Pastor’s Musings

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Pastor’s Musings Summer 2017

As the weather warms, or at least the flowers and leaves respond to the warmth, my thoughts inevitably drift to summer activities. In many places, that means simply: Vacation! Here in Wellfleet, it actually represents a time of many diverse activities, and visitors coming to our church while on holiday, or to attend a concert, or to participate in some of the wonderful activities that are centered here. We have a busy schedule of concerts and events this summer, and it begins on Pentecost Sunday, June 4th! There is actually a big, annual concert that day, but, for me, the excitement begins that morning in worship. Pentecost is or ought to be, one of the biggest days in the church year. It celebrates the handing over to the church the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit. It signifies the real beginning of our work as disciples; missionaries and minsters of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! All the bumbling days of apprenticeship, endured by the Apostles is turned into the practice of faithful service on Pentecost. The difference in their lives is remarkable! The difference in our lives echoes these very same possibilities. We continue to be disciples, students of the Christian Life. As students, we continue to deepen our understanding of our common faith, and we seek to put our learning into practice. There is a world still waiting for the great Good News of God’s love and care, God’s redeeming grace! So I am a lifelong student, ever engaged in the process of working to build on the foundation of faith in my life already!

This is why I think of learning when it comes to summer! Beach reading is one of the times when I can give time to learning and relaxing at the same time! I have read many books at the beach over my lifelong love affair with books, and this year is no different! I have a pile of books already waiting to be put to use! There are three books that come to mind, two that I’ll be reading this summer, and one I read a long time ago, but frequently turn back to for its insights!

The older book is one of Brian McLaren’s offerings. He spoke recently at our UCC Super Saturday, earlier this spring. He wrote a book whose title tells almost the whole story. It’s also the longest title on my bookshelf! It’s called A Generous Orthodoxy: Why I am a Missional, Evangelical, post/Protestant, liberal/conservative, mystical/poetic, biblical, charismatic/contemplative, fundamentalist, Calvinist, Anabaptist, Anglican, Methodist, Catholic, green, incarnational, depressed-yet-hopeful, emergent, unfinished Christian.

He talks about his life’s journey through many phases of belief and practice, and also about just what each segment of Christian tradition can offer to all the rest of us. It’s inspiring to hear again the passionate stories of those who fought for what they believed in and made it possible for us to freely share those ideas and beliefs today!

The next book is also one of his; We Make the Road by Walking. This book tells the story of our faith through one year of lectionary-guided readings. He shares one brief excerpt from each week in a single Christian Year, drawing us on from Advent, through Easter and Pentecost, to the culmination of the year with the Reign of Christ. He reminds us of the scope of the story, and invites us to make each year a pilgrimage. You can join me in reading it this summer, or we could open a book group that shares it a bit at a time, from the first Sunday in Advent, through the entire Christian Year, beginning this fall!

The last book I’ll recommend is one by Jim Wallis, whose work in Washington DC with the Sojourners Community and magazine is widely known. His new book is called: America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America.

This is one of those subjects that needs frequent re-examination. All churches are in a position to be the voice for anti-racism and for recognizing our own past difficulties with race. We are always hopeful that God’s message of building a Beloved Community will become reality, and in our day. Until that day, let’s all continue to grow in discipleship together this summer!

In Christ’s Service,

Pastor Paul

1st Congregational Church, UCC
200 Main Street Wellfleet MA 02667
Pastor: Rev. Paul Cullity
Minister of Music: Brad Williams
Church Secretary: Nellie DiPinto
8:00 a.m. Holy Communion
10:00 a.m. Worship Service