Earth Care Sunday, Fourth Sunday of Easter – April 22, 2018

firstpr0 FPCU Worship

Bible Study – 8:15 a.m.
Worship – 9:30 a.m.
Childcare is available for infants through preschool age, downstairs in Rooms 4 and 5 for morning and evening services
Sunday School for Children and Youth – after worship
Seminar: “Challenges to Sustainability: Development in Champaign County” – 11:00 a.m.
Blessing of the Animals Service – 4:00 p.m.

From the Pastor/Head of Staff

The image is of a stained glass window, “New Earth,” created by Joy Stained Glass Studio, in Oak Grove, Missouri.

The Book of Nehemiah contains this excellent passage: ‘Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our LORD; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” (Neh. 8:10 NRS) That’s right. The joy of the Lord is our strength. What we will celebrate on Earth Sunday, April 22nd, is the promise that God’s good creation offers us this kind of joy, day in and day out. All we need do is make time to pay attention. I invite you to read Psalm 104 today, or during this next week. You will find in its verses the sustained delight of someone who has paid attention to her or his part of the world. If you were to write such a Psalm, rooted in our place, what would it look like? As you think about that, I will leave you with one more quotation, as our community also celebrates Ebertfest. John Calvin wrote, “The whole world is a theatre for the display of the divine goodness, wisdom, justice, and power, but the Church is the orchestra, as it were—the most conspicuous part of it; and the nearer the approaches are that God makes to us, the more intimate and condescending the communication of his benefits, the more attentively are we called to consider them.” The word “condescending” speaks of all the ways God “comes down” to us, to meet us where we are. Rather than being negative, this use of the word captures the way God loves us, that God has no desire to be separate from us, but wants to commune with us. And one of the best ways we enjoy this communion is in Nature. Join us on Sunday as we celebrate Earth Day, Earth Sunday, and the glory of our place on the Earth.

Blessings!

David