A Note From Pastor Jacqui 2/15/23

Dear New Horizon Family,

Reading the many experiences of love I share with you the deliberations of one of my favorite spiritual writers Father Richard Rohr.

He reminds us there are many different kinds of love. Ancient Greeks had multiple distinct words for what we try to cover with our single word “love”; these include philia (friendship), eros (passion), storge (familial love), and agape (infinite or divine love). I sometimes fear that our paucity of words reveals an actual narrowness of experience.

For Paul, agape love is the Great Love that is larger than you. It is the Great Self, the God Self. It’s not something you do. It’s something that you learn to live inside of even while you already participate in it.

In 1 Corinthians Chapter 12, Paul explains how we are Christ’s Body precisely in our togetherness and participation. Yet each of us is a different part of this Great Wholeness. He lists the many differing gifts of the Spirit. In closing, he writes: “Earnestly desire the greater gifts. And I am going to show you the best way of all” (1 Corinthians 12:31). Then, in his attempt to try to describe this agape or divine love, Paul writes his most poetic chapter in all his letters. He seems to run out of adjectives and superlatives to express the fullness of love.

Paul is not describing human friendship (philia), affection of parents for children (storge), or even passionate desire (eros); he is describing what it is like to live inside of an Infinite Source of love— I hope this month of Love has brought you the overwhelming gift of love where all the boundaries change and LOVE exists in the deepest ways that heal your heart and bring joy to your life.

I look forward to seeing you on Saturday, February 25th at 10 am as we journey to the African American Research Library and celebrate with lunch together. This Sunday is Transfiguration Sunday as we prepare for the beginning of Lent. Please buy Shrove Tuesday tickets, which helps our youth camp scholarship fund.I wanted to share with you and invite you to attend our District Training Event on Saturday, March 4. The registration link is here and you will see a great lineup of workshops available as we dive deeper into our anti-racism efforts: https://florida-reg.brtapp.com/2023SEDistrictTrainingEvent. The keynote speakers for the day are the Rev. Chip Freed, pastor of Garfield Memorial Church in Ohio and the Rev. Nathan Adams, pastor of Christ Church UM in Ft. Lauderdale. It should be a great morning of learning and sharing. *Flyer attached.

On the same day, our District Youth Event will be held at Christ Church from 5:00-9:00 p.m. A great team of leaders have been planning both events for March 4 and I hope you will make every effort to participate. The Rev. Vidalis Lopez will be our preacher for the evening worship. To register your church’s intention to bring youth to the event, please click here: https://florida-reg.brtapp.com/2023SEDistrictWideYouthEvent  *Flyer attached.