It is time for the National Churchwide Assembly of the ELCA! Representatives from around the country will be converging in New Orleans in a couple weeks. Pastor Krista Mendoza and Mr. Jim Osborne have both been elected to serve as voting delegates as this year's Assembly! Please hold them in prayer as they go to part of this important church gathering. If you would like to know more about the gathering please check out:
are we to say? What shall we cry? What shall we pray? I know only one way in
the midst of death, in the midst of hate, in the midst of humanity’s darkness
of self-doubt, self-righteousness, confusion and despair; lament. There are no “right”
words, no “right” emotions, no “right” action…we all possess whatever words,
emotions and actions that sputter out of the experience, wisdom, and truth we
have come to found our lives upon. Sometimes those words, emotions and actions
surprise us and scare us and sometimes they pull us to a path we had been
avoiding for so long. They have been within us and have been waiting for that
moment in life when they could find expression. We are laid bare. What could I possible say in
the midst of night club shootings, terrorist bombings, starving children, sex trafficking,
police shootings, sniper attacks, beheadings, ravaging cancers, toppling world
governments, unyielding war; the short list. We are gutted to our very core.
What do you see there? What emerges when all your guards are stripped away? I
make a grand assumption here. I assume that in the midst of all that plagues
the world we each reach a point at which we cannot ignore the darkness any
longer. Even apathy is called to task. Perhaps I am in error here. I hope not.
I hope that hope has the last word in us. I hope that whatever light is in us does
not die while our mortal bodies yet walk this earth. I hope. In that hope I
know of only one thing to do today and for some days to come; lament. The following words are my own and I can only speak for myself....
How long, O
Lord, will you make me walk in darkness? How long, O lord, will you place
before my soul
Suffering Hatred Anger Murder Excuses
The Evil One weaves an
Calling all to follow blindly I do
Ignoring my hands soaked in blood I do
Ignoring the trampled bodies under my feet I do
Ignoring the screams that flood my dreams I do
What I deserve
In darkness I find a lover’s
Safety – hard won
Who dares to open my eyes?
Who plagues me with sight?
Leave me alone to my ignorance
I can’t look in the mirror anymore
Where are you, O Lord?
Why did you let it go this far?
Can’t you see us?
End this – I pray
Do not abandon me to the home I’ve
Have mercy on me
Have mercy on us
The resurrection of your Christ is
The pouring out of your Holy
Spirit a passing fancy
It is time for the next summer Mission Possible brought to you by our Outreach Team! This year we are taking on the ELCA challenge to engage in learning about best practices with water conservation, keeping local water sources clean and engaging the the international crisis of limited access to clean water in so many communities. The Outreach Team has prepared several mission opportunities including:
Community Garden: The community garden is already planted and ready to go! We are inviting the congregation to engage in watering the garden and weeding...all the supplies are there already all you you need to do is show up! More information can be found on the sign-up sheet.
Produce from the garden will be taken to local food pantries in the area.
Water is central to the cultivation of food crops. We are fortunate to have ready access to water for our gardens while we are reminded of so many who must walk miles for access to water.
Water Pledge Wednesday: Are you up for the challenge? Take a water bottle from the Narthex and start collecting. We are asking folks to only drink tap/filtered water on Wednesdays. The money you would normally spend on other beverages such as coffee, soda, juice, beer etc. would then be put in the water bottle. All proceeds will go towards ELCA World Hunger. Give it a try....only water on Wednesday!
Chemung River Clean-Up: On Sunday, June 26th we will be cleaning up the Chemung River between the Walnut St. bridge and the Main. St. Bridge. Following worship we will eat some lunch and then head on our way. Folks from the community will lead us on this clean-up and we will have an opportunity to lean about the importance of the river to the life of Elmira and the greater ecosystem. Please wear your God's Work, Our Hands t-shirts if you have them and some good shoes for mucking around!
Time to clean!
Walk for Water: On July 31st Jim Pfeiffer will lead those willing to walk on a informative tour of the Chemung River. Those who walk will be asked to gather pledges for the walk. Walkers are encouraged to gather pledges from all over the community! This is a chance to share with others what the church is doing and why we feel the call to serve others in this world. What a wonderful opportunity to reach out! Don't forget to wear you God's Work, Our Hands t-shirts on the day of the walk
Mission Possible Prayer Pledge (MP3): This is a mission that we do each year. It is a simple, but mighty opportunity to be in conversation with God. We invite you to take 5min. each day to pray for those involved in Mission Possible including those from the congregation, those in the community and those around the world. we invite you to pray for access to clean water and that the thirsty may be satisfied. Pray in whatever way is most helpful for you. Suggestions will be offered along the way. Thank you for your prayers!
More information is coming.....look for it soon! Our kick-off is June 26th, 10am. See you there!
This year we gather each Wednesday from 5:30pm-7:00pm to enjoy soup, bread and discussion around the ELCA's focus of 40 Days of Giving centered on World Hunger. Each week we will explore a new aspect of World Hunger, its connection to Scripture and our Spiritual Life as called disciples of Christ. We hope this Lenten study, devotion and meal will nourish mind, body and soul.
Want to know more about the 40 Days of Giving? Check out: 40 Days
This year the Community-wide, Ecumenical Ash Wednesday service will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church located at 304 North Main St. in Elmira, NY. For directions to the church please see their website at Tinitychurchelmira.org.
The service will include the Imposition of Ashes and Holy Communion. A combined choir will offer special music for the service. Clergy from local Baptist, UCC, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Episcopal and Methodist congregations will lead the liturgy alongside lay leaders from participating congregations. Father Bill Lutz will off the sermon. He is the rector of Trinity Episcopal Church.
Service will begin at 7:00pm on Wednesday, February 10th