I recently read a book by Rabbi Naomi Levy, called “Einstein and the Rabbi.” The book was recommended by a colleague. There are parts of this work that I found to be insightful. One comment that resonated with me is the following:
“There is something we’ve already conceived that is pleading with us, ‘Let me be born.’ Maybe it’s a creative endeavor – a book, a painting, a poem, a song, a script, a story, a business idea. Maybe it’s a career shift. You’ve been privately dreaming about it and exploring it but doing nothing about it. Maybe it’s the words ‘I’m sorry,’ or the words ‘I love you,’ or the words ‘I forgive you.’ They are formed inside your mouth, but you haven’t gathered up the courage to actually speak them.”
Based upon my experience, there are times in our lives when something can feel “already conceived” within us, and yet we can struggle to give it the attention we should or to find the courage to act. There are things we can do, however, which can help us bring these promptings of the Spirit forth. Prayer and journaling are two very helpful practices in this regard. Honestly praying about something that feels like God has placed within us, as well as writing about it can help move these things along towards birth. Practices like this can help us “own” what we know to be true but are still struggling to embrace. They can help us acknowledge what it is that is waiting inside us to be born. Of course, another thing that can be helpful in this regard is sharing what we feel stirring within us with another trusted person; a spouse, a friend, congregation member, colleague, or pastor. Doing so, once again, can help make what feels “already conceived” additionally “real” and provide us with some healthy accountability. Sharing with another what we feel the Spirit of God may be nudging us toward can offer additional support as we try to make progress toward this goal.
This month we begin the sacred season of Lent. As the church, we will mark the start of this season with a special service on Ash Wednesday, February 14th at 7 PM. During the weeks leading up to the celebration of the resurrection and the gift of new life, perhaps we can be additionally intentional about listening more carefully to what God has placed within us, to what feels “already conceived,” and then commit to doing something to bring it to birth in our lives. Committing the issue or situation to prayer, starting a journal about it, or turning to a trusted friend can help us not only more clearly identify what the Spirit of God has placed in our hearts but encourage us to do our part in taking the necessary steps to bring what has been placed there to life.
I’ll close with a poem I came across years ago about the importance of bringing things to birth. It is written by the late Jesuit Priest Daniel Berrigan. It too is about the need to act upon what God has already“conceived” within us.
“For every 10,000 words, there’s a deed, floating somewhere, head down, unborn. Words can’t make it happen. They only wave it away, unwanted. Yet, Child, necessary one, unless you come home to my hands, why hands at all? Your season, your cries, are their skill, their reason.”
May this season of Lent, be a time of paying attention to that which God has placed within us, and not being afraid of taking a step toward acting upon what we have come to believe – God has indeed “conceived within us.”
Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew is one of the most important sections of scripture. It contains a collection of very significant teachings of Jesus. This nine-week study led by Pastor John will hopefully help us all more fully appreciate this wisdom of Jesus, and how his words are meant to show us more clearly what it means to live as children of God.
The first session will begin on Tuesday, February 27th, and continue through Tuesday April 16th. An in-person class will be offered at 12:30 PM in the Parish Hall, and an online on Tuesday evening at 6:30 PM. All are welcome to participate. Please sign up ahead of time in the Parish Hall or contact Pastor John via email if you’d like to participate. The schedule for the classes is listed below.
Tuesday February 27th The Beatitudes Matthew 5:1-12
Tuesday, March 5th “The Chosen’s” Interpretation Video
Tuesday, March 12th Salt, Light, and the Law Matthew 5:13-20
Tuesday, March 19th You Have Heard that It Was Said. Matthew 5:21-37
Tuesday, March 26th But I Say to You! Matthew 5:38-48
Tuesday, April 2nd Practicing Piety Matthew 6:1-18
Tuesday, April 9th Possessions and Trusting God Matthew 6:19-34
Tuesday, April 16th Judgment, and the Narrow Way Matthew 7:1-14
Tuesday, April 23rd In Conclusion Matthew 7:15-28
Cape Cod and the Islands American Guild of Organists is sponsoring a hymn sing for Sunday, February 11th at 3 PM. This event is free, and refreshments will be served.
The hymn sing is being held at Corpus Christi Church, 324 Quaker Meetinghouse Road, East Sandwich.
Come and join voices with other choirs to celebrate the great tradition of hymnody from multicultural sources.
For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
On Wednesday, February 14th at 7:00 PM we’ll be having a special service in our sanctuary to mark the beginning of the Season of Lent. Lent is a period of forty days, not counting Sundays, meant to prepare us for the celebration of the resurrection on Easter Sunday. (March 31st). During this service we will listen to some special music, sing, pray, hear words from scripture, and a brief meditation will be offered. In addition, ashes will be made available during the service for all who would like to receive them.
After having a banner year in 2023, and some much-needed time for our faithful volunteers to renew and refresh, the Thrift Shop and Furniture Barn will reopen for the season on Thursday, February 15th.
The Barn Crew
Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast
Work sessions have started up again to continue to spruce up the upstairs of the Parish Hall and make it a clean, fresh, and welcoming space. The new flooring that has been installed looks great! We thank the Trustees for making this investment and David Dovell and co-worker Brian for the excellent job being done. Additional dates are being planned to continue with the painting. Any amount of time a person can contribute to giving our kids a new look in their space is a blessing. If you have any questions, or can help, please speak with our Director of Youth Ministries, Valerie Jansson.
Our next church hike will be held on Saturday, February 24th. Joy, Bailey, and Pastor John will meet all who are interested at our church’s parking lot at 10 a.m. We plan to travel Harding’s Beach in Chatham where we will walk out to the Stage Harbor lighthouse and back. It’s probably about a 3-mile round trip hike with some beautiful views and interesting landscape. Afterward we might make a stop at “Mom and Pops” in Chatham for a little treat! This is a dog friendly walk. Be sure to bring some water. All ages are welcome and feel free to invite a friend.
The Sunday Evening Eating Outers (Suneos) will be gathering for dinner at 5 p.m. on Sunday, February 25th. The location will be announced shortly Penny Bach is coordinating this outing for us all. Sign up in the Parish Hall, contact the Church Office, or speak with Penny directly if you are interested in attending. These dinners are always a nice way to enjoy a good meal, support a local restaurant, and enjoy each other’s company.
The Board of Trustees have engaged a local window restoration company to have our beautiful, large sanctuary windows properly redone. These windows needed significant care and attention. Each opening will take about 2-3 weeks to fully repair and restore. We are grateful this important work is being done on our historic sanctuary and look forward to enjoying our “new” windows!
I notice a lot of “grey hair” in our congregation when I attend each Sunday. As we grow older, with new aches and pains, one is tempted to think that youth is the happiest time of one’s life, but, for me, as we advance in years we gain wisdom and grow happier. We’re exposed to a universe of new and exciting experiences as well as the mind being enriched. Growing older, for me, is like climbing a mountain. To think that youth is better than maturity is like saying the views from the bottom are better than the views from the top. As we climb, the view widens, the horizon becomes more distant and life becomes a mystery to be enjoyed and experienced. (Courtesy of SYUMC member, Allan Broadhurst)