by Rev. Korte Yeo
Hello Slatersville Congregational Church,
We’ve got a few interesting things coming up and would love to hear your suggestions for other stuff you’d like to try. First, I would like to invite all of you to participate in creating an Advent booklet for use by congregants and friends during the Advent season. There are many wonderful daily guides available, but one of my favorite Advent experiences is creating your own. There is one scripture passage that folks will pray about and for which they will write a brief reflection.
It can be a powerful community activity to pray each morning together and reflect on the same scripture passages and reflections. Often people are concerned that their thoughts aren’t going to be “spiritual enough” or well-enough thought out. The reality is that all you need to do is to be yourself and share your honest thoughts. It’s not a research project and honestly there should be no “work” or research or deep thought put into it, it should just reflect a very simple moment of
pondering sacred words.
The scripture passage may lead you to think about something in your own life or an experience that seems to have nothing to do with the passage or with Advent but it might be profound for you or for someone else. We never know. Trust whatever comes to you. God may speak to someone through your experience washing dishes, dropping a grandchild off at school, or baking banana bread. God speaks in many ways not the least of which is through each of us when we allow it, and sometimes, even when we don’t!
Please let me know if you would be willing to think about a provided passage prayerfully and write a short reflection, that way I don’t have to stalk you to get you to write one. If I see you more often than not on Sunday morning, please expect me to cajole you into this. You can save us both a lot of energy by volunteering! This activity does not require more than 20 or so minutes, don’t overthink it.4
We will put the reflections together and distribute them to all in the congregation, including folks at home who can’t make it in. In that way they will be with us in spirit every morning when we all read the reflections.
Second, there will be an opportunity to try a daily practice together during lent. We will explore “One Breath at a Time: A Skeptics Guide to Christian Meditation” together. This is a 40-day journey that serves as a guide for simple daily spiritual practice. We will rotate through five different practices, meeting once per week via zoom to discuss our experiences. I will begin this journey myself in preparation for the Lenten group on Tuesday, November 20th. Anyone who would like to accompany me on this introduction to Christian Meditation would be most welcome.
There is a “Retreat style Service” at 2:45 pm on Sunday Nov 18th at “Agape”, a UCC Contemplative Church, located at Weston Congregational Church, 130 Newton St. in Weston, MA. I will be attending, again, anyone who wouldlike to go as well would be welcome. Perhaps we can offer such a peaceful, lovely service to our church family in Slatersville.
The SCC ONA Core Team will hopefully have its first meeting the first week of November- wish them well!
As far as I know, TWELVE SCC folks have read all or much of “Crucial Conversations”. As a “big tent” congregation navigating differences as you try to move forward together into the future, hosting a group reading through this book together may be the most important thing you do together over the next year. I highly recommend not only reading this book, but inviting people who think differently/have differing opinions from you to join in going through the book together. This is the purpose of the book, to help people share different ideas. If you are a person who hasn’t felt heard or has been unable to share your thoughts with a sense of safety, even at your beloved church home, this book and group are for you.
The book is extremely useful, even in a vacuum, but it is most helpful in a congregation where folks from different sides of an issue come together for the love of their church and one another.
Does that sound like you? Then you need to read this book and get yourself into this book group. The group will be facilitated by a congregant.
Last but certainly not least, there will be a sign-up after church throughout November to gage interest in a Bible Study. The Bible Study will begin after the holidays when people have a bit more time available. This would likely be a hybrid group. This group will be facilitated by congregants, so we’d like to give them time to consider what they and others are interested in reading/studying and which guide they would like to follow.
Please contact me directly if you have any questions or would like to consider leading one of these groups. Be well, and God bless.