Simon’s Says

It is often the case that, during the week’s sermon preparation, some bits of research never see the light of day, winding up on the cutting room floor, as it were, sometimes in the interests of time, sometimes because they aren’t as germane as I originally thought.  One of the former that would otherwise have fit into last Sunday’s Earth Day sermon is a mention of Elizabeth Kolbert’s 2014 Pulitzer Prize winning book, The Sixth Extinction.  Drawing on lessons from the previous five extinctions (the one we know best is the most recent, 66 million years ago, when an asteroid strike wiped out 75% of all plant and animal species), Kolbert carefully details the ways humanity is altering life on earth.  The atmosphere is growing dirtier, the seas are filled with microplastics, species are either moving or dying off because of warming temperatures, and extreme weather events are claiming countless lives every year.  She worried that we are on the verge of a sixth mass extinction:  the very real possibility that by the end of this century, the earth will have suffered a 20 – 50 % specie loss.  And since we all occupy a spot in the food chain, this loss could well someday include us.  She notes that until the mid 19th century, the idea of extinction was a foreign one:  humanity could not conceive that a plant or animal that existed for millennia could ever cease to exist; in the 21st, too many still cannot conceive that we may one day be among them.  She writes in the hopes we can still avoid that particular fate.  As we said Sunday, planet earth is perfectly capable of enduring the worst humanity can do to it; the same cannot be said for us.

Changing subjects, I have been exchanging emails with Dr. Christianna Singh, Director of Lady Doak College in Madurai, India, an institution founded by the United Church’s own Katie Wilcox.  Lady Doak will celebrate the 75th anniversary of its founding this summer, and it will be a grand celebration.  Christianna extends an invitation to any of you who might desire the journey to attend the celebration.  July 14 is the anniversary itself, and Founder’s Day, celebrating Ms Wilcox’s birthday, is July 26.  If you would like to attend, I can put you in touch with her.  At the United Church, we will celebrate Katie Wilcox and her mission and ministry during worship Sunday May 21; I hope you will join us.

Finally, don’t forget tomorrow’s Church Rummage Sale.  There are lots of trinkets and treasures ready for you in the Fellowship Hall, not to mention some yummy baked goods.  See you tomorrow!

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United Church of Chester, 29 West Main Street, Chester, CT 06412. (860) 526-2697


From the North: Take CT Route 9 South to Exit 8 (old exit 6) (CT 148). Turn left; we are 1 mile on the right.


From the South: Take CT Route 9 North to Exit 8 (old exit 6) (CT 148). Turn Right; we are .8 miles on the right.

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