Thirty Day Adventure Challenges ~
Are you up for a series of new adventures– a year-long journey towards increased awareness and mindfulness, connectedness with others, and spiritual growth and renewal? New 30-day adventures or “challenges” will be proposed for each of the next 12 months. Some are about increased consciousness, some are relational in nature, and some encourage deeper faith practices. Each month’s new challenge will be highlighted in the newsletter and bulletins, and posted on our Facebook page, website, and the bulletin board in the narthex. We will give you suggestions to get you started, but please be creative and don’t limit your adventure to just the ideas we list.
Each adventure is meant to be shared with your children, extended family members and friends. We encourage you to re-post adventures on your own Facebook page. You can commit to the challenge/adventure on our Facebook page, by writing “YES!” on the back of the green slip in the weekly bulletins, or by signing up on the bulletin board. And we’d love for you to post your experiences! Look to see adventure themes woven into worship services, children’s sermons and Wednesday night dinner table talks.
August Adventure Challenge —Showing Mercy, Patience and Forgiveness.
One of the quotes that I remember from my high school Shakespeare class was the “Quality of Mercy” speech from The Merchant of Venice. For those who aren’t Shakespeare fans, I will quote only the first part:
The quality of mercy is not strained, It droppeth like the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath: it is twice blest; it blesseth him that gives and him that takes; ‘tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes the throned monarch better than his crown;…But mercy is above this sceptered sway; it is enthroned in the hearts of kings, it is an attribute to God himself; and earthly power doth then show likest God’s when mercy seasons justice. (I really love that quote!)
There is beauty in living from a merciful heart instead of the judgmental part of ourselves. Anne Lamott, comments in an interview, “It’s the way to peace, the way to feeling safe and connected. It’s all the things we long for.”
Mercy is the action of grace. It is being aware of the miracle that we are forgiven, and the miracle that we can forgive even with the most impossible and hurtful people; and we find this in our tenderhearted relationship with God and the Shalom of God wanting us.
Could mercy be our hope in the political realm of today? A. R. Hochschild writes in her book, “Strangers in Their Own Land,” about her experience with the Tea Party movement in Louisiana. She came to terms again and again that miracles happen with people listening to each other instead of judgment and arms crossed.
Anything but mercy and forgiveness just hurts us and keeps us clenched and defensive. Communion and community can soften our scared hearts if we will be still and listen.
Maybe the best thing that we can do as we begin to concentrate on this “practice” for the month is the action of mercy. Ann Lamott has said over and over that if you take the action, then the insight follows. We don’t have to wait until we get all perfect, but just extend mercy. Jesus said, “be merciful as your Father is merciful.” In that amazing flow of mercy, we can enter into the embodiment of mercy in this fractured land.
Your Adventure Team – Renee Geiger, Craig Geiger, Cathy Cermak, and Pastor Alan
Deborah’s Gathering ~
Women’s Bible Study and Fellowship
for all ages held on the second Wednesday afternoon
of every month from September through May.
Fellowship Meals ~
Dinner served at 5:30 -6:15 p.m.
(September through Mid-May)
New Spirit Community Garden is a true “community garden” located on the north portion of the church property. Managed by Community Gardens of Tucson, garden members “rent” a 3’ x 25’ garden plot for $18/month to pay for water, land use, and benefits of the organization. Garden members meet together once a month (the 1st Saturday of each month at 8 a.m.) with the “master gardeners” of CGT to learn about raising crops in the desert.
Members are responsible for amending the soil of their bed, following a “recipe” for our type of soil. An “organic recipe” is available for those who desire to grow organic crops. Members harvest what they sow, which can be as much as 300 pounds of vegetables per year. For more information contact TCG’s manager, Karen McWhirter at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 722-6929.
If you are interested in volunteering through New Spirit Lutheran Church, you can contact the Office Administrator, Nancy, at 520-296-2461.