Monday, June 22, 2015

They Met to Read the Bible

They Met to Read the Bible
ST. CHRISTOPHER 7.6.8.6.8.6.8.6 ("Beneath the Cross of Jesus")
 
They met to read the Bible, 
they gathered for a prayer,
They worshiped God and shared with friends
and welcomed strangers there.
They went to church to speak of love,
To celebrate God’s grace.
O Lord, we tremble when we hear
What happened in that place.
 
O God of love and justice,
we thank you for the nine.
They served in their communities
and made the world more kind.
They preached and sang and coached and taught,
And cared for children, too.
They blessed your church and blessed your world
With gifts they used for you.
 
We grieve a wounded culture
Where fear and terror thrive,
Where some hate others for their race
And guns are glorified.
We grieve for sons and daughters lost,
For grandmas who are gone.
O God, we cry with broken hearts:
This can’t continue on!
 
God, may we keep on sowing
The seeds of justice here,
Till guns are silent, people sing,
And hope replaces fear.
May seeds of understanding grow
And flourish all our days.
May justice, love and mercy be
The banner that we raise.
 

Tune: Frederick Charles Maker, 1881
Text: Copyright © 2015 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Email: bcgillette@comcast.net New Hymns: www.carolynshymns.com
Permission is given for free use by local churches and in ecumenical services.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Message from June 2015 Tablet

Dear Friends,

“Come Holy Spirit and set our hearts on fire” is a prayer often recited before a sermon is preached. We have just celebrated the coming of the Holy Spirit at the Feast of Pentecost. Coming fifty days after Easter, the Holy Spirit breathed new life into the small group of disciples left behind when Jesus ascended into heaven. The beginning of the Church!

On the Day of Pentecost, we celebrated the coming of the Holy Spirit in a big way at St. David’s. The Right Rev. George Councell, XI Bishop of NJ, was with us for a service of confirmation, reception and reaffirmation. AND Mrs. Ruth Councell was with us as we celebrated receiving the final set of the liturgical hangings and altar paraments commissioned by St. David’s. The red hangings for Pentecost and Palm Sunday are glorious! We are so grateful to her for sharing her artistic gifts with us. I am very grateful to all of you for the donations that have made our collection of liturgical banners and vestments possible. We celebrated as 3 young people were confirmed and 6 adults received and reaffirmed!

The disciples were so filled with the Holy Spirit, that even though Jesus was no longer with them, through “a spirit of adoption”, they became Children of God. And so we are. Children of God and heirs of God with Christ (Romans 8:14-17). As the Church, we are the Body of Christ and also Children of God. All this because of the presence of the Holy Spirit, received by the disciples over two thousand years ago. But that was not a “once for all” event. The Holy Spirit still breathes life into our church and the church all throughout the world. I believe that that is the reason, despite our obvious human failures, that the church still exists. Because the Holy Spirit breathes new life into her and into each of us as disciples of Christ.

St. David’s has experienced this new life in so many ways over this past program year. Meirs Hall has led us into new life, new community, new ways to serve and into new fellowship with one another. Our new Community Garden will provide nutritious vegetables for those who receive food from RISE as well as those within our church. We have welcomed new members over the past year whose gifts have given new life to our worshiping and serving community. Our new Way of St. Paul team will help breathe new life into our lives as disciples and into our efforts to form new disciples. The Holy Spirit is definitely moving in our church and in her people.

I hope each of you will come to church during the month of June to see the fire of the Holy Spirit writ large in our new liturgical banners. Our church is on fire! And we pray…

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love. Amen.

Blessings, Karin+