A Weekly Newsletter
Thought for the Week
No society is so precious as that of one's own family. - Thomas Jefferson
We all know there are different kinds of love and maybe different levels of intensity, but we don't generally differentiate when we use "love" in our daily language. For example, I say that love my sisters and that I love ice cream. However, I do not love ice cream like I love my sisters. Generally. What I actually mean is that I really like ice cream, to the exclusion of other dessert options. If we aren't careful, "love" becomes a catch-all word to describe things we enjoy, but doesn't differentiate their importance.
We aren't the only ones who have had that issue. Thousands of years ago, the Greeks gave us four ways to talk about love that help to identify the power of loving relationships in our lives. You have probably heard of at least one of them: storge, philia, eros, and agape.
Storge is probably the least familiar of the four, but probably the most prevalent in our everyday lives. This is the love of community and family. It is a natural or instinctual affection, like the love between a parent and a child.
As a sister, this is a kind of love I instinctively understand, sometimes to my frustration. I have been blessed with two sisters whom I love very much. I would do virtually anything for them. I have also contemplated, with varying levels of seriousness, selling them to a passing circus. I think sibling love is the best example of storge, and I'm going to share a story that I am sure they'll forgive me for telling:
Several years ago, we had a decent sized snowstorm and the three of us were inside the house, probably driving my mother crazy. I vaguely recall an argument developing and my mother telling us to "put your snowsuits on and go outside!" So, grumbling and snipping at each other we got dressed and went outside to find our respective friends. We live on a cul-de-sac so that really meant we went to the top of our hill together, only separate, which made sense to me then.
Anyway, as I recall this event happening, Caroline, my youngest sister, was playing in the snow and some Middle School boys thought it was hilarious to throw snowballs at the group of elementary school girls. Eventually, one of the boys thought it would be even better to add rocks to their ammo and throw those at the girls. There was some yelling back and forth, they'd stop for a few minutes, then start up again.
Eventually, one of the rock-filled snowballs smacked Caroline in the face and she burst into tears. Victoria, our middle sister who had been across the street building a snow fort, looked up and made my day. She stood up, looked at the guilty party, and said "nobody picks on my sister, except me!" and punched him right in the nose.
While I am certainly not advocating this particular solution to your problems, this is the best example, for me, of storge love. Our families and communities sometimes irritate us, they get us into trouble, they raise our blood pressure, but they are always in our corner. It is a deep kind of love that extends beyond the pettiness of relationship. It is an instinct that is very hard to combat, even when you want to disregard it.
This week, I encourage you to think about those storge relationships. Take a moment to appreciate your family - biological or otherwise - and community. These are our first bonds, and the ones that often run deepest. These are the people who, despite everything, will deflect the rocks that life throws at you.
Sunday Morning Schedule
- Middle School Sunday School, 9:15 AM (Youth Room)
- High School Sunday School, 9:15 AM (Stephen Ministry Room)
- Confirmation, 9:15 AM (Room 102)
- Annual Meeting, 10:30 AM (Sanctuary)
- Contemporary Worship, 11:00 AM (Sanctuary)
Sunday Evening Schedule
- Middle School Youth Group, 5:00 PM (Youth Room)
- High School Praise Team, 5:30 PM (Sanctuary)
- Middle School Praise Team, 6:30 PM (Sanctuary)
- High School Youth Group, 7:00 PM (Sanctuary)
Wednesday Evening Schedule
- Ash Wednesday Worship, 7:00 PM (Sanctuary)
No Youth Gathering
The #30SecondBible Series
Or, it would, if you didn't have this exciting new project, coming to us next week!
Every day in Lent, the site 30 Seconds or Less is publishing a 30 second talk on a book of the bible. Each recording will contain a summary and a reflection on the book's contents by Christian pastors, theologians, and scholars (including a seminary friend of mine! Shameless plug).
I encourage you to give it a listen, beginning on February 10, and experience the Bible in a new, bite-sized way.
Check out the video linked below for an idea of what the series will be like.
February: Teen Dating Safety Month
February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month. This month - and every month - we encourage you to learn about the signs of dating violence and the networks that are in place to help you or your friends. The advocates at Love is Respect have a lot of resources for people of all ages to use in combating dating violence.
If you, or someone you know, are experiencing any of the warning signs of dating abuse, please reach out to a trusted mandated reporter (teacher, pastor, counselor) or law enforcement. If you aren't sure what steps to take, click the first two links to see a list of resources.
Always remember, you are not alone.
You can find the devotionals in Hassler Chapel, beginning this Sunday, February 7th.
All programs will run from 7:00-8:00 PM.
We are exploring Rob Bell's video series Nooma and enjoying some mid-week fellowship!
- Sunday, February 7
Annual Congregational Meeting, 10:30AM
- Wednesday, February 10
Ash Wednesday Worship, 7:00 PM
No Youth Gathering
- Friday, February 12
All-Church Retreat @ Harvey Cedars Begins
- Saturday, February 13
All-Church Retreat @ Harvey Cedars
- Sunday, February 14
All-Church Retreat @ Harvey Cedars Ends
Combined MS & HS Sunday School
No Youth Group
Youth Program of Media Presbyterian Church
The Youth Ministry programs at MPC has long been a place that welcomes teenagers to embrace their questions and their struggles with faith in a healthy and safe environment.
The Youth Program is led by Ms. Liz Remelius, Director of Youth Ministries. Liz nurtures a deep love of education and believes that there is "a divine beauty in learning." She hopes that anyone who participates in MPC's Youth Ministry will be equipped to ask questions, search for answers, and turn that knowledge into action, both in the Church and the world.