November 26, 2017
I Lost a Best Friend
Program Leader: Patty Walsh
Author Brian Doyle, when his time was up, challenged us — his wide community of reader and writer friends — to keep laughing. “I promise,” he said, “to hear your laughter.” But the loss of a loved one or a very close friend leaves an abyss in one’s life. It’s quite natural for grief to fill that abyss, while grief is the assassin of laughter. So how can we deal with it? I wish I knew. Been struggling with it. Will share true stories.
Children’s Religious Exploration: The Gift of Protection
The importance of connecting with nature, no matter the season or weather.
Lead: Debby S-R
Helper: Iris K
2:00 pm URC: All the Little Deaths
Around this time of year, the rains usually start in earnest. Leaves fall, annual flowers wither. The cycle of life and death becomes obvious. How do we cope with being alive and having to die? What losses do we experience on the way to that one big loss of leaving the earth and our bodies? No one knows for sure what death is like, yet sages past and current remind us that the more we prepare for our deaths, the more alive we become.
December 3, 2017
Visions of Hope and Peace
Rev. Patti Pomerantz
Program Leader: Katie TenEyck
On this first Sunday of Advent, we’ll begin our creative celebration of the season. With the help of the Speech Choir, we will offer the opportunity to open our hearts to the promise of hope and peace. We have the power to create and nurture this vision and project it into every thought and action we take. Hope and peace can be co-creators of the world we envision; let’s pool our energy this Sunday morning and carry it with us during this holiday season especially with the faith that our vision can spread to help those who need hope and who need peace.
Children’s Religious Exploration: The Gift of Stewardship
The importance of stewardship in congregational life. In an adaptation of a biblical parable, The Most Generous Gift, we will share a story about a poor woman who gives one “mite,” a coin worth less than one penny yet half of all she has, to the donation box after hearing a sermon by Jesus. Jesus proclaims that her gift is more valuable than that of the wealthy who gave much more, because she gave all she could.
Lead: Iris K
Helper: Frank G
2:00 pm URC: Waiting for All Good Things
The Religions of the Book—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—hope for a time of joy and prosperity, when “the mountains and hills will burst into song” (Isaiah 55;21) and “all the ends of the earth will see God’s salvation” (Isaiah 52:10). This is the first Sunday of Advent, a time of spiritual reflection and celebration, of journeying through darkness with the promise of all good things to come. Recovery is a little like that. We move through darkness, wrestle inside ourselves with confusion and despair, only find that joy exists and love abounds. Not that we will never suffer again, but as we heal, hope becomes easier to find.