When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
Acts 2:1-4, NRSV
Pentecost is this Sunday, May 15th, and you are invited to a celebration of this day in the church year and WUMC’s birthday!
Kids and adults, old and young, gay and straight, highest to lowest can come worship at WUMC at 10:00AM this Sunday. This rowdy service will celebrate the Spirit’s presence in the Church and in our midst. Please feel free to wear flame colors – orange, yellow, and red – in the spirit of the day.
After worship, we will continue to celebrate both Pentecost and WUMC’s birthday with root beer floats, friends, and fellowship! Plan to stay and have some lunchtime treats.
May is here! Check out some of these ideas for DIY Mother’s Day gifts, who to see at Folk Life, and the importance of talking about God as a Mama to young people in your life.
MAKE IT: Mother’s Day DIY Gifts
Make a beautiful list of 10 things you love about your mama, and fill in some extra space with creative paper, photos, sheet music, etc. Get the full tutorial at the Creative Place.
Another easy, beautiful idea is some classy fingerprint art. By using a stencil over a canvas and different colors for each family member, kids can easily create this beautiful gift. Check out more instructions at Busy Kids Happy Mom.
If you’re in town on Memorial Day Weekend, you should definitely spend Saturday, May 28th at Folk Life for a day of dancing, reflecting, clapping, and singing along. Here are some highlights that I recommend:
Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons are excellent musicians, researched storytellers, and key members in community arts. They teach music in Seattle Public Schools and Ben is a co-founder of the Hillman City Collaboratory, the space that houses Valley & Mountain (the church I belong to on Sunday afternoons).
Recently Ben and Joe won the International Blues Challenges in Memphis, TN. Watch their performance and you’ll see why:
This might be past some kids’ bed time, but The Banner Days’ creative renditions of traditional hymns and soul-filled originals are definitely worth watching. These folks are great live and you’ll want their CD for family car rides.
Here at Wallingford UMC, we try to take extra care in using inclusive language to describe our encounters with God. This means refraining from using gendered language, mostly because too often the church has used masculinity and divinity interchangeably (which has some pretty serious ramifications).
In addition to using non-gendered language, I also believe it’s important to explicitly refer to God as feminine, because so much of society shows young people that women have less power or deserve less respect than men. As a woman, it is extremely liberating to hear God described as Her — it reminds me of my own sanctity and helps me see my spirit and body as made in the image of God, not some rib-plucked knock-off.
One of my favorite poems does this beautifully:
God Says Yes To Me
I asked God if it was okay to be melodramatic
and she said yes
I asked her if it was okay to be short
and she said it sure is
I asked her if I could wear nail polish
or not wear nail polish
and she said honey
she calls me that sometimes
she said you can do just exactly
what you want to
Thanks God I said
And is it even okay if I don’t paragraph
Sweetcakes God said
who knows where she picked that up
what I’m telling you is
Yes Yes Yes
Here are some questions to ask young people in your life:
Have you heard God described as She or Her before?
Does it sound normal or weird to you? Why do you think that is?
Do you think it’s important to talk about how we describe God?
If you haven’t already played outside, I recommend turning off your screen to do so immediately. Save some of these ideas for a rainy day and go get some Vitamin D with the people you love.
Once you need some ideas, check out this April edition of Make It, Do It, Talk About It.
Make It: Birdfeeders!
There are a zillion different varieties of these. Here are a few of my favorite:
No instructions here — just make a cool Lego house with empty space in the middle. Once it’s the birdseed is all eaten, take it apart and make a whole new design.
This project is great for young fingers learning fine motor skills — all you need are pipe cleaners, cheerios, and a little string. Check out the full instructions here.
If you want to get more creative, try painting or decoupaging a milk (or juice) carton. You can see more instruction here.
Do It: Visit the Tulips & Snow Goose Produce
Growing up in Anacortes, I remember spring meant dealing with “Tulip Traffic.” Now that I don’t live in the Skagit Valley, I understand why so many people want to visit the fields!
If you decide to visit the tulips, be sure to swing by Snow Goose Produce. It’s a fantastic seasonal farmstand that has fresh produce, fish, and what they’re really known for: immodest ice cream cones.
Talk About It: Love
As most of you know, I am getting married this month and have been in the beautiful whirlwind of planning and being excited for a wedding. My partner Andrew and I are always asking what love means to ourselves, to each other, and to the family we are beginning to make.
Here are a few questions to ask any young person in your life about how they understand what love means:
Do you love pizza the same way you love your family?
Why do you think we use the same word for such different things? What other words can we use?
We are well into the Lenten season and fast—approaching Holy Week! Below is a schedule of WUMC’s events for the Easter week. Contact Pastor Ann (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions.
Sunday, March 20th: Palm Sunday Worship, 10:00AM
Journey with Jesus to Jerusalem at Palm Sunday worship, which will include a procession and waving of the palms. We will share a meditation on the theme, “The Rocks Will Cry Out.” Sunday School and Adult Ed are at 9:00AM and worship starts at 10:00.
Thursday, March 24th: Maundy Thursday Worship, 7:00PM
Celebrate the sacrament of Christ’s Last Supper with the WUMC community. We will commemorate the gift of the Lord’s Supper and pray with Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. All are welcome to come worship at 7:00PM.
Friday, March 25th: Good Friday Tenebrae, 7:30PM
We will observe the day of Jesus’ crucifixion and death with a Tenebrae service at 7:30PM at WUMC. “Tenebrae” is Latin for “shadows” or “darkness,” and the Tenebrae service is one of diminishing light. During this service, we will read the Passion story, sing, and gradually extinguish the 12 candles representing the disciples and the Christ candle as we remember the events of the cross.
Sunday, March 27th: Easter!
Easter Sunday is full of ways to celebrate at WUMC! All are welcome, and feel free to bring friends and family to these special services. Childcare will be available at each event.
Sunrise Service, 7:00AM, Gasworks Park
Climb to the top of Kite Hill early on Easter morning to greet each other and the beautiful creation around us with news that Christ is risen. Dress for the weather and prepare to celebrate!
Worship, 10:00AM, WUMC
Our celebration of the risen Christ and redemption of all creation continues at WUMC in story, song, and Scripture. Join in for a special service featuring the choir and brass and string music.
Easter Brunch & Egg Hunt, 11:15AM, WUMC
We will fellowship after the service and enjoy two of our favorite WUMC Easter traditions: brunch and the children’s Easter Egg Hunt! Bring a dish to share and plan to meet after the service for food and cheering for our kids as they scour the grounds for eggs.
We’ll be doing an abbreviated version of this at Sunday School on Easter Morning (9am, K-8th grade — be there!). If you’d like to try it out at home, check out this great tutorial.
Do It: Table-Turning Monday
Holy Week is a dramatic, full experience. Staring with Palm Sunday and ending with Easter, we celebrate and weep and sing the alleluia in seven days. In addition to Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, some faith communities also recognize “Table Turning Monday” as a time to act as Jesus did in the Temple, calling out injustice among God’s people.
Last year, different groups in Seattle recognized Table Turning Monday by demanding “No New Youth Jail” in Seattle. Learn more about that event by reading this article.
This year, you and young people you know can take action to fight homelessness by taking one of these 10 Steps.
Talk About It: Resurrection
Until I was about 9-years-old, Easter made perfect sense to me. Jesus died, three days later he came back to life, and so obviously I got to eat my favorite thing on the planet: Marshmallow Peeps. This logic was flawless to my second grade self.
As I got older, I started to realize that many people didn’t go to church, and that some people (including my closest friends) didn’t think that Jesus actually came back from the dead. Or they thought he was a zombie. Or that he wasn’t the Christ in the first place. Or maybe they were just angry because they didn’t get Peeps.
It didn’t feel like my faith totally became unhinged, but these perspectives (along with several True Science Bible Specials on the Discovery Channel) caused me to sort my understandings of the world into either “sacred” and “scientific.”
If I learned something about God or love or people I cared for, then I tucked it into a little box in my brain, along with birthdays and Bible verses I was trying to remember.
If I learned something about science or the universe, that was tucked into a different box with my multiplication tables and a few favorite episodes of the Magic School Bus.
It wasn’t until much later that I started mixing up these boxes. I remember using a camera in college to capture images — little recordings of light that are just flat regurgitations of color. As I learned about aperture and ISO, I wanted to put photography into my “science” box, but when I looked the pictures and wanted to laugh or scream or fall in love, I knew they belonged in my “sacred” box. How could they be both?
Some how our bodies are designed to take the physical, scientific world around us and make holy, loving meaning from it. The idea of God experiencing this sensation by becoming human is one of the key ways that I understand who Jesus is.
Another is in nature. Every year we watch trees die in front of us, arms outstretched as all color leaves their bodies. Bulbs are buried and forgotten while the rest of us move on with our lives. Then spring starts — new life in sprouts and blossoms.
To me, this is Easter. This is the sacred and scientific resurrection.
Here are some questions to talk about with young people you know:
What do you know about why we celebrate Easter?
What is new life around you that you see right now?