Pastor’s Letter – February 8, 2018

The Sunday of the Super Bowl is the first holiday in February (not counting Groundhogs’ Day, which doesn’t have much celebration attached, especially for groundhogs).

Super Bowl Sunday is not formal or official, but it is very much a holiday.  Even people who don’t care for football anticipate the day.  Perhaps they make plans for parties and activities around the afternoon game.  They may have family members who are devoted to the game, and they are going along for the ride.  Also, it’s no secret that it’s an especially good time to shop, eat out, or go to the movies.  Or go to church!  There are fewer crowds and less hassle.

There are many reasons we need these big events and holidays in our lives.  Some are practical—we just need something different to do or think about or simply as a break in our routine or to provide perspective or to mark the passage of time—another year has gone by!

On this first Sunday in February, when the playing of the football championship dominates the culture, we will first gather to share communion, remembering who we are as a community—a community that lives into the power, promises, and protection of God.  If you wonder what that means, read the poetic portrait in Isaiah 40:21-31 (“Have you not known, have you not heard?”).

After church, we will look out and reach out as Jack Carpenter and Brad Cannon lead a conversation on the issue of homelessness in San Diego.

As an architect and active participant in community planning, Jack brings significant experience and deep knowledge of housing issues.

Brad is president of the Community Christian Service Agency and has years of practical, hands-on experience in dealing with the needs of homeless persons, and those who just can’t make ends meet without help.  The number of persons coming to CCSA for help continues to grow, and one reason is the fast-increasing cost of housing.

This will be an informative and important conversation—if you can spend a little extra time at church this Sunday, you’ll be glad you did!  Also, this will be a special opportunity to contribute to CCSA—we call it  “Souper Bowl Sunday,” and invite you to bring to church one or more cans of soup to donate.

We are less than two weeks from the start of Lent, leading to Holy Week and Easter.  The dates for Lent are interesting this year—the season begins on on Ash Wednesday, February 14, which is also Valentine’s Day, and ends on Easter Sunday, April 1, which is also April Fools’ Day.  This is just a coincidence, but it provides great fodder for inspiring conversation!

During Lent, you’re invited to join Rev. Jeanette for a weekly prayer exercise, on Wednesday mornings at 10.  Also, on Thursdays at 1 p.m., I will be leading a discussion group about the most-prolific writer in the New Testament entitled “The Challenge of Paul.”  Plan to participate in  a small group!

See you in church!