~A Time to Speak~
“To everything there is a season, and a time to every matter under heaven…
a time to keep silence and a time to speak.”
Dear Members and Friends,
The trouble with Christmas is that it just comes too early in the season. By the time you’re taking down the tree, the winter pregame show is just getting started. Winter is still in the locker room doing its stretches. It’s in February that we really need the emotional support of tinsel. Strings of lights would help to buttress our spirits as March draws on and winter goes into overtime. The church feels so sparse and bare—with its red ribbons and green garlands long since packed away. But take courage! Lent is drawing near! Lent is one of my favorite times to be your pastor. Why? Well, let’s just say that the theatrical textures of Lent suit my temperament. But more than that, I always love the evening services that we have at the church during Lent. Be sure not to miss them this year. They will begin on Ash Wednesday—February 26—with a service of communion and ashes at 7:30 p.m. Each Wednesday evening in Lent (March 4 – April 1), we will hold a vespers service in the sanctuary, using the majestic “evening services” from the 1946 Book of Common Worship. A different church member will select the hymns each week, and then, instead of a sermon, that same church member will be interviewed about his or her faith journey. Would you be willing to pick the hymns and allow yourself to be interviewed? I need five volunteers! Don’t be shy. This has been a very successful event in the past. Telling your own story can be intimidating, but people really do want to hear it, and the telling of it will give you a new kind of perspective on your life. Contact me if it just might be your time to speak.
Also in February, we’re going to hold a fun event in fellowship hall. Do you recall that a web series called “To Be Me” was filmed largely at our church in December 2018? (I played the part of the pastor, and—no joke!—found my name listed as a cast member on the famous entertainment website IMBD.com!) “To Be Me” shines a spotlight on the plight of many gay teens in America. About twenty kids from an LGBTQ support group in Beaver County came to our church to serve as “extras” in the filming of the show. This group is named PRISM, and it provides support for teens whose communities and families are not always sympathetic. Kelli Dunham, an old college friend of mine who is now a successful stand-up comedian, has offered to do a free (and clean!) comedy routine at our church. She will pass a hat at the end, and all donated proceeds will go to PRISM of Beaver County! (Look her up: www.kellidunham.com, “Really funny person, really serious subjects.”) The PRISM youth will be in attendance at the event, and the Kelli—who is “gender non-binary” herself—has offered to stay and do a Q&A with them after the show. It will be “a time to speak” for these kids, too, and for us to express our unspoken love for them just by welcoming them here and donating to their cause. Plan to make a night of it! It’s a wonderful way to support a group of kids who need to know that Christian people do care about them. And you’ll have a few laughs in the process on Saturday, February 22, at 7:00 p.m. Come prepared to drop a few bucks in the hat for PRISM. Nonalcoholic refreshments will be served.
All blessings to you as we inch toward the Lenten journey together. There’s no one I’d rather be journeying beside than you.
In Christ’s Peace, ~Brian