June 14, 2015 – Children’s Sunday Reflections

Reflections on Sunday School – Susan Goux I’m going to tell you a little bit about Sunday School and a little bit about me. When I was a child Sunday School was a family affair: my mother taught Sunday School and my brother, my father and I went to Sunday School. In Sunday School we learned and listened and played games and made friends.   The kids went to church camp together in the summer. Each week after Sunday School we went to church to worship. In summers I went to visit my grandmother and my aunt taught Sunday school, directed the children’s choir and everyone went to church. In fact when the children went to their Sunday School classrooms, the sanctuary of their church was divided into several sections and each was a different Sunday school area for adults. Then everyone gathered together for worship. As I got older and had children of my own, I taught a Sunday School class for High School students for many years. We had a lot of fun. My children were in the class and they even brought some of their friends with them so they could share the fun. We read the Bible and learned the stories., sometimes acting our the stories or trying out the food we read about to better connect with the words on the page. Then we talked about what it all meant to us. We also ate donuts and laughed and had a great time. The Sunday School had wonderful children’s day programs and Christmas Eve pageants. These are the things we did in Sunday School. But what did I actually learn in Sunday School? I’ve thought a lot about why I should go to school on Sunday. Here’s how my thinking had evolved. Why do you go to school? To learn to read, write and how to put information together to think and apply to different situations, to learn what others have written down so we have a better understanding of the world around us – to learn things to help us as we live our lives and get jobs – it’s about what do you want to do when you grow up? Do you want to be a teacher, a plumber, a minister, a musician, a pilot, a computer game designer? Working hard in school will help you get the job you dream about. Sunday school is the really the same – you read about God and Jesus, and Saul and Ruth and David and Mary all the people in the Bible and you learn from the stories of these people things that happened long ago. When you read these stories and talk about what they mean, you start thinking about what this means to you. What happened to them and was that what you wanted to happen to you? What would you do in the situations they find themselves in? Who do you want to be when you grow up? Hopefully you want to be kind, generous, happy and full of joy with friends and family to care about you even when things do go just according to plan. Can the things you learn in Sunday School help you become the person that you want to be? One day I was thinking very hard...

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June 14, 2015 – From small beginnings

Pentecost 3 June 14 2015   Ps 92, 1 Samuel 15:34-16:13, 2 Corinthians 5:11-17, Mark 4:26-34   From small beginnings ************************************************ From a tiny little seed… grows the largest of shrubs – big enough to give generous shelter and plentiful shade to the birds of the air. But what’s this got to do with the kingdom of God? What do mustard seed and birds in trees have to do with God’s kingdom? And – a seed grows secretly, day and night, bringing forth a harvest all by itself. The gardener has no clue how it grows… I love the image. But again I’m wondering… A seed grows all by itself – the gardener doesn’t do anything but reap the harvest. There’s nothing here we’re even told to do or believe…. How can this be a parable for the kingdom of God? The parable of the mustard seed isn’t so hard to understand on one level – Something big grows from something very small.. Somewhere else Jesus talks about a little yeast makes a large batch of bread… We get the concept…at least… Till we learn that mustard was considered a nuisance weed by farmers… As still today. Mustard can take over a whole field quickly once it gets started… Now the kingdom of God’s starting to sound a little dangerous… Biblical parables work in different ways. Sometimes a parable can be just another name for an allegory…Or for a proverb… Or a riddle. A parable literally means a saying that comes along side of – in parallel. A parable suggests a parallel way of looking at things, alongside of something else. But somewhere in any Jesus parable there’s pretty much bound to be something designed to mess with minds… and cause us to see, hear, and believe…differently. At the end of our gospel reading we’re told “With many such parables Jesus spoke the word, as they were able to hear it…” And…‘He didn’t speak to them except in parables….’ He did explain everything to disciples in private…we’re told… But we have only a very few of those discussion transcripts preserved in our gospels… And if anyone’s sure they understand all the parables, it’s a very safe bet…They don’t understand at all… The parables of Jesus are meant to leave us wanting more explanation. But the best attempts at explanation… don’t over explain. Maybe there’s a bit of like Father, like Son here. God never gave Adam and Eve an operator’s manual telling them how to take care of the garden. God let Job wonder a long time what’s going on… never really explaining except in a long string of parables…that say in so many words… I’m God and you’re not… Even when he restored Job’s fortunes, God didn’t explain much. And as I read God’s book, it sure seems designed to prompt pondering and prayer…and more questions… much more than simple answers. Not that God never gives simple answers. God gives a simple enough answer to the prophet Samuel, who doesn’t immediately comprehend God picking an eighth-round draft choice to be Israel’s king – the youngest of the eight sons of Jesse, the one considered too young to even be invited to the grown-up’s dinner table – getting anointed to be next king. What’s going on, Samuel wonders. And God tells...

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Week of June 14, 2015 – Bourne

THIS WEEK IN THE LIFE OF THE PARISH Sunday, June 14th: 11:00 AM Worship & Church School / Children’s Sunday Monday, June 15th: 6:00 PM Finance Committee 7:00 PM Church Council Wednesday, June 17th to June 20th: Annual Conference Saturday, June 20th: Crain Hall Reserved for Bourne Historical Society Rain Date Sunday, June 21st: 11:00 AM Worship Dorothy Cotter, preaching Father’s Day ANNUAL CONFERENCE is this week from Wednesday, June 17th through Saturday, June 20th. Pastor Tim will be away during this time. Judy Chamillard will be on call in case of emergencies. Summer Small Group Sessions : We are interested in having a small group or two meet this summer. Please let Tim know if you are interested. FROM JONATHAN JENSEN: A thank you to Pastor Tim and my friends at the Bourne church who have prayed for me and are continuing to pray. I really appreciate it. – Jonathan Jensen JULY 4TH PARADE: We are looking for anyone who is interested in marching in the 4th of July parade with the church banner this year. Please contact Anne Marie Seitzinger if you are interested in participating. ALL-CHURCH POOL PARTY at the Jensen’s on Sunday, July 12th, after church. Please bring a bathing suit, towel and chair if possible. All food will be provided! Please sign up on the sheet in Crain Hall so we can get an accurate count. Rain date will be determined later in August. LITURGISTS AND GREETERS ARE NEEDED for most of July and August. Please sign up! ALTAR FLOWERS are needed for Sundays in July and August. Please sign up on the list outside of the door to the sanctuary, leading to Crain Hall. PICTURES NEEDED! We are looking for pictures of recent church activities to use on our website and Facebook page. If you have taken any pictures, please email them to bumcsecretary@verizon.net, or burn them onto a CD and leave it in the secretary mailbox in the stairwell. Thanks!    ...

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