Afterthoughts

Listen to the Service

Today's Program

Creating Space for God’s Spirit

The room is decorated for the picnic with lots of Journey rocks and candles. The Portrait of Jesus banner hangs near the cross.

  • “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge plays
  • A young Journeyer steps up to light the lamp and another rings the bell ten times

Worshiping with Our Children

  • Rick leads our children in talking about what we believe

Do you know what special day it is today? It’s Journey’s birthday! We turn ten years old today. That’s practically grown up! Did you know that Journey has one thing that it believes in more than anything else? It’s love. The Bible says that Jesus told his friends to love God and to love people, and nothing else is as important as that. Not when to go to bed, not when to do our chores, not when to eat, not who hurt your feelings, not what you want for your birthday. All that matters is that God loves us, and we share that love. Let’s thank God for that.

Gathering Our Spirit with God's Spirit

  • Announcements – how Journey is God’s Hands in the world
  • Susan C. presents anniversary gifts to the staff from the community
  • Rick welcomes us, talks about series
  • Say hello to someone near you
  • Take a breath...

Exploring God’s Spirit and Our Spirit

  • Ryan (Rachel) Z. reads from 20th c. American anthropologist and author Margaret Mead

graphic with quotation

  • Renee leads us in singing her original song “Let the Journey Unfold”

Let the Journey unfold
The way has been prepared
Let the Journey unfold
You are being led
Someone is expecting you
Someone who knows all about you
Reaches out a hand for you to hold
Let the Journey unfold

It’s compassion when we feel each others’ pain
It’s elation as we know each other’s joy
It’s connection to the love of God in every heart around the world
And in this very room

Let the Journey unfold
The way has been prepared
Let the Journey unfold
You are being led
Someone is expecting you
Someone who knows all about you
Reaches out a hand for you to hold
Let the journey unfold

  • “What Journey Means to Me” video plays
  • Stephanie K. reads from the teachings of Jesus called the Sermon on the Mount, in Matthew chapter 5; Jesus said to his disciples – and, therefore, to us:

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  And no one lights a lamp and puts it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. So, be like that. Let your light shine before others, and so that when they see what good you are doing, they will see God.

Giving -- To Help God Do God's Work in This World

  • Sabrina reads an autobiographical essay called “One”

One hour after my daughter has taken her first breath, I summon the blurry world back into existence. I strain to take in the whispers of a pink and blue mass huddled in the post-op recovery room doorway and am flooded with an anxiety that sends my exhausted body into a series of uncontrollable tremors.

“What happened?” murmurs Pink, appearing to nod towards me.

“I don’t know,” answers Blue in a hushed tone, “It was weird. We had to put her out.”

This was not my plan. This should not have happened. I am shipwrecked with no course or guiding stars, and know only that what my body did—what I did—was wrong.

It could not bear the life that it had sustained for 41 weeks; it could barely withstand the epidural necessitated by twelve hours of Pitocin; and it refused to ignore the blade that was sent to retrieve her.

When I am wheeled into her life she is bundled up like a Christmas present: tempting, wanted, but untouchable. I have not earned the right to call her my own, and I marvel at how far away from me she seems.

My soul limps along as my body is rolled out of the hospital two days later, more damaged than I can understand or begin to admit.

I assure the doctor, the nurse, my husband, myself, that the baby is healthy, and that is all that matters. I assert this half-truth until I can almost believe that it is my whole truth, and stumble along for weeks; a month; confident that as my body heals, my heart will follow.

And when it doesn’t, I start to see that I have been thrashing blind amongst the waves with no direction or destination, praying that changing the scenery will change my reality.

But I am utterly lost.

I need a village, but first, I require a guide.

One cuts through the current beneath my words and gently pulls me to the shore. The path, she shows, is shifting but safe; shrouded as my heart but open to my steps. One foot in front of the other; one day; one hurt—we take them all and sort, reclassify, file, challenging the lies I have manufactured and bandaging the wound I have been unwilling to dress.

One points me to one lighthouse, one safe house, one community, ready to support me as I struggle to understand this new identity that I have taken on.

They embrace me; process with me; assure me that shame is a liar, my body is not broken, and putting the baby in the pack-n-play while I have a cup of coffee is not an act of negligence.

They open my eyes to baby wearing and The Business of Being Born and the possibility that half-eaten chicken nuggets can, in fact, constitute a full meal. They love me with the eternal grace that generations of parents have acquired, that says, “I know that you have a hole in your soul and Cheerios in your bra, and I accept you anyway.”

And one day I am able to embrace my baby with my whole heart without even the slightest tremor of guilt or shame.

Because of one.

  • Alan S. says an offering prayer
  • Renee leads us in singing “This Little Light of Mine” as the ushers pass the baskets

Telling The Story and Our Story

  • John W. reads from early 20th century devotional writer Oswald Chambers, “The Warning Against Desiring Spiritual Success”

Worldliness is not the trap that most endangers us as Christian workers; nor is it sin. The trap we fall into is extravagantly desiring spiritual success; that is, success measured by, and patterned after, the form set by the age in which we now live. Never seek after anything other than the approval of God, and always be willing to go “outside the camp, bearing his reproach” (Hebrews 13:13). In Luke 10, Jesus told the disciples “Do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you,” not to rejoice in successful service, and yet this seems to be the one thing in which most do rejoice. We have a commercialized view – we count how many souls have been saved and sanctified, we thank God, and then we think everything is all right. Yet our work only begins where God’s grace has laid the foundation.

  • Rick talks
"So much has been written about how far Trane stretched teh improvisatory dimesnions of jazz that I would prefer to focus on the extraordinary spirit that powered all that searching. Whenever we talkld during his last years, Trane would always bring the convesration to the unyielding need he felt to keep going as deeply as he could into his feelings, his very soul. He often used the word 'cleansing,' for what he sought was an order of inner peace that transcended passing worries and vexations. But he knew there was no easy way to get there -- one had to continually scour oneself, confront oneself, and in the process try to connect with the unity at the source of all life. It was ... the fulfilling of this concept in his music that accounted for its seizing, spiraliing intensity -- and also for its passages of uncommon calm and grace." -- Nat Hentoff, liner notes, John Coltrane My Favorite Things, 1961 [emphasis added]
  • Rick leads the community in reading Journey’s Portrait of Jesus banner
  • Ask, listen to, and obey God
  • Embrace imperfection
  • Be radically inclusive
  • Create safe community
  • Love and serve God
  • Love yourself as God loves you
  • Love and serve the world
  • Follow Jesus
    • Leslie talks
    • Leslie leads the community in an overflowing prayer exercise

    We are all invited to pick up a small rock to represent ourselves and what we bring to the world, and then place it in the communion goblet on the table that represents Journey. Just as the grape juice in the goblet overflows onto the table, who we are and what we bring as Journeyers flows into the world. We create “the best kind of mess.”

    Flow into the World with All Your Power

    • Leslie reads from contemporary American author of novels, children’s books, and short stories Ursula K. LeGuin

    drawing of sailing ship with quotation

    • Leslie dismisses us: “Never underestimate the power of Journey!”
    • “Shining Star” by Earth, Wind & Fire plays as folks set up the room for the anniversary party

    Images