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Spirituality

March 3 - 16, 2012

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Spiritual Reflections What’s in a touch? By Pastor George Saylor

If you are a parent, do you remember when your first child was born? You couldn’t keep your eyes off the baby, could you? You felt like you could just stare forever at your child’s face and never get tired of it. The baby couldn’t get enough of you, either. He had to be held, touched. And remember when he wrapped his tiny hand around your finger for the first time?  What a grip! How did that feel? Have you ever fallen in love? Every time your loved one walked into the room, you would get that goofy, excited feeling. Remember the first time she touched you? Perhaps you were walking somewhere together and you realized she’d slipped her hand into yours. It is amazing what is in a touch. But if you’re a leper, people don’t want to touch you anymore. People can’t even look at you without revulsion or fear. Have you ever been a leper?  Maybe you fumbled the ball in a big game. Maybe you were the object of gossip. Perhaps your character flaw had been discovered. Or maybe you were going through a divorce … or diagnosed with an illness.  In biblical times, leprosy was the most dreaded disease known. The condition rendered the body a mass of ulcers and decay. Fingers would curl and gnarl. Blotches of skin would discolor and stink. There are even certain types of leprosy that would numb the nerve endings, leading to a

loss of extremities and fingers, perhaps even a hand or a foot.  The social consequences of leprosy were severe. Since they were considered contagious, lepers were banished or quarantined. Throughout Scripture, the leper is representative of the ultimate outcast. Now I think you can understand the state of the man who came to Jesus for help. He was a leper. Now the fact that he comes to Jesus was a shock. Lepers were forbidden to approach anyone. But this leper came to Jesus through a crowd … and had to violate all the necessary standards of exclusion to get to Jesus. But his approach, however shocking, was reverent, humble, respectful and hopeful. He came begging and kneeling. “Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean.”   Mark says Jesus was moved with compassion.  He stretched out his hand, touched the man, and said, “I’m willing, be cleansed.” Jesus healed with a word and a touch. No liturgical ceremony or fanfare, just a touch and a word. Then Jesus sent the man to Jerusalem and to the priest for examination, because only a priest could pronounce a leper healed or restore him to his former life. Jesus gave two commands. First, go to the priests. Second, say nothing to anyone along the way. The leper disobeyed the command to say nothing. He spread the news around to such an extent that Jesus could no longer publicly enter a city for the crush of the

crowds.  Now the leper is free to come and go where he wishes, free to resume his life, to go back to his family and career. But Jesus now has to stay in the countryside, because he could no longer go into a town openly for the crush of the crowds. In a sense, Jesus traded places with the leper. And that’s a metaphor for what he did for us on the cross. We were the spiritual lepers who lived in alienation and isolation from God because of our sin, and he who knew no sin took our guilt upon himself and suffered the penalty for us in our place. On the cross, Jesus was forsaken and we were adopted into God’s family as pure, undefiled, cleansed children. I don’t think anyone here has been a leper in a medical sense, but spiritually, emotionally or perhaps morally, we all have been there. There is someone, the Son of God, who with a touch and a word, can cleanse of us of all unrighteousness, all sin, all guilt. He is not appalled by our spiritual uncleanness. He is not frightened by our predicaments. His heart goes out to us. He’s ready to say, “I am willing. I am willing. I am willing to touch you, to cleanse you, to even die for you.”  

Pastor George Saylor leads services at Chandler Presbyterian Church, 1500 W. Germann Rd. in Southern Chandler. For more information, call 480-963-3821 or visit www.chandlerpres.org.


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Spirituality

March 3 - 16, 2012

50+ singles group forms Christian singles 50 and older are invited to an evening mixer hosted by Cornerstone Christian Fellowship Church of Chandler. The event will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Sat., March 3 at Cornerstone, 1595 S. Alma School Rd. “It’s going to be a fun and relaxing evening with lots of time to mix and mingle and make new friends,” says Brad Wiggers, head of adult ministries. “We’ve got some fun activities planned, as well.” Participants need not attend Cornerstone in order to attend the event – the first of its kind at the church. We want to provide a supportive community for singles over 50 with opportunities to nurture meaningful and healthy friendships,” explains Carolyn Brown, one of the new group’s organizers. “Singles don’t have to attend Cornerstone to participate.” Cornerstone Christian Fellowship is “a progressive, Bible-based church.” For information on the singles group, contact Carolyn Brown at carolyn.j.brown@cox.net or 480-219-4285. To learn more about Cornerstone, visit www.cschandler.com.

Spiritual Reflections

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Christian schools host open house Families interested in enrolling their children in Christian-based schools can visit two area campuses Tue., March 6 for more information on curriculum and staff. Chandler Christian School will host its open house from 6:30 to 8 p.m., while San Tan Christian Academy’s preview is from 7 to 8 p.m. There will be a question-and-answer session, as well as information about scholarship opportunities. Chandler Christian School is at 301 N. Hartford St. in Chandler. Its phone number is 480-963-0748. San Tan Christian Academy is at 501 W. Flint St. in Chandler. For more information, call 480-963-3307. Visit the schools’ websites at www.chandlerchristianschool.org or www.santanchristianacademy.org for details.

Share your spiritual reflections... The spiritual leaders of SanTan Sun area churches, temples, mosques and other religious and spiritual gathering places are invited to contribute their Spiritual Reflections in essay format by sending their thoughts, enlightening insights and other writings of a spiritual nature to News@SanTanSun.com. Be certain to put “Spiritual Reflections submission” in the subject line,” and keep your articles around 200-300 words, or they may be edited for length. Include your first and last name, title and facility name, address, phone number and website. Spiritual Reflections are printed on a space-available basis, and submission does not guarantee print. The opinions represented in this column are those of the author and not that of the SanTan Sun News.

New Preschool EXPLORING MY WORLD PRESCHOOL

Now Enrolling! Offering classes for 3- and 4-year-olds

Classes begin August 8th

Sunday Worship Service: 10:30 a.m. (childcare provided) Sunday Adult Bible Study: 9 a.m. Children’s Sunday School: 9 a.m.


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Spirituality

“Market on the Move” comes to Chandler Chandler’s first “Market on the Move” (MOM) will bring fresh low-cost produce to area residents from 8 a.m. until noon, Sat., March 10. The event, hosted by Desert Palms Church at 4265 S. Arizona Ave., will provide participants with up to 60 pounds of produce for $10. “MOM is an opportunity to help Chandler residents during these challenging economic times,” says Desert Palms member and event coordinator Jonas Zamora. “We anticipate having enough produce for 600 people, and encourage anyone trying to stretch their dollar to come and participate in this worthwhile event.” “As a church we want to bless our community,” adds Desert Palms Pastor Kelley Hand. “This kind of thing is a natural outworking of the gospel. It’s a chance to give to others because we have been given so much. We’re excited to host Market on the Move and hope a lot of people hear about this opportunity to get some great food.” MOM is part of the 3000 Club, a group that rescues fresh produce destined for landfills and distributes it around the Valley. Past events have offered corn, eggplant, yellow and Italian squash, tangerines, tomatoes and peppers. Desert Palms plans to host MOM events the second Saturday of each month during growing season. To learn more, email jonas.zamora@gmail.com. For information on MOM, visit www.the3000club.org.

Author to visit Chandler Presbyterian Ordained Episcopalian clergyperson and well-known author Dr. Frederick Ramsay will lead worship at 10:30 a.m. Sun., March 11 at Chandler Presbyterian Church, 1500 W. Germann Rd. After the service and following a light lunch, Ramsay will lead a discussion on his writings, and sign copies of his recently released book, “The Eighth Veil,” part of his Jerusalem series. All are welcome at the event. To learn more, call 480313-4738 or visit www.chandlerpres.org.

‘Life Walk’ at Chandler Christian The local Christian pop and rock band, Spirit Surge, will perform at the Pregnancy Care Center of Chandler’s annual “Life Walk,” to be held from 8 a.m. to noon Sat., March 31 at Chandler Christian Church, 1825 S. Alma School Rd. The event will include prizes, a bounce house and face painting, along with a raffle for restaurant gift certificates, gym memberships, personal training, dance lessons, spa and salon services and more. The Pregnancy Care Center of Chandler provides free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, parenting classes, options counseling, referrals for adoption, and community services to women and families facing unwanted pregnancies. For information on walking, sponsoring a team or making a donation, visit www.pccchandler.com.

Saturday, March 10 6 a.m. - 1 p.m. Rain or shine.

HUGE AGE RUMM SALE!

March 3 - 16, 2012

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Christian preschool opens registration Registration for the 2012-13 school year is now underway at Ray of Light Christian Preschool in Chandler. The school offers programs for 3- and 4-year-olds and pre-kindergarteners from 9 a.m. to noon, five days a week. Ray of Light Christian Preschool is located at 800 W. Ray Rd. between Alma School Road and Arizona Avenue. To schedule a tour or for more information, contact Director Cristina Haney at 480-9636105, ext. 211, or visit www.rayoflightpreschool.org.

New preschool starting at Chandler Presbyterian Hands-on learning opportunities for children ages 3 and 4 will begin this fall at Chandler Presbyterian Church, 1500 W. Germann Rd. in Southern Chandler. Enrollment is open for Exploring My World, which uses  creative curriculum, zoo-phonics, centers and circle time for children. Classes start August 8. To schedule a tour or for more information, call 480-313-4738 or visit www.exploringmyworld.com.


NOW ENROLLING! Quality Care and Christian Education: Infant through 5th Grade

• High Academic Achievement • Low Student / Teacher Ratio • Responsive, Nurturing Staff • Positive Learning Environment • Community Service • Leadership Development

P

lease contact the school office at 480-802-1505 for tours,

financial information or to learn more about Risen Savior School. You may also visit us online at www.rslcs.org

RISEN SAVIOR LUTHERAN SCHOOL 23914 S. Alma School Road, Chandler, AZ 85248 480-802-1505

www.rslcs.org

Citrus Massage

$

65

Spring Specials

Lemon and Lime Pedicure

$

480-726-9700

45 Lucky Charm Facial

www.labellasalondayspa.com 1035 W. Queen Creek Road Chandler, AZ 85248

$

75


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Spirituality

Luncheon plays up music theme Tickets for Risen Savior’s “Music in the Air” luncheon, to be held at noon Sat., March 31 in the Fellowship Hall, are on sale now. The cost is $15 per person. Formerly known as the Tea and Style Show, the event, hosted by the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League of Risen Savior Lutheran Church, will feature themed tables representing a chosen song to coordinate with its centerpiece, place settings and other table decorations. Food will be catered by Becky McGee, and Bill Bade and Tenni Annen will provide musical entertainment. The church is at 23014 S. Alma School Rd. in Chandler. For tickets, call Carol Devereaux at 480-510-2456. For those wishing to host a table, call Gerri Ried at 480-895-8474.

Circus-themed Purim Celebrate Purim with jugglers, stilt walkers, trumpet music, a world-record hoop artist, a buffet dinner and more at Cirque Du Purim, co-sponsored by Chabad of the East Valley and the East Valley Jewish Community Center. The Megilah reading and party will begin at 6:30 p.m. Wed., March 7 at Noah’s, 2100 E. Yeager Dr. in Chandler. “It combines ancient Jewish traditions with a modern twist,” Rabbi Mendy Deitsch says of this year’s event. “We focus on doing interesting and innovative holiday programs, yet still keeping with the holiday theme.” Cirque Du Purim is open to the public, and attendees are invited to wear circus attire or a costume of their choice. Advance purchase tickets cost $20 for adults and $15 for children through March 4. Regular admission is $25 for adults and $18 for children. The first 120 ticketholders will receive a gift. To learn more, call Rabbi Deitsch at 480-855-4333 or visit www.chabadcenter.com.

WebXtra:

For a complete list of SanTan Sun area monthly support groups, study groups and spiritually stimulating meetings, visit www.SanTanSun.com and click on “Spirituality” to read the Spiritual Connections column.

March 3 - 16, 2012

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Stock up on local produce For a $10 donation, load up on fresh fruits and vegetables at Produce with a Purpose from 8 to 11 a.m. Sat., March 10 at Boys and Girls Club of Gilbert, 44 N. Oak St., Gilbert. Each person is allowed up to 60 pounds of food and is encouraged to share their bounty with friends and neighbors. The event is sponsored by The Oasis Church of Chandler, which currently meets in Basha High School’s auditorium at 10 a.m. every Sunday. For more information, visit www.theoasisaz.com.


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