Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote that if the stars came out only one night a century, that night would be considered an astounding spectacle, a wonder of the world, and all of us would stay up and behold them in breathless awe — and yet, there they are each cloudless night, no less miraculous for being so frequently visible.

Poems often celebrate the commonplace, the ordinary moments of life, like in the poem below, a dragonfly on a pigeon feather. And...and perhaps there's more...*

Field Guide

Once, in the cool blue middle of a lake,
up to my neck in that most precious element of all,

I found a pale-gray, curled-upwards pigeon feather
floating on the tension of the water

at the very instant when a dragonfly,
like a blue-green iridescent bobby pin,

hovered over it, then lit, and rested.
That’s all.

I mention this in the same way
that I fold the corner of a page

in certain library books,
so that the next reader will know

where to look for the good parts.

+ Tony Hoagland


What Hoagland calls “the good parts” are like that: they’re everywhere around us every day, and for that very reason, we tend to overlook them, or find them merely pleasant or charming.

But in fact, they are sheer wonders, astonishments, glories to behold. Water really is “that most precious element of all.” A dragonfly really is a marvel, as is a feather, as is the tension on the still surface of a lake. As are you, and me, up to our necks in miracles, every moment of every day.

Stop. Look. Listen. What are the common place miracles that surround you?

* This post is slightly adapted from this SaltProject blog.

Scriptures for Sunday:

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-11

We will explore seasons in worship this Sunday:

Seasons can vary in length: Seasons of our lives (years), seasons of the year (months), seasons of emotions (fleeting - come and go throughout a day).

How do you experience God's presence in the fullness of the many seasons of your life?

Want a sneak preview of the music being used in the prelude this week? (UMC pictures will be used) Click HERE.

COMMUNION will be celebrated this week. Prepare your hearts and minds as we gather to share in the breaking of bread as a community.

First day of school for Jonas, Anika and Alethia; Lily with a furry friend; Gloria, Carolyn and their sister, Marilyn.

Cookout potluck - Join us, this Sunday, 8/28, following worship, in the park behind church for a picnic lunch together.  Burgers and dogs will be provided from the grill as well as paper products.  Bring a dish to share! 

Congregational Meeting: We hope to meet on Zoom on Sunday evening, September 11, to affirm our volunteer slate and pass our budget.  This date is still tentative - Stay tuned for details.

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom Annual Commemoration in State College:   Sunday, August 28, 1pm - 3pm, at the MLK, Jr. Plaza. Civil and human rights leader, Bayard Rustin, will be remembered, and other local organizations fighting for justice will be recognized.

Out of the Cold is in need of meals and volunteers as they provide safe accommodations for the unhoused in Centre County.  Click HERE to sign up.

Want to learn more about what's happening in the Mennonite Church?  Check out "Peace Mail" by clicking HERE.

Zoom links:

Tuesday Sharing and Prayer 
Sunday morning service 
You Tube channel

A blessing for when the road is long

God, I could not have imagined
that this road could be 
so long, so hard, so daunting.

Here I am, worn out—
body and soul.

Blessed are we, the weary
who must set aside
what we are carrying,
and begin to feel
only the weight of our own being.

It is enough for now.

Let our shoulders sink
from around our ears,
our breath grow longer and deeper,
taking a minute to notice
the way our diaphragm
rises and falls
without us telling it to.

Blessed are we who cannot go on…
not like this,
but stand and look and ask:
Is there a better path?

Blessed are we, at the point of utter stillness,
that becomes an empty space for
that voice to echo
and build and resound

until it becomes a place to rest
and receive
and be made whole.

And how blessed are we
who are astonished
to find that God’s strength
begins at the very point
when ours runs out.


-Kate Bowler


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