Thanks to Charlotte Reimanis we have had a Stereotype Project with an interactive poster in the Parish Hall for the past two months. We have gradually filled it up with stereotypes we have observed being made in the media or in person or in our own reactions to people. The project was very simple, but it has had a profound effect as we have become more aware of the pervasive and sometimes subtle presence of stereotypes, and as we have thought about their impact on individuals and society. Why does the human brain make stereotypes? How can we change our culture’s consciousness so that we can move beyond the harmful, divisive and oppressive effects of widely held stereotypes?
We will consider these questions and more in a context of worship this Sunday. Charlotte Reimanis will give a summary of the Stereotype Project and we all will have the opportunity to talk about what we have learned. The children will consider one of the core teachings of Jesus, when he gave the great commandments and defined who the neighbor is that we are to love by telling the story of the Good Samaritan—a story that is all about the harm of stereotypes and the need to evolve beyond them to create the realm of God on earth.
We will also read Psalm 133 and a passage about universal oneness, John 17:19-23. The congregation will sing the tune Finlandia again, this time the much loved words, “This Is My Song,” and we will sing another favorite, “Let There Be Peace on Earth (and Let It Begin with Me).” The communion hymn will be “When We Can See As God Can See.” The choir will sing two pieces by John Bell, who is best known as the musical leader of the Iona Community in Scotland, as well as a beautiful favorite Anthem arranged by the Amidons of southern Vermont, “How Could Anyone” by Libby Roderick. (You can listen to a recording on YouTube below, and you can come sing with the choir any Sunday by arriving at 8:50 AM for rehearsal.)
Pianist Annemieke McLane will play pieces by Claude Debussy, Edvard Grieg and Cécile Chaminade.