Friday, January 27, 2012

The Face of God

All My Life"
By Joyce Keller

All my life I've wanted to believe in God,
gone to church,
followed every spiritual teacher in town,
meditated and prayed,
attended 12-step programs,
but still I felt abandoned and alone in the universe.

All my life I've wanted to see the face of God.
Is he really just a mean old man in the sky?
Perhaps God is a chubby Buddha,
or maybe the Dalai Lama, always laughing.
Or is She a woman, the green Tara, weeping pearl tears,
the Virgin of Guadalupe, crowned with roses?

All my life I've tried to solve that old mystery,
Who are we?
Where did we come from?
Why are we here?

Then one day I saw the pictures
sent back by the Hubble Telescope:
Hot blue stars born out of the red glow of galaxies,
a pulsating firestorm of fluorescent clouds,
the obsidian sky of deep space.
Spirals of comets, like swirling diamond necklaces.
Black holes, exploding supernovas,
a hundred thousand light-years away,
endless, unimaginable, eternal.
And I knew that finally I had seen the face of God.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Revealing the Light

To quote Karen McGinnis, "more Light shall be revealed" Sunday as we continue exploring the Epiphany theme "the Revelation of God's Self". As part of the service, those attending the ONA convocation Saturday will share about the day and where and how Sacred Presence was made known.

At the beginning of this new semester, we will show our care for ASU's HERO organization (Helping Educate Regarding Orientation) by designating Sunday's offering for them. In addition, we will gather for our community potluck following worship. Please remember - no matter who you are or whether or not you've brought anything for the potluck, you are ALWAYS invited to participate in the potluck meal!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Gathering to Engage Religious and Civil Rights

We will observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend this Sunday by watching and discussing Hawo's Dinner Party: The New Face of Southern Hospitality. The 30 minute documentary follows the trajectory of Hawo Siyad, a Muslim refugee and former nurse from Somalia, who has come to work at a Shelbyville, TN, Tyson Foods chicken processing plant. Hawo is determined to learn English and connect with her neighbors - and also determined to remain a devout Muslim. But as news of 'home grown terrorism' appears in the national media and as Hawo tries to reach out, we get an intimate glimpse into the honest - and often uncomfortable - encounters that emerge. In addition to being appropriate given the weekend's human rights emphasis, engaging this movie is particularly timely given the recent conflict re: the new tv program All American Muslim. We are fortunate and look forward to Neil Snipes leading the discussion.

Our offering will be designated for West Texas Organizing Strategy, the local grass-roots effort of which we are a part, which is striving for a more just and equitable San Angelo.

As to pot-luck, January's a bit complicated in that we didn't meet the first Sunday, so last Sunday, the second Sunday of the month, we had worship and potluck. This coming Sunday is the third Sunday, which is usually a worship and potluck Sunday. However, we're watching a movie instead - but a movie with the words "dinner party" included. Therefore, you are welcome to bring pot-luck and movie-watching snacks or not, and we will, in the best Gathering fashion, be glad and grateful for whatever unfolds! And as someone said last Sunday, "It always works out fine."

Sunday, January 15
5:30 pm, 618 Locust Street

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Gathering to Celebrate Dia De Los Reyes Magos
(Three Kings Day aka: Epiphany)
Sunday, 8 January 2012
5:30 pm, 618 Locust

Twelve days after Christmas, January 6, begins the celebration of Epiphany, a season to focus on God's surprising revelations and manifestations. The Epiphany story probably sounds familiar - three wise men from a foreign land follow a star to a Bethlehem manger whereby they encounter the Holy Presence in a poor baby named Jesus. After gifting the child with gold, frankincense and myrrh, they return to their home country via a different road.

This observance, known in Spanish as Dia de los Reyes Magos, is very important in Hispanic cultures. During Sunday night's worship, we will incorporate parts of this tradition as we travel with the magi, exploring the unexpected, surprising paths our lives and faith take. In honor of the Light that accompanies us and lights our way on what can seem to be dark journeys, our offering will be designated for St. Paul Presbyterian Church's beneficence fund to help provide financial assistance to people needing light, that is, help with electricity bills.

Our potluck theme is food traditionally connected to the Dia de los Reyes Magos celebration - tamales and the trimmings, chocolate, and possibly a
Rosca de Reyes cake.