From the Backcountry

North Greenwich Congregational Church

Pastor’s Weekly Update

February 16, 2018

From the Backcountry …

“No matter how chaotic life is, wildflowers still spring up in the middle of nowhere.”  Sheryl Crow

Even now, forces are at work to ensure springtime’s fervent growth.  I consider the first inklings of the vernal promise to be the most miraculous.   Breaking out of their wintry prison, daring little desperados defy the odds and set our own rebellious hearts beating to the rhythms of new adventures.  Henry David Thoreau is quick to remind us, however, that such anticipated growth is possible only when seeds have first been planted.  “If the seed is there,” he says, “We can expect wonders."

So here’s to a chaotic …yet wonder-filled Springtime!!

Sunday, February 18   First Sunday in Lent  10:30 a.m.

Lectionary Readings:  Genesis 9:8-17;  Mark 1:9-15

Text:  “The time is fulfilled; the kingdom of God is at hand.”  Mark 1:15

Sermon: “Society For All”  

Tease:   On Tuesday, February 20, the United Nations will be observing its annual Day of Social Justice.  Throughout the week, delegates will address issues of global poverty, unemployment and discrimination.  A phrase that has come to be identified with this Day of Social Justice is - “A Society for All,” - which coincidentally bears remarkable similarity to the Kingdom that Jesus pronounces “drawing nigh” in Mark 1:15.  But then, perhaps this resemblance is no mere coincidence at all.

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2018  Lenten Mission Offering

Greenwich World Hunger Association.

Vamos Adelante (Let’s Move Forward)

Proyecto Vamos Adelante is an outreach to 24 impoverished villages in Guatemala’s western Esquantla region.  Our offering will support both education and health teams who are trying to battle the effects of chronic poverty in rural Central America – illiteracy, malnourishment, water-borne disease (that contributes to high infant mortality), and alcoholism.  Through an ambitious schedule of local classes and clinics, residents are learning the benefits of health care, vaccinations, parasite control and how to prepare, safe, nutritional meals on shoestring budgets.  Our monies will also help to distribute water filters that purify 20 liter buckets of water, thus eliminating the constant need to boil water.  Please give generously.  Checks can be made out to NGCC (be sure to ear-mark them “Mission”).  The offering will be dedicated on Palm Sunday, March 25.

Lenten Book Sunday   “The Remarkable Ordinary” by Frederick Buechner

Thursday Evenings:  March 1, 15, 29 

6:00 p.m.  Soup Supper and Discussion

It’s not too late to join us!!  We meet “every other” Thursday in the Knapp Room.  At our next session, we will review chapters 1 and 2, “Stop, Look, and Listen for God.”  

Frederick Buechner is a beacon.  When we can’t remember what is true and what it all means … he’s the person we turn to.”    Anne Lamott

Expect Wonders this Lent,

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Road Rules:  “Only from the heart can you touch the sky!”   Rumi