It’s Not Over: Re-create!

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Now that Easter has passed, many of us have simply moved on, put away the Easter decorations, checked all the plastic eggs for left-behind chocolate, and hope that a brightly colored hard-boiled egg is not still behind the couch – ugh! Sadly, with all the lead-up to Easter (and this year having Spring Break during Holy Week) church-goers can feel the same way. Easter is over, the celebration has ended, life goes on!

But that is not really true. 

If we pay attention to Easter and listen carefully to the scriptures and the story being told, we will realize that the day we call Easter has passed, but the resurrection has just begun! Resurrection is about life – new life! It is about new beginnings – not endings. It is not just another day for the church to remember, put away and get out next year. That is what many thought when Jesus was put in the tomb. They thought it was over. They went back to their old jobs and ways. They missed the point.

Resurrection is time for God’s creation to flourish. This year many are talking about Spring coming early, with trees, tulips, and life in full bloom. God is creating anew out of the death and dying all around us.  The same is true for our lives. The time after Easter should be a time for re-creation. We use the word recreation to talk about getting outside, playing, going camping, taking a hike, walking the beach, etc. What we are doing is allowing the rhythms of Jesus’ Resurrection to come alive in us.

Our bodies are refreshed, our Melatonin levels are raised, a newness of life brings joy to our hearts. This is what the Imago Dei (Image of God) within us does – it causes us to be co-creative beings with our God! Folks, you and I are people of re-creation! That is what we are called to after the resurrection.

The late renowned artist Keith Haring said this about our creativeness,

When it is working, you completely go into another place, you’re tapping into things that are totally universal, completely beyond your ego and your own self. That’s what it is all about.

So you may have already put Easter away, but don’t do the same with resurrection. Join God and tap into some needed re-creation this Spring. Allow the rhythms of Jesus’ resurrection to come alive within you while also seeing them all around you. I suspect if we do, we will find more joy, beauty, and peace in our world.

Grace and peace, Pastor Bob+

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Lenten Observance @ SFC

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This year, SFC will be observing the season of Lent.  For those who are unfamiliar with this season of the Church Year, here is a brief explanation:

The first Christians observed with great devotion the days of our Lord’s passion and resurrection, and it became the custom of the Church to prepare for them by a season of penitence and fasting. This season of Lent provided a time in which converts to the faith were prepared for Holy Baptism.  It was also a time when those who, because of notorious sins, had been separated from the body of the faithful were reconciled by penitence and forgiveness, and restored to the fellowship of the Church. Thereby, the whole congregation was put in mind of the message of pardon and absolution set forth in the Gospel of our Savior, and of the need which all Christians continually have to renew their repentance and faith.

From the Book of Common Prayer

We will begin our 40 day journey of Lent on Ash Wednesday (February 10th, 8:15am) with a service in conjunction with our Silverton Christian School chapel.  We will meet in the gym for a contemplative service and the imposition of ashes for those who would like to participate.

The six Sundays of Lent, we will have a teaching focus on the theme, “Symbols of Lent.” Each week we will add a symbol around our cross at the center of our sanctuary.  Here are brief descriptions of each Sunday’s focus:

Sunday, February 14Ashes (Mortality)  Genesis 3:19

Sunday, February 21Purple Cloth (Repentance) John 29:2

Sunday, February 28 Sackcloth (Penitence) Jonah 3:5, Luke 10:13

Sunday, March 6. Crown of Thorns (Suffering)  Matthew 27:29

Sunday. March 13Grain (Death) John 12:24

Sunday, March 20Palms (Celebration) Luke 19:28-40

We pray you will join us as we explore this season through self-examination, repentance, prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word.

Grace and peace, Pastor Bob+

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New Community Breakfast Each Month

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Did you enjoy our first community breakfast prior to our Christmas Musical back in December?

If so, it looks like this will be a new tradition at SFC for our community!  On the 4th Sunday of each month, we will be having a warm breakfast prior to the service hosted by the Leao family and served by various families in our meeting.

The serving time will be from 9:30-10:30am.

If you are coming for Bible Study, the servers will have have breakfast items ready at 9am so you can grab your food and head to either of our Meetings for Study at 9:15 (The Church, The Bible and the LGBTQ Community) or 9:30am (We Make the Road by Walking). 

On the fourth Sundays, you will probably see signs around town giving the time and location!  This is a great opportunity to invite a friend for a wonderful breakfast and then to stay for our Meeting for Worship!

Think about who you can invite and let’s plan to have a wonderful time eating and sharing together!  Look forward to seeing you there.

PLEASE NOTE: Our next Community Breakfast is Sunday, January 24.

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Christmas Event Schedule

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December 10

Silverton Christian School Christmas Program   7pm   (SCS Gym)

Come listen to the SCS Preschool through Eight Grade students sing Christmas Carols and Celebrate the Birth of Jesus!

December 12

Buddy Shopping Day  9:30am – 1pm  (Meet at SFC)

Let your kids spend the morning with Miss Debbie as she takes them to the Dollar Tree in Woodburn to shop for the people on their Christmas lists, have lunch at McDonalds, and then return to the church where they will wrap the gifts they purchased. Contact Miss Debbie for more information.

December 18

Last Day of School for Silverton Christian School!

December 19

Christmas Musical Dress Reheresal  9am- 12noon (SFC Sanctuary)

If you are a child or adult in the musical you need to be at church for this practice (mandatory).

December 20

Special Breakfast before the Musical   9:30-10:30am  (SFC Fellowship Hall)

Invite the community for a wonderful breakfast with everything from fresh fruit to pancakes – and so much more! It will be a great time for conversations and growing together!

Christmas Musical “Candy Cane Lane” 10:45am (this will be part of the worship service for that Sunday)

This great production, directed by Erin and Tracy Wilson and starring our own children and adults from SFC, will be a delight and a great way to start off Christmas week! Invite your friends and neightbors to the performance.  We also will be having Birthday Cake for Jesus and singing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus this morning!

Youth and Young Adult Christmas Party   7pm   (The Wilson Home)

Taize Service  7pm (Benedictine Monastery in Mt. Angel)

This beautiful prayer service combines singing, scripture, and silent contemplation – the perfect mix to prepare our hearts this Advent Season.

December 24 (Christmas Eve)

Family Christmas Eve Candlelight Service  5:30pm  (SFC Sanctuary)

Join us for a traditional Christmas service with carols, Scripture readings, and candle lighting!  Bring the entire family for this wonderful service!

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Sabbath as Peace-Making: Peace Month 2016

PeaceMonth2016-PosterIn honor of our seventh annual NWYM Peace Month in January 2016, this year’s theme, Sabbath as Peacemaking, invites us to “remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.” The Sabbath is the seventh day, the day on which God rested in the creation story, and the day we’re invited to set aside for our own rest, and space for our animals, servants, and land to also rest, according to the instructions in Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy.

For American Christians, this may be the one of the Ten Commandments most ignored, and arguably for some good reasons. Sabbath laws were discarded in the United States throughout the early 20th century, and many of us would probably agree that the state should not have to legislate our enactment of Sabbath practices.  Still, we must ask ourselves some queries:

Do personal and communal practices of Sabbath hold an important place in our spiritual life today? Should they?

What might these practices look like, and what do they have to do with peacemaking?

During the five Sundays of January, Silverton Friends Church will explore the practice of Sabbath as an act of peacemaking. And thus, we will be asking “What does it look like to practice Sabbath?” especially in our culture, where we’re pressured to always be on the go. We look forward to exploring this important topic together as a meeting. Join us in January for these topics. 

Sunday Topics:

  • January 10: The Gift of Sabbath
    • (Genesis 2:2-3; Exodus20:8-11; 31:12-17)
  • January 17: The Rhythm of Sabbath (Martin Luther King Jr. weekend)
    • (Exodus 16:22-31)
  • January 24: The Freedom of Sabbath
    • (Deuteronomy 5:12-15)
  • January 31: Jesus and Sabbath
    • (Luke 13:10-17; Mark 2:27-28)
  • February 7: Experimenting with Sabbath
    • (Luke 4:16-27; Hebrews 3-4)

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What is it I hope for now?

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One of the best ways to prepare for this very special season of Advent is to “get in touch with ourselves.” It may sound odd, but one symptom of our contemporary lives is that we can often be quite “out of touch” with what is going on in our very own hearts.

We begin our Advent Season, just as our culture ramps up Christmas preparations (department stores seem to start earlier and earlier each year). It is a busy time, and our heads are filled with so many details, parties, and family to remember. And it’s a time of emotional complexity with all of the expectations and challenges of family and relationships: who we want to be with and who we struggle to be with. So, our hearts are a bit tender, if not completely guarded from experiencing anything deeply. We have little time to prepare for much other than the busyness itself.

As each Advent Season, the Sundays leading up to Christmas will be filled with powerful and stirring readings from Isaiah, the Prophet, and the Apostles John and Luke. We will re-enter the ancient tradition of a people hoping for the coming of a Savior – like the Hebrew people of the Old Testament awaiting the coming Deliverer! We may even remember the days of our childhood when we hoped for Christmas to come – where gifts and anticipation gave us a something to be excited about.

And as adults, we have to ask ourselves: “What is it I hope for now?” The answer won’t come easily. The more we walk around with that query, and let it penetrate through the layers of distraction and guarded-ness, the more powerfully we will experience Advent this year.

“What is it I hope for now?”

What a great query for this Advent Season. I pray you will join me in letting this query penetrate our hearts through the distractions of self-protection in the coming days and weeks. Find some space, slow down, allow your cry to be – Maranatha! – Come, Lord Jesus!

“Hope is the good news of transforming grace NOW.” – Brennan Manning

A Hope-filled Advent and a Merry Christmas to you! Pastor Bob+

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Homespun Christmas Bazaar – THIS WEEKEND!

 

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Enjoy a lovely holiday atmosphere while you find uniquely and wonderfully made art, crafts, and baked goods! Also, there will be antiques and collectibles, fine quality gifts, jewelry, cosmetics, and more!

Dates: Friday and Saturday, November 6-7

Time: 10am – 5pm

Where: SFC Gymnasium

Two days of wonderful Christmas shopping! Enjoy yourself and see you there!

This year the proceeds from the food booth will go toward SFC’s solar panel project. To help out, please contact Pastor Deborah Climer.

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