Holy Week & Easter Schedule 2016

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 (pastor@wallingfordumc.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.

Ash Wednesday & Lent at WUMC

Lent is a powerful season of reflection and response. Join WUMC for worship and fellowship throughout the season.

  • Ashes-to-Go, Feb. 10th, 4:30PM-6:15PM: This drop-in Ash Wednesday service is great for families and other busy folk. Swing by to receive ashes and meditate briefly. Kids will enjoy an interactive sensory experience.
  • Ash Wednesday Service, Feb. 10th, 7:30PM: Gather for an evening of prayer, story, and song on Ash Wednesday. This service will feature Taizé music and the imposition of ashes as part of our worship.
  • Lenten House Churches: This year’s Lenten House Churches will gather throughout Lent to share in a book study. The book engages in topics such as connecting with God, relationships and more. House church sign-ups are posted in the narthex. Gatherings are scheduled for: Sunday 6:30PM, Tuesday 7:00PM and Wednesday 7:00PM. Contact Pastor Ann for more details (206-551-5918).

 

Bringing God’s Love to Reality

I traded a pair of new mittens for a poem down on 1st Avenue near Pike and have been hearing the rhythm of Mark, the young poet, ever since. He really was remarkable at being able to come up with a rhyming rap when you gave him four words to use…

Many of you have reported giving out our Outreach Bags for Family Works in Wallingford (with their socks, snacks, and other little items for life on the streets) and you’ve spoken of your wonder at how important a simple pair of socks can be to our neighbors trying to keep warm in this rainy season. Some of you are spending nights at one shelter or another, being touched by the stories and difficulties for folks having to get moving early every morning… It seems we are making a point of taking the effort to reach out to our brothers and sisters who are struggling with housing and I know a number of us are being touched, challenged, and awakened by this experience. Who are these individuals? What will help them get into a safe, warm and dry shelter that speaks of hospitality and hope?

We at WUMC have chosen for our missional theme for 2016 to be in the area of housing and ‘a place for everyone.’ Our goal is to address the problem at many levels, both justice and mercy… How can we advocate for better relief from homelessness here in Seattle and King County? How can we get to know these neighbors– not just for their struggles but for their talents and abilities, as well? How can we share our resources in a way that makes a real difference?

I pray with deep hope that we at WUMC can be a powerful, active force for those seeking shelter this coming year. For I suspect it matters a lot to the One we follow; the Christ, who knew well this concern – whose first day were in manger, for there was room in the inn, who spent his early life as a refugee in Egypt, and whose adult days were as a wandering teacher, with a rock for a pillow… but mostly because of Christ’s great love for all God’s suffering children.

Blessed New Year, my dear Partners in Ministry!
Pastor Ann Berney

Suffering, Compassion, and the English Language

Barb Bash offered this reflection on her volunteer work recently at Sunday worship:

I teach English to a man twice a week, and about a year ago when I first started meeting with him I noticed he used the word “suffering” a lot.

For instance he said, “A woman at the park threw Frisbee and it hit my son. Accident. She kept saying ‘Oh, sorry, sorry’—she was really suffering.”

Once when I mentioned to him that I was really bad at some things—like dancing—he nodded sympathetically and said, “Oh, yes, you suffer!”

After a while I figured out that he understood that “to suffer” means “to feel bad,” and because there are so many ways to feel bad, there were many ways to suffer.

I must say though, the whole thing made me feel differently about suffering—I suddenly saw that everyone suffers. I became aware of the many small aches we all carry around all the time: emotional and social pain, feelings of regret, meanness, sadness, inadequacy—we do all suffer. This idea made me feel more at one with my fellow suffering humans. Instead of a divide between those who don’t suffer and those who do, I felt that I was a part of a world of suffering souls, and each person’s individual suffering then becomes a matter of kind, and degree.

Now, some of us certainly suffer a lot. I stay overnight at a homeless shelter twice a month, and the guests at the shelter—they lack a home, yes, but also are sometimes hungry, wet, or cold, often have health problems, are estranged from their family, and they have little support or encouragement from friends. Not to mention all the other kinds of human pain that I mentioned before, that we all carry around. So, I want to be compassionate—and “compassion” means to “suffer with”—

so, how do I do that, exactly?

Well, teaching English without formal training as I am, I’ve had to teach myself about English grammar, and so I’ve been doing some reading. One interesting essay I read said that, “The English sentence demands a subject, even when there is none.” For instance, to describe the weather these past two months, the past continuous verb “was raining” would be perfectly clear to us all, but grammar demands we say, “It was raining.” It. Nothing happens in an English sentence without something, or someone, doing it. Every effect demands an agent, a cause—someone to blame.

The essay also said that doing is important in English. When we meet someone, we say “How do you do?” and then we ask, “What do you do?” On the altar, we say, “I do!” — And when we see a problem, we look for something to do about it. Our grammar compels us to act in a linear way: effect/cause, problem/solution. This framework can be useful, but it’s NOT a universal way of seeing the world—not even necessarily Christian (Jesus, after all, didn’t speak English) and the essay argues that the grammar of our English language reinforces linear thinking and actually changes the way we think and act.

So sitting at the homeless shelter on a morning, having coffee with a fellow suffering person, there’s that impulse to find the cause of the suffering. Who or what is to blame for this person’s situation? Likewise, there’s a temptation to search for a solution to their problems—suggest a fix, a better course of action. But these linear impulses are not the most compassionate acts.
A weary soul embarking on another hard day might just need a simple moment of safety, warmth, and comfort. So, I stifle my questions and suggestions. Instead I offer up an undemanding silence. Oh, stories bubble up within it sometimes; I might hear about hard times, big plans, small disappointments—but often, morning’s quiet instead.

The profound thing I have discovered is, that it is in this small quiet moment, that a space is made for the presence of Christ. Here we are, two people—two suffering souls—drinking coffee, remarking on the rain, and God sits with us! Jesus knew how to heal with a bit of bread, a touch to the eyes, by calling someone by their own name. And in that friendly threesome, I discover that Christ heals us both together, my own small sufferings also, and we both walk away changed and warmed by the moment. That’s compassion.

So, today my prayer for All-Of-Us-Who-Suffer is that we seek out compassionate moments with other suffering souls, and that we too may discover Christ sitting there with us.

Immanuel, Alleluia, Amen!

A Volunteer Opportunity!

Respond to Homelessness with this
upcoming volunteer opportunity!

Volunteer to provide dinner, be an evening host, or stay overnight at
Mary’s Place Shelter at Ravenna UMC
evenings/nights from Tuesday Feb 9 – Tuesday, February 16.
WUMC has committed to helping Ravenna staff this week. This is our third week of helping to host a small, homey shelter for moms and kids.

Contact Rev. Hal Perry to sign up. Click here for their volunteer handbook.

There have been a variety of requests for information about donations that would help during the week that Ravenna UMC hosts. A list is provided here for your information. If you are planning on donating items it helps a lot if you can email the church to let them know what the items are so that they can anticipate what they will need to buy.

Link here to our Response to Homelessness Page

AN OPEN & AFFIRMING, RECONCILING CONGREGATION