Let's gather in worship online
on our website, our Facebook and Twitter pages,
and our YouTube channel

Sunday, March 20 with / Domingo, 20 de marzo con

The Rev. Kaji Douša

11:00 am ET
Rooted in Movement: The Things We Learn

Beloved Friends,

I hope that you are finding spaces that renew your energy as you journey through Lent. The ways that we are called to move in this world together offers such beautiful spaces of connection and growth. I wonder how movement has impacted your understanding of Lent this year? As we move toward offering an in-person worship experience as well, I have been reflecting on the ways we have moved through these past few years. Sometimes I have felt stuck and other times I have felt like I have moved mountains. We have overcome a lot together and I am so excited to move toward all that is yet to come. I hope that you will join us for this coming Sunday and the Bible Study, Worship, and SoulFood Fellowship that are such a wonderful part of this beloved community.
These past few weeks we have been spending a lot of time in the creation stories and I have really enjoyed it. Knowing that we serve and love a creating and recreating God is such a gift to this journey of life. God’s steadfast desire to move and grow with us, to be present to us, to call us forward has been such a comfort during these times of great uncertainty. And yet even though I know that God’s grace is one that is offered freely and without exception, I still sometimes fall into old habits of defensive blame and shame when I slip up. One of the greatest gifts I have even been given was being taught how to apologize authentically and honestly.  When we are young, we are often told to apologize and then a quick “I’m sorry” is expected. But what could it mean to teach every person the meaning and power of a true apology at every age? From faith to fellowship, activism to acquaintances, apologies have the incredible power to build community. And while not every apology deserves to be or will be forgiven within humanity, that is not the case with God. This week’s scripture is one we all probably know well, and it has me thinking about apologies. How might this story have turned out different if the man had accepted responsibility for his own actions and apologized, rather than finger point to the woman. How might we understand and value women differently in the church had the woman done the same? Why did God not just teach these two young humans how to apologize, lament, change, and grow? Luckily, we get to learn from the missteps of our biblical foreparents and then aid in the relational work of community for generations to come. Let us read together our passage from the book of Genesis and reflect on the questions below.

8 The woman and man heard the sound of the SOVEREIGN God walking about in the garden in the breezy part of the day, and the woman and her man hid themselves from the presence of the SOVEREIGN God among the trees of the garden. 9 Then the SOVEREIGN God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 And the man said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked and I hid myself.” 11 Then God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat from the tree which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 And the man said, “The woman whom you gave to stand with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the SOVEREIGN God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” 14 The SOVEREIGN God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
cursed are you among all herd animals
and among all wild creatures;
upon your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat, all the days of your life.
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
her offspring will strike your head,
and you will strike the heel of her offspring.”
16 To the woman God said,
“I will greatly increase your painful toil and your pregnancies;
in pain shall you birth children,
and your desire shall be for your man, yet he shall rule with you.”
17 And to the man God said,
“Because you have listened to the voice of your woman,
and have eaten of the tree which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat from it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in painful toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life.
18 Thorn and thistle shall it grow for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow
shall you eat bread
until you return to the ground;
for out of it you were taken,
you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
20 The man named his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all living. 21 And the SOVEREIGN God made garments of skins for the woman and her man and clothed them.

Genesis 3:8-21 (Year W)

  • Who taught you how to apologize?
  • What do you need to forgive someone else?
  • Is it ever too late to say sorry?
  • Why do you think the man blamed the woman when he knows that God knows the truth?
  • When God created humans and called them good, did God have this moment in mind as well? Does God change God’s mind?
  • God made garments for the humans, which seems to affirm their ability to gain and use knowledge. What might that teach us about being accountable to the things we learn?

Shalom Y'all
Rev. Stephanie


Simple Prayer: O God, Help me to know when and how to say “I am sorry” well. Amen
Children and Youth Ministry Update
from Nordia Bennett, Children’s Minister