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MOnday Morning News

March 5, 2018

Hi All,

 I’m sure that not many of you have heard of Bruce Cockburn, but the finishing lines of his song “Gavin’s Woodpile,” were on my mind Sunday as I was reflecting on the meaning of communion during worship.
A mist rises as the sun goes down
And the light that's left forms a kind of crown
The earth is bread, the sun is wine
It's a sign of a hope that's ours for all time.
Cockburn says his song is about “transcendental wood chopping,” that sort of thing your mind does when you perform such an arduous, repetitive task like chopping wood. The song is a meditation on the world’s imbalance and of the way human sin seems to pervade all that is – the sort of things you might recall as you split one log after the other – but it ends in a remembrance of the hope God brings into the world every day.

More than anything, those lines are about grace. “The earth is bread, the sun is wine” and what else can our ears hear than the words of the Lord’s Supper, “This is my body… this is my blood.” These are the words of one of those special rituals the church calls sacraments. In the Presbyterian tradition (as in most Protestant churches) we have two sacraments: Baptism and Communion. One of the ways theologians describe the sacraments is that they are “a means of grace.” In other words, they are a way through which we are open to God as God reaches into our lives and hearts.

But we shouldn’t think that these are the only ways that God reaches out to us. It’s in God’s character to always be reaching out and to think that God would be limited to only these two is incredibly myopic – for God is anything but tightfisted! There are far more ways that God reaches into our lives than through water, bread and grape juice. All of God’s creation is sacramental, all of God’s creation is a “means of grace.” Earth and sun are a way that God blesses us. The incandescent white of snow-covered hillside, the fresh greenery of spring, the flash of fall color are all ways that God blesses us. The gift of our emotions and intellect are blessings from God. Each one of is a blessing from God and in that way each one of us is, and can be, a sacrament – a means of grace to those around us.

What would our lives be like if we kept this image close to our hearts as we walked through each day? The thought that every person we encounter is a sacrament – a means of grace, a person through whom God can reach out to us. And, each one of us, as we live our lives with others is a sacrament, too. Each of us is a way that God reaches out to others. Each of us is a means of grace. Each of us is a sacrament!

PS: I’m off to take a class this coming week. I’ll be leaving Monday morning early and be back early afternoon on Friday. If you need to contact me I’ll be keeping an eye on my email and I’ll have my phone.

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Scriptures for March 11, 2018

Numbers 21:4–9
Psalm 107:1–3, 17–22
Ephesians 2:1–10
John 3:14–21

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Prayer Requests for March 4, 2018

Val, Rocky, Gary, Donna, Barbara, Robin, Jenn, Kurt, Lillian

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People from all over Glacier Presbytery gathered last weekend in Helena for the Presbytery Retreat and Meeting.
The retreat leader was Jim Fitzgerald, CEO of Intermountain.
We were reminded that the Presbyterians along with the Methodists, the UCC and the ELCA Lutherans are owners of Intermountain, which has been serving children for over 100 years.
We learned about how the brain develops and in particular how the brain of traumatized children develops differently than other children.
The brain development in the first three years of the basis for all subsequent functioning.
Repetitive behavior of caregiver is key to recovery for a traumatized child.
As parents/grandparents/Sunday School Teachers/Youth Leaders, we must first understand a child in order to teach or heal a child. By looking through a developmental lens we can see the need beneath the behavior. Developing relationships is crucial.
A child who has been traumatized behavior is a normal response to something abnormal. Caregivers need to see traumatized children’s behavior not as a disease but as a development issue.
We learned about the ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) study that is being used in many communities and schools to help understand traumatized children.
During the meeting portion of the retreat, we learned about MAC – Montana Association of Christians which is heavily involved in lobbying the Montana Legislature to bring about change in laws and policies.
We voted to rebuild the deck at the camp by increasing our mortgage on Spruce Lodge. Out of an abundance of caution, the whole deck will be taken down and rebuilt. A structural engineer will be engaged to create a plan. The estimated cost of the plan will be $6,000 - $12,000 and the cost of construction will be about $200,000. Insurance will cover a small part of that.
We voted to send $2000 to the Blackfoot United Methodist Parish for their work in helping the people of Heart Butte who are stranded due to the enormous snowfall and blowing snow they have had this winter. Many homes have snow up to their roofs. It is hoped that congregations and worshiping communities will each donate a suggested amount of $100 to offset the expense. Donations can be sent to the Treasurer, Dick Siderius at P.O. Box 1562, Kalispell 59903-1562
The Cabinet has formed a Transition Team that will look at staffing models for after Marsha retires in October.
On Saturday night, we worshiped with the YAVs (Young Adult Volunteers) from Chinook bringing the message. We celebrated communion and also honored the Ruling Elders and others who passed on to glory last year. We took an offering for Intermountain.
On Sunday morning, we worshiped with the Helena congregation.
God’s people came together once again to worship, pray, laugh, learn and make decisions. Praise be to Christ.

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TUESDAY, March 6
Dayton – No Bible Study

Polson – No Bible Study
Polson – Bell Choir 5:00 PM
Polson – Chancel Choir 6:30 PM

FRIDAY, March 9

Polson – Community Dinner 5:00 – 6:00
Polson – Alanon Meeting 8:00 PM

SUNDAY, March 4
Dayton-Worship 9:00 AM
Polson – Adult Study 9:00 AM
Polson – Children’s Learning Time 11:00 AM
Polson - Worship 11:00 AM

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Time Change Next Week: Don’t forget to change your clocks this coming Saturday evening. Be sure to “spring forward” or you’ll be late for worship.

There will be no Bible Studies this week while Dave is on study leave this coming week.

Pat Eastman has new phone number (406) 304-8149


Our next Friday Night Dinner is this Friday, March 9th. The menu is Irish Stew with Irish Soda Bread, rolls, salad and desserts. We’ll need folks to bring salads and desserts and to help out with greeting, set-up, serving and clean-up. Sign-up sheets are in the Fellowship Hall.

Summer Camp is Coming! Brochures for camp this summer are available at the church. The web-site hasn’t been changed yet but soon will. You can pick up a brochure in the Fellowship Hall or the office. In Dayton, they’ll be on the table by the Fellowship Hall door.

Quilts Needed for Camp: Homemade twin-size quilts are needed at the camp. These need to be standard twin size and very durable – they will be washed numerous times. They need not be elaborate. The ones at the camp now are made from two twin-size sheets sewn together with batting in between and tied with yarn.
Many of the ones that were there were used after the accident to cover people who were injured or in shock and were taken with them when they left to get treatment or return home.




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