Rev. Moon’s message for September 18, 2022

Dear Friends,

I spent the last month of August resting and reflecting on what I had learned during my first year. There were many valuable lessons, but this particular lesson made me laugh.

Moving from a small rural town to a city meant downsizing for my family and me. I had to eliminate many things I had collected over the years. I had these two large desks in my home office. I used one for my computer and laptop and the other desk to work on books and files. Since we were moving from a house to a smaller apartment, I gave them away and replaced them with small desks. I tried everything to love those two smaller desks, but I just hated those desks. Something was not right. It took me a while to realize what the problem was. Yes, I moved from a spacious house to a smaller apartment, but my body did not shrink. My computer did not shrink, and my laptop and its monitor did not shrink. I can even argue that I am bigger today than a year ago. So what did I do? I went to Ikea and got a large desk. So now I have three desks in the apartment.

Desk, walnut, walnut veneer, rosewood knobs, brass, iron, steel, glass (1870–71); designed by American architect Frank Heyling Furness (1839–1912). from the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Photo: Francis Helminski CC BY-SA 4.0 International. Full credit below.

So what did I learn from such human experience? That I need to move to a bigger place? No. I have learned that certain things don’t change, no matter wherever you go. Yes, you moved to a different congregation, but certain things don’t change. When I look back at my own life and ministry, God was so gracious to me. God was patient with me and showed me many wonders. Many times I did not know what to do or where to turn, but God showed me a new door after another to open. I don’t think God will change how God loves me and works with me simply because I moved to a different congregation. Sure I will face other tasks and challenges. Sure I need to make certain adjustments and changes in what I do. But God will continue to work with me, and God will continue to work with the people of God.

During the year, I have learned that the way people express the love of God for each other may differ from one place to another, but the desire of people to love God and to welcome everyone in the name of God is the same. I have experienced tremendous passion and love for God and the people of God from this beautiful faith community.

We don’t know what kind of challenges and blessings we will be facing tomorrow, but I firmly believe everything we experience in our human life will teach us one thing that does not change, the unconditional love of Jesus Christ, how much God loves us. One thing we cannot change is doing everything in the confidence of God’s grace and love. Things may not go the way we plan or want, but I am confident that everything we experience in this amazing community will help us to deepen our love for God and each other. May God bless our faith community and journey.

—Rev. Chuck Moon

Photo credit: “Desk, designed by Frank Furness, 1870-71, Philadelphia Museum of Art.jpg”. Francis Helminski. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. Taken from the Wikimedia Commons.

A version of this message first appeared in the Saturday, September 17, 2022, edition of Tidbits.

“Golden Scores of Cinema” Concert – October 22

On Saturday, October 22 at 7 PM, come out for an evening of some of the greatest scores ever written for cinema. The scores selected will represent at least one generation’s worth of film music that accompany many decades of progression in the film industry.

Concert poster with film sprocket design
Golden Scores of Cinema concert poster. Contact us if you’d like a copy to distribute.

Many film composers will be featured with their own exclusive contributions and notable compositions.

All of the music you will hear will feature the matching scenes displayed live as the scores are performed on piano, organ, voice, as well as other instruments.

This event is entirely produced by Brooks Gorst in his usual style of “score to screen”.  Rayford Glasgow, emcee for the evening, will provide the backstory to all of the films, composers, and scores to make the entire experience relevant and interesting .

And you needn’t worry if you’re feeling a little hungry during the concert: popcorn will be served, and there will be a bake sale during the intermission!

Admission is by donation and all proceeds will support the Nativity restoration project for Guildwood Community Presbyterian Church.

Versions of this message have appeared in various recent editions of Tidbits.

Rev. Moon’s message for September 11, 2022

Dear Friends,

In writing, we understand how important this small punctuational mark—the comma—is.

During the last five weeks, I worked on my comma. I did not realize how much I needed such a comma until I put it in my life. Emotionally, spiritually, and physically I was ready for rest and reflection. My comma included traveling with my immediate family, visiting my extended family in Korea, spending four days at a friend’s cottage, learning how to kayak, writing a diary, going to a bookstore, walking, and visiting different churches, restaurants, and cafés. I even had time to watch some Korean dramas on Netflix.

Thank you for your prayers and blessing me to spend time away from the ministry. And thank you for welcoming my family and me back to our wonderful church community and family.

– Rev. Chuck Moon

A version of this message first appeared in the Sunday, September 11, 2022, edition of Tidbits.

Monthly Quiet Prayer and Communion Services 2022–2023

Interior of the Kamppi Chapel, Helsinki, Finland. CC BY-SA 4.0 International. Full photo attribution below.

We are planning monthly quiet prayer and communion services in the fall on Wednesdays at 7:30 PM.  Currently, our dates include September 28, October 26, November 30, 2022, and January 25, February 22, March 29, April 26, May 31, and June 28, 2023.

Photo attribution: “Interior, Kamppi Chapel”. Attribution: Bengt Oberger. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. Taken from the Wikimedia Commons.

A version of this message first appeared in the Sunday, September 4, 2022, edition of Tidbits.

Memorial Service October 2, 2022

On Sunday, October 2, 2022, we will hold a memorial service to remember and celebrate our loved ones who are no longer with us.

Ceremonial guards march by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, Canada. Public domain. Taken from the Wikimedia Commons.

For this year, we will remember those who died during the pandemic years. If you have lost your loved ones during the pandemic and if you would like us to remember the name of your loved ones in the service, please send the name and the picture of your loved ones to Chuck at minister@guildwoodchurch.ca.

A version of this message first appeared in the Sunday, September 4, 2022, edition of Tidbits.

Welcome back to GCPC this Sunday, September 11, 2022!

There is lots going on this Sunday, September 11, 2022!

sand sculpture of the Last Supper on a beach
Sand Sculpture on the beach in Ocean City, Maryland. Full attribution below.

Welcome Back BBQ 

We would like to invite you all to the annual Welcome Back BBQ, following the 11 AM service.  If you can assist us on the day of, please contact the church office.

Hope to see you all there and we’re looking forward to reconnecting! 

Sunday School Celebration

We have a Welcome Back Sunday School Celebration on Sunday too! With the help of our parachute, we will celebrate the return to Sunday School with games on the lawn and special treats. Rain plan— move the games indoors!

Regular classes begin on September 18, with the theme for the fall term being Caring for Creation.

“Sand Sculpture on the beach in Ocean City, Maryland”. Hofman, Randy. All Are Welcome in the Kingdom of God, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. https://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=56685 [retrieved September 8, 2022]. Copyright: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

A version of this message first appeared in the Sunday, September 4, 2022, edition of Tidbits.

Rev. Moon’s message for September 4, 2022 – Virtual book club

We are starting a virtual book club starting Sunday, September 18, and will meet at 1 PM every third Sunday of the month. We would like to invite those who are interested in sharing their thoughts with each other. A Zoom link to the meeting will be posted later.

The book is Devotional Classics by Richard Foster, which has 52 small chapters on individuals like Francis of Assisi, Martin Luther, Søren Kierkegaard, Annie Dillard, Thomas Merton, and John Calvin. The first chapter we will discuss together is on C.S. Lewis’s ‘Mere Christianity’. We hope to study a chapter each month, very easy and short reading.  In each meeting, we will be sharing, “What did I like about the chapter? What was my least favorite? Are there any lingering questions from the chapter you are still thinking about?”

The book is available for purchase at Chapters, Amazon, and other bookstores.

— Rev. Chuck Moon

A version of this message first appeared in the Sunday, September 4, 2022, edition of Tidbits.

Regular Worship Hours return Sunday, September 11, 2022

Yes, it says 2 o’clock not 11 o’clock, but you get the idea!

Summer worship hours end and regular worship hours return this Sunday, September 11, 2022. That means that worship services will return to starting at 11:00 AM.

A version of this message first appeared in the Sunday, September 4, 2022, edition of Tidbits.

Rev. Moon’s message for July 24, 2022

Dear Friends,

Henri Nouwen writes:

It is important to know when we should give attention and when we need attention. Often, we are inclined to give, give, and give without asking anything in return. We may think that this is a sign of generosity or even heroism. But it might be little more than a proud attitude that says, “I don’t need help from others. I only want to give.” When we keep giving without receiving, we burn out quickly. Only when we pay careful attention to our own physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs can we be, and remain, joyful givers. There is a time to give and a time to receive. We need equal time for both if we want to live healthy lives.

“The Return of the Prodigal Son” (ca. 1668) by Rembrandt (1606–1669). From the collection of the Hermitage Museum; taken from the Wikimedia Commons. Henri Nouwen wrote a book, The Return of the Prodigal Son, based on the painting.

I will be taking a vacation between July 25–August 29. I hope that my vacation will allow my emotion, body, mind, and spirit to rest and relax. I have learned the hard way in my ministry that when I don’t look after myself well, everything else suffers as well, and it takes time for our emotions and mind to relax and recover. It usually takes two to three weeks for my mind to stop thinking about what I have to write next, and two to three weeks for my emotion to stop feeling the pressure of always being available for others. I find it takes time to let go and forgive myself for the things I could have done better or things that didn’t go well. Of course, I hope to spend time with my immediate family, visit my extended family, and deepen joy in my life.

In the early stage of ministry, I was hesitant and even afraid of taking a vacation. I wasn’t sure whether my pride, guilt, insecurity, or a little bit of everything made me feel uneasy about taking time for myself or spending time away from ministry. Probably my theology back then did not help, either. “How could I rest when God is working?”

I have learned to accept that I am one person, and I am not here to replace God or to produce the love of God but to celebrate the love of God we receive from God. Christ died on the cross so we could live, not for us to remain under the cross. There are still many days I struggle to take time for myself, but I am working on it. I am sure many of you are working on it as well.

I would like to ask for your prayers for my family and me during my time away.

—Rev. Chuck Moon

A version of this message first appeared in the Saturday, July 23, 2022, edition of Tidbits.

Rev. Moon’s message for July 17, 2022

Dear Friends,

Someone once said, Technology is great… when it works. Our human technology can help us connect faster, more creatively, and more conveniently, but it can also bring challenges.

I am a Rogers customer, which means I had no working internet, phone, or cable on Friday, Saturday, and a part of Sunday. I could not help but ask, “If someone needs me, how do they connect with me?”

It made me realize how much we depend on technology to connect. How unsettling it is to be unable to communicate with others.

Once everything came to normal, I heard from two friends asking whether I had sent an email requesting an e-transfer for $1950! Of course, I did not send the emails; it was a scammer who had used my name. I felt very unsettled! It is not the technology but how people use it to take advantage of others that made me very disappointed and helpless. It reminds us how vulnerable our human life is.

The following day, this is what I read from the Bible. I found peace in it. I would like to believe the scripture found me.

Psalms 61 and 62 from the “Parma Psalter”. Taken from the Wikimedia Commons.

For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall never be shaken.
For God alone, my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my deliverance and my honor; my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.
Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah.
Those of low estate are but a breath; those of high estate are a delusion; in the balances they go up; they are together lighter than a breath.
Put no confidence in extortion, and set no vain hopes on robbery; if riches increase, do not set your heart on them.
Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God, and steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord. For you repay to all according to their work.

Psalm 62

Once again, God has sustained me and strengthened me!

May God continue to sustain us and give us the strength we need this week.

—Rev. Chuck Moon

A version of this message first appeared in the Saturday, July 16, 2022, edition of Tidbits.