We are now three weeks past Ash Wednesday, and just four weeks away from Holy Week. Hence, we are smack dab in the middle of Lent. And it seems to me that this is often what life feels like. We might not be in the midst of "ashes to ashes, dust to dust", but the glow of Easter resurrection is dimmer than we would like.
Yet this might be good news. My experience has been that I most often feel like I'm in the midst of God's presence when I am real, open, and a bit raw. When I let myself be seen as I really am, or when I step into those spaces of discomfort and authenticity, something bigger than me seems to be at work.
I think this is why people come back from service trips with such fervor, and a sense that the trip was worth all the effort. (I've been on over 40 service and mission trips, and I've almost never heard a complaint) It's why groups like AA are so effective and helpful.
These were the types of places and spaces where Jesus chose to hang out. He liked being with the people who were aware of their flaws and imperfections, who were open to the idea that he had something more to offer. It was the ones who brought their brokenness and fears who found healing and hope.
We can only find out what this faith life is all about if we are willing to walk in the footsteps of Jesus, to discover what God has to offer us. And this journey often means giving up our own wants and needs, and instead stepping into a new way of being.
As we move through Lent, might we consider giving up some patterns that are part of our lives, and instead seek to live in a new way - hopeful that the light of resurrection
get involved in helping women in need both locally and internationally. Our mission is to learn, educate and act. We learn by researching and studying topics of interest. We educate by providing speakers and forums. And we act by assisting in whatever way is most beneficial to the women who need our help. . We are currently working on organizing a fundraiser tea to benefit A Friendly Place in Oakland that provides respite for homeless women. We invite all of the women of OCC to join us. We welcome your ideas and suggestions and hope you will join us as we explore our options for the future.
Women's Spirituality Group Please join us for fellowship, reflection, prayer and lectio divina at Women's Spirituality Group on Thursday, March 8 from 6:30-8:00 in the Fireside Room. Questions, call Leslie Darwin O'Brien at 925-2850996 or email@example.com
Support Group Saturday Match 10, 10 am in the Narthex During our confidential time together we listen to and share our stories, and offer supportive suggestions. Our common Christian heritage is central for guidance and prayers.
The gathering (usually bout 2 hours) reminds us that we are are not alone. Sipping tea or coffee, we support each other with gentle love. All adults are welcome to join, as often as you wish.
For more information, contact Lee Cruise, firstname.lastname@example.org or 707. 373-3962.
will keep growing brighter and brighter.
Wishing you God's Peace, Jim
Do You Want to Fast this Lent? * Fast from hurting words and say kind words. * Fast from sadness and be filled with gratitude. * Fast from anger and be filled with patience. * Fast from pessimism and be filled with hope. * Fast from worries and have trust in God. * Fast from complaints and contemplate simplicity. * Fast from pressures and be prayerful. * Fast from bitterness and fill your hearts with joy. * Fast from selfishness and be compassionate to others. * Fast from grudges and be reconciled. * Fast from words and be silent so you can listen. (attributed to Pope Francis)