#WeekendPlans: “What is it?” w/Rev. Julie Conaron 3/26/23

Ever wondered what Manna was, and why the Children of Israel puzzled about it? How did it sustain them throughout their many years in the Wilderness?

Guest Minister, Rev. Julie Conaron
Just a little fun for Easter, (a toast, if you will:)

We will meditate on this and other topics during this Easter Season worship service. Join us on Zoom at 10:30 am, for Fellowship and 11:00 am, for Worship. Zoom link will be provided to church members and their contacts. Please let us know if you’d like the link if you’re not currently connected to the church.

#WeekendPlans: “God’s Well of Living Water” w/ @ChaplainSherrie

Please join us for a Zoom church service with Rev. Dr. Sherrie Connelly this Sunday, March 12, 2023. Fellowship begins at 10:30 am; Worship Service at 11:00 am. The title of her service is “God’s Well of Living Water.” Remember to “Spring Forward” and set your clocks an hour ahead! (Zoom link will be provided to church members and their contacts.)

Photo by Dmitriy Ganin on Pexels.com Woman’s hand touching water on the surface of a fountain causing a ripple

#WeekendPlans: Lenten Sound Meditation w/Rev. Catherine Lauber, 2/26/23

Please join us over Zoom, this Sunday, February 26, 2023. Rev. Catherine Lauber of Ontario, will be our Visiting Minister. She will perform “A Lenten Sound Meditation for Self-Reflection,” using crystal singing bowls. Readings will be from Genesis 2 and 3.

On this first Sunday of Lent, we are invited to reflect on the Repentance stage of Regeneration. Repentance requires self-examination. Rev. Catherine Lauber will be guiding us through a sound meditation based on verses from Genesis as we experience the inner sense of scripture as a guide for self-examination of our own temptations.

Fellowship begins at 10:30 am, Worship at 11:00 am. Zoom link is provided to church members and their contacts or available upon request by emailing the church.

#Tunesday/#PsalmOfTheDay Psalm 132

Please leave your reflections in the comment section.

Psalm 132, New Living Translation

Psalm 132, Science of Correspondences

The tent of my house stands for the holy of love. To go up upon the couch of the bed means upon the natural to the truth which is from the good of love. Coming into the tent of the house, and going up upon the couch of the bed is a prophetic saying, which cannot be understood without the internal sense. A. 6188.

Arise, O Lord, Our God, Arise

#SermonNotes: 2/21/21 @ChaplainSherrie

“Temptation in the Desert” by Rev. Dr. Sherrie Connelly, New Church of Montgomery. Sunday, February 21, 2021.

Rainbow is the sign of a covenant between God and his descendants, that a flood will never again destroy the earth and all its inhabitants.

In the psalm we are reminded of God’s loyalty. The Lord’s steadfastness. That his covenant with the faithful is strong.

Those who were waiting while the ark was being built were saved by the Lord, and their conscience were clear of impediments.

Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan River. Then, a white dove descended with the Lord’s acclamation of pleasure.

He was tempted by Satan in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights. The wild animals with him, and angels attended him.

Jesus visited Galilee proclaiming good news of the Kingdom of God.

Forty days not only symbolizes being in the desert. It also represents total devastation, being stripped of the physical body and material things so that one might be reborn anew as a spiritual and heavenly being.

Jesus was tempted three times in the desert of Judea.

  1. hedonism (comfort, satisfaction)
  2. egoism (spectacular throw/might)
  3. materialism (kingdom/wealth)

Satan was the prince of the world, the redeemer of the worldly. We are tempted by the realms of the worldly. We are tempted by the flesh, the world, and the devil.

There are many ways to overcome temptation.

Assisted by a bit of internet research:

  1. Be conscious of God’s provision to help us in any tempting situation.
  2. Take heed of God’s Word…
  3. Pray for strength
  4. Forego self-gratification
  5. Grow into Spiritual Maturity
  6. Surround yourself with people of value
  7. Resist the Devil
  8. Run away from dangerous places

By resisting temptation, we grow stronger.

We acknowledge temptation, we turn away to a better path.

Father P.J. Michael reports several benefits of resisting temptation:

  1. Christians are led to more solid virtues and greater merits of Heaven
  2. Temptation reveal the interior of our hearts and tear away all our disguises
  3. Temptation can inspire humility within us
  4. Temptation discourages complacency
  5. Temptation draws us closer to God
  6. Temptation points us to faith, hope charity and other virtues

So what are modern day temptations we all have to deal with? What must we be aware of and hope to avoid?

  1. Self and family over others and community
    1. Antidotes: reaching out and generosity toward others especially those in need

2. Community, state and nation over other countries and the planet.

Antidote: reading, travel, listening to others, especially other cultures to expand ones awareness and understanding and increasing environmental stewardship.

3. Material things over spiritual things.

Antidote: Lenten discipline and practices. Foregoing something to mean its absence and appreciate its return. Adding a daily spiritual practice such as a gratitude list, readings…

With recent freezing in Texas and elsewhere many people are suffering and in great need.

And of course, to varying degrees we each suffer and are in need.

The Lord’s presence in the midst of temptation and suffering is a balm to our hearts and souls.

Let us take deep breaths and hold ourselves above harm when things are difficult.

Let us reach out to others who many have needs which they are reluctant to show.

Let us appreciate the community we feel, even on zoom, and perhaps thanks to technology, especially on zoom, as we welcome and connect with friends in Florida, Michigan and elsewhere.

The Lord is with us in our holy temples, in our communities, in our homes and in our hearts.

In this solemn time of Lent, pausing for 40 days to reflect in the desert, let us continue to praise the Lord, with gratitude, and with grace. Amen.

#SermonNotes from 3/1/20 #LentenLabyrinth

Rev. Dr. Sherrie Connelly

“Lenten Labyrinth: Sacrifice & Service”

New Church of Montgomery, in Glendale, OH

In early Genesis, the serpent tempts Eve in the Garden of Eden to eat of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil.  Since she desired wisdom, to become like God, she ate the fruit and shared it with her husband, Adam.  Now, seeing their nakedness, they covered themselves in fig leaves.

Psalm 32 contrasts the happiness of the forgiven with the distress of the sinner.  Also how asking forgiveness, when given, the burden is lifted, how the Lord protects the faithful.  Who trust in God, almighty.

In Romans, many have died through their sins, yet through the gift of graces in Jesus Christ, many are saved and live.

In Matthew’s Gospel, we see Jesus tempted by the devil in the wilderness.

He fasted 30 days and 40 nights, resulting in great hunger.

The devil commanded proofs of his being the Son of God, but the Lord said, do not put the Lord your God to the test.

So, Satan left, and angels came to serve our Lord.

In Emanuel Swedenborg’ True Christian Religion, we are taught that the neighbor is to be loved as the highest kingdom, as the church and as the communion of saints.  Love of the kingdom is love of the neighbor. Seek ye first the kingdom of God. A And all will be given unto you.

With Ash Wednesday this past week, we have entered into the church season of Lent.

Traditionally, Lent has been a season of 30 days and 40 nights of penitence and fasting.

That means reviewing one’s sins and transgression against others and ourselves and asking of the Lord’s forgiveness.

Years ago, and sometimes even now, eating fish on Fridays has been a staple.  Giving up a favorite treat, like chocolate, has been common.

Forgoing a tendency to be critical, is a good Lenten practice, as is giving alms to the poor.

In more recent time, another Lenten practice has cropped up.

This is a practice of kindness and service.  Paying attention to the needs of others, and perhaps going beyond our customary habits, and rejoicing in being able to be generous.

This Lenten season, as the snow falls lessen, and the small tree buds of spring start to emerge, let us be more aware than ever of God’s many blessings given to us and be grateful.

The Lord i with us, bringing us from darkness into the light.  Let us raise our praise and a spirit of gladness.  Amen.

As we shared, after a time of quiet- reflection, we found our connections through stories of book lists about kindness for children, our wishes for others to have more free time, sleep and energy, and books like “Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in our Busy Lives,” that discuss the need for rest from the world through honoring  reflection and mindfulness.

abstract architecture art berlin

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