From Lament to Hope

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Download Life at GSL — Fall 2020 Guide, a comprehensive publication with fall Christian formation, worship, and music offerings.

From Lament to Hope: Preparing for a Time “When Life is Good Again”
September 16, 23, 30, October 7
Facilitator: Dr. Dan Pigg
Time: 6–6:45 p.m.
Zoom Discussions, Signup Link:
Zoom ID: 6199086694, Passcode: 1720

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dolly Parton wrote a song and a music video has been produced about our current time. In “When Life is Good Again,” written in the form of a lament that leads to hope, Dolly Parton speaks with the voice that many of us realize now. There is so much we don’t know. There is so much we are still processing, and there is a considerable distance to go before we find what we thought were our regular patterns of life. Lament is the way we cope with life; it provides a time of reflection. It asks us to think out of the box—to think of others, to think of our God, and to think about how we fit into the community.

The writer of Lamentations in the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible helps the community to understand one of the most catastrophic events in the life of Israel/Judah: the fall of the city of Jerusalem in 587 BCE to the Babylonians. The writer addresses the pain of how they got here. The destruction of the Temple in 587 BCE was catastrophic to understanding the community. Lament is not a pity party; it is an organized and methodical look at reality. It provides a way through the crisis with the belief that God’s hand is in it somewhere, even when it is not as clear as the writer or community would like it to be. The hope oracles in the book of the prophet Jeremiah help hearers to understand their current state, and the third portion of Isaiah (chapter 56-66) help hearers to understand what the future from God’s perspective might look like.

Sitting with lament, contemplating the mystery of divine providence, realizing our limitations along with our hopes, dreams, and fears connect us in 2020 to an important period in the history of Israel/Judah which is also our history. Life will be “good again,” but we have to trust the process of time. Lament is important to living into God’s future and ours. Class participants will explore that movement over our four weeks of meetings via Zoom.

Past Midweek Formation Offerings

  • Our June 3 offering featured an "Interview by the Rev. Ollie V. Rencher of Todd Richardson, President of the Crosstown Redevelopment Cooperative and Co-Founder of Crosstown Arts: an outcome of faith and symbol in our community and symbol of hope" on Facebook Live. Watch video here.
  • Our May 27 offering featured an "Interview by the Rev. Ollie V. Rencher of Josephine Hicks, Episcopal Relief & Development Vice President for Episcopal Church Programs, about how this unique and vital ministry is supporting the worldwide human family during COVID-19" on GSL Facebook Live. Watch video here.
  • Our May 20 offering featured "Music and Meditations for Ascension Day by Dr. Patrick A. Scott and the Rev. Ollie V. Rencher” on GSL Facebook Live. Watch video here.
  • Our May 13 offering was "COVID-19 Video Meditations by Rabbi Micah Greenstein of Temple Israel,  with the Rev. Ollie V. Rencher via Facebook Live. Watch video here.
  • Our May 6 offering included excerpts from Following Jesus: Finding Our Way Home in an Age of Anxiety" with the Rev. Ollie V. Rencher via Facebook Live, session enhanced with choral music for meditation. Watch video here.
  • Our Apri 29 offering was given the Rev. Katherine M. Bush who reflected on “Eastertide Poetry and Stories.” Katherine+ continually offers our parish wise and important insights, and we are excited for her willingness to join us tonight.” Poetry used for formation offering found here. Watch the video here.
  • Our April 22 offering was given by the Rev. Meredith Jane Day who presented "Cultivating Compassion in the time of COVID-19." You can watch this offering by following this link.
  • Our April 1offering was presented by the Rev. Ollie Rencher: A Meditation and Virtual Chat about Psalm 30. You can watch this offering by following this link.