Thursday, September 20, 2018

Porch Story :: Green Team Talk

porch story 18 May Green Team Talk

porch story 18 May Green Team Talk

Porch Stories host Kristin's younger daughter Rachel is three years old! Happy Birthday, Rachel!

Intro

September and October typically are our hottest months in southern California. Two more days until Saturday and the autumnal equinox. Water year begins 01 October, the rainfall year—01 July; both are at historic southern California lows. Meanwhile, Florence has sent floods, devastation, and grief along the Eastern seaboard and she's become another hurricane name that will be retired forever. Today, September 20th, I'm finally blogging my Green Team talk from May 18th, Friday of Easter 7, the 48th day of Easter, two days before the Festival of Pentecost. Although I kept my six pages of notes, I'm reconstructing what I said from my single page outline.

Green Team Talk

Today is the forty-eighth day of Easter!
Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
response: Christ is risen indeed; Alleluia!

Today is the forty-eighth day of Easter! In a couple of days the church's year of grace will cycle into the green and growing liturgical season of Pentecost, and we'll begin counting Sundays after Pentecost. Even Trinity Sunday can be called the first Sunday after Pentecost, or the octave of Pentecost. The church long has celebrated important events in octaves of eight days...

During this season of the Spirit, time of the Church, we act upon and celebrate the reality of the Holy Spirit of life, the Spirit of resurrection from the dead that fills all creation and that we specifically receive as a gift of our baptism.

A month after the Day of Pentecost, the wheel of the year will welcome another summer solstice; summer's unfolding parallels the early part of the Sundays after Pentecost. Long ago the band Spirit sang, "I've Got a Line on You" because "the summer, she's coming on strong." Spirit! Just listen to that name! During the great fifty days of Easter, the lectionary gospel texts have showed us quite a few misunderstandings of Jesus' call to serve, and by extension, confusion regarding our baptismal call to life as God's servant people in Christ Jesus.

I love reminding my adult Sunday School class Romans 8 reminds us all creation waits for us to be revealed {to all creation} as true offspring of God, as people who authentically reflect and embody God's image as careful stewards of all the earth, all creation just as Jesus would. In fact, that passage is the appointed second reading or epistle for Trinity Sunday in this lectionary year B:

Romans 8

19For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God...
20for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope
21that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

I love reminding my class when we claim our divine image in the Spirit, creation itself will be set free from death and decay and enjoy the same bounded freedom we humans do as God's presence on earth. I frequently point out the same Spanish word – esperar, espero, and cognates – means hope, wait, and expect.

The days and the nights of summer convey a sense of lush, full, completeness. Spring's yellow-green has turned richer and darker; seeds have displayed their once-hidden promise in fruits, veggies, berries, and blooms.

The late James Agee {A Death in the Family; Knoxville, Summer of 1915} wrote about summer with a poem later set to music for a solo vocalist by Samuel Barber, for mixed choir by Morten Lauridsen:
Sure on this shining night
Of star made shadows round,
Kindness must watch for me
This side the ground.
The late year lies down the north.
All is healed, all is health.
High summer holds the earth.
Hearts all whole.
Sure on this shining night I weep for wonder wand'ring far
alone
Of shadows on the stars.

I've been enjoying the PCUSA's Daily Office app that follows a 2-year, standalone {not related to the Revised Standard Lectionary} daily lectionary. This morning's psalms were 96 and 148; both psalms are appointed for all the Christmas/Nativity liturgies in all three lectionary years!!! Psalm 96 charges humans and "all the earth" to sing a new song to the Lord, with happy skies, singing trees, rejoicing prairies, roaring waters. Psalm 148 demands sun, moon, stars, mountains, fruit trees, cedars—and people, too praise the Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer God.

During this season of the Spirit, time of the Church, we act upon and celebrate the reality of the Holy Spirit of life, the Spirit of resurrection from the dead that fills all creation and that we specifically receive as a gift of our baptism.

This denomination emphasizes God's Work, Our Hands. Does everyone have a chrome orange slogan t-shirt? {I have two: one from one of my churches in Previous City, one from my church in Current City.} In the SS class I facilitate, we've talked a lot about neighborology—the word about the neighbor. Especially during these great fifty days of Easter, particularly in John's gospel and Luke's Acts of the Apostles we've considered the shape, form, and function of the servant church God calls and enables us to be. Now we're moving into another Season of the Spirit, Time of the Church.

Now we're moving into another Season of the Spirit, Time of the Church. God's promises in the Spirit through Paul of Tarsus' letter to the church at Rome, the psalmist's word imagery of creation fully alive look exactly like the realization of God's work done by our hands, voices, hearts, and feet. Like the band Spirit, in the power of the Spirit of Life, we've got a line on all creation.

Amen? Amen!

Outro

This typescript of my page of sparse notes probably is close to what I actually said four months ago; like most people, I tend to say the same things over and over. When I assembled this talk, summer with its long, sun-filled days officially was four weeks on the horizon, only ten days out in the popular sense. As I blog on this September Thursday evening, late summer's shadows, shortening daylight, and a settled sense of completeness rivals James Agee's whole hearts of earth in the grasp of high summer.

Recently admitting I'm doing less with my gifts and education, participating less in church and world, even earning less in my design endeavor than during my last bleak year in Previous City has made me weary and thoughtful. Like someone in a small town with declining population and departing industry, I relocated north to Current City because I'd mined all possible opps where I was. Like Mary Chapin Carpenter's sibling in "Only A Dream," I departed Previous City leaving no sign of someone who expects to be back, though I left the bed in the old condo, gave the desk to the son of a good friend.

Please tell me all this was only a dream and I'll wake up to something new?

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