Today's author is the Rev. Erick R. Olsen, who has served for more than 18 years as Pastor of Church of Christ, Congregational (UCC) in Norfolk, CT, where place and people (and his dog, Zoe) regularly leave him feeling astounded at the greatness of God.
Scripture: Luke 9:43a (NRSV)
43 And all were astounded at the greatness of God.
Reflection: One Astonishing Half-Verse
Bless us, Lord, with eyes to behold your greatness ever more. When we feel half-hearted or just half, touch us and teach us with wholeness. Hold us in our weariness and bathe us with renewing warmth and Spirit. Guide us into astonishment. Amen.
New Prayer Requests:
We ask churches and church leaders to join us in the following prayers either by sharing them during worship, printing them in bulletins, or sharing them in some other way. To make a prayer request, please contact Drew Page at firstname.lastname@example.org
Prayers of Intercession:
- For the families and friends of more than 934,000 who have died due to the Covid-19 disease
Prayers of Joy and Thanksgiving:
- On this President's Day, prayers of thanksgiving for all those who serve in government who are working for the greater good.
This Month in History:
Celebrating Black History: Phillis Wheatley
(Contributed by Rev. John VanEpps - SNEUCC Archivist)
In 1761 an enslaved young African girl was brought to Boston on the ship Phillis. She was brought by the Wheatley family as a house servant. Hence her name. She was encouraged in her reading and writing and was baptized at Old South Church in Boston. In those years she communicated with George Washington, the Earl of Dartmouth, and others.
Her poems were collected into a volume, and it was published in 1773 as “Poems on Various Subjects”. Thus she became the first African woman to be published in the American colonies. She wrote in a lyrical style and most poems were odes on various occasions. One is “On Imagination.” She did write several on slavery and freedom. One is “On Being Brought from Africa to America”.
She continued to write and planned a second volume. However, her owners, who had freed her, died several years after the first book’s publication, so there was no funding. Subsequently she was destitute. She married and died in poverty in the 1780s.
For more see Richard Kigel’s “Heavenly Tidings…” (Paragon House, 2017)
“Study the past if you would define the future.”