From the Backcountry 7-28-17

North Greenwich Congregational Church

Pastor’s Weekly Update

July 28, 2017

"From old maples do mighty crab apples grow ...."

"From old maples do mighty crab apples grow ...."

 From the Backcountry …

“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from its roots a branch will bear fruit.” Isaiah 11.1

The woodland management technique, known as ‘coppicing,” removes a tree’s upper, shade- creating branches in order to expose the ground to increased sunlight and thus promote new growth.  Even should a deciduous tree be cut completely to the ground, new trees can grow afresh in the old root stock.  So, it should come as no surprise that a shoot has now appeared in the stump of one of our razed maples!  Actually it is the branch of a crab apple that was also felled because it had embedded itself in the heart of the decaying tree. May this new branch give us confidence that new life can always spring forth … even from that which may appear barren and desolate.

Sunday, July 30    Morning Worship 10:30 a.m.

Scripture Readings:   Psalm 128;  Matthew 13: 24-30; 36-43

Text:  “But while everyone was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat …” Matthew 13: 25

Sermon:   “Family Feud”

Synopsis:  Get ready for a Biblical version of the Hatfield and McCoy saga.  In the dead of night, a feuding farmer steals into his rival’s field and sows a particularly toxic weed.  A few weeks later, farmhands relay the bad news to their boss and await further instructions.  How will they retaliate?  What dastardly payback can they scheme up?  Suffice it to say, the farmer’s response leaves everyone scratching their heads.

2017 Henry Green Scholarship

Lena Schipper

Second of four articles introducing this year’s scholarship recipients.

Lena Schipper admits that her sophomore year at UCLA has been challenging, but also a time of personal growth.  Not only did she realize how quickly time is passing, she also found herself questioning all aspects of her academic career: her choice of major, her activities and, most importantly, who she is becoming as an individual.   And so, she wisely took a few days for reflection in order to wrestle with all of these uncertainties.  This quiet time gave her the insight that moments of “self-doubt” are necessary and perfectly normal processes that enable us to return to our everyday life with renewed vigor and resolve.  With a clearer mindset, Lena has become more involved in Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and grateful for the sense of community she is discovering at UCLA.

She writes, “The values of community and support which I learned through my many Sundays at North Greenwich Congregational Church, are once again evident in my life.  Rediscovering those values has given me the push I needed to have this fulfilling academic and personal year.”

2017 has also given Lena an opportunity to explore the great California landscape, like the deserts of Joshua Tree National Park and the beautiful San Gabriel Mountains.  She also applied and is now currently enjoying a summer program in Europe, where she and twenty other UCLA students are studying in Vienna, Dresden, Munich and Berlin. 

She concludes, “I thank Royal and the NGCC community for preparing me to take on this year and the years to come, not just through the Henry Green Scholarship but through the years of services, sermons, faith and support.  Thank you for helping me learn how to make peace with time.”

Happy Coppicing!

Royal