Journey Into Life

What fun we had at Messy Church this week! Our theme was ‘Sacred Journey’ and our celebration included activities that reminded us what different ways a Sacred Journey can take place. One kind of sacred journey is a walking or hiking journey. Sometimes a simple walk through the woods or over the mountains refreshes our soul. We see the glory of God all around us! Other times the journey is one of prayer. When we say a prayer, we step out to speak with and listen to God. There can also be the journey of time. We are born as little babies, but over the journey of our lifetime we become older, and then, one day, maybe even very old.

mc2016When we were planning Messy Church, we realized how hard it is to talk about getting older. Many of us shared memories of when we had been small children and encountered a person who was very elderly. When these persons were in wheel chairs or had special needs it was awkward for us.

As children we are often unsure what to think or what to do. I remember meeting my father’s mother when I was nine. She was very elderly and living in a care home. It was a real effort for her to come into the visiting area and sit with us. I had never encountered anyone so elderly before, and I remember how she leaned over in the chair. I remember how carefully they wheeled her in, and how gentle my father was when he spoke to her. She was too frail to be greeted with kisses or hugs. I sat on the floor near her feet and looked up at her. I puzzled over this lady I barely knew, yet a lady who was, none the less, an important part of my family.

I remember the awkwardness and practical stuff about that meeting, but I remember the ethereal things, too. Like how the light from the window shone behind her, contrasting softness with the hard rectangle shape of the back of the chair she was sitting in. I remember the chair was green and her hair was white and haloed in the window light. I remember the whole world became one of whispering, as my sisters and I sat hushed and watching and wondering at the mysteries of this most treasured person and her life.

We, as a culture, tend to rejoice at the beginning of Life’s journey with the birth of a baby, but often there is mourning at the end. It is difficult to notice that as the years pass it gets more and more difficult to do everyday things. And then come the days when we need real help.

cumc2016We, as a culture, seldom want to talk about the awkwardness and disruptions of walkers and wheel chairs and chunky but helpful walking canes. Yet these things are part of the blessing that is the arc of life for us human beings. We begin our Sacred Journey with our first baby and we end with our grandchildren at our feet wondering at the halo that surrounds us. It is a journey sure enough, where each generation passes that silver halo to the next, and the next, in their turn.

This month we begin the time of Lent. This season of the church takes us through story of the last weeks of Jesus’s life. This is a time when we are invited to reflect on the direction of our lives. We are invited to empty ourselves of our own wants and desires and open ourselves to the love of God. As we walk toward Holy Week and await Easter, we are on a Sacred Journey in the way of Christ.

Blessings, Pastor Richenda

Celebrating Bob Jensvold

A Celebration of Life service will be held at the Camas Church in honor of Robert “Bob” Jensvold on Saturday, February 20, at 1pm, The Rev. Gene Walters presiding.

We as a community have been so very blessed to have known and loved and served with Bob. We will gather together to celebrate his place in the everlasting. Please keep all his family and our church family in your prayers.

An obituary can be found at Brown’s Funeral Home.

Lent Activities, 2016

Lent Observances—2016 Lent activities take us all the way from February 10th to Easter Morning, March 27th, at Sunrise.

See Pastor Richenda’s blog post “What is Lent?

Our Lent services and celebrations include:

  • Ash Wednesday, February 10th
    • Ash Wednesday Prayer Service 12:00-12:30
    • ‘Fat Wednesday’ Pancake Supper, 6:00pm
    • Ash Wednesday Worship Service, 7:15pm
  • Palm Sunday Worship, March 20th, 10:00am.
  • Messy Church Palms, March 22nd, 5:30-7:30pm
  • Good Friday Service, 7:30pm
  • Easter Morning Worship, Sunday, March 27, 10:00am!

AshWednesdayAsh Wednesday Prayer & Smudging: We will have two opportunities for prayer and smudging of ashes on Ash Wednesday, February 10th. Both services will be in the chapel. The first will be a prayer and smudging service from 12:00-12:30 pm, and then at 7:15pm we will have a full Ash Wednesday Service. Come also at 6pm for a pancake supper before the evening service.

pancake-by-brandon-martin-anderson-2005-flickr-cc-by-sa-2-0sm

Fat Wednesday—You may have heard of “Fat Tuesday” or “Shrove Tuesday.” Fat Tuesday is a pancake feast tradition held to celebrate the last day before lent begins–eat and be merry! We will turn Fat Tuesday into Fat Wednesday to coincide with our Wednesday dinners!

Our Fat Wednesday dinner begins at 6pm February 10th with delicious hot pancakes provided. Bring your favorite pancake topping to share! Our evening Ash Wednesday service (at 7:15pm) follows. You do not have to attend the 7pm service to come and enjoy the pancakes! Pancakes topping ideas include fruit, whipped cream, ice cream, or whatever!  (photo credit: Pancake by Brandon Martin-Anderson 2005 Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)

Untitled-1oetuMessy Church: We will have two opportunities to celebrate Lent at Messy Church. On February 23rd, we will celebrate the abundance of Jesus’s lifetime of ministry with a loaves and fishes theme. Then, on March 22nd, we will celebrate a procession of Messy Church Palms. Read more about Messy Church.