WORD for the Week for March 3, 2019
Eighth Sunday After the Epiphany

Sabbath Beginnings - Sacred Journey - Traditional Worship
A Message from Pastor Judy

Dear Hennepin Friends,

Greetings from St Louis, where I am a delegate to the special General Conference. I long to be with you this evening. I know the actions taken this week are causing pain and suffering in our beloved church. I am grieving and heartbroken and want you to be assured that the decisions of this body do not represent the views of the majority of US delegates. The majority of US delegates favor an inclusive church that includes people who hold a variety of views on human sexuality and yet believe we can exist and even thrive with a diversity of views on many things. 

How can this be? We believe our unity is centered in our love of God and our neighbors. We believe we can be united in our mission to serve and heal a broken world. No matter what the General Conference decides today or any day, WE are the church. God is not finished with us yet. We are resurrection people. God's love will always prevail even when all seems lost.

Now more than ever before, LGTBQ persons and their families who have repeatedly been rejected and harmed by the church need all of us to stand firmly together with love, courage, and unwavering commitment to be the kind of church God envisions: a church where all people are welcome.

Hennepin will continue to support the inclusion of all people and we can do this better together. I thank you for your prayers and I welcome conversation. Our Strategic Council is making plans now to host congregational conversations. All of our pastoral staff are ready to offer a listening ear. I urge you to take time to listen carefully. We are not called to act out in anger or fear. We are rarely at our best when we make decisions from this place. I believe if we commit to prayerful work together, God will reveal the best steps forward so we may be found faithful in offering God's unconditional love and grace to all.

I am humbled and honored to be one of your pastoral leaders. I love all of you and I look forward to being with you on Sunday. May God comfort us in our pain and strengthen us for the work ahead.

In Christ's service together,
Pastor Judy Zabel
WORD for Sabbath Beginnings 8am

Worship Leader: Rev. Jim McChesney

Holy Communion :   Space to Dream
WORD for Sacred Journey 8:30am

The Story: Barbara English

Reflection: This week in Sacred Journey, musician and spiritual director, Barbara English joins us to share The Story as we continue our journey into inner space…the space where we love, hope,  dream  like God does.    It’s sometimes helpful to remember that people of faith are called to two tasks. First, we are called to see the world through God’s eyes and envision the world where the beautiful diversity of God’s creation is seen and celebrated. Second, we are called to be God’s agents of transformation in the world, shaping systems and organizations that reflect the divine vision of hope and love. The first task is not something we can accomplish on our own: seeing through God’s eyes requires Spirit and spiritual transformation is usually a slow, painstaking process because we are human. However, the more we are transformed through God’s patient love, the more we can devote our energy and will to the second task of transforming our systems and institutions to reflect God’s vision of abundant life. Making Spirit available to all is the work of God and our scripture this week reminds us that God has not abandoned that task. Neither should we abandon ours even when we are disappointed at the pace of transformation. We continue on the journey with God and all are welcome.

WORD for Traditional Worship 10am

Preaching: Rev. Judy Zabel

Reflection: Space to Dream

For the Children and the Adults in Their Lives: Shadow games can be fun. Have you ever used a flashlight in a dark room to throw shadow puppets on the wall? Or put a flashlight under a blanket to see how much light can glow out from underneath it? That blanket example reminds me of a veil, have you seen one? Sometimes, a person wears a veil in their wedding and it is lifted up so the people getting married can see each other clearly and happy. Some people wear veils at funerals to give them some privacy and cover in their grief. Like the flashlight under the blanket, a veil only lets in - or out - so much light. The light of Jesus, though, cannot help but shine and shine bright - even when all seems to be in shadow. Think with an adult who loves you about times in your life when you were happy and the light of Jesus was shining bright. Also, think with them about times in your life when you were upset and how the light of Jesus shined bright for you. That is the great gift from God: in light and in shadow, Jesus shines bright for us all!


The Bible In Your Hands

You're invited to "dig deeper." Here are a handful of resources:

Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church resources:
Worship Bulletins   | online archive of HAUMC worship bulletins
Sermon Recordings  | HAUMC Sacred Journey and Traditional Worship sermon recordings
Devotional Ministry  | HAUMC seasonal daily devotional ministry

Scripture exegesis and commentary resources:
Bible Gateway  | the Bible in hundreds of translations (NRSV, CEB, The Message, etc.)
BibleHub  | parse out the original Hebrew (OT) and Greek (NT)
Enter the Bible  | historical/cultural context for each book of the Bible from Luther Seminary
Oxford Biblical Studies  | historical/cultural context for each book of the Bible from Oxford
Working Preacher  | read and listen to lectionary commentary from Luther Seminary faculty

Art and Music resources:
Art in the Christian Tradition  | The Jean and Alexander Heard Divinity Library at Vanderbilt
Hymnary  | a resource for both modern and traditional worship music and hymns
Sing for Joy  | a worship music and hymn resource from St. Olaf College
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WORD for the Week is a ministry of Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church.