Ends and Odds of Wonderings and Gratitudes

Living Table is a part of New Branches
Vintage New Branches sign outside Living Table UCC

Before 1st Century disciples of Jesus came to be called Christians, they referred to themselves as Followers of the Way of Jesus (Acts 24:14).

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Learning that phrase forty-five years ago utterly liberated me! Rather than spending my energy perseverating about whether I held ‘right’ beliefs about Jesus, I was able to redirect my energy into living more and more like Jesus lived.

All our worship during the summer of ’22 is crafted and cradled in the spirit of that second context, in which we practice repeatedly the oh-so-difficult task of living more and more nearly like Jesus, day by day! . . . Remember the song from Godspell? “To see thee more clearly, love thee more dearly, follow thee more nearly, day by day.” The only practice this song doesn’t name explicitly is that equally difficult and necessary parallel practice of seeing and loving ourselves more nearly, day by day, as well. Jesus and his motley crew demonstrated that living and loving in counter-cultural, even in counter-religious ways requires both individual and communal practice.

For now, we practice together, guided by the great commandment Jesus quoted from the book of Exodus, by affirming that Love IS the vine and we are the branches that will bear the fruit of Love, and by Valarie Kaur’s contemporary frame of timeless, ancient truths in her book, Revolutionary Love. This week we consider the notion of stranger no more . . .

Hope to see you on Zoom or in the room on Sunday!

I am SO deeply grateful for the first meeting on Wednesday night of the first incarnation of Living Table’s Ritual Arts Team (also knowns as the RAT!?)! Ten people, Zoomers and Roomers, learning terminology, processes, writing collects, brainstorming ways to manifest ancient, everlasting Love in revolutionary, sensory rich ways. Many others of you who, for many different reasons, have chosen not to be on one of our five RA Teams, have said, “Please call on me for a specific task or project.” Thank you, too, for owning this work alongside active RAT members. Let’s all pray for and support each other as we live into this new adventure together!

Thank you, Living Table, for your gifts to me, to each other and to the whole wide world!

Rev. E

About Elaine Kirkland

Rev. Elaine Kirkland was the sabbatical pastor for Living Table UCC during Summer 2022.

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