Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Walnut Hill Church Weekly Letter

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Greetings to all!

This week's EOS reflection focuses around the story of the man blind
from birth (John 9).  Among the details of the story, my imagination was
sparked by the inability of the neighbors to recognize the formerly blind,
but now sighted, man. I wondered how they could not recognize a man
who had been in their midst all his life. Perhaps it was that during all
those years of his begging they simply had not paid attention to him, not
looked at, or interacted with, him directly enough to be able to recognize
him when he was no longer in his regular location by the side of the road.
I wondered how often I see and engage those whom I pass by along the
road of my living.  Do I recognize them as human beings like me?  Would
I recognize them if the circumstances of their lives, and mine, were
different?

The scripture lesson for Sunday, April 2, the Fifth Sunday in Lent, and the
fifth Sunday of the Exploring Our Spirituality season:
     John 11:1-45

"Praying With Scripture," Thur, Mar 30, 7pm, at Walnut Hill: Join us as
we complete our reflection on the story of the man blind from birth by
"praying with" its words, images and symbols.  

EOS small groups continue to meet on Sunday morning, 10am, in Trinity
Hall and Monday evening, 6:30pm, at the Miller/Olszewski residence.  Small
groups provide an opportunity to explore the EOS stories in company with
others.  

A Host(s) is needed for our after worship refreshments this Sunday, April 2.
Use reply email or visit www.walnuthillchurchky.org/foodres/  to volunteer
for this Sunday or a Sunday later in the spring.  Thanks to all our hosts!

Easter Lilies for the holiday decoration of the Walnut Hill sanctuary may
be sponsored for $20/plant.  Make your check payable to Walnut Hill Church,
designated "Lily."  Be sure to let us know if your sponsorship is in memory or
honor of someone special to you.

Speaking of Easter, here is an advance look at our Holy Week schedule:
     *Sun, Apr 9 - Palm Sunday
          -10am - EOS Small Group, Children's Choir
          -11am - Morning Worship, Children's Presentation
          -Noon - Easter Egg Hunt (bring a basket and a dozen treat eggs for the
hunt)
     *Thu, Apr 13 - Maundy Thursday
          -7pm - Evening Prayer and Communion
     *Sun, Apr 16 - Easter Sunday
          -7am - Easter Sunrise Service
          -11am - Morning Worship and Holy Communion

Lenten Music - (from our Music Director) The season of Lent encourages
     Christians to be reflective and meditative; therefore, church musicians change
the selections played during Lent, away from the brightness of the Epiphany
season to the seriousness of the preparation for the crucifixion of Christ.  The
music changes with each liturgical season, but it shifts especially during Lent.  
Lenten music should be lovingly reflective and somber, encouraging parishioners
to think about the Love that is God and that was brought to earth through Jesus.  
Church music should always enhance worship: it is a part of the experience and
not a performance.  As such, it is an offering that expands or enriches the words
of the Bible, the beauty of the prayers, and the message of the clergy.  The music
will transform to the joy of Easter after this somber period of Lenten reflection.  
     I appreciate the many kind remarks and encouragement that you, the Walnut
Hill congregation, give to me.  It is my pleasure to be part of the community.
Thank you.  Angela

Peace to all.

Mike Ward

--
  Mike Ward
  mward@walnuthillchurchky.org

Friday, March 24, 2017

Sunday at Walnut Hill Church

This Sunday, March 26, at Walnut Hill Church …

THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT
Exploring Our Spirituality
Week 4 - "The Man Blind from Birth"

EOS Small Group, 10am, Trinity Hall

Join us for small group reflection and sharing around
this week's EOS story, "The Man Blind from Birth"
John 9 ).  Nursery care available for young children.

Children's Choir, 10am, Trinity Hall

Children through elementary age are invited to gather
for music and singing in preparation for their Palm
Sunday (Apr 9) music presentation.

Morning Worship, 11am, Sanctuary

Sermon - Who Sinned?
Text - John 9

Nursery care and faith development for children.

Children/Youth Focus, 11am, Trinity Hall

The children/youth will have their own conversation
and exploration of the story of "The Man Blind from
Birth"  ( John 9 ).

After Worship Gathering, Noon, Trinity Hall

All are invited to gather for fellowship and refreshments.

Mission Experience Planning, Noon, Sanctuary

We begin planning for our Mission Experience (June 9 - 11).
Join us in the Sanctuary to learn more about this service
opportunity for youth and adults.

Youth Gathering, 5:30pm, Walnut Hill

Youth (middle and high school) are invited to gather for
a meal and activities, including conversation about a
possible drama project.  Pizza will be provided for dinner.
Bring a side or beverage to add to the meal.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Walnut Hill Church Weekly Letter

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Greetings to all!

For this third week of the EOS season our reflection focuses on the story of the 
"Woman at the Well" (John 4).  While unnamed in John's narrative, the Orthodox 
Christian tradition remembered the woman as Photini, "the enlightened one."  As 
the tradition has it, Photini became an evangelist for the good news of Christ, not 
only among her family and neighbors, but also as far as the great African city of 
Carthage.  Along with several of her family members, she was martyred during the 
persecution of Christians by Emperor Nero. St. Photini, as she came to be known, 
was reckoned to be the first evangelist and an equal to the apostles. Her feast day is 
February 26.

Whatever the historical facts surrounding the woman at the well, the story has lived 
beyond its own time as a testimony to the Spirit's ability to transform the human heart 
and to use human witness, such as our own, to introduce others to the good news
of Jesus Christ. 

Exploring Our Spirituality (EOS) Week 3 continues this Thursday, Mar 23, 7pm, 
at Walnut Hill as we gather to pray with scripture.  After having read, studied and 
proclaimed the story of the woman at the well, we will gather to pray with the words 
and images of that story.  Join us for this informal worship gathering.

The scripture lesson for Sunday, March 26, the 4th Sunday in Lent, and the beginning 
of the fourth week of EOS, the story of a man born blind who gains the ability to see…
John 9:1-41

EOS small groups continue to meet on Sunday mornings, 10am, at Walnut Hill and 
Monday Evenings, 6:30pm, at the Hilliard residence. Small group participation 
provides opportunity to share with others around the EOS scriptures as well as our 
faith journeys.  Use reply email to inquire about participating in an EOS small group.

Personal study and reflection is an important part of the EOS experience. Use the 
online EOS Booklet or pick up a printed copy at Walnut Hill for your personal use.

Children's Choir - Children (through elementary age) are invited to gather for music 
and singing this Sun, Mar 26, 10am, in Trinity Hall. The children are working on music 
to be presented as part of our Palm Sunday worship on Apr 9.

Mission Experience 2017 - Join us on Sunday, March 26, immediately after worship, 
as we begin planning for our upcoming mission experience (June 9 - 11). It is not too late 
the join the mission team.  Use reply email for more information regarding Mission 
Experience 2017 and/or your participation in it.

After Church Refreshments - Check the new and improved after church refreshments
online sign up sheet . It's an easy way to volunteer to host our after worship gathering.  
Contact the church office if you have any questions about how to sign up.  Thanks to all 
our after worship hosts!

Easter Lilies - Easter is coming (Apr 16) and with it the opportunity to sponsor a lily for
the decoration of the Walnut Hill sanctuary.  Sponsorships are $20/plant and may be
made in memory/honor of someone special to you.  Make your check payable to Walnut 
Hill Church designated "Easter Lily" and be sure to let us know if your sponsorship is a 
memorial/honorary one.

Reading Camp, a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Lexington, is seeking volunteers
to serve as camp counselors at its various summer camp locations (day and overnight) 
around the diocese.  Reading camp combines traditional camp activities with special
reading skill activities.  Volunteers of all ages (minimum 15 years old) are needed.
Visit www.readingcamprocks.org for more information.  Walnut Hill will reimburse the
expenses of any Walnut Hill reading camp volunteer.

In the Community:  The Christian-Muslim Dialogue will host a "Trialogue of Faith" on
Sun, Mar 26, 4pm - 6pm, at the Ohavay Zion Synagogue (2048 Edgewater Dr). Panelists 
will include Rabbi Moshe Smolkin (Ohavay Zion), Prof Aiyub Palmer (UK) and Bishop 
Bruce Caldwell (Episcopal Diocese of Lexington). For more information visit
 
Peace to all.

Mike Ward

Friday, March 17, 2017

Sunday at Walnut Hill Church

This Sunday, March 19, at Walnut Hill Church …

THE THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT
Exploring Our Spirituality
Week 3 - "The Woman at the Well"

EOS Small Group, 10am, Trinity Hall

Join us for small group reflection and sharing around
this week's EOS story, "The Woman at the Well"
(John 4).  Nursery care available for young children.

Children's Choir, 10am, Trinity Hall

Children through elementary age are invited to gather
for music and singing in preparation for their Palm
Sunday (Apr 9) music presentation.

Morning Worship, 11am, Sanctuary

Text - John 4

Nursery care and faith development for children.

Children/Youth Focus, 11am, Trinity Hall

The children/youth will have their own conversation
and exploration of the story of "The Woman at the
Well"  (John 4).

After Worship Gathering, Noon, Trinity Hall

All are invited to gather for fellowship and refreshments.

Youth

Youth (middle and high school) are invited to contact 
Lauren for details regarding youth activities.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Walnut Hill Church Weekly Letter

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Greetings to all!

   This past Sunday began the second week of our EOS season focusing on the 
encounter between Jesus and Nicodemus (John 3), in the midst of which Jesus 
describes the Spirit of God like a breeze (sometimes perhaps a strong wind) that 
we can feel but cannot discern where it begins or ends, and which certainly cannot 
be grasped and held.

   We are often inclined to think of God as a list of attributes or a "being" who acts in 
predictable, even mechanical, ways.  But perhaps, as Jesus suggests, God is more 
like the breeze we sometimes feel blowing around us, like the air we breathe. Often 
the breeze refreshes us.  Sometimes the wind frightens us.  Sometimes we long for 
relief from the dead calm.  In all conditions we live (physically and spiritually) by 
breathing in the breath of God's Spirit.  It is a mystery.  Who could blame Nicodemus 
for being a bit confused?
  
Exploring Our Spirituality (EOS) Week 2 continues this Thursday, Mar 16, 7pm, 
at Walnut Hill as we gather to pray with scripture.  After having read, studied and 
proclaimed the story of Jesus and Nicodemus, we will gather to pray with the words 
and images of that story.  Join us for this informal worship gathering.

The scripture lesson for Sunday, March 19, the 3rd Sunday in Lent, and the 
beginning of the third week of EOS.

EOS small groups continue to meet on Sunday mornings, 10am, at Walnut 
Hill and Monday Evenings, 6:30pm, at the Hilliard residence. Small group 
participation provides opportunity to share with others around the EOS scriptures 
as well as our faith journeys.  Use reply email to inquire about participating in 
an EOS small group.

Personal study and reflection is an important part of the EOS experience. Use 
the online EOS Booklet or pick up a printed copy at Walnut Hill for your personal
use.

Children's Choir - Children (through elementary age) are invited to gather for 
music and singing this Sun, Mar 19, 10am, in Trinity Hall. The children are 
working on music to be presented as part of our Palm Sunday worship on Apr 9.

After Church Refreshments - Check out the new and improved after church
refreshments  online sign up sheet . It's an easy way to volunteer to host our
after worship gathering.  Contact the church office if you have any questions
about how to sign up.  Thanks to all our after worship hosts!

Mission Experience 2017 - Join us on Sunday, March 26, immediately after
worship, as we begin planning for our upcoming mission weekend (June 9 - 11).  

Jesus and Justice: Christian Responses to Crime and Punishment is the 
title of a program sponsored by the Kentucky Council of Churches to be held on
Tuesday, March 21, 6:30pm at Quinn Chapel AME Church (744 Charles Ave,
Lexington).  Specific topics will include the phenomenon of mass incarceration
as well as the problematic practice of treating drug addiction as a criminal matter.

In the Community:  The following are some opportunities to reach out to others 
in our neighborhood and beyond…
*"Luggage for Foster Kids" - The Fayette County Extension Homemakers
is collecting luggage, backpacks, duffle bags, etc for adoptive/foster children and 
youth.  Contact the Fayette County Extension Office (859-257-5582) for more
information.
*Operation S.E.N.D. - Military Missions, a public non-profit organization, is 
collecting gift, snack and personal items for military personnel.  Visit their website
www.military-missions.org for more information.
*The Kentucky Wildlife Center is hosting the 2nd Annual Baby Shower
for Wildlife on Sunday, March 26.  Email info@kywildlife.org for more information.

Peace to all.

Mike Ward

Friday, March 10, 2017

Sunday at Walnut Hill Church

This Sunday, March 12, at Walnut Hill Church …

THE SECOND SUNDAY IN LENT
Exploring Our Spirituality - Week 2
"Nicodemus Visits Jesus"

EOS Small Group, 10am, Trinity Hall

You are invited to gather for small group reflection around
this Sunday's EOS story, "Nicodemus Visits Jesus" ( John 3 ).
Nursery care available for children.

Children's Choir, 10am, Trinity Hall

Children (through elementary age) are invited to gather for 
music and singing as they prepare for their Palm Sunday,
April 9, presentation.

Morning Worship, 11am, Sanctuary

Sermon - A Good Question

Nursery care and faith development for children/youth.

Children/Youth Focus, 11am, Trinity Hall

The children/youth explore the story of Jesus and
Nicodemus ( John 3 ) , raising their own questions and
making their own discoveries.

After Worship Gathering, Noon, Trinity Hall

All are invited to gather for fellowship and refreshments.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Walnut Hill Church Weekly Letter

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Greetings to all!

We entered the EOS season last Sunday with reflection on the story of the 
"Wedding at Cana" and its sign, the turning of water into wine.  Part of the 
EOS experience is conversation around scripture and the new awarenesses 
that can arise from such conversation.  During the Monday evening small 
group, I picked up a new awareness from a fellow participant that I would 
like to share with you…

In the story of the Wedding at Cana, "the mother of Jesus" (Mary) appeals to 
Jesus when the wine begins to run low.  After her words with Jesus, Mary 
speaks to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you," and the rest of the story 
we know, the water became wine.  "Do whatever he (Jesus) tells you." These 
words echo words spoken from heaven at Jesus' transfiguration, "Listen to him."  
In our story Mary speaks not only as a mother confident in her son's abilities, but 
also as a divine voice calling on "servants" (us?) everywhere to simply do 
whatever Jesus tells us: love our neighbors, pray for our enemies, trust in God's 
abundance … The rest of the story (including our story) will take care of itself.  
What a wonderfully simple way of being and doing in the world, perhaps even 
setting the stage for wondrous signs of God's presence in our midst.

Exploring Our Spirituality (EOS) Week 1 continues this Thursday, Mar 9,
7pm, at Walnut Hill as we gather to pray with scripture.  After having read,
studied and proclaimed the story of the Wedding at Cana, we will gather to
pray with the words and images of that story.  Join us for this informal 
worship gathering.

The scripture lesson for Sunday, March 12, the 2nd Sunday in Lent, and
the beginning of the second week of EOS.
John 3:1-21

EOS small groups continue to meet on Sunday mornings, 10am, at 
Walnut Hill and Monday Evenings, 6:30pm, at the Hilliard residence.
Small group participation provides opportunity to talk with others about 
the EOS scriptures as well as our faith journeys.  Use reply email to 
inquire about participating in an EOS small group.

Personal study and reflection is an important part of the EOS experience.
Use the online EOS Booklet or pick up a printed copy at Walnut Hill for your
individual use.

Children's Choir Begins - Children (through elementary age) are invited to 
gather for music and singing this Sun, Mar 12, 10am, in Trinity Hall. The 
children will be working on music to be presented as part of our Palm Sunday 
worship on April 9.

The Jewel on Walnut Hill - Reprinted copies of The Jewel on Walnut Hill, a
history of Walnut Hill Church, are available for pickup by those who pre-ordered 
them.  A number of extra copies are also available while they last.  Contact the 
church office for more information.

In the Community: The Drama Department of Tates Creek High School
is presenting performances of "The Three Musketeers" this week Thursday -
Saturday, 7pm, and Sunday, 2pm, at Tates Creek High School.  The cast
includes Walnut Hill members and friends.

Prayer in Action Days - The Kentucky Council of Churches has been
hosting "Prayer in Action Days" each Tuesday morning, 9:30am at the 
Capitol Annex in Frankfort.  The final Prayer in Action Day will be Tuesday,
March 14, and will focus on issues related to immigrants and refugees.

Peace to all.

Mike Ward