Thursday, April 30, 2009

Coming Soon to a Mailbox Near You

Today was news letter mailing day. About 9 a.m. Janice, Jacque, Norm, Arlene and I gathered in the library to staple, fold, sticker and label some 208 monthly newsletters. We were through about 11:30. Many hands make the job go quickly.

Some question whether mailing a news letter is worth the cost and effort in this day of the Internet. Certainly we would like to be able to deliver it via e-mail or post it online for those who prefer that option. But there's something about that physical presence in the mailbox once a month that many folks cherish, especially Compton friends who live in Arizona, Chicago, California, etc. At $26 and some change to mail, it seems a small price to spend 2 to 3 hours a month in the company of friends communicating with the wide world of Compton Friends and Family.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sounds of Holy Laughter

It's an ancient custom, going back to the early Christian church, to celebrate the second Sunday of Easter with joy and mirth. Many church traditions observe Holy Hilarity or Holy Humor Sundays. After all, this is the God who played a real practical joke on those who thought they had snuffed out the Jesus Movement for good.

On April 19 Compton's sanctuary was decorated with balloons, rainbows, flowers, and smiling faces. We sang joyful hymns and anthems, and everyone had a bell to ring every time the word "joy" was uttered in a hymn, reading, or prayer. Norm was the liturgist who greeting everyone with a giant sunflower.

Lorrie and Brenda, who co directed the service, answer a question from Coulton before the service. Jacque looks a little nervous; she is just a regular person in the pew for today.

The sermon came from people in the congre- gation sharing memories of how laughter or a light hearted moment brought healing or a new understanding of The Word. There were excerpts from children's letters to God, and a version of "who's on first" acted by Mary and Martha. After worship, everyone was invited to a special festive coffee hour that included rainbow gummy worms and kazoos. And people were still telling jokes about church life or sharing funny stories of faith until the coffee ran out.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Let There Be Babies!

Easter is all about the Resur- rection of Jesus Christ, about new begin- nings, about trans- form- ation, about new life. Today's Easter cele- bration at Compton began with a pancake breakfast and continued through a joyous worship service. Adding to the joy was the presence of all four babies born in the past 9 months in our congregation. This is the first time all of the babies have been present on the same day. Hooray!

Above, Owin with his mom Carol at coffee hour after church.

Elizabeth cuddled with her mom Jenn after breakfast. Yes, we took a picture of Jenn and Elizabeth together, but somebody moved. Next time, Jenn.

Sarah and Peter enjoyed coffee hour, too. Peter had spent a lot of time being held by other people, including pastor Jacque. Somebody moved in that one, too. Sorry, Jacque.

Our youngest baby Annabelle had to have a drastic wardrobe change today before we could take pictures, so here's one of her with mom DebE from last week.

Yes, all of the fathers were present and on duty today, too...they just weren't holding the babies when the camera was out. But here's to Matt, Josh, Bryan and David--caring fathers who took their turns holding their children in the service, feeding and changing them as well. Having these four young families is a true blessing for Compton. Elizabeth's grandma was visiting from Ohio today, and she noted how welcome the babies are--no one gets upset when they fuss a little bit in church, they aren't kept behind a glassed in sound-proof wall, etc. Actually baby sounds are joyful music to our ears!

We wish everyone a Blessed Easter that lasts all year through. Christ is Risen! Christ is Risen, Indeed.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Palm Sunday Scenes

Evidence of the hard work by the crew on April 4 was visible when we came to church on Palm Sunday morning. In the garden, tidy beds will receive annuals to keep company with the emerging hostas.

The bulb bed is also tidy and ready to receive more bright annual flowers soon, when the threat of freezes is past. This bed greets people waiting for the bus at the stop on Grand Ave.

A special Palm Sunday treat was the first sighting most of us had seen of Compton Baby #4 for this year. DebE and Annabelle bask in the attention of everyone during coffee hour, although baby was already starting her nap.

On Palm Sunday Compton also received two new members: Michelle and Roberta. We rejoice that they have joined this church family.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Getting Ready for Palm Sunday and Easter

Saturday before Palm Sunday--Time to clean up inside and out to prepare the Sanctuary and grounds for Holy Week and Easter. A hardy group arrived at 9 a.m. to rake leaves, spread mulch, and tidy the garden area.

Update: Jacque notes in her comment that 20 adults and 2 babies were present for the cleanup project!

Madeline, Guang and Bryan said they couldn't believe how many leaves had persisted over the winter --since they had been raked twice last fall.

Jan says you have to trim and take out the old before you can plant the new, so she attacked the bulb bed.

It was a great day to air the babies while their parents worked. Jenn and Sarah take a break to watch the playpen. Marty just takes time to admire our youngest members.

Elizabeth and Peter shared the space well, even holding hands at one point. After Peter kicked Elizabeth, she let him gnaw on her fingers. A fast friendship.

Inside a smaller crew attacked the pews and floors, scrubbing and running the vacuum. Walt is cleaning pew cushions. Who knew we had so many?

Arlene and Norm scrub the pews and arrange the song books and Bibles. Every time Norm or I started to wipe down some thing, Arlene said, "I've already done that."

Cindy scrubbed the "gunk" that accumu- lates under the pews and generally kept us going. She also cooked the frozen pizzas that Jan brought for us to eat for lunch. Yes we did all eat pizza. The inside work was finished by lunch, but the grounds crew kept on working into the afternoon.

One outdoor chore remains to be done later. Marty had brought blooming annuals and ferns but they are too tender to survive the freeze predicted for Monday and Tuesday nights of next week. So they will stay in a corner of the narthex for now.