“Rooted in Movement: Creation” by The Rev. Stephanie Kendell

March 3rd,2022 Categories: Stephanie Kendell Letters, Weekly Letter
Beloved Friends,

I hope that you have found calm in the chaos, hope amidst the harm, and even some joy on your journey this week. These past few days have carried a multitude of emotions and human experiences for our global community, and so much at once and in every direction, can feel overwhelming and a challenge to navigate. We continue to hold our Ukrainian siblings in prayer and add them to the list of prayers our community offers for all of God’s beloveds who face systemic sin, harm, and injustice. There is no other way to put it- it’s a lot. But we have God and we have each other, and thanks be to God for all of the yous, that make the us possible! I have found it helpful in times of global and communal conflict that while sinful things and systems of oppression such as war, murder, ego, xenophobia, racism, and empire are all in our scriptures- just because its biblical, doesn’t make it divinely sanctioned, holy, or of God. Thankfully, we belong to God’s beloved community which covenants to help each of us and all of us discern the still speaking voice of God, especially in troubling times. We hope that you will join us for Worship on Sunday at 11am and reach out to your pastors if we can be a source of comfort or support in this season of life and faith.

Yesterday we celebrated the dust of our humanness with Ash Wednesday and started our Lenten practices for intentional and covenantal change. I hope you have found your Rooted in Lent Bags helpful and have already made space for the prayerful practices that Lent calls us into to take root in your faith life. This month’s ROOT curriculum was also released yesterday, and we are Rooted in Movement. Movement takes form in myriad ways, but one thing is for sure, you never end up where you start. It is in the spirit of movement that this week’s newsletter invites you to let the Holy Spirit move with you and for you, as we share in the message of scripture. This is a story of our intentional and beloved creation. It is a story most of us know or at least have probably heard. It is a story of movement, growth, intentionality, community, and change. And so, this week, you are invited (dare I say… encouraged?) to read our scripture multiple times, taking note of any change in your mind, body, or spirit at the end of each reading. At the bottom of the scripture are some reflection questions to help guide you in this time. Let us go to God together through the shared reading of this scripture from Genesis 2:

7 The SOVEREIGN God crafted the human from the dust of the humus and breathed into its nostrils the breath of life, and the human became a living soul. 8 And the SOVEREIGN God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there placed the human whom God had formed. 9 Out of the ground the SOVEREIGN God made grow every tree pleasant to the sight and good for food, and the tree of life in the middle of the garden, along with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
15 The SOVEREIGN God took the human and settled it in the garden of Eden to till and tend it. 16 Then the SOVEREIGN God commanded the human, “From every tree of the garden you may eat freely, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day you eat from it you shall surely die.”
18 Then the SOVEREIGN God said, “It is not good that the human should be alone; I will make it someone to rely on as its partner.” 19 Then the SOVEREIGN God crafted from the humus every creature of the field and every bird of the skies and brought them to the human to see what it would call them; and whatever the human called every living soul, that was its name. 20 The human gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every animal of the field; but for the human there was not found one to rely on as its partner.
21 The SOVEREIGN God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the human, and it slept; then took one of its sides and closed up its place with flesh in place of it. 22 And the SOVEREIGN God built the side that had been taken from the human into a woman and brought her to the human. 23 Then the human said,
“This time, this one is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
this one shall be called a woman,
for out of a man this one was taken.”
24 Therefore a man leaves his mother and his father and clings to his woman, and they become one flesh. 25 And they were, the two of them, naked, the man and his woman [or the woman and her man], and were not ashamed.

Genesis 2:7-9, 15-25 (Year W)

Reflection Questions:

  • Did any word or theme stick out or stick with you?
  • Did you feel different, changed, or moved in an unexpected way by this text?
    • If so, when? Was it during or after? Can you name why it moved you?
  • How do you see God moving in this passage?
  • How do you wish God had moved in this passage?
  • What does the word sovereign mean to you?
  • If this was the whole documented story of God’s people, what would you hope would happen next?
  • What is the relationship between faith, knowledge, and shame in this scripture?
    • How about in your life? What about in the life of the church?
  • What message does God want you (specifically you) to hear from this text?

Blessings on the journey my friends. May your movement create change and may your change build the kindom of God within you and among you- now and forever.

Shalom Y’all
Rev. Stephanie

Simple Prayer: O Holy One, be with us on the journey. Amen.