Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Five from RevGalBlogPals

1) Your lifesaving food/beverage.
Mountain Dew and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups – a leftover from the newsroom early deadline need for adrenaline.

2) Your lifesaving article of clothing.
Long cotton skirts and sandals

3) Your lifesaving movie/book/tv show/music.
OK at the risk of seeming too liturgical – THE BIBLE.  But mystery books are my lifesaver from reality – meaning I don’t need to remember a single thing once I finish it.  Music in general and particularly piano music is the place where I can meet God and have my soul restored.

4) Your lifesaving friend.
Geez. Hard to choose. Good friends who listen to me rant and still love me… family who do the same….God who continually nurtured the thought that we do not have to be defined by our past….redemption is possible NOW.

5) Your lifesaving moment.

When an application for a Religion Newswriters scholarship crossed the desk of our newsroom editor. With a lot of help that scholarship was submitted overnight with prayer and trembling. As one of 10 journalists in the US, I was able to take my first seminary course, allowing me to FINALLY honor a call to ministry God placed on my life in high school.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Sabbath Celebration

Today was an unusual day at Gladden UP. By divine providence we were blessed with an visit by The Songsters (See earlier blog). The morning worship service was followed by a covered dish dinner organized by the Presbyterian Women. It was a wonderful time of fellowship with approximately half of the congregation participating.

By design, today was also our annual Around The Fire celebration of Reformation Sunday.

From 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., there was a flurry of activity at the church.

Tonight as 47 people gathered around the fire, I was consumed with the image of Christ’s body gathered together in fellowship as the eclectic blend of people attended – young and old in age, young and old members, non-members from the community, a mix of denominational affiliations – with activities planned by a variety of people in the congregation and invitations extended by one of our members to the children who ride her school bus during the week. It was a delight to watch our teens plan and implement activities for the children which allowed me to share fellowship with the adults.

It truly was a day which made ministry seem worth while and was a true gift from God.

The day also brought news that the pavilion in memory of Susan McAndrew has the possibility of being a reality in the very near future. I couldn’t help but think of Susan as I reflected on the day’s events … it was the reality of a vision she held for the people of Gladden UP.

A nod to Martin Luther



This morning we opened with a call to worship which was a tribute to Martin  Luther’s “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.” It was an unusual blend of a call to worship with the opening hymn which was published by the PC (USA) Office of Theology and Worship in celebration of Reformation Sunday.

On another website I found this Martin Luther quote: "I have no use for cranks who despise music, because it is a gift of God. Music drives away the Devil and makes people gay; they forget thereby all wrath, unchastity, arrogance, and the like. Next after theology, I give to music the highest place and the greatest honor."

It seemed only fitting that the gospel message was delivered by The Songsters, a gospel quartet hailing from Ohio.

One of their songs was “I’m Just a Sinner Saved By Grace,” and I couldn’t help but reflect that this might have been Martin Luther’s 21st century theme song.

We are so blessed that our righteousness is not dependent on the works we try to achieve but on the redemptive grace of Jesus Christ.