I’m supposed to be blogging more often. To be quite honest, I’m not entirely certain who reads my blogs or what they might like to read about from my pen, or keyboard. I will write with certainty, though, that this morning was a marvelous Sunday at Ascension & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.
For starters, the Rev. Maggie Foote was our preacher this morning. Maggie is a gifted preacher. In my humble opinion, Maggie does a superb job of bringing the congregation into the exploration of Scripture. She isn’t afraid to admit when and where passages are tricky, and she doesn’t always necessarily seek to bring them to a neat and tidy closure. Rather, she is willing to ask questions of God and of God’s people, and then to let the questions sit. Of course, Maggie brings context into the picture, and she offers meaningful analogies and metaphors, too.
This morning Maggie reminded the parish that God’s ways aren’t necessarily always our normative ways of responding to situations. I won’t do any sort of summary justice, but you really should join us for worship to experience Maggie’s preaching. I find it to be quite engaging.
I chose to “riff” off of Maggie’s sermon, if you will, for the Children’s Welcome time. I shared the idea with our children that our church pews or more like roller coaster cars than stationary pews. In a roller coaster we never know exactly what comes next or what to expect. Roller coasters are exciting. Well, I’m told that roller coasters are exciting. I get motion sick, but maybe that’s for another blogpost. I shared the words from Leviticus about famers not harvesting 100% of their crops; that they were to leave some of their crops to be gleaned over by the needy and the downtrodden. For many of us, this method of farming may seem counterintuitive; however, God’s ways aren’t always our ways, and these leftover crops were to take care of those without.
I’m left wondering what the modern day equivalent might be for gleaning crops. Maybe paying it forward in the coffee shop line, or even the checkout line at Kroger’s? Or maybe keeping warm blankets in our vehicles with nutrigrain bars for the homeless? Or how about giving $100 to the management at your local pharmacy to assist the individual in need that day? Are we on the lookout for taking care of number one, or are we living with our eyes wide open for how we can lend a helping hand to those in need? Furthermore, more often than not, people need to be treated as people deserving dignity and respect, regardless of where they fit on the social ladder. It doesn’t cost a thing to look a stranger in the eye and to genuinely wish them a good day.
Oh, but I digress. After our liturgies we had a delightful coffee hour hosted by our very own Parish Health Ministry Team members. There were healthy snacks, as well as some indulgences, too. In addition, Parish Health had information on how to prevent a fall. About twenty-five folks trickled through the coffee hour into our Assembly Room where we discussed chapters four through six of “Hillbilly Elegy.” I was delighted to witness so many actively engaged in the discussion. There was never a lull in the conversation. All seemed to share what they wanted to share, and all were respectful of others’ opinions voiced.
And then, the newcomers…that’s right, we had several newcomers this morning which is always a sign to me of vitality and health. One of our newcomers came with me to the book discussion, while others enjoyed meeting parishioners. And lastly, I’m told our children’s choir had a great turnout and a wonderful rehearsal preparing them to sing next Sunday the 26th during our Shrove Sunday Eucharist with special jazz music led by our Chancel Choir.
And so, I have had quite a lovely and lengthy Sunday. I hope you’ve enjoyed your Sunday, too. It really is a great time to invite your friends to come and see what Ascension & Holy Trinity is all about. We are broad and roomy with our grace and love and acceptance of others from all walks of life. I hope you have a marvelous start to the work week. I hope to see you in our pews and around town.
In God’s Grace,