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March 8, 2018
Third Week of Lent
NEXT Yoga Church: TOMORROW at 7PM (Wednesday March 9, 2018)
Dear Yoga Friends,
I hope that you are having a very blessed Lent! Traditionally, Lent is a time during the church year when we abstain from something we enjoy. It is what we call a “time of fasting.” The minor discomfort of fasting reminds us of the pain that Jesus suffered during the forty days he wandered in the desert as well as the anguish He suffered on the cross. Whenever we feel discomfort or desire during our time of fasting, it is a reminder to us to pray.
During this season of Lent, I have given up red meat. Every time I feel a craving for a big juicy cheeseburger, I take a moment to stop and say a prayer to God. The constant craving is a constant reminder to me to pray.
The practice of Yoga can help us to deepen our mindfulness. When we practice different asanas (poses), we take mental note of how our bodies feel. Do we feel discomfort? Do we feel a pleasing stretch? Do we feel strong? Or do we feel our muscles aching? No sensation is the “correct,” sensation to feel in any given pose. Every person’s body is unique and different. Simply take note of that sensation and know that you can breathe through any discomfort. Discomfort- just like temptation for a big juicy cheeseburger- is only temporary.
Bible Verses for this Week: John 3:14-21 (NIV)
Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
This Week’s Asana: Child’s Pose
This week, we will be exploring “Child’s Pose,” or balasana. This is an excellent foundational yoga pose that you can use to stretch out discomfort in your lower back. This is also an excellent pose to use during the practice of yin yoga or “restorative yoga.” It is a pose that can be returned to at any point during your yoga practice if you need to take time to catch your breath as you calm and center once more.
Child’s Pose is relatively easy to hold. To start, try following along with the video. Attempt different alignments of this pose and see what works best for your body. Some people will feel more comfortable with their knees together and other’s will feel more comfortable with their knees apart. As your practice deepens, try holding balasana for several minutes and relaxing all your muscles into this pose. Focus on your breathing and practice being mindful of the changing sensations in your body as you relax into the pose.
Until next week, Yoga Buddies!
Peace Be With You,
Books & Beans: March 20th at 6PM- Book Club at the Green Bean in Altoona! Join us as we share a cup of coffee and discuss this month’s book, From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death by Caitlin Doughty (Nonfiction)
Lenten Luncheon- March 28th at Noon: Join us for a free delicious lunch with a special Lenten message from Pastor Grace Marie from First UMC, Hollidaysburg.
Holy Thursday Service & Christian Seder- March 29th at 6PM: Did you know that Jesus was Jewish? Join us for a special service where will learn about the Jewish roots of our Christian Faith and share in a delicious meal.
Easter Egg Hunt, Saturday March 24: Join us for a free Easter Egg Hunt! Kids will have a great time and there might even be a special visit from Mr. Easter Bunny!
Connect with your body.
Become empowered and energized.
Know that you are a beautiful child of God.
Start your new year off right! The two most common New Year’s resolutions are to “get in shape,” and “get back to church.” Now, at Christ Community United Methodist Church, you can do both! Starting in January we will be launching our new Yoga Worship Service!
Bring your yoga mat if you have one and join us for a relaxed evening worship service conducted entirely through meditation and movement. We will open with breathing exercises, prayer, and visualization techniques. Then, Pastor Rebecca will guide you through a slow and relaxed yoga flow designed to connect you with your body and with Christ. Next, we will gather in a circle to partake in a very special time of Holy Communion. Finally, we will close with prayer, relaxation exercises, and guided meditation.
All ages and ability levels are welcome. Yoga Church takes approximately one hour. Some mats will be available. Childcare will be provided.
There is no charge, although donations are encouraged. J All donations benefit the ministries of Christ Community United Methodist Church.
About Pastor Rebecca: Pastor Rebecca has studied guided meditation for over a decade. Now, she combines her love of movement with her rich theological understanding in order to bring you a unique holistic worship experience. Pastor Rebecca is a graduate of Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. where she earned her M.Div. She is a provisional elder in the United Methodist Church. She serves as the pastor at Christ Community UMC.
We are also in search of photographs from the last decade so that we can make a slideshow! Please share photos with the church office.
Here at CCUMC we are passionate about sharing God's love with others. We are also excited to go out into the community and the world to help others and to serve God. Check back often to see what's new at CCUMC!