1 Church Street
East Harwich, MA 02645
A Message from Pastor Dianne
To the People of God at Harwich UMC
October is upon us with the several remembrances that the Fall season brings. This first Sunday is a celebration of Worldwide Communion – the transnational citizenship we share with the global Kingdom of God. I did not forget the “g” ! like many of you I grew up thinking of my Baptism as the sign of my inclusion in the Kingdom of God… the Church Universal. Of course, this language of “kingdom” comes from the political realities of a time when, to be a King was to have the greatest power over your subjects and Christ is the King of the Kingdom of God.
As we evolve in our understanding of Christian brotherhood and sisterhood we also evolve in our politics of the family of God – and we aspire to live out our kinship – our relatedness as human beings created by a loving Creator God. God’s creativity means we have diverse relatives indeed and though we do not always think alike, we are challenged to live together in the Peaceable Kingdom – oops – there is that King word again…
Communicating our feelings and our concerns openly and clearly is always challenging. Language and actions can become painful and yet we want to proclaim an honest desire to be in relationship with each other as we come together in Holy Communion, a Remembrance of Christ’s great sacrifice for each of us.
October 9-11, once again, we are challenged to think about language. Columbus Day – a Federal holiday – has recently been called Indigenous Peoples’ Day — “The New England Conference Committee on Native American Ministries (CONAM) would like to draw your attention to the upcoming celebration of Indigenous Peoples Day on Oct. 11, 2021 — an invitation to honor and celebrate Indigenous Peoples locally and nationally.” At the New England Annual Conference session in June, a resolution was passed titled “Honoring Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.” Part of the commitment on behalf of New England Annual Conference is to “[encourage] local churches, the NEAC, and District offices to use the term Indigenous Peoples Day in lieu of Columbus Day in their communications, worship services, and event planning.” CONAM is offering this short prayer, written by Dianne Climenhage:
We look at your world and praise you for the diversity all around us.
Thank you for the gift of relationships, our connection with people, animals and the land.
Help us, Lord, to see differences and diversity as strengths.
Help us to listen and understand; to meet one another with wonder and anticipation.
Help us to love as you love, without expectation.
Reveal to us your way of reconciliation and guide us into right relationships with all living things.
Lead us to understand how Indigenous peoples have been and continue to be profoundly harmed by settler people and institutions.
Lead us to repent when we as settlers deny Indigenous peoples respect, dignity and fullness of life.
Help us to listen compassionately, to speak humbly and to act justly.
Help us to seek the peace, justice and reconciliation you desire among all your children.
Thank you for your mercy and grace. Amen
I am excited that we have also planned an opportunity to celebrate the Wampanoag peoples of Cape Cod with a presentation Saturday October 9th at 4 pm – including a Pot Luck Supper! The people that eat together…. Other conference wide Indigenous Peoples Day events are in this newsletter.
Finally, the month ends with All Hallows Eve – Halloween is Sunday night this year and we will celebrate All Saints Day, November 7th – our kinship with the people of God who have passed into that greater company of the Saints during 2021.
God’s family works together, worships together, eats together and studies together. I hope you will partake of the events this month in each of these categories!
In the Love of the Lord,