Instead of our usual Maundy Thursday service, we had the local Sabbat come and take us through a Seder service. They did an excellent job with a printed booklet for all the bits and pieces of the meal and all the stories and questions and all the parts that we were supposed to do, including the singing. It was a simplified version and mostly in English, and the Hebrew bits were spelled out phonetically for us. I was surprised, a little, how much we had to participate, but the kids really got into it and that was very fun to do.

It was a wonderful way to celebrate the season, to be reminded of everyone's responsibility to free those who are enslaved; and that God wanted us to be free from oppression. It's a very basic tenant of Judaism and one that doesn't get passed on loudly enough, for me at least, to the Christian traditions; and I think it's the really big story of the Old Testament in many ways.

I'm tired of this Lent, it's been hard on the heart and body this year with all the death and illness, and I'm glad that spring is finally here, and Easter is Real Close Now. The service and the potluck after were really nice. The weather was weird, pellet snow and hard winds, and a gray cold day.

I spent most of this morning playing a bit with Jet, then getting my allergy shots and getting groceries so that I could make this wonderful Gumbo Z'herbes with kale, spinach, and flat-leaved parsley along with the usual Trinity and spices. It was zingy enough everyone noticed it, especially since it looks, at first, like nothing more than creamed spinach or something like that. The dish took most of the afternoon, but it was well worth the doing, and we kept enough of it for a few simple vegetarian meals. I love it on brown rice, and it's traditional for Good Friday, plus it just tastes so green.

I also painted sparrows and plum blossoms because I wanted to do so, and while I've been thinking about the cherry blossoms, they're still mildly intimidating to think of all those springy bits everywhere and how they attach to the branches. *laughs* It'll come.

incandescens was lovely enough to make me a really gorgeous informal Buddhist prayer beads or mala with the 27 beads of the quarter round rosary, so that I can just go back and forth on it. With her help, we designed it so that the two end beads are a different color as is the center bead, and the two sets of twelve to either side have three sets of four of each color, so it's really lovely and subtly different. I use them more as worry beads than prayer beads, but I may well learn a short meditation prayer just so that I can use it correctly. I have a jade mala, much like Jin's, but it's on a string that gets in the way sometimes. These are just on a wire that is very sturdy and strong, and it stays up on my arm when I push it up so that I can wash dishes or do other things.

In the mean time, it's just a good reminder that sometimes I have to just pray and figure out what needs to be done next instead of wishing or whining or whatever. *laughs*
*smiles* I am, too. Very, very pleased. Thank you so much for making it for me!!
have to just pray and figure out what needs to be done next instead of wishing or whining or whatever

Yeah, I need to do more of that too.
It's rather more useful. *grins*

Well, okay, and it doesn't hurt at all that the bracelet is just gorgeous and it's a really NICE reminder rather than a whack to the head or something.

Edited at 2010-04-03 04:07 am (UTC)
Talk about your moments of unexpected corroboration... I had to go and check on your profile and was disappointed to find out you didn't live in Seattle... I'd thought you had because Mom and Dad were doing the same thing as you with their UCC church and I thought 'waitaminute, does Liralen go to my parents' church? OMG!'.

I used to live in Redmond, which is close but still no cigar... I think a lot of the UCC folks like to go back to the roots of it all and it's fun to see that a good number of congregations do get in touch with local Jewish gatherings to do this.

Neat about your parents!
hee! Before parentals made the switch to the UCC, they went to the Methodist church in Redmond... and since this was before they finally gave up on dragging me to church ~amused~, I went with them.

That's very amusing! Wow, all in the same areas.

I am still weirdly conflicted about churches in general, but so it is... Jet really seems to be getting good stuff out of it, so we go.
I don't remember exactly when I figured it out, but I remember being very surprised to realize that the Last Supper was Passover dinner.

On freeing from oppression, you're right that it doesn't get brought up much, sadly. A lot of important people over the last two thousand years have had a lot of interest in ensuring christian churches don't pass on things that are big parts of the gospel. It still crops up every once in a while. Remember John Brown, and remember the line in the Battle Hymn of the Republic: "As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free." I have relatives who went marching off to war singing it, and relatives who went marching off to war to try to stop them. That struggle seems important to me somehow, both as an American and as a person.
Isn't it funny how so many places keep it so separate?

Yes. I think it's very important to keep struggling... to figure out what freedom really means and to fight for it when needed.