The Things We Learned in Kindergarten

Author and educator Robert Fulghum summarized the simple lessons of life in books and lectures when he told us that “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”. Many of those simple realities we have found to be true again and again. And aren’t there days when it would be great to be 5 years old again even for just an hour? Think how nice it would be to have the unbridled freedom to laugh a lot and cry a lot, think what a better world it would be if all of us could have milk and cookies about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down and curl up with our blankies for a nap (and, if you still do that as an adult, that is okay).
As the new school year starts this month, I think some of Fulghum’s reflections on kindergarten warrant repeating. Here are a few life lessons that are true whether you are 5 years or 55 years young:
1. Share everything.
2. Play fair.
2. Put things back where you found them.
4. CLEAN UP YOUR OWN MESS.
5. Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
6. Say you’re SORRY when you HURT somebody.
7. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
8. Live a balanced life.
9. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
10. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
11. Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we.
12. Sticks and stones may break our bones, but words will break our hearts.

 ― Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

Remember to enjoy each day. Eat some cookies. Take a nap or two. Remember to play fair and be nice. Share, do your work and don’t be tardy.
Karen

March Birthdays and Anniversaries

Happy Birthday to our March Birthdays!
Happy birthday!! We hope your day is filled with lots of love and laughter! May all of your birthday wishes come true. God Bless!
4    Zack Norris
7   Genevieve Mortensen Shelly
7   David Nissen
8   Tim Daniel Osorio
11  David Drape
12  Robert Martinez
13  John Szabo
14  Barbara Saffell

Congratulations & Happy Anniversary to Our March Couples!
Sending anniversary congratulations and best wishes for the years ahead to all those celebrating wedding anniversaries.
26  Liryn and Tim Osorio

Keeping a Holy Lent

The word “Lent” comes from a word meaning “spring” and “long,” an apparent reference to the lengthening of the days of spring. Lent is the season preceding Easter, a season for self-discipline and renewal. Its tradition goes back to the early days of the Christian church, beginning in the first century as an observance lasting forty hours, roughly the amount of time Jesus was believed to have laid in the tomb. In later years, the duration of the season was extended to six days called Holy Week. A custom arose about that time among those able to visit Jerusalem of visits to various sites associated with the life and ministry of Jesus. It was to be a time of fasting and self-denial, symbolic of Jesus own suffering and death. This visiting of significant sites also led to the Stations of the Cross for the Roman Catholic Church.  In later centuries, the duration of Lent was again extended, this time to 36 days, apparently a tithing of the number of days in the year. Still later, four more days were added, the numeral four being significant as symbolic of the number forty, that number often symbolizing a long time, or even endless time. It especially calls to mind the forty days and nights that Jesus is said to have spent in the wilderness, a time of testing and temptation prior to the start of his ministry. Sundays are not included in the numbering of the days of Lent, because Sunday celebrates the resurrection of Jesus and Lent recognizes the events leading up to the resurrection. For this reason we refer to the Sundays in Lent rather than the Sundays of Lent.
The Lenten season began with Ash Wednesday on February 22 and continues through Holy Week.  I would encourage you to keep a holy Lent through prayer, reflection, study, service and giving. Engage in the spiritual practice of seeking – with honest and faithful questions as your guide. My hope and prayer for you is that this holy season will be a time for you to commit yourself to spiritual renewal and growth. Like the flowers that bloom in spring, may your spiritual life blossom with new life and growth.

Blessings,
Karen

Seeking: Honest questions for deeper faith

Our theme for this Lenten season will be “Seeking”, and is centered on a series of questions that I hope will lead you to a deeper faith, a new beginning, a restoration and a wider grace. Our questions won’t necessarily lead to answers, but they can help us find clarity and a new perspective.  Like the characters in our Lenten scriptures, we are also seeking many things; clarity, connection, wonder, justice, balance.  We are seeking our calling, the sacred, and how to live as a disciple of Christ. Throughout the uncertainty and turbulence of the last few years, many of us have asked questions about our lives and our faith. I hope that during the Lenten season you can be reflective and unpack some of the questions in your life. Throughout the season, I hope that you will ask yourself: What am I seeking? What is God seeking? This Lent I invite you to engage in the spiritual  practice of seeking. Stay curious and open. I hope that you will find a safe place to explore and dream, and be drawn more deeply into the fullness of life, and into God’s love and grace. To help you on the journey, there will be Lenten devotional books available as well as devotional cards and a self-reflection tool.
The Lenten season begins on Ash Wednesday, February 22 and extends until Easter. I look forward to all that our searching will reveal.

February Birthdays and Anniversaries

Happy Birthday to our February Birthdays!
Happy birthday!! We hope your day is filled with lots of love and laughter! May all of your birthday wishes come true. God Bless!
1    Barbara Nelson
8    Pamela Sandstrom
11  Kelley Tramper
16  Chris Velky
16  Daniel Velky

Congratulations & Happy Anniversary to Our April Couples!
Sending anniversary congratulations and best wishes for the years ahead to all those celebrating wedding anniversaries.
17  Barbara & David Nelson

Paying It Forward

A few years ago, ABC World News ran the story of a surprise reunion. A young man, 22 year old Joseph Bitetto, had decided to dedicate his life to helping others. On the day he was set to graduate and become one of FDNY’s newest EMTs, he got the joyful surprise of his life when he came face to face with a hero he had met years ago. In 1996, Joseph’s mother, pregnant with Joseph, had to call 911. Only 28 weeks into her pregnancy, she had gone into labor early. She was forced to deliver Joseph in her home, and both of their lives were in danger. Thanks to the heroic actions of the NYPD and FDNY personnel that arrived at their home, both mother and son were saved. Joseph was in an incubator for over a month, but he grew strong and healthy. At Joseph’s graduation ceremony to become an EMT, as a surprise for Joseph and his family, was the EMT who saved Joseph and his mother. Joseph, now 22 years later, wearing the same uniform of the  man who saved his life, was able to meet and thank Howard Blanck.(Howard now works as a detective for NYPD).
Joseph Bitetto was thankful for how his life, and that of his mother, had been saved by first responders and he wanted to “pay it forward” by choosing the same profession. He decided that he wanted to make a difference in the lives of others.
There are days when it would appear that the world needs a bit more encouragement and inspiration. On those days (and every day), remember that we have chosen to follow in the footsteps of Jesus the Christ. Even the smallest act of kindness and compassion can help change a life. Sometimes it may be sharing your resources and talents with others; other times it may be that advice or encouraging word that turns around a life. Whatever it might be, know that whether you see the end results or not, you have made the world a better place.  As we enter 2023, may you resolve to “pay it forward” in gratitude for the saving grace of God.
Blessings for the New Year,
Karen

Happy Birthday to our January Birthdays!

Happy birthday!! We hope your day is filled with lots of love and laughter! May all of your birthday wishes come true. God Bless!
3    Cathy Black
7    Charles Healy
7    Noah Groom
13    Dominic Midwinter
15    Liryn Osorio
15    Nicholas Lopez

 “The best gifts come from the heart, not the store.”

For some folks, they spent their Thanksgiving waiting in line to be the first to get the great holiday deals. For others it was capturing the online bargains. And then, there are those who have spent several months strategizing and accumulating their gift list bit by bit. If you haven’t done any of those things, and are wondering what you are going to do, there is good news! There are some things that take zero money, but are priceless. If you are still looking for something to give to those who matter most to you, consider a few of these timeless gifts. These items are within the reach of all of us, and not only do they benefit those around us, but most are a gift to ourselves as well.
-Being on time
-Having passion for what you do
-Being flexible in your approach
-A positive attitude
-Doing something extra
-Being prepared
-Giving your time
-Being kind
-Being patient
-A handwritten note
-Gratitude
-A phone call
-A smile
-A hug
-Random act of kindness
-A listening ear
-Showing compassion
Best of all, no waiting in line, no looking for parking and always available and in stock!  And if you are shopping for children, keep this in mind – the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a report a few years ago saying that simple toys hold the most benefits for children. They warn parents against filling their toy box with flashing lights and gadgets. The report is called “Selecting Appropriate Toys for Young Children in the Digital Era”. It offers guidance for parents on what toys will most benefit their children’s development. The report focuses on children from birth through school age.  “The best toys are those that support parents and children playing, pretending, and interacting together,” stated Alan Mendelsohn, MD, FAAP, in the AAP’s press release. Mendelsohn is a co-author of the report and associate professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Population Health at NYU Langone Health. According to Mendelsohn, digital toys don’t provide the same benefits. Although media-based toys, like videos, computer programs, and books with voice-recorded reading, make claims to be interactive and educationally beneficial, the AAP says that these claims are unsupported.  Remember to give your child the best gift of all – your time, love and attention.

Merry Christmas! 

Congregational Budget meeting & Election of Officers

On Sunday, December 11, following worship, we will be meeting to vote on the 2023 budget and elect new church officers. Plan to be in attendance for this important church business. For more information email firstchristianglendora@verizon.net or call office at 626-335-2240.

Advent is on it’s way…

During the Advent season we re-enact the fact that “love came down” at Christmas and dwelt among us. This year we will be reflecting upon the idea that there is room for every story and each story is important, “From Generation to Generation.”  Join us Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. as we weave our story into the Christmas story through music, art and scripture.

Nov. 27
There Is Room For Every Story
Matthew 1:1-17

Dec. 4
God Meets Us in Our Fear
Luke 1: 26-38

Dec. 11
We Can Choose a Better Way
Matthew 1:18-25

Dec. 18
We See God in Each Other
Luke 1:39-56

Dec. 24 – Christmas Eve
We Tell This Story
Luke 2:1-20

Dec. 25 – Christmas  Day
God Dwells With Us
John 1:1-14, Luke 2:15-2