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Caring Community 3: Imagine!

Lent 4, Common Lectionary Year B 

John 3:16  “God so loved the world, that…”

©2015 Rev Elisabeth R Jones

This week we spent most of our reflection time in activity stations, imagining!
We began with the soundtrack of John Lennon’s Imagine, and then a collage of images of those who have fuelled our communitarian imagination.

Imagine….
Dreamers the world over have dared to imagine what a world would look like if it were a Caring Community. “Living life in peace…”,living for the fullness of the day.
Martin Luther King, the consummate prophetic Dreamer,
sharing his Dream for a world where all are valued for the content of their character,
not limited or victimized by the colour of their skin.
Malala Yousafzai, sharing her dream, imagining a world where a girl, every girl,
can read a book in safety.
The Mystic gospeller, John, imagining God’s loving care taking on flesh and bone, heart and soul, touch and speechin Jesus of Nazareth.
Imagine!

That’s what I’d like us to do today.
I’ve done enough talking for now, of my imagining, my dreaming of how we,
each of us made in the image of a loving, healing, mending, creating, caring God,
might come together to form a Caring Community in flesh and bone, wood and stone, heart and soul.

Already some of you – Men’s, Women’s Groups, Morning Connections, Board, Brainstorming group,-
have engaged in energizing reflection and conversation on what it means to care for self, God, others, and to be cared for. Those conversations were rich, and they were hope-filled,
because we discovered that Caring Community is not some far off ideal, some perfection we’ll never reach, but is already, like the Dream of God, close at hand! It’s here, in this God-so-loved place. Some of you who have been part of those conversations found them hope-filled inspiring enough to want to share the experience here in worship, with everyone.

(If you are reading this at home, you might want to take few moments to reflect on each of the questions and options below)

a) First we’ll begin with a time of quiet, personal reflection on the two questions on the screen.
You may want to write your answer down, on the corner of your bulletin. It’s yours to keep.
Recall an early memory of being cared for: how did it feel? what did this experience do to shape your sense of self-worth?
Recall an early memory of taking care of another person, or creature: how did this contribute to your sense of self, capable of giving care?

b) Imagine! Imagine a Word that cares! (A craft table)
There are images, paints, markers for you to create on this table, together an image of a world that Cares (ecology, politics, religion, human rights, peace, justice). Imagine without words if you can.

c) Dream Prayers : One of the ways Christians imagine and dream the world and communities God dreams of is through our prayers:
Using the prayer pails, now transfigured by Kitty Lamb’s wonderful artwork, use the prayer cards to “Care for” the world and our community in prayers which we’ll use later in the service.
Prayers of gratitude,
Prayers for the world,
Prayers for loved ones and ourselves.

d) Imagine! Cedar Park is a Caring Community
Use the “Post-its” to show how we are already a caring Community, for it is out of this reality, this rich, fertile soil, that God will shape us more fully and more effectively as a community that cares….(using the heart shapes). Then imagine what more God can do to shape us as a Caring Community (using the dream bubble shapes)
e) Imagine! If John Lennon can write a song, perhaps the poets and songsters among us might imagine what they might include in their “Imagine!” of a caring community. What verses would you add to portray Caring Community?

f) Some of you may prefer to stay in your seats, or have a conversation with someone sitting close to you about the first question, sharing your experience of care.

Ten minutes were spent in these activities, and we concluded by singing “Open my Eyes.”

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