From the Pastor’s Desk

Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.  There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed.”  (Exodus 3:1-2)

As many of you know, a Bible study is currently being offered on some of the stories of Moses’ life.  The scripture passage above is taken from the call of Moses.  In this story, God gets Moses’ attention through a burning bush that is not consumed and speaks to him from this bush.  God calls Moses by name and says to him: “Come no closer!  Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”  It’s a beautiful story. 

As I was reading it once again, the words of the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning immediately came to mind: “Earth’s crammed with heaven.  And every common bush, afire with God.  But only those who see, take off their shoes.”  What a wonderful way to consider this ancient story.

The weather we have been having lately has been gorgeous and has certainly helped me better appreciate once again how the earth is “crammed with heaven.”  The warmer air, the dazzling light, and the return of the green leaves have all been so welcome.   I have been especially struck by the flowering trees and bushes this year.  The cherry blossoms, the lilac, the wisteria, azalea, and Rhododendron have been amazing.  More than once, I have been stopped in my tracks by the beauty of these flowering plants and been reminded of the sacred nature of God’s good creation.  These “burning bushes” have gotten my attention and spoken to my heart.

The story of Moses’ call can remind us that the ground upon which we stand is indeed holy.  We simply forget this at times.  When we are reminded however, or when we remember, it changes us.  Elizabeth Barrett Browning states that only those who truly “see” notice how every bush (and part of creation) is “afire with God.”  Part of the journey of faith is developing the eyes needed to really “see” this truth.   When we are given – or develop – the “eyes to see” we change and the world changes for us.  We become more aware not only of the holiness of creation but of how God is indeed with us, speaking to us, calling out to us, and getting our attention.  The French novelist, critic, and essayist Marcel Proust once noted “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”  There is a lot of truth to this statement.  Often the life of faith is learning how to see with new eyes. In the words of the Apostle Paul, the eyes of our hearts. (Ephesians 1:18).  It involves learning how to see things in life as we believe God sees them.

May we continue to encourage each other to have these “new eyes” so that we will continue to discover and celebrate how life is indeed “afire with God” and how God is so near to each of us.

Blessings to you all

Pastor John

Worship with SYUMC in June

Beach Services Begin

Our summer beach services begin on Sunday, June 27th.  Be sure to gather at Smuggler’s (Bass River) Beach at 7:30 a.m. to kick off the first summer beach service of the new season!  We’ll sing “Shall We Gather at Bass River” and give thanks for the opportunity to worship at this special time and place once again.

10 a.m. Worship Services 

We continue to welcome people to our in-person worship services on Sunday mornings at 10 a.m.  In addition, we are posting recordings of these services at our congregation’s website.  On the first Sunday in June, we will be observing the sacrament of Holy Communion.  On the second Sunday, June 13th, we will be having some of the service led by our youth, be giving out Bibles to the children of the church and other surprises.  June 20th is Father’s Day, and we’ll have a special person preaching that day! 

What do you think?

Last summer, our 10  a.m. worship services were all held outside.  This was done because of COVID and to keep everyone as healthy and safe as possible.  We no longer need to worship outside in the summer months for our second service, but some have mentioned that it was enjoyable to do so.  In addition, it was noted that worshiping outside offers a nice witness to the community.  On the other hand, among other things, the weather can be unpredictable, the ground can be uneven, and it requires more work to set up.  At the last Church Council meeting, we decided to ask members and friends of the congregation as to what you would prefer.  Would you like to worship outside on the front lawn during the months of July and August this year?  Would you rather stay in our sanctuary both months?  Or would you like to worship in our sanctuary but offer a service outside on a couple Sundays this summer?  Please feel free to email or speak with Pastor John as to your preference, or leave a message with the church office.  

Wednesdays by the Water: Going Deep with God!

Our Christian Education and Formation Team has developed an exciting, new, intergenerational, summer ministry called “Wednesdays by the Water.  Going Deep with God.”  This will be a Vacation Bible Camp type experience offered on three Wednesday evenings near different bodies of water on the Cape.  There will be a Bible story, games, songs, crafts, nature activities and more.   Our first evening is Wednesday, June 23rd.  Things start at 6 PM when people are encouraged to bring a picnic supper and then opening worship at 6:30 p.m.  We’ll be finished by 8 p.m.

Please register now if you haven’t already done so.  Registration forms are in the Parish Hall and the Church office.  The cost is only $5/person or $15/family for all three nights.  If you can’t make all three, come to two or just one, but come!  Save the dates of July 21st and August 25th as well for this fun time together.   

Note to All families with Children and Youth at SYUMC

On Sunday, June 13th, we hope to celebrate the children and youth who are part of our community of faith.  One way we will be doing this is presenting a Bible to every child who is apart of our congregation.  Age-appropriate Bibles will be given out for our youngest, all the way to our youth.  Be sure not to miss this fun celebration.  We hope to see everyone in worship on that day! 

June 26th Hike to Historical Society of Old Yarmouth Nature Trails

Our next hiking adventure will be to the Historical Society of Old Yarmouth’s nature trails off Route 6A.  We’ll plan to go on Saturday morning, June 26th.  Our route will be about 1.2 miles long.  It’s a lovely setting.  Did you know that the oldest golf course on the Cape was once located on these grounds?  In addition, at the end of the hike, we will be able to visit the historic Kelley Chapel, the new Native American Turtle Wetu, and the giant English Weeping Beech tree!  Remember this hike is open to all ages.  We’ll meet in the parking lot on Saturday morning, June 26th at 10  a.m.

Fishermen’s House Thrift Shop Memorial Day Weekend Super Sale!

Many thanks to all who helped make our Spring Super Sale such a success! Even though it was cold, windy, and rainy, it was a great team effort and a great day!  Together we raised over $1,400 for the mission and ministry of our congregation.  Most importantly, people had a good time, we passed along some quality items at very reasonable prices, and we welcomed many visitors with a warm, friendly, and gracious spirit.  A very special thanks to  Connie Swedlund and Penny Bach for all their leadership.