What a treat this last week’s worship was. I came out of it ready to seek justice in bold and prophetic new ways. I give thanks for all who joined us in person and online. Speaking of online, this is just a reminder that as you finish up final summer travels and get back into the swing of the fall rhythm, I wanted to remind you all to follow us on all social media platforms so that you can worship with us even when you aren’t in the sanctuary…and then continue to do so throughout the week by sharing our online content with your friends! God is doing some really cool work here! No matter how you show up, I hope you will worship with us this Sunday.
This is the final Sunday of our Nevertheless She Preached series and where best to end… than at the beginning. This week through the story of her creation and naming we hear about how this preacher prophet of Eve, came to be. Read Eve’s story from the book of Genesis found in the Hebrew Bible portion of our scriptures.
“2: 7 So God fashioned an earth creature out of the clay of the earth, and blew into its nostrils the breath of life. And the earth creature became a living being.... 18 Then God said, “it is not good for the earth creature to be alone. I will make a fitting companion for it.” 19 So from the soil God formed all the various wild beasts and all the birds of the air, and brought them to the earth creature to be named. Whatever the earth creature called each one, that became its name. 20 The earth creature gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of the air, and all the wild animals. But none of them proved to be a fitting companion, 21 so God made the earth creature fall into a deep sleep, and while it slept, God divided the earth creature in two, then closed up the flesh from its side. 22 God then fashioned the two halves into male and female, and presented them to one another....“3: 20 Adam, or “Humanity,” named the woman Eve, or “Life-giver,” because she became the mother of all the living.”
The mother of all the living. What an incredible gift. In our translation, this is the first time that mother is mentioned in the Bible. Which as I read this week’s scripture, it got me thinking about another first in our lives. Pastor Kaji is the first woman that has served The Park as the Senior Minister. And like Eve, Pastor Kaji has given a new life to this community and its ministries. Like God’s prayerful consideration of the needs of the earth creature and all its inhabitants, this community prayerfully called an incredible leader to cast vision and journey with you as we navigate our faith lives together. Women who come first in our stories, carry incredible weight. They help us see things differently and wholly (and holy) change the way people see themselves in their scriptures, church leadership, and overall communities of faith. But women who come first also carry the weight of being first. The weight of people not trusting their history, their qualifications, their God-given spiritual gifts. Women who come first don’t just show up out of nowhere. They pave the way and have been hard at work with God clearing a path for them to emerge. And make no mistake about it, every woman in your life is on this path in some way or another, as you yourself may be.
By almost anyone’s estimation, a deeper faith and a stronger spirituality are needed more now than ever before in human history. Every age has its challenges, but the 21st century presents a unique set of barriers to living authentically as a Christian. At this year’s Senior Adult Fall Conference, we will explore two means of nurturing our life of faith for these new challenges: developing stronger spiritual disciplines, both ancient and new, and advocating for peace, justice, and equity for all. We will do this while immersing ourselves in the wisdom and grace of Holy Scripture.
The Conference will include interactive keynotes, engaging worship, social service projects, and ample unscheduled free time. The Conference begins with dinner on Tuesday, September 4 and concludes after breakfast on Friday, September 7. To sign up go to http://www.cccadisciples.org/camp/ or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.