Pastor Tripp: April

Friends of God,

palm_sunday_2013-a.fwWell…that was a full month.

March was full to o’er flowing with opportunities for fellowship and prayer (sometimes the two together). I hope you found a way to include yourself in the goings on in Lent. There was much to be enjoyed. The kids put together a little Passion play. Their were many, many prayer services with Covenant Presbyterian Church. We were a busy group of people! To that end, however, I’d love to hear from you. What’s working for you in what we offer? What could be different? Send me an e-mail at tripp@anglobaptist.org. I would love to know what you would like to see happen here. I’d especially like to know what times of the week are best for you. Don’t me shy! Send me a list!

In April we’ll spend some time in Adult Spiritual Formation talking about Sonic Theology. That’s right. Sonic Theology. I hope you’ll join in. At the end of the month we’ll begin a new book study, Cathleen Falsani’s Sin Boldly. Martin Luther, the old German reformer once exclaimed “Sin boldly so that grace may abound!” Cathleen is a journalist and this book is about times that she has witnessed grace…perhaps in unexpected places. We’ll spend three Sundays with this book beginning with the last Sunday of the month. Cathleen will join us on Sunday, June 2. Keep your calendars clear!

I know it’s hard to believe but summer will soon be upon us. As I write this, baseball season is just under way (my fantasy team is terrible). We’ll be in the thick of summer fun before you know it. We’ve already started planning pot-lucks for the coming months (Keep May 10 open!). I hope you can join in the fun.

Peace and All Good Things,
Tripp

Pastor Rick: December 12

Thanks to everyone for the flexibility in scheduling our annual caroling and chili event.  We had a good turn out; we sang for several folk from our community who are not able to be with us regularly.  Then we gathered back at the church for chili supper.  I think the singing was much appreciated by those we visited.

Please remember our Friday evening Contemplative Services.  They are lovely, brief opportunity to spend time in the beauty of our sanctuary praying, singing and meditating our way through this Advent season.

This Sunday we will continue to spend time with John the Baptist as well as the prophets Zephaniah and Isaiah and the apostle Paul as we search out the light of joy in this Advent season.  The challenge for us will be to look for the joy in the sharp critique and sometimes harsh words these biblical characters bring.  I suppose the real question is whether or not there can be joy in our lives and in the world if we do not get our house in order.   Yet, even in our wondering and our waiting Paul encourages us to “Rejoice in God always!”

Soprano Susanna Jimenez will be singing with the choir Sunday.  She will also supply some very special Music of Preparation when she sings “Rejoice Greatly” form Handel’s Messiah.  You will want to be here early to hear her.  After Adult Spiritual Formation, in which we will consider what it means for Christ to come into the world as we know it, we will take a little break before reconvening at Spiridons for their annual open house for the whole congregation.  We are always grateful to Alex and Nana for opening their lovely home and providing a fabulous party.

This is a wonderful time to invite a family member, friend, colleague, neighbor or stranger to join us in worship, sharing and learning.  See you Sunday before 10:00 AM and at the other events of the season.

May God bless us and keep us on the way,

Pastor Rick

Pastor Rick: December 5

banjo.fwWhat a lovely beginning we have had for the Advent season.  Thanks to everyone who has contributed in action and in spirit.  It seems that we are on the right road of preparation for the holy coming.  I urge you to participate in all the activities of the season as much as possible at the same time I encourage you to take time to prepare.  Both John and Jesus spend time alone in the wilderness as they prepare for the work to which God has called them.  We may not find ourselves in the wilderness per se, but some down time in all the crush of holiday madness may be just what God is calling us to – time to sit quietly, to consider what is to come, to pray that we may be ready, to search for wisdom and understanding, to contemplate the light that is coming into the world and how it is manifest in hope, peace, joy and love.

Sunday we will spend time with John the Baptist and his forebears  John’s is that alarming voice, crying in the wilderness for us to make ready the road to salvation, urging all who will listen to turn from the seduction of empire to the promise of God’s righteous reign.  In this process, we will also look again at Zechariah’s song, the “Benedictus,” which was the focus of our work with Jennifer Davidson last month.  What did we learn in those sessions that we might bring to our worship this Sunday?  How might all these ancient words of blessing and comfort, prophecy and hope help us prepare for God’s touch on our lives this Advent?

As part of your time of preparation, I strongly encourage you to join us for Friday night’s contemplative service in the astonishing beauty of our worship space.  I find this to be a holy, healing time and trust that you might, too.  The services are simple and brief, scripture, songs, prayer and silence.

Sunday, we will keep our caroling and chili supper at 4:00 PM, so we will also continue our sessions in Adult Spiritual Formation on the theme “Prepare the Way.”  This Sunday we will consider preparation for Christ’s coming – in our faith community.  What is it for which we hope in this season and how might its realization make a difference in us and around us?

This is a wonderful time to invite a family member, friend, colleague, neighbor or stranger to join us in worship, sharing and learning.  See you Sunday at 10:00 AM and at the other events of the season.

May God bless us and keep us on the way,

Pastor Rick

Pastor Rick: November 28

wreathsBig thanks to everyone who stayed for the Hanging of the Greens on Sunday.  The sanctuary is beautiful.  Now the season of Advent begins, the start of a new liturgical year, the turning in the cycle to God come near in human form.  Our theme for this Advent is “A Light for All Nations.”  Each week we will focus on the key themes of Advent – hope, peace, joy and love – in terms of the Light that transforms the world.  Sunday we will consider the light that hope brings when it enters a troubled world familiar with disappointment and despair.

On the four Friday nights of Advent – November 30, December 7, 14 and 21 – we will have a brief time for prayer and contemplation in the sanctuary at 7:00 PM.  As we watch and wait for the coming again of the Christ, we gather in community to share the experience of anticipation.  Last year, people found these servings meaningful.  I hope you will give them a try this season in preparation for what is to come in your own lives during this season.

Beginning this Sunday, I will lead three sessions in Adult Spiritual Formation on the theme “Prepare the Way.”  Each Sunday will have a different area in which to consider our preparation for Christ’s coming – in our personal lives, in our faith community and in our world.  What is it for which we prepare in this season and how does it make a difference in us and around us?

This is a wonderful time to invite a family member, friend, colleague, neighbor or stranger to join us in worship, sharing and learning.  See you Sunday at 10:00 AM and at the other events of the sseason.

May God bless us and keep us on the way,

Pastor Rick