When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting…
Acts 2:1-2 (NRSV)
I’ve been exploring the parks and trails in our area this Spring as a healthy means of handling the stress and uncertainty the next few months hold for my family and me. I looked at my schedule yesterday and thought it would be wise to get a hike in in the morning before it got too hot, so we headed over to Round Valley Recreation Area to stretch our legs.
I’ve been to Round Valley many times, but always just to swim and enjoy the beach area with my kids. I assumed the trails would be gentle, sandy paths, soft with pine needles and comfortable and cool in the shade. The Cushetunk Trail, however, is a 16-mile out-and-back affair that takes you through 1000+ feet of elevation changes. The terrain is varied from grass to softball-sized loose rocks eager to roll an ankle with every step. It’s a lot of fun.
One stretch a mile or two in traverses the lower slope of one of the dams built to create the reservoir in the first place. The hillside is dotted with trucks and industrial equipment. Barbed wire fencing separates the trail from the worksite. There are no trees for shade. It’s loud. It is not the sort of idyllic escape I was looking for when I laced up my shoes that morning.
Then we turned a corner, however, and saw a small pond. Frogs croaked in the reeds on its shore. A blue heron, the largest I’ve ever seen, stretched its wings and took off only a few feet in front of us. This thing was huge, seriously, it looked like a pterodactyl escaped Jurassic Park. It seemed too large to fly and yet, off it went to find another pond where we wouldn’t be there to disturb it’s mealtime.
I was struck in the moment by the contrasts between the industrial scene taking place on that hillside with the bucolic one happening in that pond. It’s a reminder that, as Jeff Goldblum reminded everyone in Jurassic Park, “life finds a way.” Maybe we need to remember that this world is that Lord’s and everything in it, and that we have a responsibility to care for it well. Yet life, beautiful, good life can thrive in a degraded landscape as the land heals.
We celebrate the birthday of the church this Sunday. It was on that first Pentecost that the Holy Spirit came and equipped the disciples to bring the good news of Jesus to people of every nation in their own language. It’s a widening of God’s circle of inclusion to make space for everyone and every situation. It’s also a reminder that God comes to bring life, hope, and healing to each of us. All our temples and all our ruins are ripe for the Spirit’s coming to breathe new beginnings into each of us. This is the hope we receive and share, today and every day.
Keep the Faith,
Pastor Ben Farewell Celebration – Saturday, June 5, 2021
Save the date! There are invitations in the bulletin in worship as well as coming to you in the mail. Beth La Penta is asking that everyone RSVPs whether you plan to attend or not so we have enough food for everyone. Thanks!
Upcoming Family Promise Help Dates – July 4th Weekend
Thanks to John Newton, Walter Maze, and everyone else who helped feed the family in our care with Family Promise this past week. The ministry has changed somewhat, but the goal remains caring for people and families experiencing temporary homelessness. We will be tasked with providing food for another family the first weekend of July. If you would like to purchase, deliver, or donate in another way, please let Walter know.
Fellowship Hall Possibilities
COVID pressed pause on our after-worship gatherings, but those gatherings will resume one day. Before they do, this is a good time to think about the possibilities of the space we have to bless our neighbors, too. Prior to COVID precautions, we’d welcomed Cub Scout Packs, Dart Teams, line dancers, church events, and more to the space. What improvements or repairs should be made in the coming months to better serve its purpose as a community space for Flemington? A survey will go out in the coming weeks – share and help shape the future of this church!
Thank You to Laura for Hosting Coffee Hour on Zoom
Every Sunday after worship for most of the pandemic, Laura shared a Zoom link and hosted a time for conversation to keep people connected during the pandemic. Now, as more people receive their vaccinations and can safely return to worshipping in person, she will no longer be hosting this Zoom. While we celebrate the positive turn in the pandemic’s course here, let’s also take time to thank Laura for helping people to thrive during the hard time behind us.
New Upper Rooms are Available in the Church Office
The new Upper Room Daily Devotionals are also available now. If you’d like to pick yours up, Gretchen is in the church office from 9am-noon Tuesday – Friday each week. Please call ahead so she can set whatever you are picking up out for you.
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