Thursday, April 21, 2011

Come Celebrate Easter

Easter Worship Service
April 24, 2011
5:30 pm
618 Locust Street

Thousands of acres surrounding San Angelo now proclaim the story of death and the promise and wait for new life. On this, our 3nd Easter together and in celebration of the containment of the Wildcat Fire, our offering will be designated for The Gathering and the Water Valley Volunteer Fire Department.

For our potluck, bring anything Easter-y: ham and ham compliments (salad, vegetables, bread), and anything eggy (green is optional), e.g., deviled or egg salad. Easter eggs (chocolate, of course) are always welcome.

Looking forward to Celebrating Resurrection Sunday together,


Friday, April 15, 2011

Gathering for Passover Observance

Sunday, 17 April
5:30 pm, 618 Locust Street

Passover, observed beginning Monday night, April 18 and continuing for 7 days, is the Jewish holy observance which commemorates the story of the Exodus, in which the ancient Israelites, led by Moses, were freed from slavery in Egypt. As Dick Marine notes, "It is significant to the Jewish people because it commemorates the Jewish 'national liberation movement' somewhat similar to the Emancipation Civil Rights Movement for African Americans." Jews continue to remember and pass on the lessons from this story through the sharing of a Seder meal. This meal of remembrance has also become important to Christians because it was a Seder meal which Jesus celebrated with his disciples when he broke the bread and shared the cup before his death. The meal continues to be significant to anyone who feels the struggle for liberation for themselves and all of God's children.

It will be in this spirit that we will gather on Sunday, April 17, which is the Christian Palm Sunday, for an interfaith Seder. Dick is organizing our meal of remembrance. In addition to bringing the Seder foods for which we signed up, Dick also requests that we bring finger foods to share. For more specific information and to help with the Seder ingredients, please contact Dick.

Our offering will be designated for the UCC Coalition for LGBT Concerns, an organization working to break the chains of oppression and fighting for freedom and justice for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered. Under the leadership of newly elected Executive Director Andy Lang, the Coalition's mission is "to provide support and sanctuary to all our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender sisters and brothers, their families and friends; advocate for their full inclusion in church and society; and bring Christ's affirming message of love and justice for all people."

The focus of this week's radio program Being is the book Exodus and writer Avivah Zornberg's perspective on the Israelite Exodus. Krista Tippett writes "Avivah Zornberg uncovers in Exodus a rich commentary on human nature at its best and at its worst, in the powerful and in the weak.... She reads Exodus as a tale of passion - of God's aroused attention to the enslaved people's suffering, and a subsequent longing on the part of God that mirrors the more predictable longing of human beings in the other direction."

Also from American Public Media's radio program Being comes an interview with journalists Cokie and Steven Roberts (devout Catholic and Jew, respectively) about their religiously "mixed" marriage and the importance of observing Passover. The interview is worth hearing before participating in The Gathering's Seder and can be found on Being's blog.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Gathering for Meditation

This Sunday we will continue our Lenten journey of inner reflection by gathering for meditation. Thanks to the connections of Tonia Marine, we will be visited by Jane Derby, who will share some history of Tai Chi and Qi Gong and lead us in some simple movements from each discipline. Tonia states: "Jane Derby has been practicing Tai Chi for the past 7 years under the teaching of Steve Haidinger from Tai Chi Concho. She currently is skilled in the 24 form Yang Style Tai Chi, Flying Rainbow Single Fan, Taiji Sword, and Xing Ye Staff. She also has achieved the status of teacher of Tai Chi. Please wear something you can move in to facilitate your participation."

Because Tai Chi and Qi Gong originated in the East, our potluck will be Asian-inspired food, and our offering will be designated for on-going Japan disaster relief through the One Great Hour of Sharing effort. OGHS is an ecumenical offering (9 different denominations participate) that "makes the love of God real for individuals and communities around the world who suffer the effects of disaster, conflict, or severe economic hardship, and those who serve them through gifts of time and money."

Please also remember we are collecting packages of cookie dough for United Campus Ministries' booth at the Childrens' Fair, to be held April 17. In addition, we have an on-going offering of boxed and canned food for Project Dignidad.

Sunday, 10 April
5:30 pm, 618 Locust Street