“All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all.” Our God of abundance has gifted the world with the stunningly beautiful and infinitely diverse kingdom of animals with whom we share the earth. For many of us, animals are members of the family.
Whether you are primarily a “dog person,” “cat person”, “horse person”, bird watcher or simply appreciate animals, you are invited join the first Blessing of the Animals – Pet Blessing at Kanapaha Church on Saturday, October 3rd. This service will take place, rain or shine, at 10 am on the front lawn of the church and will include individual blessing of each animal. (October3rd is the date, St Francis of Assisi, who had a great love of animals, died.) So bring the animal companions that are dear to you and with whom you share your life as together we will give thanks for all animals and pray God’s blessing on them. If you do not wish to bring your pet and would still like a blessing, please bring a photograph of your pet. And invite your friends, family members and neighbors to do the same. Offerings of dog or cat food will be donated to animals in need.
As Genesis 1:24 puts it,
“And God said, ‘Let the earth bring froth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good.”
Please join with me in a new adventure in worship beginning on September 13th, as I begin to use the Narrative Lectionary passages on which to base my sermons. Unlike the three year RCL, Revised Common Lectionary, on which I’ve based my preaching for most of the last 12 years, the Narrative Lectionary is a four year cycle of scripture readings. The Narrative Lectionary includes the major episodes in Scripture and is arranged in a narrative sequence to help us see Scripture that has coherence and a dynamic movement:
- From September to mid-December the preaching texts begin with the early chapters of Genesis, move through the stories of Israel’s early history, the exodus, the kings, prophets, exile, and return.
- From Christmas to Easter there is sustained reading of one of the four gospels. This year I’ll be preaching from the Gospel of Mark.
- From Easter to Pentecost the texts are chosen from Acts and Paul’s letters.
The Church Year helped to shape the flow of the NL. Old Testament readings move through the story of God’s dealings with Israel and culminate in Advent with the prophets who speak of long-ing and hope. Readings from the gospels fit the movement from Christmas and Epiphany to the Transfiguration, Ash Wednesday, Holy Week and Easter. Selections from the book of Acts and Paul’s letters trace the outward movement of the resurrection message, culminating on Pentecost with readings focusing on the Spirit.
In the summer, the NL provides passages that fit nicely into one of four sermon series options. More information on the particular series will be provided as Summer draws closer.
I look forward to the deepened discipleship we will experience together through reading and preaching these new selections of God’s Holy Word.
Yours in Christ,