Pastor’s Ponderings

Greetings–

The season of Lent begins on Wednesday, March 1, with the Ash Wednesday service at 7-7:30 p.m. in the chapel.

“Sanctuary” is our theme for Lent. We will explore the Scriptures and experiment with finding places of peace and refuge in the midst of our lives. Most likely, we’ll also sing that hymn:

Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary…
And with thanksgiving, I’ll be a living
Sanctuary for you.

To be a “living sanctuary” for God’s Presence…that image always touches me. How to be a living sanctuary?

I’ve found some answers in Terry Hershey’s book, Sanctuary: Creating a Space for Grace in Your Life. The author reminds us

Sanctuary, like anything else that’s truly important, involves making certain choices:

  • To be open
  • To be available
  • To be curious
  • To be alive
  • To be willing to be surprised by joy

All those are great Lenten practices! To pick one per day, and live being open, available, curious, alive, surprised by joy. That’ll get us ready for Easter morning, for sure.

Sunday Service Announcement

I have another announcement I hope surprises you with joy: our worship services, starting on Sunday June 11, will begin at 10:00 a.m. Here’s what led to that decision:

When we developed our Five Year Plan, we sent out a survey to all in the congregation, and hosted three community gatherings to hear what was important to you. One of the topics that emerged in all our gatherings was the 9:00 a.m. start time for worship on Sunday mornings. You all asked us to consider a later worship time.

The leadership team that meets every month to implement our five year plan continues to hear from folks who find the 9:00 a.m. start time difficult. It’s too early for many of our senior citizens, and too rushed for many of our families. When potential visitors call to learn about our church, some have told us that 9:00 a.m. is too early. We have heard your voices. We have prayed.

We realize this change asks something of us. We realize that moving to a 10:00 a.m. start time means choir practices will run later. And a later worship time might mean Sunday committee meetings will move to a different time. As we pondered all the ramifications, what our leadership team all agreed on was this: the primary purpose for Sunday morning is worship. Worship is the centerpiece. We believe that moving to a later time will allow more people to join us and experience Sabbath.

I want to thank the Leadership Team that took months to consider, and pray, and consider some more. The decision was made over a five month period, and was made with every intention to listen to God and to bless the Livermore community. Starting Sunday, June 11, 2017, our morning worship will start at 10:00 a.m. Please let your friends and neighbors know! And if you would like to be part of planning this transition, join our Leadership Meeting on Thursday, March 30, 1-2:00 p.m., in the Conference Room. Or, email Pastor Kim your thoughts.

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