“All the great spiritual traditions of humanity have pointed in their distinct ways to the Oneness from which we come and the Oneness for which we long. The Celtic tradition has done this through [affirming] that love and the desire to give ourselves away to one another in love is at the heart of who we are, deeper than any fear or hatred that holds us hostage.
Deep within us is a longing for union … for a renewed relationship with the Ground of Life, the One from whom all things come”
- Caroline Adams
20-26 March 2011
Dear Meriden Congregational Church Members and Friends,
With apologies for being so late this week, including not yet having last week’s sermon ready for publication (something to look forward to?), we nevertheless wish each and every one of you peace in your hearts and lives as we continue our journey through this Lenten Season, still hoping that Spring will yet bloom fully around us. Last Sunday’s worship was infused with Celtic music and spirituality in honor of the its proximity to St. Patrick’s Day, and we continued our Lenten reflections on the Prayer that Jesus taught us, realizing once again how spiritually profound and socially prophetic is this prayer we all know so well, and yet have so much more to learn about. Wonderfully illustrating the vitality of our faith community last week were also our OWL (Our Whole Lives) orientations for parents and their children of both our Kindergartners and First Graders, as well as our Second and Third Graders, and the first of our UVIP (United Valley Interfaith Project) all-church Listening session opportunities, which we very much hope everyone will have a chance to experience within the next few weeks. As always, we have attached the bulletin from last Sunday’s service, which includes our updated Prayer List (please feel free to review and let us know if further changes are needed ), with John’s Sermon , “Your Song Be Sung, Your Justice Be Done,” (coming soon).
The special feature of tomorrow’s Third Sunday in Lent worship will be our annual opportunity to learn about and experience the opportunities that the Labyrinth offers as we journey into a deeper relationship with our God. We will begin our worship service, as usual, in our church sanctuary at 10:00 AM with prayers and reflection on the spirituality of the labyrinth, as well as a brief meditation on the “daily bread” petition of the Lord’s Prayer, with all who wish invited to join us in walking over to an actual labyrinth set up for our use for the continuation of our prayerful worship service. This labyrinth will be set up in the gymnasium of Kimball Union Academy (across the street from the church green). It is a 25 x 25 foot canvas labyrinth on loan to us from the Chaplaincy Department of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. This is the fourth year that our church has enjoyed “walking a labyrinth” in this way and we hope you will join us for this unique worship experience. (There will be transportation available for those who would like a ride to the KUA gym). Our children and youth will likewise be experiencing the prayerful opportunity of the labyrinth during church this week. They will begin with us in church and then walk over to the labyrinth with their Church School teachers following the Children’s Time. Upon completion of our Labyrinth Walk, we are all enthusiastically invited to return to our Parish House for refreshments and the second of our UVIP (United Valley Interfaith Project) all-church Listening session opportunities (view details).
Whether in worship tomorrow or wherever our lives may find us, let us all hold Gretchen Taylor and her family very much in our hearts and prayers. As many may know already, Gretchen underwent what was hoped to be routine open-heart surgery this past Thursday, but her recovery has been plagued by multiple complications since then. Although there is still no certainty that she will recover, each day has been somewhat more encouraging than the last. Gretchen’s husband, Steve, her sons Jim, Bill, and Rob, and their families all deeply appreciate knowing that Gretchen is being carried upon a sea of our prayers during these next critical days and beyond.
With enduring gratitude for this compassionate community
Your devoted Co-pastors,
Susan and John