Last Sunday 51 members and friends came together to enjoy an afternoon of singing and listening of ‘favourite’ hymns. It’s another celebration of the International Day of Senior Adults. We are thinking of having a Christmas Carols Fest sometime in early December. I want to thank Ron Gaudion and Tony Wheeler especially, for helping to make Hymn Fest happen.
In 2006, three pastors, Chris Seay, Greg Holder, and Rick McKinley, decided to try something different. They called it the Advent Conspiracy movement, and came up with four tenets – Worship Fully, Spend Less, Give More, Love All — to guide themselves, their families, and congregations through the Advent and Christmas season.
The Worship Portfolio has accepted my suggestion that this year we will join the worldwide Advent Conspiracy Movement. For more information you can follow this link – https://adventconspiracy.org/about/#
We want all members of MUC to reflect on these four tenets during the Season of Advent and Christmas. We will be providing suggestions how we can do that. I have also written an article to explain more about the Advent Conspiracy. It will be in the next issue of MUC magazine and Webpage. Let’s journey together to make this Advent and Christmas Season special and different.
Glass Half-full or Half Empty
Recently I had catchup lunch with a few colleagues. And this question was asked by one of them – “Are you a glass half-full or half-empty person?” I said most times I am a ‘glass half-full’ kind of person. I understand that the meaning of ‘the glass is half full’ is to refer to an attitude of always thinking about the good things in a situation rather than the bad ones. However, I don’t subscribe to ‘Positive Thinking’ or ‘Pollyanna’. If anything, I am a realist.
‘Bad’ stuff happens. ‘Bad’ things happen to good people. Dreams sometime are shattered. Life is difficult. For some it’s a roller coaster, one bad thing happens after another. Friends can be a disappointment sometimes. Life is unfair. We are all not dealt with the same card. Change is constant. We may like things to stay the same. But they don’t. That’s life.
I love this quote attributed to Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher born in 544 BC said, “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”
For me, the river is always moving because it’s alive, so it’s never the same. That’s life!
When I suffer a setback, I don’t think: Why me? What did I do to deserve this? Everybody is out to get me, or I cannot do anything right. I don’t find those thoughts helpful.
I have accepted that when ‘bad’ stuffs happens to me I will sit with it and reflect. When I need support, I will reach out to friends. If I need to vent, I allow myself to do that. Ultimately the posture I take is, ‘What can I learn from this experience?” Blaming others. Trying to find scapegoats. Wanting to be right.
Good Luck Bad Luck
Recently at the Family@10 Service I shared this Chinese fable:
Many years ago, a wise pleasant live in China.
He had a son who was the apple of his eye. He also was the proud owner of a fine white stallion (horse) which everyone admired. One day his horse escaped from his grounds and disappeared. The villagers came to him one by one and said: “You are such an unlucky man. It is such bad luck that your horse escaped.” The peasant responded: “Who knows. Maybe it’s bad, maybe it’s good.” The next day the stallion returned followed by 12 wild horses. The neighbours visited him again and congratulated him on his luck. Again, he just said: “Who knows. Maybe it’s good, maybe it’s bad.”
As it happened, the next day his son was attempting to train one of the wild horses when he fell down and broke his leg. Once more everyone came with their condolences: “It’s terrible.” Again, he replied: “Who knows. Maybe it’s good, maybe it’s bad.” A few days passed and his poor son was limping around the village with his broken leg, when the emperor’s army entered the village announcing that a war was starting, and they were enrolling all the young men of the village. However, they left the peasant’s son since he had a broken leg. Everyone was extremely jealous of the peasant. They talked about his sheer good luck, while the old man just muttered: “Who knows. Maybe it’s good, maybe it’s bad.”
360 Degree Matthew Workshop
Lastly, please pencil this date into your diary – Saturday, 19th November 2022. We are having a workshop to prepare for the next Lectionary Year (2022/2023). More information on the MUC webpage.
By the way I am officially on leave now from 17th October to 2nd November 2022.
… in the meantime, blessed be.
Rev Swee Ann Koh