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An Endless Allelulia

  • Posted on Feb 21, 2012

Sing alleluia forth in duteous praise,
ye citizens of heaven, O sweetly raise an endless alleluia. Hymn 619, Hymnal 1982

As we ended our glorious worship Sunday with Bishop Sutton, we recessed to Hymn 619. As we prepare for a holy Lent beginning this Wednesday, we come as a faith community to a time that we put away our Alleluias until the Great Vigil of Easter early Easter morn. So, on the Last Sunday of Epiphany this past Sunday, it is Memorial’s tradition to sing as many Alleluias as possible. 

This past Sunday, we had a great opportunity with Bishop Sutton here for the bishop’s annual visitation. Not only did we have both the Memorial choir and the Junior Choristers singing this past Sunday, we also had Brass Reflections shining brightly and Isabella Pittmann playing the flute. We blessed our new hymnals–Lift every Voice and Sing II–which were made possible by the Barbara Swain fund. We confirmed, received and reaffirmed Dave Hansen, Myra Lawrence, Lisette Howe, Maddie Tracey, Jonathan Peake, Jamie Griffith and Erin Kelly. We started with “Alleluia! Sing to Jesus” and ended with “an endless alleluia!” And to top it off, we enjoyed Richard Brown’s chili, Alice Brown’s cakes and Becky and Alma’s punch in the Doll punch bowl. What a Sunday!

Using the texts of the Transfiguration in Mark and Moses’ original turn up the mountain in Exodus 24, Bishop Sutton talked about clouds. Being in a cloud. For a long time. Lost. Discouraged. Afraid. Not being able to see one footstep ahead. Taking these passages, Bishop Sutton talked about the great tradition and history of Memorial Church. He asked us to think about whether we might be a cloud now—as we try to see what might be our core vocations and our vision for the years ahead. This year, it seems that God is calling us to something new and also asking us to go deeper with present calls. It might be time to let go some calls of ministries that brought us joy in the past but have little energy today. A vision forward is a cause for Alleluia! As we approach Annual Meeting on March 4, the Vestry of Memorial is preparing to launch a visioning process this year to identify our core vocations–listening for the voice of God in the voices of our community. We do this while in the cloud, trusting that the cloud will lift and the vision will be illuminated before us. All we can know for sure now is to listen. Listen for God’s voice.

So, as we gather tonight for pancakes as a community and for ashes Wednesday, we put away saying alleluia for 40 days of Lent. However, I will be humming alleluia in my heart as we begin listening for God’s voice in the cloud. All through Lent and into Easter, the endless alleluias of community and call will be just underground, ready to burst forth on Easter Day and in the year to come.

Please join us tonight for pancakes from 6-8 in the Upper Parish Hall. Ash Wednesday services are at 7 am in the chapel, 12 Noon at Union Baptist Church, and 7:30 pm at Memorial witht he Tri-Church Community