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Archive for Pastor’s Message

CAROLYN’S CORNER

It was in the news last week that March 13th was the anniversary of the Hesston tornado. Memories immediately flooded my mind. I was at work, in Newton, and the tornado sirens began their warning song. Children were just getting home from school, so all the parents in my office left immediately to get home.

 

I remember glancing down streets to see the monster cloud as I rushed home. It was so big that it seemed like it could bear down on Newton any moment. It veered north; half of Hesston was wiped out. A couple of evenings later, Ken drove us through the dirt county roads to see the damage. I was sorrowed to see so many trees snapped, as if they were twigs. I remember a comment of someone who was living in Hesston that they knew something ominous was about to happen because all the grass had laid down. It was flattened to the ground. She knew immediately to get to shelter. The trees that seemed so strong were broken by the storm, but the grass was standing back up afterward.

 

Henri Nouwen makes this observation:

Flexibility is a great virtue.  When we cling to our own positions and are not willing to let our hearts be moved back and forth a little by the ideas or actions of others, we may easily be broken.   Being like wild reeds does not mean being wishy-washy.  It means moving a little with the winds of the time while remaining solidly anchored in the ground.   A humorless, intense, opinionated rigidity about current issues might cause these issues to break our spirits and make us bitter people.  Let’s be flexible while being deeply rooted.

 

Grace and Peace,

     

 NEXT MEETING: SUNDAY, APRIL 19TH

5PM AT THE HOME OF BILL AND PAM DELANEY

14715 SIEFKES, WICHITA     67230

DISCUSSING:   Ordinary Grace by William Kent Bruegger

Please read ahead of time in order to discuss!

Snacks and beverages provided.

Pastor Carolyn

CAROLYN’S CORNER

“Lent is a spiritual “spring cleaning”: we enter the inner places where we are stuck or muddled, and we clear away the clutter so that God moves a little more freely through us.

When we look at ourselves deeply and honestly, we all meet our own clutter. In this work, we first find ourselves alone and exposed to the inner elements: our vices, our confusion, feelings we’d prefer to mute. And this is the way it must be; to explore and heal ourselves, we must meet ourselves head on, alone, in what may feel like a very wild place.

Open your heart and mind to your entire self — both good and bad — and quietly name what you find there. And remember that you are not alone in this work. God goes with you, moving gently and compassionately through your inner world, guiding and nurturing your Lenten journey.”

How can you clean out the dust from your soul this Lent?

(found in –Alive Now, March/April 2012)

 

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Carolyn

WORSHIP SERVICE ON SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 15 ~

Pastor Carolyn will share the message titled “Let’s Just Stay Here!”. Reading from our tradition “Mark 9:2-9″. Special music to be sung by Jeff Dary “Silence, Frenzied, Unclean Spirit”.

TRANSFIGURATION SUNDAY

What is a transfigured life? It’s about glory and transformation. It’s an invitation to view in our world the “thin places” that allow us to experience the divine. The transfiguration of Jesus occurs in such a “thin place.” Traditionally, mountaintops are seen as places of revelation. They are literally and also figuratively, close to heaven. This Sunday (February 15th) is Transfiguration Sunday where we hear a story from the early church of when Jesus invites 3 of his closest disciples to see an alternate reality. In the story, divine light shines through Jesus. The story of Jesus’ transfiguration is hard to wrap our rational nature around, because it’s so wildly imaginative. And yet, it invites us to look for “more” in ourselves and others. It invites us to look for the divine in nature or other people, and revelations in the commonplace.

 

Transfiguration invites us to consider how Jesus reveals God’s deepest nature and the deepest nature of the universe. This story is not based on scientific truth, or on a reality that can be objectively verified; it is the meaning that shines through the world of atoms, particles, rocks, and sunsets. The energy of love permeates all things. Only our vision prevents us from seeing the infinity of all things. God’s glory is veiled by our failure to look deeply into life settling for the surface rather than the inner life and the light of all things.

 

While we are careful to not invoke supernatural violations of cause and effect, we can nevertheless look at Transfiguration as a way to experience the miraculous in everyday life. We can affirm that faith and prayer can shape our lives for the best and commit ourselves to see holiness in every situation and bring out the holy in others, especially the vulnerable and marginalized.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Carolyn

CAROLYN’S CORNER

The following are wonderful words of wisdom from one of my favorite Christian Mystics – Henri Nouwen. May your week be blessed!

“Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.” – 1 Thessalonians 5: 15 (NIV)

Becoming Kind

Kindness is a beautiful human attribute. When we say, “She is a kind person” or “He surely was kind to me,” we express a very warm feeling. In our competitive and often violent world, kindness is not the most frequent response. But when we encounter it we know that we are blessed. Is it possible to grow in kindness, to become a kind person? Yes, but it requires discipline. To be kind means to treat another person as your “kin,” your intimate relative. We say, “We are kin” or “He is next of kin.” To be kind is to reach out to someone as being of “kindred” spirit.

Here is the great challenge: All people, whatever their color, religion, or sex, belong to humankind and are called to be kind to one another, treating one another as brothers and sisters. There is hardly a day in our lives in which we are not called to this.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Carolyn

WORSHIP SERVICE ON SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 8 ~

Carolyn will share the message titled “Gift Give Away”. Reading from our tradition “1 Corinthians 12:3b-13 “. A Skit “The Gift Exchange” will be presented by a group of Pine Valley Members.

CAROLYN’S CORNER

Traditionally, Disciple of Christ churches receive their Week of Compassion offerings the last two weeks of February. Week of Compassion is the relief, refugee and development mission fund of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada. Week of Compassion serves to equip and empower disciples to ease suffering of peoples through disaster response, humanitarian aid, sustainable development and the promotion of mission opportunities.

Fifty percent of Week of Compassion dollars goes to emergency relief; 25% goes to sustainable development; 8% goes to immigration and refugee ministries; 8-10% goes to Disciple of Christ mission partners, mission stations and volunteer work trip grants; 6-8% is for administrative costs. Disciples, through Week of Compassion, have been present in the rebuilding processes in Joplin, Moore Oklahoma and Greensburg following tornadoes.

This year we are incorporating Coin Boxes in our Week of Compassion appreciation. This Sunday, February 1, coin boxes will be handed out along with devotional calendars to take home. You are invited to place coins in the boxes as directed by the calendars, or perhaps place the coins you’ve received during the day. These coins will be collected through February then bring them back on February 22nd as part of Pine Valley’s special offering for Week of Compassion.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Carolyn

CAROLYN’S CORNER

The newly formed group, “Wichita Clergy for Equality” met last Thursday at Pine Valley Christian Church. Our guest was Kerry Wilks from the organization – Equality Kansas: The mission of Equality Kansas is “to end discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and to fight for full equality and civil rights for all LGBT Kansans.” Kerry seemed very thankful for the interest of our new clergy group.

 

Amongst the needs of Equality Kansas is to know which clergy and which churches support their mission. This is very important as it can be expected that legalized discrimination bills (“religious freedom” bills) will be introduced again in this year’s legislative session. In the needs discussed at the meeting is the willingness of church members who are willing to make phone calls and write letters concerning legalized discrimination. Kerry will give notice to the churches as the need arises. If you are willing to make a phone call or write a letter please contact me or the church office so we can make a database and be in touch the most expeditious way as possible.

 

Remember to pray for justice in Kansas.

 

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Carolyn

CAROLYN’S CORNER

A Prayer for 2015

Here we go again, God.

Another year begins with its new resolutions

replacing last year’s broken, unfulfilled ones.

Give me strength and resolve to set realistic goals

and follow through on them.

 

More importantly,

please do something about this broken, suffering world,

where politicians work for corporate sponsors rather than public good,

where the wounds of institutional racism continue to fester and bleed,

where people justify killing their neighbors in your holy name,

where the world heats and threatens to incinerate as leaders cower.

 

Ignite in others and me a fiery compassion.

Renew our hope in your revolutionary call to world transformation.

Pull us away from mindless, distracting devices,

and guide us on your road of justice.

Make 2015 a year of the real peace you showed us in Jesus. Amen.

Found in “The Thoughtful Christian”

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Carolyn

SUNDAY, JANUARY 11 ~

Carolyn will share the Message “Baptism and New Beginnings”. Reading from our Tradition “Mark 1:4-11″. PVCC Men’s Trio will be singing the Special Music “We Three Kings”.