She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. ~ Proverbs 31:26
We are having a “Pender Parking Lot Party” to raise funds for The Chris Atwood Foundation in conjunction with their Hope in Motion event that is taking place on May 1st.
Please visit: www.thecaf.org for more information on the amazing ways the money we raise will be used to provide free harm reduction and recovery support services and advocacy for people impacted by substance abuse.
There are two ways to join our team:
1. Sign up on the foundation’s site at www.thecaf.org/events and register to join the “Pender Parking Lot Party” team. The cost to do this will be $30.
2. Or Sign up here and simply bring a donation of any amount to the event itself! Donations can be made in the form of checks made payable to: The Chris Atwood Foundation or in the form of cash.
Every single dollar we collect will go directly to supporting this worthy cause.We have a goal to raise $5,000 but wouldn’t it be wonderful to raise more? And you can be a part of that!
No donation is too small.
Earth Day is April 22; churches typically observe Earth Day Sunday during the month of April. It is an opportunity to reflect on the goodness of God’s creation and the human responsibility to steward it through worship, education and action.
The Rev. Pat Watkins is an expert in educating others about how theology relates to caring for creation as an important Christian mission. Watkins was a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries assigned to the care of God’s creation.
“Many of us are stuck at a grade school level of theological competence and Bible understanding,” Watkins explained. “If we looked deeper into the Bible, we’d be surprised. Relationship with God and relationship with the Earth are very prevalent in the Bible, but we focus primarily on our relationship with God and not the Earth.”
“It’s more than recycling and Styrofoam” he continued. “It’s about relationships with God, each other, and God’s creation. It’s about how we live with each other. It is a covenant.”
Watkins said, “The United Methodist Church is an amazing and powerful group of Christians because of our Scriptures. We just don’t use that power enough. We need to be the voice of creation care.”
Watkins shared some Biblical references that call us to care for God’s creation.
Genesis 2:7 – The Lord God formed the human from the topsoil of the fertile land and blew life’s breath into his nostrils.”
Adam was created out of dust of the Earth. How could there be any more of a relationship with the Earth than to be created out of it? It’s as if God scooped up a couple handfuls of earth and formed humanity. When God formed Adam he was not a living being until God breathed life into his nostrils and we became living human beings. The fact that we exist as living, breathing human beings suggests that we have a relationship with the Earth because we were created out of it and we have a relationship with God because we breathe the very breath of the one who created all that is.
Genesis 3:23 – “The Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to farm the fertile land from which he was taken.”
Even the fact that God put Adam and Eve in a garden is an important point. Due to their disobedience, they were kicked out of the garden and the land was cursed making it more difficult for them to coax the earth to provide for them.
Genesis 4:12 – “When you farm the fertile land, it will no longer grow anything for you, and you will become a roving nomad on the earth.”
The story of Cain and Able is also a story of disobedience. When Cain, a farmer, killed his brother, God punished him by removing him from the soil. He became a wanderer across the earth with no connection to any land. When he lost his relationship with the land, he could no longer see the face of God. Relationship with the land and relationship with God were, for Cain, inseparable.
Disobedience of God and violence towards one another results in negative consequences for the earth.
Genesis 9:13 – “I have placed my bow in the clouds; it will be the symbol of the covenant between me and the earth.”
Few people know that Noah’s father, Lamech, thought that his son might one day be the “righteous” one to remove the curse on the land (Genesis 5:28-29). When Noah’s Ark came to rest and the animals were released, a rainbow appeared. It was a sign not only of God’s covenant with Noah, but also with the animals and the earth itself. Noah’s story is a story of reconciliation of humanity and the earth. God saw what he had done and promised he would never again curse the land.
John 1:3 – “Everything came into being through the Word, and without the Word nothing came into being.”
At the beginning of John’s Gospel there is an understanding by the writer that Jesus was present at Creation and that everything that ever came into being came into being through Christ.
John 3:16 – “God so loved the world that God gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life.”
Many think that the whole Christ event was just about personal salvation, but actually, it was about God’s love for everything God has made. The word world is better translated as cosmos.
The Apostle Paul
Romans 8:19 – “The whole creation waits breathless with anticipation for the revelation of God’s sons and daughters.”
Colossians 1:20 – “He reconciled all things to himself through him — whether things on earth or in the heavens. He brought peace through the blood of his cross.”
Paul has the understanding that Jesus was the redeemer not just of humanity, but of everything God created.
Global virtual choir sings Easter hymn
More than 400 United Methodists from around the world have joined in singing the favorite Easter hymn “Thine Be the Glory.” Even in the midst of the pandemic, church members can celebrate Christ’s resurrection together.
This was an amazing experience bringing together over 400 singers from different countries, congregations, and communities – proving that even in the midst of a pandemic we are still united.
This project would not have been possible without the help of some amazing folks lending a hand:
Thank you all and Happy Easter!
“Thine Be the Glory” is #308 in The United Methodist Hymnal.
Thine be the glory,
Risen, conquering Son;
Endless is the victory
Thou o’er death hast won.
Angels in bright raiment
Rolled the stone away,
Kept the folded grave clothes
Where the body lay.
Edmond L. Budry (1854-1932) wrote this hymn, originally in French as “A Toi la gloire, ô Ressuscité.” He was the pastor of the Free Evangelical Church of the Canton of Vevey, Switzerland, having studied theology at Lausanne.
The hymn was written in 1884 and appeared first in Chants Evangeliques (1885). A translation by Richard Birch Hoyle (1875-1939) gave the hymn increased visibility, especially when it appeared in the first edition of the hymnal for the World Student Christian Federation, Cantate Domino (1924). The Methodist Hymn Book (1933) was the first European hymnal to include the hymn.
Methodist hymnologist Fred Gaely notes that, “Budry was often asked to make translations of favorite German or English hymns, but he preferred to rewrite the texts, often improving on the original, and often freely adapting old Latin hymns.”
The inspiration for this hymn, according to Budry’s friend Paul Laufer, came from the words of Friedrich-Heinrich Ranke (1798-1876), published to the tune, MACCABAEUS, by George Fredrick Handel (1685-1759). The tune was adapted from a processional song in Handel’s oratorio Joshua (1747), as well as later versions of the more famous oratorio Judas Maccabaeus (1746).
Budry freely adapted Ranke’s Advent text and transformed it as an Easter hymn. As Gaely recognized, the Easter text “emphasized still more the triumphal nature of Handel’s music.” John Wesley, a contemporary of Handel, enjoyed this tune very much and cites it as one of his favorites in journal entries for March 29, 1774, and March 30, 1787.
According to English hymnologist J. Richard Watson, the hymn “is based on the Gospel accounts of the Resurrection (with a brief allusion to St. Thomas and doubt in verse 3), together with St. Paul’s commentary on it in I Corinthians 15.” This is especially evident in the use of the word “victory” in the refrain, reminiscent of I Corinthians 15:57: “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Stanza two almost quotes directly I Corinthians 15:55. The Scripture says, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” Hoyle’s translation of the second stanza concludes, “death hath lost its sting.”
This hymn took on new life for me in August 2008 when I joined a group of United Methodist musicians in a teaching mission to Côte d’Ivoire, the newest (admitted formally to the denomination at the 2008 General Conference) and largest (nearly 700,000 members) of the denomination’s conference regions. Sponsored by the Global Praise Project of the General Board of Global Ministries, our group was charged to train a new generation of church musicians in Côte d’Ivoire.
As we concluded our time in this West African country, we realized that we were taught as much—if not more—by the African Christian musicians than we were teaching. One of the hymns that these United Methodists sang with great vigor was “A Toi la gloire, ô Ressuscité.” We heard it in two versions: the first was the classic Western hymn style; the second was a West African version complete with drums, electronic keyboards and guitars. Both were delightful.
It was a joy to see how this hymn has transcended not only time and cultures, but also continents to resonate with a vibrant Easter joy.
Experts from the age of five to ten, as well as The Rev. MaryJane Pierce Norton from the General Board of Discipleship, talk about the traditions of the Easter egg — from hunting eggs, to coloring them, to the egg as a symbol of new life. The egg became associated with Easter somewhere near the 400s and was often a food that was given up at Lent.
According to Rev. Norton, “In some of the early church traditions, people brought their eggs to the church to be blessed before they ate them, as the first joyful food of Easter.”