Greetings from Church of Peace!
This weekend our Confirmands will be attending a Confirmation Retreat at Pilgrim Center. We wish them a faithful and rewarding experience.
The Youth Group also has a bowling trip planned for this Sunday after church.
Church of Peace is in need of a volunteer “Website Guru”! If you know your way around the workings of internet websites – we could use your expertise as the (volunteer) COP Website Administrator. If you’d be interested in helping us out in this area, call the church office at 920-921-8215. Thanks!
The following is Jack’s Musing for this Thursday:
Abundance or Scarcity If you perceive the universe as being a universe of abundance, then it will be. If you think of the universe as one of scarcity, then it will be. Milton Glaser
I often think about what a tricky thing perception can be. I am sure you remember the glass half empty/glass half full debate. It is about how you perceive the liquid in the glass. For many, the glass is always less than half full and you fear you will run out, while for others, it is half full, thus there is plenty. I generally am on the side of believing that the glass is half full, and that the universe is abundant as science is teaching us constantly. I am glad I am in a UCC congregation. Here, I can freely believe that we have not yet scratched the surface of the mysteries beyond our knowing.
I held a fragment of moon rock awhile ago. I was blown away by the anomaly of that piece of rock being on the earth. I am blown away by the gravity wave recently discovered and its implications for science. Having dinner with two Physics teachers awhile back, my excitement about this discovery had me tingling. I am sure some idiot believes that gravity waves should be weaponized, and is trying to figure out how to do so now. After all, one needs to protect ones resources or get a corner on the market, because they’re belief system believes there is not enough to go around. And, after all, me and mine are more important than you and yours.
My point is this, “that is not how I think.” It is the time of year that we think about giving and harvest. For me it is also a time that I believe the Holy One has done and is doing the impossible. It is a time when our imaginations should be running out of control. But, due to being stuck in the mode of scarcity, we place ourselves in a little box labeled just that, scarcity. We place limits on our imagination and go through our lives saying there is not enough. However, when we counteract the fear of scarcity with a vision that there is abundance all about us, we begin to experience everything we see and explore as being new and graced with unexpected possibility.
I am a dreamer. I live in hope. I hate standing around and wasting my time thinking I do not have enough. I literally work toward imbuing my minds eye with the belief that, “there is enough”, and that the universe is miraculous. I do not think I am important in the grand scheme of things. I think I participate in making the world a better place. I practice living and giving away myself in the belief that that is what matters. I want to know more than I do now. I want to always remain on the edge. I want to imagine the shape of things to come with whatever capacities are at my disposal. I am a person of faith. I believe that as I model grace, and generosity, I am influencing outcomes larger than myself.
Congregations are often faced with choices. Those that believe in abundance change whatever they touch. I have witnessed Congregations that practice scarcity, and have watched them whither and die. Sometimes, it gets confusing. I for one, cannot abide the idea of scarcity. The basis of scarcity is fear. I believe that love casts out fear. Where there is love, there is no room for scarcity or fear. So, I believe the universe is a universe of abundance. I hope you think so too. I also believe that the glue in the universe is love.
My mother, who passed eight years ago said, “Jack, there is enough love to go around for everyone.” At the time we were discussing whether or not she took the wrong baby home from the hospital. She said, “I don’t think so.” She added that, “although I did not think, or oft behave like my siblings, because of the miracle of love, she was sure the right baby left the hospital with her that day.” You see, the universe is differentiated. There is endless variety to behold, enjoy and yes, love. It is abundant when we open our hands and celebrate all that is there on which to feast.
The Church of Peace is no different. The only thing that can keep the Church struggling financially is the practice of scarcity. However, being a congregation committed to love, grace, and generosity our practice must be abundance and a willingness to see through the eyes of the one who fed the multitudes who were like sheep without a shepherd. For you and me, it is time to choose which God we serve. The God and father of Jesus, the creator of the universe, practices making what to our minds eye impossible, possible.
If you can, open your mind to possibility. There is enough. If you come to church on Sunday morning, I will ask you to choose. I will ask you to open your heart and make a generous pledge to God and the Church of Peace. It will be up to you to decide, abundance or scarcity? Jack