|July 25, 2014
It’s been an interesting week. As I and nine other area clergy circled around the spot where Jeremy Robertson was shot by police earlier this week to pray, I couldn’t help but reflect on our scripture for Sunday. We will be reflecting on one of the most beloved pieces of scripture—Romans 8. At the heart of this passage is the grounds upon which the ideas of Predestination were built. Unfortunately, this is one of the most misunderstood theological concepts we have, and with good reason—it is very complicated! We will get into that on Sunday…
However, in the time being, I can’t help but reflect on what election means in the face of recent events. By all accounts, Jeremy Robertson was not a good man, and frankly, sounds as though he was a pretty bad dude. If indeed we all share in status as Children of God, it leaves you wondering, what went wrong? Unfortunately, answers are not easily forthcoming on that one…
So instead, we ask for the Spirit to pray through us in the midst of our sighs to deep for words: prayers for Mr. Robertson’s family; prayers for the neighborhood where he was shot; prayers for the police officers who were put into a situation that we pray they will never face again; prayers for those police officer’s families as they try to help their loved ones cope; prayers for a city that continues in violence.
The scripture this week will be Matthew 13:31-32 and Romans 8:26-39. Seth will preach a sermon entitled "It’s time for ‘The Talk.’”
OTHER NEWS & OPPORTUNITIES
Where Has The Summer Gone?
Teachers return to school on August 6 and the children on August 13! In past years, members of Covenant have been most generous in donating items for the teacher’s back-to-school bags and providing school supplies for those children in need. As part of our outreach program, we are once again asking our members to help us carry on this tradition. A list of needed items may be found on the table in the Fireside Room. Please bring donated items for the red Sombra bucket to the church by August 3. Thank you for helping!
Brown Bag Bible Study
The Women’s Brown Bag Bible Study meets on Wednesdays at noon. Bring your lunch. The Wednesday night open-to-all study is on hiatus until New Beginnings meetings end.
Sunday Christian Education Classes
The last 4 classes on Gnosticism, led by Seth Finch, will be July 20 – August 10. This is an intergenerational class so all are welcome.
Would you like to be a short-term host to UNM International Students with ISI/ABQ?
International Students, INC is a ministry dedicated to serving the many foreign students who arrive in ABQ for their studies at UNM by meeting them at the airport and giving them some time to rest and experience an American home for 2-3 nights. Their daytime hours are spent at the University registering, going to meetings, moving into dorms or apts. If you would like to participate in this enriching ministry, please contact ISIABQ through the local director, Joan Lasche at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask Doris Buckman (505440-3795) and Peter Snow, who often bring their student ISI Friendship Partners to church.
Reception for Ofelia Ortega
1st Presbyterian Church Mission Committee will host a reception for Ofelia Ortega, retired Presbyterian minister from Cuba, who will be in the Albuquerque area July 31-August 3. 1st Presbyterian invites you to attend a reception in her honor on August 3, from 4:00-6:00pm in the Fellowship Hall, 215 Locust Street NE.
Ofelia Ortega formerly served as the Principal of SET, the Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Matanzas, Cuba and also as an active participant in the World Council of Churches. She has visited New Mexico many times and is currently leading a seminar at Ghost Ranch. She will be preaching at Shepherd of the Valley and Camino de Vida the morning of August 3 and will be anxious to meet friends in the afternoon at 1st Presbyterian Church.
This week we will be looking at one of the most difficult theological concepts to understand within the Reformed Tradition—Predestination. Though many of you may have been left speechless at one time or another when someone you know asked about it, you should know it isn’t nearly as difficult as it sounds, or as scary. One of the contemporary poets whom I hold in highest regard is Christian Wiman. As he faces the diagnosis of terminal cancer, he has had some profound reflections on what it means to be chosen by God. Here is a long interview with him, the part on predestination is about halfway through. Enjoy!
Christian Wiman--Being Prepared for Joy
Grace and Peace,