Happy Holy Week! Join our talented music director, Deana Gurney, and myself for a Holy Thursday service on Zoom. It will begin a 7 p.m. If you have friends or family that would like to join us, please invite them.
Sunday is Easter as you well know. The service is going to be very meaningful and moving. Also, you will receive a gift at the conclusion. How is that for a tease… hopefully you will join us either in person or online. The gift is for those of you who attend in person.
We also have something exciting for the children… there will be an Easter hunt; however, it will be an Easter Can hunt instead of an Easter Egg hunt. Oh, I think there will be some eggs in there as well. However, what the children will be hunting for is canned goods for the Windham Food Pantry. Bring your children and grandchildren for this fun and meaningful hunt. How important it is for our children to learn to give to those who are experiencing food insecurity. You might pick up a few extra items when you are shopping for your Easter dinner preparation for the food basket.
I usually use this space to recap what the message was on Sunday; however, when I read this article from Fr. Gregory Boyle, S.J. who is the founder of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles (the largest gang-intervention, rehabilitation, and re-entry program in the world), I knew I wanted to share it with you. The article is titled Community, not Chaos. It came to me from the Ignatian Solidarity Network.
I was in an aisle seat, flying home from Philadelphia to Los Angeles with two homies. People are boarding, and I spot a tall man wearing a T-shirt. I try to make out what it says: “Philly IS Everybody.” I’m heartened. I think, “Wow… kinship, connection, exquisite mutuality. A community of cherished belonging.” As he gets closer, I can see the shirt actually says: “Philly VS Everybody.” Shoot. We were so close.
Two parades. Pilate and the show of military power and force, heading to Jerusalem from the west. And Jesus, on a small donkey, humbly entering the city from the east. Jesus’ trek displays a way of life whose hallmarks are inclusion, non-violence, unconditional loving-kindness, and compassionate acceptance. The parade of war horses announces the threat of violent force, coercion, and oppression of the poor.
The triumphant entrance of Jesus is not an indictment, but an invitation. Jesus doesn’t draw lines. He erases them. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s last book was called, ”Where do we go from here? Chaos or Community?” We find our way out of chaos and its dispiriting tribalism by standing against forgetting that we belong to each other. At Homeboy Industries, rival gang members who used to shoot at each other trade in hostility for a cherishing lens that hopes to see as God does. It creates a “tribe” of cherished belonging that hopes to end “tribalism” itself. It humbly seeks to be the front porch of the house everyone wants to live in. Community, not chaos.
Homegirl Pooka says that “Love is our lens. It is how we see things.” So, we don’t “love our enemies.” We decide not to have any. Two parades. Nobody VS anybody. An invitation to see with a different lens.
• Where do you see parades of loving-kindness and parades of war in our world today?
• How can you change the lens through which you see to one of cherishing and love?
I look forward to our time together Thursday evening and Sunday morning.
You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Patricia Bessey