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Talitha’s Take (Page 11)

A weblog by Rev. Talitha G Phillips, Associate Pastor and Coordinator for Children, Youth, and Family Life

Youth Group begins

Youth Group had our first evening meeting last night, a huge event with 28 youth present! Although we strongly believe in quality over quantity, it’s hard not to be super excited by such a big group. We got to enjoy the newly redecorated youth group room with its many chalkboard surfaces for drawing on. We enjoyed getting to know one another one-on-one…

My Ordination Process

Some of you have asked more about my ordination process, so I want to update you. I am really thrilled about the outpouring of support for my ministry here and I do appreciate that many of you are eager to see the process completed. I love working here and look forward to solidifying a long-term arrangement. However, as we are Presbyterians we…

Mission Trip to Memphis

Our Youth Group Mission Trip traveled to Memphis this year. We learned and served with several organizations doing food justice work, from farming to harvesting, to packing and cooking and serving food. Memphis is one of the hungriest cities in the nation as well as one of the most obese, so the work that these people are doing to get good, fresh,…

Why Go On A Mission Trip?

Why go on a mission trip? Why go to help people other places when so many need help right here? Why waste so much money on airfare and luggage? Why, why, why? I am, of course, leading our youth on a mission trip starting this Saturday morning, so you may guess that I will find ways to answer these questions. But let…

What Is Spiritual Care?

This week and last week I experienced a bit of a lull in my work load. Halfway between Family Camp and the Youth Mission Trip I have fewer things on my plate for a blessed moment… which means that I get to devote more of my time to one thing that is not calendar-driven: spiritual care. I am lucky to have this…

Youth Group Garden (work) Party

We had a (work) party in the garden this weekend! For those who do not know, this garden (“Susan’s Seeds” after our previous youth director) was built in 2011 following a youth group mission trip to Portland, OR where they learned a lot about community gardening and food justice. Chris Singer reminded us of the story… during some free time they were…

Honoring the Saints

Many cultures place a lot of emphasis on honoring your elders. Some do so to an oppressive degree, effectively squashing the dignity of the younger generations. When I was in Uganda I was shocked to see children kneeling before their elders, even before young teachers. When they knelt before me I would promptly commit a cultural faux pas, kneeling down to their…

Edible Garden

UPCOMING: Saturday, Oct. 22nd: Work Day for the Youth Group. We will build raised beds for the new garden and hopefully will even start planting new vegetables!

The garden has been readied in a very short time. On Sunday, Oct. 9th the youth group weeded, dug, hoed, raked, and leveled the ground for our new edible, organic garden. A roughly 10’x30′ plot was ready in just about an hour. What energy they had!
The senior high youth group members came back from their mission trip in Portland, Oregon, fired up about food justice. Instead of just donating cans of food to local needs, they wanted to work hands-on to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to people in need.

Surveying the mess

Feeding one another

…What is YOUR food?
…What is your native cuisine?
…If I invite you over for lunch… what would you like to eat?

On World Communion Sunday (10/2) we celebrated communion with different kinds of bread from all over the world. When we do this, we are remembering the mystical words of the Apostle Paul: “Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf” (I Cor 10:17)… remembering that the act of sharing communion with one another binds us with Christians across the world who participate in the same meal.
One way to express this, tangibly, is by using communion wafers. Those are the same everywhere you go (and if they taste like cardboard, at least it’s the same cardboard). The opposite way of expressing it is what we did — using EVERY kind of bread available, and declaring (in spite of your senses telling you otherwise) that these breads, which are many and diverse, are actually one and the same. The logic here can confound you… or it can be a wonderful mystery.

Enter my world

Just back from vacation… I (Talitha) spent a week with great people on a lake in Massachusetts. There I learned a fantastic new game. The youngest of our company, not yet two years old, went around asking people: “Do you wanna be a pirate?” To this query you would either answer “no” or “Arrrr, matey!” with a pirate hook finger – causing her to giggle with glee.
That was it. That’s the whole game. And it was complicated enough for her, serving to transform an otherwise boring day at the lake into an exciting search for fellow pirates.

This little girl, with her game, was in the business of invitation.