Mission Tidings Newsletter

March  2015

In This Issue
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Reverend's Reflections
St. Luke's Mariner's Cross


 Dear People of God at St. Lukes,


A common refrain I hear from people facing hard things is "I don't know how I would have gotten through this without my faith, my relationship with God." That relationship takes on all sorts of forms, from personal prayer, to Sunday worship, to the care that others in the church (St. Luke's and friends and family who attend other churches) provide. This same reality is true for me as well.


The Northeast of the US now leads the nation-used to be the Northwest (Washington/Oregon primarily)-where people answer polls about religion and belief "none of the above," as in 'I don't belong to a religious faith.' Often these polls cover more broadly questions about belief in God without belonging to any creed. Basically: the whole arena of spirituality is irrelevant, "I just get on with my life." None of the above. The 'nones.' The same trend is in Europe, where in most countries churches are interesting cultural museums with great art for the vast majority of citizens. Maybe we can intuit something less extreme but unfolding in Scituate: 20,000 residents, but no traffic jams on Saturday evening or Sunday morning (Christianity is by far the dominant religion of North America).


The nones still love others, and many I'm sure do good deeds for others. Maybe some do more for others than professing people of faith do. They might not see the work of God in their actions and attitudes, but I claim it. If God is love, then people of any one faith, or none at all, have a lock on God.


So why believe? In part because having a relationship with God and a worshiping community enriches, informs, gives context and meaning to life. As relationships go, you don't know what you're missing if it's not there: John Doe down the street might be a fantastic friend for me if we connected, but since we haven't, I really have no idea of what that lack looks or feels like. If I lost my faith on the other hand it would leave a permanent hole.


One early Christian writer said we have a 'God shaped hole' in our heart that can only be filled by God, and that we'll be restless until we find that match.


A relationship with God through a religious faith connects us not just to others, but a larger story as well. God created the heavens and the earth, and it is a good gift. This God loves us and wants us to love God back. When we fall short, God calls us back. He brings people out of all sorts of enslavements into freedom. The Hebrews leaving Egypt through the Red Sea is our smaller journey of leaving behind whatever diminishes our lives to enter greater freedom in God. Yes, there are rules, laws. But darn it, we seem incapable of doing the right thing all the time. So God came more directly, as Jesus. He even conquers death. When we are baptized we intentionally join Jesus, and all the gifts that brings as well as the call to love God, love neighbor, and keep trying.


By coming to church on Sunday we keep the story of our lives connected to the larger reality of God and the community of followers throughout all ages.


To come full circle to where I started, Jesus, God, make the most sense to me about the reality of suffering and the larger life that is beyond it. God doesn't cause the bad stuff. God is present when it is happening to walk with us through it. We might wish that God would step in and just remove the illnesses and troubles of our lives. Jesus reveals God's action in our lives-at the start of his ministry he comes to Peter's house and Peter's mother-in-law is sick so Jesus heals her, and then does the same for others in the village that night. But then he leaves, and those villagers go to haul him back; they want this physical healer to be on call 24/7. Jesus responds that he has a larger mission and vision than that.


Even the resurrected Jesus still bears the wounds of the cross. The suffering we deal with now is contained, enveloped by the larger life-giving reality of God.


In peace,


Just Desserts
Just Desserts
It is St. Luke's turn to provide the desserts for the Senior Luncheons at the Congregational Church. Please sign up in the narthex to prepare and deliver 64 desserts by 10 a.m. Two volunteers for each date make the job much easier. Contact Eleanor Waterman with any questions at 545-2079..
Pancake Supper Thank You
While the weather was not on our side, many trudged through snow and ice to attend St. Luke's Shrove's Tuesday Pancake Supper 2 weeks ago.  Our teens enjoyed setting up, cooking and serving the hardy parishioners mounds of pancakes and bacon.  Thanks to everyone who donated food supplies.  In the end we made $250 for Malawi Children's Mission, once again showing me the generosity of our church community.  A personal thank you from me for your support.  Karen Hirsh 
Lenten Wednesday Nights, 7 PM  
Join us on Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. to watch another episode of Grantchester, the PBS Masterpiece show that has a post-WWII vicar in England also helping to solve murders. But how many murder mysteries do you watch or read that include sermons? When we gathered for the first night (can't recall if it was just before or after the viewing) one participant asked how we might get Lenten reflections out of it. By the end of the evening we were discussing facing death, the nature of believing, community and much more. Truly Lenten stuff!
Save The Dates! Children's Program Edition

This Sunday, March 8th, Heifer Project kick off in Sunday School.


March 28th/29th Saturday night lock-in for all ages: younger children will leave by 10 p.m., older children spend the night. The 29th is Palm Sunday, so one theme of the lock-in will be Holy Week/Easter. Start times TBA, along with further details. Adult overnight help needed! Let Grant or Bethany know if you can be there.


April 12th, the children will lead worship, starting with showing the adults what the kids "Little Service" is all about.


May 24th, First Communion and recognition of study for those in 2nd grade who have already begun receiving.


May 30th, a big day at St. Luke's: for the younger children, the food Scavenger Hunt. For older youth, Confirmation Service in the a.m., with Bp Bud Cederholm...at St. Luke's!


June 1, end of school year picnic, recognition of those confirmed.

A Huge Thank You!

To:  Russ Wood for installing new flooring in the choir room, as well as keeping on top of the leaks post-construction, post-snow storms.


Joan Powers and team for the food and service at the Deanery Assembly.


John McDowell and team for the January and February recycling efforts, and Tracy Dieselman for the use of her van.

Community Dinner- March 22 at 5 PM  
This month's meal will be prepared and provided by the Scituate Rotary.  Menu to be determined.  Veterans will be our special guests. All are welcome.
Easter Flowers
Easter lily
This beautiful St. Luke's tradition continues....envelopes are in the pews. If you would like to contribute to the Easter Flower offering in memory of a loved one or in thanksgiving for blessings, please return envelopes with your tribute and donation by April 1st. Thank you!