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Sunday, April 23
Lessons from the story of Young Sis' Goose
Lashon A. Daley
Through storytelling and song, Lashon will perform the antebellum Black folktale of "Sis' Goose" and explore how it correlates to the experiences of young Black girls in today's public school system.
Lashon Daley is a PhD scholar in Performance Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on the performances of Black cultural expression in the U.S.
She is a 2014 Callaloo Poetry Fellow and a 2015 UC Berkeley Chancellor Fellow. Her work has appeared in O, The Oprah Magazine. She holds an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College (2008) and an MA in Folklore (2015) from UC Berkeley.
Her children's book, Mr. Okra Sells Fresh Fruits and Vegetables was recently published. Lashon is also the creator of Stories&Slams, a podcast that focuses on folktales and every day stories.
Dear Members and Friends of the SF Swedenborgian Church,
I hope that you all had a wonderful Easter with your family in the blessing of Christ who was risen to show and teach us that life is not limited by physical reality. So, after the wonderful Easter service, listening to the special Easter message, and participating in Easter gatherings with family and friends, "what are you up to this week?" For most of us, surprisingly or expectedly, things are just back to normal as before, right?
Is this a good thing, or should we be concerned that we are just back to normal life after such a spiritually- and religiously-focused season? One comforting truth I found in the Bible is that God does not expect people to be different from who they naturally are. Rather, God always reaches out and comes to the people where they are. This is fully confirmed in the event of Jesus Christ, the Divine Incarnate. Instead of commanding people to rise up to higher ground, God decided to come down to exactly where people were, especially those who were considered lowly and unworthy. I find this very comforting because for the most part, we are who we are and we do what we do. If we were required to be highly cultivated in order to enter the kingdom of heaven, I am not sure how many of us would actually make the cut.
This is reflected in a story in John. Among the Four Gospels, John and Luke give a few more stories after the resurrection. One story in John is particularly interesting to me: after the resurrection and a few appearances of Jesus to his disciples, seven of them including Peter gathered at the Sea of Tiberias, which is the Sea of Galilee. After witnessing the shocking death and then the miraculous resurrection of Jesus, what would you expect them to do once gathered together? Perhaps something deeply spiritual? Or something to acknowledge the amazing event that was the resurrection of their Lord? This is what Peter said to them: "I am going fishing." After all, he was a fisherman! What else could a fisherman do? This turned out to be a good choice because just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach that was near where they were fishing. Once again, God came to the people where they were living their normal and ordinary lives.
Some may believe that to be a spiritual person, one may have to do something special and extraordinary. If the pathway to be spiritual can only be found in an extraordinary way, we have to admit that we have a big, fundamental problem here: either being spiritual is not meant for all people or being spiritual has been misinterpreted. My belief is that spirituality has to be found and cultivated within our very ordinary lives, where we spend most of our energy and time. And, as we focus on our work, tasks, and duties with mindfulness and humility, we might be able to notice when God approaches us and gives a little advice here and there. Just like Jesus said to the seven disciples, "Cast the net to the right side of the boat, you will find some [fish]."
Reverend Junchol Lee
Sunday Worship Service
Our Sunday worship service starts at 11 AM, a traditional Christian service that usually lasts about one hour.
Join us for our coffee and fellowship hour in the Parish House following service.
Directions to church.
Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.
"You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Excerpted from Maya Angelou's "Still I Rise"
Out of the huts of history's shame
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
From the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg
Arcana Coelestia #5604
The situation in heaven is that the inmost or third heaven consists of those in whom innocence dwells because they are moved by love to the Lord. For the Lord is Innocence itself, so that those who are there because they are moved by love to Him have innocence dwelling within them. And although they are the wisest ones of all in heaven, they look to others there like young children. For this reason, as well as for the reason that innocence dwells in young children, innocence is meant in the Word by 'young children'.
Since innocence is the inmost virtue of heaven, innocence must exist inwardly with all who are in heaven.
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The Rev. Wilma Wake is the minister of our denomination's first on-line
spiritual community. If you live far from a local Swedenborgian church,
or find yourself otherwise homebound, you may enjoy visiting
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