Message from Pastor Diane
Bring a Poem to Church this Summer!
The following poems are by a poet featured in a recent sermon. The first is of Mary, mother of Jesus, reflecting on her visit by an Angel of the Lord.
by Marie Howe
Even if I don’t see it again – nor ever feel it
I know it is – and that if once it hailed me
it ever does –
And so it is myself I want to turn in that
direction not towards a place,
but it was a tilting within myself,
as one turns a mirror to flash the light to
where it isn’t – I was blinded like that
and swam in what shone at me.
Only able to endure it by being no one and so
specifically myself I thought I’d die
from being loved like that.
by Marie Howe
I had no idea that the gate I would step thorough
to finally enter this world
would be the space my brother’s body made. He was
a little taller than me: a young man,
but grown, himself by then,
done at twenty-eight, having folded every sheet,
rinsed every glass he would ever rinse under the
cold and running water.
This is what you have been waiting for, he used to
say to me. And I’d say, What?
And he’d say,
This – holding up my cheese and mustard sandwich,
And I’d say, What?
And he’d say,
This – sort of looking around.
The poet Marie Howe says her brother who died of AIDS at age 28 was a spiritual mentor to her. He taught her to be aware of the “what is,” in every present moment. She called it the “is-ness” of life: that which is complex, deep, and can only be described with poetry.
In Faith with You,
INGREDIENTS FOR SUMMER WORSHIP 2017
Sunday Worship 9:30 AM beginning June 18
Special Ingredients beginning June 25
Poetry, Essays and Short Stories
Beginning on July, one ingredient of our worship services will feature the congregation’s favorite literary short works – poems, essays and short stories. Send your choice to Rob Ziegler or Pastor Diane by Sunday, June 25. You may recall that last year Pastor Diane preached on the lyrics of your favorite pop songs. This time, when you suggest your favorite literary work, Diane ask you about its meaning to you. Then, during worship you may share a portion of the work and its meaning, or have someone else do the public speaking for you!
“On Being” Sermon Series
On Being with Krista Tippett is a radio program that will provide the basis for our summer sermons, beginning on June 25. If you aren’t familiar with this, click here to visit On Being .
You may also enjoy this interview of Krista Tippett
Every Sunday, beginning June 25, you are invited to share a 5-minute story about a specific occurrence when your connection to God made a difference. Putting a human face on our Christian teachings – this is one aspect of Faith Snap-Shots. Getting used to acknowledging God’s presence with our words is another aspect. Share the rest of your iceberg – the deep work of God in your life. As the psalmist proclaims, “Lift your voice in the sanctuary! Ascribe to the Lord the glory due!” Contact Rob Ziegler, Diane Ford or Toby Cohen to sign up for your Snap-Shot this summer.
How to Help a Friend Who is Grieving
Deacons are often called upon to help a family who has experienced a great loss and none of us ever feel equipped to speak to those who are grieving.
Grief is something that none of us will escape as at one time or another, we will experience loss–be it a spouse, parent, child or friend. Recently, Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant wrote a book entitled Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy. Sheryl’s husband died suddenly at 47 and she had to figure out how to put her life back together. While the book is for the grieving, it is also for those who want to help. One thing Sheryl says really spoke to me—she writes about getting it wrong when trying to help others
“But it’s also a book for the friends and families of the bereaved—which is to say, nearly everyone—people who may not know what to say or do in the wake of a tragedy. “I got it all wrong before,” Sandberg told me, referring to her earlier efforts to comfort those who were grieving. “I used to say, ‘Is there anything I can do?’ I used to say, ‘How are you?,’ or not say anything. Every mistake that someone else made with me, I’ve made.”
Her advice is to not say: “Is there anything I can do?” Rather say, “What do you like on your burger?” and then just stop by with food and company. Don’t ignore the grieving person, because you are afraid–just sit with them and listen. Talk about the loved one—feel free to use their name and share memories. Don’t ask “How are you?” because the grieving person will typically say “fine” so as to not make the person asking feel bad. Just be there for your grieving friend and don’t expect them to tell you what they need—just do something to make their day easier. Fold the laundry, drive the kids to school, take them out for a walk and let the person who is grieving talk.
Her book tries to answer the question, “What’s next?” and “How do you come to that forward-looking optimism after suffering a terrible loss?” If you know anyone in our area who is grieving, please consider referring them to Stephy’s Place, A Support Center for Loss in Red Bank. Stephy’s Place offers free support groups including groups dealing with the loss of a spouse, the loss of a parent, or the loss of a child. This support center has only been open 15 months and now has multiple support groups meeting weekly. This month both LPC and COG have offered financial support to Stephy’s Place and we strongly recommend calling them if you experience a loss. Their groups can help answer the question, “What comes next?” and “How will I ever feel joy again?” A three-part brochure for Stephy’s Place is currently pinned to the bulletin board outside Pastor Diane’s office. Click here for Stephy’s Place.
Faith and Family Night
at the Lakewood Blue Claws baseball game
Thank you, all who came to watch the BlueClaws game. Missing from the photo – the Schmalzried family, who were in with the Atlantic Chorus in section 105! Here are some memories – they won’t make sense if you weren’t there, but we wanted to share a taste of the fun evening.
Pregame Enlightenment: Professional players sharing their faith before the game. Where are the hotdogs? We’ve walked up and down the aisle together – shall we kiss? Terry’s choir sounds amazing – how’s that possible with one microphone?! Diane: “Who is the petite player, number 88?” Jill: “That’s not a petite player; it’s a child. And it’s not number 88; it’s BB for Bat Boy!” The cheese won! Kevin: “BINGO! I’ve always wanted to yell that.” Teach me how to keep the score card. Perfect view – perfect weather. Dawn: “The stamp is cooling down.” See those two guys sitting alone in the bleachers, way out in centerfield – it’s Bob and Doug. Couple sitting behind us: “We’re from Matasquan Presbyterian Church – see you at presbytery!” LPC gang leaving the park: “Pastor Diane, don’t walk into the men’s bathroom!” PD: (playing cool) “I thought we had a class on the fluidity of gender.” Joanne: “Your fluidity belongs in the women’s room!” Oh, and the BlueClaws were defeated by the Grasshoppers 8 to 3 – as the Christian players reminded us before the game, “Baseball is about failing a lot.”
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