Rev. Moon’s Message for January 22, 2023

Dear friends of Guildwood Community Presbyterian Church,

January can be a difficult month. After the excitement of December and Christmas, some of us experience a letdown, and I am sure the credit card bill does not help us. Whatever we are going through, may we remember we have a community of faith built on Christ Jesus. Please join us for our Sunday worship service (11 AM) when you need us.

Here are the two upcoming community events:

  • This coming Sunday, January 22, we celebrate the sacrament of communion. May we celebrate God’s grace together!
  • On Wednesday, January 25, we hold our monthly quiet prayer and communion evening service (7:30 PM). It is an opportunity to pause and place us in the sacred space and time of Christ Jesus as a faith community. [UPDATE Jan 24: This service has been cancelled because of the expected bad weather. – Ed.]

Please reach out to me if you need spiritual care or someone to pray with.

—Rev. Chuck Moon

A version of this message appeared in the Saturday, January 21, 2023 version of Tidbits.

Rev. Moon’s Message for January 15, 2023

Dear friends,

Our monthly virtual book study group meets this Sunday, January 15, at 1 PM (and every third Sunday of the month) to discuss the work of Francis De Sales’ “On True Devotion”. We will think about the place of devotion in our spirituality. Francis De Sales expresses devotion this way, “Ostriches never fly; hens fly in a clumsy fashion, near the ground and only once in a while, but eagles, doves, and swallows fly aloft, swiftly and frequently…Devout souls ascend to God more frequently, promptly, and with lofty heights.” “Look at the bees amid the banks of thyme. They find there a very bitter juice, but when they suck it out, they change it into honey because they have the ability to do so.” Francis De Sales sees devotion as something uplifting our spirit and transforming our bitterness into something sweet.

“St. Francis De Sales” (1665) by Italian painter Giovanni Battista Lucini (1639–1686); from the collection of the Chiesa di San Giacomo Maggiore, Crema, Italy; taken from the Wikimedia Commons.

I would like to think that devotion is not about being busy but about fulfilling and being passionate. I also believe that devotion should be more than just our external actions but listening in our hearts. We would like to hear your thoughts. What do you think devotion is, and when did you experience the transformation of bitterness into sweetness in your spiritual journey? What spoke to you? What did you find challenging?

On Sunday, join us on Zoom!

—Rev. Chuck Moon

A version of this message appeared in the Friday, January 13, 2023 version of Tidbits.

Rev. Moon’s Message for January 8, 2023

Dear friends of Guildwood Community Presbyterian Church,

Happy New Year! It is hard to believe the year 2022 has passed, and we are welcoming the year 2023.  We give thanks for the many wonderful gifts we received during the past year, and we look forward to welcoming the many beautiful gifts and adventures God has prepared for us.

I would like to highlight some of the upcoming events:

  • On Friday, January 13, a small prayer and study group will meet at the church at 1 PM. If you want to deepen your understanding and love for prayers, please join us. This month we are studying and praying through Prayer and Action (Ch 7, Joan Chittister’s book).
  • On Sunday, January 15, following church, a virtual book study will be held at 1 PM. This month, we are discussing the work of Francis De Sale’s “One True Devotion.” Even if you have not read the chapter, you may come and join our conversations.
  • On Wednesday, January 25, we hold our monthly quiet prayer and communion evening service at 7:30 PM. It is an opportunity to pause and place ourselves in the sacred space and time of Christ Jesus as a faith community.

—Rev. Chuck Moon

A version of this message appeared in the Saturday, January 7, 2023 version of Tidbits.

Rev. Moon’s Message for January 1, 2023

Dear friends of Guildwood Community Presbyterian Church,

As the dawn breaks on a new year, let us give thanks for all we hold dear: our health, our family and our friends.

Let us release our grudges, our anger and our pains, for these are nothing but binding chains. Let us live each day in the most loving way, the God-conscious way. Let us serve all who are in need, regardless of race, color or creed.

Let us keep God of our own understanding in our hearts and chant God’s name each day. Let us lead the world from darkness to light, from falsehood to truth, and from wrong to right.

Let us remember that we are all one, embracing all, discriminating against none.

May your year be filled with peace, prosperity, and love. May God’s blessings shower upon you and bestow upon each of you a bright, healthy, and peaceful new year.

—Rev. Marcy Sheremetta

May this prayer be our prayer. We wish you a blessed new year!

—Rev. Chuck Moon

A version of this message appeared in the Thursday, December 29, 2022 version of Tidbits.

Rev. Moon’s Message for December 11, 2022

Dear Friends,

According to Joan Chittister, there are two different kinds of peace. One kind of peace is a life free from chaos, turbulence, violence, and troubles. Unfortunately, that kind of peace is too often achieved by force by silencing those who disagree. There is another kind of peace. This kind of peace does not come either from the denial of evil or the acceptance of oppression. This kind of peace comes from the center of us and flows through us. This kind of peace is the peace of those who know truth and proclaim it, recognize oppression, and refuse to accept it, and understand God’s will for the world and pursue it.


“Sketch for Peace Descends to Earth” (1852) by French painter Eugène Delacroix (1798–1863); from the collection of the Petit Palais, Paris; taken from the Wikimedia Commons.

Whatever situation we are in, may we remember the gift of peace Jesus has placed in our human hearts.

May all that I am today, all that I try to do today, may all my encounters, reflections, even the frustrations, and failings, may all these things be placed in your hands. Lord, my life is in your hands. Please, let this day give you peace.

Unknown author

– Rev. Chuck Moon

A version of this message appeared in the Friday, December 9, 2022 version of Tidbits.

Rev. Moon’s Message for December 4, 2022

Dear Friends,

“A burning red candle in the darkness” by Hartmut Schmidt, Heidelberg, CC BY-SA 4.0. Full image credit below.

God our creator, when all is darkness, and we feel our weakness and helplessness.

Give us the sense of your presence, your love, and your strength.

Help us to have trust in your protecting love and strengthening power, so that fear and worry may not overwhelm us.

AMEN.

Hymnal for worship, 1982

May we hold each other in prayer during this week.

– Rev. Chuck Moon

Image credit: “A burning red candle in the darkness” by Hartmut Schmidt, Heidelberg. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. Taken from the Wikimedia Commons.

A version of this message appeared in the Thursday, December 1, 2022 version of Tidbits.

Rev. Moon’s Message for November 27, 2022

Dear Friends,

On Sunday, November 27, we celebrate the first Sunday of Advent and Communion. During the service, we will also hear the heartbreaking stories of Dorgelesse, Nasser, Chow, and Vahid as a part of our yearly Write for Rights campaign (Amnesty International). We ask for your prayers and support for those who are suffering and marginalized in our world.

Sunday, December 4 is the second Sunday of Advent, the Sunday of peace. That is traditionally the Sunday we conduct our Amnesty Write For Rights campaign, when we join with like-minded people around the world to protest human rights abuses by select countries by flooding their government with letters demanding justice.

The four cases we have this year are difficult to consider for various reasons, but your letters can make all the difference to the four individuals involved. After worship on the 4th, please plan to stay and sign letters on their behalf. If you cannot stay, or if you wish to consider the cases at home, or write letters to the victims from home, we can provide you with a take-home package as we have done the last couple of years. As usual, we are also asking for monetary donations to cover the mailing costs.

No matter how you choose to lend your support to Dorgelesse, Nasser, Chow, or Vahid, I urge you to participate, because human rights is everybody’s business.

—Bonnie Horton

—Rev. Chuck Moon

A version of this message appeared in the Friday, November 25, 2022 version of Tidbits.

Rev. Moon’s Message for November 13, 2022

Dear Friends,

people standing in a hall with gift baskets on tables in the foreground
Part of the Village Fair team, Nov. 5, 2022. Look at those gift baskets! More pictures are available at our Facebook page.

We give special thanks to Sandra, Susan, Al, Bonnie, and all who organized and helped at the Village Fair.  Not only is it an important fundraising event for our church, but it has also become a fun community event where we meet people from our community. I had the privilege of greeting people at the door. I met so many kind and generous people. I started the day by praying that through this event, people who go through our church door would experience the presence of God. But I ended the day with the awareness that people brought the presence of God to us on that day (as much as we offered them).

We give thanks to God for blessing us through one another.

— Rev. Chuck Moon

A version of this message appeared in the Thursday, November 10, 2022 version of Tidbits.

Rev. Moon’s Message for November 6, 2022

LORD, make me an instrument of your peace,
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.  Amen.

Prayer of Saint Francis
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National War Memorial in Ottawa

Unfortunately, we heard about another tragic shooting incident at a local high school. We feel helpless and discouraged by the news. We remember many students, parents, and teachers affected by the incident in our prayers. It reminds us that we live in a lost and broken society and how much we need God’s love in this broken world. Please, join us in praying for peace.

— Rev. Chuck Moon

A version of this message appeared in the Saturday, November 5, 2022 version of Tidbits.

Rev. Moon’s Message for October 30, 2022

Dear Friends,

Our special thanks to Brooks & Cherry and everyone who helped perform and organize the Golden Scores of Cinema concert. Many spent hours preparing for this concert. One piece of music that spoke to me was the Love Theme from Cinema Paradiso (1988). It brought back good memories and different emotions I felt when I watched for the first time: Sadness, joy, laughter, and a sense of wonder. We humans do remember a lot. We don’t always know what we carry in our human hearts, but we carry a lot in our hearts. Sometimes we get carried away with our everyday responsibilities, and we forget to remember what is in our human hearts.

I wonder if our ministry’s work is similar to that — we are to help people remember God in our human hearts. God has written the covenant in our human history and spirit. May we remember to pause and listen to what our hearts desire to remember.

Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually. Remember the wonderful works he has done, his miracles and the judgments he uttered, O offspring of his servant Israel, children of Jacob, his chosen ones. He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth. Remember his covenant forever, the word that he commanded for a thousand generations, the covenant that he made with Abraham, his sworn promise to Isaac, which he confirmed to Jacob as a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant.

1 Chronicles 16:1117

— Rev. Chuck Moon

A version of this message appeared in the Saturday, October 29, 2022 version of Tidbits.