Sunday Worship April 10, 2022

Holy Week moves us among several emotions as we conclude the Lenten journey with Easter celebration next weekend.  Our service this Sunday, filled with music from many musicians among the congregation, welcomes this breadth of experience as we hear the stories of Palm Sunday and also of Jesus’ passion—of his last encounters with his friends, his judgment and his crucifixion.  How we navigate this breadth of human emotion is our ongoing challenge and blessing, and we are invited this week to consider the ways in which the experiences of Jesus’ disciples and other individuals who participated in the events of his passion parallel our own experience, if not to the same intense degree.  Join us throughout the week for worship; details may be found on our website as well as in next Wednesday’s eVisitor. Blessings and peace, Lisa

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Sunday Worship April 3, 2022

In this fifth week of Lent, we have a very full morning for worship and learning.  Our fearless music director, Ann, has pulled together a wide variety of music to invite us into a space of contemplation and praise.  Many thanks to the chimes ringers and members of the instrumental consort as well as to our choir for their time and talent!

As we move toward Holy Week and the promise of resurrection, we in some ways parallel the encounters the first disciples had with Jesus in their journey toward Jerusalem.  We remember sisters, Mary and Martha, and their brother Lazarus whom Jesus had raised from the dead.  In the echoes of that miracle, we may wonder at the many ways in which humanity responds to God’s working in our lives.  Is there a right way to worship?  Is there a right way to live in the world?  Jesus leads us in very specific directions and links our faith to the faith of our forebears.  From a disagreement among his friends we may learn ways of worshipping and of serving that help us to ease some of the divisions we have created over time.  Join us as we celebrate the gift of God’s love and our call to respond. Blessings and peace, Lisa

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Sunday Worship March 27, 2022

It’s a familiar story, really, and we all wish we couldn’t tell someone our version of it.  The parable of the prodigal son has made its way into our vocabulary and even into songs, because the emotional breadth it represents is so familiar to anyone who has lived with the blessing of family.  The word prodigal has become interchangeable with what is actually a misunderstanding of the term, however.  To be prodigal is not to be wayward, but wasteful.  So, the “sin” that follows the young man home has less to do with his initial departure than with his spending his time foolishly.  The effect on relationship becomes primary only when he returns.  We are invited to know the ways in which we have wasted relationship or have squandered its resources, but more importantly to learn ways of reconciling relationships—with one another and with God.  Bring your hurt as we look for healing; bring your questions as we look for truth. Blessings and peace, Lisa

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Sunday Worship March 20, 2022

“God is faithful; God will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, God will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”  This is the kind of good news that Paul spread throughout the range of first century churches as they grew.  It is good news that has sustained people of faith ever since.  Somehow, in the midst of these most significantly challenging times, we may rest in this comfort, but we may also find ourselves impatient, wanting resolution now.  I know that I do.  In the parable he shares in the Gospel lesson, Jesus invites us to consider how we wait faithfully, productively.  Perhaps we may share these personal resources together following worship as we strive together to trust that all will be well.  Blessings and peace, Lisa

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Sunday Worship March 13, 2022

I would first like to ask for your prayers for Peter Neblett, who has been transferred by ambulance from Ellsworth to Maine Medical in Portland following a fall on Thursday. Please hold him in your prayers as they determine whether he needs to have a pacemaker installed, and please also pray for Randi and the rest of the family as they care for and worry about him.

We pray in faith, and the lessons this Sunday invite us to consider what it means to have and to live in faith. In a time when our sense of what is right is challenged by world events, we also wonder what it means that God is faithful. As we consider Abram’s faithful responses in covenantal relationship with God, and Paul’s suggestion that we find models of faith to follow, we also can look at Jesus’ actions to know the finest model for faith and for behavior that we may know. Bring your faith, bring your questions, bring your doubts to our conversation and our worship.

Blessings and peace, Lisa

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Sunday Worship March 6, 2022

With the first Sunday of Lent, we are invited on a journey, which begins in our own day with echoes through all time.  Despite temptation and depravation, the people of Ancient Israel are moved to gratitude; despite temptation in the face of extreme hunger and thirst, Jesus remains true to God’s call for him.  With Lent a time of reflection that ideally makes us ready to enter into the joy of Easter with full hearts and clean consciences, we will look together at how very difficult it can be to recognize reasons for gratitude when life presents us with challenges.  Our service also will include the sacrament of Communion, which helps to remind us that what we know of abundance now is only a foretaste of what God has in store for us.  Although we are not sharing in the elements in the sanctuary, you are invited to prepare them in your homes.  That said, we also may look forward to returning to the sanctuary on Sunday, March 13th (in addition to remaining on Zoom).  Don’t forget your masks, but let’s celebrate our togetherness once again!  

Please mark your calendars for our Quarterly Meeting on Sunday, March 20th, following worship.  You may also want to add to your calendars three other opportunities this week:  We are gathering in front of the church on Sunday afternoons at 4:30 to show our support for peace in Ukraine.  We begin our study on the history of nonviolent resistance on Monday the 7th at 6:30 on Zoom. Our Lenten study series with the congregation of St. Francis Episcopal Church begins on Wednesday at 10:00.  Join us!  

Blessings and peace, Lisa

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