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Stratham Community Church, United Church of Christ

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This week’s Bulletin: March 24, 2019                                                                                         

Lent and Holy Week 2019

This year our Lent and Holy Week theme is “Listen: Hearing that Still Small Voice and Finding Your Own Voice.” This powerful 40-day journey will prepare us for our Easter celebration and ministry by empowering us to listen. Listening is hard in our busy and loud society. There is so much noise and so many distractions.

Have you ever lost your cell phone when the ringer was turned off? You ask someone to call your phone and then ask everyone to be quiet. You get as still and quiet as possible, you close your eyes, and you concentrate as hard as you can to try to hear that small sound of a vibrating phone. This Lent will be the same. We will be trying to quiet ourselves while concentrating our attention to listen for the “still, small voice” of God and our own true selves as we share who we are and allow the Spirit to lead us. Listening through prayer and meditation as the most ancient Biblical spiritual practices and this Lent, we will work to improve and enrich our prayer lives as a gift to ourselves, as a gift to our families and communities, and as a gift for our Creator.

Lenten Prayer Class:

Starting on Ash Wednesday and continuing through April 10th, Sherry Stromski, MDiv Andover Newton 2018, will be offering a class on prayer from 6 to 7.30 pm. Each session will start with vegetarian soup and bread and include a short lesson on a prayer practice followed by a prayer time. If you want more information, please ask Sherry or Rev. Jonathan.

  • Mar 6th: Going Deeper: Basic prayer techniques and intro to meditative prayer (6 to 6.50 pm before the Ash Wednesday service)
  • Mar 13th: Centering Prayer-a Christian meditative tradition
  • Mar 20th: Praying the Labyrinth or Walking Meditation or Prayer as a Creative Outlet
  • Mar 27th: Lectio Divina-the practice of the desert mothers and fathers
  • April 3rd: Prayer Beads–come learn, practice and make your own
  • April 10th: Play as Prayer

Books to Aid Your Lent Journey:

If you want a book devotion for your Lenten journey, Rev. Jonathan recommends the following books for this year’s pilgrimage.

  • Heidi Haverkamp’s “Holy Solitude: Lenten Reflections with Saints, Hermits, Prophets, and Rebels”
  • Dana Trent’s “One Breath at a Time: A Skeptic’s Guide to Christian Meditation”
  • Whitney Simpson’s “Holy Listening with Breath, Body, and the Spirit”

Lent Worship Services:

Date

Scripture

Theme

Prayer Practice

March 6

 

Ash Wednesday

 

Luke 1:9-15

Finding Your Center: Listening Deeply

Casting Prayers

March 10

 

1 Kings 19:9-18

Finding a Place to Listen: Where is My Cave?

 

 

Meditation Prayer

March 17

 

 

Romans 8:26-30, 38-39

Finding Your Soul: Listening with our Bodies

 

Praying a Labyrinth

March 24

 

Proverbs 1:20-23

Listening to the Word: The Story of the Beguines

 

Lectio Divina

March 31

 

 

Mark 5:24-34

Listening for Healing

 

Praying with Beads

April 7

 

Romans 12:2-12

Listening Beyond Words: Finding Your Mystic

 

Centering Prayer

April 14

 

Palm Sunday

 

 

Matthew 26:36-46

Listening with my Heart

 

Playful Prayer: Art, Music, Cooking, Sewing, and Easter Eggs

April 18

 

Maundy Thursday

 

Various Readings

 

Listening to Many Voices, and Hearing the Still Small Voice

The Communion of the Saints: Praying with Icons

April 19

 

Good Friday

 

 

John 19

Listening to the Tears

 

Breath Prayers

April 21

 

Easter Sunrise

 

John 20

After the Amen

 

Holy Listening: Sacred Solitude

April 21

 

Easter

 

John 20

After the Amen II

 

Holy Listening: Sacred Solitude

 

Palm Sunday, April 14th at 10 am:

Jesus’ prayer life is described in the gospels as something he did away from the crowds. As we come into the last days of Lent, we will experience the blessing of turning away from the noise of the world to hear that inward “still small voice” of God and finding our own voice. Please join us for this special service with a procession of the palms by our children.

Easter Egg Coloring, April 14th at 6 pm:

On Palm Sunday evening, Rev. Jonathan will be giving a lesson on how we can use the spiritual practice of coloring Easter eggs to help us listen for the voice of our still speaking God. For at least 1,700 years, Christians have been coloring eggs as part of their Easter celebration, and it can be a valuable spiritual practice that prepares for Easter Sunday. After Rev. Jonathan’s presentation, we will be coloring hardboiled eggs. Please consider bring your children, grandchildren, or friends to this enjoyable spiritual practice. Everyone is welcome in the Rust Room at 6 pm. Please RSVP to Katie in the church office so we have enough supplies ready.

Maundy Thursday Service, April 18th at 6.30 pm:

On Maundy Thursday, we will be celebrating Jesus’ gathering with his friends in the Upper Room. This special service will include a communal meal and a Tenebrae prayer service. After the meal, children are invited to join Lily Nutt in their own special Upper Room experience.

Good Friday Service, April 19th at 12 noon:

On Good Friday, we will observe the crucifixion of Jesus with a 12-noon service of prayer and word.

Easter Sunrise Service, April 21st at 6 am:

Bright and early on Easter Sunday morning at 6 am, we will celebrate the resurrection by gathering for worship at Stratham Hill Park for our special sunrise service. We will listen for the voice of God in our natural world as the first rays of light break across the sky with the Gospel of John, special music, and communion.

Easter Sunday Morning Service, April 21st at 10 am:

Our special Easter Sunday morning service will be a celebration of the empty tomb and resurrection with special music, brass, our beloved choir and hearing the still voice of God through the Gospel of John. All are welcome!

Easter Egg Hunter, April 21st at 11.15 am:

Following Easter Sunday Worship, there will be an Easter Egg hunt with dedicated search areas for pre-school and elementary age school children. Please bring the children with their baskets to the Rust Room after the service. Contact Lily Nutt for more information. Donations of: plastic eggs and treats to place inside the eggs are needed. Please drop off at the Church Office.

 

 

No matter where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here! Always seeking God’s will and led by the example of Jesus Christ as Lord, we are a community of people who care for each other, honor all generations, reach out to individuals and families, and embrace people of diverse human experience. We want to be aware of, involved in, and committed to ministries of peace, outreach, mission, concern for the environment, and social justice. All are welcome here!

 Worship is held in our beautiful 250-seat Sanctuary every Sunday morning. In Winter, Spring and Fall, we begin at 10:00 am. During the summer, worship begins at 9:30 am. Dates for the transitions are well-publicized. Summer services are usually shorter, and more casual, without a choir. Read more…

 


 

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