Friday, May 28, 2010

To Gather or Not To Gather...

That is One Question we Have Answered

Gatherers tend to be seekers, questioners, journeyers. We understand that there are many questions without answers and often, it is in the questioning itself, the journey itself that we experience the Holy. Mark this day (drum roll, please) - there is one question that does have a definitive answer - even for The Gathering: Due to the Memorial Day holiday weekend, we are NOT Gathering this Sunday, 30 May, 5:30 pm. at Promenade Square, 618 Locust Street. Because we moved our fifth Sunday of the month "Community Conversation Re: Our Priorities" aka "Gathering for Sacred Business Meeting" meeting to the fourth Sunday of the month (and what a very satisfying conversation/sacred business meeting it was), we are encouraging ourselves to live on the edge this holiday weekend - not by asking deep theological questions or by seeking deep spiritual truths - but by resting, playing, enjoying our families, visiting our neighbors, and most of all, by remembering the men and women who have died while serving in the US military.

The Spirit, of course, is still alive and well even though The Gathering is not officially gathering. Watch for her presence as you walk along the river. Listen for her voice as you enjoy the breeze at sunset. Feel her energy as you celebrate graduations. Know her comfort as you attend a Memorial Service.

We will gather for worship and community again the first Sunday of June. 6 June, 5:30 pm, Promenade Square, 618 Locust Street.

West Texas Organizing Strategy Meeting
Thursday, 27 May 2010, 7:00 pm
St. Mary's Catholic Church
This summer's Kids Eat Program was discussed.

Shalom, Peace, Salaam,

Karen Schmeltekopf

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Gathering the Spirit's Energy

Sunday, May 23, is Pentecost - an observance historically and symbolically related to the Jewish harvest festival of Shavuot, which commemorates God giving the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai fifty days after the Exodus. In Christian churches, Pentecost commemorates the descent of the Spirit upon the followers of Jesus as described in the New Testament book of Acts during these Jewish "fiftieth day" celebrations in Jerusalem. For this reason, Pentecost is sometimes described as the "Birthday of the Church".

On this day commemorating the Spirit's Presence experienced in a new way, we will celebrate and explore the Spirit's stirrings and wild activities among The Gathering - and in a curiously very appropriate way, we'll do that by having a "Community Conversation Regarding Our Priorities" - aka a Gathering-wide business meeting. This spring, the Community Connecting Workgroup and the Worship Planning Workgroup have put much prayer, energy and planning in to The Gathering, and they have much to share with the group as a whole - like the proposed summer schedule, the proposed fall schedule, a marketing effort, and the need to spend money to purchase things like a projector so we can watch movies again!

So the evening will be full of engaging with the Spirit and deciding things that shape who we are. You are encouraged to participate. The Gathering is a collaborative community where, just as our bell banner symbolizes, each voice is unique and important in making up the whole chorus (see purpose below). We say we welcome all into the "full life and ministry of The Gathering" and that doesn't just mean others - it means us, too!

Recognizing the time issue, we will not have a regular pot-luck; feel free, however, to bring a sack supper if you'd like.

Sunday, May 23, 5:30 pm, 618 Locust Street.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Serving Others

Sunday, 16 May 2010 5:30 pm
618 Locust Street

We will participate in the South Central Conference 2010 Annual Meeting mission project by making personal hygiene kits for the Back Bay Mission Homeless Ministry. Back Bay Mission, located in Biloxi, Mississippi, is a ministry of the United Church of Christ, and its mission in part states it: " faithful witness for social justice and compassionate service to the poor and marginalized." They advocate for justice and also provide direct services for those who experience injustice daily. I will take the kits to the Annual Meeting in June. Kit items still needed: 10 hand towels (approximately 16x28 inches), 8 washcloths, 24 wide tooth combs, 9 toothbrushes, 10 toothpastes, 26 plastic soap containers (to hold a bath size bar of soap), and 23 deodorants (solid or roll-on). Nancy York is coordinating the evening.

We will also hear about Isobelle Fox's experiences of the Transgender Caucus trip.

Because we will be putting the kits together, our "pot-luck" is snack food.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Celebration of the Feminine (on Mother's Day)

I look forward to the sharing we will do Sunday, May 9th in Celebration of the Feminine. I look forward to the readings, poetry, art, music, scriptures and stories. If you would like to give me a heads up prior to Sunday on what you plan to share, please feel free to email me.

Our offering May 9th will go to the Children's Miracle Network. This is a non-profit organization that raises funds for more than 170 children's hospitals, of which Shannon Hospital is a member. CMN hospitals help sick and injured kids in the local communities. CMN funds are kept in the community in which they are generated to provide life saving pediatric care, education, research and equipment.

Bring for our pot luck anything that reminds you of your mom, grandmother, or another special woman that has provided spiritual nourishment for you.