Thursday, March 28, 2013

Celebrate Easter with The Gathering

Sunday, March 31, 2013
5:30 PM 618 Locust Street

Offering will be designated for The Gathering. Potluck to follow.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Happy Passover

Sunday, March 24, 5:30 pm,
618 Locust Street

The week beginning Sunday, March 24, known worldwide as Holy Week, marks foundational events in both the Jewish and Christian traditions. We will reflect upon these holy days as we gather to observe Passover, or Pesach, which is the Jewish remembrance of the exodus of the ancient Israelites from the slavery of Egypt to new life in the Promised Land. The story, appropriately chronicled in Exodus, a book in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament), provides an account of people whose value had been stripped from them who went on to live rich, full lives in the land of milk and honey.

"The Exodus is a story of transformation about people socially, economically, and politically oppressed who find the inner strength and resources to create a community and culture that became vibrant and enduring. This is a story whose potency continues to inspire oppressed people to work for justice some four thousand years after it was first recorded." Lou Kavar 

This potent story and lesson is passed on 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 shortly before his death. This 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, March 24, which is the Christian Palm Sunday, for an interfaith Seder.

Our offering will be designated for One Great Hour of Sharing, an ecumenical effort supporting ministries in 70 countries. The motto,"Giving Help, Hope and Life," appropriately conveys the work of OGHS which includes funding development projects, feeding the victims of famine, providing services for displaced people, and responding to natural disasters.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Generously Gathering

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

One of the deep satisfactions I experience is related to the generosity of The Gathering. We give away approximately 49% of what we financially take in each week. Wow. Plus we give of ourselves in various others ways - we give to each other, to San Angelo, to the UCC, and to our larger community the world.  We, a small group of committed people, are making a big difference in our community!   

In addition to making a difference for others, giving is also important to us - because giving of ourselves, or being generous, lies at the heart of spiritual practice.  We will explore this notion of giving and faith/spiritual development during worship this coming Sunday, March 17, 5:30 pm.  As part of the evening, we will learn about our current financial situation from Pat Hines, The Gathering treasurer, and we will hear recommendations from the Finance and Budget Workgroup about our 2013 budget.   

Appropriately, this week's offering will be two-fold: both for ourselves and for others.  Our financial offering will be designated for The Gathering, and our "hands-on" offering will be non-perishable food for Project Dignidad. This being the 3rd Sunday of the month, we will also share a potluck meal following worship.   

Note: If you would like to participate in The Gathering's offerings but are not able to attend The Gathering in body, you are always welcome to send your contribution to me at  
1305 St. Andrews, San Angelo, TX, 76904,  
or to
Pat Hines, 309 N. Park Street, San Angelo, TX, 76901.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Gathering with Saints

A Time of Lenten Reflection
Sunday, 10 March 2013
5:30 pm, 618 Locust

Lenten journey to a place of deep wholeness and holiness continues this Sunday as we are lead by Brenda Maiman.  She will invite us into relationship with 2 women mystics as she leads us in a time of contemplative reflection.  She states:  "Come and meet two marvelous mystics this Sunday......Teresa of Avila (12th century) and Julian of Norwich (15th century). .... both of whom weave common sense and mysticism into their writings. Experience how their feminine wisdom speaks to the depths of prayer life, hearts, and lives of women and men today." Pregnancy was quite dangerous during these women's lifetimes; both provided spiritual help to pregnant women and undoubtedly to families and friends when a woman and/or child died during childbirth. So in memory of them, our offering will be designated for the Pregnancy Help Center.  Because it is the second Sunday of the month, we will not share a potluck meal.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Celtic Gathering

Celtic CrossAs we gather for worship Sunday night, we continue our journey through Lent by further exploring the holy relationship between body and spirit; and this Sunday we engage "Celtic Spirituality".  As I'm learning from Nancy, "Celtic spirituality" is a VERY large theme with all kinds of particularities. One feature of Celtic spirituality is interweaving and mixing the sacred and ordinary. They call this the "thin boundary" between the sacred and the secular. And did you know that the circle symbolizes the natural cycles of nature and the interconnectedness of all that is? The circle also symbolizes that every participant is of equal value with no position either more or less important than any other. Sounds like a good fit with The Gathering, doesn't it?  Gather with us Sunday night as we engage with these and other aspects of Celtic spirituality.  And remember: we meet in a dance hall, so don't be surprised if we break out in an Irish jig!

Our offering will be designated for West Texas Organizing Strategy. While not particularly "Celtic", it does seek to connect the sacred and secular and lives out the belief that every human is of equal value with no position either more or less important than any other.

Our fitting food theme will celebrate all things "green," so how about some Irish stew, corned beef and cabbage, or Irish potatoes? Green pasta, broccoli, asparagus and green beans would all be nice additions, as would split pea soup, green cookies, green salad, and of course, lime jello.  You get the idea. 

And please remember - we always have an abundance of food (in many colors), so come on!  PLEASE do not let the potluck issue keep you from participating in community.