Looking Ahead to the Summer

Living Table is a part of New Branches

Outdoor New Branches sign "A home for faith and community" - Depicting Spirit Catholic Community, Lake Nokomis Lutheran, and Living Table UCC; image licensed for Living Table's use

It was so good to worship with you on Pentecost Sunday. I SO love your spirit!

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Dear Members and Friends of Living Table UCC, it was so good to worship with you on Pentecost Sunday. I SO love your spirit! And I sense that The Holy Ones are swirling within, around and through you – massaging you, preparing you for some wave of ministry that only you are called to ride. Just saying, there is surely Pentecost energy afoot!

However, that’s not our primary task right now. Many of us are weary to the bone! Our energies and hopes are depleted from the relentless waves of COVID and from brutal human violence against other humans and this planet. The least and, ironically, the most we can do is what the brilliant vocal activist Melanie DeMore invites in her song, Lead with Love.

“You gotta put one foot in front of the other and lead with love,” again and again and again!

Our worship series for the next four weeks is designed to help us get better at doing just that. It will lead us from Pentecost through Pride Sunday to the eve of a re-imagined kind of independence day. Our frame will be the four movements that will be shaping our worship these days:
June 12: Showing Up . . . saying, “Hello,” arriving, grounding our Body-Spirits, letting our Spirits catch up, focusing, being present;
June 19: Sinking In . . . saying, “I’m listening,” remembering whose and who we really are, passing Love’s peace, learning with younger disciples, celebrating the life and ministry of the church, sharing Love’s peace;
June 26: Shape-Shifting . . . saying, “I’m listening,” learning, letting the Word start to work in us, praying, communing; and then,
July 3: Shining Out . . . saying, “I think I get it,” sharing our varieties of gifts, naming our personal and communal intentions about how each of us might manifest the Word during the coming week, taking a stand. Let’s have this be our Pride Sunday!!

Our through-line scripture is Ephesians 3:16-19 (adapted from The Jerusalem Bible)
Out of their infinite glory, may the Holy Ones give us the power through their Spirit(s) for our hidden selves to grow strong, so that Love may live in our hearts through faith, and then, planted in love and built on love, we will with all the saints have the strength to grasp the length and breadth, the height and the depth; until, knowing the love of the Holy Ones, which is beyond all knowledge, we are filled with the utter fullness of them.

Yes, that passage is one of the typical run-on sentences the Apostle Paul loved to write! We’ll consider just a portion of it each week. The Ephesians text will be accompanied by a Psalm or Gospel lesson and sometimes, a third sacred text.

Hope you’ll join us in-person or on Zoom so we can walk this walk together. I leave you to ponder these words of Thomas Merton:

“You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going.
What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present
moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith, and hope. In such an event,
courage is the authentic form taken by love.”

Blessings,
Rev. Elaine

About Elaine Kirkland

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

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