As anticipated, African American History Month is off to a great start. Thanks to Carolyn Matthews and committee for their “exceedingly well done” work. As always, thanks to Celestine Bennett for the fascinating resource table.
This week marks the beginning of both the Lunar New Year (celebrated by Chinese communities worldwide), and Lent. Both represent opportunities for fresh starts, for re-aligning ourselves with those things that matter most, for letting go of burdens that serve only to weigh us down.
On Sunday, Valentines Day, I plan to violate convention by preaching a sermon taken from Genesis 25: 24-28 titled “Love Is Not All We Need.” Central to my proclamation will be these words of Rabbi Johnathan Sacks from Not In God’s Name, Confronting Religious Violence, “But love is not enough. You cannot build a family, let alone a society, on love alone. For that you need justice also.” After church those of you that so choose can go to lunch with your significant other, gaze into their eyes, and complain about your pastor’s lack of romantic flair :)
Prayers of the Congregation
- Mary Karne on the death of Douglas Axup, the father of her daughter-in-law, Marilyn
- The Wilkinson family as Evan continues to recuperate from surgery (at home)
- Cathy Leaks and family for Amari (medical concerns)
- Tyrone for his son TJ’s girlfriend’s son (medical concerns)
- Michele Austin for her niece
- Sydney Webster for her friend Tatiana
- The Tanner family for Allison’s nephews
- Gloria Meads for all who are in stressful situations
- Joan Thatcher, health concerns
- Bjoe Morris, need for housing
- Recovery efforts following the earthquake in Tainan, Taiwan
- The continuing refugee crisis resulting from the fighting in Syria
- Researchers looking for ways to contain the Zika Virus
- Roy Browner for his family
- The Evans family
- Rae Rita Thompson for her father and her uncle.
- Anne Fields for her family
- Zondra Martin for her family
- Thanksgiving for the family strengthening work of our Lakeshore Children’s Center
- All who are grieving
- Maxine and Thomas O’Guinn for their family
One of my favorite services of the year is our Ash Wednesday Vigil. The Sanctuary will be open for quiet reflection, prayer with a pastor and the receiving of ashes from 7-8 a.m., 12-1 p.m., and 5-6 p.m.