June 2, 2020
A few of you answered right away (!) with hymn ideas, but I haven’t heard from many of you – so, once again, at such time that we can get together for a hymn sing – what would YOU want to sing? Once I’ve heard from enough people to compile a good list, I’ll send the suggestions on to everyone.
I want to give you an idea of a couple of the tangible considerations we are working with as we long to gather together again for worship. The first is the demographics of Bethany – the vast majority of leaders and participants fall into the “at risk” population (over age 65 or with underlying health issues) for whom all guidelines (federal and state and church) restrict person-person proximity until the very last phase of opening up. The second is the reality of what we do when we worship – we spend a considerable amount of time in the same space with many people. Even if we do not touch, and if we maintain recommended distances, we share the air. This is more like sharing a bus ride from Olympia to Eatonville with a group of folks than it is popping in and out of the store where others are also shopping. One word of good news going forward: our new Heat Pump system, once its up and running, will have the ability to exchange the air in the worship space at a rate much closer to breathing fresh air than the current furnace.
After these two big considerations, there are many details to work out – and we ARE working them out – the council is meeting (via Zoom) weekly and we will begin giving you updates as various decisions are made. I want to reassure the large number of you who have appreciated, even treasured, the online worship opportunities we’ve provided. These services will continue after some not-high-risk people begin to gather again at the church building, and as long as there are any of you whose best choice is to stay home.
For our prayers:
Here is our first reading for Trinity Sunday, June 7 – Genesis 1:1 – 2:4a
1In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, 2the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. 3Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
6And God said, “Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so. 8God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.
9And God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. 11Then God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.” And it was so. 12The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that it was good. 13And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.
14And God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, 15and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17God set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth, 18to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.
20And God said, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky.” 21So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, of every kind, with which the waters swarm, and every winged bird of every kind. And God saw that it was good. 22God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.
24And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.” And it was so. 25God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good.
26Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”
27So God created humankind in his image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
28God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” 29God said, “See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
2:1Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. 2And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. 3So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.
4aThese are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created.
Reflection: This is the first of two very different creation stories in the Bible (the second one is found in Genesis 2). You probably know this passage well – but read it again, just in case you are mixing it up with the other creation story. Who, according to this poet /artist / created person who shared this Creation story, who creates? What most strikes you about this account? What attributes are ascribed to God here? How does this account of Creation make you feel?
Praising the God of wonders,
Janeen Smith, Pastor ~ 26418 Mountain Highway E, Spanaway, WA ~ 253-847-8801