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A few weeks ago I removed the wire cage around a young serviceberry tree in my yard, having planted hostas around it, hoping they would act as a barrier.  The next day it was a short stick - the top half of the tree, all the foliage, gone - the handiwork of my burgeoning rabbit population.  Discouraged, I left it there.

Just yesterday I noticed tiny new leaves sprouting forth from that dead looking stick.  Barrenness transformed.  Somehow, the invisible root system must still be thriving, able to send forth enough energy for fragile new life to begin again.


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The past Sunday, one among us chose to kneel down, welcoming the waters of baptism as a sign of her commitment to the ever-new journey with Christ. This blessing followed:

 

May the blessing of the three-in-one God be yours.

May the Spirit bless you with hope 
poured out like water and flowing as the river.

May Jesus bless you with discomfort 
at injustice and oppression.

May the God of Creation journey with you
now and forever.

God says to you, “you are my beloved,
Be blessed this day and always.”


 

Evidence of resilient,  visible and invisible love abounds.  We only need look around.  The poem "The Pool" at the bottom of this newsletter, gives another snapshot of this ordinary/extraordinary sacrificial love that beckons us to follow.


Beloved,
God is here among us.

The One who blesses us also challenges and renews us.


Where do you encounter the Spirit of God?

Scriptures for Sunday:

Luke 14: 25-33
2 Corinthians 10: 3-5

Hope Brubaker is bringing the message this week:
"Where is your loyalty?"
MOMENTS OF JOY...
Marten, Anika, Ben and Jonas, and Rick.
Where have you found joy this week?
ANNOUNCEMENTS AT UMC :

Church Around the Table (CATT)  - REMINDER: July 10 there will be no corporate worship in our building.  We're hoping to have a virtual CATT group this month, using our Sunday morning worship link for those who want to participate in this way. Even if you've never gone to a CATT - you're welcome to join at any time!


Mennonites Against Militarism - a collaboration of Mennonite Central Committee and Mennonite Church USA is seeking to launch an initiative to counter military recruitment of U.S. youth. The vision for the project, Alternatives to Military Enlistment Network (AMEN) is to connect young people with volunteer advisors who can help them find non-military career, service and training opportunities.  Click HERE to learn more.

Volunteer at Plowshare Produce: Bethany and Micah Spicher Schonberg invite anyone who enjoys weeding to their farm, Thursday mornings, 9:30-12, to help, followed by an outdoor lunch at noon. All are welcome. RSVP by Wednesday evening before by email or phone.


Zoom links:

Tuesday Sharing and Prayer 
Sunday morning service 
You Tube channel

THE POOL


Because he couldn't afford
the kidney-shaped, in-ground pool
we all wanted, my father went out
and bought a used galvanized pool
whose rusted rim I refused to touch.

As usual, he had a solution:
he split a length of black rubber hose
down the middle with his pocketknife
then stretched it over the rough sides,
inch by inch, until no rust showed.

Back then, I never thought such gestures
were selfless, evidence of what we call
unconditional love. But now I feel
my small hands gripping soft rubber,
and I see my father on the back porch,

cigarette hanging from his smiling lips
as he watches me lift myself
out of the pool, flinging cold water
from my goose-pimpled skin
as if I'd been reborn again.

-James Crews
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Blessings,

Kate
Copyright © 2022 University Mennonite Church, All rights reserved.


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