First Parish Weekly News

Weekly News for June 14, 2017 —

Sabbatical Reflection Question for June 18 – Where are the “thin places” in your life? Heaven and Earth, the Celtic saying goes, are only three feet apart, but in thin places that distance is even shorter. Describe your “thin places.” What makes them special? What are the emotions you feel during those time? What is difficult? What is positive?

Reflection from Rev. Kent – The woods behind my parents home, a family cabin on the water in Cundy’s Harbor, a running trail in Maudsley State Park in Newburyport, a rock at the top of Mount Kearsage. These are all places that at different times in my life I would call thin places that have opened for me a feeling of vulnerability, times when I have been able to have some clarity, but they have also provided opportunities for me to be able to recognize where joy and sorrow can rest together. Times when I have at once acknowledged the pain and loss that are part of my life experience and almost simultaneously felt the joy and love of my life as well. For me these moments of vulnerability in these special places have been holy moments. Times when I have had glimpses of God’s presence and grace.

Iona was the perfect place to begin my sabbatical. It is a remote and beautiful place. It has been a pilgrimage place for centuries. There was a group of 39 of us. John Philip Newell led us and taught us, giving us time to reflect on what matters most, encouraging us to reflect on what we might do in small ways to help heal the world.

I found myself tender, not just from the fatigue that comes from working hard and being a public person, but also wounded from a political climate where there is such division and which seems so motivated by power and greed. I entered sabbatical worried about the common good, and felt strongly our responsibility to help the least of these, our call to be inclusive and to work toward justice for all.

A thin place for me as I have said is one in which the joy and the sorrow of our lives can sit together- but it also provides an opportunity for one to have hope.
Hope arises within us not just as a feeling, but it also provides the opportunity for new beginnings, new insights and a new commitment to action. Iona has been known as a place for new beginnings for literally hundreds of years. Stay tuned.

Newsletter Deadline – Monday, June 19 is the deadline for newsletter articles and items. This newsletter will encompass July and August. There is a short window in which to get the newsletter done this month, so please get your articles in on time. Thank you.

Clam Fest Volunteers!!!! Now is the time to sign up — the best shifts are still available and there is plenty of openings for all of your friends or family to work together.
Why wait until the last minute when you can sign up today!!

Easy online sign-up:

Vacation Bible Camp at St. Barts.-June 26-29 from 9:00-12:00 pm. Who is My Neighbor? Exploring Stories of God’s people through music and singing, creating and playing and outdoor games. use the link below to sign up.

Upcoming Events and Meetings

Wednesday, June 14 – Chair Yoga – 9:30 am

Thursday, June 15 – Choir Rehearsal – 7:00 pm

Friday, June 16 – No Strings Attached Coffee – 10:00 am

Saturday, June 17 – Clam Fest. Pie Baking – 9:00 am

Sunday, June 18 – Worship – 10:00 am

Monday, June 19 – Newsletter Deadline

Wednesday, June 21 – Chair Yoga – 9:30 am
Caring Connection – 4:30 pm

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