After about five different false starts trying to engage with a very challenging lectionary passage for this week (Luke 14:25-33 if you are curious, the “hate your family” passage) I give up. I had this whole idea worked out reading the passage through a non-attachment lens but this morning the writing is just beyond my grasp.
So instead I will tell you why I am grateful for this church. I am eight plus months pregnant which means baby could make an appearance just about any time from next week to a month from now. It’s a kind of intense time, honestly, the waiting for birth and all the changes that a new baby brings. But I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for your gracious support.
Starting Sept 12th we begin our OPEN MIKE SERIES at Church in the Cliff. I will be taking a break from leading worship (while juggling a mewling infant) and will return the first Sunday of Advent, November 28th. Thankfully Church in the Cliff is full of folks who dig church and are generous with their time and skills. Some of these are people who are new on the scene, either in seminary or just dipping their toes in a leadership role. Others bring a lot of experience as chaplains or professors and some are in between. Each will bring her or his unique voice to lead worship and our community conversation. Please welcome them and be sweet to them and enjoy a season of fresh vocabulary and ideas about God and our journey together as church. Here’s the lineup:
Sept 12 Jaime Clark-Soles
Sept 19 Scott Shirley
Sept 26 Ross Prater
Oct 3 Cara Stoneham & Mandy Wertz
Oct 10 Paul Semrad
Oct 17 Janalee Shadburn
Oct 24 Jann Aldredge-Clanton (Jaime and/or David available as back up in case Jann needs to be with new grandbaby this week)
Oct 31 Stephanie Wyatt
Nov 7 Reagan Lunn
Nov 14 Adam Brett
Nov 21 Genny Rowley
I’ll also continue to be around and available for one on one chats and coffees-so please contact me (email@example.com) if you would like to get together. Scott and Teri are managing programs, weekly emails and other logistics with the rest of the worship team, and Ross and our whole board are available to talk about any other questions or concerns. (Contact info below).
Also, a quick update on community gatherings. As we have discussed the last few weeks at church and community meals, this fall we are taking a break from the regularly scheduled Wed. night meals (so no gathering tonight.) Instead, we are inviting folks to organize different mini-series around particular topics. So far Mikal and Sarah are designing something on spiritual approaches to dream interpretation, Paul and Scott are cooking up a little series on doubt, Teri wants to host a study on Jaime’s new book on postmodern scriptural interpretation, Reagan might like to do a bible study connected to one of his classes at Perkins. And lastly I want to host a series/retreat on the Desert Mothers and Father, or the sayings of 4th century monks in Palestine and Egypt. Stay tuned for dates and times.
The invitation is open to all– is there some topic you have been wanting to dive into? Or would you like to offer your home for a meal and a gathering? Talk to Teri and Scott to get info out in church email, and let them or me know if you need any help finding resources, making connections, or getting started.
I think we are all excited to see what organic connections and intimate conversations grow this fall.
PS This Sunday we are wrapping up our summer series ‘Filling the Church Shaped Hole’. Come for an informal service followed by a potluck brunch to celebrate new baby Amory-Pinkerton. Want more info on brunch or to coordinate a dish? contact Lisa Shirley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All are Welcome!! 11am worship, brunch at noon also at Kidd Springs Rec Center.
PPS All Souls Community Center is featured in this news clip about the fifth anniversary after Katrina. Check it out to see faces and hear stories from the community we collaborated with in the lower 9th ward on our recent mission trip.