Good News: A Weekly Update from St Thomas Church—March 12, 2015
“For seasonable weather, and an abundance of the fruits of the earth...” We have been praying this each week during Lent as part of our prayers. Seasonable weather: weather appropriate to the season, or time of year. Our part of New Jersey seems to finally have taken heed of that plea, and snow and ice are giving way to mud and thaw. The bird songs in the garden have changed, as the light has changed. The earth is warming, and spring is on its way. And soon we will hear complaints about how muddy, or how wet, or how humid, or how hot...or, or, or... We humans seem rarely to be satisfied. It has been the same for humankind from the beginning. In Deuteronomy we read of how the people of Israel became impatient with Moses because conditions were so bad. So, scripture tells us, God sent them something worse: poisonous snakes. This got their attention, and they repented, so God sent them protection against the snakes in the form of a bronze snake on the top of Moses staff. This bronze snake would later become an idol for the people and have to be destroyed – but that is a story for another time.
It is a gift and a blessing to be able to find some good, no matter how small, in what we have and where we are. Sometimes it can be a major challenge, or seem totally impossible. In those times, the gift and blessing remain: God’s love, full, rich, unbounded by our deserving, is there for us. In Sunday’s Gospel we read: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him...” (John 3:16,17)
Indeed. Feel the sun on your face and in your bones. Listen for the birds. Squish the mud under your feet. Find some bit of beauty in your day, and Rejoice!.
Peace and blessing,
This Sunday is the Fourth Sunday in Lent – called Refreshment Sunday, or Rose Sunday. There will be a few more candles, and some rose orphreys (bands) on the altar frontal and rose colored vestments on the priest. It is also known as Laetare, which means Rejoice, from the ancient introit used on this Sunday:
Rejoice, O Jerusalem: and come together all you that love her: rejoice with joy, you that
have been in sorrow: that you may exult, and be filled from the breasts of your
Psalm: I rejoiced when they said to me: "we shall go into God's House!"
In the UK and in some places in Europe, it is Mothering Sunday. Whatever it may be called, it is a day for lightening the rigors of Lent a bit, rejoicing, and being refreshed and renewed. Come be part of the festivities at St Thomas on this Refreshment Sunday: Pancakes, bacon and sausage following the 10:00 am service (Shrove Tuesday got snowed out), along with Pat Neil’s famous Irish Soda bread in honor of St Patrick’s Day. This is a fund raiser for the Youth Group Bridges Run this spring.
Evensong at 5:00, followed by a covered dish supper and special program. In honor of Pi Day on 3.14.15, the covered dish supper has a “Pie” theme – quiche, cottage, meat, apple, custard, pumpkin, and blueberry – bring your favorite! Then enjoy a program presented by Richard McIntyre about pipe organ building (art, craft, engineering – pipe organs have it all) – a wonderful dvd and some special hands on ‘show and tell “items. All are welcome – all ages!
We are cancelling the St. Thomas women's group Ukrainian Easter Egg Decorating event on March 15th and moving it to Sunday, March 22 following the 10:00 service. Please RSVP to Elisabeth Chiminec firstname.lastname@example.org.