November 06, 2019
As I’m praying this morning, I’m reading the names of the 32 people from our church who have died this past year. For all their loved ones, the seasons of life changed this year as family and friends are learning to live in new ways. On Sunday, November 3, we’ll read the names, and light a candle and toll a bell for each person as we celebrate All Saints’ Day. Their names will also be read as part of worship at our new Dove Mountain site.
Many more names of loved ones have been written on small papers and tied to our bell banner, which will process with the pastors and Chancel Choir at 8:15 and 9:45 a.m. and be in worship at the Gathering at 11:15 a.m. At the Gathering, people also have a chance to come forward and light a candle for a loved one.
I tied two names on the bell banner this year. I always write my mother’s name and think of her with love as I tie the paper to the banner. This year I also wrote the name of my good friend, Rev. Cynthia Langston Kirk, who died on October 25. Sorrow filled my heart as I wrote her name. I was conscious once again of changing seasons for her many family and friends—life is no longer the same.
For several weeks we’ve focused in worship on What the Bible Says About Love. This week’s theme is Learning to Love After Hurt or Loss. Over the years I’ve known people who seem to recover quickly after hurt or loss and others who never do, whose deep sorrow continues for the rest of their lives. I know that God wants us to love and live fully and joyfully, so my heart breaks for those whose sorrow—and sometimes their anger— seems to consume their lives forever. I don’t think we “get over” a deep hurt or loss. I do think there are ways that God through Scripture, worship, prayer and friendship can bring healing and hope to the new seasons of our lives. That’s what we’ll talk about this Sunday, November 3.
Besides 8:15, 9:45, and 11:15 a.m. worship at our main site (Magee and LaCanada) you can also worship at St. Mark’s Dove Mountain, 5650 Moore Rd., Marana, at 10 a.m. on Sundays. The sermon from the Magee site is streamed to Dove Mountain. You can also log on to worship at 9:45 a.m. for livestreaming at umcstmarks.org, and click LIVE WORSHIP from the main menu.
P.S. While Commitment Sunday for our 2020 stewardship campaign is November 17, you can bring or mail or commitment card anytime, or make a commitment online at umcstmarks.org (GIVING). Making your commitment for 2020 helps our Finance Committee make wise plans for mission and ministry.