With Gratitude

It takes many hands to put together vibrant worship. As our season in the Tabernacle draws to a close, I would like to thank everyone who contributed to our season. Whether you greeted and ushered, proclaimed scripture, helped with music, contributed money for improvements to the Tabernacle, or sustained us with your prayers, your help has been crucial during this season of grace.

I would like to extend a special word of thanks to the members of the Religious Activities and Tabernacle Committee. I could not have coordinated this season without their ideas, insights, feedback, and guidance. Members of the committee include: Rev. Joanne Hartunian, Lisa Brown, Barbara Gates, Myra Gooding, Nancy Hansen, Roger Hansen, Kay Hodges, Linda McKinney, and Lee Williams

Most of all, let us always remember to sing out with gratitude to God, whose love never ceases to surprise, comfort, and challenge us.

We’ll see you at next summer’s Homecoming Sunday service on Sunday, June 28, 2015 at 9:45am. Visit this web site in the spring for a preview of our next season.

Closing Our Season Together

This Sunday, August 31st at 9:45am, we carry on the revived tradition of holding a joint service with the community from South Congregational Church. Rev. Kate Epperly will preach a sermon titled “Intergenerational Sharing: Fertile Ground for Faith Formation.” Rev. Dr. Bruce Epperly will preside, and Pam Wannie will coordinate music. Steve and Alice Brown will greet and usher, and Steve Brown will proclaim the Word of God.

Pam Wannie, the music director at South Congregational, is looking for musicians of all ages to join in singing a selection during the offertory. We will gather at 9:00am before the service to review the music. If you would like to review the selection ahead of time, copies of the music are available in the Retreat Center office.

Evening Worship this Sunday, August 24 at 7pm

Sunset is arriving a little earlier each day, and the evenings are beginning to feel a bit chilly. We stand in awe of God’s creation as we face the movement of the seasons. As the psalmist writes, “God made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down” (Psalm 104). Even as the summer begins to draw to a close, the Tabernacle continues to be a place of grace, energy, comfort, and challenge.

This weekend, there will be two opportunities for worship in the village. First, the Tabernacle is hosting a Catholic Mass on Saturday, August 23 at 5pm. The Tabernacle is a sacred “thin place” that is open to all members of our community, and we’re pleased to give Catholic members of the village the chance to worship here. Special thanks to Ed Lynch for organizing the Mass.

Second, we are holding an evening worship service in the Tabernacle on Sunday, August 24 at 7pm. As the sun sets, we will gather for prayer and praise. Rev. Paige Fischer will preach for us. Kate McKey-Dunar will provide contemporary worship music on her guitar.

For those who still want to meet at our usual worship time at 9:45am, we will hold a brief Anglican-style morning service at that time.

The Tabernacle is open to all seekers of truth and people of faith.

Worship this Sunday at 9:45am: House of Prayer

One of the many blessings of worshiping in a place like Craigville is how much visitors to the Retreat Center and the village enrich our worship. Earlier this season, we enjoyed the opportunity to join in Taizé worship with members of the Craigville Colloquy, and more recently Sunday worship at the Tabernacle rang out with the music of the MACUCC Adult Music Camp choir.

This Sunday at 9:45am, we will celebrate another treasured collaboration as the community from the Lighthouse of Faith in Christ Jesus from Brockton, MA joins us again. Rev. Dayan Johnson will preach a sermon titled “House of Prayer,” Helyn Hall will play the organ, and the community’s Voices of Faith choir will lead us in song. Come prepared to sing both hymns and Gospel songs of praise.

This week, Nancy Norwood Vester and Nancy Norwood Daigle will greet and usher. Kate McKey-Dunar will proclaim the Word of God. Nancy Vester will also provide flower arrangements for the altar.

We are working to make the Tabernacle a place that is comfortable for worshipers of all ages. We have set aside a special section of the worship space for families, and we offer bulletins designed to help children follow along with the service. If there is any other way we can help your family to feel more welcome here, please don’t hesitate to let us know. All people of faith and seekers of truth are welcome in the Tabernacle.

Worship this Sunday: Praying for a Troubled World

On Sunday, August 10 at 9:45am, Rev. Charles Wildman will lead us in worship and preach a sermon titled “Rockin’ Our Boat.” He will help us think about how, in Craigville’s slow summer of natural beauty, we look at the deeply troubled world around us and seek a word from the Lord. Rev. Wildman is a newly elected Director of the Mass. Conference, UCC, a director of the Cape Cod Council of Churches, a member of Tree of Life Educational Fund for Palestinian-Israeli peace and reconciliation, and a leader in West Parish UCC, West Barnstable. He recently served as the Interim Conference Minister of the Connecticut Conference, UCC.

Rev. Dr. Dianne Carpenter will return as our organist, and Elton Kam will provide special music. The Gibson Family will greet, usher, and proclaim God’s word.

The Tabernacle is a place for all seekers of truth and people of faith. Children are welcome.

This Friday: Improvisation and Theology Night

If “all the world’s a stage,” what does the drama of the Gospel look like? What part does God call us to play in the world? This Friday, August 8 at 7pm, join us in the Tabernacle for a night of comedy, games, and conversation. Our Theologian in Residence, Edward Dunar, will lead us in several classic improvisation games as we explore questions about grace, discipleship, and tradition.

Free admission. Children welcome.

Adult Bible Study: Jonah and the Big Fish

The Book of Jonah is among the shorter books of the Bible, but it relates a memorable, profound, and humorous story. When God approaches Jonah with a mission, the prophet does everything he can to run away. Jonah’s story is both profound and humorous. It prompts us to reflect about God’s forgiveness and sense of mission.

This Monday through Thursday from 11-11:45am, join us at the Tabernacle for a group study of the Book of Jonah. Over the course of the week, we will discuss the wisdom that Jonah offers for our own journeys of faith. We will have Bibles on hand, but feel free to bring your own (of any translation).

All are welcome!

Open-Air, Celtic-Style Worship this Sunday, August 3 at 9:45am

This Sunday, August 3 at 9:45am, we gather for a special Celtic-style worship service. 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 the tradition’s sense of mysticism. In his book The Center is Everywhere: Celtic Spirituality for the Post Modern Age, Rev. 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, who has spent time with the Iona Community in Scotland, will lead us in worship. Janna Bruene, Tom Goux, and Dan Lanier will provide Celtic music to accompany our worship. The service will include communion.

The Tabernacle is a place for all seekers of truth and people of faith. Children are welcome.

Keep Moving

[The following reflection, written by our Theologian in Residence Edward Dunar, appears in today’s issue of the Craigville Chronicle]

In an informative article two weeks ago, the Red Lily Pond Project team informed us about the importance of moving water. Cool, flowing water gathers oxygen that fish need to breath and helps maintain a healthy balance in the pond’s ecosystem.

I found this detail striking because it parallels the messages we’ve been hearing from the pulpit during worship this summer. Last week, Rev. Dr. Ed Deyton urged us to dig deep as we notice evidence of injustice around us. Two weeks ago, Rev. Eric Henderson exhorted us to boldly soar in our faith rather than “just hopping around.” Just as our ponds need moving water to stay healthy, our spiritual lives need to keep moving to keep us attentive to God’s vision for our lives.

We often make the mistake of equating faith only with certitude. While it is true that faith gives us a sense of confidence and comfort that sustains us during difficult times, faith is even broader than that. Faith is a gift that equips us to walk on God’s path. Faith gives us energy to serve God’s vision of love and justice in the world.

Rev. Bernard Lonergan, a Canadian Jesuit, encouraged his readers to follow four precepts when thinking through their faith: Be attentive! Be intelligent! Be rational! Be responsible! When we learn something new that challenges our perspective and our beliefs, we need not feel threatened by the challenge. Instead, we can continue digging boldly, assured that God will always support and sustain us in our search for truth. Having faith does not mean finding answers and stopping. It means continuing to grow deeper in love with God, knowing that questions or doubt are signs of a strong faith and a thirst for God’s truth and justice.

Service on Sunday, July 27 at 9:45am

This summer, we have been blessed with beautiful and stirring music during our services at the Tabernacle. We are so lucky to have such talented organists, musicians, and singers in our community. As we move forward together on our faith pilgrimage this summer, lively music helps us to focus our minds and hearts on God and calls attention to the movement of the spirit in our midst.

This weekend, we are lucky to have an extra dose of music during our 9:45am service on Sunday. The Massachusetts UCC Adult Music Camp will lend their voices for three selections during the service, Wayne Tooker will provide contemplative music, and Diane Carpenter will play the organ.

Rev. Richard Grobe will preach a sermon titled “On the Wrong Plane.” Rev. Grobe is the founder and president of ServCorps, which draws upon its members’ experience in construction to build and rehabilitate housing in Hartford, Connecticut and in disaster stricken communities around the country and world. Craigville has benefited from the generous assistance of ServCorps for the past five years, as well as from Rev. Grobe’s friendly presence as a vacationer in the village for many years.

The spirit is moving in the Tabernacle this summer!