Afterthoughts

Listen to the Service

Today's Program

Creating Space for God’s Spirit

The 4 Hearts banners are now in the back of the room. Chairs are in five relaxed groups, gravitating from the center platform. The new banners on stage are lit. The big cross is on its side in front of the banners. There are two tables on either side of the stage with many, many tea lights and some long matches. There is also basket for the cards we’ll fill out during the service. The “Servants’ Entrance” sign is in the center of the stage steps.

  • “Magnet and Steel” by Walter Egan plays
  • A young Journeyer steps up to light the lamp and another rings the bell three times

Worshiping with Our Children

  • Sabrina leads our children in talking about our parts.

Let’s sing “Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes.” Now, which parts are the ones God loves the best? Right! None! They are all important. And all of them make us who we are. The Bible says that each of us is a part of what God dreams for in this world. Each of us is like a body part of God, and each of us is important to helping God love the world. Let’s thank God for that.

Gathering Our Spirit with God's Spirit

  • Announcements – how Journey is God’s Hands in the world
  • Rick welcomes us, talks about series
  • Say hello to someone near you
  • Take a breath...

Exploring God’s Spirit and Our Spirit

  • We all fill out our “My Gifts” forms
  • Grace Pettis sings her original “Eucharist Song”
  • Emma B., Suki, Bob P., Nathalie, and Debbie W. read from a letter that the early Christian leader Paul sent to the Jesus followers in the Greek city of Corinth. In time, the letter came to be called First Corinthians, and this part of the letter is in what came to be called the twelfth chapter.

The Christ is just like the human body—a body is a whole, which has many parts; and all the parts of the body are one body, even though there are many of them.

We were all brought by one Spirit into this one body,

whether Jew or Greek, or slave or free, or male or female,

or Republican or Democrat or Libertarian or Green,

or straight or LGBTQIA, or native Austinite or new transplant,

or Seeking energy or Building energy or Feeling energy or Giving energy,

or young or old, or rich or poor,

or one skin color or another, or speaking one language or another –

and we all are given one Spirit to make us one.

The body isn’t one part; it’s many. If the foot says, “I’m not part of the body because I’m not a hand,” does that mean it’s not part of the body? If the ear says, “I’m not part of the body because I’m not an eye,” does that mean it’s not part of the body? If the whole body were an eye, what would happen to the hearing? And if the whole body were an ear, what would happen to the sense of smell?

Instead, as it is, God has placed each one of the parts in the body just as God wanted; there are many parts – but one body.

You are all parts of the body of Christ, and parts of each other.

Giving -- To Help God Do God's Work in This World

  • Rick talks about serving and the “My Gifts” forms
  • Rick says an offering prayer
  • Grace Pettis sings her original song “Getaway Car” as the ushers pass the baskets

Telling The Story and Our Story

  • Rick talks
  • Rick leads a guided prayer about our intentions, then invites us to write our intentions for serving and giving on 3x5 cards
  • We get into Ministry Areas and say what our intentions are in giving our gifts, and select some leaders to help us all do that
  • Rick talks some more
  • Sabrina leads a brief meditation, and then invites us to place our cards in the basket on stage as an offering

Unknot your limbs. Untangle your mind. Breathe in clarity. Breathe out obscurity. Clear. Repeat. Relax.

Temples. 

Shoulders. 

Back. 

Fingers. 

Consider a candle – unlit. It holds the potential to illuminate; to warm; to revitalize; to fundamentally alter. 

Consider one of a thousand ideas that have come to you lately. A way to engage or unplug, reach out or lean in. The person you wanted to talk to. The event you hoped to launch. A group to start or piece that’s missing; the thing you casually mentioned “someone should really think about doing.” 

Consider the nagging feeling that there is something you’re meant to do. Somewhere you’re meant to be. The idea flitting in and out of your consciousness, longing to be followed to its source. Each instinct a candle with wick untouched; each requiring the same single spark to ignite. 

A candle for passion. A candle for hope. For I wish, for I want; wouldn’t it be nice and has anyone ever tried. 

The words I said I’d write; the stories I need to tell. Lives to heal and relationships to bloom; a familiar tug of passion pulling taut across my hesitations. 

Breathe. 

A candle has as much potential as I invest in it (with match burning down the moments to ignition or suppression) – energy allocated straight from its source. 

Consider, now, opening your eyes. In the alcove are an empty basket, and candles – unlit. Each, one of a thousand ideas that have come to you lately. 

Please take your card and leave it in the basket by the cross as your offering. Then light a candle in prayer as we focus our intentions on this coming season of ministry.

Go Out to Serve as Our Many Parts

  • Sabrina dismisses us
  • “Magnet and Steel” plays again as folks clean up the room

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