Message from Pastor Diane Ford
You may have friends in other faith communities report political lines are drawn down the center aisle of their sanctuaries. I have heard stories of pastors having to watch their words of sermons very carefully so as not to be misinterpreted as anti-or pro-Trump. One may conclude unity in Christ has no bearing on our lives when complex social issues arise.
Christ has no bearing on our lives when complex social issues arise. Therefore if you have any encouragement in Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, then make my joy complete by being of one mind, having the same love, being united in spirit and purpose. Phil. 2:1-3
Not only from the pulpit, but also in casual conversation these days, certain terms can trigger defensive and angry reactions, no matter what the context.
Perhaps the most painful example I’ve experienced was during lunch with some friends. One of us was sharing that she had been molested as a young woman. Another at the table said, “Please, let’s change the topic.” I figured this story was bringing up difficult feelings from her own past traumatic experience. But then she explained: “I don’t want to talk about politics.”
I was stunned. I was listening, in the moment, as our friend described a violent attack in her life. How insensitive could our other friend be, to even mention politics? Then I realized what I was missing. This was the same week that the then-candidate Donald Trump was exposed as speaking about women in dehumanizing terms. I am slowly getting it – our political environment colors all of our lives, and as Christians we need to have a response.
There is a New York joke that’s been around for decades about how different the Bronx is from Brooklyn, to travel from one to another is like going into a different country. A New Yorker tells the story of standing in line at a pizza joint. He is passing time by talking with another customer. The subject is pizza. She tells the friendly stranger about her family’s discerning taste for just the right pie. Then she mentioned she had to travel from her home in the Bronx into Brooklyn when their favorite pizza place went out of business. Not just any place would do! The man laughed and quipped, “Did you need a passport to get into Brooklyn?” The woman quickly replied, “No, and I believe in everything Trump is doing!”
He was stunned. His intention was a little New York humor.
The Scriptures call us “menders of the breach,” “ambassadors of Christ,” and those called to the “ministry of reconciliation.”
We can get a lot of practice of this ministry now. It will require most of us to learn new skills – ignoring differences of opinion is not a viable option for Christ’s peacemakers. We will need to be creative and intentional. As we come out of the season of Lent and into the true meaning of Easter, let us break forth from whatever may hold us imprisoned in divisions and despair, to bring glory to the God whose Holy Spirit dwells in and through all who would receive their true identity as Children of God. Thanks be to the Risen One.
Lincroft Presbyterian Church Hosts “A Path Through the Wilderness” Lenten Labyrinth
Earth Day Activities Feature Beach Clean Up and Free Movie, Before the Flood
Lincroft Presbyterian Church (LPC) has created a Lenten Labyrinth for its “Path Through the Wilderness” sermon series that culminates on Easter Sunday, April 16, 2017. The community is invited to walk the Labyrinth, located at 270 Everett Road at the corner of West Front Street in Lincroft Mondays through Thursdays, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm through April 16, 2017. Volunteers in the community are welcome to join LPC volunteers at Clean Ocean Action’s annual Earth Day beach cleanup on Saturday, April 22, 2017 and attend a free screening of Leonardo DiCaprio’s award-winning documentary, Before the Flood, on Sunday, April 23, 2017 from 7:00 to 9:30 pm.
Lenten Labyrinth: Unlike a maze, one cannot get lost in a labyrinth. As we walk the path, at times it seems we are nearing the center, when suddenly the path turns a corner and we end up on the far edges. It provides an allegory for the “wilderness” of life, with the Good News that Easter proclaims: no division, no sin, and not even death can take us out of God’s hands,” notes LPC Pastor Diane Ford.
Labyrinths have been found throughout history across many cultures. Today, labyrinths represent a way to quiet the mind, encourage contemplation and meditation, insight and self-reflection, and to find balance in life. They are used for stress reduction, as well as to discover innovation. The LPC labyrinth offers the opportunity to reflect and renew the spirit.
In addition to the Path Through the Wilderness” Lenten Labyrinth that is open to the community Mondays through Thursdays from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm through Maundy Thursday, April 13, 2017, LPC will offer the following April events and Earth Day-focused activities:
- Sunday, April 9, 10:00 am: Palm Sunday Worship – Process from LPC parking lot into the Narthex waving palms.
- Friday, April 14, 7:30 pm: Good Friday Tenebrae Service
- Sunday, April 16, 10:00 am: Easter Sunday Celebration
- Saturday, April 22, 9:00 am: Join us at Ideal Beach, Clean Ocean Action beach sweeps
- Sunday, April 23, 10:00 am: Earth Day-themed worship
- Sunday, April 23, 7:00 to 9:30 pm: Free family movie night screening of Before the Flood, the award-winning PG documentary about climate change with Leonardo DiCaprio and produced by Martin Scorsese, followed by a discussion on actions we can take locally. Serving light refreshments.
Lincroft Presbyterian Church, a family-style congregation, offers a hands-on Children’s Sunday School program, Youth Group, weekly Adult Discussion, Women’s Bible Study & Weekend Retreat, a Men’s Group, an active choir and more. The church is located at the corner of Everett Corner and West Front Street in Lincroft. For more information, call 732.741.8921.
Family Promise of Monmouth County
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Family Promise of Monmouth County is proud to present our 2017 Dinner and Fundraiser, “The Promise of Spring,” on Thursday, April 20, 2017, at Jumping Brook Country Club in Neptune from 6 – 10 PM. Come out for a great night of food, music and a silent auction.
Tickets can be purchased at www.familypromisemc.org or from Steve Introcaso.
The Season of Lent and Easter at Lincroft Presbyterian Church (LPC)
YOU ARE INVITED TO WALK THIS LABYRINTH
Sunday Worship Services, March 5 – April 9, 10:00 AM
LPC’s Worship Team invites you to explore A Path in the Wilderness throughout the season of Lent. As you follow the arrows on the ground, walk, pray and breathe deeply. Let go of all else, and when you come to. The center of the circle, receive the forgiveness, healing and encouragement Christ offers you. Continue the walk, back to the outer edges, feeling freer and lighter, ready to love the world with compassion and joy.
A RUCKUS PROCESSION
Palm Sunday, April 9, 10:00 AM
Join us in the parking lot to bless and wave the palms and start a ruckus procession into the sanctuary’s labyrinth.
GOOD FRIDAY CANDLELIT SERVICE
Friday April 14 7:30 PM
A solemn service of candle light as we retell the story of the last hours of Jesus’ life. Then we will recall the wilderness of the Apostles in the hours and days after Roman soldiers had arrested Jesus. After traveling through the season of Lent on a path through the wilderness, this evening will allow a deeper joy and assurance to emerge within our spirits on Easter Morning!
Sunday, April 16, 10 AM
Organ and trumpet, spring flowers and celebration of resurrection!
Visit us at: 270 Everett Rd, Lincroft NJ 07738
Send mail to: PO Box 328, Lincroft NJ 07738
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