Animal Blessing

Even in the rain today, beloved companions received a blessing! Children brought their most loved animal friends of all sizes and kinds to the event just to have them blessed. Some of those dear friends were well-worn with love! So sweet! What a great feeling that must be – to be well-worn with love! It was my privilege to bless each one!

St. Thomas UCC, Bethlehem worship audion 10/2-

Here is the link to the audio file from today’s worship….

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1O7OfJXujsCW9ydtacGmoSkgwFdQvcska/view?usp=sharing

Wonder

It may sound a bit pie-in-the-sky-ish, but there is wonder in the world everywhere – raindrops, flowers, snowflakes, corn fields, butterflies, and even strange bugs.  Yes, strange bugs. We may not approach these things with love, but honestly, if we took some extra time to truly look, we may surprise ourselves! We may find something amazing about each one! Journey gently this last week in September, being especially mindful of  seeking the “amazing” in what you see!

St. Thomas UCC, Bethlehem worship audio, Sept. 25th –

https://drive.google.com/file/d/16OQZfeh9Z4wfbzefSWdW_hrSsbc2c_U5/view?usp=sharing

Lingering in summer

Ahhh…while autimn is my favorite season, today I find myself wanting to linger in the season of summer awhile longer. The vocabulary I have been hearing is more of pumpkins, spices, football, scarecrows, cinnamon, mums, apples – rather than flip flops, swimming, iced tea, funnel cake, flowers, garden. Fall arrives on Thursday. Today, I am going to put on my flip-flops and enjoy this summer Sunday!

We blessed prayer shawls today at St. Thomas UCC. We have created and blessed more than 700 shawls since this ministry began in 2009. Of course, it is not about how many. What matters is the comfort and warmth the shawl brings to those who receive one; and the joy in the hearts of those who create them. Thank you for this ministry!

St. Thomas UCC, BEthlehem, worship audio 9/18 –

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tNnZRfh3arsmTIeS2fAX6hpxab6RPnVj/view?usp=sharing

We remember

Today is the 21st anniversary of September 11, 2022:

Invocation (Remembering 9/11)
O Holy Wind of God, sweep through our lives. Pause us into your presence, slowing our breathless pace. Refine in us a renewed willingness to bear gracious goodness into the chaos of the world. Let our memories on this day, call forth an alternative to the easy response of violence for violence. Form instead a steady commitment to return love in the face of fear, hope in the midst of despair, and mercy for every brokenness of the world’s design. By this, form anew the heart and mind of Christ in us, here, now, today.

Source: A Blistering Wind: Service Prayers for the 14th Sunday after Pentecost – Proper 19 were written by Rev. Dr. David Long-Higgins, Conference Minister of the Heartland Conference, United Church of Christ.

St. Thomas UCC, Bethlehem worship audion 9/11 –

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1hC6OJedrSV3WVc8mhC1nW6e4A0U7KQKr/view?usp=sharing

This weekend

Labor Day Sunday, part of Labor Day weekend, the unofficial end of summer. Really, though, there are a few weeks of summer left. We notice that the sun wakes up later and goes to sleep earlier. School and work schedules are already in transition. New starts. New beginnings. Pools and parks closing. Summer endings. I am grateful for all the tastes, smells, and sights of the seasons. How about you? If today is a picnic or pool party or going to a park, have fun! If you are working today, thank you! Put your feet up when you get back home. Moments, however they come to us, each have value. Embrace them. enjoy them.

St. Thomas UCC. Bethlehem worship audio Sept. 4 –

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1EZVesRU22lv8W6IgFygXkU3f6_t7gVJZ/view?usp=sharing

Lunches

It is back-to-school time once again. Not even sure if packing a lunch is ‘a thing’ anymore! I recall growing up with 7 siblings, there were plenty of lunches to pack!

Today, we made 180 sandwiches and packed 90 lunches for the Bagged Lunch Program at Christ UCC, Bethlehem. Thank you to those who dropped off donations, help make the sandwiches, fill the bags, deliver and distribute them this afternoon. Thank you to the many volunteers at Christ UCC who offer this service to the community. An awesome effort!

St. Thomas UCC, Bethlehem worship audio August 28:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1JGlgQg3IsGtX0pHSDkjdxTPFrJc9WUyy/view?usp=sharing

Sweet Sabbath

I know there are seven days in a week, 24 hours in a day. I also know that we can find many ways to fill up those days and hours. Why not experiment. Just take today as a true Sabbath, and ‘just be’. Nothing excessive. Make room for conversations with family and friends. Make room for walks in the park. Make room for a hug. Sit on the patio and watch the birds at the bird feeder. Don’t log on to your laptop or sign in to check your work emails or voicemail messages. Just this one day, let Sabbath really be restfully sacred.

St. Thomas UCC, Bethlehem, worship audio 8/21 –

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1cs5Ahh137fY1rXP0rRkyafBwlYh0SQW5/view?usp=sharing