SFC Year End

SFC Year End

Thank you so very much for all of your support.  2016 has been an amazing year at Sellwood.  It has been beautiful to see the connections forming between those who were already here and the new folks who joined us from Capitol Hill.  We have played with structure and most recently had an amazing advent series using poetry. As we begin the new year we will be working on discerning our value as  a community and sharing our stories of how God is at work in our lives. We continue to create new ministries and forge deeper connections with the people we are encountering in our lives. We have folks trying out new service opportunities in their local communities, reaching out to their neighbors, and exploring their own spirituality in much deeper ways.  It is clear to see the transformations taking place in the people connected to SFC. Due to our funding grant, the  amazing generosity of our supporters, the closing gift from Capitol Hill, and the dedicated giving of our community participants we are in great shape financially, with a surplus to start the new year. Our average attendance at our two weekly meals is 20 people.  This doesn’t count mom’s coffee, youth group, book studies, service projects, or our special worship gatherings.  We are blessed with an engaged and present community, that is continuing to grow as new people find us online of hear about us through their friends. We know that God is continuing to unfold new dreams here.  As we work on St. Veronica’s Laundry and the other opportunities unfolding before us we are excited to continue...
Love

Love

This week as we talked about love we featured a poem suggested by one of our community members.  This captures the thing I love best about SFC, that it is a space of collaboration, where we all bring our spirits and our knowledge to help one another experience God in Christ. I have been walking with this Rilke poem for days now and continue to learn from it and lean in to the wisdom held within these beautiful phrases.  I am so grateful for the way this community helps me to name my great homesickness for God and find new ways to ripen and wrestle. -Eilidh i love you, gentlest of ways – Rainer Maria Rilke “i love you, gentlest of Ways, who ripened us as we wrestled with you. you, the great homesickness we could never shake off, you, the forest that always surrounded us, you, the song we sang in every silence, you dark net threading through us, on the day you made us you created yourself, and we grew sturdy in your sunlight… let your hand rest on the rim of heaven now and mutely bear the darkness we bring over you.” Photo by Ace...
Joy

Joy

  The scripture we discussed this week is one that is used in songs and prayers throughout the Christian tradition.  It comes from the first chapter of the book of Luke and tells the story of  Mary visiting her cousin who is also pregnant.  It is full of the joy of the two women, in the midst of what were difficult circumstances. The poem we shared reflected that same joy found in hard situations. The Blizzard by Phillis Levin Now that the worst is over, they predict Something messy and difficult, though not Life-threatening. Clearly we needed To stock up on water and candles, making Tureens of soup and things that keep When electricity fails and phone lines fall. Igloos rise on air conditioners, gargoyles Fly and icicles shatter. Frozen runways, Lines in markets, and paralyzed avenues Verify every fear. But there is warmth In this sudden desire to sleep, To surrender to our common condition With joy, watching hours of news Devoted to weather. People finally stop To talk to each other – the neighbors We didn’t know were always here. Today they are ready for business, Armed with a new vocabulary, Casting their saga in phrases as severe As last night’s snow: damage assessment, Evacuation, emergency management. The shift of the wind matters again, And we are so simple, so happy to hear The scrape of a shovel next door. May you find joy in shared moments and remember that even in the darkness and difficulty there are glimmers of light....
Peace

Peace

This week at SFC we explored the theme of peace.  As we journey through the church season of advent, looking for Christ breaking in to the world we talked about what peace is and how we find it.  This poem is about a peacemaker and the way that people are drawn to those who speak peace in the dark places. I hope you find an oasis of peace in this time. – Eilidh On the Death of a Colleague By Stephen Dunn She taught theater, so we gathered in the theater. We praised her voice, her knowledge, how good she was with Godot and just four months later with Gigi. She was fifty. The problem in the liver. Each of us recalled an incident in which she’d been kind or witty. I told about being unable to speak from my diaphragm and how she made me lie down, placed her hand where the failure was and showed me how to breathe. But afterwards I only could do it when I lay down and that became a joke between us, and I told it as my offering to the audience. I was on stage and I heard myself wishing to be impressive. Someone else spoke of her cats and no one spoke of her face or the last few parties. The fact was I had avoided her for months. It was a student’s turn to speak, a sophomore, one of her actors. She was a drunk, he said, often came to class reeking. Sometimes he couldn’t look at her, the blotches, the awful puffiness. And yet she was a great...