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"I will put my teaching in their minds and write it on their hearts..."
Jeremiah 31:33April 14 - 21, 2023
You can find brief descriptions of these weekly programs on our website:
mcfarlanducc.orgSUNDAY Morning, 10 am Zoom Worship
https://zoom.us/j/97010988439 Password: betogether
SUNDAY , 11:30 a.m. Bible Study in person and on zoom
MONDAY - FRIDAY, 8 am Morning Devotion
WEDNESDAY Eve., 6:30 pm Midweek Inhale Spiritual Practices
Happening This WeekChili Cook Off
Join members of our Racial Justice Ministries team on Saturday, April 15 at 2:00 p.m. for a Chili Cookoff and tasting at the Morris Community AME Church in Madison. Most of us will be the “tasters” for this event, although one or two of us might submit an entry. They are asking for a donation of $20 per person.
Send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in attending, so that we have an idea how many people will be coming. We think this will be a fun event!
Younger Youth Meeting
Sunday, April 16⋅ 5:30 – 6:45pm
Younger youth (12 and under) meet to have play games, do a craft, pizza and a Bible story or teaching. Spread the word, bring friends, and let's have a blast together!
Sunday, April 16, 6:30--8:30 p.m. Confirmation Class Meeting. (The length is an extra hour this time because we're going to watch a movie together).
Green Team Meeting
Tuesday, April 18 at 6:30pm
The MUCC Green Team meets the 3rd Tuesday of each month and uses action and education to create a sustainable and just environment for this generation and for generations to come. The meetings are offered in person and via Zoom. Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/97010988439 (usual Sunday password)
Thursday, April 20
6:30 – 7:00pm
NION stands for "Now In Our Name" and is our Immigration Justice and Compassion Outreach Group. We meet the third Thursday of each month via Zoom. Below is the zoom link
Opportunities and Things Coming Up
General Fund Summary April 22 - March 2023Discussion with Author
Daniel Cooperrider about his book,
"Speak With the Earth and It Will Teach You"
MUCC has been invited to join Memorial UCC in Fitchburg in reading and discussing Rev. Daniel Cooperrider's wonderful book, "Speak With the Earth and It Will Teach You." The book offers an adventure through nature, with a call to care for creation, by considering The Bible from a different perspective than we may be used to doing. Meeting dates are yet to be determined but likely to start after Easter giving time to order the book and start the first section. W e anticipate meeting outside in nature to discuss the book, first section by a river. Details on when and where coming soon.
Daniel will be leading us in worship on April 23rd for our Earth Day celebration Sunday service and tree dedication at MUCC. More about this in next week's Pulse!
Saturday, May 6th, 8:00 -- 12 Noon, Spring Clean Up Day! Come enjoy the fellowship and help us clean things up. Come for whatever portion of this you can. More about this next week.
A Few Words From Pastor Bryan
And John Roedel
Well April is doing its thing! What a gorgeous week it's been. Just about everyone I know here in Wisconsin anyway is feeling the lift now that we've finally left the winter behind (yes I know, it could snow next week! Shhhh....)
We'll be focusing lots on the beauty of the earth, how Creation speaks to our souls, and on our call to care for the earth and deal with issues of climate change and eco-justice in the next few weeks especially at church.
Few things seem to speak more directly to our souls that the beauty of the natural world and art. Recently our own Trish Kalhagen shared an amazing poem with our morning zoom devotional group. I loved it so much I decided to share it with all of you this week. It's by a fantastic poet, writer, and comedian named John Roedel who refers to himself on Facebook simply as "a short writer."
So many people, when they find out I'm a minister, say things like, "The earth is my sanctuary. I feel closer to God outside in nature than in a church building." I get it. I've often joked with you all when the weather gets nice that if I weren't the pastor I probably wouldn't be in church either! I'm kidding, sort of. I totally understand the need and desire to spend long full days out in nature somehow, and for many of you Sundays are one of your only chances to do that. Well enjoy yourselves and I'll be the last person to lay a "we missed you in church on Sunday" guilt trip on you. But please just remember that a huge part of "being church" is being together in community. That can certainly happen outside as it does for us when we worship outside (we'll start doing that again one Sunday a month beginning in June), but just know that being together is one of the main reasons why church exists. We can all feel wonderfully close to God on our own out in nature or at home on our yoga mats or mediation cushions or your own favorite place to commune with God, and I hope we all do. But we also need to be together to share our lives, pray together, sing together, listen for God's Word together, and serve together. Church is more about community than just about anything. Creating a "people" who would love each other and be there for and with each other was at the heart of Jesus' message and mission. We can do things together than none of us can do on our own.
But back to nature (see what I did there? :)--this poem by John Roedel will speak to a lot of you I know. Thanks again to Trish Kalhagen for bringing it to our attention. I know I'll refer to it often in the years to come.
I hope to see you in church this Sunday, and every Sunday, but if I don't, I hope you're out somewhere having fun with loved ones and connection with God in the "church that has no doors."
Love to you all,
Lately, When I Need To Pray
By John Roedel
Lately, when I need to pray
I go to the church that has no doors.
And where the walls are made of carved granite –
I sit under it’s moving roof on a pew that smells like fresh pine
And fold my hands quietly until God joins me –
Here in this most ancient of churches,
I watch a dozen fat rainbow angel dressed as trout dance in the baptismal font
And wonder when I too will be made anew –
There is a special kind of holy quiet here
that rings much louder than any fat church bell I have ever known
And the silence often rattled my ribs –
It’s choir loft is high up in a birds nest
And it’s confessional is a breeze that asks me to speak my sins
And I do, and then they are carried away –
The longer I sing psalms in this church
The shorter my memory for all of my past mistakes become
And that is when I hear the voice of Love speak
“oh tired light, oh wounded heart,
Oh my child of crumbling grace,
Come plant your feet in this Eden,
Come rest in this sacred space
Oh weary traveler, oh somber fire,
Oh shaking heart that is prone to fear,
Come lay in my ribboned water
Come to fully know that I’m right here
Oh wilting daisy, on dying star
Oh broken song that needs a name,
Come sit with me among the wild,
And then you’ll never be the same”
God and I take turns saying all we need to say to each other
I speak in short heavy jagged breaths and the Divine replies in thin long pauses
This goes on until the sun begins to set –
That’s when it’s time to leave
And even though I go home, I’m always still there
In the antiquated church
Of trees and valleys
Where foxes are lectors
Where horizons are steeples
Where clouds are vestibules
Where campfires are incense
Where time is a gospel
Where the great flow is a sacrament
Where forests are community
Where a little piece of me always still remains
Talking to the voice of whispering Love
As I watch trout be slain in the spirit
And I can’t stop marveling at the altar of creation
5710 Anthony St.
McFarland WI 53558
Pastor Bryan Sirchio
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McFarland United Church of Christ | 5710 Anthony Street, McFarland, WI 53558
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