Good morning church,
Once upon a distant time, before the coronavirus descended upon us and upended life as we knew it, this Sunday was supposed to be a special celebration for seven of our youth. This was going to be Confirmation Sunday for Zach B., Holden B., Khyree I., Jaiden M., David S., Kyrstyn S., and Peter W. They almost completed their second year of faith education and this would have been a very special day for them and their families. Please lift up these seven young people in your prayers today. We hope to hold the confirmation celebration later this year. You will hear more from these young people as they finish their confirmation projects (speeches) and record them at home. Starting sometime in May, we will post these speeches on Sundays.
Today’s worship is centered around a celebration of creation, which is both an acknowledgment of Earth Day’s 50th anniversary this week and the ongoing importance of environmental work in the 21st century. It is also a reminder that creation is celebrated often and enthusiastically in the Bible, so this is nothing new. One Scripture passage that is not part of today’s service – but which I love – is from the Book of the prophet Isaiah: “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” Call it poetic exuberance. Call it dreaminess. Call it whatever you want. In the prophet’s mind, God’s work of salvation is not a human-centered thing (as we have often portrayed it); it involves all of creation. Can we ever be “saved” unless creation has a part in it as well? (My dog is nodding. “You’re on to something,” she says. Well then, Winter!)
I hope you enjoy the music and the message for this Sunday. It includes the Earth Day Classic “Big Yellow Taxi” by Joni Mitchell, as well as a beautiful old German hymn, which I honestly only know in its beautiful American version, “When Morning Gilds the Sky”. It also includes my favorite hymn from the Celtic tradition, the “Canticle of the Turning.” This is, can you believe it, already the Seventh Sunday of the Quarantine! I keep praying that we don’t have to go into double digits in this new “liturgical calendar.” I’d rather see some faces in church. The virtual service will be posted on our website and Facebook by 10:00 a.m. Starting next Sunday, we will probably post it earlier, for our early birds.
Thank you for continuing to support St. Peter’s during these difficult times. Every week we receive many envelopes and online donations. In my family, we are using the “Simply Giving” Program, which is an automatic church donation system. I recommend it. If you are interested, please let me know, or better yet, reach out to Dave S. He’d be happy to help you. The online button below works, I was told. Next week, I will share with you the offering report for the entire month of April.
This is a difficult time, and we so appreciate your donations.
Today are the birthdays of Peter W. (15) and Shamala O. Happy birthday!
Also: George and Martha W. have lots of baby and toddler items to give away, both bigger items and girl’s clothing. If you need some or know someone who needs some items, please let us know. You can find George and Martha’s contact info in our online directory.
Many blessings and peace, Pastor Andreas Wagner