Last day to order books for @BethanyHouseSvc!

www.bluemanatee.org/bethanyhouse

Blue Manatee Book Event

You know that feeling when you are into a book and nothing else matters in the world. Well, you can help give a child that same care-free feeling when you buy a book from Blue Manatee Literacy Project.

Buy a book for yourself or a friend and one will be donated to a child experiencing homelessness and receiving shelter through Bethany House Services.

Don’t have time to pick out a book? $12 buys one book and Blue Manatee will pick it out for you. Finding ways to be useful can be tricky some days. This is one idea where you can combine love with wisdom.

https://www.bluemanatee.org/bethanyhousehttp://www.bluemanatee.org/bethanyhouse 15% off with code BETHANY at checkout. Local pickup available. Sale ends today —don’t delay, help today!

Buy-a-Book Event for @BethanyHouseSvc Ends 10/1!

Buy-a-Book Oct. 1-10 for Bethany House

Since October 1, we have been collaborating with Blue Manatee Literacy Project and Bookstore to promote a book buying endeavor. This is a unique sale in that the purchase of each book generates the donation of a book to a child staying with Bethany House Services, a child experiencing homelessness.

Please go to http://www.bluemanatee.org/bethanyhouse to purchase or donate books. Use code bethany at checkout to save 15% off your order. Books can be shipped to you, or picked up locally at Blue Manatee book store in Oakley.

This is a great and simple way to help children. Book sale ends October 10, 2021.

#AshWednesday Reflections @annawoof

“Maybe it is no mistake that Christians press ash, and dust, and dirt, into our foreheads as we enter into Lent. We long for this symbol of death, and mortality, endings and crumblings… because we know that within it, there is something so deep and comforting. As we acknowledge that the endings are the stuff of which the new beginnings are made, we see that our dust is what makes soil for growth. The God that created us is the same God that is blowing into our dust, like that God did of primordial Adam, creating us anew. That God is the same God that is holding the breadth of the cycles and assuring us that even what is crumbling is being cared for, and that love is being infused at every stage. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, dirt to dirt, remember that you are dust and to dust you will return.

From @annawoof

Seeing those ashes on each other’s foreheads reminds us how we’re all in it together, in this messy, dirty, beautiful, interconnected web of life. And it’s as if in that moment, the dust dissolves that which separates us, as if the ash burns through the illusion that we are anything but fellow humanity, and part of creation. In that moment, we’re all in it together, mortal and human; creation, created, creator; lover and beloved; dust, dirt, heart, and spirit; all mixed together on this sacred evening.”
–Rev. Anna Woofenden

Blessing the Dust
For Ash Wednesday
All those days
you felt like dust,
like dirt,
as if all you had to do
was turn your face
toward the wind
and be scattered
to the four corners
or swept away
by the smallest breath
as insubstantial—
did you not know
what the Holy One
can do with dust?
This is the day
we freely say
we are scorched.

This is the hour
we are marked
by what has made it
through the burning.
This is the moment
we ask for the blessing
that lives within
the ancient ashes,
that makes its home
inside the soil of
this sacred earth.
So let us be marked
not for sorrow.
And let us be marked
not for shame.
Let us be marked
not for false humility
or for thinking
we are less
than we are
but for claiming
what God can do
within the dust,
within the dirt,
within the stuff
of which the world
is made
and the stars that blaze
in our bones
and the galaxies that spiral
inside the smudge
we bear.

—Jan Richardson
from Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons

Swedenborg Study Group Starts 11/8/20

“A New Key to the Bible” by Bruce Henderson

This Sunday, 11/8, we will be starting our Swedenborg Study Group back up. The selection we will be examining is “A New Key to the Bible: Unlock Its Inner Meaning and Open the Door to Your Spirit.” by Bruce Henderson.

Zoom starts at 7:30 pm. Email the church if you would like to participate. Study group will be held on Sundays that we don’t have church.

Buy a book, Help a child

You know that feeling when you are into a book and nothing else matters in the world. Well, you can help give a child that same care-free feeling when you buy a book from Blue Manatee Literacy Project.

Buy a book for yourself or a friend and one will be donated to a child experiencing homelessness and receiving shelter through Bethany House Services.

Don’t have time to pick out a book? $12 buys one book and Blue Manatee will pick it out for you. Finding ways to be useful can be tricky some days. This is one idea where you can combine love with wisdom.

https://www.bluemanatee.org/bethanyhouse 15% off with code BETHANY at checkout. Local pickup available. Sale goes through Oct. 18, but don’t delay, help today!

#QuarantineReading: #ThisIsGodsTable @annawoof

Many of you heard Rev. Anna Woofenden speak about her passion for the Garden Church when she visited the New Church of Montgomery several years ago.

A beautiful book has come out of her experiences in cultivating and growing the Garden Church in San Pedro, CA.

Please give a gift to yourself (and to Anna!) by ordering this book to help it reveal parts of you that need tending to, to let go of pre-conceived notions of church, and to learn new ways to love your neighbor.

Hardback, Paperback or Kindle versions are available. Sign into your Amazon account through Amazon Smile, where you can designate a charitable recipient (i.e. The New Church of Montgomery, etc.)

amazonsmile

#Books for #Betterment: “This is God’s Table” by @AnnaWoof

Pre-order your copy(ies) of New Church Minister and Author, Rev. Anna Woofenden’s upcoming first book, “This is God’s Table. Finding Church Beyond the Walls.” By Herald Press.

From the Back Cover (and AnnaWoofenden.com)

Can a barren city lot become a church? 
  
This is the story of an audacious journey. It’s the story of what happens when people garden, worship, and eat together—and invite anyone and everyone to join them. In This Is God’s Table, writer and pastor Anna Woofenden describes the way that the wealthy and the poor, the aged and the young, the housed and unhoused become a community in this once-empty lot. Together they plant and sustain a thriving urban farm, worship God, and share a weekly meal. Together they craft a shared life and a place of authenticity where all are welcome. Readers of Nadia Bolz-Weber, Sara Miles, and Diana Butler Bass will find here a kindred vision for a church without walls.      
  
As churches across the Western world wither, what would it take to find a raw, honest, gritty way of doing church—one rooted in place, nurtured by grace, and grounded in God’s expansive love? What would it take to carry the liturgy outside the gates? What if we were to discover that in feeding others, we are fed? 
  
This is God’s table. Come and eat.

About the Author

Anna Woofenden is a writer, speaker, pastor, and leading voice in the food and faith movement. She is the founding pastor of The Garden Church in San Pedro, California, as well as the founder of Feed and Be Fed Farm. With an MDiv from Earlham School of Religion, Woofenden has served at Los Angeles’ Wayfarers Chapel and at San Francisco’s Saint Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church and The Food Pantry. Now living in Northampton, Massachusetts, with her husband, David, Woofenden is cohost of the Food and Faith podcast. She is passionate about spirituality, justice, food, the earth, and community, and is driven by a calling to reimagine church. Connect with her at AnnaWoofenden.com