Thursday at 7pm: Vigil for Victims of Religious Violence

As we enjoy the peace and serenity of our place of grace by the sea, we read news of religious violence around the world. We have the opportunity to worship without fear, but we hear about the challenges faced by those who are targeted simply because of the way in which they know God. We hear most often about the persecution tied to conflicts in the Middle East, but no region is untouched by this issue.

On Thursday, July 30 at 7pm, we will gather on the Craigville Green for a Vigil for Victims of Religious Violence. The gathering will be simple. We will pray for victims of religious violence around the world. We will ask God for the strength to be peacemakers and agents of goodwill in our community. We will sing songs about peace and grace.

The vigil will take place even in the event of rain, so bring an umbrella if the weather looks drizzly.

Preparing for Sunday’s Service

One way to make your participation in worship more fulfilling and meaningful is to prayerfully prepare ahead of time. Pray with the readings and the hymns and look forward to praying with the community on Sunday.

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

  • Psalm 145:10-18 (The psalmist marvels at God’s great works, such as the justice and faithfulness God shows through all generations)
  • John 6:1-13 (Jesus feeds five thousand people, starting with just five loaves and two fish)

This week’s hymns (United Methodist Hymnal):

Preparing for this week: Read Psalm 145 in its entirety. It is notable that we will hear parts of this psalm both in the Call to Worship that we have been using all summer and in the scripture readings for this Sunday. Reflect upon the blessings that God has granted in your life. Say a prayer of gratitude for these blessings.

Worship This Sunday at 9:45am: Sing Out to the Lord With Gladness

At the Tabernacle, we’re blessed with the presence of great musicians throughout our season. Their music serves as a guide for our prayer, calling attention to the presence of the Holy Spirit in our midst.

This Sunday, July 26 at 9:45am, we will gather for a service that features the voices of the MACUCC Adult Music Camp. Kathy Marks, one of the camp directors, will accompany us on the organ. Adult Music Camp participants have been joining us in worship for many years, and our community always eagerly awaits their presence and their songs. If you like what you hear at worship, you can attend a free concert of their repertoire at 3:30pm in the Tabernacle.

This Sunday, we’ll also be joined by retreatants from Old Ship Church in Hingham, Massachusetts. Their pastor, Rev. Ken Read-Brown, will preach a sermon titled “Our Place in the Scheme of Things.” We look forward to welcoming the Old Ship Church community to our worship!

Dazzling Preaching on Community Preaching Sunday

Our first Community Preaching Sunday was a rousing success. We had record turnout—the Tabernacle was packed with community members eager to hear the wisdom of their neighbors. Sharon Carpenter preached a heartfelt meditation on saying yes to God, trusting God’s work in our lives, and reflecting the light of God’s grace to the people in our lives. In a reflection on Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, Roger Hansen challenged us to address the racial divisions and disparities in our society. We read a letter from Annie Underwood, who exhorted us “to promote beauty and love through every one of our interactions.” As I listened to each of the sermons, I marveled at how lucky we are to have such talent and insight in our community.

We planned Community Preaching Sunday as an experiment. Two members of the community suggested the idea last summer. Kate and I experienced a lay preaching group at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Newtonville and were impressed with how it drew out the gifts of community members. It occurred to us that a similar practice might work well in Craigville. Now, we’re enthusiastic about the prospect of carrying it forward as a tradition. I invite you to consider whether God might be calling you to preach. You don’t need a seminary degree or special training to give a good sermon. Consider the possibility that you have experiences and perspectives that our community might find helpful in deepening its relationship with God.

Even if you do not feel called to preach, I encourage you to think about whether you have other gifts or talents to share. Throughout his letters, the Apostle Paul affirms that every person has a unique contribution to make to the Kingdom of God. If you are interested in preaching or getting more involved with the Tabernacle in other ways, let me know. I would love to sit down to talk about how you can help enrich our community’s awareness of God’s work among us.

Outdoor Bible Study, Now Every Week!

We enjoyed our last Outdoor Bible Study gathering so much that we have decided to make it a weekly event!

Each Friday at 10am, we gather for a study of the scripture readings for the coming Sunday. We reflect upon scripture together using a Bible study method popular in Christian communities in Africa. African Bible Study is based upon the ancient practice of lectio divina, or “Holy Reading,” which uses scripture as a starting point for prayer.

This method of bible study is designed to be inviting and accessible to all participants, regardless of previous knowledge or age. It’s a great way to reflect upon scripture in an intergenerational or family setting, because each person has a chance to contribute to the group’s wisdom.

We will meet at the Tabernacle sign and walk to the Eggers Chapel or a rain location. We will have Bibles on hand, but feel free to bring your own. Light breakfast snacks will be provided.

Preparing for Sunday’s Service

One way to make your participation in worship more fulfilling and meaningful is to prayerfully prepare ahead of time. Pray with the readings and the hymns and look forward to praying with the community on Sunday.

This week’s readings:

This week’s hymns (United Methodist Hymnal):

Preparing for this week: What talents has God given you? Reflect upon ways you can use those talents to serve others.

Worship This Sunday at 9:45am: Community Preaching Sunday

This Sunday in the Tabernacle, we’re trying something new. As part of our summer theme, we have been reflecting on the truth that members of the community of all ages have unique perspectives and gifts of the Holy Spirit. In recognition of these gifts of the community, three lay preachers will be sharing brief reflections about our summer theme and the scripture readings for the day.

On Sunday, July 19 at 9:45am, we will celebrate Community Preaching Sunday. Community members Sharon Carpenter and Roger Hansen will preach for us. Annie Underwood has sent us a written reflection that will be read aloud. Rev. Richard Grobe, the founder of ServCorps, will preside over our service as we meditate upon the blessings of the varied gifts of our community. Ginny Henderson will join us for her last week as organist, and Tom Goux will provide special music.

As you support our lay preachers and learn from their wisdom, I encourage you to consider whether you might want to be a lay preacher during a future Community Preaching Sunday. Preparing and delivering a sermon is not only an intensive way of engaging scripture, but also an opportunity to reflect upon God’s work in your life and your mission as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

Taizé Service, Wednesday at 8:15pm

This Wednesday at 8:15pm in the Tabernacle, the organizers of the Craigville Theological Colloquy invite you to a contemplative service featuring readings, music, and art inspired by the Taizé community in France.

The Taizé Community is an ecumenical monastic order in France that was founded in 1940. A model of Christian unity and reconciliation, the community includes Catholic, Anglican, and Reformed Christian members. Every year, over 100,000 young adults from around the world visit Taizé for retreats, pilgrimages, and conferences.

Taizé music reflects the community’s values of unity, peace, and reconciliation. The songs use a variety of languages and borrow musical forms from many Christian traditions. Taizé songs are easy to learn, and usually center on the repetition of a short passage from scripture. I find Taizé music to be a great doorway to prayer. The music sweeps you off your feet and draws you into an appreciation of God’s presence.

By bringing together people of many traditions, languages, and cultures, Taizé music inspires us to recognize both the blessings of our different traditions and the power of what we hold in common.

Preparing for this Sunday’s Service

One way to make your participation in worship more fulfilling and meaningful is to prayerfully prepare ahead of time. Pray with the readings and the hymns and look forward to praying with the community on Sunday.

This week’s reading:

This week’s hymns (United Methodist Hymnal):

  • This is My Song #437 (Music | Recording). Edward accidentally skipped this favorite hymn during last week’s service, so we’ll open with it this Sunday.
  • The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want #136 (Music | Recording)
  • Do, Lord, Remember Me #527 (Music | Recording)

Preparing for this week: It is easy to lose track of our relationship with God during the flurry of summer activities and projects. Schedule some time this week to sit with God and reflect upon the movement of the Holy Spirit in your life.

Catholic Mass, Saturday at 5pm

The Tabernacle is a sacred space for all people in all seasons. In this spirit, we’re pleased to continue the tradition of hosting Catholic Mass twice during the summer. Mass will be held this Saturday, June 11 at 5pm and Saturday, August 22 at 5pm.

Special thanks to Fran Lahey and Lee Williams for organizing the Mass.