April is National Poetry Month! Join us for this month's book pick, Depression and Other Magic Tricks!
Dear Yoga Pals & Church Friends,
Yoga Church Tonight at 7PM
I hope that you had a very Happy Easter! I always feel spent and exhausted after Holy Week, Perhaps you do as well? There is always so much to do and so much busy time surrounding both Christmas and Easter. It is easy to forget, when we are in the midst of the chaos, that holidays are meant to be "holy days.' In fact, the word "holiday," comes from the words "holy day."
Taking time to calm and center through the spiritual discipline of Yoga is a great way to reconnect with our spirits and our Creator after a busy Easter season!
Yoga & Prayer As A Way to Fight Depression
Yoga is a great way to get in touch with some much needed peace and calmness. It helps to slow our thoughts and to calm our minds as we work to connect with something bigger than ourselves. Deep within us there is a longing to be part of something greater. The human heart desires love and companionship. God made us to be in relationship with one another and with the Divine.
Sadly, many people feel disconnected and alone. The World Health Organization estimates that as many as 350 million people suffer from depression. Our churches should be a place where those who are suffering can come in order to find comfort, solace, and peace. It is my hope that we can create a safe space where people of all ages and ability levels can join together to find a place where they belong. Yoga, meditation, prayer, and mindfulness are excellent spiritual disciplines that can help to combat the symptoms of depression.
National Poetry Month & Book Club
In honor of National Poetry Month, our Book Club pick for this month is Depression and Other Magic Tricks by Sabrina Benaim. In her debut book of poems, Sabrina writes about dealing with the pain of depression and social anxiety. Her words have helped to provide a voice to many who have felt silenced due to their own struggles with mental health. I hope that you will join us on Tuesday, April 16th at 6PM at the Green Bean in Altoona as we share a cup of coffee (or tea) and discuss this month's book club pick.
For your viewing pleasure, I have attached a link to Sabrina Benaim performing one of her poems.
Yoga Church Newsletter #1- Child’s Pose
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!
Download our church newsletter for the latest information about: September 11th Prayer Walk, Yoga Chapel, upcoming movie discussions, prayer quilts, and much more! Don't miss out on any of the great things happening at CCUMC!
Connect with God.
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.
August 20th: ONE COMBINED SERVICE at 10AM. A special blended music with live music will be offered by Pastor Rob Davis from Arm of God Ministries. Pastor Davis is a very talented singer ministers to nursing homes in the Altoona area through music. He sings hymns and new favorites. Please join us for this worship of praise and prayer.
Happy Birthday, Christ Community United Methodist Church! On August 6th, we will be celebrating the tenth anniversary of our combined congregation! Can you believe it’s been a decade already? Join us at 10AM on August 6th for our church’s birthday party! Birthday cake! Party games! Food and fellowship! Please bring a snack to share.
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!