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delving into the heart

delving into the heart

July 26, 2020

In this final episode of our six-week series, "Hope Amid Desolation," we welcome a guest reflection from Rabbi Ruth Zlotnick, Senior Rabbi of Temple Beth Am in Seattle. Her reflection explores a profile in courage—the life and times of her biblical namesake, Ruth the Moabite. Ruth was an unlikely hero who boldly faced the challenges of a plague and famine. There is much to be gleaned from the book of Ruth about how we might respond to the challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic. 

 

This episode rebroadcasts an episode from Temple Beth Am and deepens the connections between our traditions and communities. Gethsemane is grateful to Rabbi Ruth whose words let us "listen in" to the Jewish community's reflection at a sacred moment. May these words enrich us as we seek to follow with heart.

 

The entire service is streamed on GLC's website and facebook page at 10am Sunday; and is available on-demand all week.

going (and keeping going) despite the giants

going (and keeping going) despite the giants

July 19, 2020

In this fifth of the six-week series "Hope amid Desolation," GLC member Steven Coles reflects on David's use of five smooth stones in a battle against Goliath. Read the biblical story here. In his reflection, Steven tells of confetti-paper-pieces in a small mason jar, papers that serve similar purpose in Steven's own fight against a giant called depression.

Catch the whole of it on the video stream of the full service at www.urbanfaith.org/worship. Or have a listen here as Steven urges us to keep going. Always. Keep going.

listening to the ground

listening to the ground

July 12, 2020

In this fourth of the six-week series "Hope amid Desolation," we gratefully receive these words from GLC member, Gloria Winters. We read from Exodus the story about Moses at the burning bush (and you might want to read also this short passage to remember the reasons he left Egypt).

Gloria invites us into her yard, and into her own musings about comings and goings, awareness of holy ground, and God's calls. You can catch the whole of it on the video stream of the full service at www.urbanfaith.org/worship. Or have a listen here as Gloria invites us--through example--to reflect on life, and to listen to ancestors, the land, and creatures all around us.

seeing with new and ancient eyes

seeing with new and ancient eyes

July 5, 2020

In our third week of the series "Hope amid Desolation," we delight in this reflection from GLC member, Donna Ramos. We chose excerpts from the story of Noah, but you could read the whole cycle from Genesis here. Donna's reflection is illustrated beautifully in the video from her garden and some added photos; catch that on the video stream of the full service at www.urbanfaith.org/worship

Donna invites us to earth-inspired dreams as we continue to reflect on our place in this vast story of life. Have a listen.

on weariness, rest, and nourishment

on weariness, rest, and nourishment

June 28, 2020

It's week two in our series "Hope amid Desolation," and week 16 of online-only worship. That's a long time. Many of us know weariness in new ways. Elijah-like, we may feel like it's all too much. Today's service online has some tips for all that; catch us with video stream and a full service at www.urbanfaith.org/worship. Or have a listen here. Bible text for today is from I Kings 19.

Pr Joanne Engquist invites us to reflect on the story from a different perspective. And the question comes, "what is it that we need to hear today?"

listening a new order into being

listening a new order into being

June 21, 2020

In this first week of our series, "Hope Amid Desolation," we welcome guest preacher Katherine A. Shaner who currently serves as Associate Professor of New Testament at Wake Forest University School of Divinity. As her WFU bio says, "In classrooms, in faith communities, in the public square, Shaner challenges leaders to listen for the voices of people who are usually left out of the stories in our biblical texts and in our histories of justice." We are fortunate to welcome her into our online community of prayer this day. 

Pr Shaner reflects this morning on the story of Dry Bones in Ezekiel 37 inviting us to consider the power of breath, new life, and the ordering of the "body." Have a listen. 

And if you are able to join us online, the service is archived here and this reflection is all the more amazing to see than it is only to hear!

toward hope that will not disappoint

toward hope that will not disappoint

June 14, 2020

During this time when we have suspended in-person worship so that we may care for our neighbors and diminish the spread of the novel coronavirus, video recordings of GLC's services are posted online <www.urbanfaith.org/worship> each week by 10am Sunday; the services remain accessible there and also on the GLC Facebook page.

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Today congregations across the ELCA remember "the Emanuel Nine" who were killed June 17, 2015 while sharing in Bible Study at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. In this remembering we repent of the sins of racism and white supremacy which continue to plague this church and our world. We commit to listening more, especially to the wisdom, lived experience, and leadership of our black- and brown-skinned siblings.

Many resource lists are available these days; here is one from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. And here's a link to the book by Austin Channing Brown (I'm Still Here) from which Pr Joanne read a brief excerpt in today's homily. The song, "Lament," by Mark Miller is available on YouTube. (The scripture passage Pr Joanne considers today is from Romans.)

Amid the calls for racial justice these weeks, we observe also that today is the anniversary of the birth of Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811). We give thanks for the impact of her Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852) to energize anti-enslavement work.

 

trinity: all in

trinity: all in

June 7, 2020

Today's reflection, on this Holy Trinity Sunday, comes from the Presiding Bishop of the ELCA. She considers the relational aspect of God and urges us to cherish the communal nature of God who makes us in God's image: relational! She invites our grief and anger in the wake of violence against black siblings; she calls us as church to change structures and hearts alike.

 

pentecost: new life needed

pentecost: new life needed

May 31, 2020

On this Pentecost Sunday, we grieve the pains of our collective body ravaged by the sin of racism and white supremacy. Pr Kari Lipke invites us to think about this reading from I Corinthians, considering the insights of Paul about not elevating some in the body above others. With her, we plead for spirit-breathed new life so desperately needed in our world. 

easter 7: with tender care

easter 7: with tender care

May 24, 2020

Pastor Joanne Engquist reflects on the words of Jesus "overheard" while he is at prayer. Thinking about other such tender moments of prayer offered, she invites us to think about how we hold one another with care and extend ourselves as community in life together. The gospel lesson (Jesus' prayer) is found here.

During this time when we have suspended in-person worship so that we may care for our neighbors and diminish the spread of the novel coronavirus, video recordings of GLC's services are posted online <www.urbanfaith.org/worship> each week by 10am Sunday; the services remain accessible there and also on the GLC Facebook page.

 

 

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