Watch. Talk. Think. Act. “To be reconciled to God is to be sent into the world as God’s reconciling community. This community, the church universal, is entrusted with God’s message of reconciliation and shares God’s labor of healing enmities which separate people from God and from each other.” These words from our denomination’s Confession of 1967, among many others in our confessions and from scripture itself, make clear that laboring to abolish all forms of racial injustice is central to the work of the church. We have much to learn and much work to do.
Our spiritual growth and social witness team leaders have identified a number of films that explore this critically important topic. We invite you to watch the films on your own and then join our zoom sessions to discuss. Keep an eye on the church emails for specific film titles and zoom dates and times, or be in touch with arlene@BurkePresChurch.org.
BPC’s youth have been endlessly creative during this complicated season. Our 7th-12th graders have continued to meet and stay active throughout the spring and summer, mostly via Zoom. In addition to regular gatherings online, they met to cook together and play a range of games. They planned mission/service events, worship opportunities, and fellowship activities. For example, the youth met in a socially distant manner to create yard signs to brighten some members’ days. They played outdoor games that allowed for “togetherness” without being close. One day some youth attended a movie at the University Mall: They had the whole theater to themselves and were able to keep masks on and sit separately. One night they gathered at Burke Lake Park Campgrounds. High school students spent the night in their own tents or hammocks!
Finally, we welcomed our incoming 7th graders in early August, and had a special send-off firepit event for the seniors heading off to college. Our youth have made the best of a hard situation, and we intend to continue throughout the 2020-21 year. If you have a youth who would like to get connected with our community, don’t hesitate to reach out to Associate Pastor of Youth Ministries Adam Ogg (firstname.lastname@example.org).
GODLY PLAY FOR ALL AGES
Join us Saturday mornings: For every beginning there is an end, and for every ending there is a new beginning. These words, from the Godly Play lexicon, express a universal truth that runs throughout scripture — from the beginning as Creation springs forth out of chaos, in the Psalms when songs of praise follow cries of despair, and at the heart of the Christian story of death and resurrection. We ended our summer Godly Play series in the beginning, in Eden. Adam and Eve were exiled from the garden with no going back, and yet God was with them, and is with us, on the journey.
Godly Play is more of a spiritual practice than it is a lesson or activity. It’s a way, both in ordinary and in these unsettled times, to experience the familiar week after week. Just like in worship, we have an idea what to expect — each session follows the same pattern of gathering, hearing a story and wondering; work-time, blessings and goodbyes. And each session offers the possibility to discover something new. Perhaps most important, we get to see each other face-to-face and to remember that we belong to one another and to God, even now. It’s been a special blessing, indeed, to welcome participants of all ages and stages. We find that all have equal access to the story, and each has an important voice to share — whether out loud or in the chat, whether up-and-down moving around, or a silent presence holding the circle. All are welcome.
Each story stands on its own, and yet, like any practice, we get the most out of it by making it a part of our regular routine. Join us on Saturday mornings, beginning September 12, at 10:00 am. Each session lasts about 30-40 minutes from start to finish. Here’s the link to register weekly on Zoom.
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CHILDREN: RAINBOW IS ONLINE!
When we think about what makes Rainbow special – community, love, acceptance, laughter, play, creativity – these are attributes that can endure, whether we are together in person as we love to be, or together virtually, as we will have to be this year. We are so thankful to be connected through technology so that together we can still learn about God’s love, worship through music, engage in recreation games, participate in creative arts, and join in community to laugh, learn, and love.
We hope you will plan to join your Rainbow family on Wednesday evenings from 5-6 pm, starting September 30, with a very special kick-off, drive-thru event in the church parking lot — details coming soon!
There is no cost to participate in Rainbow this year, but we do ask families to register their children so we can keep in touch, distribute materials, and plan activities. You can complete the short registration form here.
After the kick-off event, regular Rainbow will include stories and Bible lesson, worship through music, and recreational games or creative arts project. Any questions about Rainbow? Contact Spiritual Growth Director Arlene Decina (email@example.com).