Sunday, October 22, 2007

Adult Forum, 9:30 a.m.
Exploring God's Response to Job
Discussion Leader: Lura Bublitz

Lectionary readings: Job 38:1-7 (34-41); Psalm 104:1-9,24,35c; Hebrews 5:1-10; Mark 10:34-45

Worship, 10:30 a.m.
: Pastor Greg
Worship Leader
: Angela Yarber
Lead Usher: Brian Kearins
Sermon Title: “Out of the Whirlwind … Wisdom”

Who Has the Wisdom?
Who holds the wisdom that is at creation’s core and in the midst of Job’s own predicament? A whirlwind reverses Job from questioner to the one questioned. Another reversal occurs when the conventional wisdom of privilege is met by the gospel wisdom of humility pronounced by Jesus. Seekers of wisdom may encounter more questions than answers in its finding.

After a time of profound questions, Job proclaims his faith in God: “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you.” We, like Job and the disciples, are called to trust God in the midst of our questions. When have you, like Job, experienced the presence of God? In what ways have your questions helped you to grow in faith and trust?

Prayer for the weekend as you prepare for worship:
Creator God, we cannot hope to know all that is and will be – and when we think we do, deliver us from the arrogance of ignorance. Our hope rests in your wisdom. By that wisdom, lead us through uncertainty and steady us in love. Amen.

Words for Meditation

In the Quiet Curve of Evening
Click on the title above and press play to hear a sample of this song

In the quiet curve of evening, in the sinking of the days,
In the silky void of darkness, you are there.
In the lapses of my breathing, in the space between my ways,
in the crater carved by sadness, you are there.

In the rests between the phrases, in the cracks between the stars,
In the gaps between the meaning, you are there.
In the melting down of endings, in the cooling of the sun,
in the solstice of the winter, you are there.
In the mystery of my hungers, in the silence of my rooms,
In the cloud of my unknowing, you are there.
In the empty cave of grieving, in the desert of my dreams,
in the tunnel of my sorrow, you are there.

Words, music copyright © 1993, Juliana Howard Used by permission.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Coffee Time begins 9:15 a.m.
Adult Forum begins 9:30 a.m.
Worship begins 10:30 a.m.
All are welcome!

Adult Forum
Where Are You?
Focus Scripture: Job 23:1-9, 16-17
Additional Scripture: Psalm 22:1-15; Mark 10:17-31; and Hebrews 4:12-16.
Job appeals for justice in the search for God. The cries of our world voice the psalm’s lament of God’s seeming abandonment. Our questioning and protests presume God’s hearing. Our wondering with the disciples over who can be saved presumes salvation as possibility. To ask God “where are you?” presumes one who can and will answer.
Discussion Leader: Lura Bublitz

Worship 10:30 a.m.
Scriptures: Psalm 90 and Hebrews 4:13-16
Prayer for the Weekend as You Prepare for Worship: O God, you were with us when we took our first breath. Since our mothers gave us birth, you have been our God. Do not be far from us when trouble is near and there is no one to help. Stir our faith when we falter – and tune our spirits to resonate with your grace.
Preaching: Jerry Neale; Worship Leader: Greg Ledbetter; Head Usher: Brent Adams; Special Music: Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen); Logos Kids: Down by the River

If you started reading the book of Job last week, you may wish to continue doing so. If our only exposure to the book of Job were the texts provided by the lectionary for reading in worship, we would not have a very good idea of the full scope of the book. This week, while we’re not reading Job in worship (we are in Sunday school!), you may still wish to round out your experience of this beautiful, evocative book by reading Job 15:1 – 28:28.

Words for Meditation

Pied Beauty

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.
Gerard Manley Hopkins
English, Victorian Poet & Jesuit Priest

"We sense God's presence even, or especially, in "the dappled things"—things mottled as well as uniform, crooked as well as straight, sweet as well as sour, blemished as well as beautiful, surprising as well as predictable, and, yes, in things painful as well as pleasurable. God does act in our imperfect, irregular, dappled world and in our frail personal lives."
Daniel B. Clendenin, PhD

Sunday, October 8, 2006

Coffee Time begins at 9:15 a.m.
Adult Forum begins at 9:30 a.m.
Worship begins at 10:30 a.m.
All are welcome!

Adult Forum 9:30 a.m.
Hurricane Katrina & Global Warming
Come and engage in discussion with one another after viewing a brief video about hurricane Katrina and its relationship to global warming. This is an Adult Forum in anticipation of our screening of An Inconvenient Truth happening this evening at Shell Ridge!
Discussion Leader: Rick Mitchell

Worship 10:30 a.m.
Scriptures: Job 1:1, 2:1-10 and Mark 10:13-16
Mental Health Awareness Sunday
Prayer for the Weekend as You Prepare for Worship: Where are you, O God, when meaning eludes us and answers sound like mere rationales? When children die, when elders lose their faculties – where is your hand then? When we do not understand, O God, do not let go of us. Amen.
Preaching: Rev. Greg Ledbetter; Worship Leader: Rev. Angela Yarber; Head Usher: Stu Harris; Choir: Halle, Halle, Halle

This Sunday we will be reading a selection from the book of Job. If our only exposure to the book of Job were the texts provided by the lectionary for reading in Sunday worship, we would not have a very good idea of the full scope of the book. This week you may wish to round out your experience of Sunday’s scripture by reading Job 1:1—Job 14:22.

Words for Meditation

If I’m not for me, who will be?
If I’m only for me, what am I?
And if not now, when?

--from Pirkei Avot, a Hebrew collection of sayings
appearing at the top of the image Identity (above)

We Do Not Walk Alone
In an interview with Anne Lamott, who is no stranger to pain, Linda Buturian asked her what she most wanted to convey to her son Sam about God. "I want to convey that we get to be human," Lamott answered. "We get to make awful mistakes and fall short of who we hope we're going to turn out to be. That we don't have to be what anybody else tries to get us to be, so they could feel better about who they were. We get to mess up right and left. We get to keep finding our way back home to goodness and kindness and compassion. . . I want him to know that no matter what happens, he's never going to have to walk alone. . . That's what I'm trying to convey to Sam.
--from Shouts and Whispers; Twenty-One Writers Speak About Their Writing and Their Faith, ed. Jennifer L. Holberg (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2006).

from The Book of Job
"There was once a man in the land of Uz
whose name was Job.
That man was blameless and upright,
one who feared God
and turned away from evil. . . .
So The Accuser went out
from the presence of the Lord,
and inflicted loathsome sores on Job
from the sole of his foot
to the crown of his head.
Job took a potsherd with which to scrape himself, and sat among the ashes."