Monday Devotional
March 20, 2023
Dear Friend,
The Merriam-Webster dictionary has a twitter page. They post interesting things about words, definitions, usages. It is very dorky of me, but I enjoy their posts. A few weeks ago, they asked people to share words from other cultures that have no simple English equivalent. There were some very interesting responses.
The German language supplied several unique words. One of my favorites is “verschlimmbessern” which means to make something worse by trying to make it better. What a great word. How often have you done something with the best of intentions only to find that it made things worse instead of better? This is the word for such occasions.
In Malaysian they have the word, “gotong-royong” which is the act of coming together as a community to clean or cook or any activity for a good cause. When you bring a casserole dish to a friend in need or offer to help around the house, this is the word you have been searching for.
Have you ever laughed when someone tripped on a sidewalk? It may not be a polite thing to do, but in Dutch this is “leedvermaak” which means to be entertained (vermaak) by someone else’s pain or sorrow (leed.)
I identified with the Japanese word, “tsundoku” which refers to acquiring books and letting them pile up without reading them. Really, I plan to read them all!
I like the Arabic word, “soubhiye” which describes that quiet moment in the day when you’re the only one awake in the house and can enjoy a cup of coffee before the day begins.
In Estonia the word “viitsima” is a verb used to describe when you must do something but don’t have the energy or interest in doing it.
The Spanish use the word “sobremesa” to define that moment after a meal when people remain at the table for a pleasant conversation. I can think of several such occasions and now have a word to describe such wonderful moments.
I hope this week you have some moments of sobremesa. I pray that your viitsima is minimal. I give thanks for the acts of gotong-royong that bring comfort to our community. I wish you quiet moments of soubhiye.
Peace, shalom (Hebrew), Pace (Italian) and Vrede (Afrikaans),
Upcoming Activities

Labyrinth Walk

During Lent, Pastor Jen is inviting you to join her at the outdoor labyrinth on Wednesdays at noon. If you have never walked a labyrinth, this will be a good introduction to this ancient spiritual practice. No advance notice necessary, just join Jen on Wednesday and be prepared for a nice spiritual walk.

Fridays@First Concert

We are excited to welcome soprano, Julie Gilchrist on March 24th at 7:00 p.m. Julie will be performing a set of Irish music. Join us in the sanctuary for this wonderful evening of music!

United Methodist Conversation

You have likely heard about local churches voting to leave the United Methodist Church. With the approach of Annual Conference, Rev. Boles will offer an update on what is happening in our denomination and how this impacts UM churches in Indiana. The discussion will be held in the Fellowship Hall after church on Sunday March 26th. All are welcome to attend.

Blood Drive

First UMC will host a blood drive in our Fellowship Hall on Friday March 31st. You can sign up by visiting the website for the American Red Cross. The drive runs from noon to 5:00 p.m.