by Megan Crosby
Make a joyful noise to the Lord,
Serve the Lord with gladness.
Come into his presence with singing.
Psalm 100: 1-2
I love hearing my daughter sing. She has watched many a church service on the TV at home and she can sing the hymn of praise “Glory to God” quite well. Also, the upbeat Sanctus, when we sing “Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest.” It’s hard to beat the enthusiasm of children!
We are all invited to sing, to make a joyful noise, regardless of our talent or musical training. When we sing together, we are one. All those individual voices: young or old, trained or amateur, smooth or cracking, we create one blended voice and it is beautiful. While you hear yourself sing (and the voices next to you), up front I hear that one voice and it is magnificent, even powerful.
You may feel that your voice isn’t good enough. I’m here to tell you that it is. My mom was not a fantastic singer. She matched pitch sometimes and at other times the notes in the hymn would go too high and she would try to sing down the octave, creating some other harmony notes. Still, she sang at church and she didn’t care what anybody else thought about her voice. Singing at worship is not just for those that are the best. Singing is for all of us. At worship, we can set aside our self-judgements and sing together to our creator, who lovingly made us and comes to us as we are.
This Sunday we are having a hymn sing. Some songs are already in the bulletin, chosen from suggestions provided by the congregation. Some songs will be chosen “out of a hat” that morning, so fill out a slip of paper with your favorite song when you arrive!
by Pr. Ana Becerra
...on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
1 Corinthians 11:23-25
Over 30 years ago my little brother and I received our First Communion. At that time it was very usual to learn the catechism in about a year—as a Roman Catholic you were required to memorize the confession, Lord's Prayer, 10 commandments, Hail Mary, and Creeds among many other prayers. I remember being so ready and having it all memorized because I couldn't wait to get my First Communion. On the other hand my brother who spent 99% of his time playing soccer did not have the same “urgency” to get his First Communion (despite my frustration my brother took not one or two, but THREE YEARS to get ready).
I remember receiving the blood and body of Christ in my neighborhood church just on the top of the hill in a “brand new” church with wood benches, no air conditioning, no windows or open doors. As we walked, I remember seeing my very pretty dress getting dirty and dusty; my Godmother braided my hair and started to get affected by sweat, yet this overjoyed little girl was so happy to finally be at God’s table.
This Sunday I will be ordained and in the last few weeks I have experienced joy similar to when I received my First Communion. This time my brother has nothing to do with the long process, yet since 2016, when I started to serve as a Mission Developer, I have felt the urgency to get ordained. This Sunday as it was when I was 10, I have so many of you walking with me through the journey that I can literally feel the exhaustion and excitement that I did when I first received the body of Christ.
May the Lord’s blood and body strengthen us to continue walking as the body of Christ.
by Pr. Sarah Anderson
“Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Courage looks, feels, and sounds differently for everyone. Author Glennon Doyle might say courage is ‘doing the hard things’. In fact her popular podcast is named, “We Can Do Hard Things.” I envision the quoted scripture from the book of Joshua as the Israelites doing hard things. They followed Moses while wandering in the desert, awaiting their arrival into the land where they wouldn’t have to do so many hard things. I imagine they intended to follow Moses’ leadership in the new land, but Moses never set foot on it. It had to be hard for the people to lose Moses. Often when there is loss, we find strength and perseverance when we didn’t know we had it.
Joshua immediately became Moses’ successor, leading the people into the Promised Land, but first he received a pep talk from God. I encourage you to read the opening verses of the book of Joshua and God’s message to him. Notice the number of times God tells him to be courageous. Hear God’s words as words spoken directly to you, and then wonder: where can you continue to be courageous? Where can you be more courageous? What gifts are you withholding that can be shared with your neighbors and with CtK?
Last month we heard from CtK member Priscilla Berg how we can be courageous in our walking. In worship this Sunday, we will hear from another CtK member who is courageous in healing. Kristi Chace will share the courage she had to have while undergoing treatment for cancer and the subsequent healing. Like each of your stories, hers is powerful and courageous. Come to worship, be inspired, hear God’s words spoken to you, “Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, because God is with you wherever you go.”