Sincerely hope this finds you all well and warm! At least around the Green, yesterday's snow storm was the best kind: coated the landscape, but left sidewalks and pavements almost entirely bare! Winter is forecast to hold on tightly this week: In the event of snow, please check with program leaders about scheduled events before venturing out.
Remember our parish policy for weekday activities is to follow the lead of the Guilford Public Schools: If school buildings are closed for the day; so are we. Here I'm writing about snow, and it is time to Begin Daylight Saving Time this Sunday! This is totally screwy! Remember to "spring forward" before going to bed.
With the beginning of Lent, we entered into a purple season. The altar and processional crosses are veiled in purple as a reminder of the "veil" of our human willfulness that separates us from seeing God. This is a jarring contrast to the season of Epiphany and its repeated revelations of God's presence in Jesus Christ.
Also this Lent, the altar is vested in a hanging we haven't seen for some years. It matches our purple chasuble and stole. Take a close look at the embroidered crown of thorns and three nails used to crucify Jesus. The loving care of the embroidery underscores the brutality of Jesus' passion.
With the blessing of the Vestry, and as part of our parish Lenten journey, we are "trying on" our new Mission statement. At both the 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. services, we are beginning our worship by proclaiming together and out loud, "Our Mission:"
To welcome all, provide hope, nurture our community,
celebrate our faith, and to express our gratitude
for God's love and Creation.
Over the course of Lent, we will get a sense for how the statement sounds, how it rolls off the tongue, and how it squares with what we believe God is calling us to do and be in this place.
A profound Sarum bow, to Jennifer Huebner, her helpers, and the Ekklesia Contemporary Ballet for last Sunday's moving insight into the experience of refugees through the medium of dance. The dancers held children of all ages spellbound!
Two things helped the Parish Hall look so good:
The Rev. Ann Broomell, our Celebration Sunday preacher, provides this week's reflection on "Our Holy Land" as she shares inspiring experiences of her pilgrimages to Israel and Palestine. A pilgrimage to our Holy Land brings one in contact with both the setting of the Scriptures and with challenging current events. One is moved to "pray for the peace of Jerusalem" and all the Holy Land. You can find Ann's reflection here.
If you've been following Lent Madness this week, you learned why Raymond Nonnatus -- a monk who freed slaves -- became the patron saint of midwives, pregnant women and newborn babies, and the inspiration of "Nonnatus House" in PBS's popular series, "Call the Midwife." Just one of the great insights about this week's competitors for the "Golden Halo." Copies of the "Definitive Guide" are still available for $2 each. To participate on-line go to www.lentmadness.org.
In faith and hope,
We feature various authors from around our parish, commenting on topics of interest to our community. Enjoy! Comment if you are so moved!