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May 2008 Soundings

This issue of Soundings includes:

Calendar

News of Members and wider community, poetry, sermon summaries

  

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CALENDAR

Sunday, May 3—InterPlay “First Sunday” Playgroup & Bodyspirit Celebration, 1 – 4 p.m., Seekers Sanctuary, led by John Peterson & Rick Kakareka.
Saturday, May 24—Seekers Singalong, at Muriel and Ed Lipp’s house, 7:30 p.m. Bring a snack to share, and join in singing music from “Rise Up Singing.” Glen Yakushiji plays the guitar and facilitates.
May 27–July 25—Exhibit of Margreta Silverstone’s recent quilts at Dadian Gallery of Wesley Theological Seminary. Reception June 26, 5–7 pm.

 

NEWS OF SEEKERS MEMBERS AND THE WIDER COMMUNITY

Rebecca Sears and Carl Siegel, along with their children Caitlin Carney and Connor Siegel, announced their engagement at Seekers last month. If all goes well with the planning, a February wedding will take place!

Also, Rebecca has been invited by the South African Association of Imago therapists to do a Basic Clinical Training in Imago Relationship Therapy and a series of advanced relationships trainings for their community. Carl will also be going and conducting these trainings along with her. We are fortunate to be able to take our three children with us in July and look forward to visiting our Bokamoso friends. This commitment also means a trip in October and January.

Sherri Alms’ news and reflections on her life recently— Hi, all Seekers—I hope this e-mail finds you thinking about spring if not actually enjoying it right this minute. I feel it in my bones though and hope you all do too. I wanted to send you news of my Baltimore church, which is actually a UCC church (in the morning) and a Catholic church (in the evening) served by the same pastor, who is something else (in a really really good way). Bob, my significant other, is Catholic, so he and I tend to trade off which service we go to. It made Holy Week and Easter weekend very reverent and joyful and just soul-lovely. David, our pastor, recently announced that St. Sebastian’s, the Independent Catholic church, made it into a book, Sundays in America. Here’s a link to an article about the author and the book: http://www.valleyadvocate.com/article.cfm?aid=6736. If you scroll to the very bottom, you’ll see the info on St. Sebastian’s, which really is as described and more so.

Life is humming along for me in all spheres, and I find myself slowly getting roots into this blue-collar city soil and finally also making some contributions to the church and my community. Thank heavens! I like to be part of and not just partaker of. It wears on me somehow. I hear things are humming along for Seekers corporately and I hope for each of you as well. With love, Sherri

Carol Ann Siciliano—news forwarded by Brenda Seat: Carol Ann is back at work now and gaining strength every day. She sent a link to a piece that was on the news in March about the treatment and care that she received at the hospital. She said that I could share it with all of you… so here it is! http://www.wusa9.com/rss/local_article.aspx?storyid=68013. Continued prayers would be greatly appreciated!

Margreta Silverstone is exhibiting her recent quilts May 27–July 25, with reception for the artist Thursday June 26, 5:00–7:00 p.m. Location: The Dadian Gallery at Wesley Theological Seminary, 4500 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington.  Hours except for the artist’s reception are M–Th, 11–5; and  F, 11–4.

 

MARTHA’S MOB—LATEST JOB

Thanks to Peter Bankson, Pat Conover, Dave Lloyd, Sharon Lloyd, Dave McMakin, Trish Nemore, Keith Seat, Jeffrey Silverstone, and Glen Yakushiji for their hard work cleaning, replacing, and repairing in our Carroll St. space—inside and out—on April 26. Always more to do, especially in the improvement department, but our well-used space is well-maintained.

 

SEMINAR WITH LESTER BROWN—Reflections by Jackie McMakin

We felt privileged to hear noted global thinker, Lester Brown, speak at Busboys and Poets on April 22. His new book Plan B:3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization was the focus for his talk. This world thinker and author of more than 50 books shared some scary news and hopeful prospects.

Scary News: Last summer an ice sheet the size of Great Britain melted in a week!

Hopeful Prospects: Food shortages in China and India will be a wakeup call for these nations to reduce carbon emissions. In his world tour for his book, Brown will be talking with leaders about this, advocating an 80% decrease by 2020 as a target. Plug-in hybrid cars are likely to be ready in 2009 or 2010. Three western states can generate enough wind energy to fill all of the United States’ energy needs. Support is growing for tax restructuring to pay for needed changes. This would entail omitting income taxes and taxing carbon emitters. There is also growing support for a coal moratorium in the United States.

To learn more, check out Brown’s book or the website of his organization: earthpolicy.org. Or try to hear this brilliant man speak.

 

RETREATS, CONFERENCES, FESTIVALS

Kate Cudlipp forwards invitations—

 

(1) A notice of a musical retreat at Dayspring, to be led by Stefan Waligur. Stefan led Taize services at the Potter’s House for several years, has spent two years in Ireland and is, according to information on a website, working on a Celtic CD. A word from Stefan: Dear Seekers Church, I wish to invite you to a retreat of Song and Silence at Dayspring May 23-25, Memorial Day weekend. We’ll learn new chants, based on Celtic tunes, and more.

(2) Please Join Festival Church for a Spring Spiritfest! When: Sun., May 11, 4-6. Where: Home of Lauren Goodyear Schramm and J.B. Schramm, 4832 Hutchins Place, NW, 20007 (phone 202-338-5447).What:  Spring fun for children of all ages & adults – games, clowning, face painting, etc. plus a potluck cookout. Bring along friends and family; please RSVP with approximate number of people to goodschramm@verizon.net or 202-338-5447.

(3) What: “Building Trustworthy Partnerships for Racial Equity–Across Race, Religion and our Region.” When: Sat., May 17, 9am-4pm and Sun. May 18, 2:30-8pm. Where: Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ, 5301 N. Capitol St, NE, Washington, DC., near Fort Totten Metro. Sponsored by Greater Washington Allies in Reconciliation, a new regional interfaith antiracism alliance involving over a dozen religious communities. The conference will respond to keynote addresses by Rev. Lennox Yearwood of the Hiphop Caucus and Ibrahim Ramey of the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation. Small-group discussions that share experiences of building/breaking trust will be at the heart of the program on Saturday.

 

On Sunday, there will be more small groups sharing on partnerships in action: anti-racism teams, NAACP, Jobs Coalition, congregational models, and more. Clark Lobenstine of the Interfaith Conference will facilitate a panel, “Spiritual Resources for Action for Racial Equity,” at 4 pm on Sunday afternoon. The conference will end at 8 pm after supper conversations and a multicultural musical celebration by the group Soundings. To register or for more information, call: 301/588-4877 or visit the upcoming website at www.gwair.org.

SEEKERS POETRY

“Turbulence”

Turbulence— the “harmony” of my soul
Sings so often for relief.
Sings, but with no strings
In my voice to make a sound that you will hear
And come.

 

This turbulence, like a kite in the storm
Befriends my fear
Angers my joy.
Strangely finds resignation
In the knowledge of emptiness.

 

This emptiness, this turbulence,
This turbine of unknowing—
I find someone with me.
I stretch out with cupless thirst
And find a hand in its place.
                   —Kevin Barwick

 

RECYCLING OPPORTUNITY

Trish Nemore forwards a notice from the April Takoma Park Newsletter: Recycle your Electronics! Plan on toting your old electronics over to the Takoma Park, Maryland Library parking lot for recycling on Saturday, May 10 at the annual E-Cycle Event. The City’s Department of Public Works sponsors the collection to be sure the hazardous metals in many of these devices—like cadmium, lead, and mercury—stay out of the Montgomery County incinerator. Takoma Park will be accepting computer-related equipment, telephones, cell phones, cameras, radios, TVs (non-console type), stereos, tape players, scanners, copiers, fax machines, surge protectors and CD players for recycling. The E-Cycle Event will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 10. The library parking lot is located at the corner of Maple Avenue and East-West Highway/Philadelphia Avenue.

 

SEEKERS SERMONS

The sermons that appear on the Seekers website are listed below, with brief thoughts on their themes. Read these sermons, as well as archived sermons as far back as 1995 on the Seekers home page: In a tan sidebar (narrow column) on the right, click on the heading “Sermons”. to find both sermons and archived sermons.

April 20—“Art for Autism,” by Carmen Smith-Estrada and friends. Our group consists of nine students from Montgomery Blair High School’s Communication Arts Program. Together, we were concerned that children, especially in public schools, needed more opportunities to develop their creative and artistic skills.

April 13—”Go to ‘Be,’ Not ‘Do’”, by Ryan Richards. I arrived at the Asturias Academy in Guatemala in the fall of 2006 and over the last two years have served, learned, been challenged, and grown. Perhaps the most important thing that I learned was an answer to an old question of mine: “How can I help?” My experience in Guatemala has taught me to arrive ready “to be” instead of “to do.” Only by first joining the community, earning trust, and listening can we hope to make a positive contribution.

April 6—”Love and Forgiveness,” by Brother Francis Delvaux. Brother Francis lives to love and has an infinite capacity for forgiveness. With those qualities comes freedom from judgmentalism and the ability to meet everyone he meets where they are. In his work at Jubilee Jobs he augments the work of finding people jobs with the ability to buoy spirits and instill in others an “I can do this” attitude. His understanding of the concept of ego is “Edging God Out,” and he recognizes when his ego asserts itself and brings himself back to God. Everywhere he goes Brother Francis preaches the Gospel of Love right off the cuff.

March 30—”Working Toward a Global Renaissance,” by Jackie McMakin. Move with me to a conference held several years ago in downtown DC. When we were asked to introduce ourselves in our small groups, an attractive white haired woman began: My name is Elsa Porter. I see the world like this. We are either headed for a global renaissance or a disaster. I’m putting my whole life behind working for the renaissance. What a fantastic way of seeing things. Without thinking, I said to myself, “Me too!” This sermon explores how this has unfolded.

 

June 2008 Soundings
April 2008 Soundings