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|August 13, 2013|
Every autumn, many United Methodists do something uniquely United Methodist: they step into the little-known, creation-caring season of "Kindgomtide." In 1937, the former Federal Council on Churches (now the National Council of Churches of Christ) recommended that all church denominations celebrate Kingdomtide as a way of highlighting "Jesus' teachings concerning the kingdom of God."* Today, the UMC is the only denomination that still observes this season formally. "The liturgy for Kingdomtide stresses charity and assistance to the poor"** as well as other active expressions of faith that help to unveil God's Kingdom/Kin-dom*** among us.
Because the liturgical color for this season is green -- and because many churches are trying to expand their notion of "Kingdom" to include all of God's creation (not only humankind) -- many UMC churches now observe part or all of Kingdomtide as the "Season of Creation." The UMC General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) says, "September is the recommended month to observe the Season of Creation, since it leads to World Communion Sunday (October 7) and the Commemoration of St. Francis of Assisi (October 4)." (The GBOD has a helpful web page devoted to the Season of Creation.) With hope, all churches that choose to observe these seasons (Kingdomtide and/or the Season of Creation) discover new, life-giving dimensions of our call as stewards of God's creation.
Grace and Peace be with you,
Coordinator, Creation-Care Ministries
Pacific Northwest Conference
The United Methodist Church
*The United Methodist Book of Worship, p. 409.
** "Kin-dom" is one of several alternative terms (e.g., "Realm," "Commonwealth") that some Christians have adopted in addition to or in lieu of "Kingdom." While time-honored, "Kingdom" can convey a sense of hierarchical relatedness (with God and among God's creatures - human and others) that some Christians find challenging; "Kin-dom" attempts to convey a sense of collegial relatedness (i.e., "kinship").
*** From Wikipedia.org.
|"Kingdomtide: Creation Healed"|
"A spoken word poem and would be benediction"
By UMC Rev. John David Walt Jr.*
It's that sound
In the ground
When the seed becomes found
And the world gather's round
Can you hear it?
It's the ease
In the breeze
From the healing in the leaves
Clapping hands of the trees
Do you see it?
It's the feast
In the yeast
When the great feed the least
War and strife cease for peace
Will you taste it?
It's the care
In the air
When the rich start to share
Fragrant skies perfuming prayer
Won't you smell it?...
Go now and be
Broken healers of creation
Joyful bearers of salvation
Crucified saints of a cruciform nation
Are you Ready?
*John David (JD) Walt is Associate Vice President for Advancement and Special Counsel to the President at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, KY and "Chief Sower" for the Wesleyan resource: the Seedbed. This poem was reprinted by permission of the author and excerpted from Asbury's Poetry and Arts Blog.
| Small Steps... for Greater Good|
|Take the Challenge: Enter Interfaith Power and Light's 5th Annual "Cool Congregations Challenge"
The Cool Congregations Challenge is an annual national contest to recognize "Cool Congregations" that are becoming energy efficient and sustainable role models within their communities. The contest is brought to you by Interfaith Power & Light, a nonprofit organization working to inspire and support a religious response to global warming. There are no fees to enter. To receive your free entry guide, click here. Entries for the 2013 Challenge will be due on January 31, 2014.
HOW TO ENTER THE COOL CONGREGATIONS CHALLENGE
Get your entries ready for the 2013 Cool Congregations Challenge, an annual national contest to recognize "Cool Congregations" that are becoming energy efficient and sustainable role models within their communities. The contest is brought to you by Interfaith Power & Light, a nonprofit organization working to inspire and support. . . learn more
MEET PREVIOUS WINNERS
Winners of the Cool Congregations Challenge are united by their commitment to address global warming by reducing their carbon footprint and by becoming inspirations to their members and communities. Winners were selected from four categories: energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable grounds and water conservation, and inspiring congregants. . . learn more
REQUEST 2013 ENTRY GUIDE
The 2013 Cool Congregations Challenge Entry Guide is now available. Win prizes and be awarded a certificate that recognizes your achievement! The Challenge is entering its fifth year, and has provided recognition to more than two hundred faith communities across the nation. Find out more about how. . . learn more
|Tools for Renewal|
Excerpted from The UMC General Board of Discipleship's Planning Calendar
By Taylor Burton-Edwards
|Some excellent, on-line sermon helps -- most of which coincide with the Revised Common Lectionary:|
|Events & Actions|
|Summer 2013 - Winter 2014