The Rev. Rosa Lindahl

Gentleness and Silence

Dearest Holy Comforter Family,

There is just one Sunday left in what we call “The Season after Pentecost.”  The following Sunday, when I suspect all of us will still be eating leftovers from Thanksgiving, we enter the season of Advent. With each passing year, I find myself more and more resistant to what I have come to call the “Christmaspalooza” craziness that claims it is in spending lots of money that we find the meaning of the season. I welcome the longer nights and find myself thankful for a comfortable chair, a good book to read, and the warmth of a fire burning in our fireplace.

This year at Holy Comforter, we are keeping things simple for Advent. On the 27th, immediately after church, we hope you will join us in McMaster Hall to prepare an advent wreath for your home or for one of the members of our congregation who struggle with isolation and is homebound. On the 18th of December, we will gather in McMaster again. this time, Randy will be at the piano and lead us as we sing beloved Christmas songs and then begin the final stretch before Christmas Eve. We will have a simple snack to enjoy together that Sunday before heading home.  

Although our observance of the season will be more simple than usual, there's a lot going on here at the church. Starting this Sunday, we will offer communion at the rail as we have in the past; additionally, there will be a communion station in the nave, right under the pulpit. Anyone who would prefer to avoid the steps up to the altar is more than welcome to receive communion there.

Along with starting to test some new, hopefully, safer ways of worshiping together, we continue to explore and plan for the new arts-based ministry program we look forward to launching in January. Finally, we have Vestry elections this Sunday, we have about wrapped up our stewardship drive, and the finance team is working with Diane to have a budget to present to the vestry for an initial review at the December vestry meeting.

Once again, Jan Richardson, artist, writer, UMC ordained minister, has given me just the right words as we enter into the season of Advent and a new liturgical year. 

The Season of Advent means there is something on the horizon the likes of which we have never seen before. It is not possible to keep it from coming because it will. That’s just how Advent works. What is possible is to not see it, to

miss it, to turn just as it brushes past you. And you begin to grasp what it was you missed, like Moses in the cleft of the rock, watching God’s hindquarters fade in the distance.

     So stay. Sit.

          Linger. Tarry.

               Ponder. Wait.

                    Behold. Wonder.

There will be enough time for running. For rushing. For worrying. For pushing. For now, stay. Wait. Something is on the horizon.”

                                                                                                                              -Night Visions, Jan L. Richardson

May your days be filled with peace and joyful anticipation as we look ahead to the coming of our Messiah.  Rosa+

06 November 2022

The Seed: The arts can welcome cognitive/ neurodivergent (i.e., developmental disabilities, autism) people into life in the community where meaningful work is possible.  Artistic endeavors, of all kinds, have the capacity to foster relationships and help us all break out of isolation and loneliness.

The Soil: Holy Comforter has a remarkable facility that during the week could serve as a community arts center. We have some financial resources and are looking for other funding to do this work. And finally, we are building partnerships to tend to the ‘field’ where this seed of a possibility might grow and thrive.

The Holy Spirit, Water of Life: Your leadership team trusts the life-giving Spirit that is most needed for this new ministry to germinate, grow and thrive. We know the Spirit must lead us in this effort and we must work slowly and carefully enough to let the Spirit be our guide and light.

The Sprout: Already, we discern a small sprout pushing through rich soil in search of the light. Together with DATSMOM, a local support group for the families of children with autism, we are going to pilot an arts-based respite program one Saturday afternoon in late January. Our hope is to make this an ongoing, monthly program.

We Pray and Work for This Small Sprout to Become a Sapling: Continuing to discern the call and guidance of the Holy Spirit, we respond by building the capacity of the community arts center here at Holy Comforter.  We will seek additional funding, build more partnerships, offer more programming, and reach out to serve more people in our community who need the blessing of safe, deeply meaningful engagement in community life.

Our Dream: Your leadership’s dream is that over the next few years, a self-sustaining community art center will flourish so people of different ages who need more structure and supervision than others, can join with established artists in the community, education specialists, and other volunteers, to do the transforming work of creating beautiful works of art.

The Holy Spirit will show us how that dream might be realized.

17 November 2022