Full St. Nick's News for September 23, 2022 Dear Friends, I love our Animal/Pet Blessing…
When my boys were little, they were wizards at putting off bedtime. They knew how to get straight to this mommy’s heart by asking for more bible stories and asking lots of questions about them. I remember so many questions. Questions like, why did David pick up five stones, why not 3 or 7 and did Noah bring bugs too or just animals? One night they delayed bedtime quite a bit by wondering what happened to the fish the disciples caught when Jesus helped them.
We were reading a children’s version of last week’s Gospel story from Luke, the call of the disciples. After a long night of fishing, Jesus told Simon and the others to let down their nets once again. At first, Simon objected but then agreed to put down the nets. Simon, overwhelmed with an abundant catch of fish, fell in front of Jesus, and confesses his sin and awe. Jesus promises they will begin working with him, fishing for people, and they leave their nets and follow Jesus.
You can imagine the lengthy debate between two kids on what happened to the abundant catch of fish! Lots of scenarios – they fed their family, they left the fish for the crowds, they threw the fish back in so that other fishermen could be successful, they cooked some up for themselves, and, my personal favorite, they took the cooked fish with them and that’s how they caught people for Jesus. Out of the mouths of babes! If you feed them, they will come. Ha!!!
So much of our life together involves food. Even our littlest ones know the importance of hospitality and providing for one another. Think about how much we are blessed with when we share meals. As a community of faith, we care for one another through providing meals when someone is sick or in need. We gather for special celebrations and Wednesday night Dinner Church. We break bread together on Sundays to celebrate communion.
The tables inside our space and the picnic tables outside are visual reminders of our call to fish for people. They are reminders to invite people to come and join us at the many tables of God. At St. Nick’s, there are many different activities to invite people into. A great introduction to church (especially for friends who may have had complicated relationships with church) is our Dinner Church on Wednesday from 5:30 to 7:30. It includes an informal time of prayer, conversation, and dinner. Our men’s group on Thursdays at 11:30 is a time of gathering over lunch and discussing scriptures and growing in friendship. Invite a friend to our March 1st Shrove Tuesday Pancake supper. You can also invite friends and neighbors to church on any Sunday.
And afterwards, after the scheduled parts of church, go to lunch. Spend time together. Make new friends and develop deeper relationships with God and one another. Come up with your own imaginative questions about our scriptures and debate, dream, and wonder about God together. Grow in faith together and encourage one another as you break bread together. And if you need any recommendations, I know a few good places that serve fish.
God’s Peace, Love, and Blessings,