Upcoming Service Notes, May 12, 2019

Good Shepherd Sunday and The Work of Mothering Sunday

Three streams will flow into this worship service: Wendell Berry’s description of Nurturers vs. Exploiters from the opening pages of his great book The Unsettling of America; the scripture readings of the 23rd Psalm (King James Version) and Jesus talking about being the Good Shepherd in John 10; and an amazing, important, boldly honest and passionate poem by Meg Albee about the work of being a mother (read more about this below).  The choir will sing an anthem, “The 23rd Psalm,” composed by our haiku crafter, Mel Goertz, as well as “God of Many Names” by Brian Wren and “Let It Be” by Paul McCartney.  We will sing hymns set to three beautiful tunes, “In Heavenly Love Abiding,”  “I Would Be True” and “O Mary, Did Your Vision” set to the Passion Chorale.

Meg Albee writes this about the poem she will read, “Working From The Ovaries Out:”

“When I saw auditions advertised for a local people’s showcase of original story telling about work—whether artists, writers, doctors, clergy—Parish Players’ Pieces of Work, which was inspired by the recent musical production of Working, I saw a clear opening to offer a window into the often unrecognized, but tremendous work of motherhood. This work, of course, is quite literally vital for a functioning society and yet is rarely anymore given a seat of value at the table—a buffet of occupational choices, life paths, and the financial and opportunity cost of time spent doing it, or not. I wrote this poem about the work of being a mother, in its own right, a job unto itself separate from any career path, and one so little understood and too often under-appreciated by those who have not done it; also one that even we mothers ourselves, no matter how we choose to do it, are constantly second guessing our choices about, sifting through society’s endless ‘shoulds,’ and feeling guilty for how much or how little time we dedicate to our children. No matter how you slice it, there are a million small sacrifices every day and many other big ones over the long haul as we navigate motherhood and life. It is my hope that this perspective will help in its own small way to trickle out a stream of love and awareness and cherishing to all mothers everywhere.”

Mel and Herbert Goertz at the 2019 William Sloan Coffin Address. We publish Mel’s haiku in the bulletin each week and the choir sings some of her songs. Herbert is a passionate, prophetic voice for social justice among us.

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