Monthly Archives: April 2013

Pastor’s Word: The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

Judith_blogDear Church Family,

Monday morning staff meeting began with high anticipation of sharing a meal with Grace community, the Missional Wisdom community, and beyond. Brian McLaren and Jonathan Wilson Hartgrove would break bread with us and share their wisdom with us about gospel-bearing in a religiously plural culture.

Monday afternoon, just a few hours later, the staff and the Bonhoeffer community quietly worked together setting up for the long-anticipated event, having heard the first pieces of news from the Boston Marathon.

The juxtaposition of these two events did not fit. When the evening came and our tables were heaped up and flowing over with food (somehow the word “potluck” has survived and is recognized by people across all age groups), we opened with a moment of silence and words reminding us of some of the feelings of disbelief and horror we felt upon first hearing about 9/11.

Throughout the evening, however, hope was palpable. Over one hundred people had gathered in the parlor, and more quietly assumed their places in the balcony, eagerly listening for words of wisdom to direct us and help us formulate our own thoughts and responses to gospel-bearing. When supper was over, Elaine Heath set the stage for us.

Those moments of intense listening in close quarters and from the balcony were right out of To Kill a Mockingbird. Those moments of response from McLaren and Hartgrove were right out of the gospel as each responded to every question from those gathered with, “Let me tell you a story.” Two days later, West happened.

I thank God for each of you every day and for making a place such as Grace where, in the best of times and in the worst of times, all are invited to gather, be heard and be blessed.

Grace and Peace,
Judith Reedy

Pastor’s Word: Easter Sunday

Judith_blogDear Church Family,

What an Easter Sunday! It is without a doubt the very best Easter Sunday I have ever witnessed! The Holy Week services, the music, the marketing, the participation, planning and preparation, and the presence of almost 300 people made this Easter Sunday memorable!

Violet felt the same way, though her comparison basis is quite different from mine. Violet, at 11 months, was experiencing her very first Easter Sunday. She sat on the back row in her Easter dress and accessories, waiting breathlessly at 10:50 for something momentous to happen. Then it did! The choir began to sing and process slowly down the aisle. From my vantage point all the way up on the chancel, I could see and hear her response. “Oooh!” she exclaimed again and again, accompanied by the waving and kicking of her arms and legs and the movement of her entire body which kept her Easter dress alive and fluttering.

“Oooh!” I thought, as the choir continued into the loft and the drummers began to accompany Billie and Mary in duet and the children simply flooded Christina for their Easter message. “Oooh!” I thought as the entire church applauded Jean for his new U.S. citizenship. “Oooh!” as Hal accompanied the choir on “Mary at the Tomb.”

The stage has been set. We will spend these next packed six weeks of Eastertide testifying with our new members’ luncheon, our kitchen, our clinic, our worker’s defense project, our hosting of Brian McClaren and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, our highlight of missions, our expanded Open Door hours, Confirmation and Mother’s Day Sunday, and getting ready for Project Transformation. Oooh, indeed!

I look forward to seeing you this Sunday at Grace and to hearing another great sermon from our intern Billie Watts!

Grace and Peace,
Judith Reedy