Welcome to this week’s E-Bridge
What you will find here :
-Reflections on this week’s text
-What is happening at Seymour Congregational Church
-What is going on around the Conference. Please spend time to review the video on church interdependence found at the end of the E-Bridge.
We have two text this Sunday the First is from Isaiah 40:21-31
This time of year is rough on lots of people. In Connecticut winter has finally arrived. The snow while beautiful when fresh loses its luster soon. The full moon last night lit up my yard, Peg went into the old familiar words of the Christmas Eve Poem “gave a luster of midday to objects below”; After two days of moving the stuff, the luster, I will admit was wearing off. Short days and long nights have a negative effect on many. The grayness and short days often have a wearing effect. Some suffer from seasonal affective disorder, which leads to depression. So that leads me to our first text.
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and strengthens the powerless.
Even youths will faint and be weary,
and the young will fall exhausted;
but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint. [from Isaiah 40]
The prophet was of course speaking to a people in exile, who’d spent a lot of years away from home. They were tired. Tired of the distance, the longing, the not knowing, no luster, powerless.
The prophet’s words come to us also. We get tired. Exhausted, even. Lonely. Faint, the poet says. And what is the word we’re to hear?
Years back when studying biblical languages, I learned that triplets (three-line sequences) in Hebrew poetry, like the one at the end of this chapter, grew in emphasis from the first to the third. In other words, the last line is more important to the author than the middle, and the middle is more important than the first. In this case, that seems counterintuitive to me.
If he were thinking/writing/preaching the way I would, the poet would have said, “They shall walk and not faint, they shall run and not be weary, they shall mount up with wings like eagles.” But his order is just the opposite of what I’d expect.
Surely, I would say, flying like an eagle should be the pinnacle moment of this poem, not walking without falling down. That however is for me what it is all about. Walking and not falling down. How many times have I stood with someone who has broken a wing and is now learning to walk all over again. Walker in hands one step forward.
Here’s what I have grown to love in this poem: Sometimes, no matter how much we long to soar like an eagle, all we can do is barely manage to put one foot in front of the other, over and over and over again. Maybe that is all we can hope for. That the very best thing is simply to be able to walk, in faith and with strength, because God accompanies us.
And from Mark 9:2-9
This is one of those stories that woman hear different than men. There is Jesus doing his thing. Simon-Peter has brought his new found friends over for dinner. Only a guy would do this without calling ahead. And only a guy would have stopped to think if my mother-in law is sick maybe we should dine out and bring her something. I feel for this un-named woman. Who as the woman who read the text note, sick or not Jesus gets her up, a miracle well maybe and off she goes into the kitchen to cook and serve. The real miracle would have been if the men at least delivered some pizza.
See You Sunday
On February 7th at 9:00 AM, there will be a kitchen cleanup.
Please come and help out. Contact Teresa Kregling with any questions.
THIS Sunday, February 8 is our 2nd Annual Valentine’s Auction.
Get on the good side of your sweetheart! There will be a “healthy” Coffee Hour immediately after church service this Sunday followed by the Live Auction. So grab your coffee or tea, a little nosh, and a bidding paddle (and don’t forget your checkbook!) We have so many wonderful gifts for all ages that have been donated to bid on, including amazing sweet and tasty treats! Come on down to Fellowship Hall after service and join us in the fun!
For donations of baked goods or other food items – Please bring them in before the start of the service on Sunday and be sure to label what the item is and if it contains nuts or is gluten-free. Thank you.
In the event church is cancelled due to the weather, we will have the Auction on Sunday, Feb. 15th.
Looking forward to seeing you all there!
Peace and Blessings,
Your Parish Life Committee
** Next Sunday, Feb. 15th, the Choir will be starting to rehearse a new Cantata “Sanctuary” to be presented on Palm Sunday in Celebration of the Life of Regina Poniatowski, given by her family and friends. We’re inviting people that like to sing to come join us, be a “Sometime Singer” and sing in the Cantata and for Easter. Grab your coffee and come up to the Choir Room at 11:30 next week! No experience necessary. See You?
**Is any member of your family having a birthday or anniversary? Why not surprise them and put flowers on the altar for their celebration? Or remember a loved one. Flowers mean so much. Our Flower Chart in the hall is completely empty for February and March. Calling YOU to please sign up!!
**Please send your announcements to the church office by WEDNESDAY morning if you wish them to be included in next Thursday’s E-Bridge and Sunday’s bulletin.
**Tag Sale date will be Saturday, May 2nd, 8 am – 2 pm. Members who would like to unload some items can rent a table for $20. A sign up sheet will be posted in March for those wanting to rent a table and for volunteers to help set up/tear down, work at the sale, etc. Please hold off bringing in items until the week following Easter (April 6). Any questions, contact Laura Thompson. Thank you!
**BOOK CLUB: Our book club meets the first Friday of each month. We each take turns picking a book of our own choice and then the discussion takes place in our home. Books of every genre are chosen which makes for lively discussion. For more information contact Karen Baker, 888-0394.
THIS WEEK AT SEYMOUR CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH
Sunday, February 8th
10:00 AM – Worship
11:15 AM – Valentine’s Auction
No Choir Rehearsal Today
3:30 PM Weight Watchers
7:30 PM Amaranth
Tuesday, Feb. 10
6:15 PM Girl Scouts #135
Thursday, Feb. 12:
7:00 PM AA
Saturday, Feb. 14:
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!
OFFICE HOURS THIS WEEK
Reverend – Tues., Wed. & Thurs. – 9:30 AM-4:00 PM
Administrative Asst. – Tues., Wed., & Thurs. – 9:30 AM-1:30 PM
Rev. Ed is here Tues., Wed., and Thurs. from 9:30 AM until 4 PM. He would like to meet members of the congregation, and puts morning hours aside for that. Please call first if you plan to come in the afternoon as Rev. Ed goes out to visit at that time.
News and Announcements
One of the new ideas taking place around the conference has been to assist congregations to find mutual ways to work together. Interdependent ministries recognizes that the difficulties the local congregation has when trying to stand alone. It call out to the benefits that occur when congregations find mutual ways to work together. You may wish to view the video by Rev. Siladi as he discusses this new approach.
VIDEO: New Vantage Point Begins Series on Interdependent Ministries HARTFORD — In a new edition of Vantage Point released today via the Connecticut Conference’s YouTube channel, Conference Minister the Rev. Kent Siladi began a series of conversations with local church leaders engaged in interdependent ministries. In the first installment, four pastors joined Rev. Siladi in the Leadership Studio at United Church Center to briefly describe some of the ways they have shared in God’s work with members and ministers of another congregation. 02/04/2015
Conference Calls Michelle Hughes as Associate Conference Minister for Transitions – HARTFORD — In a message to church leaders around the state today, Conference Minister the Rev. Kent Siladi announced that the Rev. Michelle Hughes of Chicago, Illinois, has been called as the first Associate Conference Minister for Transitions, to support and collaborate with local congregations during leadership transitions. “We believe that many of our churches will reap rich harvests from the assistance and training she will be able to bring to them,” he said. 01/23/2015
And Yes ministries do die!
Sunset: the Christian Conference of Connecticut Concludes its Ministry – HARTFORD — With a single candle flickering at the front of the chapel in the Asylum Hill Congregational Church UCC in Hartford, friends, supporters, and admirers of the Christian Conference of Connecticut honored the ecumenical agency’s ministry in worship on Thursday evening, January 15th, as it concluded. Board Secretary the Rev. Bruce Steinway reflected, “To follow Jesus is to make one’s way to the cross — but the cross is not the last word.” 01/21/2015
UPCOMING SERMON NOTES:
The subject of our Sermon on February 15th will be about global warming. Please take a moment and watch this supporting video: