. 


The Savior of the world prayed for us. And thanks be to God, the Savior of the world is still praying for us!


This is because Jesus knew that through prayer we are in a place of direct connection and intimacy with God. And we achieve this intimate relationship when we pray and claim the power of the Holy Spirit as given to us through Christ. It is through the power of the Spirit in prayer that we can discern God’s will for our lives; it is by listening to the Spirit that we can live out our call; it is by being still during prayer that we are held in God’s arms, like the beloved children of God we are.


So, beloved one of God, come to church this Sunday at 10:30 AM and join with your church family in learning about Persistent, Insistent Prayer. I’ve asked a few of our members t0 help “write” my sermon by giving them two questions to answer regarding their prayer life. I will be sharing some of their thoughts in my sermon as well as what the Holy Spirit whispered to me this week regarding our Scripture text, Luke 11.1-13. Nancy Coffin will be our featured soloist for our anthem, “The Lord’s Prayer.” If you are not local to Middletown and would like to know what the two questions are, I invite you to email me and I will send them to you. And I certainly do want to hear your answers!


Prayer is the breath of faith. As you will often hear me say, keep breathing.


In gratitude for the joy of being your Pastor and the holy call of loving you,


Pastor Trish

Summer Sabbath Time

posted Jul 19, 2019, 9:05 AM by Tricia Sheffield

Grace and peace to you!


I say it every summer. I’m going to slow down, take some time to read, reflect, have more intentional prayer time, maybe go on a day-long silent retreat upstate, and listen more closely for God’s voice. In other words, I’ve made countless summer resolutions to spend quality Sabbath time, as Episcopal priest Barbara Brown Taylor (BBT) describes it, With sundown on the Sabbath, I stop seeing the dust balls, the bills, and the laundry. They are still there, but they lose their power over me. One day each week I live as if all my work were done. I live as if the kingdom has come, and when I do the kingdom comes, for one day at least. Now, when I know the Sabbath is near, I can feel the anticipation bubbling up inside of me. Sabbath is no longer a good idea or even a spiritual discipline for me. It is my regular date with the Divine Presence that enlivens both body and soul. 


Doesn’t that sound lovely? And yet . . .


When I make the commitment to have Sabbath, I start out pretty well, but then eventually, when I’m praying and being quiet, my Protestant work ethic kicks in and I see those dust balls, or think, I need to do laundry, or I really need to clean the cat litter. Then quiet, sitting still Sabbath time with God becomes get-up and do time, and the opportunity to enliven my body and soul becomes forgotten in the tasks of the day. I’m especially mindful of how my inability to go slower is ironically at odds with our summer sermon series, Be Still and Know. Hmmm . . .


But yesterday was different. As I didn’t take my usual day off on Monday, I decided I would have my day of rest yesterday. Yes, I may have done some cleaning, but once my chores were done, I decided to go and get a manicure-pedicure. Oh, how indulgent! Strangely, something within me battled going to the salon. I really didn’t want to spend an hour-and-a-half away from home just sitting in a chair. I felt fidgety, thinking my time would be better used doing some catch-up administrative work. But, I went anyway. And instead of reading a magazine or a book, or scrolling through Facebook, I let go of my uneasiness, closed my eyes and prayed, talking with God, or rather, asking God a lot of questions. And after yammering on, I grew quiet and listened.


BBT was correct. 


I may not have taken the entire day to be still, but in those two hours, the kingdom did come, at least for a bit. And my soul was not only enlivened, it was refreshed and centered, and my fidgetiness went away.


My prayer for you this summer is that you will take your Sabbath, and not see dust balls, bills, laundry, or whatever else distracts you from being still in the Divine Presence. My hope is that when you are quiet before Christ, the kingdom will come and you will rest easy in the amazing grace we are lavishly given each day.


Come this Sunday at 10:30 AM to be in the presence of the Divine and witness a glimmer of the kingdom coming. Please note that due to the excessive heat, worship will be in the air-conditioned Education Building. We have a lot of special music this week, and Juliet Gallagher, Dan Pannebaker, Izaak Thorpe, Jacie Thorpe, and James Zeller will lead us in song. There will also be a Visible Proclamation of the Word portion of our Scripture reading called “The Dinner Party.” I will be preaching from Luke 10.38-42 and my sermon title is Word and Work. 


I look forward to welcoming you on Sunday as we gather to worship our God who loves us more than we can ask or imagine. 


In gratitude for the joy of being your Pastor and the holy call of loving you,


Pastor Trish


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