April 2017 Newsletter


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April 2017 Newsletter

Notes From West Mountain                                                                                                                                         The Reverend Mark E. Diters

 

 

“In metaphor the open door ­­­­points to what’s in store for evermore…” (Elia Ahgan)

Jesus taught his disciples in parables. Yes, he guided and directed them in other ways as well. But when he sought to speak about the most important things, when he felt the need to speak to them about things not easy to comprehend or to fathom, he relied on parables to move his message.

This is because the living, breathing, transforming, inspiring Gospel message cannot be contained in words alone. The organic, liberating, creative power of the Gospel can only be conveyed through actions and parables.

A parable: “is a metaphor or simile drawn from nature of from common life arresting the hearer by its vividness or strangeness and leaving the mind sufficient doubt about the precise application to tease it into active thought.”

Over the course of this Lenten season we have considered some of Jesus’ parables, primarily using the texts from Luke. We have covered: The Lost Sheep, The Lost Coin, and the Lost Son, The Rich Fool, The Banquet Feast, and The Samaritan. Yet still to come; we will look at The Mustard Seed & The Leaven, and The Barren Fig Tree. There are many more to consider.

However…entering these final weeks before Easter, moving towards Holy Week with its drama and power, may I suggest an opportunity for us all?  Take a moment each day regarding the events of Holy Week that we revisit every year about this time: the entry into Jerusalem, the disruption in the Temple, the preparation and sharing in the Last Supper, the garden betrayal, the death, and death’s defeat on Easter morning.

Apply the definition of parables to this narrative. Enter into this story fresh with an eye to what stirs you and what causes question. Allow our human doubt and logical minds the opportunity to dwell within the strangeness, to let the events reverberate and ring within our hearts and minds. Allow this incredible and, some would say impossible, claim of resurrection and new life to open up and activate your senses.

Easter is coming.

Peace to you all,

Mark

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EASTER AT FLAGG ROAD UCC

MEMORIAL EASTER PLANTS

Easter plants will be displayed in the Meetinghouse on Easter Sunday. The cost is $15.00 per plant and may be taken home after the 10:00  a.m. worship service.  Please sign up in the Lounge.

PALM SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICE

The Palm Sunday Worship Service will be at 10:00 a.m. on April 9th.

MAUNDY THURSDAY SEDER SUPPER & TENEBRAE SERVICE

The Maundy Thursday Seder Supper and Tenebrae Service will be on April 13th at 6:30 pm. We will enjoy the traditional food and repeat ancient words of faith. Following the meal, we will engage in our Tenebrae service of word and song following the sequence of events from the supper through the crucifixion. Cost: $5.00 per adult and $2.50 per child; maximum, $15.00 per family.

EASTER SUNDAY SERVICES

The Easter Sunrise service will be on April 16th at 6:00 a.m. The 10:00 a.m. worship service will be in the Meetinghouse.

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BOARD OF CHRISTIAN SERVICE 

APRIL 2017 SECOND MILE OFFERING

HANDS ON HARTFORD BACKPACK NUTRITION PROGRAM

Hands On Hartford’s Backpack Nutrition Program is designed to help alleviate the hunger of children in Hartford by providing them with easy to prepare, child-friendly foods to bring home for weekend meals. During the week, the children Hands on Hartford serves receive breakfast and lunch at school but go hungry on the weekends. As the rest of us enter the weekend looking forward to rest and relaxation, maybe even going out to a nice dinner, these children face the anxiety and despair of knowing there will not be enough to eat.

The Backpack Nutrition Program was started in 2006 and now distributes backpacks with food to approximately 275 children a week. Children receive a backpack containing 3 – 4 pounds of food each Friday afternoon. They return the backpacks on Monday morning to be cleaned and re-stocked for the following Friday’s distribution. Backpacks contain a variety of ready-to-eat or easy-to prepare items for snacks and meals such as;

  • Juice boxes
  • Granola bars
  • Individual apple sauce
  • Individual trail-mix
  • Individual cheese and crackers
  • Instant oatmeal packets
  • Individual fruit cups
  • Individual raisins
  • Individual soups
  • Cereal
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Canned pasta meals
  • Soup
  • Other Individual Snacks

Please contribute your donations and any plastic grocery bags you can spare to the collection site in the Lounge. We will assemble the bags after worship on Sunday, April 30th.

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APRIL YOUTH GROUP EVENT

Save the date! Our next Youth Group event is Saturday, April 29th, when we will volunteer with Rebuilding Together Hartford from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. If any youths are not able to come for the whole time, they are welcome to come for a portion of it. Details regarding the house and work to be done is forthcoming. Please RSVP to Liz and Linda.

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THE REVEREND VAN PARKER POETRY READING – MAY 7 AT 4:00 PM

The Rev. Van Parker will be with us Sunday afternoon May 7, beginning at 4:00 pm.  He will be reading from his new collection of poetry, Letting in the Light. We will share some light refreshments and social time followed by his reading.  Here is one of the poems Van recently shared with us:

 

SHOEHORNS

Shoehorns keep a low profile,

which seems fitting

since their work is to help people

put on their shoes.

They never go out of style

or have to worry

about being replaced

by some other gadget.

Shoe stores include them

in the box

when you buy

a pair of new shoes.

Shoehorns work equally well

on the right or left foot

and adapt easily

to many types of shoes.

 

Their purpose is to adjust

the shoe and your foot

to one another

in an easy and natural way

so you can put on your shoes

while thinking of something else

or of nothing at all

as you begin your day.

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