Accordingly, the weekend of June 6 Pastor Hampton Deck and I will exchange pulpits again in the days after our Shavuot holiday. In fact, I hope, to start with, that you will join me for our Shavuot celebration in the 2 services we will hold, welcoming the holiday on Tuesday evening at 7:30 PM on June 3, followed by a morning service on the 2nd day of Shavuot at 10 AM on Thursday, June 5, including a reading of the Book of Ruth (we are all “Jews by Choice” on Shavuot!) and the recitation of Yizkor, as we celebrate dear ones that have died, whom we think of at the conclusion of this holiday (and all of our Pilgrimage Holidays [as well as on Yom Kippur]).
In hosting Pastor Deck and his folks on June 6 (please be sure to attend that Shabbat so that we can be assured of having a minyan as we host our guests!), we will learn from him of the Christian equivalent of Shavuot, called Pentecost, as we learn of more distinctions between values we share and customs that set us apart. Pastor Deck is an engaging and inspiring teacher, so you won’t want to miss this opportunity to partake of his teachings and insights.
Then, on Sunday, June 8, at 9:30 AM, we will all be welcomed at First Presbyterian Church, 1350 Amador Street, a couple of blocks west of CBI bordering Nebraska. Their plan is to host us with breakfast as we join in the service at 10 in which context I will give the teaching with focus on the meaning of Shavuot in contrast to and comparison with Pentecost as we will have
learned of it on Friday night.
These kinds of gatherings are not only inspiring because of the insights we share between our communities. They also are remarkable in testimony to the times in which we live when Jews and Christians and people of varieties of different faiths and traditions find contexts in which to gather to remind themselves that values don’t grow in people randomly or naturally. Values
must be inculcated by well-intentioned parents and teachers, passionate about raising generations of people that learn to do what is right and caring even when not considered popular or necessary by the broader culture that in itself may be short on values beyond each looking after her/himself and not worrying about consequences of actions or behavior that may be etrimental to societal wellbeing.
CBI prepares for the Shavuot holiday, strengthened by its membership in Common Ground and inspired by its own experience of celebrating our teachers at a special Shabbat this past month in which our children livened up the Shabbat experience sharing their unique way of doing prayer with gestures showing the meaning of the words and teachings, i.e. the values embedded in Hebrew come alive through the prayer/tefilla experience.
I look forward to sharing the energy of Shavuot and Pentecost with you and our friends at First Presbyterian in a cross cultural celebration of life meaning the weekend of June 6 through 8.
See you there!