by Janet Steele
Dear fellow parishioners,
As we enter Lent and begin preparing for Holy Week this year, I would like to share some thoughts I had about Holy Week last year in 2016:
Knowing that this was Sylvia's+ first Lent, Holy Week and Easter with us, I did not have a clue what to expect. I can only say that I was completely blown away by it all!
The Seder that Don and Susan gift us with every year was as beautiful and meaningful as ever. I find that it grounds me in our Jewish roots and helps me reflect on things in the far past that are still alive today for us.
The Maundy Thursday service was absolutely beautiful. It blended our traditional Canterbury customs with Sylvia's+ energetic sense of liturgy and became a service that was reflective and deeply satisfying. Our musicians did a fantastic job of including old and young and people from our various services who all came together to provide music for us without taking anything away from the always magnificent offerings that Edwina does. The stripping of the altar was done in reflective silence as part of the service, which made its impact even more profound and beautiful. Jesus really did leave the supper and the garden and went away!
I attended the three hour service for Good Friday and came away with the deepest sense of the meaning of Good Friday without feeling that my emotions were played with or falsely engaged. The meditations were totally authentic and were so true to the people offering them. The one chant which we used and repeated with every meditation set a tone that included us in the mystery. The lonely and hauntingly beautiful flute called us from our personal spaces to become one with the group again. My only regret was that more people were not present for it all. I kept thinking how great it would be if everyone in the parish had been there to witness and experience this beautiful afternoon which revealed so much about our God and the people following God.
I hope that we will see again this year the beautiful stations of the cross made by Ruth Meredith and fellow parishioners. They join our beloved stations of the cross in the nave to tell the old story of the crucifixion and the story that is ongoing in the world today.
I hope you'll make every effort to participate in the Seder and ALL our Holy Week services this year. I think you will be truly amazed at how much more meaningful Easter Sunday will be for you and for all of us if we spend these services in prayer with one another.
If you want to ACTIVATE
What does the Lord require of you?
In the Sermon on 1/29/17 (see bottom of this post for the sermon video) we explored these words from the prophet Micah: What does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
When we see the injustice and the need in our community, our nation, and our world, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. The magnitude of need can lead to paralysis on the one hand, or burn out on the other. But God's love calls us in another direction. God's love calls us to walk humbly with God on a path that leads us out of paralysis and away from burnout.
As the People of God, striving to heed God’s call, we need to stay grounded:
Grounded in our Limitations
Grounded in our Power
Grounded in Community
Grounded in Prayer
As we move together into 2017, what none of us needs is ONE MORE THING—ONE MORE MEETING—ONE MORE OBLIGATION.
We don’t want Activate to be just ONE MORE THING.
We want Activate to be the central “hub” at Canterbury, where everyone can come to get grounded: Grounded in Prayer, Grounded in Community, and Grounded in Power for whatever action God might be calling us to take as we seek to do justice in the world.
Where is God calling YOU to ACTIVATE?
There are many areas of need in our world today. Just for starters, there’s:
* prison/criminal justice
* local government
* state government
* national government
But don’t get overwhelmed! The strength of the Church is that no one member can (or should) do everything! But every member can (and should) do something!
What ONE issue or project is calling most loudly to YOU today? Could you make a commitment, on behalf of the household of Canterbury, to stay informed and active around that ONE issue or project and regularly report back to the Canterbury community on how we might best PRAY, ACT, and ADVOCATE with you in support of justice in that ONE area?
Are you ready to help CANTERBURY ACTIVATE?
1. Discern your AREA OF FOCUS
If you are already passionate and active about an issue—or if you know what issue/area/project you want to make your focus in the coming months—please let us know! Just shoot Sylvia+ an email (or give her a note) that says “I’m ready to ACTIVATE! My focus is _____________”. (Examples might include: healthcare, homelessness, prison/criminal justice, immigration, refugees, racism, environmental issues, women’s issues, LGBTQ issues, gun violence, interfaith issues, local government, state government, national government, etc.) Knowing who is working on which issues can help us be good stewards of our efforts and energies, stay connected, and network effectively.
2. Join us for our MONTHLY GATHERINGS
(Our next Monthly Gathering is Tuesday, February 14th from 5-7PM)
Everyone (church members, community members, friends) is welcome to join us for our monthly ACTIVATE GATHERINGS. This is your chance to get GROUNDED in prayer, power, and community. We generally meet one Tuesday evening each month from 5-7PM.
The basic agenda for our gatherings is as follows:
5:15PM Song, Scripture, Silence
5:30PM Personal Check In
5:45PM Activate Check In
6:30PM Discussion/Follow-up/Planning or Action
6:50PM Closing Prayer & Song
6:55 PM Clean Up
3. Share your ACTIVATE UPDATES
Even if you can’t join our monthly gatherings, you can still help Canterbury ACTIVATE by communicating opportunities for Canterbury to PRAY, ACT, and ADVOCATE with you around your chosen issue/area/project. Email your updates to Sylvia+ for inclusion in Canterbury Communications (We can discuss possible additional avenues for sharing these updates, such as the Canterbury Blog, Facebook Page, Google Group, etc., if/as desired.)
Please keep your updates short, simple, and direct. (If you overwhelm us, we are less likely to act! We’re counting on one another to CURATE for us…to identify the MOST urgent opportunities for us, as the Household of Canterbury, to pray, act, and advocate on each issue.) Please email Sylvia+ your ACTIVATE UPDATES using the following format:
Subject line: ACTIVATE UPDATE.
and/or ACT: ___________________
and/or ADVOCATE: ___________________
ISSUE: LGBTQ JUSTICE
PRAY: For LGBTQ youth to experience love, support, and acceptance in their families, schools, and churches
ACT: Vote in the current APS School Board elections. Equality NM encourages you to support these LGBTQ-friendly candidates.
ADVOCATE: Sign on as a faith-community member in support of legislation to ban the harmful practice of “conversion therapy” for LGBTQ youth in NM. Sign on here.]
Sermon: 1/29/2017: WALK-HUMBLY-WITH-GOD