From the Backcountry

North Greenwich Congregational Church

Weekly Pastor’s Update

May 18, 2018

 A meandering burn in the Scottish highlands

A meandering burn in the Scottish highlands

From the Backcountry …

“No poet ever found his muse, till by himself, he learned to wander down some trotting burn’s meander and dare not think too long.”   Robert Burns

Poets, bards, artists and musicians often speak of entering the creative realms through the influence of an “inspirer,” sometimes known as a muse, or a daimon.  These masters are the first to acknowledge that our true potential is “quickened” by a power beyond ourselves. So it is with the Holy Spirit - the promised advocate whom Christ assures the disciples will make their hearts leap into verdant life once again.  I am forever drawn to Robert Burns’ counsel for anyone trying to discover the “inspirer.”  We must go to those places where our soul is exposed to beauty … without expectation, without demand.  So as we enter this glorious season of Pentecost, I wish God’s blessing on all your meanderings into the frontier of your own true potential.

Sunday, May 20    Pentecost Sunday  10:30 a.m.

Lectionary Readings:   Psalm 104 and Acts 2: 1-21

Text:  “Suddenly, from heaven, there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind.”  Acts 2.2

Sermon:  “Second Wind”

Tease:  This Sunday we hear one of the greatest narratives of the Christian faith.  It is the story that speaks to us about the beginnings of the Church, the moment when the Spirit of God “blew” into a gathering of Jesus’ followers and forever changed their own life stories.  It is a story filled with amazement and confusion, with disbelief and wonder.  It is a story that has been seen as a beginning… as a new birth.  What do you suppose would happen if we were to hear this story yet again, not as something weird that happened a long time ago…but in such a way that connects it to our own lives and faith today?

Our Church’s Wider Ministry - Opihikao, Hawaii

 Rev. Eric S. Anderson, Pastor Church of the Holy Cross, UCC; Hilo, Hawaii

Rev. Eric S. Anderson, Pastor Church of the Holy Cross, UCC; Hilo, Hawaii

 You may remember Rev. Eric S. Anderson, who served as our Associate Conference Minister for Communication before accepting the call to serve as Pastor of the UCC Church in Hilo, Hawaii.  Eric helped us design our very first website many moon’s ago.  He recently gave the denomination an update on the Kilauea eruption - which I am excerpting here:

“Hawaii has a land area nearly that of the state of Connecticut, all the result of molten rock rising from miles beneath the surface.  The current outbreaks are the latest in a twenty-five year-long eruption. Though no sizable rivers of molten rock have emerged, 2,000 people have been driven from their homes.  Twenty-seven homes have been destroyed, along with nine commercial buildings. Fortunately, there has been no loss of life.  Red Cross officials report that around 15% of the evacuees are currently residing in shelters, as most turn to friends and family, trusting in the tight bonds of this community.  Members of the Puula United Church of Christ (three miles inland from the active zone) and the Maunakea Congregational Church have been laboring to find places for dislodged members and family. ‘The Churches are really reaching out,’ says Rev. Michael Warren. ‘Everybody is doing food and contributing.  The faith-based force has really come in.’ However, Rev Warren fears that nearby communities such as Opihikao could be cut off.  There are relatively few roads in the affected areas.  In addition, parts of the coastline may not be stable, and further earthquakes could trigger a collapse and create a tsunami.  This kind of natural disaster happens in slow motion.  It has no discernible end in sight.  It’s not like a hurricane, which arrives, makes its mark and leaves …and then the recovery can begin. Residents cannot know how long it will go on, how large it will grow, or how many will be affected.”

We will continue to pray for Eric, and the people of the Big Island as we await further news of this ongoing disaster.

See you Sunday,

Royal