Sunday, October 2nd, we begin our interim journey when we worship at the auditorium at Jefferson Academy Middle School. We are blessed to be worshipping in the same hour on nearly the same corner with parking. Our choir will also be able to rehearse on the same nights at the same time as they are used to. Nonetheless, it will take us some time to adjust to our new setting and find our way. Hence, our slogan in these coming days: ADJUST AND OVERCOME.
We will find solutions to problems and we’ll accept what we cannot change so we can focus on those things that we can change. We are grateful to Jefferson and the DC Public School system for leasing us this space as we witness the building of a new church edifice. Our main office will move in the next week or so into an office across the street at the Wharf Headquarters. Your church secretary, deacons and pastor are still available to you. May the words written to the Hebrews (10:25) inspire us as we cross the street:
And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another…
~See you Sunday
Perhaps you are old enough to remember or have simply seen an old radio with a tuning dial. With deft fingers and patience, one could turn the dial slowly to eventually land on a radio station. With fine-tuning and precision, the noise and static would give way to a clear–if faint–station.
And this is analogous to prayer. Now I grew up in a noisy church. The electric organ would vine leaves of notes around prayers. The choir sang. The church, which is to say, the congregants, would exhort with “amen” like a boy throwing a firecracker on the pavement on the Fourth of July. And the preacher would proclaim for well over thirty minutes and very often forty-five minutes, a sermon that now seems to me in hindsight to have been more stream-of-consciousness than a crafted commentary upon holy writ. Church was noisy. Silence was not even a word in our theological vocabulary.
We live in a very noisy world. I am sure you have noticed this, especially during these weeks of political conventions that provide a stage for our culture’s anxiety. The rhetoric, protests, speeches and and speeches and speeches, pelt us with words. It is little wonder that we feel confused, agitated or simply worn out after listening to even a little bit of all this. What to do?
Prayer and worship offer us a still point of silence. You can listen to my sermon, Still Point, from this past Sunday to ferret out the deeper meanings here. This week, I urge you to patiently tune the dial of your inner life until you find that still point of quiet where you are met by “the peace that passes all understanding.” Turn off the news for a while. Barricade yourself against the noise. Dial into the center where, to borrow from Eliot,
the light is still
At the still point of the turning world.
~See you Sunday where silence and peace meet praise
Monday is another day of snow. The appearance of flakes, the shortening of vision, the powder piled on the sidewalk and great machines tripping and panting along the streets, rendered suddenly powerless by water, snow and ice. It is a good day to remain in doors and ransack the poets.
Tend to your soul. Turn off the meteorologists. They predict and frighten. Tend to your mind. Find one wonderful sentence crafted by a poet that can lead you to heaven’s gate at Jerusalem’s wall (that’s William Blake). Mind you, you could read a novel of two hundred pages or get started but poetry is sonic zen expansiveness. One single line can open a world. Here’s a line I found while ransacking poets today. It is by Franz Wright and his book, Walking to Martha’s Vineyard, in a poem entitled, “My Place.”
I believe one day the distance between myself and God will disappear.
My post this week (see below) was about our lives as sacred journey. What I didn’t know at that moment was the Army Ten-Miler is this Sunday. Okay, you can do this. But to help you, here is a link to the map of the course. Just note that the blue line is the course route of those running in the race. That will help you understand the map a lot easier. HOV lanes along the 14th Street bridge seem to be the primary obstacle (but hey, you didn’t need those lanes anyway) and Independence Avenue presents some issues. It’s corny, but I’m going to conclude with this verse of scripture from Hebrews 12:1>
…let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, …
The sermon for Sunday is, “Convenient Christianity.” Wow, this fits nicely too! So it may be a little inconvenient to get to church this Sunday but the effort to place ourselves within a holy place where we connect with fellow believers is worth the effort.
~See you in church Sunday.
Sunday September 20th is Koinonia Lunch after worship. We take this word from the Greek New Testament for fellowship and actualize it each month on the third Sunday. A time of food and fellowship, we enjoy deepening the bonds of friendship and love between us. Pastor Bledsoe’s sermon for the day is entitled, “Never Was Christ Without Water.”
You know the summer is over, a new season is upon us and you know it’s good to be in the house of the Lord. Let’s worship together.
~See you Sunday