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Sunday Spirit June 17, 2018

Proverbs 31:25 She is clothed in strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future.

Faith is believing in ourselves, in God, and the teachings of Jesus.  Faith is needed to achieve all our hopes and dreams.

To help our children begin to think about their hopes and dreams, play the Dice Game!  Take turns rolling the die.  They must answer a question that corresponds to the number rolled.  The questions are as follows:
1.  What is one dream you have for yourself?
2.  Where would you most like to visit in the world?
3.  If you could only eat one food ever, what would you choose?
4.  Name one thing you really like about yourself.
5.  Name something that you do that brings you joy.
6.  What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about God?

Talk about your children’s hopes and dreams for the future.  Maybe share some of your own.  Perhaps ones that you still hope for and ones that have been achieved.

Book Suggestion:  “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Seuss

Growing in Faith and Family

growing-in-faith-and-familyAfter Christmas Eve service 2010, our daughter said “I want to sing in the choir.”  We had been attending BPC for Christmas services for several years but were only “holiday regulars”.  We had recently been discussing the idea of joining a church and raising our children with faith but had not made any decisions.  We asked the church “Can our daughter sing in the choir if we are not regular members?”  We were greeted with a welcoming “Of course!”
So began our journey into the BPC community.  We started attending the Sundays Laura would sing.  Each time we left feeling better, having gained something in the process.  From there we started attending more Sundays when Laura wasn’t singing.  Eventually, we made a commitment to become members.
BPC is not just a faith community to us but our faith family.  When we walk through the doors we feel at home, accepted for who we are, and welcomed with smiling faces.    While we are there, we feel inspired to live a better life and more connected with our community and the world.  When we leave, we feel motivated to take the messages we heard into the greater community, relieved that our worries/problems don’t feel as big or important anymore, able to see the larger meaning of life.
Our children have taught us many things and because of them we have tried and explored opportunities we might have never considered.  Sometimes your children lead you to were you belong.
~Julie and Peter

Counter-Cultural Christianity

When I was growing up it was no big deal to say you were Christian.
Everyone I knew said that.
Everyone.
And, Christianity was easy.
It meant showing up for worship at 11:00 on a Sunday morning.
And, maybe showing up or helping out your church in some other way.
Everyone I knew did that.
Everyone.
It is not like that now.
Far from it.
Now there are more people not here than are here.
Maybe even more people who say they are not Christian than readily and openly admit they are.

More and more, it seems…
To show up on a Sunday morning for worship;
To be a part of an intentional community which gathers;
To invest time and energy and something of self to feed those who are hungry or to shelter those who have no place be or to speak up on behalf of those who have no little or no voice;
To make a conscience decision to set aside some portion of your income for something more than household bills or personal use;
All because of what you believe or the values that grow out of your faith tradition is an intentional decision; a counter-cultural decision in a way it has not been for a VERY long time.

In many ways this shift from then to now is hard for us for whom church has been an important part of our lives for nearly everything about who we are and how we do what we do is based on a way of being that is no longer the norm and no longer understood or valued or accepted by the larger community.
But, if we can begin to let go of what was
(which, if we are honest, was often more cultural than Christian);
If we can to begin to find a new way…
And, if we can do it well…
What emerges might be a powerful and important witness for the deepest and best values to which we, as human beings, can aspire.
Compassion.
Kindness.
Community.
Justice.
Equality.
Peace.
Values which are desperately needed if we are ever going to find a way to live together.