Friday, June 14, 2019

What We Are Reading - June 2019

Here are the books we will be reading during
Extended Session during the month of June! 

All theses are available through the Carnegie Library.

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The boo-boos that changed the world : a true story about an accidental invention (really!)

by Barry Wittenstein 

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Say something!

by Pete Reynolds 

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Good dog

by Cori Doerrfeld 

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Going down home with daddy

by Kelly Starling Lyons 

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by Holly Hobbie 

Reflections for Youth - Psalm 8

I was one of those kids that spend endless hours in the summer looking for jars.  I would raid the kitchen, dig around under the sink, and rummage through the cupboards to find any kind of container with a lid  I could poke holes in.  Catching lightning bugs was important work.  Now that I am older, I still love them - but instead of collecting them I would rather sit in the yard and watch them light up the sky.  
The other night I was outside in the dark with our puppy looking up at the stars. I noticed that she was sitting down by my feet watching something, too. Lightning bugs. Fireflies.  They were lighting up the trees and she was fascinated.
While I was out there  - I was thinking about one of our scriptures today—which is Psalm 8.
If you open your Bible to the middle—you will probably find Psalms in the Old Testament.  It’s the longest book in the Bible—it has 150 chapters—or Psalms.  The Psalms are songs or prayers to God. Many of them are attributed to David but we don’t know exactly for sure who wrote them.
Sometimes we sing them as a joyful praise to God. Sometimes we read them as prayers when everything is going wrong and we are sad. Psalm 8 is one that we might sing or read to praise God
Out in my yard the other night, I thought about how David was a shepherd and how he would have been out in the field at night with his sheep or goats looking up at the stars. Maybe the moon was bright enough for him to see that the sheep were safe.  And maybe it was while looking up at the stars- or watching fireflies that Psalm 8 was written.  (Read it below). 
So here is what I am thinking about this week: 

Looking up at the sky reminds me of how so very small I am.  I am reminded how amazing it is that God is responsible for this mysterious universe and massive bundles of fire that travel at thousands of miles per hour.  And God created me. And you.  God knows me and loves me just as all the things he created.  Looking up at the sky gives me hope.  

What gives you hope?

Looking up at the stars is also humbling. It reminds me that maybe we are called to do something that matters and to serve creative God at which we marvel. 

What do you think about when you look at the sky? 

Psalm 8 (NRSV version) Divine Majesty and Human Dignity

To the leader: according to The Gittith. A Psalm of David.

Lord, our Sovereign,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
    Out of the mouths of babes and infants
you have founded a bulwark because of your foes,
    to silence the enemy and the avenger.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
    the moon and the stars that you have established;
what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
    mortals[a] that you care for them?
Yet you have made them a little lower than God,[b]
    and crowned them with glory and honor.
You have given them dominion over the works of your hands;
    you have put all things under their feet,
all sheep and oxen,
    and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
    whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
Lord, our Sovereign,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Family Retreat and Art Show! - Spring 2019

We wrapped up the Sunday School year with our annual Family Retreat and an Art Show featuring the work of our Sunday school students. Enjoy the Photos! 

Family Retreat

Art Show

What We Are Reading - Spring 2019

Here are some new books we have added to the shelves at church.  We will be reading them this summer during Extended Session.  Borrow one if you like! 

Hats of Faith

by Medeia Cohan and Sarah Walsh

I'm an Immigrant Too!

I'm an Immigrant Too!

by Mern Fox and Ronojoy Ghosh

Trash Revolution: Breaking the Waste Cycle

by Erica Fyvie and Bill Slavin

Who Is My Neighbor?

Who is My Neighbor ?

by Amy-Jill Levine and Sandy Eisenberg Sasso

God's Big Plan

by Elizabeth F. Caldwell and Theodore Hiebert

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Reflections for Youth - 23rd Psalm

The Psalm we will be using in church this week is so familiar.  I know it's one of the things I memorized it as a child.  Most often this is the scripture you will hear at funerals because the words reassure us that Christ is with us through shadow and darkness.  It provides us with the image of Jesus as a shepherd. Taking care of us, leading us, and going ahead to protect us. 

When was the last time you heard this passage? 

This week I encourage you to read it again. Take your time, breathe, and slowly think about what the words are speaking to you.  This passage is so loved and repeated because it provides words of comfort and reminds us that God is with us always.  

When I read or hear these words I am reminded that no matter what is happening to me, the people around me, or in the world, God is near.  

Read it slowly.  Read it out loud to yourself. Let the words swirl around in your head. 
Psalm 23  (NRSV)
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.     He makes me lie down in green pastures;he leads me beside still waters;     he restores my soul.He leads me in right paths    for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley,    I fear no evil;for you are with me;    your rod and your staff—    they comfort me. You prepare a table before me    in the presence of my enemies;you anoint my head with oil;    my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me    all the days of my life,and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord    my whole life long.

Here is another version -  See how this one feels. 

Psalm 23 (The Message)      God, my shepherd!    I don’t need a thing.You have bedded me down in lush meadows,    you find me quiet pools to drink from.True to your word,    you let me catch my breath    and send me in the right direction.  Even when the way goes through    Death Valley,I’m not afraid    when you walk at my side.Your trusty shepherd’s crook    makes me feel secure.  You serve me a six-course dinner    right in front of my enemies.You revive my drooping head;    my cup brims with blessing.  Your beauty and love chase after me    every day of my life.I’m back home in the house of God    for the rest of my life.
What would be your version of this passage? What words would you chose? Take a few minutes this week with pen and paper and see how you would rewrite this passage. 

Here is my version this week: 

The Lord is always taking care of me and that's all I need. God is like the mother that gives me a glass a water, pats me on the head,and then tucks me safely into bed. When I feel lost I trust that God will be there to recalculate my GPS. When I wander into those places that are dangerous, God is always near to show me a glimpse of flickering light in the darkness.  God's presence comforts my anxious mind.God gives me every grace that I don't deserveAnd so much mercy  - instead of what I do deserve. God will always protect me like a mother at bedtime. And I will sleep soundly with God's people.