Just your regular weekly pastoral smorgasbord: check it out (especially the “Thief” link.)
The Short Quote*
“Into this world, this demented inn, in which there is absolutely no room for him at all, Christ comes uninvited.” Thomas Merton
What About This Friday?
CUMC holiday events, including this Friday’s Parent’s Night Out: for details and the full calendar click on: https://cam-umc.org/truemeaning/
Thief in the Night
One of the scheduled Advent readings is where Jesus talks about coming as “a thief in the night.” Here’s a creatively insightful/thoughtful ‘take’ on that lesson from the popularly provocative pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber: http://tinyurl.com/hn5mb4l
How About This Thursday: Pro-Publico
Four discussion groups have met informally to talk about the presidential election and the implications for how we stay in relationship in the midst of differing perspectives. A fifth group is scheduled this Thursday at 6pm in Mission House; there is an emerging sense that these conversations may be the seedbed for a longer effort at learning and growing healthy habits of communication. Stay tuned!
What Do You Know—About Advent? http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/advent-quiz
The Inverted Numbers
At this time last year, 85% of pledges had been received; currently, 58% of pledges for ministries in 2017 have been received. Thank you to everyone who has made their pledge for new year! However, 40% of the pledge budget remains to be pledged ($162,460.) Everyone is asked to review their own pledge status and be part of starting a fully-funded schedule of ministry in 2017.
Soon after sunset on Monday Dec. 29th the Chancel Choir will take the lead on caroling “by appointment” with our homebound folks. Then, any and all folks ready to SING are invited to join in Christmas caroling our new neighbors at the Amli developments on the west side of Camarillo: meet at 7pm to carpool from the church parking lot. We’ll go a-caroling, then enjoy hot chocolate afterwards back at the church.
Peace, pastor gary
*The Long Quote
“The lack of mystery in our modern life is our downfall and our poverty. A human life is worth as much as the respect it holds for the mystery. We retain the child in us to the extent that we honor the mystery. Therefore, children have open, wide-awake eyes, because they know that they are surrounded by the mystery. They are not yet finished with this world; they still don’t know how to struggle along and avoid the mystery, as we do. We destroy the mystery because we sense that here we reach the boundary of our being, because we want to be lord over everything and have it at our disposal, and that’s just what we cannot do with the mystery…. Living without mystery means knowing nothing of the mystery of our own life, nothing of the mystery of another person, nothing of the mystery of the world; it means passing over our own hidden qualities and those of others and the world. It means remaining on the surface, taking the world seriously only to the extent that it can be calculated and exploited, and not going beyond the world of calculation and exploitation. Living without mystery means not seeing the crucial processes of life at all and even denying them.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “God Is In the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas”