Walla Walla University Church
November 12, 2016
“Wherever you turn your eyes, the world can shine
like the transfiguration.
You don’t have to bring a thing to it except
a little willingness to see.”
Marilynne Robinson is widely considered one of the greatest American writers of our time. Her novels have been universally acclaimed, with Gilead (2004) receiving the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award. As an essayist, novelist, and moral thinker, Robinson writes with precision and beauty about difficult topics of race, family, and religion that underlie society.
Robinson grew up in Sandpoint, Idaho, and studied American literature at Brown University, graduating in 1966. She returned to the Northwest and in 1977 completed a doctorate on Shakespeare at University of Washington. Her first book, Housekeeping (1980), surprised the literary world, and Anatole Broyard’s review in The New York Times brought wide critical attention. “It’s as if, in writing it, she broke through the ordinary human condition with all its dissatisfactions, and achieved a kind of transfiguration,” Broyard writes. The book was shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction and won the PEN/Hemingway Award for best first novel.
It was 24 years before Robinson published another novel. In the time intervening she wrote nonfiction and critical essays and taught creative writing at several universities, joining the University of Iowa in 1989. While spending a year at the University of Kent, Robinson became horrified by the nuclear power industry. Mother Country (1989) investigated the Sellafield power plant and how complicity of the British government and populace led to environmental disaster. The exposé was a National Book Award Finalist. Robinson continued her rigorous nonfiction in The Death of Adam (1998), writing essays on topics ranging from Darwinism to Calvinism. Other collections include Absence of Mind (2010), When I Was a Child I Read Books (2012), and The Givenness of Things (2015).
Gilead’s release surprised readers in 2004. The epistolary novel, written in the voice of a 76-year-old minister, is simpler, less metaphorical than Housekeeping, yet unmistakably beautiful. It intertwines the history of Gilead, Iowa, and that of Reverend John Ames with the undercurrent of racial tension in 1950s America. Despite being a work of fiction, Gilead is no less concerned with substantive issues than Robinson’s essays, yet conveys hope and wonder through its lyrical prose. Home (2008) and Lila (2012) make up the Gilead trilogy, giving voice to other characters introduced in the first volume and their sometimes conflicting perspectives. Home received the Orange Prize for Fiction and Lila the National Book Critics Circle Award.
Marilynne Robinson is professor emeritus at The University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop and lives in Iowa City, where on occasion she preaches for the Congregational United Church of Christ.
Today, Robinson will take part in a Question and Answer session in the Sanctuary at 10:30am and a reading at 5:30pm, also in the Sanctuary. Please join us!
It is always a pleasure to hear the Wind Symphony of Walla Walla University under the direction of Brandon Beck. If you recognize any of the students or community members in this great musical organization, please consider writing them a note of thanks for their commitment of time and talent. The Connect Cards in the pew racks are a perfect resource for this!
The active listener will hear some familiar hymns in the service music today — No.85 Eternal Father, Strong to Save (the Navy Hymn), and No.645 God of Our Fathers (the National Hymn) — as well as some other familiar melodies especially appropriate to Veteran’s Day, observed this past Friday.
As you prepare your heart to worship, I invite you to silently meditate on these texts, those of our hymns, or the following verses from Psalm 62:
Truly my soul silently waits for God;
From Him comes my salvation.
He, only, is my rock and my salvation;
He is my defense;
I shall not be greatly moved.
AT THE UNIVERSITY CHURCH
In a culture of intolerance within much of Christianity towards those who identify LGBTQ, what does the Bible teach about how we should relate to the LGBTQ community as a church?
The University Church budget funds many important aspects of our local ministry. Although pastors' salaries are funded by donations marked "tithe", the University Church budget is what subsidizes our amazing K-12 school programs at Walla Walla Valley Academy and Rogers Adventist School. It also makes our worship services and broadcast ministry possible. Thank you for your generous and systematic support!
As always - we welcome your gifts made right here on our website. Click Here to Give!
Today's loose offering supports ministry at our local church. The following is a sample of how the budget is allocated:
TOUCHES OF INTEREST
New podcast with Pastors Alex, Jenn, and Kris' called "Walla Walla". Check it out! Two episodes have already been published with more to come on a biweekly basis. Access more details at wallawallapodcast.com or search for "Walla Walla Podcast" on iTunes.
An all-church potluck will be today at 1:15pm in the Fellowship Hall. Everyone is welcome, including students!
We need pies! Each year for the community Thanksgiving dinner, the University Church supplies 50 pies. If you are willing to help, please deliver yours to the church office before 10am on Tuesday, November 22.
The One project is coming February 24-27 to San Diego, Cal. This year, three events make up the weekend experience that is the One Project. Join Pastor Alex, Paddy, and the rest of the crew for one day, three, or all four. Find more information at the1project.org.
William Paul Young, the author of “The Shack”, will speak at WWU CommUnity on Tuesday, November 15, at 11am in the Sanctuary. All are invited to attend.
Holiday Bazaar featuring art, crafts and foods at Rogers Adventist School, November 13, 10:00-3:30. This is a great opportunity to stock up for Christmas and support our local vendors. Table rental is $25 which goes directly to our worthy student fund. It’s a win-win situation! For more information, please call Heidi at 509-526-9425.
Little Women, a musical performed by WWU Drama opens this weekend in Village Hall. Performances include acting and singing by members of I Cantori and a live orchestra directed by our own Kraig Scott. Shows will be November 12–13. Visit drama.wallawalla.edu for tickets.
Camp MiVoden registration for the summer of 2017 is now open. Call 509.242.0506 or visit mivoden.com.
SonBridge Community Center in College Place seeks anOffice Manager/Executive Assistant. This is a part-time and paid position. For more information see www.SonBridge.org/about. Send your resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The College Place Spanish Church is having a silent auction through Facebook to raise funds for Christian Education and thus continue to financially support 15+ students. The silent auction will run from Monday, Nov. 14 at 8 am until Friday, Nov. 18 at 1 pm. Please visit our silent auction FB page “Thanksgiving Silent Auction for Christian Education”, like it and share it! Thank you for participating and happy bidding!! God bless you all.
A memorial for Steve Wagner will take place on Sunday, November 13 at 10:15 am at the Village Church.
The Alaska and Washington chapter of Make-A-Wish® needs your help! They are seeking qualified Wish Granting Volunteers in Walla Walla. Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Wish Granting Volunteers must be at least 21 years old, and work in teams of two to help plan and fulfill each wish. Volunteers interview each child to determine their wish, then work with the staff to make the wish come true! The time commitment is flexible and variable depending upon what the child wishes for. Volunteers can expect to meet with the family one time at their home to identify the wish and get the paperwork filled out, conduct follow-up phone calls about logistics, and plan a wish presentation about a week in advance of the wish. All of these things can be scheduled based on the family’s and volunteers’ availability.
Please visit http://www.akwa.wish.org for more information about Make-A-Wish, and check out Caitlin’s wish to go to New York City! http://akwa.wish.org/wishes/wish-stories/wish-to-go/caitlin-nyc-wicked. Please email Volunteer Coordinator Chris Sullivan or Wish Coordinator Lauren Davies to begin the process of becoming a Wish Granting volunteer. email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Sabbath, November 12
10:30–11:30am — Marilynne Robinson, Sanctuary
1:15pm — All Church Potluck, Fellowship Hall
4:24pm – Sunset
5:30pm — Marilynne Robinson, Sanctuary
8pm — WWU Drama, “Little Women”, Village Hall
Sunday, November 13
10am–3:30pm — Holiday Bazaar, Rogers School
2pm — WWU Drama, “Little Women”, Village Hall
Daily, November 14-November 18
7:30am — Morning Worship, Heubach Chapel
Tuesday, November 15
11am — CommUnity, William Paul Young, Sanctuary
7pm — High Five Youth Group, Jr. High Room
Wednesday, November 16
12–1pm — Women’s DVD Bible Study, SonBridge
6:30pm — Pathfinders Club, Youth Room
Thursday, November 17
6:30pm - J.U.M.P., Juniors Room
Friday, November 18
4:18 – Sunset
8pm — WWU Vespers Light, Heubach Chapel