Four high school boys afflicted with spring fever skipped morning classes. After lunch they reported to the teacher that they had a flat tire. Much to their relief she smiled and said, “Well, you missed a test today so take seats apart from one another and take out a piece of paper.” Still smiling, she waited for them to sit down. Then she said: “First Question: Which tire was flat?”
Join us for the month of May (no test required), schedule below.
Sun. May 7th – Communion Sunday with Rev. David Strang. This theme is “Sunday morning at the movies: The Lion King.” Pastor Michael & Synthea on vacation returning Monday, May 8th.
Sun. May 14th – Celebrating Mother’s Day (Every adult woman receives a flower and special prayer). Luke 24: 9-10 – Our focus is honoring women and moms for all they do, but there’s more. The earliest evangelist were women coming from the tomb telling the disciples that Christ is Risen in all four accounts of the Gospels. It’s the women and among them Mary, the mother of James that shares the good news first.
Sun. May 21st – Ascension Sunday: Acts 1:6-14 – The New Testament church was entering a “New Phase” in Jesus returning (ascending) to Father God in heaven and preparing for Pentecost and church growth. We have been blessed with our own church growth over the past year and with God’s guidance and help will continue to grow in number, faith and love.
Sun. May 28th – Celebrating Pentecost Acts 2:1-11 – The birth of the New Testament church as the Holy Spirit descends like fire on those gathered in Jerusalem to begin a new chapter of Judeo-Christianity spreading throughout the Mediterranean and the world. We’ll also remember those who died in the military service of their country, honoring Memorial Day.
Blessings, Pastor Michael
- National Day of Prayer, May 4, 2023
- Mother’s Day, May 14, 2023
- Ascension Day, May 18, 2023
- Pentecost, May 28, 2023
- Memorial Day, May 29, 2023
Honor Your Mother
Anna Jarvis, the woman who first suggested a national day to honor mothers, had an incredible mother to honor. Her mom, Ann Reeves Jarvis (1832-1905), was a Sunday school teacher and activist who helped lower infant-mortality rates in Appalachia and promoted friendship among families of Civil War soldiers.
At a memorial service for her mother, Anna Jarvis distributed carnations — her mom’s favorite flower — to attendees. Her idea to set apart one day each year for moms gained traction, and in 1914, President Wilson proclaimed the second Sunday of May Mother’s Day. It was customary by then to wear white carnations in honor of departed mothers and red carnations to honor the living.
Of the white flowers, Jarvis said they “symbolize the truth, purity and broad-charity of mother love; its fragrance, her memory, and her prayers. The carnation does not drop its petals, but hugs them to its heart as it dies, and so, too, mothers hug their children to their hearts, their mother love never dying.”
The Power of (God’s) Light
Do most people truly feel happier in spring? Is the light brighter, the sky bluer? Meteorologists say yes. The shorter, blue wavelengths of sunlight scatter more efficiently than long, red ones; as the sun rises higher in spring, the light passes through less atmosphere, making the sky appear bluer. Outdoor levels of light have proven as effective as Prozac to combat depression — and May is the sunniest month!
The Bible frequently uses light as a metaphor for God: “The Lord is my light and my salvation” (Psalm 27:1); “Let us walk in the light of the Lord” (Isaiah 2:5); “The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world” (John 1:9). Darkness isn’t bad; seeds sprout in dark soil, life begins in the dark womb, and darkness protected the Hebrews fleeing Pharaoh and the holy family fleeing Herod.
But light is one apt image for God because most of us know the joy, health and energy light brings.
Both in spring and through faith in the God who enlightens all, may we “live as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8). —Heidi Hyland Mann
Prepare to be Empowered
Contrary to common perception, Jesus’ disciples weren’t frightened and hiding during the 10 days between Ascension and Pentecost. Instead, they were actively preparing for the promised gift of the Holy Spirit. They “all joined together constantly in prayer” (Acts 1:14, NIV) and took steps to replace Judas.
After that inward focus, the disciples were ready to boldly burst forth on Pentecost, empowered and “enabled” (Acts 2:4) by the Spirit. They proclaimed Christ’s death and resurrection, leading 3,000 people to faith that day, now known as the church’s birthday.
“A great wave of faith and love swept through this newborn community,” writes Suzanne de Dietrich in Free Men. “These Christians could not keep silent. Their joyful liberty had broken down all the walls behind which people would like to keep them; no prison could silence them.”
Jokes only a mother could love
Why is a computer so smart?
It listens to its motherboard.
Why did you chop the joke book in half?
Mom said to cut the comedy.
Why do mother kangaroos hate rainy days?
Because their kids have to play inside!
What did the mother rope say to her child?
“Don’t be knotty.”
A 96-year-old lady was a faithful attendant at my women’s Bible studies. She came with her lessons prepared and knew all the answers. One day a tactless member asked her, “Why do you work so hard on these lessons when you’re so old and it doesn’t matter?” Little Bess Elkins looked up and said confidently, “I’m cramming for my finals.” Florence Littauer, Women’s Devotional Bible
May Mission of the Month: Strengthen the Church (UCC)
Grafton Food Pantry Wishlist Items: Condiments (ketchup, mustard, etc.)