October 9, 2016 at Warren Wilson Presbyterian Church
(Submitted by Corise Gambrell)
Steve welcomed everyone with a special welcome for Rebecca Hettrick, home from Berry College for fall break.
The Hunger Walk was this afternoon and as you can see everyone involved had a great time!
Next Sunday after worship, there is a Forward Planning Presentation with a catered dinner. Please sign up in the Narthex.
Beth said that Just For Fun will be on October 30, in the evening. It will be Trunk or Treat for WWPC and neighborhood children. Please sign up to participate.
Steve urged the nineteen or so people who have expressed an interest in singing in the choir to commit to that opportunity through Advent, as Vivian Hare works to build the choir.
The focus during worship was on thanksgiving for blessings and opportunities. The Hymn of Praise was O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing.
During the Time for the Child, Beth talked about blessings as something you don’t work for. She remembered all the help from the congregation, when she was very ill, as a blessing. She noted that one of the lepers, healed by Jesus, came back to thank Jesus, and she and the children talked about the importance of saying “thank you.”
The Anthem was Ten Lepers Facing Constant Scorn, with the congregation joining the Chapel Choir on the last verse.
In the Message, Steve talked about one of the most memorable sermons he has heard. It was delivered by a Princeton faculty member who talked about suffering from acne and all the drugs he took to try to alleviate the problem. One of the most important experiences for the person was when a minister, who realized depth of his physical pain, asked him to remove his shirt so the minister could see the acne and the scars. This experience, in a sanctuary, gave the person great peace. Steve said he especially related to that story because his own teenage acne was not hidden by his basketball uniform.
Steve also related the story of Kathryn Cartledge, now a minister in the UCC, who tried to discuss her feelings as a lesbian with the Rev. Joanna Adams. This was early in Joanna Adams ministry, and her lack of understanding led Kathryn to try – unsuccessfully – to commit suicide. (Joanna Adams has since become one of the leaders of the Covenant Network.)
In the story from Luke, the lepers were ostracized and were not offered any mercy. The only leper who came back to thank Jesus for his healing was not only a leper, but also a Samaritan. Steve related his experience with a young man who emailed to ask if Warren Wilson Presbyterian really meant that ALL are welcome. Steve assured the young man this was true. Just as the Covenant Network continues its efforts today to welcome all into the PCUSA, we at Warren Wilson extend our welcome to all.
In the Pastoral Prayer, Steve gave thanks for safe spaces, for the beauty of the season, and for the Hunger Walk. He prayed for women who suffer abuse and discrimination. He prayed for victims of Hurricane Matthew in the Caribbean and in the United States.
The Hymn of Commitment was Live Into Hope, with verse 3 particularly appropriate to the day’s text and activities:
“Live into hope of liberty, the right to speak, the right to be, the right to have one’s daily bread, to hear God’s word and thus be fed.”
The Postlude was Handel’s Fugue in C.
Coming up at Warren Wilson:
- Hunger Walk today
- October 16 – New Ministry Plan – celebration and catered lunch
- Continuing Christian Education classes for children and adults
- October 21 – Community Sing
- October 30 – Just For Fun