Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Season of Growing and Deepening Faith

Ordinary Time. 

After Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Holy Week, Resurrection Sunday, Ascension Day, and Pentecost, Ordinary Time comes. Ordinary Time is not ho-hum time, but rather ordinal or counted time (counting the time until the next church season). It’s essentially the time between the season Easter and the season of Christmas. It is a time to focus on different aspects of our faith, especially missions.

Ordinary time last from the first Sunday after Pentecost until the last Sunday before Advent (aka Christ the King Sunday). Some churches split Ordinary Time into two parts: 1) first Sunday after Pentecost through Reformation Sunday and All Saints’ Day. 2) All Saints’ Day through first Sunday before Advent. The color is green-for hope in God, for eternal life.

Ordinary time is the time to delve into your faith and grow as a believer. Study the Word, fellowship with believers, listen to God. 

What are you curious about, in regards to Christianity? This is the perfect time for a research project.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

After the Easter Candy is Gone


Resurrection Sunday (Easter) sure was nice. I mean, the sunrise service, the carry-in breakfast, the later service, Easter egg hunts, chocolate bunnies (or crosses), and marshmallow chicks. But after the Easter candy is gone, what follows this holy day?

The liturgical year has two important holy days in the two months following Resurrection Sunday. The first is Ascension Day and the Second is Pentecost.   

Ascension Day occurs 40 days after Resurrection Sunday. Acts 1:1-11 describes Jesus’ ministry after He rose from the dead; He taught His disciples about God’s kingdom and then, after 40 days, was taken up to heaven. 

Celebrating the Ascension: prayers are prayed and scriptures are read. This is a time to glorify Christ and celebrate our salvation. Some churches bless the first fruits. Overall, Ascension Day is a day of hope, a day of anticipation of Christ’s return, and a day to remember that we carry God’s Kingdom in our hearts. 
Meaning of Ascension Day

Ten days after Ascension Day, Pentecost (or Trinity Sunday) is celebrated; Pentecost is 50 days after Resurrection Sunday. Pentecost is promised in Acts 1:8 and occurs in Acts 2:1-41.  The colors of Pentecost are white and gold/yellow. This holy day has been regarded as the birthday of the church and the beginning of our mission in the world. Pentecost is closely tied to the Jewish holiday of the Feast of Weeks (roughly 50 days after Passover-with is tied closely to Resurrection Sunday). Common scripture readings on this Sunday are from Isaiah, Ezekiel, Joel, and Acts.

Celebrating Pentecost: some churches have their baptisms on Pentecost. Church decorations include flames, wind, and doves, since the disciples heard a loud wind and tongues of fire fell on them (and the Holy Spirit landed on Jesus in the form of a dove). For believers, this is a time of renewal. This holy day celebrates the resurrection of Christ and His exaltation from servant to Lord/Ruler. Pentecost Sunday focuses on fellowship, intimacy with God, empowerment, evangelism. Pentecost transitions the church year into the season of Ordinary Time (more on this in a later post). 

           If Pentecost is celebrated as the birthday of the church, why not have a party? After all, it's not every day that your church reaches its 1979th birthday. Why not have a party? Death was overcome, Christ is Lord, we are empowered by the Holy Spirit; these are causes to celebrate. Or for a more intellectual approach, delve into the Old Testament. What was Passover? How was it celebrated? What was the Feast of Weeks? How was it celebrated? How do these holy days interact with Resurrection Sunday and Pentecost? What do they mean to us?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Enjoying the Simple Gifts

Two weeks into summer break and I have found a good balance between productiveness and restfulness (for me). I receive joy from a day well spent. Lounging around all day sows seeds of restlessness and dissatisfaction in my heart. Summer days are days to take leisurely, but purposefully. I set goals I want to accomplish during my weeks. I make foods I've been craving and try out new recipes. I read books I've been wanting to get through and tackle large projects.

Due to changes at my job, I only get one week's schedule at a time. It's hard to bite off more than I can chew when I don't know what's hours I'll be working next week. So far my boss has been wonderful at assigning me morning shifts (which I love). So 3-4 mornings a week, I'll work 3-5 hours and then come home.  At work, I do my assigned job and in my free time, I'm cross-stitching, reading, planning meals for the fall semester, and watching netflix shows.

At home, I set up projects: sewing, cross-stitching, reading, cooking, baking, and cleaning, with breaks for tea and smoothies.

I have activities lined up to give my summer days variety and purpose. Church services on Sunday and Wednesday, Zumba on Monday and Wednesday, Summer BCM on Tuesdays, laundry day on Thursday, and odds and ends on Friday. Saturdays are my days of rest (filled with more tea, reading, and crafts).

An old hymn (to the tune of "Lord of the Dance") is entitled "Tis the Gift to Be Simple."

'Tis the gift to be simple,
'tis the gift to be free,
'tis the gift to come down
where we ought to be,
and when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gained
to bow and to bend we shan't be ashamed,
to turn, turn, will be our delight
till by turning, turning we come round right. 

From www.oremus.org

Tis the Gift to Be Simple on YouTube

 My summer activities probably won't win an award for the busiest, craziest, or laziest summer, but I'm enjoying several simple gifts this summer:

The gift of tea.
The gift of reading for pleasure.
The gift of a clean house.
The gift of a well-stocked fridge, freezer, and pantry.
The gift of new dishes.
The gift of rest.
The gift of satisfaction at a job well done.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

What the Bible Says About Interactions with One Another

I am sometimes not a social individual and I got to wondering how I am supposed to interact with fellow believers. I definitely like to know exactly what is expected of me in situations. These verses do not make a list of rules to check off in order to get into heaven, but rather, they are meant to shape my behavior. These are the ideals I should be striving towards. These are the Lord’s commands regarding social interactions with “One Another.” As John, 1 John, and 2 John point out, if I love God, I obey His commands. (John 14:15 & 21 and 1 John 5:2-4  and 2 John 1:6)

So what does the Bible say about this topic?
 
We are to love one another.
We are to encourage one another.
We are to avoid lying to, gossiping about, judging, and grumbling about one another.
We are to give other a "holy kiss." I wonder if this kiss is similar to the Uruguayan custom of kissing people's cheek in greeting and goodbying?
We are to fellowship with one another.
We are to praise God together.
We are to discuss scripture and holy things together.
We are to be unified with one another.
We are to serve one another.
We are to submit to one another.
We are to be like Christ in our interactions with one another.

1.     Theme 1 Love
     a. John 13:34-35
     b. Romans 12:10
     c.  Romans 13:8
     d. Ephesians 4:2
     e. 1 Thessalonians 4:9
     f.  2 Thessalonians 1:3
     g. Hebrews 13:1
     h. 1 Peter 1:22
     i.  1 Peter 3:8
     j. 1 John 3:11
     k. 1 John 3:23
     l. 1 John 4:7
     m. 1 John 4:11-12
     n.  2 John 1:5

2.      Theme 2 Encourage
     a. (oddball verse) Zechariah 7:9
     b. 2 Corinthians 13:11
     c. 1 Thessalonians 4:18
     d. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
     e.  Hebrews 3:13

3.      Theme 3 Negatives
     a.  Leviticus 19:11
      b.  Romans 14:13
      c.  James 4:11
     d. James 5:9

4.     Theme 4 The holy kiss
     a. Romans 16:16
     b. 1 Corinthians 16:20
     c.  2 Corinthians 13:12
     d. 1 Peter 5:14

5.      Theme 5 Fellowship
     a. Hebrews 10:24-25
     b. 1 John 1:7

6.     Theme 6 Praise God together
     a. Isaiah 6:3
     b. Ephesians 5:18-20
     c.  Colossians 3:16

7.      Theme 7 Discuss scripture and holy things together
     a.  Mark 8:16
     b.  Romans 15:14

8.      Theme 8 Unified
     a. Romans 12:16
     b. 1 Corinthians 1:10

9.      Theme 9 Service
     a. John 13:14
     b. Galatians 5:13
     c.  1 Peter 4:9

10.  Theme 10 Submission
     a. Ephesians 5:21
     b. 1 Peter 5:5

11.  Theme 11 Like Christ
     a.  Romans 15:7
      b. Ephesians 4:32
     c. Philippians 2:5-8
     d. Colossians 3:13 

In what ways are believers doing well in our interactions with one another? What areas do we need to improve? How do we improve these areas?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What's in a Niche?

What's in a niche anyway?

A niche, in general, is a recess (receding part of a room), a cubby, a nook.

To me, my niche is a place for nerdy pursuits and girlish moments. It holds my craft table with all of its projects, my reading bean bag chair, my skirt tower, and my desk. (I pretend that the laundry is not a feature in my niche.)


My Darling Niche


My Craft Table: awaiting its next project

Enjoying the niche


My niche is where I read, sip tea, sew, study (occasionally), and save notes written by dear friends. My niche doesn't care if I'm feeling girly and am wearing a pretty skirt; it doesn't care if I'm dressed down in my rattiest pair of pajamas. It's the part of my house where I can dive headfirst into a book and lose myself in it for hours, only to emerge on the other side of the book, reflective and different.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Submitting and Submission-What the Bible Says. Part 3

Part 1 addressed what submission and submitting are, as well as who we are to submit to (in general). It went into detail about submitting to the Lord, spouses/husbands, and authority. Part 2 addressed submitting to holy people, elders, and bosses. It mentioned who submits to us (younger people and demons). This is part 3.

Traditions:       
        -Paul questions why we submit to the world’s rules when we are reborn. This is in a passage discussing religious festivals and judging others. Maybe traditions and festivals aren’t the most important thing, but rather how we live out our lives for Christ? We aren't to be judged based on how well we complete rituals.
         -Colossians 2:16-22
Who are we to be in submission to?
   *Authorities
        -Romans 13:1-3 (Be in submission to authorities)
   *Marital Spouses
        -1 Cor. 14:26-40 (Wives should learn in submission)
                Yes I distract my husband during the sermon with my fidgeting and whispered comments
        -1 Timothy 2:11(Again, wives should learn in submission/quietness)
                Biblically, God uses women: Deborah, Miriam, Mary, Abigail, etc. to do His work, but there is merit to learning in quietness and not being rude)
   *Jesus’ Example
        -Hebrews 5:7 (Jesus’ prayers were heard because He was in submission to God and His will)
        -1 Peter 3:13-22 (Christ has angels, authorities, and powers in submission to Him)   

Interestingly enough, it was the submission verses that I have trouble with, not the submitting verses.  These verses irritate me, but if I (as a woman) am already submitting to God, my spouse, my elders, my authorities, etc, these verses aren't that much of a stretch, because I'm already submitting. If I am fully submitting in all areas of my life, I will be submitting in my cooking, submitting in my cleaning, submitting in my learning, submitting in my teaching, submitting in my prayers, submitting in my conversations, and need I go on? 

By submitting to God and His will, Jesus' prayers were heard and Jesus was asking for the things that the Father wanted. Jesus wasn't praying for earthly riches, exotic foods or vacations, or for his fame, but rather, Jesus prayed for God to be glorified and for God's work to be done on earth. If we want what God wants and prayer for those desires, those are prayers that get answered.

Take home message: Bible verses become twisted if they are taken out of context. It is true that wives are to submit to their husbands, but focusing on those verses do not show the complete picture. Every single believer is to submit to God, their bosses, elders, parents, authority figures, holy people, and each other. Jesus pointed out that change is supposed to occur at home first (i.e. all those parables about not judging and removing your plank before removing your friend's speck of dust in their eye). We aren't to go around demanding others should submit to us, but the act of submitting is something that we choose to do in regards to others.

 I hope that this helped to clarify what submitting and submission are and who exactly we are to submit to. At least, this blog series helped me to organize and clarify who I'm supposed to submit to and learn that submission isn't necessarily bad.

What does a Christian's submitted life look like?

Submitting and Submission-What the Bible Says. Part 2

The previous blog addressed what submission and submitting are, as well as who we are to submit to (in general). It went into detail about submitting to the Lord, spouses/husbands, and authority. This is part two. 

      *Holy people
           -We are encouraged to submit to those who devote themselves to the Lord and to those who work for the Lord
           -1 Cor. 16:15-17
   
    *Young people submit selves to older people/elders.
           - Be humble and submit yourself to elders. Submit to one another. Obey parents.
           -1 Peter 5:4-6 and Ephesians 5:21-33 and Colossians 3:18-25 

      *Parents/Elders
           - Be humble and submit yourself to elders (there's always someone older). Submit to one another. Don't be jerks to your kids.
          -1 Peter 5:4-6 and Ephesians 5:21-33 and Colossians 3:18-25

      *Bosses
        -Two stories in Genesis mention submitting to a boss. Hagar and Sarah and Joseph and the Egyptians.
        -Genesis 16:8-10 and Genesis 41:39-41 

     *We are to submit to God's righteousness and His plan for us. The Israelites created their own instead of submitting to God's righteousness.
         -Romans 10:1-4

Submitting to holy people does make sense (to me). My campus minister (Rose) teaches us that God speaks with one voice towards one purpose, so as long as I'm submitting to God and the holy person is submitting to God, there shouldn't be  too much disagreement. Similar to some men continually pointing out to women that wives are told to submit to their husbands, there are older individuals who point out that younger people are to submit to older people. But there's always someone older. As a newborn, essentially everyone was older than me, but then as I reached high school and college, I was older than some people and younger than some people. Throughout my life, I will be older than some and younger than others. We are called to mentor those younger than us and submit to those older than us. Similar to mutual submission between spouses, there should be mutual submission between believers. 

Who submits to us?
           -Demons submitted to the 72, but Jesus told them that what was really worth celebrating was the fact that their names were written in heaven. Be warned, if you're going to cast out demons, really believe and know Christ personally.
               -Luke 10:16-21 and Acts 19:13-16  

Stay tuned for part 3!

Submitting and Submission-What the Bible Says. Part 1


At times, words like submit and submission leave a foul taste in the mouth of their speaker. Other times, these words are used as verbal weapons, to subdue and restrict individuals. I started to wonder what exactly the Bible had to say about these words: Who are we to submit to? What does it mean to submit?

First of all, what do the words submit and submission mean? According to the wise dictionary.com, submit and submission are defined as follows:
Submit:
    -to give over or yield to the power or authority of another
     *The word "submit" appears in the NIV Bible 29 times and I am focusing on 26 of those verses. (I dubbed Genesis 49:15, Psalm 68:31, and Lamentations 5:6 to be of little relevance to this discussion)
Submission:
    -an act or instance of submitting.
    *The word "submission" appears in the NIV Bible 7 times and I am focusing on those verses. 

So who do we submit to? 

The short answer is the Lord, spouses, holy people, authority, elders, parents, and each other. I don't expect you to take my word for it, but I really don't want to subject anyone to an overly long reading in one setting, so I'm breaking up the topics over the course of several blogs for your convenience. 

   *The Lord
        -God asks us to submit to Him and return to Him; if we don't, He will leave us to our own devices. If we do submit, He will guide us in life. We are urged to submit to God's parenting; if our minds are ruled by our world nature, we won't submit to God.
        -2nd Chronicles 30:7-9 and Job 22:20-22 and Psalm 81:10-12 and Proverbs 3:5-7 and Hebrews 12:7-13 and Romans 8:6-8         

    *Spouses (Husbands)
           -Spouses are to submit to each other and wives are to submit to husbands, like we submit to the Lord. Church submits to Christ, so wife should submit to husband. Husbands are to love their wives. Wives submit to spouse, like Jesus submitted to suffering/death. Husbands, be considerate to wives and treat them with respect as the weaker partner
           -Ephesians 5:21-33 and 1 Peter 3:1-7 and Colossians 3:18-25.
                ~Weaker partner-cue the teeth grinding. It's true that my husband is stronger than me, but that doesn't mean that I like to be reminded of it. There are mutual directions here: I am to submit to my husband, who is to love me like Christ loves the church)
     *Authority
           -Submit to authority, but know God’s law trumps man's law. It’s a matter of conscience/principle to obey the law. Submit to authorities for God. Have confidence & submit to leaders’ authority and don’t make their jobs suck. Acts 23:5 and Exodus 22:28 urge believers to not speak evil about the ruler of your people. James 3:9-12 points out that praising God and cursing/complaining with the same mouth is contradictory.
           -Romans 13: 4-6 and 1 Peter 2:12-25 and Hebrews 13:17 

The first one isn't so hard to realize the truth in it; after all, God is the Creator of all things, all-knowing, all-powerful, and perfect. It's not so bad trusting the judgment of such a being. Some women are used to hearing "wives, submit to your husbands," but that's not all the Bible has to say about marital submitting: spouses are to submit to *each other*. That is to say, there is to be a mutual submission going on.  Submitting to authorities is much harder, especially to many Christians in the U.S. But God's word tells believers we are not to speak evil of the rulers of our peoples, we are to submit to their authority, and we are to not make their jobs utterly miserable. Multiple passages in the New Testament repeatedly emphasize that if we love God, we will obey His commands and when the rubber meets the road, this is one of God's commands.

Stay tuned for part 2!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Learning Hospitality

Hospitality is a solidly Biblical concept. (Just search for examples of hospitality through the internet and watch pick a site like <http://www.tmumc.org/documents/081207HolyHospitality-web.pdf>)

Growing up, I experienced hospitality in a variety of ways. Before holidays, my family would stay at a relative's house, who was hosting the holiday dinner. We would play their games, watch their movies, eat their food, and sometimes sleep in their beds, but we would also be helping them to prepare for the next day's dinner.

My mother was also a prime example of hospitality. As college students helped with our middle and high school youth groups, she helped them. We would have students over for dinners (especially around the holidays for those who couldn't make it home). We would "adopt" a student for the year he/she would be in our life.

My sister extended hospitality as well. During thanksgiving break in her freshman year, my sister brought two international students into our lives, so they would have a family-like place to stay. After a mission trip to England, my sister was impacted by the willingness of families in England to practice hospitality and open their doors to strangers.

I learned the most about hospitality in Uruguay. A local pastor and wife had a house church. There house had a front room, their bedroom, a small sitting room, a bathroom, a room that led to the kitchen that doubled as their kids' bedrooms, a kitchen, and a backyard. During our mission trip, I saw their house (specifically the front room and kitchen) offered and transformed time and time again. The front room was where the church met, where leaders were trained to lead discussions on Courageous, where kid's club was held when our outdoor venue was rained out, where prayer meetings were held, where a ladies' tea was hosted, and where 22 of us (from the States and from Uruguay) ate our lunches, cooked in the pastor's wife's kitchen. The pastor's wife did not grudgingly admit us into our house and fiercely protect her boundaries. She welcomed us willingly and gracefully. Lunches were served on tablecloths, with decorative flowers and scriptural promises for us to remember. Anytime I approached her saying, "I have a question," "Si, Amor (yes, Love)" was her reply.

These influences have shaped how I view hospitality. I want to be able to open my house and welcome individuals inside. I am intrigued by the concept that people don't care how nice my house looks, but rather, are pleased to be invited in. Lucas (my dear hubby-kins) and I enjoy setting up invitations for company to come over for food, fun (games), and fellowship (games). Because, for us, opening our house is a way to tell a person, "you're worthwhile; please come in."

What are ways you have seen hospitality practiced? What are ways you practice hospitality?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Tedious Tasks

"Girls like doing tedious jobs." This statement, offered by a peer, was the reason why women were drawn to housekeeping, child-rearing, and other womanly pursuits.

As one of three women in the class of twenty, I unsuccessfully tried to bite back a scoff.
Tedious tasks. Really. I shared an eye-roll with my nearest female classmate.

My inner feminist started to offer counterpoints.
"Just because women can stay focused on difficult or mind-numbing tasks for long periods of time, doesn't mean we're best suited for every tedious task."
"We just prefer to use our brains over our muscles."
Fortunately, I am pretty good at censoring out my inner feminist, so none of these reciprocal sexist remarks made it to the open air.

I started to think about my interests. Was this an instance where a sexist remark was based in a kernel of truth?
I enjoy crafts such as latch-hooking, cross-stitching, simple crocheting, sewing and scrapbooking. All involve a need to pay attention to detail.
I enjoy baking, with its precise measurements, and the satisfaction that comes from keeping a clean house. Once more, a need to pay attention to detail is present.
I get joy from sorting my kindle books into their distinct categories, despite the time-consuming nature of this task.
I typed 22 pages of recipes, in order to be able to reduce my number of cookbooks in my house.
Is it possible that I enjoy tedious, meticulous, time-consuming tasks?

Granted, enjoyment from tedious tasks is not a valid reason to restrict the career choices of women, but in economics, there is a concept called comparative advantage. Essentially, people, businesses, and countries should produce what they're best at producing.

In my household, I track the budget, (primarily) do the dishes, make menus, go shopping, fold the laundry, and do general house cleaning. My husband is the one to wash and dry the clothes, because my back makes it hard for me to do that. He works more hours outside of the home, so I work more hours inside the home. He handles interactions with bill companies as necessary and filing for taxes is his domain. He typically takes out the trash, but I'm able and willing to when the trashcan is stinky, full, and he's not home yet. We both drive, but he's typically the one to fill up the vehicles and perform general maintenance as needed. We split the household and work tasks not based on male-female jobs, but based on our strengths and preferences.

So maybe my peer was partially correct. A large amount of tasks that I enjoy to do, do turn out to be tedious in nature, but I'm not necessarily representative of women everywhere. Some women do enjoy tedious tasks, but so do some men. Some men like physical tasks, but so do some women. I like the balance my husband and I struck in our marriage. We play to our strengths, passions, and amount of time at home. This balance would look differently, in different households, with different strengths, preferences, passions, and external time commitments. No one can define a "normal" balance of tasks within a household. So maybe I do prefer tedious tasks, but only because that's where my personal interests are (not because I am a woman).

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Following the Church Year

When I downloaded the Book of Common Prayer to my kindle, I was intrigued by the concept of a church year. Not not a set of holidays and holy days within the realm of our world's calendar, but a stand-alone calendar with celebrations, seasons, and meaning.

The church year is rich in liturgy (a form of public worship) that is typically associated with the "high churches" (Catholics, Lutherans, Methodists ). Liturgy is not a very familiar concept in many churches in the U.S. are "low churches" (most Protestant churches). A low church does not follow liturgy or many rituals and tries to minimize ceremony, whereas a high church emphasizes these elements. The Book of Common Prayer combines the liturgy of the high church with spontaneity of the low church in a delightful way, but references to the separate church year piqued my interest.

I ventured into this foggy realm of church years and liturgy, not sure of what to expect. I was armed with questions about when the church seasons and holy days were held and more importantly *why*. I wanted to know the significance these rituals could have in my life.

One of the first things that I learned was that there are variations into the church year, depending on your denomination. A holy day or season might start sooner or end later. Nonetheless, there are key seasons across the board.

The church year starts with Advent (4 Sundays before Christmas) and lasts through Christ the King Sunday (last Sunday before Advent). The seasons transition from Advent/Christmas/Christmastide (Twelve Days of Christmas) to Lent/Holy Week/Easter and onto Ordinary Time. Ordinary Time is not synonymous with "boring time," but rather refers to "ordinal or counted time." This season is the season to delve into the faith and focus on specific aspects of it (i.e. missions, how to interact with fellow believers, etc.)

To the best of my knowledge, the following chart (created by yours truly) shows the main major Christian holidays, when they're generally celebrated, and when they're held in the upcoming church year. The Twelve Days of Christmas require a more in-depth explanation in a future post. It is surprisingly hard to collect information on the Twelve Days of Christmas (when not wanting the song lyrics).



Church Year Holy Days-meaning
Purpose
Important Colors/Meanings
When It’s Celebrated
Advent-coming/ arrival
prepare for Christ
fasting or preparation, expectation, anticipation
Green-hope in God
Purple-royalty, fasting
Pink-Rejoice
Blue-night sky/waters/Genesis-royalty
4 weeks before Christmas
Christmas
celebrate Christ
Red/green-life/hope
December 25th
Christmastide/Twelve Days of Christmas
Twelfth night has king’s cake

December 25th/26th-Januray 5th/6th
Epiphany-to show, to reveal


January 6th (or celebrated through Ash Wednesday)
Candlemas
Feast of Presentation of the Lord in the Temple

February 2nd
Transfiguration Sunday
remember light (Magi come), reflection

Last Sunday before Lent
Ash Wednesday
First day of Lent

7th Wednesday before Lent
Lent-confess resistance to light
Prayer, fasting, almsgiving, preparation
purple/red & dark violet-pain/suffering and sin. And royalty
46 days before Resurrection Sunday (not counting Sundays, so 40 days)
Holy Week:
recall Christ’s suffering
Maundy Thursday: Red-Disciples
Good Friday: Black-sin, death, life without God

7 days before Resurrection Sunday
Resurrection Sunday/ Easter
celebrate resurrection

White-purity, newness, hope
Gold/yellow-light of world
1st Sunday after 1st full moon after Spring Equinox
Eastertide
Season of Easter

Sundown the day before Resurrection Sunday Through Pentecost
Ascension Day
Resurrection of Christ and exaltation from servant to Lord/Ruler

40 days after Easter
Pentecost (Trinity Sunday)
church birthday
celebrate hope/Holy Spirit at work, reflection
white and gold/yellow
50 days after Easter
Ordinary Time
Ordinal (counted time)
Focus on faith (especially missions)
red: color of the church

Rest of the Church Year
Reformation Sunday
Luther & 95 Theses
Green
October 31st or Last Sunday of month
All Saints’ Day
Honor martyrs

November 1st or First Sunday of month
Ordinary Time


Rest of the Church Year
Christ the King Sunday
Celebrate coming reign of Christ

Last Sunday before Advent




Church Year Holy Days
2012-2013 Church Year
Advent-coming/ arrival
December 2nd-December 23rd
Christmas
December 25th
Christmastide/Twelve Days of Christmas
December 25th/26th-Januray 5th/6th
Epiphany
January 6th
Candlemas

Transfiguration Sunday
February 10th
Ash Wednesday
February 13th
Lent-confess resistance to light
February 13th-March 30th
Holy Week:

March 24th-March 30th
Palm/Passion Sunday-March 24th
Maundy Thursday-March 28th
Good/Holy Friday-March 29th
Holy Saturday with Easter vigil-March 30th
Resurrection Sunday/ Easter
March 31st
Eastertide
March 30th-May 18th
Ascension Day
May 10th
Pentecost (Trinity Sunday)
May 19th
Ordinary Time
May 20th-October 26th
Reformation Sunday
October 27th 
All Saints’ Day
November 2rd
Ordinary Time
November 4th-November 23rd
Christ the King Sunday
November 24th

So why does this matter to the low church congregations? In my (humble) opinion, following the church seasons brings an awareness and conscientiousness to our faith. It's remembering our past, our heritage (i.e. Reformation Sunday). It's adding an awareness and an anticipation to our year (almost Advent, almost Christmas, almost Resurrection Sunday). No more will we walk into church and be surprised that it's the first Sunday of Advent or Easter, for we will awaiting these days and now when they are upcoming.


Future posts are planned to look more in depth at the Advent/Christmas season, the Twelve Days of Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Holy Week/Resurrection Sunday, Pentecost, Ordinary Time, Reformation Sunday, and All Saints' Day. More future posts will be on hospitality, fasting, the Book of Common Prayer, and the concept of Sabbath. Eventually I will post about other topics that interest me, such as minimalism and frugality, and also subjects I'm passionate about, such as crafts and cooking/baking.