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Lenten Devotions now through weekend

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Thursday, Feb. 15

Dear Creator,
Thank You: I am fortunate to live in this year, in this place, with my health, skills, knowledge, characteristics. Grateful!
Wow: Today I am mindful of the sun, of the still green grass, of the budding branches, of Creation as I read E. E. Cummings poetry (next page). Bountiful!
Help: I am aware that not everyone is so fortunate. Inspire me to notice and to support to friends, family and acquaintances who might be less than enthusiastic about today.
Alice Tawresey


Friday, February 16

Dear God,
Thanks: Thank you for being a Listening God. In my distress I hear, “Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” and I know that I am heard and that I do not carry my burdens alone. I am grateful for prayer, and being part of a community of prayer, and for a God who listens, and heals.
Help: The list of those for whom I pray and for whom my heart aches seems to lengthen each day, and the severity of each concern intensifies. If I hear one more cancer diagnosis, if one more person falls and breaks a hip; when one more friend has their memory dim, one more report from the hospital … Your call to love our neighbor, along with the joy it is to have such friends, seem to conspire to weigh me down with anxiety and confusion and sadness. I look to you for compassion.
Wow: You have gifted me with care and concern for others. It is perhaps sometimes an unwelcomed gift because it can hurt to love so, but this is truly a gift. What a beautiful thing to have such relationships, a precious thing to know of such a God, who knows each of us by name and invites us into the work of Love.
Paul Stumme-Diers

Saturday, February 17

Holy God, Loving God, Healing God,
Your universe is so large, and I am so small. Even smaller yet is one part of me ... my hip. I thank you for all the parts of me that you have so wonderfully created. Yet, one chose to fail me this past year. That one began to ache, then began to hurt more, and finally was excruciatingly painful. Physical therapy provided flexibility and improved function for a brief while. I finally had to admit defeat and resort to medical intervention.
There is so much to thank you for. The gift of advanced medicine. Improved surgical techniques and artificial appliances. Skilled doctors and assistants. Kind, attentive nurses. Pain killing drugs:  morphine, oxycodone, Tylenol. Yes, even those dangerous opioids. The dedicated care of my three daughters who decided to bring me home rather than get rehab at a facility. They not only were attentive to drug doses but lowered my bed to make it more accessible. They made appetizing meals for this post-surgical patient whose appetite disappeared for a few days. Aids to help me move around: walker and cane and more personal items that do not need to appear here. Home health care workers who did help me for a few days so my daughters could tend to family and jobs. People who brought meals and offered rides to worship.
There are people who have far more serious problems than one painful hip, and I lift them to you for your loving care, healing and comfort, for peace for those who approach a new side of life in your presence, and especially for those in the throes of grief.
You have made us in your image by giving us hearts to love others. Loving means feeling pain, too. May our hearts be broken by the things that break your heart. May those shared broken hearts nudge us to work for justice and bring healing and peace to a hurting world.
Sonja Louise Hohertz Selboe

Sunday, February 18

Philippians 1:3-6 (Thanks)
I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.

Agate Pass bridge work could slow trip to worship

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Good morning, all,

Take note it you live on the Kitsap Peninsula and cross the Agate Pass Bridge to come to worship. You'll be OK this weekend, but after that, plan for potential delays as the state Department of Transportation restricts traffic on the bridge as it performs annual maintenance. The work dates are Feb. 12 to 15, and Feb. 20 to March 2.  I am hoping DOT puts up a traffic alert on its site at wsdot.wa, but so far I don't see anything.

Rachel Pritchett, office administrator

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