Pentecost: Please Wear Red or Orange! Thanks & Farewell to Pat W at Parish Picnic; Sunday School Year Ending
June 8, 2019
Yesterday evening I accompanied a group of our youngsters, and chaperones, to a Shabbat (Sabbath) service at Temple Beth Tikvah in Madison. We were welcomed very graciously to their pre-service "Oneg" (reception) that featured sung blessings of bread and wine by a young woman whose Bat Mitzvah is today. Near the close of the service, Rabbi Stacy Offner explained that they were nearing the end of an important "counting season:" they were counting the 50 days between Passover and Shavuot -- the meal that protected ancient Israel from the destroyer, leading to their freedom from Pharaoh's bonds, and the Israelite's arrival at the foot of Mt. Sinai and receiving the Torah (first five books of the Bible).
I hope the connections to the Christian feasts of Easter and Pentecost are ringing in your minds. During Passover, "Christ our Passover was sacrificed for us" on Good Friday and then raised on Easter to new life, freeing us from the bonds of sin and death. We have also been counting the days and weeks of Eastertide; this Sunday will be the 50th day, i.e. Pentecost in Greek. Pentecost gained new meaning for Christians with the gift of the Holy Spirit that, just as Jesus had promised, came upon his friends, sending them into the streets to boldly proclaim God's love for peoples of "every language, tribe, and nation."
Because the Holy Spirit came in a form "something like" wind and flame, it has become something of a tradition for us to wear red or orange on Pentecost. Of course, wearing orange has also taken on the added meaning of working to prevent gun violence -- seems like an activity of the Holy Spirit to me!
Our Pentecost celebration will send us spilling out into the parish's backyard for our Annual Parish Picnic and to celebrate Pat Wakefield's 21 years of faithful ministry with us. As with all of our picnics, there will be the usual hot dogs and hamburgers, but also -- to honor Pat & Curtiss's new home in South Carolina -- there will be southern fried chicken and a potluck of southern side dishes and desserts that you all provide. This is my excuse to get out a favorite squash casserole recipe that I haven't made since I left Chattanooga
In addition to eating well and enjoying each other's company, we will take a few moments to thank Pat for her pivotal role supporting the worship, witness and fellowship of Christ Church over all these years. She has been our in-house institutional memory, and the always cheerful voice answering the phone. There will also be a few gifts to present including a generous "purse" which we are funding together. Additional donations have been arriving all week, and the "Thanks & Farewell" envelopes for Pat are still available on the Ushers' Table; Please make your checks out to Christ Church with "Thanks Pat!" on the memo line.
This Sunday will also be the final sessions for our Sunday's 2018-19 academic year. Special thanks to our teachers, mentors and subs Donna LaFata, Becky Patino, Stephanie Hutchinson, Melissa Perez and Page Pelphrey! You've provided a wonderful year of welcome, community and learning to support our children's growth in the love and knowledge of our Lord!
Although Sunday School is concluding its season, Vacation Bible School isn't that far off! June 24-28 There'll be Bible stories and related crafts, songs, playtime, and of course, snacks! The code words for the week are Faith, Boldness, Kindness, Thankfulness & Hope with some fun facts about Mars to share as well! Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to register.
In addition to her ministry with our middle-school youngsters, Page Pelphrey also helps lead youth from Connecticut in offering Vacation Bible School in the Dominican Republic. Here's the list of items needed for the DR Vacation Bible School:
Children's scissors Sticker name tags Glue-sticks Frizbees
Index cards Gallon zip-lock bags Construction paper
Feathers Beads Cupcake liners Bubbles and bubble wands
Thanks to our Synagogue chaperones Donna & Anthony LaFata, Page Pelphrey, and Rebecca Evans.
A heads-up regarding the Parish Office June 10-20. I'll be participating in the Holy Land Pilgrimage of the Episcopal Church in CT, and Jack-the-dog will be at his doggie resort. Mark Sullivan and other volunteers will be checking voice mail and email messages. Please coordinate access to the building with Mark Sullivan (MarkCEC@snet.net). Please welcome the Rev. Mary Anne Osborn as your celebrant and preacher on June 16. Thanks in advance for your patience and understanding during my absence.
In the meantime, I look forward to joining with you tomorrow to celebrate Pentecost and to express our gratitude and farewells to Pat Wakefield!
With the Spirit's faith, hope, and love,
p.s. Last Sunday, my sermon included a quotation from Martin Luther King Jr.s' "Letter from Birmingham Jail." I nailed it at 8a.m., but fumbled it at 10a.m. Here it is,"Injustice anywhere threatens justice everywhere."
We feature various authors from around our parish, commenting on topics of interest to our community. Enjoy! Comment if you are so moved!