A blessed All Soul’s Day to you. Some highlights from the past weeks: October 25th: On Reformation Sunday, the Sunday School choir was wonderful, under the direction of Eva DiLascio, and they children played bells, too. There’s a video of it in on our Facebook page. For the hymn of the day, as appropriate, we sang a rousing rendition with the adult choir and congregation of A Mighty Fortress. It was terrific, and we didn’t know whether to clap or shout Alleluia. Reformation Sunday always rouses my gratitude for this church, and this Lutheran tradition.
All Saints Day: We celebrated those among us who have in some way reflected the divine for us, our stewardship theme, which perfectly dovetails with All Saints, as we celebrated the gift of the communion of saints. I included, in my sermon, the understanding of “saint” in the Lutheran tradition, as reinterpreted in the Reformation, and while I didn’t actually say outloud, simul justus et peccator, I did talk about being simultaneously saints and sinners, sometimes reflecting the divine, and sometimes not, a nice mix, we are, of mud (which is life-givine), and shiny-ness. The Bell Choir played several times during the service, very beautifully, which had the effect of quieting our souls. The bells produced a kind of meditative reverent quality to our worship, which permeated the morning. We also made a memorial tree–which I will take a picture of later, writing names of people on small pieces of paper, and then tying them with ribbons to the tree. The tree came from Matthew Natti, whose family have been part of St. Paul for several generations now. Come and see.
We Make the Road by Walking Bible study continues to be provocative and nourishing. We are reading approximately two chapters a week (we are up to chapter 9). They are very short, and include biblical passages which link to the chapters. McLaren is taking us on a spiritual and intellectual adventure through biblical faith. We’ve covered so far:
creation in its complexity and beauty,
the Garden,and the possibility of relationship
the temptation, and our failure
our human capacity for mis-judgement coexisting with our capacity for love
Cain and Abel
Noah and the Flood
Abraham and Sarah
Hagar and Ishmael
Abraham and the sacrifice of Issac.
Alongside the Genesis passages, we’ve been reading portions of Gospels, a psalm, and/or a New Testament Letter.
It’s a beautiful class. It also is open for anyone. The book is designed so that each bible study can exist independently, or it can be part of an on-going class. So, you can step into the river and out again, depending on your schedule.
Tonight is Council Meeting. By this time, most everyone knows that our wonderful Parish Administrator, Joanne Peterson, is retiring at the end of this year. So please, if you see her, take a moment to thank her for all her love and service here at St. Paul.
Blessings and peace,