Pastor’s Message May 1, 2018

Sunday Morning Choices

“I don’t have time to get up at 7 or 8 and go to church. But I do have time to go to brunch.”

This past Saturday, I happened upon an article in The Washington Post about the popularity of Sunday brunch. The above quotation came from a 30-something Virginia woman. One question after another came to me as I hovered over her statement.

Why does church seemingly demand more time than brunch? (If you’ve ever gone to brunch in the Washington, DC, area on a Sunday morning, you know there’s likely to be a long wait!)

What makes brunch worth one’s time more than the worship of God?

What is missing from church?

These are questions I will not attempt to answer in this short space, but they are questions we as the Church continually need to ask. It would be easy for regular churchgoers among us to become irritated and judgmental about this young woman’s choice, but I would discourage us from doing so. Such stories are an opportunity for us to look within and ask how we can better reach one another with the good news.

Perhaps we can begin by rethinking the phrase, “go to church.” Psalms 120-134 are known as “Psalms of Ascent,” and many of them speak of traveling in thanksgiving to a place of worship. Instead of “going to church,” what if we saw Sunday worship in the eyes of our ancestors: an opportunity to ascend with Christ into heavenly places, to climb to greater heights in God’s love? We are not on a linear course to a destination. Instead, we climb towards the glory of Mount Zion.

From a place of worship, perhaps we can hear the Spirit’s answers to some of our questions. Perhaps we will discover how we might set a meal as scrumptious as Sunday brunch. With God’s Word as the main course, His Church can certainly become a place worth spending time!

all good things to each of you,

Pastor Darian


Pastor’s Message, April 24, 2018

As you’ve been reading in the newsletter for the past few weeks, our annual Children’s Sabbath will be this Sunday, April 29. We’ll celebrate in one worship service at 11AM. There is only one thing that I don’t like about Children’s Sabbath: it only comes once a year!

However, we are constantly looking for new ways to involve the youth and children in leading worship. They’re reading Scripture and offering prayers, in addition to the duties of acolytes, crucifers, and 4th Sunday ushering. When I was recruiting assistants for the Holy Thursday service, I was so blessed when all the children replied, “yes.” And some children even approached me and asked if they could help. What a way to warm a pastor’s heart!

It would be easy for us to slip into a mindset that the worship hour on Sunday morning, especially on Children’s Sabbath, is a performance—that we gather to observe them for entertainment. But that is not at all what worship is. Worship begins when we come to God with the wonder, innocence, and expectancy of children. Of course, there will be joy and laughter alongside the reverence due to God’s name. We will gather on Sunday not to be entertained by children but to follow their lead in serving God.

This month’s lectionary texts have included passages from 1 John, and John frequently addresses his readers as “little children.” May we all know how loved we are as children of God as we seek not to be entertained in life but to expect eternal life as we worship our risen Lord!

all good things to each of you,

Pastor Darian