Testimony by Hélène Benink
Messy Church will kickoff SEPTEMBER 10, 2017! This is our monthly cross+generational event for learning our most important faith stories. Held from 4:30-6:30 each month, it begins with Biblical storytelling, continues with hands-on learning through arts & crafts, and includes a simple dinner. We wrap up with a brief informal worship recapping the theme of the day, group prayer, and song. All are welcome.
This Sunday morning, August 27, during 10 am worship, we will bless backpacks and briefcases as students and teachers prepare for another school year.
This blessing is not just for the kiddos.
College students, come on down!
Adults headed back to school, you too!
If you forget your bag, come on down. After all, this is really a blessing of people – you don’t need a bag to get blessed.
After worship Sunday, July 30, The Building Committee will present the current proposed plans for our upcoming building remodel. Learn all about the MUCC updates, see how close we are to construction and ask questions. This will give you an opportunity to visualize the exciting transformations!
All are welcome.
Text: John 10:25-37
Gospel from Broadway: RENT
Speaker: Dana Crumpton, Sunday July 2, 2017
Reflections on the Good Samaritan and the song "525,600 Minutes" from the musical RENT.
(for a video of Dana's presentation, CLICK HERE)
We all have the same number of minutes in a day or in a year, I have two questions for you to consider:
How are we using those minutes?
Are we using them the way Jesus wants us to live?
The song Seasons of Love is perhaps one of the most well-recognized parts of the musical Rent. It is sung in gospel style and presents one of the main concepts presented in the musical. Quite simply, it asks the listener, "How do you measure a year in the life?" By listing various ways in which the value of the 525 600 minutes that make up a year could be measured ("In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee..."), it causes us to question where we find value in our own lives and in the lives of others. It then goes on to suggest that you should "...measure your life in love". This message of love and celebrating life is integral to the spiritual message that can be found in Rent.
In the scripture, the lawyer asked Jesus how to measure his life to know if he was doing what was “required”. Jesus proceeds in telling about the Good Samaritan. If the song “Seasons of Love” gives an answer about how to measure your life. The answer is the essentially the same as Jesus’ answer…. Love!
The one character of rent that I would like to focus on is the character of Angel, she could be described simply as a Good Samaritan or as a "messianic figure" within the story. Angel challenges societal norms, as she is a homosexual drag queen (which may be considered immoral to some) but she is one of the most selfless, compassionate characters presented.
In his article, RENT: Reinterpreting the Gospel of Mark at the Close of the Millennium, George Scranton provides an interesting interpretation of Angel's role. In his interpretation, Angel is a Christ-like figure. She initially arrives on Christmas Eve to heal a wounded stranger. She forms a family of "...'outcasts,' bohemians, and 'sinners'..." The song La Vie Boheme can be viewed as the Last Supper. Whether a representation of Christ or an angel only in a figurative sense, Angel displays selflessness and supports others throughout the story. She is eager to share what little money she does have and maintains a positive outlook while facing illness. For this reason, she is representative of the spiritual and moral message present in Rent and the Good Samaritan.
I want to tell you about these two men with an age difference of 30 years between them. The first man is around 50 years of age and is facing a life ending health issue. While going through treatments he finds himself looking back over his lifespan and wondering how will people remember him when he is gone. While looking at old photos of his childhood and throughout his life he starts to remember events, the good and the bad. He remembers that one tragic day when he was 3 and he lost his mother, he remembers growing up and being so angry at god for taking his mom from him. But, then he remembers the woman you took him in, his grandmother, and raised him to be the man he is today. Looking back, he realizes that this was the first time he saw Jesus and the Good Samaritan. As he is remembering these events he sees that each time there was a good Samaritan. As a teen, the man was bullied and there were people who looked the other way or didn’t want to get involved. He remembers many a night of crying himself to sleep because the bulling was so bad, in one year he switched high schools 3 times to get away from it. That's when he started to see his “Angels” or Good Samaritans all around him in total strangers and friends Especially when he came out as gay!
When he was ready to talk to someone he was very scared, he was 18 getting ready to go into the Navy and he knew deep down he was gay. The first people he talked too was 2 of his good friends who were brother and sister. He didn't know how they would react when he told them, but they were very supportive which made him feel a lot better and was a load off his back. His grandmother and some family members have always been supportive of him over the years.
In 1984 AIDS had already taken 4251 people in the U.S., President Ronald Reagan had not even mentioned the word AIDS in public, and there was nowhere for people to turn to for help in the southern town he grew up in! So, it was up to friends to help friends. Over the years this man has lost so many friends to AIDS and he has met many new friends that are positive and living fulfilling lives.
The second man is a lot younger then the first and when their paths crossed 4 years ago in an unlikely place, a youth camp, each one had a Jesus moment. The 2 man was sharing his story of bulling to the group and the 1st man was reliving the years he went through the same thing. It wasn’t until a year later when their paths crossed again that they start talking and the first man realized that he was the second man’s Good Samaritan just by being there and listening and being a sounding board.
Both men have been there for each other across the miles to give each other support. Sometimes all it takes is a quick message or phone call to be a Good Samaritan or be “Angel” for someone.
In - five hundred twenty-five thousand Six hundred minutes
How do you measure A year in the life!
I ask you again
How are we using those minutes?
Are we using them the way Jesus wants us to live?
Interested in what has been discussed at the monthly SaLT (Servant and Leadership Team) meeting?
Check out this quick overview. If you have questions or need more details talk with any member of SaLT:
Rachel Saladis (moderator) Carolyn Bell, Dawn Algrim, Bruce Fischer, Jason Chapman, and Lisa Fernan.
We are pleased to be cosponsors of McFarland's Baccalaureate Celebration, to be held this year at one of our neighboring congregations. If you know a McFarland High School graduate, please encourage them to attend. Pastors from all 3 congregations will be present to offer blessings. Sunday evening, May 21 at Christ the King, beginning at 7 pm.
Our May Newsletter was recently emailed. Click here to read.
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If you're an active part of our ministry circles, you may be interested in our Facebook 'Mission and Service' group, which is a space for recruiting ministry teams, sharing prayer requests and urgent needs. Contact the church office for help getting connected: email@example.com or 608.838.9322.
Sunday, May 14, our regular worship experience will be extended, lasting from 10 to 11:30 am. We will serve delicious breakfast, have hands-on activity stations, and enjoy a celebration of Messy Church as it wraps up for summer. Messy Church is our monthly cross+generational faith development event and will return in the fall.