This week’s scripture has a lot of similar themes and phrases that we have heard recently. It makes sense because this is the scripture the recounts the moments of Jesus post resurrection but still here on earth. It is Jesus’s final moments and final words to make sure we know what to do, who to be, how to love. So, this week, through this scripture we are invited to reflect and remember the life, death, resurrection, love, hope, teachings, feedings and everything in-between of Jesus. In that reflection may we be open to the Spirit and the ways that God is calling us into our best selves and beloved community. Let us open our hearts, minds, and spirits to the still speaking voice of the living God and read together these last moments of Jesus on earth as told through the Gospel of Luke.
Then Jesus said to them, “Remember the words I spoke when I was still with you: everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets, and the psalms had to be fulfilled.”
Then Jesus opened their minds to the understanding of the scriptures, saying, “That is why the scriptures say that the Messiah must suffer and rise from the dead on the third day. In the Messiah’s name, repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of all this.
“Take note: I am sending forth what Abba God has promised to you. Remain here in the city until you are clothed with the power from on high.”
Then Jesus took them to the outskirts of Bethany, and with upraised hands blessed the disciples. While blessing them, the savior left them and was carried up to heaven. The disciples worshiped the risen Christ and returned to Jerusalem full of joy. They were found in the Temple constantly, speaking the praises of God.
[Luke 24:44-53 (ILB) / Lucas 24:44-53 (NVI)]
I have shared with you before my love of autobiographies on Audible. I love listening to people tell their own stories and hear where people put the inflections on their words to emphasize the points of their stories that are most meaningful and tender. Right now, I am about 1/3 of the way through Broken Horses by Brandi Carlile. I highly recommend it. It weaves well the story of a young woman’s journey through life and faith, and I am grateful for her telling of it. I love how she slows down and whispers or sings to punctuate a thought that is not possible in the written word. I wonder where Jesus put the emphasis when he was speaking? Would he sing the words “Take note” or shout “Remember?”
Friends, there is so much happening in the world. May we reflect, remember and be mindful of where we need to shout and where we need to listen, where we need to act and where we need to rest- the way Jesus taught and modeled to us in life and in scripture.
Simple Prayer: O Lord, Guide my steps for the just world you imagine- your kindom come. Amen.
Children and Youth Ministry Update
from Kelsey Creech, Resident Seminarian
Last Sunday, all our students gathered with Mr. Trevor and Rev. Stephanie. Mr. Trevor brought in a live baby chick from his classroom and spoke about how the chicks from his room had to come home for the weekend because they needed care. He was their mother for the weekend. Then the students had a conversation about the mothering figures in their lives. After this, Rev. Stephanie gave a short scripture lesson on Acts 8:26-40 about the importance of being curious about one another. The children left with the instructions to go be curious about their mom!
This Sunday, our older students will meet at 10 am with me to read Luke 24:44-53. We will discuss the ascension of Jesus and what it means to have our minds opened to understand scripture.
Then at 10:30 am, the younger children and I will meet for our time of Worship. We will read the first half of “The Holy Spirit” in our Tiny Truths Illustrated Bible which tells of Jesus’ ascension. Then we will sing, pray, and say goodbye with a blessing!
I look forward to seeing all of you in worship this Sunday!
A person’s ZIP Code has been shown to have a greater impact on health and well-being than their genetic code, affecting access to education, transportation, and wealth. How is this possible? From Writer/Director Sena Mourad Friedman, Executive Producer Will Lucas, Producer Erickson Blakney and sponsored by The Fair Housing Center comes the provocative new documentary ZIP CODE MATTERS which boldly asks the question and gets profound and insightful answers from the nation’s leading policymakers, nonprofit executives, public health officials and social scientists, researchers, authors, and civil rights and social justice activists. Audiences will learn about the connection between ZIP Codes and the forecast for life outcomes.
Well, it isn't food for your stomach (though when we are able to meet again in person, we will share a brown bag lunch right after church), but it is food — almost a banquet — for your soul.
SoulFood Fellowship is a gathering of The PARK members and friends who get together from near and far after worship on the third Sunday of each month. We engage in conversation that is bound to get you thinking and talking. We discuss and reflect on books, articles, documentary films, or plays —in light of our faith, Bible Study, and concern for social justice.
Right now we’re focusing on Juan Gonzalez’sHarvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America. Don't worry if you haven't read the book. It is a slow read that calls forth loads of discussion and reflection on our country, racism, colonialism, and what God requires of us. We would love to have you join us and share your perspective, experience, hopes, and concerns.
We are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the life-giving ministry of Rev. Allen V. Harris and the Disciples LGBTQ+ Alliance alongside the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Guided by the Spirit, sustained by the Spirit, following the Spirit, Allen has and continues to breathe life into the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). The Rev. Stephanie Kendell will be preaching.
Pandemic of Love is a mutual aid community of care that was started in response to the COVID-19 epidemic. It humbly began on March 14th, 2020 by one person and was intended to help her own local community. But, like an epidemic, the act of love and kindness spread quickly and is now a beautiful movement helping those in need throughout the world.
What is a mutual aid community? It connects people in need with patrons who can help with that need. This is a tangible way for people to give to each other, quickly, discretely and directly.
What’s the catch? There is none. Kind people are introduced to kind people which results in an act of kindness and human connection.