Worship and Spiritual Growth

If you are looking for Sunday services we are offering them online and in-person at 10:30 a.m. Crescent Fort Rouge offers an inclusive, welcoming space for people of all backgrounds, ages, abilities, sexual orientation, gender identities, and economic situations. Streaming info:

To watch via Twitch 
https://twitch.tv/crescentfortrougelive
To watch on YouTube
 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCY_yu6hzsG1yoisFBHvGm5A?view_as=subscriber
To watch on Facebook 
https://www.facebook.com/cfruc/

What else happens weekly?

“Explorations” (formerly our Drop In Prayer Group)—continues on Wednesday, September 27. We meet at 10:30 am via Zoom; Contact Marc for the link. • Choir Rehearsal — is every Friday at 10 am. New members are welcome. If you are interested in singing with our choir, even occasionally, and Friday morning rehearsals present a barrier, other arrangements are possible. Contact Michael Cutler at organmike@gmail.com for more information.

What is Spirituality?

“Spirituality involves the recognition of a feeling or sense or belief that there is something greater than [one]self, something more to being human than sensory experience, and that the greater whole of which we are part is cosmic or divine in nature.

“Spirituality means knowing that our lives have significance in a context beyond a mundane everyday existence at the level of biological needs that drive selfishness and aggression. It means knowing that we are a significant part of a purposeful unfolding of Life in our universe.

“Spirituality involves exploring certain universal themes – love, compassion, altruism, life after death, wisdom and truth, with the knowledge that some people such as saints or enlightened individuals have achieved and manifested higher levels of development than the ordinary person. Aspiring to manifest the attributes of such inspirational examples often becomes an important part of the journey through life for spiritually inclined people.”

message For this week: Diana Butler-Bass (abridged)

When my daughter was little, she wanted to know where God lived…Her child’s question is one of the primary questions of the spiritual life. Where is God? Where does God dwell? The verb “to abide” is essentially the same as the noun “abode,” meaning to await, to live with, stay with, remain, or dwell. In its early English form, meant “habitual residence.” “Dwell in me, as I dwell in you.” Make a home in me, as I make a home in you. I will reside in you, as you reside in me. This is a powerful metaphor of God dwelling with us and us dwelling in God. The vine and branches image has been beloved by mystics throughout church history. Many mystics, like Teresa of Avila, depicted our souls as a house, as God’s dwelling. We are God’s residence, God resides in us. But there is something else interesting in the passage — it isn’t just about one person. The “you” is plural. More like “y’all.” Abide in me as I abide in y’all. Jesus was sharing with his disciples — a group of his closest followers. He wasn’t pointing to particular individuals as abodes as if some of them were single family dwellings in the suburbs. Vines and abodes are images of mutuality and relationship. We can’t imagine a branch-less vine! And Jesus promises his friends he will remain in and with them, a community of friends gathered around a meal. Vines and abodes are images of fruitfulness and abundance. Obviously, vines produce fruit. But a home, place, or abode is the central promise of the Bible — and it suggests abundance as well. God gives God’s people a dwelling, a land of milk and honey where everyone sits under their own vine and fig tree. Vines and abodes are actually images of messiness; in real life, both demand our attention and care. Vines are tangled affairs. Vinegrowers prune, train, and care for them. They maintain the soil, manage the canopy, and attend to their health. The same is true for abodes. Dwelling together, making a home, is a messy affair — be it roommates or siblings or marriage or neighbors. Abiding with others isn’t easy. You have to work at it. We must care for the places where we abide, as God directed our first ancestors in Genesis to do: to till and tend the Earth. As it turns out, vines and abodes some surprising things in common. The French actually have a word that combines vines and abodes into a single idea: terroir. Terroir means that the characteristics of a habitation — geography, climate, geology — make their way into the wine, fruit, milk, cheese, vegetables, and herbs that grow in that particular location. Quite literally, terroir is dirt. The soil of a place produces a unique fruit which bears the “taste” of the very ground itself. Vines and abodes…this is the organic mutuality upon which we depend. Vines and abodes are the story of Genesis, the story of our beginning. The Gospel of John often spiritually echoes Genesis. John draws from the story of the first creation to unfold a vision of the new creation that was birthed in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. This is the Easter story that began when Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene, the first witness, in a garden and as a gardener. Today’s gospel reminds us that our spiritual terroir is God’s own being. The psalmist said: The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein. Jesus said: Abide in me as I abide in you. And Mary Magdalene assumed he was the gardener — The Divine Gardener. No wonder. At Easter, even the dirt itself is rebirthed. And from this fertile ground, vines and branches grow — flavored with the spirit. There we make a habitation. God abides here. With us. And we abide in a holy habitation. We are the terroir of the sacred. Vines and abodes invite us to taste and see that the Lord is good.

What happens at Sunday morning Worship? Lots!

Sunday morning worship at Crescent Fort Rouge generally follows a predictable pattern of gathering in God’s name; hearing and reflecting on the intersection between the ancient faith story and the story of our own lives and time; responding to what has been heard; and going out with a commission to be actively engaged in the world.

Our worship respects the rich heritage and traditions of the Christian faith, while holding up a progressive and contemporary theology. Our worship is designed to actively engage all of the senses, and welcome the participation of all. We come together around the Lord’s Table through the sacrament of communion six or seven times a year.

Music is an integral part of our worship life, and we offer music in a wide range of styles and genres. Worship allows us to enact through ritual, story-telling, music and prayer our core belief in a God of peace, justice, compassion, healing and hope who invites us to practice the same things.

Why Worship? Worship reminds us of who we are and whose we are. Worship helps reinforce a rhythm for our lives. Worship offers a chance to connect with others and to feel that connection and engagement. Friendships are formed!

Occasional Services

In addition to regular Sunday morning worship, we also offer worship experiences at other times to mark special days or occasions. These include such things as Pet Blessings, Blue Christmas services, Christmas Eve, Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Services for Life Transitions

CFRUC provides opportunities to recognize significant life passages with ritual and celebration such as Baptism, Confirmation, Weddings and Funerals.

Services to Recognize Other Life Transitions

We also work with individuals to create meaningful rituals to mark significant life passages such as moving to a new home, divorce, miscarriage, adopting a child, or seeking healing after trauma or violence.

Please contact our minister if you would like to explore some of the possibilities. cfruc@mymts.net

Daily Prayer Resources

In many faith traditions, it is customary to pray at specific times of day. The discipline of morning prayer allows one to start a day grounded in God, and the intention to be mindful of God’s presence in all that unfolds.

Prayer of Examen

The prayer of examen, is a traditional form of “end of day prayer” which invites reflection on the day that is past, an expression of gratitude for what has been experienced, and an opportunity to explore in greater depth God’s presence in our lives. Our friends at The Work of The People  https://www.theworkofthepeople.com/ have created a contemporary expression of this ancient form of prayer. For a version of the Examen, please click here.

Frederick Buechner
www.frederickbuechner.com

The Center for Contemplation and Action
cac.org

Sacredise
Sacredise.com

One time tested way of nurturing the spirit is to maintain the disciple of keeping a journal. During this time of  self-isolation we invite you to join others in a 28 day journaling challenge. Click here for a list of daily prompts. Self-Isolation Challenge

Looking for more intentional study?

A variety of online programs and webinars are available through:

The Abbey of the Arts
https://abbeyofthearts.com/

The United Church of Canada
https://www.united-church.ca/

We encourage you to contact Crescent Fort Rouge and receive our weekly newsletter which offers many opportunities. cfruc@mymts.net

Looking for an experience on Sunday for children (ages 3 to 12)?

Children are encouraged to begin their Sunday morning church experience with the gathered community in worship. This time with adults includes a theme conversation with one of the ministers and introduces children to the concept of worship.

Following this time, the children participate in age appropriate activities designed to introduce them to faithful living. We make use of a variety of teaching activities: drama, music, cooking, art, science, games and more. Parents and guardians of very young children are welcome to attend this program with their young ones until the children feel comfortable enough to attend the class on their own.

Looking for a few resources for children?

25 Easy Sunday School Crafts
https://www.signupgenius.com/church/sunday-school-crafts.cfm

49 Outstanding Christian Craft Ideas for Kids
https://wehavekids.com/education/all-christian-crafts

BUBBLES

The Bubble Who Would Not Pop by Shelly Roark

A while ago, at Messy Church, we read a book “The Bubble Who Would Not Pop” by Shelly Roark. In the story a little girl sends her prayer up to God in a bubble. After we read the story, we had fun making bubbles out in our Churchyard. We used hoops of wire, pipe cleaners, water bottles with the bottoms cut out and lots of other things that the grownups hadn’t even thought of, trying to make the biggest, strongest bubbles that we could.

Super Duper Giant Bubble recipe
  • 6 cups of water
  • ½ cup Blue Dawn dish soap
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 Tablespoon glycerine

Stir it gently with a whisk and keep the whisk handy because you’ll need to stir it again as the cornstarch settles.

Can you make a square bubble?  Take a picture of you sending a prayer to God in a bubble and post it on FaceBook.