Easter

Lent Vignette for Easter Sunday

For this Easter Sunday, the different suggestions we have seen from Creation Justice Ministries for the year ahead can give us all sorts of ideas to inspire us going forward. Learning more about local foods, appreciating and being mindful of the clean water we drink, and also being aware of our fragile planet as the source of all we love and all we are can be the takeaways to help us develop a new mindset. We can choose any one of the practices that we’ve discussed over Lent to begin to adopt a more purposeful approach to our own conservation and environmental attitudes. Some suggestions for Easter   Read John 13:1-17, 31b-35. We can then ask: How can we love one another….and God’s world, as Christ has loved us?  You can start by writing down your commitments to others. Read Hebrews 4:14-16. It helps us to ask ourselves this: Are we willing to be made new in Christ for a reconciled & reconciling world? Read Matthew 28:1-10  The joyful message of Easter is this: Do not be afraid! Go out into God’s good world, holding onto God’s steadfast love and joyfully answering the call to be Christ’s disciple. Prayer for Easter from Creation Justice Ministries   And here is a closing prayer from Creation Justice Ministries, an excerpt as we lead into the Earth Day Celebration later this week, and we can also be mindful that celebrating the Earth and all that it provides is something we can do every week! From Creation Justice Ministries:   Like Job in the whirlwind, or Jonah in the storm at sea, we come before you in awe of your power, God. We recognize that today’s storms and whirlwinds are not your judgment on your people, but the distortion of natural systems through our own sin and hubris. As the storms and whirlwinds of the climate crisis accelerate around us, may our sanctuary be a place of refuge and resilience, where all of God’s creation might be protected and sustained, and from which we, People of God, might be sent forth to bring healing and justice.

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Five Favorite Things for April!

We should really start off with April Fools Day! April Fools is one of my favorite days of the year. It’s tailor made for those of us who are inclined to not take ourselves too seriously…And last month we honored those funny people we love most on “Let’s Laugh” Day. The theme for April is Green Shoots and Simple Abundance. This month, as with every month, it’s hard to narrow it down to just five favorites…but here goes: Number One: Library Week & Book Day! April 4th – 10th In April, we are kicking off the month at 6 Degrees thinking of books. Those books we love the most, and the ones that we never have enough time to read! On the website, there are 6 Degrees books of course, but also the books from Reverend Philip Lee. Reverend Lee wrote the much revered authoritative book on the Christian Right: “Against the Protestant Gnostics.” Another Canadian author and environmentalist is Philip Lee Jr. His newest acclaimed book is “Restigouche: The Long Run of the Wild River” There’s a  friend from my Church days, Sarah M. Bonnema, who has written a fantastic children’s book called “The Color of God.”  And there are some books offered from my mentor, Gretchen Rubin, who writes about happiness in “The Happiness Project” and also has a best-seller called “The Four Tendencies.” Oprah, of course, has her famous book club, and Gretchen Rubin does recommend a list of books to read on her site. We have started The Sunday Reads at 6 Degrees, and it features monthly book recommendations, but also a list of articles and long reads that are diverse and interesting as well as topical!   Number Two: World Health Day April 7th World Health Day is a time when we remind ourselves of the resolutions that we were going to make or the ways we were going to try and eat more veggies! So the new Brown Bag Series of Posts will help remind you that we can’t always be perfect, but it pays to stay informed, especially as we are all trying to find a balance of the new ‘normal’ in a post-COVID world!   Number Three: National Pet Day is April 11th I had a good friend who would tell me that every day was National Pet Day at our houses, because we loved our dogs so much! No matter what kind of pet you have, we celebrate them all…This month, we are most excited about the new Facebook page: My Dog Journal, and the website page offering a chance to send us pictures of your favorite pups to highlight on Tee-Shirts, on Mugs, on Totes or even on your Journal. We also offer a Pet Memorial Album, to download for sharing pictures of your beloved pooch that has traveled over the Rainbow Bridge. Here’s a link to the origins of that familiar phrase we pet owners use to acknowledge when our animals are ready to cross over to the other side.   Number Four: Easter Sunday is April 17th Easter Sunday is April 17th this year, and each week we have discussed in our Lent series a few topics that tie in to our Easter theme this year of Simple Abundance.  Not only do we suggest simple ways to become more mindful of what we eat, but also the things that we need to focus on in our everyday lives. They are the Green Shoots that give us hope and make us grateful for all the abundance we have here in America.   Number Five: April 22nd is Earth Day at Brown Bag Organics That brings us to Earth Day! This year, not only are we excited about the Brown Bag Organics tie -ins, with Green Resources and Carbon Footprint trackers, but also the Earth Day Products we can enjoy! Those practical items that will help us  be not only mindful of our planet, but also offer solutions as well as statements of how we plan to act in our everyday lives.   April is a time for grace and celebration, for fun and laughter as well as family and fellowship. In other words, we will enjoy the times we gather together as well as those times when we work and plan and look forward to the good times yet to come!   Have a wonderful Easter Holiday, all my friends who follow us at 6 Degrees. We are always planning new adventures here and look forward to hearing from all of you… Like and follow us on Facebook at 6 Degrees Writer and now at Brown Bag Organics and 6 Degrees of Film pages.   Don’t forget to download some fun Freebies like your 2022 Mini Planner and Self Esteem Journal. And check out the Earth Day line from Brown Bag Organics….Tee-Shirts/ Mugs/ Totes & Journals!   “Tell me what you pay attention to & I will tell you who you are”-Jose Ortega y Gasset   Check it out: Sunday Reads on Facebook Vignettes : April is Pale Fawn Fluff & The Serenity Prayer for the not-so Serene 6 Degrees of Film Round up: Monthly Film news and weekly updates on FB Lent Series: Brown Bag Organics Facebook Page My Dog Journal on Facebook

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Monday Muse: Acceptance & Renewal for Easter!

Totality Reverend Eric Butterworth, Unity minister and author, speaks of the totality of life as being all of life-the ‘whole of things.’ We live in the present, the now of life that is all together. Remember that Beatles song: All Together Now? That’s the best way I can think of to contemplate the happy thought of a unified world. Rev. Butterworth tells us not to think in terms of separation, absence, and doing ‘all sorts of magical things that you think are going to cause something out here to come into you.’ “Be still and know that I am” tells us that God is present all around us and within us. And within our Spirit lies the divine spark.  If we can allow the spirit to express itself, we can relax and know that it will hear us, guide us and direct our lives to unfold according to divine order. Acceptance It is hard to do what we speak of with Reverend Butterworth! Just relaxing and allowing the divine order to come to us is difficult. It’s hard to accept our lives sometimes. We were brought up to believe acceptance of our fate is a very passive posture that brings with it the notion that we have failed. Yet when we acknowledge the reality of our lives, we can say yes and open the door to our hearts and our spirits that will allow new ideas and new wisdom to enter into our lives. It is argued that active acceptance really does require not just incredible faith but strength of character.  To have a loving acceptance in all aspects, in the totality of our lives, it then allows for the divine presence of God’s everlasting love. We can use that love to pay it forward in our own thoughts and words and actions. We accept God’s presence in the totality of our lives. Renewal That is the word of the day when we think of Easter Sunday. We think of renewals and endless possibilities in our own lives. “The old is gone. The new is yet to be. With Steadfast faith, I rest, knowing that my Spirit is being renewed” These are the words of a young woman minister from South Florida, Reverend Elizabeth Longo. Reverend Longo speaks of reveling in the process where her body, mind and soul are being renewed-resurrected from the tomb of self-pity. And then delighting in the creation that is unfolding. We can think of endless possibilities in the totality of our lives when we not only accept God’s presence, but begin to renew our own souls and revive our spirits daily. We can then begin feasting on the word and living with the promise before us. That is the promise that we gain from celebrating Easter and the new beginnings we seek. Mantra This week I will be still and Know that I am in the presence of a divine spirit. When I accept the possibilities before me by opening up my heart and soul to God’s love and presence, I will begin to renew my own spirit and revive that spark that I had as a Child of God. Bible Verse …The Mystery hidden for ages and generations….which is Christ in you, the hope of glory”- Colossians 1:26:27

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