From the Backcountry

North Greenwich Congregational Church

Pastor’s Weekly Update

March 9, 2018

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From the Backcountry …

“Were we not born to wander?”   W.B. Yeats

Whenever she grew weary of my whining, my Nana would say, “Time to take your problems for a walk!”  Even though it meant being banned to Pop Pop’s garden… or a walk on the beach for an hour or two, no better advice could have been given at the moment.  For as we explore our local environs, we begin receiving gifts that are denied us when we remain sequestered in our misery. It’s said that nature is the best therapist when it comes to putting our lives in perspective.  The measured cadence of our step and the submersion of our anxieties in the wonders around us become the perfect antidotes to the divine discontent and longing that often consume us.

Sunday, March 11  Fourth Sunday in Lent  10:30 a.m.

Lectionary Readings:  Psalm 19;  John 2: 13-22

Text:   “Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!”  John 2:16

Sermon:   “Freedom from Want”

Tease:   This Sunday is one of those rare opportunities that if you missed last week’s sermon, you have a second shot at it!!  Fact is, of course, last weekend’s Nor’easter prevented everyone from attending worship.  So, I will be giving my reflection on Jesus’ cleansing of the Temple another go.   But be forewarned, this may be the last time you get a chance to hear me juxtapose a passage of scripture, with a bombshell 1943 Saturday Evening Post essay and an iconic Norman Rockwell painting.   It doesn’t get any better than that!

2018 Lenten Mission Offering

Greenwich World Hunger

 Jennifer Vazquez

Jennifer Vazquez

Proyecto Vamos Adelante

We have some catching up to do!!  Winter vacations and “bomb cyclones” have put us behind in our Lenten Mission Offering.  But, we have a few weeks to go!!   This special collection is designated for Global Mission and we are focusing on the work of Proyecto Vamos Adelante in Guatemala.  For the past decade, this organization has been reaching out to the impoverished communities west of Guatemala City who suffer the impact of systemic poverty.  Working in advocacy teams, volunteers attend to educational and health needs.  This week we will hear the story of Jennifer Vazquez, a Rutgers student who is studying for a career in medicine.  Jennifer volunteered for a summer at the Vamos Adelante clinic, working with a pediatrician to care for children suffering malnutrition and parasitic borne diseases.  Her experience will attest to the effectiveness of a program that is worthy not only of our attention, but financial support.  Please help us raise the funds to support Vamos Adelante.  Checks can be written to NGCC, but make sure that you earmark them for the Mission Offering.

Take your problems for a walk and continue a holy Lenten pilgrimage,


Road Rules:   “Don’t walk too far away from the child within you, and never abandon the sense of wonder that magnifies the smallest things into mountains of joy. For one day, when you lose sight of happiness, that child within will guide you back to the things that once nourished your heart.”   Dodinsky