Friday, April 18, 2014

For Reflecting on Good Friday


Good Friday

The day of the Cross.
What if it was not about Jesus then? What if it is about us now?
Jesus is not a magician... no wand is waved and everything is better and new and right. The question of the day is, what will we do? How will we react to the Cross that we must carry to follow Jesus? Will we be better and new and right there with him?

 


And it certainly is good to remember the story: 
Betrayal to killers for money
Denying him before the rooster crows
running away
hiding
being fearful
giving up






But after remembering that story, 
we have to give meaning to the story. Meaning to us and for us.

A Cross Story

A few weeks before November 16, 1989, in a special service of reconciliation, the congregation of Resurrection Lutheran Church in San Salvador was asked to lay the sins of their country upon a symbolic cross. A simple wooden cross, painted white, was placed at the front of the church. In ones and twos, congregation members came up to the cross, took a black marker, and wrote the sins on the cross, such as persecution of the church, hunger, discrimination against women, ambition for power, murder and violence. As they identified the sins of their country and their people, they also committed themselves to work toward forgiveness, and to be strengthened for liberation. The cross also carries messages of hope and love, as a testimony to the transforming power of God. After the reconciliation service, the cross remained as a symbol within the church. (from Tim's El Salvador Blog)

Then Bishop Gomez was to be arrested and went to his church. He was gone. So, the soldiers captured 12 foreigners and 3 Salvadorans, and they captured and carried off this cross. The cross for them was subversive, just as the emperors of ancient Rome considered the universal symbol of Christianity subversive. 
 
The cross which they took captive is a special symbol for the people of Resurrection. It is a tribute to God, since one good day, as a special offering to the Lord, the congregation wrote the sins committed against the people upon a plain, white cross. As they identified the sins of their country and their people, they committed themselves to work toward forgiveness, and to be strengthened for liberation. The cross carries messages of hope and love, as a testimony to the transforming power of God. 
It is now called the Subversive Cross. 

Bishop Gomez with replica 

Nails

Nails were used to keep Jesus were they wanted him. They would have added to the suffering. They would have positioned him for dying. And maybe we do not have a cross any more that we can nail Jesus to, but we still have nails that we use to keep him in his place, away from discussions and decisions and days when we do not want the man or his words to confuse something. You know...

The family gathering were someone brings up the idea that the poor are not the concern of others. The conversation at work when someone again tells a joke that is mean to some to be funny for others. The relative that insists that bad things have happened because God wanted them to happen to 'those' people. The meeting that is deciding on a faith statement or an action that chastises the government or someone who has some power. Times when life is easier if Jesus is can be nailed up and out of the way.

We have a selection of nails to use to keep Jesus away.

  • "You have to pick your battles"
  • "It wouldn't do any good in the long run and be a pain for you in the short term."
  • "Practically speaking it will not change any one's minds. Just let it be."
  • "Let's find a way to say it so no one is unhappy."
  • "Financially, that will not help the church."
  • "They can think what ever they want and have free speech."

 Which ones do you most often use? On this day it is good to remember that those who first nailed Jesus were doing it for reasons that they thought were good and compelling. Like you when you pick up a nail.




Sign

 "King of the  Jews"


 "INRI" That is what the sign over him said. It was a way for the authorities to 'name' the crime of the crucified. It enhanced the deterrent value of the death.

The letters stood for the words "Iesvs Nazarenvs Rex Ivdaeorvm." Latin uses “I” instead of the English “J”, and “V” instead of “U” (i.e., Jesus Nazarenus Rex Judaeorum). The English translation is "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews."

"King of the Jews" was also a way to mock him. Along with a crown of thorns, a purple cloak, and 'bowing down' to him. It was all meant to be cruel. Because he wasn't King.  
People thought (yea, hoped!) that the Anointed One of God meant that he would be a King to challenge (and try to replace) Caesar, Herod, and the Chief Priests. But such challenge is rebellion, treason, and likely to lead to violence. This deluded "King of the Jews" is now dying in pain. Like a rebel.

This is where Arch Bishop Oscar
Romero was assassinated while
saying Mass. Killed because he
spoke about injustices of
the Government.

Killed because those in power thought he was like them and would take power from them. Killed because he did challenge them, not for their power; but for how they used their power. He talked about God's justice and their injustice. He talked about the power of meekness and violence of power. He showed just how violent they are and how far they would go to maintain their power and injustice. It would be hard to go father than they did.


But so what? That was them and that was then. 

So, what sign would you give to Jesus? It might not be over his head. It could be on a happy name tag that says, "Hello! I am ..."

  • King of the Jews
  • Such a friend
  • a sounding board
  • Savior of my soul
  • a Prophet
  • teacher of justice
  • preacher of peace
  • One of the great spiritual teachers of all time


How ever you tag him, no matter what the title or sign we ascribe, we tend to do so to limit Jesus in our life and the influence he might have. If we say he is this then he isn't that.
In Mark's Gospel he tells everyone not to say who he is. In John's gospel he he says "I am" so often he covers about 10 different metaphors. 

Again and again he asks us to follow him. to pick up our cross and follow him into Jerusalem with God's challenge to the status quo, the societal values, the greed of the rich and the silencing of the poor. But Jesus also challenges us when we want to box him into a small tomb and say that is where he belongs, the only place he belongs. Not in our politics, not in our checkbook, not limiting our freedom, not work, not in education, not in our decisions, not in our personal choices.

He seems to want to be alive in our life, leading us as we follow him as the Lord of our life. We travel the way he goes, work as he works, trusts as he trusts. No limits. All of us. All parts of our life. He is Lord. 

On this day, let us consider what tag we have for Jesus and what that leaves out. What sign for him would indicate where we want him and when we want him entombed to stay away.











Thursday, April 17, 2014

KIOSK April 17-22

KIOSK!                                 


EASTER Sunday!John 20:1-18
Sermon: "Unbound"Music: I Know That My Redeemer Liveth (from Messiah) Handel; Intermezzo by Manfred Schmitz w/ Denise Ricker, flute; Great and Glorious by Franz Joseph Haydn; Hallelujah! from Handel
 Sunrise Service: 6:00 am. Vt. College Green

This Week At BethanyApril 17-24





Thursday

7:00 pm Maundy Thursday Service in Chapel


Friday:
Devotionals on Web site







Sunday:
6:00 am. Easter Sunrise Vt. College Green
10:00 am Worship-Easter!
10:15 am Sunday School
11:15 am Hospitality




Tuesday:
11:30 am Bethany Bowl

Thursday:
7:00 am Spiritual Exploration Group
11:45 am Brown Bag
6:30 pm Choir

Sunday:
10:00 am Sunday Worship
11:00 am Hospitality

Pictures from theVariety Show and Dinner


Pictures from the Spring Auction









Announcements


If you would like a chance for some faith reflect on Good Friday, please go to our website. There you will have a chance to consider if this day is mostly about Jesus then or us now. 

Good Samaritan Haven Dinner
This is scheduled for April 27 and we still need two main dishes, two veggies, two salads, one pound of butter and two desserts.







One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) has the theme "We Are One".  We are all connected in God.  Our participation connects us to Church World Services and nine denominations working for the poorly clothed and fed, those lacking resources or training to support themselves.  They work during disasters.  If you would like to be a part of this ministry, simply make a note on offering envelope or check memo line.


Bethany Bowl
APRIL15, 2014,  FED: 81  HEAD COOKS: Joan Barrett and John Hnylka  SOUP GETTER: Tom Lever  DISHWASHERS: Gary Rogers, Erick, and Conrad Rowell  HELPERS: Anita Rogers, Ira Gravatt, Cynthia Latimer, Kathy and Grace, Chris Terry, Anne DeVaughn, Phyllis Rowell.   Joan and John made a great one pot bean dish to which Ira and Cynthia added a tossed salad. Hard boiled eggs, an apple sauce cup along with a NECI soup, desserts and beverages completed the menu. We are still in need of containers for providing leftovers to our guest - any size would be very welcome!

Vermont Conference Annual Meeting

This coming Friday and Saturday, the ministers and delegates from Bethany Church will be attending the Vermont Conference Annual Meeting at the Lake Morey Resort.  The theme of the meeting is "Rooted and Grounded in God's Love."  Delegates from Bethany Church are Stephanie Ratmeyer, Amy Bell, Judi Joy, and Liz Sykas Ringgenberg.  Joanne Hardy and Theresa Lever will also be attending the meeting. Highlights of the meeting will be shard with the congregation through the Dialogue and a Moment for Mission.


Nina Merriam will be competing for the title of Miss Vermont at the Barre Opera House on Saturday, April 26 at 7pm. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for Seniors and $16 for students and are available on the BOH website or at the door. Audience support makes a big difference for these amazing women while they are on stage. Nina came in First Runner Up last year - this might be the year she wins it all! Be there to cheer her on!

Open Invitation-
Sunday after Easter, all are welcome to attend a presentation on end-of-life issues and advanced medical directives. Place: The Church Of The Good Shepard (the grey stone church) across from the gazebo in downtown Barre. Time: 11:30 am. Speaker: Cindy Bruzzese, Executive Directive of The Vermont Ethics Network. For more info call Goddard Graves @ 802-456-1177

Food Pantry
Gather Food, especially canned veggies and fruits, for the Montpelier Pantry. Collecting and blessing on April 27.

WELL WHAT DO YOU KNOW!
Sue Maywood went to California and wrote a book. Maybe a cliche, but heck, she wrote a book!
The trilogy is entitled Scraps of Time, and the first volume is The Hunting Horn.  It is appropriate for middle school-aged children, but she thinks that adult readers will enjoy it too, especially readers who like historical fiction.
Please go to amazon.com for a lengthier description of the story.

Friday, April 11, 2014

KIOSK! April 10-20

KIOSK!


The Season of Lent
Palm Sunday

from John chapter 12

Sermon: "Welcome to Jerusalem"
Music: Second Sunday Concert with Bill Fraser
In Worship: "The Palms", Faure; Cantate Hodie! (Vocal Trio) Lightfoot; "Watch the Lamb" (Skip Potter soloist with the 3 Amigas) by Boltz;
Education: Book Study on "The Last Week"
Youth: Bethany Cup for Breakfast


This Week At Bethany
April 10-20


Saturday
5:30 pm Dinner and Variety Show!

Sunday:
8:30 am Bethany Cup
9:30 am Second Sunday Concert with Billy Fraser
10:00 am Worship-Palm Sunday
10:15 am Sunday School
11:15 am Hospitality
11:30 am Book Study

Monday:
5:00 pm Visioning Committee

Tuesday:
11:30 am Bethany Bowl

Wednesday:
6:00 pm Habitat For Humanity

Thursday:
7:00 am Spiritual Exploration Group
10:00 am Maundy Thursday Worship at Gary Home
11:45 am Brown Bag
1:00 am Maundy Thursday Worship at Heaton Woods
2:00 pm Property Board
6:30 pm Choir
7:00 pm Maundy Thursday Service Chapel

Friday:
Devotionals on Web site

Sunday:
6:00 am Easter Sunrise Service    Vermont College Green  
10:00 am Easter Sunday Worship
10:15 am Sunday School
11:00 am Hospitality

Announcements


Art @ Bethany
The exhibit will be open each day from 10 am - 8 pm in the chapel. Closes after this Sunday.!

 




Second Sunday Concert
A little bit of beauty and fun found in the music of Bill Fraser. Join us in the Chapel at 9:30. One of the under appreciated things at Bethany.







Palm Sunday BETHANY CUP!
Sunday, April 13th – 8:30-9:30 am
Come for warm, homemade muffins,
 great coffee, yogurt parfaits, 
an oatmeal bar, and artisan bread for
toasting.
$5 for full breakfast
$3 for coffee and a muffin



Nina Merriam will be competing for the title of Miss Vermont at the Barre Opera House on Saturday, April 26 at 7pm. Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for Seniors and $16 for students and are available on the BOH website or at the door. Audience support makes a big difference for these amazing women while they are on stage. Nina came in First Runner Up last year - this might be the year she wins it all! Be there to cheer her on!




Bethany Bowl
On April 8th we missed Phyllis again this week but we hear she is recovering. She made the menu for us and we served 2 NECI soups, macaroni and sauce (with or without meat), tossed salad, apple sauce, assorted desserts and assorted beverages.  Joanne did the shopping, John was head cook, Judi  was support cook and we had lots of wonderful helpers-Judy, Gary, Conrad, Erik, Ira, Chris, Anne and Tom. We served about 75-people which are less than our usual number so hopefully, as the weather gets better, the need lessens.  We need plastic containers with good lids to send leftovers home with the folks so if you have any to share, they would be gratefully appreciated.



One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) has the theme "We Are One".  We are all connected in God.  Our participation connects us to Church World Services and nine denominations working for the poorly clothed and fed, those lacking resources or training to support themselves.  They work during disasters.  You can help by donating on Palm Sunday, April 13th.

Annual Variety Show &
San Antonio Grande Fundraiser Dinner
School Children in El Salvador
Variety Show Supper - Saturday, April 12 at 5:30 - Who makes the BEST macaroni and cheese?
Jim Conneman thinks he does!  Enjoy Jim's homemade mac'n'cheese, and that of his "competitors," at this comfort foods supper.  Homemade baked beans is also on the menu (and guess who thinks his are #1?).
There will be salad and veggies, and cake and ice cream.  $10 for adults, $5 for children under 12, $30 max. for a family.  All proceeds go to our San Antonio Grande ministry.  See you there!


Annual Variety Show! Saturday, April 12th!  If you would like to have an Act in the show, please contact Joanne Hardy (joannehardy789@msn.com). You will not find a more appreciative audience.  Come for the food!  Come for the show!  All are welcome!   And remember--the show is free!


Food Pantry
Gather Food, especially canned veggies and fruits, for the Montpelier Pantry. Collecting and blessing on April 27.



WELL WHAT DO YOU KNOW!
Sue Maywood went to California and wrote a book. Maybe a cliche, but heck, she wrote a book!
The trilogy is entitled Scraps of Time, and the first volume is The Hunting Horn.  It is appropriate for middle school-aged children, but she thinks that adult readers will enjoy it too, especially readers who like historical fiction.
Please go to amazon.com for a lengthier description of the story.


Open Invitation-
Sunday after Easter, all are welcome to attend a presentation on end-of-life issues and advanced medical directives. Place: The Church Of The Good Shepard (the grey stone church) across from the gazebo in downtown Barre. Time: 11:30 am. Speaker: Cindy Bruzzese, Executive Directive of The Vermont Ethics Network. For more info call Goddard Graves @ 802-456-1177


Thursday, April 3, 2014

KIOSK!

KIOSK April 4-11




The Season of Lent
Communion
John chapter 11
Sermon: "Easter"
Music: "Arms of Love" by Amy Grant, "Lamb of God" by Tom Fetke, "How Beautiful"by Twila Paris, "Where There is Faith" by Billy Simon, "When God's People Pray" by A.B. Zorn
Education: Book Study on "The Last Week"
Youth:  7:00


This Week At Bethany
April 4 - 11
Friday:
9:00 am Low Income Advocay at State House

Saturday:
9:00 am Spring Auction

Sunday
10:00 am Worship-with Communion
10:15 am Sunday School
11:15 am Hospitality
11:30 am Book Study
7:00 pm Youth Group

Tuesday:
11:30 am Bethany Bowl
6:30 pm Habitat For Humanity (Barre-Mont.)

Wednesday:
5:30 pm Outreach
7:00 pm Deacons

Thursday:
7:00 am Spiritual Exploration Group
11: Worship Gary Home
11:45 am Brown Bag West View
1:00 Worship Heaton Woods
6:30 pm Choir
8:00 pm Bell Choir

Saturday:
5:30pm Variety Show

Palm Sunday:
8:30 am Bethany Cup
8:30 am Second Sunday Concert
10:00 am Worship
10:15 am Sunday School
11:00 am Hospitality
11:30 am  Book Study
7:00 pm Youth Group

Holy Week at Bethany
Sunday, April 13 -
10 am Palm Sunday Service
Thursday, April 17 -
7 pm  Maundy Thursday Service in Chapel
Sunday, April 20 -
6 am Easter Sunrise Service at Vermont College Green
10 am Easter Worship in the Sanctuary

Announcements


Art @ Bethany
The exhibit will be open each day from 10 am - 8 pm in the chapel.  Come in and enjoy the show! Bring your friends and neighbors!

Auction
Helpers are welcome and can just show up and ask what's needed.
The bidding will start at 9:30 on Saturday (April 5) with preview time beginning at 9 o’clock.  Snacks and beverages will be available throughout the sale.  New this year will be random drawings for door prizes for bidders.  Come and add to the fun and bring a friend or two.  There are always a few items that result in competitive bidding!



One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) has the theme "We Are One".  We are all connected in God.  Our participation connects us to Church World Services and nine denominations working for the poorly clothed and fed, those lacking resources or training to support themselves.  They work during disasters.  You can help by donating on Palm Sunday, April 13th.


Lenten Book Study
We will be looking at the book, "The Last Week", by Marcus Borg and J. Dominic Crossan.

BUT WAIT! THERE IS MORE!  If you want to be a part of discussing the book, but cannot make it to class (ever or every time) there will be an online component for those who wish.  There you can read what the class thought important and add your own comments and questions.  There is a link on the church website or you can gohere (http://reddoorroomtable.blogspot.com/) : .

Annual Variety Show &
San Antonio Grande Fundraiser Dinner
Variety Show Supper - Saturday, April 12 at 5:30 - Who makes the BEST macaroni and cheese?  Jim Conneman thinks he does!  Enjoy Jim's homemade mac'n'cheese, and that of his "competitors," at this comfort foods supper.  Homemade baked beans is also on the menu (and guess who thinks his are #1?).
There will be salad and veggies, and cake and ice cream.  $10 for adults, $5 for children under 12, $30 max. for a family.  All proceeds go to our San Antonio Grande ministry.  See you there!



Annual Variety Show! Saturday, April 12th!  If you would like to have an Act in the show, please contact Joanne Hardy (joannehardy789@msn.com). You will not find a more appreciative audience.  Come for the food!  Come for the show!  All are welcome!   And remember--the show is free!







Please Join Us for

VLIAC Annual Legislative Day
Friday, April 4th ~ Vermont State House
Co - Sponsored by the Vermont Conference United Church of Christ

9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Come to the VT Statehouse -  Meet with your Legislators, Community Action Folks, State Officials, and other Advocates

“Bag” Lunch in Room 10 at 12:00 PM
Lunch generously provided by the Vermont Conference UCC Department of Mission

Program During Lunch
50th Anniversary of the "War on Poverty" - How are we doing?

On January 8, 1964, in his State of the Union Address, President Lyndon Johnson declared an “unconditional war on poverty in America,” vowing that “It will not be a short or easy struggle,… but we shall not rest until that war is won. The richest Nation on earth can afford to win it. We cannot afford to lose it.” ... he  declared that “Our aim is not only to relieve the symptom of poverty, but to cure it and, above all, to prevent it.”