A Tribute to Ukraine

The Ukrainian Chorus Dumka of New York performed a tribute performance to Ukraine amid the ongoing Russian invasion on Saturday Night Live, February 26th. The link to the performance, A Prayer for Ukraine, is below with the English translation.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prayer_for_Ukraine

English language lyrics of the song: Lord, oh the Great and Almighty,
Protect our beloved Ukraine, Bless her with freedom and light
Of your holy rays.
With learning and knowledge enlighten Us, your children small,
In love pure and everlasting Let us, oh Lord, grow.
We pray, oh Lord Almighty,
Protect our beloved Ukraine, Grant our people and country
All your kindness and grace.
Bless us with freedom, bless us with wisdom, Guide into kind world,
Bless us, oh Lord, with good fortune
For ever and evermore.

Our prayers remain with them.

St. Thomas UCC, Bethlehem worship audio February 27 –
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Ln6mhxnIrpb-Fcy5R8MkSDT94BB0xB24/view?usp=sharing

Ukraine – Russia – Prayer

 “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.”    Matthew 6: 24

Still-speaking God, we pray for your protection to enfold innocent people on all sides. We pray your peace will serve as a source of strength for them. We pray your comfort will blanket them. We pray, God, that you will interrupt the fighting in order to stir their hearts and guide them safely through the night. We prayerfully ask for forgiveness, grace and reconciliation throughout these countries for all people. We pray, God, that your presence be known. Amen.

5 Years

Today marks 5 years since I experienced vision loss – non-anterior ischemic optic neuropathy. As with all unexpected life-changing events, the path forward is paved with joys and sorrows. It is the same for me. The patterns of living change daily. Much depends on the amount of light indoors or outdoors; how much contrast there is within the spaces I am in daily. In spite of stumbling along the way, I keep learning and adapting, grateful for the support I receive and for the technologies that are available to assist me.  

In the when moments I realized my loss was permanent, I recall the feeling of my heart sinking and the very real understanding that my life would never be the same. Even after 5 years of living with this vision loss, the truth is, my soul holds on to its capacity for faith and hope, while at the same time, has an occasional need to cry out to God in complaint. That’s as honest as I can be: some days are better than others and I let God know it. Some days are not, and I let God know that, too.  I pray God’s gaze remains on me.

Brrr…

Cold and sunny is the forecast for today. What about the forecast for your soul? How is your soul today?

If we remember those times and places when God touched our lives, met our need, and brought us through; if we remember God’s faithfulness to us, then our souls will be warmed and not chilled. Remember, winter is preparation time for spring; a time of rest and rejuvenation. So it os for our souls, too. Stay warm. Enjoy the day.

Here is the link to the audio file from today’s Worship service…

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Gk5RC9uNIj_IMWHUrte85WyXk5gW2muU/view?usp=sharing

Souper Bowl of Caring

Whether or not you will be cheering on the Bengals or Rams for Super Bowl 56 – no worries! You don’t have to be out in the cold! Warm up with chili! Order now from St. Thomas UCC, Bethlehem. Proceeds benefit New Bethany Ministries. Order by Feb. 6th/$8/quart – Pick up Feb. 12th – 9am to noon.

Winter Chill

It is cold and sunny today. Downright chilly. Maybe you are feeling the winter chill, too. You may really enjoy snowboarding and skiing and are hitting the slopes this afternoon. Some prefer to stay inside: curl up with a good book and a cup of cocoa with your feet tucked inside a pair of warm socks. If winter is not your thing – no worries. Find comfort knowing there is a new season around the corner.

St. Thomas UCC, Bethlehem worship audio Jan. 30 –

https://drive.google.com/file/d/18721T3HDwdi9dUvS0p4bULLoR4zdNgTn/view?usp=sharing

Winter thoughts

In this season of new beginnings,
As winter’s breath chills our core,
We know we can find comfort when,
God’s Spirit warms our hearts.

The icy darkness causes us to pause…
Wrapping the blanket a little tighter,
Longing for the hope of days to come,
When our world will be a little brighter.

We know God’s Spirit will lead us there;
For now…we must bide our time and rest.
Gather strength, as the snow gently falls,
All the while knowing, we are truly blessed…
                              By God.

St. Thomas UCC, Bethlehem worship audio Jan. 23 –

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1K1UuXX9CBksD0OahhaemD-kw80BHBxrB/view?usp=sharing