Lent 2021

 

Lent is traditionally a season of fasting, of almsgiving (giving money to the poor), and prayer. It is a time when Christians have sought to empty themselves of those behaviors, foods, or habits that separate us from God and from who God is calling us to be. Lent can also be a time of filling. Instead of giving something up, we may add a practice of attention or intention through which we seek to see, hear and experience God’s presence more clearly or to better align our will and actions with God’s. 

 

But what is it that we empty? What is it that we seek to fill? 

Our bodies? Our time? Our lives? Our minds and spirits?

 

This Lenten season, instead of focusing on emptying or filling, on giving up or adding on, we invite you to reflect on that which is emptied, that which is filled -- the vessel that is you. How do we open ourselves for either emptying or filling? How do we allow ourselves and our lives to be molded and shaped by our Creator? What kinds of spaces or vessels lend themselves to receiving, holding or pouring out hope, faith, peace, love? What happens when a vessel gets cracked? Leonard Cohen suggests that this can be a gift -- for the crack is, after all, where the light gets in.

 

We will reflect on vessels around us: literal and metaphorical containers such as pottery, buildings, sanctuaries, chrysalises, tombs, a home, family, community. What vessels hold us? Who or what shapes those vessels? What vessels promote growth or enable transformation? And we will reflect on what it can mean for us to be vessels? How do we become and co-create vessels through which the Holy Spirit can work and flow?

 

Our Lenten worship invites us to reflect on

- how we are held by the vessel of community,

- how we are shaped by the words of prayer, song and scripture, and

- how we are transformed by God's love.

 

As earthen vessels, spirit-filled, we seek to be mindful of how we carry God's Spirit within us. 

God fills us to meet all that we may face. 

And God empties us in love and service of others. 

 

Holy Week

Sunday, March 28 -- From Palms to Passion Palm Sunday Midrash Worship on Zoom, 10:00 am

Thursday, April 1  -- Maundy Thursday (at-home worship)

Friday, April 2        -- Good Friday (2020 Ecumenical Good Friday Worship)

Sunday, April 4     -- Easter Sunrise Service @ Kauffmans, 6:30 am

                               -- Easter Morning Worship on Zoom, 10:00 am

 


Easter 2021


This Easter season, we continue our reflections on vessels.

We consider the tomb as a vessel, the chrysalis from which a butterfly emerges, an encounter on the road, or a meal shared at table. Transformation, indeed resurrection, takes place in vessels and containers. 


How does God call us to use the vessels that are us? How does God call us to use the resources at hand (time, energy, passion and skill, money, our building, and our very community) as vessels of hope, love, strength, change and transformation? What barriers are there to vessels fulfilling God’s purpose? And what happens when vessels break? When conflict and tensions arise? When things cannot stay the same? What practices help us mend the literal and metaphorical vessels that are us and are around us in ways that make them stronger, more resilient and more beautiful? What are the gold threads (to draw from the Japanese practice of kintsugi in which a broken pot is mended with gold) with which we can mend vessels to be used and admired once more -- not for their perfection but for the beauty of brokenness made whole.


Part of our worship each Sunday will be testimonies shared by members of our congregation reflecting on the metaphor of vessel.