Art.

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An old silent pond.
Into the pond a frog jumps.
Splash!  Silence again.

“It is perhaps the best known of all Japanese haiku.  No subject could be more humdrum.  No language could be more pedestrian. Matsu Basho, the poet, makes no comment on what he or she is describing.  He implies no meaning, message, or metaphor.  He simply invites our attention to no more and no less than just this:  the old pond in its watery stillness, the kerplunk of the frog, the gradual return of the stillness.

In effect he put a frame around the moment, and what the frame does is enable us to see not just something about the moment but the moment  itself in all its ineffable ordinariness and particularity.  The chances are that if we had been passing by when the frog jumped, we wouldn’t have noticed a thing or, noticing it, wouldn’t have given it a second thought.  But the frame sets it off from everything else that distracts us.  It makes possible a second thought.

…the most basic lesson that art teaches us is to stop, look, and listen to life on this planet, including our own lives, as vastly richer, deeper, more myserious business than most of the time it ever occurs to us to suspect as we bumble along from day to day on automatic pilot.”  (excerpted from Whistling in the Dark by Frederick Buechner)

This is what we hope our new worship series “The Art and Resurrection of Justice” will help us to do…put a frame around Justice so that we might more clearly hear God’s call for our lives.

As you go through your day today, what might you be missing?  Try to give everything you see a “second thought”.  The places where people work.  Are those really just massage parlors for anyone and everyone?  What about our hotels?  What about our eating establishments?  Put a frame around them and notice what you see.

Toward Sunday

Justice Promo FB

While we celebrated the beauty & mystery of Easter on Sunday, the season of Easter will continue for fifty days. We’ll spend the first few weeks of Easter in a worship series called The Art & Resurrection of Justice.

Outline for The Art & Resurrection of Justice

•april 27: human trafficking (John 20.19-31)
•may 4: food insecurity (Luke 24.13-49)
•may 11: listening to the voiceless (John 10.1-10)

Read John 20.19-31.  We will be holding this biblical text in conversation with human trafficking this Sunday.  This will be a challenging topic for all of us.  We will hold the ancient text and the reality of human trafficking as we look for signs of resurrection and new life amidst despair.

Here is a link to learn more about human trafficking at madeinafreeworld.com/slavery.

Many people doubt the reality of modern slavery and most of us turn away from seeing the wounds it inflicts upon children of God. A few years ago a group called Made in a Free World asked the world one question, “How Many Slaves Work For You?”. They received an overwhelming response from every country on the planet. Learn your footprint here and join the millions of people around the world who have started demanding products Made In A Free World.

The Risen Christ says, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”

How might God be sending you into the world to address the brutality of human trafficking?  For what purpose are you being sent? To whom is God sending you?  How might you be part of offering peace to children and adults caught up in the vicious cycle of human trafficking?

Good Friday

Tonight we will gather for a time of prayer and solemn remembrance of the crucifixion of Jesus.  We will begin at 7 in the Sanctuary at 5265 H Street.  There is childcare for children 10 and under.  All are welcome.

7:00 pm Good Friday Worship The Table at Central UMC

The sky peels back to purple
and thunder slaps the thighs of heaven,
and all the tears of those who grieve
fly up to clouds and are released
and drench the earth.
The ones who see and hear
know
that all is lost.
The only One named Savior
died
upon a cross.
The ones who believed and loved
huddle together
stunned.
All night long
the angels weep.

(from Kneeling in Jerusalem by Ann Weems)

Maundy Thursday

 

Our time together this evening will be rooted in the story of Jesus and his last supper with those closest to him.  We will consider our place at The Lord’s Table and wonder about who might be missing.  We will have a simple supper of soup and bread following our work at different prayer stations around Fellowship Hall.  6-7:15pm.  5265 H Street.
All are welcome.

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Eat.  Drink.  Remember
who I am.

Eat.  Drink.  Remember
who I am
so you can remember
who you are.

Eat.  Drink.  Remember
who I am
so you can remember
who you are
and tell others.

Eat.  Drink.  Remember
who I am
so you can remember
who you are
and tell others
so that all
God’s people
can live
in communion…
in holy communion…..

(from “Kneeling in Jerusalem” by Ann Weems)

Trust in the face of uncertainty

 

 

photo  by Betty Loumoli

photo by Betty Loumoli

         Some Pharisees came and said to him,
“Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.”
He said to them, “Go and tell that fox for me,
Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures
today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work.”

—Luke 13.31-32

Jesus looks at the forces of death,
geared up for the raid,
the jaded dealers of oppression and fear
with their swords and their guns,
the powers, who own the jails
and write their laws
on the backs of the poor,
he looks the powers in the eye
and says to them, “Today,
in this present moment,
and the next day, that follows without fail,
I am doing my healing. And on the third day,
it is already too late for you.
You will already have failed to stop me.”

He looks at his rejection and suffering,
his dying, his death, his being dead,
he looks it in the eye and says,
“Today and tomorrow I am giving life.
On the third day, it is too late for you.
I will have accomplished it.
You have already failed.”

Lord, grant us the courage to confront evil
in whatever forms it presents itself,
the faith to trust the miracle of compassion,
the ability of powerlessness,
and the arresting power of your grace.
Grant us the love to follow the little man
with love and a death sentence.

For even now he goes about
raising people up,
and what he has done is done,
and it can never be undone.
Amen.

~by Steve Garnaas-Holmes

Toward Sunday

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We conclude our worship series Give Up Certainty for Lent: Live in the Parables of Jesus as we journey together this week through Holy Week. Please invite your Kitchen Table to join us…

We will gather for a simple meal on Maundy Thursday from 6:00-7:15 pm in the Social Hall on April 17.  This intergenerational worship service will weave music and prayer stations and the story of Jesus’ Last Supper through the lens of Godly Play.  

We will gather for a solemn remembering of Good Friday at 7:00 pm in the Sanctuary on April 18.  We will gather around the cross as we hear the story, pray and remember the crucifixion of Jesus. We will offer a special activity for children ten and under while adults gather in the sanctuary.  

We will gather for Easter Sunrise in the Rose Garden of McKinley Park at 6:30 am.  Easter Sunrise will be a beautiful and reflective gathering in the garden as we celebrate resurrection as the sun rises on Easter morning.  

We will celebrate the beauty and mystery of Easter in the Sanctuary of Central UMC (5265 H Street) at 10:30 am with inspiring music and a relevant message.

Both Easter worship services will be rooted in Matthew 28.1-10.  

Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb as the first day of the week was dawning…they were met with utter uncertainty as they felt the tremble of an earthquake and encountered the voices of angels.  You might say that Jesus’ life became a parable.  

If you have been following us online or at home,  how has  it been to give up certainty this Lent and live in the parables of Jesus?  What has been most challenging?  What has been most life-giving?  Finally, what feelings and thoughts come up for you as you consider Jesus’ life and death and resurrection to be a parable?