Palm Sunday and Youth

Pontius Omar Carries the World
Pontius Omar Carries the World

The Lenten Season draws to a close as we remember the witness, arrest, trial and execution of Jesus. We do this in preparation for and in anticipation of Easter Sunday and the promise of Resurrection. Last Sunday we had some fun with the Palm Sunday end of our service. Thanks to Pastor Tripp, Doug, Melanie, Jan and the choir and our children and youth for their contributions to the service.

The rest of the service, in which we read aloud long passages of Matthew’s Passion account, I found very moving. It’s one thing to sit down and read those verses on your own, in silence. It is quite different to hear them read aloud with feeling and a sense of the great drama they contain. I understand why some traditions make a point of reading an entire Passion story annually in Lenten worship.

 

Jesus (Clara) Leads the Procession
Jesus (Clara) Leads the Procession

Thursday we will hold our annual Maundy Thursday supper and service. The meal will be simple as will be the service as we celebrate Communion around the

tables where we eat. Friday the Sanctuary will be open from noon to 3:00 PM, the traditional hours of the Crucifixion. You are invited to make use of the space for prayer and meditation. There will be some written resource available to guide you. There will also music playing softly. In addition, you are invited to make use of our new labyrinth as another form of prayer and contemplation. We will have a guide to using the labyrinth available as well.

Sunday we will celebrate the Resurrection with music and the spoken word. As we have done the past couple of years, we are inviting anyone who wants to bring cut flowers (one or many) to place on the flower cross at the beginning of the service.   In addition, this year we are inviting everyone to bring some nonperishable food items to share with the hungry of our community. This is will be the culminating, corporate act of our Lenten emphasis on hunger. There will be a basket to collect the items in the Sanctuary and we will bless them before sending them off to EHP or one of the food pantries.

Bring some folks with you to share in worship, the Easter Egg Hunt for children and the best brunch in Palo Alto. See you Sunday at 10 AM.

God grant us more light, more love, more life as we journey together.
Pastor Rick            

Dan Carries the Cross
Dan Carries the Cross

 

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January Mission Offering Update (1/22)

The special mission offering for January is sponsored by our children and youth.  It is for soccer balls for youth in the Congo 

Soccer Balls for Youth in Congo 

Soccer balls in CongoSoccer ball diplomacy helps to keep the youth active in church-related sports activities and boost morale. Sports have a positive effect on the community. When the youth aren’t bored, they aren’t tempted by dangerous past times. Nearly every village has a soccer field. Where none exists, the youth will work on clearing a field.

This project seeks to provide each village church with a soccer ball. Parish pastors and lay leaders in even smaller locations will also receive a ball. The churches will organize teams where the youth will learn teamwork, sportsmanship and how to get along with others.

So far we have received $472.50 toward our goal of $1,000 for 50 balls

January Mission Offering Update (1/15)

The special mission offering for January is sponsored by our children and youth.  It is for soccer balls for youth in the Congo 

Soccer Balls for Youth in Congo 

Soccer balls in CongoSoccer ball diplomacy helps to keep the youth active in church-related sports activities and boost morale. Sports have a positive effect on the community. When the youth aren’t bored, they aren’t tempted by dangerous past times. Nearly every village has a soccer field. Where none exists, the youth will work on clearing a field.

This project seeks to provide each village church with a soccer ball. Parish pastors and lay leaders in even smaller locations will also receive a ball. The churches will organize teams where the youth will learn teamwork, sportsmanship and how to get along with others.

So far we have received $265 toward our goal of $1,000 for 50 balls

January Mission Offering: Soccer Balls for Congo

The special mission offering for January is sponsored by our children and youth.  It is for soccer balls for youth in the Congo. Here’s how the project is described by ABC-USA International Ministries:   

Soccer Balls for Youth in Congo 

Soccer balls in CongoSoccer ball diplomacy helps to keep the youth active in church-related sports activities and boost morale. Sports have a positive effect on the community. When the youth aren’t bored, they aren’t tempted by dangerous past times. Nearly every village has a soccer field. Where none exists, the youth will work on clearing a field.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is located in western Africa, this region has no TV, internet, phones or theaters. One way of bringing youth into the rural churches and establishing friendships, is through organized sports. Soccer is a good activity for gathering the youth and maintaining a good relationship with them. All villages have a soccer field, but what they don’t have are soccer balls, and quality ones are not available in Congo.

This project seeks to provide each village church with a soccer ball. Parish pastors and lay leaders in even smaller locations will also receive a ball. The churches will organize teams where the youth will learn teamwork, sportsmanship and how to get along with others.

A gift of $100 will provide 5 soccer balls. $250 will provide 12 balls, and $500 will provide 25 balls.
Goal: $1,000 for 50 balls.

Beloved Community

tripp-banjo.fwFriends of God,

And we begin again.

What does it mean to be born again? Well, it looks a little like a new program year, like going back to school again. Itʹs familiar but different. You think you know how everything works but you are also prepared for some new surprises along the way. Heck, you might even be excited or a little scared because you know that there are surprises in store. You have been promised surprises.

Welcome to Church, the Beloved Community.

The youth room will be under construction over the next couple of weeks as we begin to live into some new things this year. Our children are getting older. Do you remember senior year of High School? Well, prepare yourself to watch it happen again before your very eyes as Oscar lives into his final year of High School. Our kids are growing up and the room we worship and study in needs to change with us. I donʹt know what it will look like in the end. So much of that is up to them. So, color me a little scared and excited, too.

The Beloved Community has children in it…and they grow up.

This year, as you already know, we are welcoming Doug Davidson and Naomi Schulz into our fellowship as student interns. They are members of the Beloved Community, but now also members of our fellowship. They will help out from time to time with our children and youth, but you will see them more in worship and in our adult education hour following worship.

Adult education this year will include the exploration of some key Christian themes like how and why we read scripture, what it means to be ʺThe Churchʺ and how thatʹs different than being a Democrat, an American, or being Irish (sorry, Naomi). We are a people without a country. But we are also a people called to be together at a certain time in a certain place as an outpost of Godʹs Kin‐dom. This is the ʺeschaton,ʺ the fulfillment of Godʹs whole self, Godʹs being in the world. What does
it look like to live it?

You tell me. Iʹm just starting to figure this out. Some of you have been at this for a while.

Itʹs a new year and together we shall be born again. Itʹs a little scary and exciting, but together we can move forward into this new thing God has in store for us. Jesus has paved the way. Take courage. As the song goes, ʺItʹs the end of the world as we know it, but I feel fine!ʺ

Peace and All Good Things,
Pastor Tripp

To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God. To open the heart to the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God.”
— William Temple (1881‐1944)

“Story = Grace”

13-05-22.pentecost_banner.fwSunday we spent the morning with the Trinity and with grace.  The children and youth decorated the hallway with their artistic comments on the Trinity as we wrestled with it in worship.  God in relationship inspires our efforts to be in relationship – not only with God but also with one another as children of God.  At the end of the service we all gathered back in the sanctuary to celebrate Jane and Jin Chin for the wonderful work they as do as volunteers for FBCPA.  We are deeply grateful for the way they look after our finances, provide a photographic record of our “family” and otherwise keep track of our life together – past, present and future!  If you didn’t get to see the “Chin picture board” Oleta made, we will have it again Sunday.

This coming Sunday we are privileged and delighted to have Cathleen Falsani share the morning with us.  We have been reading and discussing Cathleen’s beautiful book, Sin Boldly: A Field Guide to Grace, the past three weeks in Adult Spiritual Formation.  Now we have the opportunity to engage her in person.  She will be featured in an intergenerational worship service on the theme “Story = Grace” and will lead the conversation in Adult Spiritual Formation.  This is a rare opportunity for us to engage a significant and talented Christian thinker and writer.  I hope you all will make a point of being here and will bring along others to share the experience with you.  See you Sunday at 10.

May God’s new thing flourish within us and among us.
Pastor Rick