Pastor’s Musings

Excerpts from Chapel Chat

October 24, 2019  

I’ve chatted up this idea with a few people and everyone seems to like it…so…we’re going to have a “Left-Over Potluck” on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  This will be December 1st and it will be nice to get together over lunch just for fun.  No business meeting attached!

DID YOU KNOW…the genesis of today’s “instant replay” in sports comes from the 1960 Winter Olympics here in Squaw Valley?  It’s true!  When officials became unsure as to whether a skier had missed a gate in the men’s slalom they asked CBS-TV if they could review a videotape of the race.  This gave CBS the idea of inventing the now ubiquitous “instant replay”.

A TIMELY REFLECTION: This piece is written by an acquaintance of mine, Rev. Lillian Daniel.  She shares: “At least on my block, All Saints Day is overshadowed by Halloween.  That irritates some people, so they take it out on Halloween, calling it a “wicked holiday” that should be scorned by the church.      The anti-Halloween crowd would not like the Haunted Halls Halloween event we just had at church, but it was all about the kids.  By which I mean that the kids gave the adults the excuse to run screaming around the church in ridiculous costumes, to set up strobe lights and rubber snakes in the nursery, to put a scary mannequin and a dry ice machine in the toilet.  The adults did all this while the children calmly painted pumpkins, perhaps wondering if the grown-ups would ever grow up.      Maybe I just like candy and costumes too much, but I’ve never felt a disconnect between Halloween and All Saints Day.  Halloween was once All Hallow’s Eve—not a competing event, but the evening vigil that prepared the saints on earth to remember the saints who had gone ahead.      It’s natural to spend that night considering death and all that is scary.  It’s beautiful to spend the next day pondering the greater truth: One day God will wipe every tear from our grieving eyes, add us to the mighty cloud of witnesses, and wrap us in the love that knows no end.”

October 17, 2019

  If you were at the chapel last Sunday, you would have enjoyed a really good selection of tasty dishes for lunch and would certainly not have gone home hungry!  Thanks to everyone who contributed to the menu, setting up, and cleaning up afterward.

At the meeting after lunch we addressed a few business items and what I want to share with everyone in this week’s issue of Chapel Chat is the schedule for our usual 8-week hibernation this winter.  So here it is:

January 12, 2020: Last Sunday before hibernation with potluck lunch and quarterly congregational meeting.

March 15, 2020: First Sunday back from hibernation.

When we go to our later time this year, we’re going to try meeting at 11:00 instead of noon, so “stay tuned” for those dates.

A Prayer Just for This Week:  Our chapel is nestled among some of the most beautiful mountains in Northern California and Nevada.  This is not so much a prayer but a reflection on mountains – again by the talented writer named Ted Loder.  I hope it stirs your spirit!

We are surrounded by mountains, sacred mountains, which watch over us, beckon us, call us to approach and begin the journey. Mountaineering is a risky venture and exhausting, but our mountains are accessible. Every day we meet them and their magic tells us: just stop, just turn aside here for a few moments, let me lift you to the sacred place. There are no gates or barriers. These mountains don’t close after sunset. They just lie in wait, offering a quiet space, inviting us to a new view. Even with the greatest disabilities, the frailest limbs, the faintest heart, there is a place for us. No one is too big or small. No one is unworthy. Touch the mountain and we touch the earth, we touch the universe, we touch God. Just to say we are coming is more than half the journey. It is to say we belong, to enter the wide embrace of the mountainside, and to say, yes, to love. There is a mountain stream for the thirsty and its waters are there for cleansing. There is peace and forgiveness and renewal. The wind of the Spirit sometimes blows strongly, challenging us to stand firm, or gently touches us with memories of God’s goodness. Climb the mountain and you see a long way. People you have not noticed. Distant needs which want to say also: “I am here”. And in the silence of the sacred space are voices of hope, of joy, of pain, of possibility. Climb the mountain and you will see Jesus. But most roads run past the mountain and hurry away to noise and distraction. Mountains become incidental scenery to be forgotten or photo-shots for two dimensional living. The mountains come and go, hiding in the clouds, emerging to ask again, always patient and knowing, always there for you and me.

October 3, 2019

It can be fatiguing to our spirits and bad for our mental health to over-consume the news these days.  It’s hard not to.  We have news coming at us 24/7 in the paper, on the radio, on TV, on the internet, on our cellphones and from countless other sources. 

      Did you know that there’s a place to go for good news?  (I’m not talking about the Good News of Jesus Christ we find in the Gospels, but that’s always a great place to start!)  The place I’m sharing with you is a website for the Good News Network (The Good News Network: Positive Stories 24/7 ).  The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by the news of the day, I encourage you to check out the news you’ll find here with headlines like, “On 95th Birthday, Jimmy Carter is Still Proving Age is No Obstacle as He Builds Homes for Humanity” and “Kroger Donates $500,000 Facility to Rival Grocery Store So Community Won’t Be Left Without a Supermarket.”  Amazing!
The Good News Network: Positive Stories 24/7Your daily source for only good news: Inspiring stories and images from around the world will make you feel upli…

A Prayer Just for This Week:  Last week we shared a new interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer.  This week we have a new rendition of the 23rd Psalm that you might enjoy.  It is written by Bill Gaultiere and Kristi Gaultiere.  Posted on Soul Shepherding.
Home – Soul Shepherding

The Lord Jesus is my Soul Shepherd who meets all my needs and makes me smile. He gets me to stop working and to relax with him in his Father’s loving arms. He takes me into a quiet place to be still and know that he is God and I am loved. He heals and rejuvenates my whole being with his grace from the inside out. He holds my hand at the crossroads and walks me onto the path of life. Even though I go through dark and difficult times, I don’t fear anything bad because you are with me. You discipline me in love and converse patiently with me to bring out the best in me. You prepare a celebration to bless and honor me right in front of my enemies. You anoint me with your Spirit to minister to others out of the overflow of your love to me. I can count on your generous favor and tender mercy coming to me wherever I go. I will live in the presence of Christ as his beloved in all things and at all times.

September 23, 2019

A Prayer Just for This Week:  It’s been a while since I’ve seen a new interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer.  Many of us are familiar with the New Zealand Prayer Book rendition (if not, click here: )  Today, however, I was pleased to find this new (to me) rendition from Christian Aid in England.  I hope you enjoy this one:

Our Father Who is in us here on earth Holy is your name In the hungry who share their bread and their song.

Your Kingdom come, A generous land where confidence and truth reign.

Let us do your will. Bring a cool breeze for those who sweat. You are giving us our daily bread When we manage to get back our lands Or to get a fairer wage.

Forgive us For keeping silent in the face of injustice And for burying our dreams.

Don’t let us fall into the temptation Of taking up the same arms as the enemy, But deliver us from evil which disunites us.

And we shall have believed in humanity and in life; And we shall have known your Kingdom Which is being built for ever and ever. Amen.

      An extra blessing in this is that you can share this good news with others!  (Just like you would about the Good News we hear every week at worship.  Everyone needs it!)