BEYOND THE GREEN DOORS
The newsletter of the Peterborough United Methodist Church
43 Concord Street, Peterborough, NH
MARK YOUR CALENDARS:
daily 7a Grand Sweep bible study online via Rev Card’s Facebook
Wed 10a Savior Study online via Zoom
Thu 10a Pray. Act. Pray Again. Lenten Study online via Zoom
Mar 9 6:30p Admin Council meeting online via Zoom (all are welcome)
Mar 28 Easter Basket contributions due
Mar 30 Newsletter submissions due
Mar 30 1p Book Group online via Zoom
Apr 1 7p Maundy Thursday service
Apr 3 Easter Flower order pickup
Apr 4 10a Easter Sunday Service
THE DISCIPLE OF SOLITUDE by Rev. Kathleene Card
We have been socially distancing for almost a year now, and I thought, as the Season of Lent in upon us, we might want to examine the Discipline of Solitude.
Henri Nouwen has said “without solitude it is virtually impossible to lead a spiritual life.” He says we need to be free from the bondage of trying to please others so that we can love God and know compassion for others.
Hmm. To enter solitude, we must disregard what others think of us. In a way, this past year has involuntarily placed us in positions where we cannot lean on our desire to please others as easily.
We have had let go of all the mesmerizing voices of others. I wonder if we have discovered that we can use this time to hear the divine voice.
This is not easy. At first, we might think we just need to recharge our batteries so that when we are among people, we will have the vigor and strength we need to compete. However, if we spend enough time in solitude, (as some of us have been forced to do) can we learn to let go of compulsions that create a “false” person that is frantic in trying to achieve? This pandemic has forced many of us into a solitude of sorts, and as we prepare to enter back into the world of social interaction, we might want to take this time to examine what we have learned.
Has this liberation from the tyranny of other people’s expectations opened us up and created an inner space in us? It is here, in that sacred space, that God can and will fill our hearts in a deeper and more profound way. Richard Foster describes this as being able to “turn from the idols of the marketplace to the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (45) So, we take time—that others might label “wasted” by doing nothing other than being with God. Have we taken time during this period of isolation to pray and to meditate on God’s Word?
So rather than being driven by wanting to please others we are driven by wanting to understand more deeply about God, ourselves, and others. When we do this, God will show us our own vanity, and we will not be able to look upon the struggles of others with condescending superiority. If we look seriously at our own demons, alone with God, we will “never again pass off lightly the quiet depression and sad loneliness of those we meet.” We will be free to give the greatest gift we have to give—the gift of ourselves.
The goal of solitude is to pray—not read books or write many pages—but to create a space in our lives where God can reach us.
Here are suggested readings to use in times of solitude:
Sunday: The freedom to control the tongue. James 3:1-12
Monday: Prayer and solitude. Matthew 6:5-6, Luke 5:16
Tuesday: The insights of Solitude. Psalm 8
Wednesday: The dark night of the soul. Jeremiah 20:7-18
Thursday: The solitude of the garden. Matthew 26:36-46
Friday: The solitude of the cross. Matthew 27:32-50
Saturday: The compassion that comes from solitude. Matthew 9:35-38, 23:37
I hope you are well in this time of forced solitude, and that your relationship with God has been deepened. No one can force us to socially isolate from God. We never need a vaccine to be able to be in God’s presence. Know that God is with you eternally. You are made in God’s image, loved deeply, and called to live as co-creators bringing peace wherever you are.
CHURCH FAMILY CELEBRATIONS
Ron LaRoche 3/1
Jenny Pierce 3/1
Bill French 3/5
Laura Nerz 3/16
Andy French 3/19
Phyllis Porter 3/20
Ken Schultz 3/23
Thea Southwick 3/24
Tori Keenan 4/1
Michael Crowe 3/1
Gloria Lodge 3/1
Janet Mack Lewis 3/5
Martha Donachie 3/10
Cynthia Faust 3/22
Phyllis Porter 3/23
Dottie Labar 3/24
Ken Constantine 3/27
Laura Constantine 3/27
Dick Berg 3/27
Peggy Berg 3/27
Shannon Dunning Morris 3/27
Jon Cole 3/27
Sandra Cole 3/27
Karen Keenan 3/27
Matt Keenan 3/27
Christine Robidoux 4/1
Greg Robidoux 4/1
EASTER BASKET TIME
Have you seen the candy, bunnies, and chicks on sale in the stores? It’s Easter Basket time again.
One of our local missions projects each year is to give a small basket of goodies to each child in MATS (Monadnock Area Transitional Shelter) in Peterborough and SFTS (Shelter From the Storm) in Jaffrey. We also send candy and plastic eggs to New Life Home in Manchester so that the moms there can put together baskets for their children. New Life Home is a faith-based organization that serves women with substance abuse problems and their children.
The Covid pandemic and the related economic problems have affected all of us, but those without extra financial resources have surely been hit the hardest. By giving these Easter Baskets to the children, we are trying to send this message – our church sees and acknowledges your struggle and your determination to succeed and we want to help take a small part of the burden – we love you and your children as God loves you.
Please join us in this project by dropping bags of candy in the food box at the end of the parking lot entrance or writing a check to PUMC with ‘Easter baskets’ in the memo line. We have approximately 25 baskets to fill!
Contributions should be at the church by Palm Sunday, March 28.
Thank you so much!
From the Missions Committee
PUMC BOOK GROUP NEWS
The next meeting of the PUMC Book Group will be on Tuesday, March 30th at 1:30 PM. The March
book will be The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri.
Follow a link to see what the book is all about … and join us, if you would like to be a part of the discussion! ZOOM invites are sent out on Monday, March 29th. Look for the link in the weekly PUMC email or contact Susan Lindquist to get into the email loop!
A big thank you to everyone for supporting our missions projects. We have received several thank-you letters which we want to share with you. Thanks again for your generosity.
Please submit all materials for the next newsletter (March) to our editors by the LAST TUESDAY February 23. This is the newsletter that will be released February 28 and cover until Sunday April 4. Send to Melissa French at 603-924-4294 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject “Newsletter submission.” Thanks!
Want to subscribe? You can email or call the office (above) to get a print copy of the newsletter, or visit http://bit.ly/subscribepumc to get it in your email.
PETERBOROUGH UMC COMMUNICATIONS
In addition to “Beyond the Green Doors,” Peterborough UMC offers the following ways you can keep in touch.
We are on the web: https://www.PeterboroughUMC.org
We are on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pumcnh/
This newsletter was compiled by Melissa French. Any concerns with content can be addressed with Reverend Card.