Tell Me a Story

On Sunday, June 26th at 9:45am, we gather for Homecoming Sunday. Following tradition, the beloved Rev. Dr. Herb Davis will lead our opening worship as we begin to enjoy another season of grace together. Watch this site and our Facebook page for more information about our season as we approach Homecoming Sunday.

This year, our theme is “Tell Me a Story.” We will be thinking about the ways in which stories help us grow into better disciples. Each of us has a unique life story, with twists and turns that brought us joy, pain, and wisdom. When we tell these stories, we bear witness to God’s presence in our lives. As a community, we share a heritage. When we tell our community’s story, we realize our shared mission of love and service. Our faith shares the story of Jesus Christ, who walked among us as a human being, faced death because he stayed true to his mission, and triumphed through resurrection. When we tell this story, we learn to live our lives with greater freedom as we bring God blessings to others.

In addition to our Sunday worship, we will tell stories through gatherings throughout the summer. We will share memories of loved ones who have died during the Service of Memory. Through Bible study and morning prayer, we will reflect on stories ancient and new as we try to hear God’s voice today. And throughout the summer, we will create some new joyful stories. I look forward to hearing yours!

‘Tis the Season… to Wait

[The following reflection, written by our Theologian in Residence Edward Dunar, appears in the Fall 2015 Craigville Chronicle]

Nowadays, we begin to hear Christmas music on the radio shortly after Halloween. Traditionally, however, the “Christmas Season” didn’t begin until Christmas Day.

In the four weeks leading up to Christmas, many Christians observe Advent, a period of expectation. Advent is a time to look forward to the joys of Christmas, when God comes into the world through Jesus Christ, but also to come to terms with the reality that God’s work isn’t finished yet. There’s an ancient Christian saying that “God has saved us, is saving us, and will save us.” The best is yet to come.

Advent gives us the chance to come to terms with the fact that we spend much of our lives waiting. We often spend years waiting—for opportunities that fulfill our dreams, for reconciliation with friends and family from whom we have grown apart, for healing from sorrow or trauma, for signs of hope in the midst of social challenges like religious violence, racism, and environmental sickness. Advent reminds us that every day isn’t Christmas, that we often need to wait even as we continue working and striving. There is a sacred side to waiting. Jesus tells us to “be dressed for action and have your lamps lit” (Luke 12:35) even in the darkest hours of night. Although we wait, and although we often don’t know how long we will need to wait, we can be assured that God is with us. And our faith tells us that our waiting will not be in vain.

Our Season Ends

It’s hard to believe our season is over; the summer has really flown by. Thanks to everyone who helped make worship in the Tabernacle so great. Above all, we give thanks to our magnificent God, from whom blessings flow. See you next summer!

Preparing for Sunday’s Worship

This week’s reading is short, but powerful. We suggest that you pray with these words in preparation for worship this Sunday:

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).

Closing Worship This Sunday at 9:45am: “Will the Circle be Unbroken?”

Another summer of grace in the Tabernacle is coming to a close. Throughout, we’ve paid special attention to the theme of generations. We’ve shared intergenerational wisdom, we’ve celebrated the children in our midst, and we’ve reflected upon the generations to come. This week, Rev. Dr. Bruce Epperly will help us draw these things together with a sermon titled “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?”

This Sunday, August 30 at 9:45am, the community from South Congregational Church will continue the tradition of helping us close our season. John Dirac & Friends and the Craigville Shores Gospel Choir will provide music, and the community will sing a bluegrass medley under the direction of Pam Wannie. The service will be a spirited way to give thanks for our summer together.

It takes many hands to create meaningful worship. Members of the community ushered, proclaimed the Word of God, provided beautiful flower arrangements, contributed feedback and ideas, and supported the community with heartfelt prayers and steadfast presence. Thank you! The Tabernacle is such a special “thin place” because so many faithful people are generous with their time, resources, and love. And, of course, we owe the greatest gratitude to our magnificent God, from whom all blessings flow.

Announcements for This Week

We have two announcements this week:
1) Art and Spirituality Night Cancelled. Due to the rehearsal noted below, this Thursday’s Art and Spirituality Night is cancelled. We will reschedule this event for early next season.

2) Join the Craigville Shores Gospel Choir. For the final Tabernacle service of the season, we are being joined by the community from South Congregational Church in Centerville. It is a tradition for this last joint service to feature a choir with members from both communities. If you’d like to sing in the choir, join us for these rehearsals:

  • On Thursday, August 27 at 6:30pm, there will be a Summer Sing at South Congregational Church. This summer sing is a celebration of Bluegrass and Gospel music and will also act as a rehearsal for Sunday’s worship service. Bring a snack to share with the group.
  • Prior to the service on Sunday, August 30, there will be a warm-up and review at 9am.

Preparing for Sunday’s Service

One way to make worship more fulfilling and meaningful is to prayerfully prepare ahead of time. Pray with the readings and the hymns for this week and look forward to worshiping with the community on Sunday.

This week’s readings: (Want to reflect upon these readings with a group? Join us for Outdoor Bible Study):

  • Luke 5:1-3 (Jesus teaches the crowd from a boat before calling the first disciples)
  • Revelation 21:1-6 (God reveals the new heaven and new earth)

This week’s hymns:

Preparing for this week: Throughout the summer, we have been reflecting upon the theme of generations. We have prayed for our family members, we have shared wisdom and stories, and we have cherished the children among us. For this week’s reflection, we are looking forward. Many of the children in our midst will someday be parents and grandparents. New generations will rise, and God will continue to speak to them and guide them. This week, think of one prayer you wish to lift up for future generations.

Celtic Spirituality Sunday (August 23 at 9:45am)

This Sunday, August 23 at 9:45am, we gather for our second annual Celtic Spirituality Sunday. The ancient Celtic Christian tradition introduced many distinctive insights and practices to the wider Church. In the past century, there has been revived interest in Celtic spirituality among Christians of all denominations who are attracted by its emphasis on the presence of God in nature and the sacredness of everyday life. In The Center is Everywhere: Celtic Spirituality for the Post Modern Age, Rev. Dr. Bruce Epperly writes, “The way of Celtic Christian spirituality finds divine revelation in the cells of bodies, the glistening waters, the colors of the rainbow, and the human imagination. Celtic spirituality experiences God in all things and all things in God. God is found in the rising of the sun and the rising of the Crucified One.”

This Sunday, the Rev. Connie Bickford will lead us in worship. Rev. Dr. Dianne Carpenter will play the organ for us. We will sing several hymns from the contemporary Celtic Christian tradition.

The service will include a reflective Giving of Ourselves practice and our final children’s message of the season. Help us send off our beloved Donald Dragon!

Catholic Mass, Saturday at 5pm

The Craigville Tabernacle is a sacred space for all people in our community. A crucial part of our commitment to this mission is our long-time tradition of hosting a Roman Catholic Mass twice each summer.

Join us for Mass this Saturday, August 22 at 5pm in our contemplative, open-air Tabernacle. Fr. Richard Casey will be our celebrant and preacher. Members of the Craigville community will provide music, with Ellen Cardarelli at the piano and the Craigville Children’s Choir leading us in song.

Special thanks to Fran Lahey, Lee Williams, and the staff at Our Lady of Victory Parish for making this Mass possible. Thanks be to God!

Preparing for This Sunday’s Worship

Get ready for this week’s worship service! Pray with the readings and the hymns and look forward to worshiping with the community on Sunday.

This week’s readings:

  • Proverbs 9:1-6 (Wisdom invites us to sit at her table and live our lives in accordance with God’s ways)
  • Ephesians 5:15-20 (Paul encourages us to keep our spirits high with singing and gratitude)

This week’s hymns: