Go To Church Tomorrow … And Invite Someone

The Main Grain’s Firecracker Rolls are proof that God loves us. ūüôā

I am not real good as a pastor at reminding people to invite others to church. I should be better about it because studies have shown that if you invite someone to church there is a really good chance they will say “yes”. I think my problem is that I believe that if something is helping you then you just naturally want to share it with others. A lot of my friends now wear¬†Darn Tough Vermont socks because I love them and recommend them to everyone. Many of my friends now use Ting Mobile because they were the first cellphone company I ever actually liked and therefore I encourage others to try them out. Several of my friends now use Robinhood because I found trading stocks for free on it enjoyable. If I see you at Emy J’s on a Wednesday there is a pretty good chance that I will give you a Firecracker roll from The Main Grain because I love them and want everyone else to love them too. Like I said, I believe people naturally invite others to be a part of things that are good for them, and I know people are finding that God does things in their lives through Tapestry because people tell me this.

That’s why today I have already invited 3 people to come to church tomorrow and I’ve only been to The Companion Shop to pick up treats for Clive and to Kwik Trip to buy some peanut butter cookies that were on sale (both of these are places that I love and would recommend). I’ve also invited people via Facebook. I remember to do this personally but I forget to encourage others to do this. I’m really not that great of a pastor.

Anyhow I would like to encourage you to go to whatever church that you connect with tomorrow and to invite someone else to go with you. People are looking for meaning and purpose, in my opinion because we were created with a purpose – to be in relationship with God. So often people look for meaning and purpose in things that can’t actually provide said things. I end up hearing lots of conversations about people looking for ultimate meanging in something that can’t possibly provide such meaning. The church can be messed up sometimes, I don’t deny that. Yet at its core it is about connecting with Jesus and that is an awesome thing. In my opinion that is our ultimate meaning.

We were meant to be connected with Jesus. There are so many things around us and in us that keep that from happening. From our sins, to the evil around us, to the seemingly small distractions, there are so many things that keep us from enjoying communion with God, and with each other. Resurrection Sunday is about Jesus defeating all those things.

Death – defeated.

Sin – defeated.

Evil – defeated.

Things that can’t provide meaning – defeated.

Etc. Etc. Etc.

That’s why I want to encourage everyone to go to church tomorrow (even if you haven’t been in years or ever), and to invite others. You were meant to be loved by God and to love Him back. Resurrection Sunday (i.e. Easter) is God proving that He wasn’t going to allow anything to get in the way of that love.

Good Friday

I am fairly sure that my celebration of Easter weekend is defined by singing all but the last verse of “Were You There” during our Tenebrae gathering on Good Friday or Maundy Thursday and then singing the final verse¬† (the resurrection verse) on Resurrection Sunday. The video above is from Tapestry singing the song a few years ago at one of our normal worship gatherings.

‚ÄúThe God of freedom, the true God, is… not recognized by his power and glory in the history of the world, but through his helplessness and his death on the scandal of the cross of Jesus‚ÄĚ

J√ľrgen Moltmann, The Crucified God: The Cross of Christ as the Foundation and Criticism of Christian Theology

Maundy Thursday – Place of Peace Meal

It doesn’t always work out this way but I do love it when it does work out for Tapestry to do the Thursday night Place of Peace meal on the Maundy Thursday of Holy Week. This year it worked out, so tonight we made, served, and the ate the Place of Peace meal with everyone who was there. Maundy Thursday is when the church traditionally commemorates the Jesus washing the disciples’ feet (the Maundy) and the Lord’s Supper. I simply can’t think of a better way to remember our Lord’s service and death until He comes again than to be a part of the PoP meal.

It was a wonderful night and a great way to lead into tomorrow night’s Tenebrae Gathering. If you don’t have a Good Friday service consider joining us for the evening. We’ll be at the Smith Scarabocchio Art Museum.

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For those of you who may be curious, the guys who were the focus of Protect Tuna Casserole were there tonight and they were thrilled by the tuna casserole that the Glaze’s brought. Also Project Memories has been initiated.

Project Memories

Back in December I posted about Project Tuna Casserole,¬†where I asked a “thread” to make tuna casserole for a group of guys at the Place of Peace meal who hope for tuna casserole each week. Two weeks from now Tapestry is providing the meal for Place of Peace again and the tuna casserole is again planned for the evening, but as of tonight I have a new project to add to Project Tuna Casserole. I am calling it Project Memories (Memories has to be sung in an overly dramatic manner like the song “Way We Were”).

Tonight as I was leaving the Place of Peace meal one of the regulars, about my age or a little older, grabbed my arm. This isn’t unusual. My whole purpose at the meal each week is to be there simply to pray and talk with people. Very often the conversations I have with people start by me walking one direction and someone grabbing my arm to pull me another direction. So I thought this was just going to be a prayer request. She started off by saying ” I have what may seem a weird request.” Okay, nothing really strange there. That is often how conversations with me start out. She then said “do you know anybody who can teach me how to scrapbook?”

I can honestly say that I have never been asked that question.

Between chaplaining and pastoring I get lots of requests for help and resources, but scrapbook never been one of those requests. She added that she wanted to organize her pictures because she was afraid she was beginning to loose them and the memories of them. That sounds like something that someone can help with and I have no doubt that this lady would be very grateful for the help.

So Sunday I will be asking at Tapestry if someone would like to help one of the regulars at Place of Peace in learning how to scrapbook. I’m fairly sure Jesus was never a Creative Memories consultant but I think He will be pleased with this effort.

The Enemy of Knowledge

The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.

During a report on his death I heard this quote¬† attributed to Stephen Hawking.¬† I can’t find an attribution for Hawking, though I did find a Quote Investigator article discussing the quote’s origin, attributing it to historian Daniel Boorstin with earlier influences saying basically the same thing. No matter who wrote/said it I really like the point that is being made.

Circus Church

I turned my back for one second Sunday morning during setup for Tapestry’s Sunday morning worship gathering and this was happening when I turned back around. I don’t think having a 2 year old sit on your shoulders while you play the cajon is a typical percussion method, but this seemed to work for Conor and El seems to be OK with the situation.

I know some churches have gone to some extremes in order to attract people to them. Lasers, lights, fog, and concerts. That’s not really the way that we do things but it is good to know that if things ever got really desperate we could always turn to this. Cirque de Soleil church. We’ll have to train Eric to play guitar standing on his head.

SIDE NOTE – If you are looking for a 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball you are very welcome to join Tapestry’s. Here’s the link (sptapestry.mayhem.cbssports.com)

SIDE SIDE NOTE – I decided to setup my GoPro at Tapestry this past week to see how it would do for videoing the gathering. Conor saw it during setup and decided to turn it on. This is what I found on my GoPro last night when I looked at the recordings on it.

 

Audio That Is Presently Floating My Boat

Here a few things (a song, a podcast, and an album) that I have been listening to that have been really floating my boat  recently.

The first is Weird Al Yankovic’s 5 minute compilation of songs from the musical Hamilton. It just makes me smile.

 

The next thing I have been listening to that I have really liked is this episode from the Hidden Brain podcast (an excellent podcast that I encourage you to listen to). The episode is “When Did Marriage Become So Hard?” The episode discusses changing cultural and historic understandings of the purpose of marriage. It is really good.

 

Finally, I have been reading “Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives”¬†by Tim Harford which discusses Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategies and as a result I have been stuck on Eno’s “Another Green World“. Mhmm so good.

 

If I am driving, walking Clive in the afternoon, or running there is a good chance I am listening to one of the above.

You Are So Good Looking

At the Place of Peace meal tonight I was repeatedly hit on by an 88 year old woman. I’m not sure that I would normally notice if someone was hitting on me but this nice lady grabbed me and told me I had to give her a hug and then told me twice that I was “so good looking”. I have since told Pam that she better treat me nice because I am now a hot commodity on the over 80 circuit.

SIDE NOTE – If you live in the Point area you should try to get by and hear the Scarabocchio Jazz Listening Sessions. Pam and I love them and go by every chance we can. The next one is March 21st.¬† The video below is just a 10 second clip from yesterday’s session that Pam, Adam, and I went enjoyed.

Money & Marriage Inventories

Recently I have had the privileged of doing some sessions on marriage enrichment/relationship coaching at one of the companies for which I serve as a chaplain. These sessions are really just meant to be a taste with the goal of encouraging everyone to focus on doing intentional work on their relationships. One of my absolute favorite things to do as a minister is pre-marital counseling and one of the big topics I focus on with couples is how they view and deal with their finances as individuals and as a couple.

The pre-marital counseling that Pam and I went through really helped us to start out on a good foot in our marriage. One of the things that it helped us to consider was how money was viewed and used in both of our families of origin. The counseling helped us to get on the same page concerning how money would be viewed and used in our marriage. Pam and I have gone through easier and more difficult times financially, but never really disagreed on the “meaning” of money which has made how we handle money much easier.

Money can have different emotional values for different people. How much must you have in savings to feel secure? Is using a credit card ever an option? New or used? Eating out or eating at home? So many of the things we do with money have emotional value that we might not recognize and when two people have different associated emotional reactions to the same thing that can be a VERY big deal. Thankfully Pam and I were helped to start our marriage by discussing these issues. Therefore, I like to help others do the same thing.

Tomorrow during the coaching I am leading I will use a couple of modified inventories from Prepare-Enrich (a relationship inventory I use for pre-marital counseling) to help the people in each session consider how they and their significant other view and treat money. I thought I would post the two modified inventories here in case anyone wanted to look at them for themselves.