Beguiled By Beauty

Today is my first day as your pastor. I had a long list of things I hoped to accomplish and crossed off more than half of them. I want to share a little bit about what you can expect in worship the next few weeks.

I’m beginning a six-week series called “Beguiled by Beauty: Cultivating a life of contemplation and compassion.” It’s actually a title of a new book by Dr. Wendy Farley that has been delayed in publishing because of the pandemic. One of the many resources I use to create meaningful worship is Dr. Marcia McFee’s Worship Design Studio. Marcia and Wendy are seminary colleagues and this new series was designed for such a time as this. We’ll begin the series gathering virtually on-line and hopefully we’ll be able to worship live and in-person at church before the series is over.

“Beguiled by Beauty” might sound a bit counter-intuitive in the context of these days. We are still at the mercy of a virus that doesn’t care if we are tired of mitigating risks. We are still lamenting the execution of George Floyd and striving to be anti-racist in the midst of racial injustice.

There is a lot of ugliness in the world. We might even want worship to be an escape from all of that; a time and place of quiet peacefulness. But this series is not about disconnecting. Rather, it’s about connecting to the inherent beauty and integrity of all creation and in doing so finding the resilience to actually engage our world from a place of radical compassion. You will be invited to connect with the divine goodness that Paul Tillich called, “the ground of being.”

I hope you enjoy the rich visual imagery, the sounds and of course the music – all combined to engage all of our senses in appreciating the beauty of creation. One sound and image you will hear and see throughout the series is wind chimes, to remind us of the work of the Holy Spirit moving in our midst creating beauty in what seems to be disparate pieces.

I hope you find this time of worship to be transforming.

Peace and Blessings,
Rev. Eric A. Stone


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