North Greenwich Congregational Church
Pastor’s Weekly Update
September 14, 2017
From The Backcountry …
“No matter what happens … this is the present moment. Make your home here.” Zen Teaching
When a drop of rain falls into a river, it no longer exists as a raindrop. It is absorbed into the immensity of the water’s flow. We can observe the river and we can ponder a moment when that raindrop first touched the surface of the water … but nothing is able to restore that drop of rain as it once was.
The poet reminds us that “time is like a river,” as well. Our every action (or inaction) is absorbed into the immensity of its flow. If it is possible to correct an error, or do something that hasn’t been done, there is no point bemoaning what might have been. Rather, we must strive to live fully in the present. This is always the best way to correct any bad blows of the past.
Sunday, September 17 Morning Worship 10:30 a.m.
Lectionary Readings: Psalm 114; Matthew 18: 21-35
Text: “Lord, how often shall I forgive? As many as seven times?: Matthew 18:21
Sermon: “Scot Free”
Synopsis: This week’s story of the Unmerciful Servant is Jesus’ response to the vexing question of how many times we should forgive someone who does us wrong. I’m certain Peter thought he was being more than generous when suggesting the magic number is seven. Certainly, no one was expecting Jesus to match Peter’s challenge and multiply it by seventy!! We mustn’t, however, get hung up on the number 490. That’s not really Jesus’ point. But, then … giving it another thought… maybe it is the whole point!!
Fall Kick-OffPotluck Luncheon, Sunday, September 24
Join us for lunch immediately following worship next Sunday. Please bring a covered dish or salad to share. We will also be recognizing Emily Junker who is a 2017 Henry Green Scholarship recipient
The Wider Church: “Human Hands”
“But you came and defiled my landand made my inheritance an abomination.” Jeremiah 2.7
Every Fall, just in time for the bird migration, delicate pokeweed sprigs are laden with ripe, juicy pigeon-berries. While we stain our hands and clothes trying to rip them out of our shrubbery, pigeon-berries are actually the last reminder that the American landscape was once laden with passenger pigeons. These berries were a staple in the diet of the now extinct bird. In the early 1800s, one observer in Kentucky saw a single flock some 240 miles long and a mile wide, estimated to contain two billion birds!! Tragically, human hands annihilated every last one of them, as “pigeoners” captured the tasty birds by the tens of thousands.
Over the past few weeks, two hurricanes have devastated low lying coastland in the South. 6.3 million Floridians were ordered to evacuate – one of the largest evacuations in U.S. history. I commend Miami’s Republican mayor admitting this year’s record-breaking storms are very likely the result of global warming caused by human hands. “It’s time to talk climate change,” he announced.
As we struggle to detangle our bushes of pigeon-berry this Fall, let our stained hands remind us of the senseless annihilation we visit upon this pristine planet. There was a time when the skies darkened as awe-inspiring flocks of passenger pigeons passed over head. How tragic that we are quickly moving toward the point when the skies darken as the next fear-invoking extreme storm passes over head.
See you Sunday,