I continue to be fascinated by the concept of “awe and wonder” and my personal, ongoing need to resist the temptation of cynicism and indifference. For that reason, I have been exploring a bit of “Contemplative Prayer” which emphasizes silence, mindfulness, and release as ways to be more deeply united with the presence of God. This has led me to the website https://www.contemplativeoutreach.org which has multiple resources on this topic.
Their weekly email this week included the following quotation, which I hope calls to you in similar ways as it does to me, affirming our desire to find abiding joy and hope in the world around us:
“Awe is an intuition for the dignity of all things, a realization that things are not only what they are but also stand, however remotely, for something supreme.
“Awe is a sense for the transcendence, for the reference everywhere to mystery beyond all things. It enables us to perceive in the world intimations of the divine … to sense the ultimate in the common and the simple; to feel in the rush of passing the stillness of the eternal. What we cannot comprehend by analysis, we become aware of in awe.”
– I Asked for Wonder: A Spiritual Anthology [of] Abraham Joshua Heschel
May we expect that even in our lives, the ultimate and eternal love and peace of God seeks and finds us.
The Lord Bless and Keep You,
*In-Person/Livestream Worship: Join us each Sunday at 11:00am in person or online (via Facebook live) for worship!
On Sunday, January 22, we continue our new sermon series, The Church: Then, Now, Next.” Through readings of 1 Corinthians, we will explore where the church has been, where we are, and where God is still calling us to go. On Sunday we consider 1 Corinthians 3:1-10 and the implications for the church being described as God’s planting.
Online participation via Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/firstpresbyterianchurchofgarner
*Masks are welcome but optional during in-person worship as we continue to contend with COVID and an emerging flu season. We also ask everyone to be still mindful of social distancing and respectful of the personal space of others even as we give thanks for being together.*
* Walking Group: Join the Walking Group each Tuesday at 6pm. We currently meet at Cadence Senior Living Center (200 Minglewood Dr.). If you have any questions, contact the church office at 919-772-0727. In the event there is inclement weather, we’ll just gather the following week.
* Boy Scout Troop 392 is having a Krispy Kreme fundraiser. Please contact the church office at (919) 772-0727 for information on how to get your certificate for a dozen glazed donuts. The cost is $15 for each certificate which can be used at any Krispy Kreme location across the United States. (Not valid for in grocery store purchases.)
* February Spire articles are due by 9pm Sunday, January 22, 2023.
* The 2023 Flower Chart is up! The flower chart is posted in the hallway and ready for sign-ups. The cost of the flowers for the coming year is $40.00.
*Donna Gould’s mother-in-law, Annarah, turns 100 years old on February 7th. They are having a party at the assisted living facility where she is a resident. Donna is asking family and friends to send Annarah a birthday card to help her celebrate. If you want to help make Annarah’s birthday special please send her a birthday to let her know how much she is loved and how special she is. Contact the church office for more information at (919) 772-0727
*Souper Bowl Sunday: Souper Bowl Luncheon will be on Sunday, February 12th. See the flyer below for details, but don’t worry, Confederate Bean and She Crab Soup are rumored to be on the list!!!
*Prayers for Peace: Our world continues to need prayers of word and deed for peace. As we prepare for a new year, may we pray for those affected by the extreme cold weather across the US, and flooding in California, as well as those continuing to rebuild from storms last year. Please continue to keep law enforcement and first responders in your prayers as well as those struggling with gun violence in too many places in our nation (including Raleigh, NC). In our congregation, we have had many also who have suffered unexpected loss–continue to treat others and self with tenderness and grace.