Last Sunday, preacher Angelie Ryah invited us to think about love (as it’s talked about in 1 Corinthians 13) as an invitation to whole-hearted living. You don’t need to be in romantic relationship for this kind of love—you just need to be alive. To take your own whole-hearted pulse, read the list that Angelie used at the end of this message called: Guideposts to Whole-Hearted Living. Does any item on that list feel like something you have in abundance? Then Praise God! Are there areas on that list that feel like they could use some work or encouragement? Try adding just a little extra self-compassion or play or creativity or dancing into your life this week, and see what happens.
In 2 Corinthias 3, Paul writes, “The Lord is Spirit, and where the Lord’s Spirit is, there is freedom.” You are free to experience the grace and wonder and joy and love of your whole heart today!
Annual Congregational Meeting
The Annual Congregational meeting and potluck lunch will be on THIS Sunday, February 7 right after worship. All friends and members of EPC are welcome.
Lenten Worship – Sundays and Thursdays
The first Sunday of Lent is only ten days away! Our worship for Lent will be focused on the powerful and familiar words of the Lord’s Prayer. We are also adding several interactive elements to help us all not just think about but actually experience the power of prayer. One creative element will be a WEAVING station. The Lent planning team is asking for pieces or strips of fabric or yarn that could be used in this project. If you have those items to donate, please bring them to church on Sunday. The Lent planning team is meeting again this Friday at 10:30am.
During Thursdays in Lent (starting Feb. 18), we hope to gather at 5:30pm for simple soup dinner and worship experience, where we can get to know each other better and deepen our Sunday experience. We would always be done before choir at 7pm. Stay tuned for more details and sign-up!
We have several 11-foot solid oak church pews available to give away here at the church. If you want one or three or know anyone who might be interested, please contact the church office. We need some of our room upstairs again!
· Celebrations for Jenya Trubnikava, who gave birth to a baby boy last Saturday. Prayers for joy and health and rest and happiness.
· For Marge Litman, who is having surgery on her hip on this Friday.
· Prayers of support for Christopher Powell who started a new school this week.
Here is the Whole-Hearted Living list, Pastor Phil
GUIDEPOSTS TO WHOLE-HEARTED LIVING (inspired by Brene Brown)
AUTHENTICITY It’s too easy to make what other people think the measure of our value. But this leads us to inauthentic behavior, from copying fashions to going along with the mob even when they are wrong. The wholehearted are authentic and true to themselves.
SELF-COMPASSION Nothing and no one is perfect, so constantly striving for perfection can lead us into punishing and self-destructive behavior that rarely if ever actually yields better results. Wholehearted people have compassion for their own self.
RESILIENT SPIRIT Modern life is full of ways to numb difficult emotions, from shopping and television to alcohol, anti-depressants and hard drugs. But we can’t numb life selectively, and killing our emotions makes us powerless. We have to cultivate a resilient spirit by facing and dealing with hard events and emotions instead of numbing out.
GRATITUDE & JOY Is that glass half-empty or half-full? We’re a glass half-empty culture, however much we have, scarcity thinking means we think we need more. To be wholehearted we need to spend time being grateful for what we have, and feeling the joy that comes from just having enough and not needing more.
INTUITION & FAITH We chase after certainty, but life is not certain. The irony is that the more we try to feel safe and secure, the more damaging and self-destructive our behavior becomes. Your life will be more certain if you never leave the house, but it won’t be much fun. Wholehearted folks tend to have faith that things will work out, and trust their intuition to guide them.
CREATIVITY It’s beautiful to play music, tell stories, or make art. But when we compare what we create to the creations of others, we stop being creative and become competitive and ambitious. Letting go of comparisons is a powerful way the wholehearted become more creative.
REST & PLAY Too often in our work we make exhaustion a status symbol, “oh I’m so tired I was working all night” and measure self-worth via our productivity. The wholehearted take plenty of time to rest, and treat work like play, or find other ways to play.
CALMNESS & STILLNESS How easy do you find it to just do nothing? Humans are anxious creatures, but there’s rarely cause for such anxiety in modern life. One step to being more wholehearted is to put time aside for activities like meditation that help us to become calm instead of anxious.
MEANINGFUL WORK Wholehearted people tend to find meaningful work to do. We all want meaningful work, but sometimes we miss opportunities to get it by believing there are things we are “supposed to” do instead. For instance, if you are “supposed to” make $250,000 a year at work, there’s every chance you’ll miss lower paid but much more meaningful opportunities.
LAUGHTER, SONG & DANCE Here’s a secret – cool people aren’t cool. In fact often they are very uptight, closed off, and unhappy. If you can’t dance, sing and have fun because you’re so concerned about what people will think of you, then you’re likely suffering from exactly the shame and emotional numbness Brown is taking about.