An Invitation from the Dream Team

Dream Team will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 6, in the North Church Social Room.  This month we will discuss changes that would make worship more meaningful. We will learn about “messy” church and prepare questions for cottage meetings that will be held in the fall. Please join us to participate in this discussion. All are welcome.

Musings

from Ministry Team Members

The second week of September I attended four and a half days of training in the area of bereavement, death, and dying.

For most individuals this becomes an unpleasant topic to ponder and encounter.  Rightly so, because when one is bereaved, grieving, or mourning, it is often the result of having lost a dear loved one, a cherished belonging, a companion pet, divorce, loss of home and place, loss of past, present, and future – we are sad, tearful, angry, hurting, and often feel confused, depressed, and without direction and purpose.  We experience losses of many kinds not limited to the previous list.  Loss is something we can encounter each day with varying intensity and for a variety reasons.

Elemental to our healing and convalescing from significant loss and grief is our capacity to acknowledge and integrate the reality of a death or loss.  This happens very differently and is never quite the same for each person over the span of time.  Our convalescence from losses and that feeling of being torn apart is less about “getting over it” and more about “living into and with” a new reality that has come into our lives.  In this way, we discover that our grief experience is not linear, but recursive in nature; that it is not predictable and is not bound to some arbitrary or named time frame.   In the words of Dr. Alan Wolfelt, Director of The Center for Loss and Life Transition, “…there is no reward for speed.”

There are common misconceptions about grief.  I will list ten and perhaps you may know of others.  1)  Grief and mourning is the same thing.  2)  There are predictable, orderly stages to grief and mourning.  3)  We should avoid the painful parts of the grief experience.  4)  Tears of grief are a sign of weakness.  5)  Being upset and openly mourning means the mourner is being “weak” in faith.  6)  When someone dies, the mourner only grieves and mourns for the physical loss of the person.  7)  The mourner should try not to think about the person who died on holidays, anniversaries, birthdays, and other life markers.   8)  The mourner should be able to “get over” grief as soon as possible.  9)  Nobody can help the mourner with the grief/mourning journey.  10)  When grief and mourning are finally reconciled, they never come up again.

These ten misconceptions are ever around us and others, who are striving to heal and convalesce from significant loss.  With these in heart and mind, perhaps we can be ever more conscious and compassionate to others and ourselves whenever one or all of these misconceptions rears its unhelpful and hindering head.  Our task is not to judge others for how they are grieving, but to walk with and support one another in a spirit of love and grace.

May God comfort us and assist us in our own grief journeys and as we also come along side others in the midst of convalescence and healing.

From the works of Dr. Alan Wolfelt, Founder and Director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition, Ft. Collins, CO. 

Please feel safe in contacting me with questions or conversations.

Chris Whitacre, Pastoral Care Minister

Attendance for July and August, 2018

July 1:      Sunday School 40 – Worship 140

July 8:      Sunday School 22 – Worship 101

July 15:    Sunday School 33 – Worship 145

July 22:    Sunday School 29 – Worship 115

July 29:    Sunday School N/A – Worship 245

Aug. 5:     Sunday School 33 – Worship 125

Aug. 12:   Sunday School N/A – Worship 87

Aug. 19:   Sunday School 26 – Worship 132

Aug. 26:   Sunday School 30 – Worship 192

Welcome Back — Good Beginnings Preschool

We have had a wonderful start to preschool. All the children have been excited to get to know each other, try out many new toys and experiences, and play on the amazing playground!

In October, the Younger Class will explore COLORS. They will wear a different color each week, sort pom-poms by color using tongs to pick them up, and meet the Crazy Color Creatures (fun rhyming friends). They will share favorite books Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and Pete the Cat and His Groovy Buttons. Pete the Cat and his colored shoes will appear on the felt board!

The Prekindergarten Class will learn firefighter songs and finger plays, create a thumbprint dalmation, and go a field trip to the fire station! They will enjoy talking about their favorite animals as they sort stuffed animals into categories – pets, wild animals, and farm animals. Favorite books include Gilbert Goldfish Wants a Pet; Bark, George; and Skeleton Hiccups. The children can dress up like their favorite story book character or what they want to be when they grow up for the Fall/Halloween party.

Parent Visits will be offered to Younger Class parents in October and November. Parent/teacher conferences for Prekindergarten Class parents are scheduled in the afternoon and evening on THURSDAY, Oct. 25. Preschool will not meet on Thursday or Friday, Oct. 25 or 26.

Thank you for welcoming us back as part of the church family!

Carol Temple, Director

Notes of Appreciation

• Thank You to Our Church Office Volunteers:  Rita Beam, Dorothy Davidson, Elsie Holderread

•  A thank you letter has been received from McPherson College for the contribution made to their programs and ministries.

• From the Family of Martha Twaddle:

Perhaps you sent a lovely card, Or sat quietly in a chair;

Perhaps you sent beautiful flowers, If so, we saw them there.

Perhaps you sent or spoke kind words, As any friend could say;

Perhaps you were not there all, Just thought of us that day.

Whatever you did to console the heart,

We thank you so much, whatever the part. – by Martha Lee Frazier Sherman

Notes of Appreciation

— Thank you to our Church Office volunteers:  Emilie Dell, Elsie Holderread, Lois Neher, Rebecca Rothrock, Susan Taylor

— The Church Office has received a thank you letter from McPherson College for contributions to their programs and ministries.

Glenn Gayer wishes to thank everyone who called, sent cards/notes, and food, during the loss of his son, Doug. The love and care shown during this time was deeply appreciated.

Upcoming REASONABLE FAITH Presentations

Reasonable Faith  —  Showing that no tension exists between faith and reason, Reasonable Faith illustrates that Christianity is fully compatible with the findings of contemporary science, humanitarian ethics, and critical biblical scholarship.

You are invited to come to any or all of this year’s events with Kirk MacGregor presentor.

All meetings are scheduled for 7-8 p.m., in Mohler Hall, Room 212, McPherson College.

2018-19 Schedule

Monday, August 27  —  Does Evolution Threaten God?

Monday, September 24  —  Does Science Point to God?

Monday, October 29  —  Do Philosophy and Ethics Point to God?

Monday, November 26  —  Who Was Jesus?

Monday, January 28  —  What Should Be the Relationship between Christianity and Politics?

Monday, February 25  —  Should Christians Support War?

Monday, March 25  —  What Should Be the Christian View of Same-Sex Marriage?

Monday, April 29  —  What Should Be the Christian View of Abortion?

Centering Prayer Instruction and Practice

Connie Burkholder, a member of the Pastoral Team at the Monitor Church of the Brethren, will offer a time for practicing and learning about Centering Prayer. Connie has been hosting and leading this group for two years and welcomes new persons joining the group for this contemplative practice. Here are a few details about the group as it resumes this fall:

Where:  Connie’s home – – 614 North Hartup Street, McPherson

When:  Thursdays, 6:30 – 8:00 pm (dates as indicated below)

What:  Two 20-minutes sessions of Centering Prayer

Sessions:  sometimes include short instructional videos about Centering Prayer Subsequent Sessions this Fall:

September 6, 20

October 4, 18

November 1, 15, 29

December 13

Centering Prayer is a wordless, quiet time of resting in God, releasing any thoughts, feelings, etc. into the loving care of God. Practicing Centering Prayer allows God to work in us, doing what Thomas Keating calls “divine therapy.”

If you wish to participate, you might want to consider:

  • purchasing Open Mind, Open Heart by Thomas Keating and read the Introduction, and Chapter Four, ‘First Steps in Centering Prayer prior to our session. This book is readily available online.
  • view a short video of Father Keating as he introduces Centering Prayer at : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31KpFHfNdnE
  • try out the practice of Centering Prayer on your own, even if it’s only for 5 – 10 minutes.

If you have questions, you may email Connie Burkholder at cburkholder@peoplepc.com or call Connie at 620-245-4600