As has become our custom, at the May Congregational Business meeting we announced our new focus for 2018-2019. Beginning with the program year in September, this next year will be “The Year of the Bible.”
Pastor Audrey's blog
“It was a dark and stormy night…” This is the way the Charlie Brown’s beloved dog, Snoopy, began all of his stories about the WWI Flying Ace and his fight against the infamous Red Baron.
Pastor Tim and I were very encouraged by the engagement of The Journey during this past Advent. Several of you came to us and shared how you enjoyed having an opportunity to engage the Christmas story on a different level. Some of you even asked if we would do another book study during Lent, especially since Adam Hamilton advertised one of his Lenten studies in the back of the book we were reading.
Lent is already upon us, beginning with Ash Wednesday on Valentine’s Day and concluding with Easter on April Fool’s Day (it is a unique year to have these holy days connected with other holidays). During Lent this year we hope to learn more about our God through learning more about Jesus. To do this we will be exploring Jesus’ “I AM” statements from the Gospel of John each week in worship.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year and the beauty of the season is always a favorite of mine. Many of you know that I love children’s books. One book that I acquired this past year is a little book called “Why Christmas Trees Aren’t Perfect” by Richard H. Schneider and illustrated by Elizabeth J. Miles. This is a profound little book, filled with thoughtful reflection on the season.
As you may have already heard, our fall Love Feast is undergoing some changes this year. Love Feast in the fall will continue to be on World Communion Sunday which this year is October 1st, but this year we are going to move Love Feast right after the 11:00am worship service.
Our 2017 Annual Conference theme was “Risk Hope.” During our Sunday morning worship on August 20, we will spend some time reflecting on the week of Annual Conference, both the business and the theme. To prepare for this time, I am going to give you some of my initial reflections from the week of conference. We don’t often think about hope being a risky venture, but it is, in fact, something that comes with a cost. Hope often means looking beyond what seems to be our current reality.
Reconcile: Conflict Transformation for Ordinary Christians by John Paul Lederach
I have been reading this book that I bought at last year’s Annual Conference. I read several books written by John Paul Lederach in college as a Peace Studies minor and was pleased to see that he had written a new book. Lederach is well known by Anabaptists for his work in conflict transformation. This new book, Reconcile: Conflict Transformation for Ordinary Christians, is a different style for Lederach.
As we enter into June, Pastor Tim and I begin our fourth year of ministry with the Hagerstown Church of the Brethren. Can you believe how fast the time flies? Each year we have marked the movement into another year of ministry by naming a focus for the new year. Hopefully, you remember that this past year we focused on strengthening our biblical call to hospitality. This focus was to prepare us for this year’s focus on being invitational.
The transition from March to April brings with it the hope of spring. It has always made perfect sense to me that it is during this seasonal change that we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus. A season that is abounding with images of re-creation and new life is the perfect time to remember the resurrection of Jesus and the new life he offers to each of us. Holy Week is a special time in the life of the Church, carrying us from Palm Sunday to Easter morning.