Taking Time to Say Thank You

This sermon was preached at Ashland Presbyterian Church on July 1, 2018 as part of the worship series, “The Gospel According to Mr. Rogers.”

Hebrews 12:1-2 and 1 Corinthians 11:23-26 

Fred Rogers awoke every morning to a swim, weighting himself (which we will learn more about later), and silent prayer.

“Taking Time” was a gospel Mr. Rogers preached almost as much as “you are special”. He believed God was to be found in the silence. He believed the thing that was wrong with modern society was that we don’t take time. We need to slow down, to remember those who have helped us, we need to listen for God.

Now we’re about to watch a video which is a very similar speech the one Fred Rogers gave at every award he received and I would like you to pretend you are in the audience and that he is speaking to you, let’s watch:

Who has helped you to love the good within in you?

Who has wanted the best of you? Who has helped you to become who you are?

When you came in you were given a thank you note. We’re going to take a few moments together and write notes to the person you thought of. If they are in heaven, then maybe there is a relative you could send it to who would love to hear about how their loved one helped you, or you can leave it at a place of memory for them, or you can leave it with us and we will cherish it for you.

Let’s take a few moments… (write thank you notes)

Taking time to remember, it was the one thing Jesus asked at the Last Supper of this disciples, remember me. May we all take more time in our days, weeks and years.


Back in Black, Baby!

So here’s how it goes. Last year my Director of Christian Education (the fabulous, amazing, all powerful and hilarious), Katie Cashin (find her blog at The Very Hungry) and I went on a Lenten Journey together.  We stripped color from our wardrobes, makeup from our faces, and product from our hair. And we’re doing it again.

If Katie blogs about her experience I will post it here, but here are my musings from last year: Moving into DarknessYou Are EnoughBlack Shows Everything and True Colors

It was a profoundly moving experience.  

ImageHere are the rules and a few exceptions for myself: Funerals (makeup) and when I am in Cuba (because I don’t have black summer clothes), and pajamas. Because of these exceptions I will NOT be taking Sundays off.  I will wear all black, navy blue, or dark grey (all with little to no pattern) for 40 days.  I will not wear makeup. I will not straighten my hair. I will limit my jewelry to my wedding band and silver studs. Only Black shoes will be permitted. I am not allowed to buy any clothes or shoes as I have to use what I already have. I have set everything I own for this journey aside in my closet and all the other clothes get “put away”.  

But why again?

Well, again, see the blogs above. But last year was a profoundly moving experience. I had to be as “close to as God intended” I had to “make due with what I was given” and because I didn’t have to think about what I was wearing or who I was going to impress with the way I looked, I only had myself to rely on. So much in our society tells us that we need to dress to impress and always look my best.  My funky jewelry tells people I’m eccentric and my shoes show people I’m not afraid to mix styles. I admit, by the end of the 40 days last year I was SICK of the black, but the real practice is: How much time do I put into these expectations of the world, “prettying” myself up, when all the while ignoring my Creator? Even the 5 minutes it takes to pick out an outfit. The 10 minutes to dry my hair and put on makeup, and the hour it takes to pick the right earrings to go with this ring (okay, a little exaggeration, but really jewelry takes the longest for me…).

I will be doing other lenten practices too. ReThinkChurch’s Lenten Photo-A-Day (follow this blog or on Instagram) and Fat Pastor’s Thank You Notes (not like Jimmy Fallon, but maybe…). These lists are both from last year, but I will be following them anyway.  

Wish me luck!