Blog: “Dispatch from the Edge”: January 13, 2017

Blog Post Author

Anita Sorenson

January 13, 2017    1st week after Epiphany

R. S. Thomas, “The Coming”

And God held in his hand

A small globe. Look, he said.

The son looked. Far off,

As through water, he saw

A scorched land of fierce

Colour. The light burned

There; crusted buildings

Cast their shadows; a bright

Serpent, a river

Uncoiled itself, radiant

With slime.


On a bare

Hill a bare tree saddened

The sky. Many people

Held out their thin arms

To it, as though waiting

For a vanished April

To return to its crossed

Boughs. The son watched

Them. Let me go there, he said.


RS Thomas, the Welsh poet and Anglican priest who died a little more than a decade ago, left a body of work that is slowly becoming recognized as among the best and most important religious poetry of the twentieth century. Thomas considers the conversation between the Father and Son about the crisis of humanity's descent into chaos and destruction. Imagining the Son's relationship with the Father before the Incarnation helps us ponder the full meaning of Christ's coming to earth. 

The second stanza imagines the Son’s response to what the Father asked him to see. Interestingly, the Father tells the Son ‘Look’ in the first stanza, but does not compel him to ‘go’ into the madness. That decision rests with the Son alone. Yet the Son’s decision is withheld until the final line. Every line intensifies the images of suffering and pain that the Son beholds after his Father bid him ‘Look.’ After taking in the full view of human suffering, every image of desolation reaches its climax on ‘a bare hill’ with ‘its crossed Bough’. The Son does not look away from what his Father bid him see. Looking deeply into the barren hill and the crossed Bough, the Son finally responds. And his response echoes the shockwaves of his love throughout heaven: ‘Let me go there, he said.

Advent focused us on our calling to watch and wait for the coming of the Lord, but Thomas imagines a different kind of watching: the Son watching and looking deeply into our pain. This is the reason for his Coming, a decision he freely made with unimaginable love for us. This is the Incarnation of Love.

Grace and Peace,

Anita Sorenson

Pastor for Spiritual Formation

Keep these opportunities to gather together in mind over the next few weeks:

Open Forum with Trustees and Pastor Ron: January

You are invited to an Open Forum with the Trustees and Pastor Ron. Two more Sundays are provided: Jan. 15, or 22. We will meet in the Corner House from 8:45am-10:15am. The purpose of the forum is to provide a brief update from the Trustees and to hear your thought and concerns moving forward. Please RSVP to Office Manager, Doreen Rudder, with the Sunday forum you plan to attend and also to request childcare, if needed: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Congregational Business Meeting: January 15th

There is a congregational business meeting on Sunday, January 15, after the worship service, to vote on the Pastoral Search Committee: Becky Still, Jack Balswick, Mark Gustafson, Cathy Barsotti, Caila Rinker, Brittany Burian, Dan Stringer and Kyle Michealsen. We will also vote on the transitional Worship Pastor, Dan Huang.

Bake Potato Small Community: January 15th

This Small Community meets Sun., Jan. 15, 5-7pm at the Hills’ home (1198 E. Mariposa St, Altadena). Please bring a hardy topping that goes with potatoes or a dessert.  RSVP to Terry Fields is helpful: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Ushers, Greeters, Hospitality Luncheon: January 22nd

The Ushers, Greeters, and Hospitality meet with Ron in the Corner House after worship on Sun., Jan. 22 for lunch & to discuss the book “Fusion” (bring your book).

Citywide Prayer Gathering: January 22nd

Join with our Christian community at Mott Auditorium from 6pm - 8pm to pray for peace and unity in our city. The Pasadena Clergy Community Coalition is calling for us to respond to the increased violence in our city by coming together to pray for peace and unity in our city. Plan to join our Christian community in this way.

Women’s Book Club: January 24th

The Women’s Book Club meets January 24, 7:30-9 pm in the Corner House to discuss “Vinegar Girl” by Ann Tyler. For more information, please contact Jennifer Mawhorter at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Camping Supplies Needed before January 27th

Have camping supplies to help support local area Young Life camping trip Jan. 28-29? Needs: five-man tents or larger, sleeping bags, mattress pads. Please contact Kyle Michealsen for more info:.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Worship and Arts Team Meeting: January 29th

All people involved in Worship Arts ministries at Pas Cov are invited to a brief meeting following the service on January 29, to discuss our ministry vision, roles and goals during this period of transition. For more information contact Dan Huang at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Philip Yancey at Lake Avenue Church: February 10th

On February 10, renowned author Philip Yancey will be speaking at Lake Avenue Church at 7pm. The event is free. For more details, please contact Anita Sorenson at.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Bad Weather Shelter Volunteers and Supplies needed:

PasCov helps man the BWS shelter on Wednesdays, 6:30-9pm, when weather-activated. We are in need of GROUPS to help man the shelter. You could be a small group, choir group, or even an outside of the church group.

We are also need supplies available when no group is signed up to serve: freezable casseroles or large size frozen lasagnas, dry spaghetti & sauce. 

More info and sign-ups at the BWS table during Hospitality


Financial Update: July 1 – December 31, 2016





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Upcoming Preacher Schedule:

January 15th – Ron Short

January 22nd – Ron Short

January 29th – Dave Rinker