Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

"At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us." ~ Albert Schweitzer 
This Thanksgiving, I am grateful for each of you and the spark you bring to the Gathering.  May your Thanksgiving day and season be filled with an abundance of Gratitude, Joy and Peace.  Karen

The Gathering meets next on Sunday, December 2nd at 5:30 pm at 618 Locust Street. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Gathering in Gratitude

"The generosity of God in sharing the goodness of creation with us can elicit only one possible response - that of gratitude."- Esther de Waal

This Sunday night we will engage in the spiritual discipline of gratitude as we gather for worship at 5:30 pm.  Come prepared to be inspired, touched, transformed. As a way of living our gratitude for daily nourishment, our offering is multifacted: we will receive non-perishable foods for Project Dignidad, as well as cans of chili for the Christmas Box effort (see article below).  We will also share a potluck meal.  Please remember - we always have plenty of food, so you don't "need" to bring anything.  If you'd like to contribute but can't come up with a food dish, you're always welcome to contribute to the "kitty"

Sunday, Nov 17 at 5:30 pm
618 Locust

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Gathering to Converse with Veterans

Sunday, 11 November 2012, 5:30 pm, 618 Locust Street
According to Wikipedia, Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans.  Observed on November 11, it coincides with other international holidays such as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day, which also mark the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I.  The significance of  November 11 is because major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.

In considering this Sunday, the Worship Planning Workgroup realized we are all somehow shaped by veterans.  After all, almost all Gatherers are either veterans or children, spouses, siblings, friends, or parents of veterans.  We wondered about the effects of serving in the military on one's soul and spiritual journey.  In addition, we wondered how being a veteran impacts one's religious beliefs and/or faith journey.  So, in the best Gathering style, we'll have a conversation with some of our veterans - Larry, Tim, Les, and Crockett have agreed to share some of their military experiences with us.  In addition to story sharing, we'll also examine the Just War theory and theology as well as the Just Peace church movement.

Our financial offering will be designated for Meals for the Elderly because as Ann points out, many veterans are currently served by Meals for the Elderly.  In addition, we will continue our special November offering effort to bring dry and canned goods for Project Dignidad.  Since this is the second Sunday of the month, we will not have pot luck.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Intersection of Citizenship and Spirituality

Debates rage today about the role of religion in public life, and it seems religious rhetoric is increasing (or maybe just getting louder). As the world becomes more interconnected, various religions are inhabiting the same space, and many in the United States and around the world want to shape the public realm according to the dictates of their own religious traditions and particular interpretations of their sacred texts. Others, frustrated with this intolerance, take a completely secular approach to citizenship and want absolutely no intersection between anything spiritual and anything political.

But for those of us who intentionally work to integrate our spiritual lives with the rest of our lives, the situation is more complicated. We live within the tension of working to allow our particular faith perspectives to inform our politics without dictating that others believe and govern from our perspectives. We agree with the perspective that, "At it's best, the church is a community of moral discernment in which the connection between discipleship and citizenship can be a matter for serious deliberation." Sunday's worship invites us to this serious deliberation.

Governmental policies may be determined theoretically, but they have real life consequences, one of which is climate change and its effects. Zack Beauchamp points out that income inequality is "the single most important predictor of vulnerability to storm damage." As such, our financial offering this Sunday will be directed to Hurricane Sandy relief. Another consequence of current political policies is that many people in San Angelo are hungry. So every Sunday in November we will collect food for Project Dignidad. Canned vegetables and meats, peanut butter, bags of beans and rice are always needed and appreciated. And speaking of sharing food - we will join together in our potluck Sunday night.

 4 November 2012, 5:30 pm, 618 Locust Street