Jun
15
2008
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Buried. United. Freed.

BuriedFreed1

Just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

The Christian life is a constant process of burying what binds and poisons us, seeking unity with Christ and each other, and accepting freedom and forgiveness. Join us to explore the wisdom of [Romans 6:1-11] in remembrance of baptism, communion, story, song and activity for all ages. Children welcome.

Sunday, June 22
3 p.m.
United Friends School
1018 W. Broad Street
Quakertown, PA 18951

Info: Call Bob, 267-377-7192 or email.

Written by Bob Fisher in: announcements,gatherings |
May
20
2008
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C@L picnic

Written by Bob Fisher in: gatherings |
Apr
17
2008
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The Heart of Prayer – April 20

C@L will worship this Sunday, April 20, at 3 p.m., at United Friends School, 1018 W. Broad Street, Quakertown PA 18951.

Our theme is “The Heart of Prayer.” We will be exploring prayer as a central part of our Christian life, discussing barriers to prayer and experiencing some ways of prayer that might be useful along your journey. We will have prayer stations, communion and a special activity for children.

Gathering together as Christians is another way that we find strength for the journey, so we hope that we will see you on Sunday!

Please bring an offering of non-perishable food items for the Quakertown Food Pantry. Financial offerings above our expenses will go to the Food Pantry as well.

Questions? Call Bob at 267-377-7192.

Written by Bob Fisher in: announcements,gatherings |
Mar
05
2008
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triumph to tragedy to transformation

holy week 08 image

Download: holy week 08 flyer (PDF, 950K)

for information call bob @ 267.377.7192 or bob@liveservegrow.info

Written by Bob Fisher in: Easter,gatherings,lent |
Mar
05
2008
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help with our Easter vigil

This is our second vigil of Easter. It is very much an Easter Celebration, but is held at night the evening before Easter Sunday. Our Vigil will be Saturday, March 22 at 6:30 p.m. at the United Friends School, Quakertown.

The Vigil is not only a very cool service, but if you have ever wondered does God have a plan? The Vigil traces God’s love for his children throughout the Bible and charges us with joining in the story of that love.

Be part of the action. The best way to learn about God love is to dive into the story. (more…)

Written by Bob Fisher in: Easter,gatherings |
Mar
04
2008
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Marching forward

Palm Sunday, March 16 — CAL’s regular third Sunday worship at United Friends School, Quakertown, 3 p.m. Let’s walk together shouting Hosanna, participating in the Christ’s Last Supper and tracing Christ’s death on the cross. Holy Communion will be celebrated. Children will be included in the experience.

Good Friday, March 21 — Anyone interested in a quiet Bible study that night? Fishers will host, no dinner just coffee, cookies and quiet reflection. Let us know if you are interested.

The Vigil of Easter,
March 22 (Saturday) at 6:30 p.m.

United Friends School, Quakertown
Continuing our tradition, participate in the most ancient service of the church, The Vigil of Easter. Celebrate the resurrection of Christ in this ancient service mixed with a CAL experience. Children will be included in the worship.

Regular Worship, Friday March 28, 6:30 p.m. — at the home of the Potterfield family. Covered dish dinner followed by worship.

CAL is always looking for hosts for Friday worship. This can be dinner or just dessert. Please contact Bob Fisher (267.377.7192) or Laura Schafer.

Written by Bob Fisher in: announcements,Easter,gatherings,lent |
Feb
12
2008
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Out in the wilderness

Wilderness

Have you ever felt “out in the wilderness” – physically, emotionally, spiritually?

Continue your Lenten journey as we explore wilderness, a biblical metaphor for a common stage in the spiritual journey, and its place in our lives and journeys.

Sunday, February 17, 2008
3 p.m.

United Friends School
1018 W. Broad Street
Quakertown, PA 18951

Info: www.liveservegrow.info or call Bob @ 267.377.7192
Please bring an offering for the Quakertown Food Pantry

Wilderness worship flyer

Written by Bob Fisher in: announcements,gatherings,lent |
Jan
11
2008
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a starlit darkness

starlit sky

a starlit darkness

exploring faith in the real world

a worship experience for the season after Christmas
from Christians @ Large

 

Sunday, January 20, 2008
3 p.m.

 

United Friends School
1018 W. Broad Street
Quakertown, PA 18951

 

Info:
www.liveservegrow.info
Call Bob @ 267.234.7262

 download a starlit darkness worship flyer (pdf)

 

 

Written by Bob Fisher in: gatherings,spirituality |
Dec
23
2007
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Christmas Eve with C@L

Join us for a participatory service of Lessons and Carols — C@L style!

We’ll gather at United Friends School on Christmas Eve at 5 p.m. The service will feature creative telling of the Christmas gospel and a lot of your favorite Christmas music, and Communion.

Afterwards, those who wish will head out to supper together. It’s a great way to usher in Christmas for the whole family!

Questions? Call Bob at 267.377.7192

Written by Bob Fisher in: announcements,gatherings |
Dec
12
2007
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Worship // Dec. 16, 2007

who are you waiting for

Written by Bob Fisher in: gatherings |
Nov
30
2007
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Upcoming events

Calendar notes:

  • Our next “big worship” will be Sunday, Dec. 16 at 3 p.m. at United Friends School, 1018 W. Broad Street, Quakertown, PA 18951.
  • Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, we will have worship at UFS at 5 p.m. We have invited families to take part in telling the whole Christmas story. If you want to be a part of that, contact Suzanne.
  • Also Christmas Eve, those of us who want to will go to a local restaurant for dinner after worship. We’re looking at a place that is very reasonable and we will be done by 8 p.m. when they close. If you’re interested in joining us please let Bob know so we can have a rough head count for the restaurant.
Written by Bob Fisher in: announcements,gatherings |
Nov
10
2007
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advent : creating space

creating space

Love, the guest, is on the way.

Do you have room?

Join us for a time of praise and contemplation, interaction and rejoicing, as we welcome the Advent season by creating space for Christ’s presence in our lives.

Sunday, Nov. 18 @ 3 p.m.
United Friends School
1018 W. Broad Street
Quakertown, PA 18951

Info: Call Bob at 267.377.7192

Written by Bob Fisher in: announcements,gatherings,spirituality |
Oct
03
2007
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Oct. 5 gathering

Friday night, Oct. 5, we’ll be at Jill and Kevin Gallagher’s home. (Directions: 267.377.7192 or email bob [at] liveservegrow [dot] info.) We gather at 6:30 for supper and our worship is immediately following. The theme is putting Jesus first. We will be looking at Jesus’ conversations with those who would follow him in Luke 9:57-62. Please bring offerings of non-perishable food items for the Food Pantry. Jill is planning hot-turkey sandwiches (gluten-free). Salads, sides and desserts are welcomed. We’ll plan to be outside if we can. As always, if you can RSVP please do so that we can be best prepared, but also feel free to follow the Spirit’s leading and come unannounced!

Prayers: Please pray for healing for Lynette’s mom and Vlatka’s mom. Pray that the Spirit will continue to reveal next steps for our faith community. Remember all those in our community who will go hungry tonight.

Written by Bob Fisher in: announcements,gatherings |
Sep
25
2007
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Sept. 28 gathering

We’re looking forward to seeing you at our Friday night gathering Sept. 28. We’ll be at Potterfields at 6:30 for supper, worship at 7:30 with activities for kids. Questions? Directions? Call 267.377.7192 or email bob@liveservegrow.info.

As always, a food or cash donation for the Food Pantry will be appreciated.

Written by Bob Fisher in: gatherings |
Sep
04
2007
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“Big” worship Sept. 16

Sunday, Sept. 16, our worship gathering will be at 3 p.m. at the big room of United Friends School )1018 W. Broad St., Quakertown, PA 18951). We’ll have the band together, and we’ll look at Luke 15:1-10, the twin parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin. Worship will be kid friendly, and we’ll have a supervised activity for children. We’ll be in a cool space that once was the sanctuary of a former church that is now part of the school. This should be a great time of worship and fellowship, and there’s room for everyone. If you’re able to help with setup or cleanup, or with prayer stations, contact Bob at 267.377.7192 ASAP.

Written by Bob Fisher in: announcements,gatherings |
Sep
04
2007
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Sept. 7 gathering

This Friday, Sept. 7, we’re on a modified schedule. We’ll meet at Fishers’ at 7:30 p.m. for dessert and worship (no supper). We’ll try to start right at 7:30 and not go too late. We’ll have prayer and praise and time for fellowship. We’re looking forward to seeing you!

Questions? Directions? Call Bob at 267.377.7192.

Written by Bob Fisher in: announcements,gatherings |
Aug
17
2007
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Praying for peace

On Aug. 17 and 24 we will focus on praying for peace in the world.  We live in a time when people all across the world and right in our neighborhoods cry out for the peace that God desires for the world. But what does that peace look like? The next two Friday’s we will draw on the Prayers for Peace published by www.sacredspace.ie  (a great devotional resource, by the way). To make it easier for you, the prayers are linked below. Please pray along with the community over the next nine days, whether or not you’re able to be at our gatherings. Link: Peace Prayers

Please bring a food donation for the Quakertown Food Pantry and/or a cash donation for the Liberty Center for Victims of Torture, an organization in Philadelphia that works with refugees who suffered torture in their home countries.

God’s peace be with you this week!

Written by Bob Fisher in: gatherings,spirituality |
Aug
07
2007
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Aug. 10 gathering

After our brief hiatus, we’ll gather for C*A*L worship this Friday night, Aug. 10, at 6:30 at Susan Groff’s Maria and Pete will be leading our worship time of scripture and prayer. If you can help out with side dishes and desserts that would be great. As always, RSVP if you can, but don’t sweat it if you can’t. Info or directions, call Bob at 267.377.7192.

Please bring some food items for the Quakertown Food Pantry as an offering. This great ministry serves people six days a week, so what comes in goes out very quickly. They need pretty much everything. Call if you have questions.

Prayers:  Some of you know Todd, the pastor at The Well. He and his wife are bringing their newly adopted son home from Guatemala this week. Also, remember those injured or grieving loved ones in the wake of the Minnesota bridge collapse. Pray, too, for the ELCA meeting in assembly this week, with some weighty issues on its plate. Continue to pray for the ongoing discernment of the Holy Spirit’s leading for C*A*L as a faith community.

In today’s Gospel (Mt. 14:22ff), the disciples are in a boat battling a storm, and they are so preoccupied and frightened that they don’t recognize Jesus walking toward them on the water. I can relate. Sometimes is doesn’t even take a big storm, just a little turbulence in the flow of the day that causes me to focus on the problem at hand and drift away from Jesus. Yet he calls, as he did to Peter: “Get out of the boat!” In effect he said to Peter, “Trust me.” And Peter does, for a moment, anyway, until he lets his focus move from the Lord to the waves crashing around him. In what way might Jesus be calling to you today, asking you to get out of the boat? Have you been in that situation where, like Peter, even though you want to follow Jesus, you end up crying out, “Lord, save me!” Can you hear Jesus saying “Why did you doubt?” with love, rather than judgment?

Written by Bob Fisher in: announcements,gatherings |
Jul
29
2007
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Worship resource for Aug. 3

We will not be gathering on Aug. 3 due to a number of vacations and other conflicts. But you can be in community with us by using this discussion starter. See you Aug. 10. On Prayer reflection guide

Written by Bob Fisher in: gatherings,resources,spirituality |
Jul
29
2007
1

Happy 6 months, C*A*L

CAL celebration small

It’s been six months since [christians*at*large] started our Friday night gatherings. In that time we’ve matured as a worshipping community, sharing prayer, Biblical reflection, song and service — and some pretty good suppers, too!. We celebrated this milestone with a birthday cake at our July 27 gathering. It has been a wonderul, if chaotic, journey so far…and it will be exciting to see where the Spirit leads us in the next six months! Please continue to pray for our ongoing discernment as a community.

(more…)

Written by Bob Fisher in: announcements,being church,gatherings |
Jul
19
2007
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Laying down our burdens

Jesus said:
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”  (Matthew 11:28-30)

“Summertime, and the livin’ is easy,” the old song says. Still, even as things slow down (!?) in the dog days, many of us carry around the same old burdens. Worries about work. Concerns about family and finances. Sometimes there are real challenges facing us, other times we work little things up into huge burdens, and then slump under their weight.

Jesus knows about our burdens, real and self-imposed. And he promises rest for all of us who are worried and weighed down. The Message says it beautifully: By watching Jesus we can learn “the unforced rhythms of grace,” and “learn to live freely and lightly.”

Jesus doesn’t offer us a pass on suffering. He doesn’t promise to take away our labors and burdens, doesn’t promise a magical eternal vacation. He does offer rest. Time to regroup, to recharge, that helps us to carry the weight. And that gift, he says, comes as a result of learning from him to be meek and humble of heart, from watching him dance to the unforced rhythms of grace. You and I are invited to join the dance, even if we have two left feet. There’s no entry fee or cover charge. We just have to learn to lay aside our burdens for a while, and dance.

What is burdening you and/or the people around you? Can you hear Jesus calling you, asking you to lay down your burdens and take up his yoke for a while? Do the rhythms of your life feel unforced, free, light? Do you need a rest? Talk to Jesus about what you need to feel less burdened and more open to grace.

We’ll talk more about this at our gathering July 20. We’ll also welcome home our South Dakota servants. If you need info or directions, call Bob at 267.377.7192.

Written by Bob Fisher in: gatherings,spirituality |
Jun
24
2007
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The way of prayer

This last week we had a wonderful discussion about prayer, based on Jesus’ example in Matthew 6. We had a great time delving into the text and hearing its resonance in our lives. As Christians*at*large it is tempting to think we’ve got prayer nailed, but our discussion revealed that making prayer as Jesus modeled it a way of life is a long-term project. For those of you who weren’t there, here’s some food for thought from our experience:

Prayer isn’t about changing God’s mind, it’s about changing our hearts. Many of us have a hard time bringing our personal needs and desires to God; it seems selfish, somehow. But if we are honest about what we want and what we think we need, God can show us what we really need and help us to accept the things we don’t want.

Jesus tells us that prayer shouldn’t be a public show; we should go to our room to pray. One of us noted that that direction is a wonderful metaphor for “being real,” for praying from the place we really are at, not the place we’d like others to see us in. Prayer can’t be walled off from the world, because a relationship with the God of this world means we will join him in blessing it, not retreating from it. But prayer for the sake of seeming “holy” or “smart” might accomplish that goal, but it can fall short of helping reveal God’s kingdom.

This text includes the Our Father, or the Lord’s Prayer, which Jesus taught his disciples. Jesus’ model prayer isn’t just a way to talk to God (though it certainly is that), it is also a great example of how to live in the kingdom of God. Imagine what life would be like patterned after the Lord’s Prayer:

  • The first thing would be praising and honoring God, and joining God’s mission to the world, so our lives would honor God.
  • Even though we are creatures with “will” and “kingdoms” (or, at least, areas in which we have authority to do our will), it would be natural to yield our desires and power to God’s.
  • As we look to reconciliation with God in heaven, we would also work to bring that reconciliation and healing here and now.
  • Gratitude for the daily care God provides — food, family, health and faith — would overshadow the anxiety we feel to succeed and get ahead.
  • We would be as quick to show mercy as we are to ask forgiveness.
  • We’d be aware of the devil’s snares and our own tendency to mess things up (The Message says it beautifully: “Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil” – read it here).
  • And praising God would be our final answer.

Download our worship for personal or family devotions here: Matthew 6 meditation

Written by Bob Fisher in: gatherings,spirituality |
Jun
24
2007
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Being, doing, knowing

How do we grow?

Over the last few weeks we’ve been having conversation about how we are the body of Christ together. The other week Maria led us in a great vision brainstorming session. As she asked, “How do we enfold our values into our lives, or ‘walk the walk’?”

That night we identified a few shared values we bring to C*A*L, including:

  • Christ-centered living — discipleship
  • Contemplation/Prayer
  • Scripture/Study
  • Relationships/Community
  • Outreach/Action
  • Openness/Questioning
  • Generosity
  • Others?

Whether you’ve been part of organized conversations or not, your values and your dreams are important to the life of our community. So what do you think? What would you add to the list? How would you see us living into these values? Drop a comment here or drop me an email at bob [at] liveservegrow [dot] info.

Written by Bob Fisher in: being church,gatherings |
Jun
24
2007
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Lost!?

070615.jpg

The texts for the commemoration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus tell of God’s amazing, almost unfathomable love. Like a widow who turns her house upside down searching for a lost, valuable treasure, God seeks us out relentlessly — going so far as to send Jesus to die for us before we were reconciled to God.

Our worship focused on noticing and experiencing this care, and recognizing ourselves as the ones pursued by God. A PDF of our slides is linked below. Use it for a personal or family devotions. When you get the the picture of the sheep after the second reading, take some time to ponder these questions:

  • Does leaving 99 sheep to seek out one lost one make sense? Isn’t 99 good enough? What does this say about God’s love for you?
  • Take a few minutes to imaging God’s relentless love for you? How do you feel in the face of such love? Can you trust it?
  • When in your life have you been lost? Did someone seek you out and rescue you? Who? How did you feel if they did (or did not) find you?
  • How are you “lost” in the context of your journey with God? What is Jesus calling you to do so that you can be reunited with your Good Shepherd?

Enjoy! Thanks to Bob Hyatt for the background image.

Written by Bob Fisher in: gatherings,spirituality |
Jun
13
2007
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June 15: Reflecting on the mystery of Christ’s love

Friday, June 15, we’ll meet at Waldo’s at 6:30 for supper and worship.

We’ve had requests to share in advance what we’ll be doing in worship. This Friday is known as The Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus on the Roman Catholic calendar, and we will use the readings for that day to reflect on the holy mystery of Christ’s unconditional, unlimited love for us. We’ll focus on two readings:

• In Romans 5, St. Paul writes that our hope lies not in the absence of trials and afflictions, but in the reality that “God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.” Read it at http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=48759508
• In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus tells a familiar story of a shepherd who leaves his flock to seek out and rescue the one that has gone astray. Read it at http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=48759715 . This story describes how boundless is God’s love for us, how “crazy” it seems by our rational standards.

As you read, reflect on your experience of God’s love, which is not a bargain returned for our righteousness but a passionate search for us “while we (are) still sinners.” Have you experienced this love? Or is it just a little too unreasonable for you to digest? How do we as a community of faith reflect that kind of love to those around us?

Logistics:
• Please RSVP to 267.221.1249 and bring food to share.
• Also, please bring non-perishable food items, which Suzanne will collect for a local food pantry.

Prayer concerns:
• Celebrate with Zac as he graduates high school Friday night! And remember all graduates, and all of our young people as they transition from school into new summer rhythms of work and play.
• Healing for Laura S.
• Remember the poor among us. Census figures show that in 2003 6% of Bucks County residents had incomes below the poverty line, and 25% of families headed by single women.

News:
• On Friday, June 29 we’ll have a special send-off for our youth servants, Vanessa, Greg, Leah, Liz and Pete, who will be headed to South Dakota for the synod’s youth servant trip. Please plan to be there to pray for them and wish them godspeed!
• Stay tuned for information on new prayer and worship experiences at times other than Friday nights, and for opportunities to serve the community, as you have requested!

Questions? Call Bob, 267-377-7192.

Written by Bob Fisher in: announcements,gatherings |

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