2nd Sunday of Lent

Dear Congregation:


We have entered that time of year where the weather is warm for a few days and then snow comes. For those of us who live in Ohio, Spring is a time that is anything but certain. The weather reflects a lot of what happens during Lent as well. We are ready to embrace the God of resurrection, but first we must oscillate between miracles and suffering, between the teachings of a loving God and the reality of an unsafe world. The back and forth shows itself in this week's Gospel lesson from Luke 13:31-35 as well. Take some time to sit with the words the Gospel writer offers us as we long for our world to be well and whole. Take some time to pray in the midst of insecurity for the healing of the world. Take some time, this week, to listen for God's voice to you.


You are invited, even if you did not attend last week, to our Lenten study which continues this Sunday at 9 AM in the parlor or Monday at 11 AM via zoom. Both classes have a nice number of people which lends itself to learning and questions and curiosity about those who saw the stories of Jesus' last week on earth as they unfolded. All are welcome to join us. Beth Elchert also offers a Sunday School class for children at the same time and the nursery remains open with Malinda and Shirley!


Finally, I have posted on Facebook and Brittany is sharing as well the MANY opportunities for us to support our young people in musicals in the coming weeks! David McAllister performs in Into the Woods this weekend. Hope Love performs in Rent the following weekend. And then Gavin Buurma, Taylor Richardson, and Lizzie all perform in "Cinderella" a few weeks later at Gundlach! What amazing *stars* we have here at First Presbyterian Church!


Grace and Peace to each of you from God who loves you,

Pastor Katie

 

Upcoming Events

Sunday, 3/13:

9:00 a.m.: Children's Sunday School for Lent

9:00 a.m.: Witness at the Cross Lenten Study

9:00 a.m.: Chancel Choir

10:30 a.m.: Worship Service

Monday, 3/14:

11:00 a.m.: Witness at the Cross Lenten Study via Zoom


Sunday, 3/20:

9:00 a.m.: Children's Sunday School for Lent

9:00 a.m.: Witness at the Cross Lenten Study

9:00 a.m.: Chancel Choir

10:30 a.m.: Worship Service

 

Come Rain or Shine

by Rev. Sarah Speed


“I will keep on.”

That’s what I heard him say.

I will keep on

driving out demons

and healing people,

speaking the truth

and loving endlessly,

searching for the lost sheep

and crying for the brokenhearted,

feeding the hungry

and welcoming the outcast.

“I will keep on.”

That’s what he said, right

after he said my name, right

after he called me beloved, right

after he welcomed me home

and saved me a seat.

And I knew,

there was no stopping him.

I was under his wing.

Come rain or come shine,

today and tomorrow,

this love keeps on.

 


Under God's Wing

by Rev. Lisel Gwynn Garrity | Inspired by Psalm 27


The beauty of the psalms is that they are personal; they are prayers that are honest, desperate, and undeniably human. The psalms remind us that theology is not just something we think about—it’s something that we live.

Scholars think the author of this psalm may have been seeking asylum in the temple, fleeing persecution. Learning that contextual detail expanded the psalm for me—it was no longer just my personal prayer, but the prayer of someone fighting for their life.


The day I began working on this image, I earned that 40 Afghan families would be seeking refuge in the city I call home. With that in mind, I read the psalm again, imagining the words spoken from the lips of one forced to flee their home. When I finished the psalm, I gritted my teeth and prayed my own desperate plea: “Please, make it so, God. May your protection expand to everyone. Please.”


I invite you to read the psalm again from a similar vantage point. When you do this, how does your faith grow fuller? How does this impact your sense of who God is?

When I began this image, I drew a young boy peeking out from the open folds of a canvas tent in a refugee camp. I added rugged stones lining the bottom hem of the tent, holding the flimsy fabric in place. But then I felt compelled to turn the tent flap into a wing with feathers lined in gold. At that point, all the details of the boy’s setting no longer mattered. I erased them from the scene. I saw clearly the promise of this psalm: you are under God’s wing. May you dwell there, surely and safely, all your days long.


—Rev. Lisle Gwynn Garrity