This Sunday, October 3rd we will begin outside the Sanctuary (at 4 Bedford Road) and on Zoom.  After the Time for All Ages, FAMILIES AND CHILDREN WILL LEAD A PROCESSION INTO THE SANCTUARY!  Children who will participate in outdoor RE will walk through and up the hill.  Families who wish to continue in worship with unvaccinated children will go to the Stearns Room, adults who wish to continue in worship will be seated by the Deacons in the Sanctuary.  There are a lot of moving pieces, but what a special day we have to look forward to!

Sunday, October 3rd – we will begin in worship at 10am, down the hill OUTSIDE the Sanctuary.  Following the Time for All Ages (TfAA), the Deacons have planned a beautiful re-entering of our Sanctuary to be led by families and children (who will walk through and out up to the Parish House for RE – all who do not intend to participate in the indoor worship service are welcome!).  Jan and Emma will be in the nursery beginning with this Sunday and continuing for the year.

Once up the hill, the children will get re-acquainted with each other and with the teachers in the RE context.  We’ll center and hear a story about JOURNEY STICKS.  Then we’ll head into the woods to find our own sticks which we’ll use throughout October. We will also talk about the boundaries of FPL’s outdoor exploration area around the church.  6th-8th graders will join with the group at first and may choose to link the group activity to Neighboring Faiths: First Faiths Traditions and/or continue with the group.

Sunday, October 10th – is the Indigenous People’s Day long weekend.  Those who attend church will begin in worship at 10am and then head up the hill after the TfAA.  After a centering activity, we’ll take our Journey Sticks on a hike.  Children will be encouraged to find something from the hike to include on their Journey Sticks.  TWO ADULTS NEEDED TO SUPERVISE DURING RE

Sunday, October 17th – families will meet for the beginning of worship at 10am.  Following the TfAA, they will head to Donelan’s to help remind folks to shop for the Food Pantry.  Any items people purchase will be collected and carted over to the pantry at the end.  Donelan’s and the Food Pantry will have items to add to the Journey Sticks.  TWO FAMILIES NEEDED TO HELP COORDINATE AND FACILITATE THIS EVENT

Sunday, October 24th – families will meet for the beginning of worship at 10am.  Following the TfAA, the children will head across the street and down the hill to Pierce Park and the surrounding trails.  TWO ADULTS NEEDED TO HELP COORDINATE AND FACILITATE THIS EVENT

Sunday, October 31st – is Hallowe’en!  And it’s an INTERGENERATIONAL WORSHIP SERVICE.  We’ll gather at 10am and stay together OUTSIDE the Sanctuary.  You are invited to wear your costume if you like.  For the Time for All Ages, I’ll be telling the story of the Journey Stick and will ask any child to share the story of their Journey Stick (to date – you can always add more as the year unfolds!).

IMPORTANT… if all continues to go well, we will begin separating for age/grade classes in November… K-2nd (Spirit Players), 3rd – 5th (Sacred Stories), 6th – 8th (Neighboring Faiths).

ADULTS – we need your help please SIGN UP HERE!

Weekly Blessing – for the… aaah… for… ah… aaachoo!

God bless you.

Simple.  Direct.  Nothing fancy.  A blessing you’ve probably been giving and have received without thinking too much about it.  Well, let’s think too much about it, shall we?

From Everyday Mysteries
They say there are varying accounts of how saying “God bless you” after a sneeze became an everyday ritual.  One account says Pope Gregory I suggested this during the years of The Plague in Europe to protect sneezers from dying of the disease.  My favorite, though, is their account going back much further.  It used to be that people thought individuals’ souls were in the form of air and resided in the head.  A sneeze might accidently expel the soul from the body unless God blessed you and kept the soul in.  According to the site, other ancient cultures thought evil spirits were being expelled endangering other people, so the blessing was asked for the sneezer and the people around them.

Let’s think about that last one… it reminds of a conversation from “The Lion King”, when Timon, Pumbaa, and Simba are looking at the stars, and sharing what they believe to the stars to be – their guesses reflect their personal traits and interests.  Timon says stars are fireflies stuck in “the big blueish black thing”.  Simba recalls what his father had told him about his ancestors.  Pumbaa, a flatulent warthog, says, “I always thought they were balls of gas burning millions of miles away.”  And there’s the connection.  Pumbaa didn’t know it, but he was 100% right!  That’s exactly what a star is!  Ancient people thought sneezes expelled evil spirits which could infect others.  They had no idea how close to right they were.  Sneezes do expel all sorts of things; some of which can infect other people.  They just got the nature of what might be infectious wrong.

As we move into cold and flu season, and as we continue to do everything we can to protect ourselves and others from Covid, let’s cover our sneezes and bless each other.  Simple.  Direct.  Nothing fancy.

God bless you.


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