Aloha

Greetings Friends~

For those of you who were unable to attend the Hawaiian/Aloha Spirit service (and those who did) here’s an excerpt from the message. Enjoy!

Aloha is the power of God seeking to unite what is separated in the world – the power that unites heart with heart, soul with soul, life with life, culture with culture, race with race, nation with nation. Aloha is the power that can reunite when a quarrel has brought separation.

Aloha is the power that reunites individuals with themselves when they become separated from the image of God within. When a Person or a People live in the spirit of Aloha, they live in the spirit of God. Aloha consists of this attitude of heart, above negativism, above legalism. It is the unconditional desire to promote the true good of other people in a friendly spirit, out of a sense of kinship. Aloha seeks to do good, with no conditions attached. We do not do good only to those who do good to us. One of the sweetest things about the love of God; about Aloha, is that it welcomes the stranger and seeks his and her good. A person who has the spirit of Aloha loves even when the love is not returned.

And such is the love of God. Aloha does not exploit a people or keep them in ignorance and subservience. Rather, it shares the sorrows and joys of people. It seeks to promote the true good of others. Today, one of the deepest needs of humankind is the need to feel a sense of kinship, one with another. Truly all humankind belongs together. From the beginning, all humankind has been called into being, nourished, watched over by the love of God. The real Golden Rule is Aloha. This is the way of life we shall affirm. Let us affirm forever what we really are – for Aloha is the spirit of God at work in you and in me and in the world, uniting what is separated, overcoming darkness and death, bringing new light and life to all who sit in the darkness of fear, guiding the feet of humankind into the way of peace.

Peace;

 

 

Pastor Paula

Sitting in Saturday

We have just finished our journey through Lent, and celebrated Easter. Is that it, then, until we do the same next year? Or is it true that “every morning is Easter morning” — if we look to the truth and meaning behind the Scriptures and then apply that foundation of our faith to our lives, each and every day, throughout the year? Pastor Paula offers this reflection:

Sitting in Saturday

Good Friday was a day of darkness and death and hopelessness. We have “Good Friday” kinds of experiences in our life. We have times that feel dark and desperate. Life throws us an unexpected medical diagnosis that thrusts us into a season of appointments, procedures, and unknowns. We make the difficult decision to end our marriage, beginning the journey of unwrapping the years together and the guilt of not being able to make it work out. Your son, struggling with addiction, gets picked up and sits in the jail cell, awaiting the news of his charges. The house you carefully designed and built for your family is lying in ashes, along with the memories and the treasured items that carry those memories. The pink slip is fresh in your hands and the weight of paying the mortgage is just beginning to be felt. We have “Good Friday” kinds of experiences in life.

Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday had to have been a difficult day. Sitting in the reality of the death of Good Friday, without a sense yet of the hope of Easter, was a challenging place for the followers of Jesus. They were lost. They were grieving. They may have felt separated from community.

Sometimes we sit in Saturday. The loss of Good Friday has been experienced. The bottom has fallen out from beneath our feet. We don’t know which way is up. We are lost and grieving and in despair. We feel separated from community. We are stuck in a place of not knowing which way is going to lead to hope and promise. It’s a difficult place to sit, made even more difficult when the community around you is well on to the hope and promise of Easter.

The church has a prescribed Sunday for Easter. This year it’s April 1st. we move through Lent and 40 days after Ash Wednesday, Easter happens like clockwork. Easter doesn’t work like clockwork in our lives. Though Easter does come, will come, it doesn’t come on a schedule that always makes sense to us. And it rarely comes after only a short time of sitting in Saturday. Sometimes we sit in Saturday a long time. But Easter will be born in our lives. Easter does come, will come. New life will be born in us. A new way of being will happen in our lives. We believe this to be true because we are Easter people. We know that God is already at work in our Good Friday experiences even while we sit in the despair and grieving of Saturday.

Who around you sits in Saturday? Who do you know that sits in despair and grief, not ready for Easter Sunday? Whom do you know that sits in Saturday without the hope that Easter is coming? Whom do you know that is sitting in Saturday feeling separated from community? What they need most from you are two things: sit with them in Saturday and hold the hope of Easter for them. People who are sitting in Saturday cannot will themselves out of it. They need people who will sit around them and be with them in the midst of the Saturday experience. Sit with them and be community for them in their Saturday. And while you sit with them, you hold hope for them. You know the promise of Easter. You know the hope of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. You have lived through Good Friday and sat in Saturday, only to discover the new life of Easter. You can hold this hope for them, even when they cannot. Both the sitting with them in Saturday and the holding hope for them is a gift beyond measure. It is the power and the hope of the resurrection coming through you!

Pastor Paula

Mission Talk

 

We had a very informative mission team meeting Monday night with 11 people from United in attendance. Dorothy Nicholas and her Husband Ron were here from Glendale UMC in Savage MN. Dorothy has a wealth of experience in mission trips both serving on them and planning them. She was able to describe the planning process, what to expect and also answer many of our questions.   There was a lot of energy in the discussion and the next steps for the group involve each member doing a search for possible trips with focus on when, where and approximate costs. We will then meet to discuss the options. One Possible option is to do a mission week somewhere in the USA, perhaps in the fall of this year and start planning an international trip for winter of 2019-20. On May 16th at 2pm we have a Missionary from Costa Rica here to talk at Untied so stay tuned for more information!     –  Mike Gaboury