Poems, Prayers, and Promises
We have been through a lot this year. So much, we don’t even need to ask each other, “How are you?” Because we already know! Fear, frenzy, separation and isolation have been the common thread as COVD has flooded our country and the world. Like the Black Plague of the past, it has indiscriminately wrecked havoc reminding us of how precious life is, as well as what is truly important!
This is why I have chosen one more opportunity to hear and reflect on what we have experienced as we journey through this Season of Lent. The words shared, come from members of the IONA Community in Scotland, an organization seeking peace, wholeness, and justice for all — as they each prayed their way through this pandemic. Their words, in the form of psalm, song, poetry, and statements of faith will be shared by Rev. Haemmelmann every Monday and Friday at 6, 7, & 8. Each reading lasts a minute or two, so it’s not a demanding practice, but an important one. In a unique way you can join with fellow believers from around the world, with whom we share, not just a pandemic, but a call to faith in this time of our lives.
Watch, by clicking HERE at 6, 7, or 8 p.m. Monday and Friday.
Lent Sunset Services
Sunday evenings at 6pm during the season of Lent, be part of an inspirational, beachside service where we will study a Bible passage and offer a brief prayer. Afterwards, we’ll enjoy the beautiful sunset with friends from our church community. We meet at the 17th Avenue ramp, and bring a beach chair and your own refreshments.
From the Organ Bench: Hymn Stories with Dale Williams ~ “Lift High the Cross”
George Kitchin, born in Suffolk, England in 1827, spent most of his life in academic institutions. He was ordained in the Church of England in 1852 and ultimately became Dean of Winchester Cathedral where he served from 1883 to 1894 then Dean of Durham Cathedral for the next 18 years. Kitchin wrote the original version of the text to “Lift High the Cross” in 1887 for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. The hymn was intended to be used for a festival service at Winchester Cathedral. Michael Newbolt, ordained as a priest in the Church of England in 1900, revised the text for inclusion in the 1916 Supplement to Hymns Ancient and Modern (the hymnal most commonly used in the Church of England). The editor of that Supplement was Sydney Nicholson, organist at the prestigious Westminster Abbey and the founder of the Royal School of Church Music. Nicholson took 8 of Newbolt’s 12 revised couplets and married them with a hymn tune he had personally written (CRUCIFER). This is the version that made its way into various U.S. hymnals in the 1970’s, most including four or five stanzas.
Used primarily throughout the seasons of Lent and Easter, “Lift High the Cross” is ultimately a hymn in praise of the crucified Christ which rallies his followers, gives healing to the despair of the world, and encourages all to sing praises to Him. Click below to enjoy a recording with multiple choirs at Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas accompanied by brass, percussion and my former organ professor, Dr. Albert Travis. So shall our song of triumph ever be:
Praise to the Crucified for victory!
Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim
Till all the world adore his sacred name.
Click HERE to listen to the hymn.
If you are looking for a quieter, more contemplative format, (i.e. heart over head) to experiencing scripture, Karla Hollan will lead participants in an online, time-honored style of praying scripturally known as Lectio Divina. Some of you may remember this from involvement in our past Companions in Christ groups. Karla brings a balanced, contemporary approach to Lectio Davina applying her skills as a Yoga instructor and spiritual guide. Karla has created a contemplative reading of scripture for each week in Lent. Of course you may repeat them if, you find sitting still a challenge, but this is not a requirement. Karla will provide instruction and read the texts. Your task is to relax, listen, and create space for God to speak to you through the words as they are spoken.
Lectio divina is a method of praying the Scriptures. What better way to get to know God than by spending time with God’s spoken word?
The practice of lectio divina traces its roots back to the early centuries in the Church. By the sixth century, St. Benedict had made it a regular practice in most monasteries. And while in its beginnings this prayer method was set aside for monks and religious, today lectio divina is a widely held practice by many laymen and laywomen.
Lectio divina is a slow, rhythmic reading and praying of a Scripture passage. You pick a passage and read it. Notice what arises within you as you read it. Then you read it again, and then again, noticing what words and phrases grab your heart and noticing the feelings that arise. You respond to God about whatever is stirring within as you read and pray with the passage. Finally, you rest and let God respond and speak to you.
This Lenten Season we have provided an opportunity for you to try this method for reading, praying, and experiencing the scriptures in an old, but contemporary way — Lectio Divina.