An interesting or fun quote:

"Happy moments, PRAISE GOD. Difficult moments, SEEK GOD. Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD. Painful moments, TRUST GOD. Every moment, THANK GOD..."

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Worship & Music

From the Worship & Music Team

            As I was trying to decide what to write about our faithful administrator, Angy told me that she had been asked by somebody what is the meaning of the colors in the church and why do we change them?  As we join God at work in the world in many and various ways we are prepared and renewed for service through regular church attendance.  At church our hearts and souls are nourished, fed, and renewed through Word, Sacrament, and fellowship with other believers.  As worship is planned the lessons, music, and the colors are deliberately selected to help us learn the story of Jesus and strengthen our relationship with him.  The following is a description of what some of the colors mean throughout the church year.

Advent: Blue is used for its references to hope. It originated in Scandinavia, probably because purple dye was too expensive for churches to use. The alternate color for Advent is purple the royal color of the coming King.

Christmas: White is used, as a reference to the purity of the newborn Christ, and to our light and joy in him.

Epiphany of Our Lord: White (see Christmas).

Baptism of Our Lord: White (see Christmas).

Sundays after the Epiphany: Green is used for its symbolism of our growth in Christ. Green, in a sense, is a "neutral color," used when more festive or more somber color is not appointed.

Transfiguration of Our Lord: White (see Christmas).

Ash Wednesday: Black is the preferred color, since it is the color of the ashes to which we will all return. Purple is the alternate color for this first day of Lent.

Lent: Purple is indicated, as the stark color of repentance and solemnity.

Maundy Thursday: For this fourth day of Holy Week, celebrated as the institution of the Lord’s Supper, scarlet or white is used.

Good Friday: No vestments or paraments are used on this day, after the stripping of the altar on Maundy Thursday night.

Vigil of Easter: White as the color of joy in the Resurrection is used on this night.

Easter Day: On this one day of the church year, gold may be used. White is the alternate, perhaps with gold running through it. The gold color indicates that this day is the "queen of feasts," unique in the entire church year.

Sundays of Easter: White (see Vigil of Easter).

Day of Pentecost: Red as the color of fire is used on this day when we remember the tongues of fire descended on the crowd in Jerusalem. In contrast to the color of scarlet, Pentecost’s red is a bright color.

The Holy Trinity: White is appointed, the expression of joy in the mystery of the Triune God.

Other Sundays after Pentecost: Green is used, to indicate our growth in faith as we follow the teachings and ministry of Christ.

Christ the King: The final day of the church year uses white, a festive color of light, joy, and the celebration of our Lord.

As together we move forward in faith through our Lenten journeys towards the hope of the resurrection on Easter may God bring us together in faith and worship that nourishes us for mission as we join God at work in the world.

Chris Kinney AGLC Music & Ministry Team Leader

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Old Farmer's Advice

“Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.”  
“Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.”

“Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.”

“A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.”

“Words that soak into your ears are whispered…....not yelled.”

“Meanness don't just happen overnight.”

“Forgive your enemies; it messes up their heads.”

“Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.”

“It don't take a very big person to carry a grudge.”

“You cannot unsay a cruel word.”

“Every path has a few puddles.”

“When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.”

“The best sermons are lived, not preached.”

“Most of the stuff people worry about, ain't never gonna happen anyway.”

“Don 't judge folks by their relatives.

“Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.”

“Live a good and honorable life, then when you get older and think back, you'll enjoy it a second time.”

“Don 't interfere with somethin' that ain't bothering you none.”

“Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.”

“If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'.”

“Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.

“The biggest troublemaker you'll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin'.”

“Always drink upstream from the herd.”

“Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.”

“Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin' it back in.”

“If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around.”

“Live simply, love generously, care deeply,
speak kindly, and leave the rest to God.”

“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”


To err is human to forgive is divine!

The stories we tell

The legend goes like this: when I was a newborn, my parents took me with them on a trip to Florida. On the way, they visited the church of Martin Luther King Sr. (the famous civil rights leader's father). As they greeted the pastor at the door after worship, he laid his hand on my baby forehead. And from that moment onward, I was "commissioned" to be at one with all people on the planet, regardless of cultural background, and to work actively for equality and justice.

Is this story "true?" I don't know. Yes, I do feel a kinship with people that transcends ethnicity, and yes I have--and do--advocate for justice and equality. But is it because MLK, Sr. touched my forehead in blessing when I was a precious few weeks old? There's no way to know for sure. But I sure like to tell the story, and live as though it were true.

We make up stories about our lives constantly, even when we're not aware of doing so. Mostly, our stories sound something like, "I've never been good at school because I'm a kinesthetic learner," "My family produces lawyers," (or doctors or pastors, etc.) Or, "That person doesn't like me." The prominent feature of such "stories" is not what they say about us or other people, but rather how they prompt us to live our lives looking for evidence that they are, in fact, true.

Feel free to argue all you want--"No, no--it's true. I really am a kinesthetic learner!" But chances are, you had no idea what that was when you were in school. All you knew was that you were a "bad" student. I'll bet others told you that and you learned to tell yourself the same thing. Most importantly--you believed it when they said it. That external pronouncement became your internal reality. And I would be willing to bet that it was not an empowering reality for you.

My experience with Landmark Education has really shed light on this human tendency to invent our own life stories. More than that, I've discovered how much power we give to that story, such that little else becomes possible for us, outside of our own invented narrative. If I am "the poor, ignored middle child," or "the responsible one in the family," how likely am I to recognize when others are actually trying to acknowledge me, or throw caution to the wind when given a chance?

Given this, it may be tempting to just say--so give up the story! You'll be free! And it does work that way, some times. As a writer, however, I would rather advise people thus: since we humans are so inclined to write these "stories"--about virtually everything in our lives--why not simply write a darned good one? One that inspires you, empowers or amuses you, instead of what we typically create about ourselves?

My old stories sounded something like: "I'm an irresponsible youngest child," "I never get what I really want," "I'm an introvert and don't particularly like people," and "When people really get to know who I am, they back away." Dead ends, every one.

Lately, I've been writing new stories. "I love my life," "The world is itching to receive the gift I have to offer," "People want to contribute to me," and "Amazing things keep happening to me." And guess what shows up in the context of those stories? You guessed it--a pretty fabulous life. No, I still don't have the power to control all my external circumstances and demand that they show up as I desire. But I certainly get to say who I am in the midst of everything else.

Try it out--the next time you recognize that you've written a disempowering story about yourself, try writing a new one. A fun, playful, heartening one. And see what happens.
You may just become an inspired lover of people, commissioned from birth to realize equality and justice everywhere. :)

Your own narrative--

The one you choose to believe--

Is your life's legend


Monday, March 7, 2011

I'm Into Grace: Bring On the Ashes

I'm Into Grace: Bring On the Ashes: "I still remember the first time I went to a funeral and saw a dead body. I was in Kindergarten, and the woman known to me as 'Grandma ..."