Simon’s Says

Many thanks to Claudia Epright for leading last Sunday’s service while I was away.  I watched it yesterday (and if you haven’t yet, you really ought to) and was moved by a powerful witness for inclusion and equality.  Her message was delivered with passion and authority - solid biblical and moral authority - and parts of it were viscerally affecting.  How blessed we are to have folks like Claudia, and many more like her, who can make the transition from pew to pulpit with confidence and ease.

I remember reading Émile Durkheim in graduate school; if I recall correctly, it was for an Education seminar.  Durkheim was a leader in the field of sociology - in fact many credit him as the originator of contemporary social science.  He became Chair of the Education department at the Sorbonne in the early 1900s.  In his book The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, he defined religion as “a unified system of beliefs and practices relative to sacred things… which unite in one single moral community called a Church, all those who adhere to them.”  He notably avoids talk of a deity and focuses instead on the idea of community, and what constitutes community:  the behaviors and beliefs we share, and the ways we share them.  I’ve taken this week’s sermon title from Durkheim: “Collective Effervescence,” and we will look at it from the point of view of a people who are still slowly returning to group/community activities, like going to church, among others.

Finally, I ask your prayers for members of our congregation and community who are facing personal trauma and challenges in these days.  We may not know the names or particular circumstances of folks who are bearing difficult burdens, but God does; God hears our prayer, and answers.  Thank you for doing this.

Sunday July 18, 2021 Bulletin 
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