Dear church family,
As we come to the end of another busy week, let us pause to catch our
breath, to remember the good and the bad, and the work yet to be done: in
the world, across our nation, amongst our church community, in our
families, and deep within our own hearts.
We can express gratitude for steps in a positive, healing direction for issues
of racial injustice while we continue to pray and to advocate for much more
progress to occur in our nation, our neighborhoods, even in our very own
The environment and issues surrounding it are more in our newsfeeds and
hopefully on our hearts and minds this week as we celebrate Earth Day. I
invite you, if you haven’t done so recently, to recommit to taking personal
steps to contribute to healing our planet and to become involved in
advocating for healing change at a larger level.
“Heart” is a word that seems to pop up repeatedly as I write today. Perhaps
that’s because I’ve been reading Christine Valters Paintner’s Earth: Our
Original Monastery, upon which our current sermon series is based. In this
book, Christine writes in depth about “cultivating wonder and gratitude
through intimacy with nature.” She discusses the interconnectedness of all
of Creation, but with an emphasis on us learning from, rather than
dominating or destroying, nature. With each page that I’ve read, my own
heart has felt recognized, comforted, included in that huge web of God’s
good Creation. And taking her advice and visiting my neighborhood park
with no agenda, no plan for what I was going to “accomplish” is one of the
most heart-healing things I’ve done in awhile.
So friends, please consider pausing, breathing, praying, and contemplating
in nature sometime soon. One way to do this is to join us in outdoor worship
on the 2nd and 4th Sundays at 8:30 am at the outdoor sanctuary. Your heart
might just be glad that you did!