Monday, May 14, 2012

Many Branches, One Vine--Many Vistas, One Moon

Recently at First Church
Understanding Without Borders

The community today can be no single tradition; it is the planet.
Daily the world grows smaller, leaving understanding the only place
where peace can find a home.

— Scholar and theologian Huston Smith

From the beginning of my association with First Church, I have been impressed with the First Church congregation's long and wide perspective and its "funky," sometimes daring, ways of worship. Worship services on two recent Sundays are no exception.

On the first Sunday in May, Pastor Brenda elaborated on the apostle John's theme of many branches, one vine, and led us into a broader picture--the need in our contemporary world for inter-faith dialog, understanding, and perspective.

On the last Sunday in April, three guests joined us for worship--Mr. Abdullah Khan, a native of Pakistan, and Mr. Haidar Reda Mohamad, from Iraq. Both are students in the International Peacemaking Program at Hartford Seminary. The men stayed for a lively open discussion and question-answer period with members of the congregation. Accompanying them was Rev. Dr. Jonathan Lee, former Associate Pastor at South Church in Middletown, and Chief Development Officer and adjunct faculty at Hartford Seminary.

Our recent so-called super moon also accentuates the closeness of Earth's people: Many branches, one vine. Many vistas, one moon. Come visit and worship with us. All are welcome.

Moon over a mosque in Amman, Jordan (Reuters, Ali Jarekji)* 
*From The Atlantic website.


Lyn Shaw said...

I agree with the above. I've been a member of First Church for almost 40 years...and know the congregation to be open, progressive, lively and welcoming of everyone who passes through the doors across from Klekolo as a member or a visitor.

Life can be fragmenting: Pull the pieces together in our lovely sanctuary amidst our smiles.

Anne-Marie Cannata said...

I love the people in First Church! Warm, caring, intelligent, fun-loving, open-minded, accepting and dedicated to serving others!