From the Pastor’s Deks, 6/6/22

 I’ve developed a habit (obsession, perhaps) of watching YouTube videos to learn home improvement and repair tricks of the trade, woodworking techniques, and general DIY hacks. Generally, these videos make everything seem so easy to do. To install drywall, place it on the wall, drive a few screws, and all is good. Cutting out for outlets, carrying a full sheet of drywall, and being sure that the right edges are together add complexity to the installation process. Installing a retaining wall seems simple enough but rarely do videos say anything about the sore muscles and aching back after lifting and setting in place all of the landscaping stones, not to mention all the prep work of removing sod and digging a trench and packing bags of paver base and leveling sand.

   I’m not complaining. I’m truly grateful for the videos I watch and the techniques shared from which I learn. The reality is that there is more complexity involved than is revealed in the videos. And this becomes quickly apparent when diving into a project.

   I believe this dichotomy of simplicity and complexity is part of much more of our lives. So often pithy sayings are shared on social media outlets that seem to reduce debate to a simple one-sided solution. The same thing can be done with scripture. A single verse can be used as an answer to a contestable, theological argument. One quote or verse of scripture is over-simplification. Granted, each may open the door to additional conversation, but matters are usually more complex in nature and deserve additional in-depth study, reading, and research.

   A test I use for determining if a video or meme or situation is not yet reduced to the lowest common denominator is to consider if more questions can be asked about the subject. If questions come to mind, then more complexity exists. And to dive into the questions opens the door to new vistas of understanding and experience. My experience is that a question or two or many more exist on nearly any and all subjects. Exploring the landscape to find new methods and/or insights is exciting.

   Be bold. Ask questions. Explore farther. Be inspired.

Recap: Worship, June 5, 2022                                      

   The worship experience this Sunday was an opportunity for a spiritual wellness check. What is it that weighs heavily upon our souls? Social, political, ecological, economical issues? Concerns about the opportunities for humanity to be sustained? Our value to others and the world around us? The need to change and how we respond to that need? This “existential noise” is deafening, and so we can choose to quiet ourselves and listen, to be still and know that God is with us, and that we have the strength to be, as poet laureate Amanda Gorman proclaims, brave enough to see the light, brave enough to be the light.

   Videos used in the service can be accessed with the following links:

Be Still and Know that I am God –  Be Still and Know That I Am God (Ps.46:10) – Roman Hurko/Роман Гурко – YouTube

   Facebook page video of the service – Canton Church of the Brethren – Illinois | Facebook

Worship Services over the next several weeks

   We are employing new material, Seasons of the Spirit, to aid in the creation of worship service over the next several weeks. Seasons of the Spirit is ecumenical in content and follows scriptures outlined in the Revised Common Lectionary. As such, the themes of services may vary from week to week, however, all services will be biblically-based and be formatted as services have been the past several months. Each grouping of biblical texts will receive two week’s of attention. The format of the first week will be more traditional is style and the second week will follow a more theopoetic (arts-informed) format. Service will continue to be in-person as well as streamed on ZOOM and Facebook Live.  


2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14; Luke 9:51-62

Worship Service – June 12, 2022 – 9:30am – In-person & Zoom

(in-person service, masks strongly recommended, required for worship service participants)

   We have memories of and relationships with prophetic and effective leaders in the tradition of Christianity and biblical witness. We applaud the work and effort and sacrifice of these dedicated people. We have tendencies to expect the commitment of these leaders to continue in perpetuity. The reality is that people do not live forever. The reality is that their commitment can continue. The reality is that if we expect their good work to continue, it must be carried on by those who succeed them. The reality is we may be and/or are the successors. This is a reality that can be difficult to face. How can we, who are different than our predecessors, carry on the good that issued from their lives? The good news is that our uniqueness and differences may just be what is needed to carry on in a new, evolving context. Opportunities abound.   

   If you are unable to participate in the service in-person, the option to join by Zoom is available. Here is the Zoom link:

Topic: Worship Services April – June 2022

Time: June 12, 2022 09:30 AM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 838 5299 1280

Passcode: 812694

Dial by your location

        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

Meeting ID: 838 5299 1280

Passcode: 812694


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