Pastors Message – April, 2017



Populations of the captivating orange and black monarch butterfly have plummeted in recent years. To help with conservation efforts, scientists have calculated the extinction risks for the eastern migratory population of monarchs, which overwinter in Mexico and migrate up through North America during warm spring and summer months. Their new data suggest that these butterflies have an 11-57% chance of going quasi-extinct if new efforts are not taken to protect them.

Eastern monarch populations have declined by about 80% over the last decade, primarily because of the destruction of important breeding sites inhabited by milkweed in the United States. Monarchs lay their eggs on milkweed, and newly hatched caterpillars feed exclusively on these plants.

The milkweed plant used to be abundant in our fields and along our roadsides. Now those plants are being eradicated as a result of development and by wide spread use of chemical weed killer. At the same time the summer habitat of the Monarch has grown smaller. Illegal logging is claiming more and more of the butterfly’s winter habitat in Mexico.

Climate change further complicates the challenge facing Monarchs. Temperatures above 95 degrees can be lethal for larvae and eggs dry out in hot, arid conditions causing a drastic decrease in hatch rates.

I invite you in this Lenten season, when one of the symbols of the great mystery of resurrection is the butterfly, to pray for this most delicate and lovely gift from our Creator and to raise your voices, that our concerns may be addressed and policies altered.

There is hope. In 1962 Rachel Carson’s book, Silent Spring, led to the banning of DDT and to the saving the of the Bald Eagle, which too was on the road to extinction.
Following is the Environmental Policy of the Presbyterian Church (USA):

“… God’s work in creation is too wonderful, too ancient, too beautiful, too good to be desecrated…Restoring creation is God’s own work in our time, in which God comes both to judge and to restore…”

I leave you with this cautionary note by the poet Mary Oliver titled Watching a Documentary about Polar Bears Trying to Survive on Melting Ice Floe

That God had a plan, I do not doubt.
But what if His plan was, that we would do better?

With God’s help we will do better.

Pastor Beth

Pastors Message – March, 2017

Rev. Beth Frigard

Rev. Beth Frigard

Friends, during this season of Lent I want to invite you to give yourself the gift of slowing down, as with “ears of your hearts” we attend to our own lives, and listen for God’s tangible presence.
Some people complain that traditional church is boring. Maybe we should consider the possibility that we have unintentionally made it so by substituting religious tradition for spiritual encounter. Perhaps the church’s role is to create space for people to experience the wonder and mystery of God and God’s love.
It is with this in mind that I am inviting you into the spiritual practice known as Lectio Divina, which is simply a slow, contemplative praying of the Scriptures. It is a quiet, intentional time which enables us to explore in our daily lives an underlying spiritual rhythm.
This “Divine Reading” involves listening in a meditative way to a short passage or a few verses of Scripture. Those participating are encouraged to set aside analysis, and what they “know” already about the passage, seeking instead to open themselves to God’s word, listen with their hearts, and receive it expectantly and passively.
First we will open with a prayer, then a participant will slowly read aloud the chosen passage. After one minute of silence each person will write down an answer to the question, “What word/phrase caught my attention?” Everyone will then share his/her word or phrase without comment.
Then someone will read aloud the same passage and after three to five minutes of silence, each person will write down an answer to the question, “Where does this passage touch my life experience?” Each participant will then share his/her answer in turn, without comment.?
A third person will then read the passage aloud and for three to five minutes everyone will write an answer to the question, “From what I have heard and shared, what is God inviting me to be? How is God inviting me to change?” Each one then shares, beginning, “I believe God wants me to …”
We will then end in prayer, or if the group feels so moved, each person will pray aloud for the person on his/her right, praying only for what that person expressed in the prior step.
As is true with all forms of praying, the purpose of Lectio Divina is to open ourselves to God so that God may bring us and the world into harmony with God’s purposes. The first step is simply to begin.
Please join me at 11:00 AM every Thursday in Lent beginning March 2. At noon we will have lunch. Bring a sandwich; soup and beverages will be provided.

Pastor Beth