March 2023: Z is for Zooming Out
Sometimes it’s helpful to zoom out and name some of the activity in the life of a congregation – some more visible, some occurring behind the scenes.
-The Youth Programs Committee and new DRE Lora Venesy continue to dream up compelling events every month for families with kids. Our Whole Lives, co-led by Lora and Joan Mansfield on Sunday nights, offers a safe space for middle schoolers to learn about sexuality. New families are coming into our Parish House regularly, dipping their toes into the FPL community.
-The Deacons and Silvia worked hard to put together this year’s Lenten Booklet, “Coming Home,” which might have found its way to your mailbox already (extra copies are available here at church!). The booklet contains original writings and artwork from many in our congregation – it’s sure to deepen your own spiritual journey and help you learn new things about your FPL neighbors.
-The six-week journey of Lent began on February 22. A small group of us gathered in the sanctuary for a stirring Ash Wednesday worship led by Sarah Klockowski. During Holy Week, we will be joining together with First Parish in Concord for special Maundy Thursday and Good Friday services.
-Stewardship Sunday will be March 5. A creative worship service will kick off a spring campaign led by the Stewardship team, where you’ll be invited to pledge your financial support to FPL for the next fiscal year. You’ll hear more soon!
-Behind the scenes, the Ministers, Parish Committee, Personnel, and our Treasurer are already starting to think about next year’s budget, from small line items to larger considerations like staffing. And the Strategic Planning team is convening again to consider longer-term goals and opportunities for First Parish in the years to come.
What holds all of this – and the many additional programs, acts of love, and unsung administrative tasks – together? It’s First Parish in Lincoln, of course. All that we are, and all that Spirit is dreaming for us to be.
Our worship theme for most of Lent will be “Dwelling Places.” We’ll be considering aspects of homecoming and sustainability in our own lives, while also challenging ourselves to think about housing in a broader sense. What kinds of shelter can we strive to create in the world? How might our communities become dwelling places for more diverse populations?
It may be that we are creating dwelling places wherever we go. Worship is a dwelling place, as is Movie or Game Night. A church budget is a dwelling place, and so is a strategic plan. A pledge is certainly a space in which to dwell and grow.
May we find courage and comfort in our dwelling together this Lent. We are so glad to be your ministers.
Nate and Kit