Events – Folder

FINDING CONNECTIONS

As our 2012 retreat gets closer, I have been thinking more about the connections that I have in my life both personally and spiritually.  We are human, people need to be connected with other people to survive.  We are like trees that need to be connected to the earth for nutrition and a kiss from the sun to survive, if not the tree begins to lose its leaves and eventually dies.  If we do not have connections in our lives, we slowly wilt away.  We become hollow, like a dried out tree.

During First Tuesday, I shared my experience with depression.  Between the long work hours, traveling, and personal tragedies, depression set in and made itself a part of my life for three years.  In the beginning I was so sick I didn’t notice that I had no connections in my life, personally or spiritually.  I was hollow on the inside.

As I struggled to get “me” back, I started noticing how devoid of emotional connection I truly was.  My family and friends didn’t know how to help or what to do, and that helplessness caused them to became distant during those three years.

When my family started feeling comfortable with me again and had a better understanding of my illness, there was a noticeable change—more hugging and closeness.  With each hug my body had a reaction, like a tree being watered back to life, the tinglings of emotions began to reawaken within me.

As for my soul, it started to heal when I joined this church.  A class on prayer taught by Denise and Pastor Wes’s bible study class gave me the ability to see that God had always been there with me, I just didn’t have the awareness of that Sacred presence.  This church and the people in it watered my soul!

Recently, I attended a conference for LGBT youth.  I had the opportunity to listen to some of these young people share their experiences of being different and unable to make connections with kids in their schools.  They shared how this made them feel useless, shameful, depressed, and worthless.  These negative feelings and emotions drained the life out of them.

They told their stories of finding Gay-Straight Alliance groups or other supportive allies that brought life and self-esteem back to them. This just reinforced what I had already experienced—connections, we all need them!

What are you doing to get connected?  Join us for retreat!  I’m looking forward to seeing “What Happens When the Spirit Comes!”

 

Behind the Scenes with In Remembrance 2012

Elizabeth Ford Children's Church Music Ministries

During the last supper, how did Judas respond to Jesus? 

Did he separate himself from the group?  Did he just play along? 

If Jesus had gone to sit alone with him, how would Judas have responded? 

These are just a couple of the questions that Kyle and I talked in circles about during our meeting today.  In order to “block” the characters (assign their movements on the stage) Kyle and I really have to get inside their heads.   Throughout the four years we have been doing this process, we’ve stumbled into many different dimensions of who these disciples could have been.

My favorite part of directing this show is making these historical figures come to life.  After years of hearing this story, I love dusting these people off and giving them a voice.  I also love that we don’t create the same people every year.

When studying these characters, we really rely on the lyrics they sing.  This year, two-thirds of our songs are new to the show.  You’ll experience this story through the eyes of Jesus’ closest friends . They’ll have a voice and a perspective that is rarely, if ever, shown in a Passion production.

The setting also plays a much more crucial part in this year’s story.  We are really focusing on the political turmoil that was constant in these people’s lives.

I can’t help but admit that this story is also very driven by our actors!  Admit it, you’re totally excited to see the warmth and love that Kevin will bring this year as our “ginger-Jesus!”  In addition, we have a Judas who literally ROCKS, a Mary with a resume impressive enough to make Kyle and I blush, and Mathieu Burton returning to play an entirely different kind of character.  Siobhan again plays a strong female lead.  This time, she’ll be the strength of the group…and in fabulous shoes as always!

Kyle and I also want to take this opportunity to thank you for the support you’ve shown us and the entire team this year.  We feel the congregation is supporting us more than ever before.  If you’re not involved yet, and would like to be, we certainly have a place for you.  We really want this church family to remember that this show belongs to all of us.

If you have a friend or family member who you’ve been wanting to invite to church, this show will be the perfect opportunity!

 

Building Up Self-Worth

Shirley Lamontagne Office Manager AdministratorShirley Lamontagne, Director of Administration

Is having a positive self-worth important to God?  We are told in Genesis that each and every one of us is made in God’s image.  What this verse says to me is that God wants nothing more than for all of us to love ourselves based on the fact that we are one of God’s creations and therefore we have value.  By loving ourselves we create a positive self-worth that allows us to fulfill God’s greatest commandant as stated in the book of Matthew and that is to love the Lord your God and your neighbor as yourself.

That scripture says it all—before we can love God and our neighbor as we are called we must first love and value ourselves.  Loving ourselves can be a difficult process as we are often distracted by things in life that diminish our self-worth over time.  For example, worrying about things out of our control distracts us from the place of honor that God has created for us.  God tells us in 1 Peter 5:7 that we should give all our worries to the Divine for the Divine cares about what happens to us.

God wants us to lift up our worries and shed the anxiety associated with things out of our control.  We are not given self-worth by what others may think of us but by how God sees us.  We are not given value by how someone may treat us; instead, our value is inherent from God.  I have had my own personal struggles with worry, and all I ever got in return were feelings of guilt, anger, and fear.  However, since reconnecting with the Sacred over the past several years at our church, I have internalized new ways to measure my self-worth and that’s through the safety of God’s grace and love.

Individual self-worth is the cornerstone that mobilizes us as a community.  As a church our positive self-worth is illustrated through the blessings that we are receiving both inside and outside of our church.  Last week Pastor Wes in his bulletin article highlighted all the wonderful things happening with our church.  He discussed things like the increase in our weekly attendance for worship services, new membership growth, and our new website.  All these blessings are possible because of our sacred relationship with God.

God tells us that as humans we are all crowned with glory and honor.  We are a priceless treasure in God’s eyes and that’s what we should be focusing on—not what someone else thinks of us, but what God thinks of us!  We are all worthy because we are all forgiven and fully restored in God’s eyes.  This is my prayer for all of us as we seek out our self-worth given to us through the special relationship that we share with our Creator.