This Sunday, January 9, 2022
Advent Contemplative Prayer Group meets at 9am on Zoom and in the Upper Room (Rm. 206).

Advent Sunday School at 9am in the Children's Wing classrooms in the basement below the sanctuary.

Seminar meets at 9am only on Zoom. This Sunday Amanda Henderson presents "A Brief History of Religion in the U.S.". There is no homework.

Sunday Worship begins at 10:15am in person and live streamed to YouTube.

BYOB2 meets at 5:30pm in the Upper Room (Rm 206) or on Zoom.
REAL talk
What Next?
In the exhausted wake of Christmas, New Year's and Epiphany (which was just celebrated yesterday), I was so excited this week to sit down and read through the Denver Post. See, I ordered a physical paper to be delivered to my home ages ago, but they kept sending me the email version (which I never read). I called back and, finally, my first edition arrived. I haven't read from newsprint in years and I loved catching up on serious and light-hearted stories from our local area and around the world. That is, until I got to the headline about Blood in our Streets and Schools. I began to weep reading about the Coloradoans murdered in their homes, grocery stores, schools and tattoo shops in 2021. Soon I realized I was weeping for those in Boulder County who lost their homes, work, and sense of security in the recent fires. Then I was imagining what happened in our nation's Capital last January 6th, thinking about how Omicron is ravaging the globe, and finally remembering being stranded in Lyons with a baby for 3 days when the floods raged through in autumn 2013 and destroyed the fabric of our town. So much disaster, "natural" and human-generated, so much pain, so many tears. What's next, I thought?
It's easy to become overwhelmed by the bad news, personal or global, especially since stored grief can easily be triggered by non-related experiences. When that happens, many people turn to retail therapy (shopping) to put their minds at ease. It works for some (at least, until their credit card statements arrive - when they might fall back into a depressive state of despair). But there is a better way! As we kick off this New Year, I am leaning into a cultural icon to remind us of simple
truths: Bread, Bath and Beyond. Our Christian faith offers two sacraments, two ways to experience the Divine in our daily lives, and those are Communion and Baptism. Through the tasting of bread (even hard, little, Covid-safe versions) and the connection with water, we can remember who we are, and re-member ourselves to God and all that holiness has to offer. This helps us to focus BEYOND the current realities of suffering, and lean into a future filled with less pain and more grace, hope and love.
Last Sunday we offered star words during worship to help guide us into the New Year. Contact Pastor Emily or the church office for a home delivery, or office pick-up of your own. 

May God continue to remind us that we are more than our emotions, our experiences, even our beliefs. We are created from dirt and Godstuff, as well as star-dust, ocean water and a miraculous ability for resilience. We are stronger and better together in a community of faith that loves and supports one another, no matter what. We're happy you are with us - and we look forward to being with you, too, this year.  

Pastor Emily

P.S. Here's a little delayed Epiphany gift and reminder that our satisfaction or disappointment in life is directly tied to our expectations; a blessing from a friend and teacher: 

A blessing for the new year:

As you enter this new year, as you pack away the Christmas decorations and get out your stretchy pants, as you face the onslaught of false promises offered you through new disciplines and elimination diets, as you grasp for control of yourself and your life and this chaotic world... May you remember that there is no resolution that, if kept, will make you more worthy of love. There is no resolution that, if kept, will make life less uncertain and allow you to control a pandemic and your children and the way other people act. So this year, May you just skip the part where you resolve to be better, do better and look better this time. May you give yourself the gift of really, really low expectations. May you expect so little of yourself that you can be super proud of the smallest of accomplishments. May you expect so little of the people in your life that you actually notice and cherish every small lovely thing about them. May you expect so little of the supply chain and the service industry that you notice more of what you do get and less of what you don't and then just tip really well anyhow. May you expect to get so little out of 2022 that you can celebrate every single thing it offers you, however small. Because you deserve joy and not disappointment.
So, I wish you a Happy as possible New Year. 

Love, Nadia (from Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber at The Corners, a reader-supported publication by subscription)