April Pastor’s Reflection (2017)

The Weaving Grows …

Our Lenten journey into the Lord’s prayer has been challenging at times and deeply meaningful. I must confess that I have not remembered to pray the Lord’s Prayer every day, but I have come close.

What I have been struck by most significantly is that the prayer is not all about me and my journey of faith, it is about the whole body of Christ that is praying this prayer throughout the world. We pray collectively as we say “Our Father … give us … forgive us and we forgive … lead us.” It is a prayer that people of faith are praying on behalf of the whole world and all the people’s of the world. We are praying that all have enough to eat and the basic needs of life. We are recognize the collective need for forgiveness especially as we look at issues of discrimination and injustice, both in the past and the present. We are praying that God’s kingdom — God’s reign — of peace, justice and love unfold throughout all the places of the world and that we are collaborators with God in bringing forth this reign.

As we have been sharing in different interpretations of the Lord’s Prayer each Sunday, I have decided to write my own.

Our Creator who spans heaven and earth,
We lift your name in praise.
Inspire and challenge us to bring forth
Your vision of heaven’s peace and grace
Upon all the places and peoples of the earth.
As we are blessed with our daily needs for water,
Bread and shelter, may we work to provide
The same for all your beloved children.
May we confess the acts of selfishness and harm
We have done to others,
Forgive those who have harmed us and
Open ourselves to receive your forgiveness that you freely offer.
May your Spirit work with in us to guide us away
From further acts of harm and destruction and
Turn us towards living faithfully.
For Your steadfast love and mercy endures forever. Amen.

Blessings upon you as you continue in this Lenten journey.

Pastor Wendy

March Pastor’s Reflection (2017)

The Weaving Grows…

How many times have you prayed the Lord’s Prayer? I am going to make a wild guess for myself and say I have prayed it at least 2,000 times and I wonder if it is much more. I suspect many of you have prayed it anywhere from 3,000 to 4,000 times on a weekly bases and as much as 20,000 times if you pray it daily. Does it still hold meaning for you?

One of the things I always find meaningful is hearing the other voices with whom I am praying. Sometimes that voice is a young child or someone in the midst of their last days of life on earth or one who is simply going through a difficult time. The voices who are praying carry meaning for me which I appreciate as I can become careless and simply let the very familiar words roll off my tongue with little thought as to their meaning for my life of faith.

We have an opportunity this Lenten Season to reflect more deeply on the meaning of the Lord’s Prayer. You will see from our worship schedule that each week we will have a phrase from the prayer be our focus. We will use different translations and versions of the Lord’s Prayer throughout Lent as well as experience it through music.

There is also a Lenten Class being offered based on the book, The Greatest Prayer: Rediscovering the Revolutionary Message of The Lord’s Prayer by John Dominic Crossan. This book will be informative and challenging as one review says, “Provides a satisfying blend of history, scholarship and theology, in researching the moral responsibilities that come with leading a Godly life.” In Crossan’s own words, he approaches the prayer as a “revolutionary manifesto and a hymn of hope. It is revolutionary because it presumes and proclaims the radical vision of justice that is the care of Israel’s biblical tradition. It is a hymn, because it presumes and produces poetic techniques that are the core of Israel’s biblical poetry.” I am looking forward to the rich dialogue we will have studying this book.

There are several opportunities to be part of a class:

  • Tuesdays at 1:30 pm at Clear Lake UMC beginning Feb. 24.
  • Tuesdays at 6:30 pm at Pastor Wendy’s home – 902 Mimosa St S beginning March 7.
  • Thursdays at 12:30 pm at Morningside UMC beginning March 2 as part of our Lunch, Bible and News Class.
  • Thursdays at 3:30 pm at Englewood UMC beginning March 2.

I will be leading the study at my home and at Morningside UMC. Books are $12 each and are on order – please sign up for a book on the bulletin board.  It is also available on Kindle.  I can find an extra copy for you as needed.

Blessings, Pastor Wendy

November Pastor’s Message (2016)

The Weaving Grows…

It was such a joy to have our United Methodist Ministries of Salem-Keizer Youth share about their summer mission trip in worship on Oct. 23. I was inspired to see the various service projects they engaged in and to hear of how they grew in both their understanding of service and their relationship with God.  Morningside was part of that service project through our support of the Youth Dinner/Auction that happened earlier in the year, through individual  sponsorships for the trip and with one youth and one adult participating.  It is the beginning of our area wide Youth group.  

There are signs of growth as we begin this school year for the youth program.  An event in September had participation from three of our church’s, including 5 youth from Morningside and 2 from Clear Lake.  The youth have also occasionally held youth meetings at Morningside. We are in the process of interviewing additional youth interns and hope to have one at Morningside in the near future.  A vital UMMSK Youth Ministry is happening.

What else has been happening with UM Ministries of Salem-Keizer?  

*Messy Church is now happening at three locations, including Morningside.  The Trinity location is called Fiesta Church and is bi-lingual and already having strong attendance.  Morningside is starting out small, but the programing has been great – especially the October theme of “Make a Joyful Noise.”  

*Rev. Jorge Rodriguez and his family has moved to Salem and he is beginning to make connections for the development of our Hispanic Ministries.

*The clergy went to the “Time to Sow” retreat to plan worship themes and texts for the next liturgical year.

*We have submitted a grant application to develop a comprehensive communication and marketing strategy and for implementation. We should hear word about this application in November and quickly get to work on this important aspect.

*The clergy and board are working on a plan for better utilizing clergy time and passions to further the ministries of both local congregations and our work together.

*One future goal is to develop new worship opportunities for targeted populations.

Would you like to know more, do you have questions?  We will have our United Methodist Ministries of Salem-Keizer Charge Conference on November 28 at Jason Lee UMC at 7:00. We will gather with a hymn sing, share information on our ministry together, present clergy salaries which will be voted on by the UMMSK Charge Conference and have a time of fellowship.

Are you curious about specific Morningside Ministries ~ please stay after worship on Nov. 6 for Pie and Ice Cream, presentation of fall reports and our Morningside goals for 2017.

Blessings,

Pastor Wendy