Lent 2A, March 12, 2017; The Rev. Pamela L. Werntz

Genesis 12:1-4a Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house.
Romans 4:1-5, 13-17 Blessed are those whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
John 3:1-17 How can these things be?

O God of grace, grant us the strength, the wisdom and the courage to seek always and everywhere after truth, come when it may, and cost what it will.

This is one of those Sundays when I have a harder time giving thanks and praise to God in response to the scripture readings when I first hear them, because it’s hard for me to hear them read without thinking about the damage humans do to one another using these passages as weapons.  The recent and dramatic rise of hateful words and actions against Jews and Muslims (or people mistaken for Muslims) is fueled by arrogance and ignorance of “Christian” teachings. The fighting happens within Christianity as well, between Catholics and protestants, between different kinds of protestants, and within our own Anglican traditions. Perhaps you have a similar experience of knowing these lessons from a standpoint of in and out, us and them, ours and not yours.  Perhaps you’ve heard these lessons as being about tests about who measures up because of what they think or don’t think.  If not, just wait for today’s cantata! All this makes many flee religious practice, and for good reason. Continue reading

Bridges across Time & Space

I learned of my Aunt Libby’s passing two weeks ago and the news did not come easily to me. She came to Asheville, NC the same year that I did- for me to begin my adult life as a college freshman and her to end hers. She moved to an assisted living facility there that offered end-of-life care. The serendipity of this still baffles and amazes me. We spent countless hours together throughout the eleven years that we shared a zip code and she served as my primary family support throughout my twenties. I have been reflecting a lot on our time together and attempting to hold onto the lovely memories of her that I hope to cherish for a lifetime. I want to introduce her to you as a way to honor her. Continue reading

Something in the Way We Move

Recently I was asked why I chose to study Dance/Movement Therapy. My answer was that it has proved to serve me in my experiences and I desire to bring Dance/Movement Therapy to the world and that I aspire to be more qualified in the realm of Expressive Arts Therapy and Mental Health Counseling. After some reflection of my answer I realized that the essence of my statement is a desire for connection and movement. I love to move. I have experienced the transformative power of movement in my life. My desire to be more qualified is really an effort or desire to connect with others on a deeper level and to better understand where someone is in that moment. It was this question that led me to look at the way in which I relate to others and how I can make these connections on a body level. How does the way I move effect or relate to the connections I make, particularly in my three internship areas? Continue reading

Need for Connection

Over the last two weeks one of the themes I have seen rise time and time again is the human need for connection and belonging. Being with one another in a meaningful way can make all the difference in someone’s life. Brené Brown says, “We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.” I feel this speaks perfectly to the wonderful people the interns and volunteers get the opportunity to experience firsthand through Common Art, Café Emmanuel and the Art and Spirituality program at the Suffolk County House of Correction.

The artists at Common Art have been creating beautiful works which they presented and sold in a show this past Sunday. Some images show literal connection such as couples while other pieces elicit connection through conversation over the art as it is viewed. They are sharing their memories, dreams and imaginations with the greater community through their art.

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