Going Sideways

It has been an interesting journey this week, transitioning from Winter to Spring and navigating the unexpectedness of life events. Trying to put Spring ‘into motion’ did not go as smoothly as I hoped! Things seemed to go sideways. Perhaps it has been that way for you, too. Don’t give up. Don’t stay stuck! Try again! I will!

St. Thomas UCC, Bethlehem audio worship service March 27, 2022 – https://drive.google.com/file/d/16SJCNInG3ac9YGChlNXCFSHdxqTBff1g/view?usp=sharing

Welcome Spring

As we ushered in spring today, I took this photo of a crocus blooming through a garden of rocks. Tears stung my eyes. The flower looks as though its ‘arms; are wide open, welcoming the world! It reminds me that the season of spring is about renewal and growth. It also reminds me that in all seasons of our lives, God is with us, encouraging us to try new things so we might grow… grow in our lives and grow in our faith. These rocks? They remind me of how people come together to care for one another, nurture one another, depend on one another, and help one another grow. Happy Spring!

St. Thomas UCC audio worship service March 20th – https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pv4_Tptawfz8g75CoNnH6Xplhgo8Bv1Z/view?usp=sharing

Lent Lament

Typically, the First Sunday in Lent begins with the story of Jesus in the wilderness. This year is no exception. Right now, today, it seems many are living in a wilderness, especially with the crisis in Ukraine in the background – a wilderness of distress, a wilderness of loss, a wilderness of failure, a wilderness of confusion. Our hearts are heavy. We lament with the people in Ukraine – who have lost loved ones, their families, their homes. Merciful God, hear our prayers.

St. Thomas UCC, Bethlehem worship March 6 –
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OCOjKjNafMqWKE-3MwFbesrSF_lG7vbf/view?usp=sharing

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.