Woodland Park Press
Publication of Woodland Park Presbyterian Church
From the Pastor…..
At a recent gathering of our Sunday evening Lent group, Louisa Fish-Sadin led us in a beautiful guided embodiment meditation. Like many such exercises, we started by focusing on our breath, but soon Louisa asked us to focus on our skin. “Huh…okay….” I remember thinking, “I don’t know that I’ve ever spent any time meditating on my skin….” Louisa’s instructions drew our attention to the feeling of air on our skin, to where our skin was touching our clothes, and to how our skin was pressing against the floor. We were invited to notice how our skin is both a boundary and place of meeting between “that which is me” and “that which is not me”.
The book we’ve been reading during Lent, Let Your Life Speak, explores the idea of finding and living from true self. Focusing on such an idea, particularly for an entire season, can feel kind of selfish. Yet, as the author Parker Palmer points out, it’s amazing how much damage we can do in the world when we’re unaware or inattentive to who we are and how we are impacting the world. When the boundary between “that which is me” and “that which is not me” is ignored, disrespected, or blurred, we can end up in unhealthy relationships on any scale— one-on-one personal relationships, the relationship between church and neighbor, the relationship between nations. On the other hand, when we pay close attention to the God-given gifts and limitations of the “skin” we live in—our encounters with the other can be a gift to “that which is me” and “that which is not me”.
During the remainder of Lent, we will be hearing about our annual One Great Hour of Sharing offering that will be collected on Easter Sunday. In our denomination, this offering goes to support Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, the Presbyterian Hunger Program, and a ministry called Self Development of People. While all three are important ministries, it’s the last one that catches my attention this season. Self Development of People is “a ministry of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) [that seeks to be] a partnership of love, justice and empowerment reflecting the image of God who stands with all people” ( http://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/sdop/who-sdop/ ). This is a program that seeks to align that boundary between “that which is me” and “that which is not me” in a way that is empowering so that people at the margins may live into true self that God made them to be.
As we enter these final weeks of this Lenten journey and look toward the promises of Easter, may our inner work make us increasingly aware of our interconnection with the whole Body. May we seek an organic and clear connection between the emergence of “that which is (truly) me” and the empowerment of all God’s children to do the same.
With you on the Way,
Worship and Scripture Readings for Lent
“Corps Beliefs: Embodying the Way”
March 5, Ash Wednesday: “The Returning Body
7:30 — 9:30 a.m. Drop-in for ashes and blessing