Upcoming Service Notes for September 23, 2018

Jesus came to help human hearts and minds wake up and grow up into fullness of maturity, into the heart and mind that God created us to have–made in God’s image, as the creation story in Genesis says.  Jesus came to help us all have the heart and mind of Christ, which is not just human consciousness but God-consciousness.

Jesus came to help us see the realm of God within and among and all around us, and help us change our ways of living to be consistent with that right and sacred way of being.  He came to help us change our families and villages and nations and world to be more like the realm of God on earth.  He taught us how to do this, which is very simple: the way of Christ-like humble love.

The scriptures and hymns of our tradition can help us gain the perspective and wisdom we need.  They can help us find personal transformation and engage in world transformation.  But these are extraordinary times–our world, our nation, and also our families and friends are all facing challenges like never before, and the forecast is that it will get far worse before it gets better.  If we do not change the dominant consciousness of our global civilization, prospects for human well being all but disappear.

The good news is that extraordinary new spiritual resources and insights are rising to meet the extraordinary challenges of our time.  The heart and mind of Christ are waking up in more people, more are growing into the God-consciousness that understands our place in the universe and how important it is that we learn to live sustainably in peace and health on this earth.  It is so important that we recognize the purpose and meaning of our lives as children of God in this universe so that we change our self-destructive ways and have the joy of co-creating the miracle of God’s realm on earth and beyond.

We will start the service talking with the children about Fern’s wisdom and vision at the start of Charlotte’s Web, something akin to the heart and mind of Christ, and we will sing “All Things Bright and Beautiful.”  Then the children will go back to spend the rest of the service discussing, acting and singing in preparation for the Lords Acre performance of Charlotte’s Web on October 6th.

We will hear much needed wisdom from Psalm 37, James 3:13-4:3, 7-8a and Mark 9:30-37.  We will sing “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind” (or as a fitting alternative, “Dear God Embracing Humankind”) and also a new hymn, “We Need Christ’s Wisdom from Above.”  The choir’s Introit will be two verses of a hymn, “Wellspring of Wisdom,” by a superb modern New Zealand hymnodist, and the Choral Benediction will again be Samuel Wesley’s “Lead Me Lord,” with the congregation invited to join in and harmonize.  The Anthem will be the beautiful traditional Irish, “The Time for Turning,”  arranged by Courtney & Martin.  (See the YouTube of it below.)

Pianist Annemieke McLane will play pieces by Schubert and Scriabin.

Here is another choir singing the anthem:

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