In the church’s east parking lot, close to the office entrance, there is a small island that contains two, rather large, trees. For years there was no grass, not even weeds, around those trees, just dirt, and it seemed as if nothing would ever grow there. Then, over time, Diedre Dunham brought in a couple of different kinds of groundcover clippings from home and filled in all the bare spots. I just walked in this morning and noticed how beautiful, how Edenesque, that little bit of ground was. Keep your eyes open. The beauty of God’s good creation is everywhere.
All of the Easter Lilies from Sunday have now been delivered to shut-ins. The lilies were all very well received and it was a wonderful way to extend our Easter worship service outside the walls of the building.
Over at slate.com Forrest Wickman cites three explanations for why we refer to Good Friday as “Good.” Here’s his conclusion:
The third and final theory, the one supported by both the Oxford English Dictionary [OED] and every language expert I contacted, is that the name comes from an antiquated meaning of good. “The answer seems pretty clearly to be that it’s from good ‘holy,’ ” responded Jesse Sheidlower, the president of the American Dialect Society, when I put this question to him. Liberman agreed, noting that if you consider the other names for Good Friday—“Sacred Friday” in the Romance languages (Viernes Santo, e.g.), “Passion Friday” in Russian—“the OED’s explanation makes excellent sense.” The OED also notes that there was once Good Wednesday, the Wednesday before Easter, which these days is more commonly known as Holy Wednesday.
That explanation also encourages me in my use of “Holy Thursday” instead of “Maundy Thursday.”
Link to the original article: http://slate.me/1q6rBkA
Like most of Abilene, I grieved when the Great Plains Theatre building burned to the ground last year, but I have to say hosting their summer camps has been a pleasure. It’s been wonderful to have a basement filled with (mostly) happy children and youth.
The Christian group Mercy Me has a song titled simply “Greater.” I wanted to share it with you.
It’s December 29 and most of the secular and commercial signs of Christmas are long gone, but for those of us who are Christian it is only the fifth day of Christmas, we have seven more to go. The day after that, (January 6) is Epiphany when we celebrate the fact that Jesus, a Jewish Messiah, came for Gentiles as well as Jews (epitomized by the visit of the Gentile magi). There is a great deal of celebrating left to do and the culture at large is leaving us alone to do it—for which I’m thankful, it gives us the opportunity to focus on what really matters. I encourage you to join me in using the remaining holidays (literally, the holy days of Christmas and Epiphany) to celebrate and rejoice in God’s great gift of the Word made flesh.
This past Sunday I asked three questions of my own at the 8:15 service and promised that I would share them on this blog. Here they are (slightly refined):
- What does membership mean? What should we expect of members?
- Our vision statement says that we are a church of open hearts, open minds, and open doors. Does this accurately reflect our focus and goals?
- As we move forward, how can we insure that we continue to be a church of both doing and being?
Please let me know if you have any thoughts.
Jenny has pointed out to me that I began officially serving as a pastor at the Piedmont and Climax United Methodist Churches on July 1, 1994. This means that I’ve completed 20 years of pastoral service in the United Methodist Church. It is a wonderful thing to be at Abilene First and I’m looking forward to spending year 21 with all of you.
I want to take a moment and thank all the people who responded to my previous post, “I Need An Attitude Adjustment.” Your commiseration, support, and suggestions helped me get back to a place where I can again demonstrate the love and hospitality of Jesus. Thank you.
I was walking downtown this morning, and I noticed that the Rivendell Bookstore had copies of Wide Open by Larry Bjornson for sale. I went back in this afternoon to by a copy for my Grandma Ocie, and found a truly amazing bookstore. And it’s in little Abilene, Kansas. We are truly blessed.