FRIDAY, 10 APRIL – SINGING – slowing down

In the book of the Acts of the Apostles, singing is mentioned as one of the practices of the early church. So many folks say they aren’t singers, but they still ‘make a joyful noise’. There are many hymns within the 66 books of Scripture – of course the book of Psalms, but Bible historians believe that several passages in Paul’s letters are the lyrics to hymns of the
new church (for instance, Philippians 2: 6-11).

What are some of your favorite songs to sing in worship? Classical pieces? Ira Sankey and Fanny Crosby evangelical pieces? Contemporary works? Meditative melodies from Iona? Most are written to be sung in groups, and right now we can’t always do that. But we can still sing.

Slow down. Start with some song that brings you comfort or joy. Really pay attention to what you are singing; listen to the words. Perhaps move out of your comfort zone and find other genres to let speak to your heart. Maybe search for them on itunes? Ask other friends for suggestions?

THURSDAY, 9 APRIL – COMMUNION – slowing down

Disciples of Christ are big fans of communion, so much so that we took the symbol of the chalice as our image. For us, the table is always available to everyone. It is not our table; it is the table of the Lord. It is not up to us to decide who gets to be fed and who does not. It is not up to us to try to be worthy enough; we can never be worthy enough but the one who
invites us is worthy enough and that covers the matter.

Some folks say they ‘receive’ communion; some folks say they ‘take’ communion. Some folks call it the ‘Lord’s supper’; some folks call it ‘eucharist’. Words have meaning. But the most important word in communion is the Word Made Flesh – in the gospel we call John, Jesus is called the Word made Flesh, and it is almost beyond human comprehension to understand that. But we have this ritual, this wonderful tangible act, that allows us to physically enact what our souls need to survive: to take the Word made flesh to nurture us.

Slow down. Next time you have a glass or cup in your hand,
remember the Word. Next time you eat a piece of toast or a biscuit,
remember the Word. And say ‘thank you’.

WEDNESDAY, 8 APRIL – SCRIPTURE – slowing down

One of our tenets as Disciples of Christ is our understanding that we can each read and study the Scripture on our own. Of course, it is always better to read it with the guidance and companionship of the Holy Spirit. And, of course, it is better to actually READ it.

I am not a fan of New Year resolutions; maybe it’s just my personality, but they seem to be a setup for failure though I know others for whom they work. Often around New Year there are plans available everywhere for reading the Bible through in one year or conversely taking an entire year to work through one gospel. There is no one right way, I suppose; there are 66 books and some are easier than others to grasp. But what I would encourage is not so much a plan as intentionally starting.

Slow Down. Read a few chapters of a gospel – perhaps begin with Matthew, since it bridges the testaments; perhaps begin with Mark, since it is the shortest and earliest one written. Let it take as long as it takes. You will know when to move on. The goal is not to check boxes, but to better know the heart of God. We’ll hear more about this when we are back in
corporate worship. And we will be. Here again, it will take as long as it takes.

TUESDAY, 7 APRIL – BAPTISM – slowing down

Do you remember your baptism? Were you sprinkled, or dipped, or immersed? Were you baptized as an infant and later confirmed, or did you practice believer’s baptism? In our denomination we usually celebrate believer’s baptism, but for us the issue isn’t the amount of water as much as the state of the relationship. When receiving a new member into a congregation, I ask ‘are you satisfied with your baptism?’. If the member says they are, that’s good enough for me.

My dear friend is a spiritual director – her name is Susan Brown (mildlymystical.com). She says that believer’s baptism is a visible sign of acknowledging God’s grace consciously. When we were baptized, we recognized something that was already true. For most of us, that included a public profession of faith; we said out loud what we felt in our hearts. On this Tuesday of Holy Week, slow down. Remember what declaring that love and trust felt like. Remember that we responded as an individual to the depth of God’s grace. Be still today, and rest and renew in that grace.

MONDAY, 6 APRIL – PRAYER – slowing down

We begin this Holy Week still in a mode of physical distancing. For
many of us, this has been a time of frustration or discomfort. For others, it
has been a time of intense work and fatigue. For still others, it has been an
opportunity to grow and learn.

Today, we spend a little time thinking about prayer. Have you prayed
much this week? God’s shoulders are large and God’s heart is love itself –
so whether you have cried or yelled or been grateful or asked ‘why’ a
hundred times, God has heard and continues to love us.

On this Monday of Holy Week, let us remember the words of Mother
Teresa: God speaks in the silence of our hearts. Listening is the
beginning of prayer.
Slow Down. Spend time today in quiet prayer and
meditation. Spend time listening and paying attention to what God is saying
to you.

The three best prayers: “Help”. Thanks”. “Wow”. -Anne LaMott

I’m not okay now, but I’m going to be.

A number of years ago I was privileged to attend church with a woman named Joyce. I was a young mother, and she was an example and model to me. Her family went through one of the most difficult experiences in life: they lost Chuck, their 23 year old son, due to an undetected heart problem. He dropped dead on a basketball court during a church league game, just before Christmas, leaving a young wife who was 8 months pregnant. The entire town was stunned and the visitation and funeral were
attended by many people. One well meaning but insensitive man asked Joyce, “So, how are you doing?” I will never forget her response: I’m not okay now, but I’m going to be.

“I’m not okay now, but I’m going to be.”

With one sentence she managed to acknowledge the reality of the pain and confusion she was going through, while still pointing to and claiming the hope that every day was not going to be as awful as that day was.

A few years later, I remembered those words and said them the first time as I stood by my own son’s grave. And, although I didn’t know how it could ever be true, eventually I was okay. Forever changed and forever marked, but okay.

It seems to me that this sentiment is one that a Christian can understand in ways perhaps others can’t. That even when we are going through times and situations that are new, that are confusing, that are scary – we can acknowledge that we are NOT okay now, but we will be. It is not a lack of faith to state fear or confusion; but it is our choice to look to God to receive strength and help. We don’t have to be strong or all knowing; we need only to live moment by moment and look for ways to be loving. For when we look for ways to be loving we will see God.

Blest be the tie that binds,

Pastor Molly

Worship for 22 March 2020

Per the Governor’s guidelines as issued on the 17th of March, Harrodsburg Christian (Disciples of Christ) will not be holding corporate worship on the 22nd of March.  Decisions will be — on a week by week basis.  Choir is also on hold.


     However, the church will be open on Sunday, March 22nd from 10.30 to 11.30 for those who would like to stop by to take communion or spend a few minutes in meditation. 

As it stands now, the church will be streaming a message and prayer on Sunday and short devotional thoughts will be available starting Thursday 3/19 or Friday 3/20, on both the Facebook page  – Harrodsburg Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) – and the church website. 

Remember that we are a family and let’s keep in touch with each other.  If you have any needs or require help, please call the office during regular hours. Be in prayer for this world, and be in prayer for each other.  Take advantage of this situation to slow down and reconnect with your faith. 
Wash your hands. 
Keep in touch.           
The Lord bless you and keep you.  The Lord’s face look upon you with grace and mercy.

“All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.”  Julian of Norwich

Welcome Reverend Molly Smothers!

Rev. Molly Smothers will be joining us as our interim Senior Minister starting on February 9th. She is from Lexington, KY and graduated from Transylvania University with degrees in Philosophy and Humanities. She has an Masters of Divinity from Lexington Theological Seminary where she was awarded the Welch Award for New Testament Studies. Currently she is completing a Doctor of Ministry at LTS and is working on her doctoral project.
Pastor Molly has served as Senior Minister with congregations in Cynthiana (1995-2000), Mount Sterling (2000-2004), and Morehead (2004-2015). In June of 2015 she moved from full-time ministry to serve in interim capacities, including churches in Independence, Owensboro, Georgetown, and most recently in Maysville.
Within the denomination Pastor Molly has taught several classes on Homiletics for the Commission on Ministry School, served for years on the Committee on Ministry, and has been an officer in local ministerial associations. In addition, she has led workshops for DWF, Regional Assembly, and in many other congregations.
She has also served on the board of the Morehead Public Radio Station (WMKY), worked with ALLYance on the MSU campus and Morehead Fairness, and has worked in Regional Theatre.
Pastor Molly is married to Leon Smothers, who is retired from State government after a long career with the Division of Water; he has served on the board of many national organizations dealing with water and conservation. They live on a 25 acre farm in Morehead, which they share with sheep, a donkey, a pony, and 10 hives of bees. They have three adult children and three grandchildren.

We are so happy to welcome Rev. Smothers to Harrodsburg Christian Church, and look forward to getting to know more about her and her family!

ADD-LENT

LENT starts on Wednesday, February 26th . It lasts for 6 weeks, which psychologists tells us is the amount of time humans need to either break a bad habit or start a new one. This year we are offering 4 challenges that can help us in our relationship with God. They offer ways to improve behavioral patterns with regard to our heart, our
soul, our mind, and our body. The four choices are below. Take these
weeks to add a new habit to your life – by practicing ADD-Lent!


FOR THE SOUL
This challenge calls for a form of ‘diet’. You are encouraged to replace one or two social media sites that serve as your ‘rabbit holes’; in other words, think about sites that cause you to fritter away time, or bring up feelings of envy or frustration or unkind thoughts – kind of like junk food. Then replace those sties with ones that offer healthy nourishment, being careful to mindfully choose sites that promote the spirituality your genuinely seek – but beware! Just because a site is marked as Christian does not make it healthy! Some options include:

-sacredspace.ie ( a site that promotes
prayer and intentional mindfulness of Scripture)

-endhunger.org (a site that will take you to
daily devotions from St. Andrews)

-cbcofdurham.org (a plan for reading the
four canonical gospels in 30 days)

[email protected] (twitter account that
provides a thought each morning)


FOR THE HEART
It is easy to think that we pray more than we really do; just like it’s easy to think that we talk with our loved ones, when often we just communicate on the surface. This challenge encourages a daily, set aside time for prayer – preferably 10 minutes – using a traditional method of prayer:

A.C.T.S.

A – (adoration) give God praise and glory
C – (confession) honestly deal with the sin in your life
T – (thanksgiving) verbalize those people & things in your life for which you are grateful
S – (supplication) pray for yourself, others, and the world
In addition to this, emphasize particular
areas in your life when you come to
supplication (these are not easy):

Weeks one and two: pray for the one person in your life that causes you the most grief.

Weeks three and four: pray for understanding of a group of people against whom you have prejudice

Weeks five and six: Pray for healing in your soul


FOR THE BODY
This challenge will help you develop the habit of quiet meditation. Studies in many disciplines – religion, psychology, and medicine among others – all speak to the benefit of slowing down. Meditation does not requite equipment, books, or a special wardrobe. Simply put on comfortable clothing and sit in a quiet area. You may wish to set an alarm on your phone, so there is not a temptation to look at your watch. Begin with a simple prayer: something like “speak, Lord, I am here to listen” or “I love you”. Be aware of your breathing, and let that be your touchstone. Try to let your mind empty; if something comes up, acknowledge it and return to your breath.

WEEK ONE: Each day for 10 minutes
WEEK TWO: Each day for 10 minutes
WEEK THREE: Each day for 15 minutes
WEEK FOUR: Each day for 15 minutes
WEEK FIVE: Each day for 20 minutes
WEEK SIX: Each day for 20 minutes


FOR THE MIND
The thought of reading Scripture is daunting to many of us. Often we think that by coming to church and hearing two passage read each week, we’ve covered our bases. But when we read an entire gospel over 6 weeks, we hear and understand the story in a new way. For this challenge, find two or three different versions of the gospel of Matthew (New Revised Standard, New International, The Message etc). The passage breakouts are not long, to ensure time to really pay attention and meditate on the Word.

WEEK ONE – Chapters 1-4
WEEK TWO – Chapters 5-7
WEEK THREE – Chapters 8-12
WEEK FOUR – Chapters 13-17
WEEK FIVE – Chapters 18-23
WEEK SIX – Chapters 24-28

BEACH REACH VBS 2019

June 11, 2019 — June 13, 2019

08:30 am — 01:00 pm (EDT)

                                                                    305 S Main St
Harrodsburg, KY 40330

Make a splash at Beach Reach VBS where kids learn how Jesus reaches us and rescues us through his wider-than-the-ocean love! We will party with a “porpoise” each day as we sing songs, play games, make crafts, and learn about Jesus’ love for us!