|Posted by chesterlanducc on May 10, 2017 at 1:30 PM|
On Sunday April 30th we celebrated Earth day with various prayer stations dedicated to creation, poetry and planting a tree at the conclusion of worship. The reflection therefore was very short and just shared a couple thoughts about CCC's first Earth Day that our Jr. High Youth lead in 1970. It was an inter-generational worship service light on preaching, as was this past Sunday, May 7th. This past Sunday we celelbrated the life of one of our former members who brought sacred dance to CCC some years ago and who passed away this past winter. The service was dedicated to her and all that she has shared with CCC. Again, we had a short reflection as there was sacred dance and readings and other less traditional aspects of our worship. Below is the reflection which includes a quote from our much loved Ellie King...
Excerpts from Exodus 15:20, 2 Samuel 6:14, Psalm 149:3 & Psalm 150
One: Miriam the prophetess, Aaron's sister, took the tambourine in her hand, and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dancing.
All: And David was dancing before God with all his might…
One: Let them praise His name with dancing; Let them sing praises to God with tambourine and lyre.
All: Praise God! Praise God in God’s sanctuary
One: Praise God with trumpet sound;
praise God with lute and harp!
All: Praise God with tambourine and dance;
praise God with strings and pipe!
Praise God with clanging cymbals;
praise God with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that breathes praise God! Praise God!
We Are Dancing in the Light of God...
I begin our time of reflection with a quote from Ellie King from our Church history book, which she wrote about dance. She writes, “Sacred Dance is Soulwork. It is like a poem. It is feeling alive. Sacred Dance is the longing to share with others through movement, expression, feeling emotion, silence, stillness. The space between the words. That is what we try to dance. Always asking that we be channels for what needs to be expressed. Sacred Dance is made of hard work, love, hope, daring, trusting, jumping into, not knowing, listening, opening. In time, a piece and movement are born and joined into one: a new entity. A melding, a fitting together, a refining, a winnowing, a clarifying. At the end of the dance—a moment with fast beating heart. Yes!!! As dancers, we are like stones dropped into water, sending out ever widening circles. Hoping to touch people deeply. Hoping to reach some place deep inside. Sacred Dance is a precious opportunity to share…”
Church’s like everything else have life cycles—times they are born, times they are growing and heathy, times they find themselves in decline, and times they come to an end. We cannot be afraid of endings but rather we must seek to seize each day as an opportunity to live into God’s love.
For the past year we have been on our journey together of exploring vitality as a Church community. This journey began with our listening groups in people’s homes last spring, and the formal process will conclude with our leadership retreat here in a couple weeks. Along the journey we have had a good number of new people join us and influence our journey together.
Our challenge as a Church is to hold onto the ancient truths and traditions of our three thousand year old faith, as well as those of our nearly two hundred year old congregation, and all the time find new ways of hearing and responding to God’s still speaking anew voice in our word.
Remembering Ellie’s words I am left to reflect that like dancers, we too are like stones dropped into water, sending out ever widening circles. Hoping to touch people deeply. Hoping to reach some place deep inside.
This morning we remember not only Ellie but all those who have come before us in our faith traditions as well as in this Church. As we seek to discover new ways of listening for and responding to God’s still speaking voice, we draw upon the collective wisdom and spirituality of those who have come before us.
Too often Church renewal seems to focus on getting rid of old things to make room for new things, rather than a process of re-discovering our traditions that have and that can continue to feed us spiritually today. We have and must continue to draw upon our past as we discern our future.
Reflecting on Ellie and Bob’s vision for this Church, I am asking you to take a few minutes to think about the values that matter most to you in a faith community—the values that draw you closest to God. I invite you to write down on the slips of paper you should have, perhaps three of these values and include them in our offering in a moment. Some of you are new to Community Church, some of you are not, but all of you have something to share and these collective values we share this morning will help anchor us into the future as we seek to live them out together.
Thanks be to God for God's still speaking voice. Amen.