Forming and Nurturing Our Faith Continuing to Learn and Grow – For All Ages
Faith Formation Resources for the beginning weeks of the new year. Fun projects you can do at home for the entire Family! Click the buttons below to print yours.
Remember: The little ones feel “Quarantine Fatigue” too! It’s important to keep them engaged and provide outlets for their creativity. We know parents everywhere must be chomping at the bit for schools to be back in session and regular activities return to pre-Covid schedules. We hope this series of activities provides some quality time for your family during this holiday season!
Sunday, February 5th, 2023 at 10:00 AM in the Church and Zoom Sanctuaries
This coming Sunday, we’ll hold our first “Souljourning” event – welcoming the whole church, and especially kids and their parents, to join in an activity that nurtures natural spiritual development. Learn more about our new initiative here! On 2/5, after 10 am worship, we’ll make necklaces and bracelets of beads – for use in meditation and prayer. We’ll also enjoy a potluck meal. The word “bede” in Anglo-Saxon means “prayer”. Beads have been used in contemplative practice for millennia, all over the world, in many religious traditions.
The Hindu “mala” is a necklace of 108 beads. Each bead is fingered while repeating a mantra. The Buddhists use mala beads in a similar fashion.
The Muslims may have copied the use of beads from the Hindus and Buddhists. They have a rosary of 99 beads, each one marking one of the names/attributes of Allah – with a head bead for Allah. An alternative form is 33 beads, used 3 times to complete the 99 names. The Bahá’í faith uses a similar rosary.
The Catholic Christians may have copied the Muslims in creating rosary beads. “Praying the rosary” involves a series of prayers marked by five “decades” of ten beads each, with a cross at the head of the necklace.
Make your own necklace or bracelet, and use it as you wish! Here’s a suggested practice, based in mindfulness meditation.
Make your necklace or bracelet with any number of beads, with a “head” or larger bead on it. Hold the necklace in your hand. Hold a bead next to the head bead in your fingers. Get into a comfortable position where you’ll stay alert. Practice mindful contemplation: observe, one at a time, each thought, sensation, emotion, or urge that arises – with compassion and releasing judgment about it. As a new experience bubbles up into awareness, roll a bead in your fingers until that experience naturally dissipates. As the next experience arises into your loving, curious, open-hearted and open-minded attention, move to the next bead and roll it with your fingers. When you get to the head bead, hold it in your fingers and savor the experience of compassionate attention itself. In Christian terms, this is the experience of Christ-consciousness – or what the mystics and contemplatives of the church called “union with the divine”. Because prayer = attention = love = God!
See you Sunday! – and invite friends – in particular, young ones.
PS: If you’d like to subscribe to my weekly blog, “musings”, email me at email@example.com and I’ll put you on the list!
P.S.S.: In addition to being your pastor, I’m also the (volunteer) Executive Director of ProgressiveChristiansUniting.org . I’m leading its main project, a new global network of progressive Christian ministries at colleges and universities called ZOE… zoeoncampus.org .
See you on Sunday!
Please join us in our Sanctuary
Join us! Come to Church!
Here is the Zoom Information:
Worship begins at 10:00 AM.
Topic: Sunday Morning Worship Gathering in the Midst
Time: Sundays 9:30 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
In anticipation of our Virtual Worship Gatherings beginning on Sunday, March 22, we are sending out this message to help you navigate the virtual meeting platform, called ZOOM, that we will be using. ZOOM is very easy to use, and anyone can join the meetings (Worship Gatherings, or any other meeting, such as Council, Deacons, Mutual Ministry, Transition Team, Beyonders, Women’s Gathering, or other small groups which we anticipate creating during this time).
First, you will receive an e-mail from the person “hosting” (creating, facilitating) the particular meeting.
Open your e-mail message, and read it to make sure you know the date and time of the specific meeting (for example, for Sunday Worship, the meeting date will be March 22, and the time will be 10:00 AM).
There will be a link for you to click on, taking you right into the ZOOM meeting. Alternatively, there will also be a list of phone numbers for you to use if you prefer to join the meeting by calling in. You will need to have the password handy, so that you can enter it, so that you join the right meeting.
Request Your Zoom Link !
The wonderful thing about using ZOOM is that you don’t need a computer or a smartphone, you can use your landline! Everyone will be able to participate.
Approximately at 9:50 AM, on Sunday morning, open your e-mail message with the invitation to Worship, and click on the provided link (or call in by using one of the provided phone numbers).
If you click on the link, you will automatically join the meeting.
If you call in, you will need to provide the given password.
I encourage you to start early, in case one of the phone numbers doesn’t work and you need to try a different one.
Likewise, sometimes it can take a little time to access ZOOM via computer or smartphone, and we want everyone to be able to join the meeting in a timely manner.
We’ll see you in Worship! Watch your e-mail inbox for up-to-date information, and please share it with those who do not have internet access or an e-mail address. Thank you in advance!
Remember, we are all in this together. Even though we may be scattered throughout the county, the state, the country, or the globe, we are still the Church, united together through our love, our compassion, our commitment, and our faith. We are still God’s family. Now, more than ever, we need one another, and we need God. God is always with us, connecting us heart to heart, spirit to spirit. Know that you may contact Rev. Stacy for pastoral care, support, and counseling to help you through this challenging wilderness of the unexpected. Council members are also available to provide their assistance. We ask for your continued patience as we continue to learn to be the Church in new, exciting ways. We are encouraged by the many ideas we have, and the many opportunities this forced physical distance will bring us all. To God be the glory, now and forever. Amen.
With Peace, Grace, Comfort, and Love in the Time of Coronavirus,
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