The Connection Between the Church and Pretzels

Bavarian Pretzels

In the Medieval Period, the Catholic Church imposed stricter rules regarding fasting and abstinence during Lent than modern times. Meat, dairy, and eggs were prohibited during Lent. Grains, yeast, and water were acceptable. 

Legend has it that monks baked folded strips of bread dough in the basement of a monastery, to resemble the crossed arms of praying children to reward them for learning their prayers. This is one theory of the birth of the pretzel. 

By the 1600s, the interlocking pattern of the pretzel became the symbol of undying love. It is said that royal Swiss couples used a pretzel in their wedding ceremonies. This sealed the bond of matrimony, and might have stemmed from the phrase “tying the knot”, since pretzels were shaped to resemble that form. 

It would be unfair to tell you all about this baked good without sharing a recipe.

Pretzel Dough

Recipe for Bavarian Soft Pretzels – Makes 8 

  • 3.5 oz active dry yeast (half pack)
  • 10 oz lukewarm water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 3 tbsp softened unsalted butter
  • 4 quarts boiling water
  • 2 tbsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp coarse salt (or substitute Kosher salt)
  1. Mix yeast and sugar in lukewarm water and add to flour
  2. Mix salt in softened butter and knead into dough then cut into 8 pieces
  3. Roll each piece out to 25 – 30 inches long
  4. Twist into a pretzel form, cover with a clean dish cloth and let rise for 12 minutes
  5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  6. Bring water to a boil then add baking soda
  7. After rising, boil pretzel dough for 30 seconds and remove with slotted spoon
  8. Place on a cookie sheet/baking pan lined with parchment paper or a silicon mat
  9. Top the pretzels with course salt and let rest for 20 minutes
  10. Bake about 20 minutes, remove, and place of cooling rack

Highlights From World Communion Sunday!

On the first Sunday in October, United Methodist congregations join many Christian churches worldwide to celebrate World Communion Sunday. The World Communion Sunday Offerings provide scholarships for national and international students, particularly first-generation college students and ethnic students. 

At PUMC, we have a vibrant international community, a testament to our church’s love for diversity and inclusiveness. This year’s communion worship service went virtual from our different homes, allowing us to share bread and wine from our different cultures. As part of our celebration, we welcomed and dispersed our congregation in various languages. We hope everyone had a fun and memorable day!  

To watch our World Communion Sunday worship service on Facebook, click here

Haile Selassie’s address to the United Nations, 1963 …

Famous Words by Former Emperor of Ethiopia

Haile Selassie

“That until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned: That until there are no longer first-class and second class citizens of any nation; That until the color of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes; That until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race; That until that day, the dream of lasting peace and world citizenship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained” H.I.M Haile Selassie 1963.

To watch Bob Marley sing “War/No More Trouble” in 1977, click here: https://youtu.be/vPZydAotVOY

END RACISM RESOURCES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In its response to white supremacy, racism — and the police brutality that has resulted in nationwide protests — the United Methodist Church has this to say:

“The denomination’s Council of Bishops called for every United Methodist “to name the egregious sin of racism and white supremacy and join together to take a stand against the oppression and injustice that is killing persons of color.” It added: “The United Methodist Church has created an advertising campaign, #EndRacism, in an effort to actively engage in the ministry of dismantling racism and promoting racial justice. Logo courtesy of resourceumc.org.”

It also issued a statement saying, “The United Methodist Church has mounted a denomination-wide campaign, “United Against Racism,” that urges its members not only to pray, but to educate themselves and have conversations about the subject, and to work actively for civil and human rights.”

We at PUMC have compiled “End Racism” resources to help us better understand the Black Lives Matter Movement, systemic racism in the criminal justice system, social repercussions of slavery, and inequality in America.

At this moment in history, white people have become allies of black people fighting for racial justice. These resources addressing racism and anti-racism include lists for all ages as well as for both white and black families.

This extensive collection of books, articles, podcasts, films, videos, songs, poems is curated to include resources sourced from other lists. It will hopefully help us learn and have conversations about racism as it affects every aspect of our society. We invite you to navigate through the resources you like and select what to read or watch and be informed.

If you find something to add, please email it to communications@PrincetonUMC.org and tag it with #praywithusPUMC on your social media page.

—- Isabella Dougan

Continue reading “END RACISM RESOURCES”

#praywithusPUMC to End Racism Prayer Guide 5

 

DAILY PRAYER TO END RACISM

DAY FIVE

DAY OF MATURITY – HANDS & FEET                                             

  • God’s Word for Today 

John 4:15 

Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman

15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

  • Reflection

At the end of the healing process, if we don’t want to get ill again, we need to make the change that we want to see in our life. In this scripture passage, we can see that it is important to ask for what we need. The Samaritan woman is asking Jesus to give her the living water and only once she is asking Him, He can give it to her. In this day of Prayer Vigil, we are focusing on our needs, to understand exactly what we are requesting in our lives and for the world. God is hearing us. God will embrace all our needs and requests. By understanding what we really need in order to end racism and to create the real community of all living creatures together, we will be able to receive the right guidance for our Hands and Feet to make it happen. 

Recall that Jews and Samaritans were two ethnic-cultural groups who did not mingle with one another. And yet here, they come together through service. Jesus asks, “will you give me a drink?” And African-Americans are asking, “will you let me breathe?” It is through compassionate service for each other that the two communities can become family.

Let’s take this day to put the light on what is going on in our country as much as what is going on in ourselves from the action perspective. 

  • Prayer and contemplation

What do you really need and how can you ask for it to benefit all involved?

What do you/we need to do in order to end racism, racial tensions, and racial inequalities?

What new direction can you/we decide to follow and how can we make it happen?

How can you/we make sure to commit to the new resolutions taken?

How do you hold yourself accountable in the long run?

We invite you to light a candle, take a cross or a bible, and go simply in a calm space and start breathing for a few seconds.

Shine the light on the things that you need, on the things that you want to change or to be changed. Shine the light on the action you want to take and sustain.

Ask God to support you in your pain and towards happiness.

Ask the Holy Spirit to heal you and everyone.

Ask the Son, Christ, to be with us and in us so we can not only believe, not only follow but abide.

Together we pray.

We believe there is a way to put the human first and not his/her appearance. There is a way to see love, God, and Jesus in each of us and all around us. We pray for not falling into the trap of division, of nurturing separation amongst humans, of playing the game of destruction that darkness wants us to play by forcing us to choose one side of the battlefield whereas Jesus taught us that there is a way out of the battlefield, a third way, a universal solution, which is the one of reconciliation with God and with one another, the one of the Living Church that is the one human family, where the Holy Spirit is always dwelling, nurturing and bringing us out of the division, towards reconciliation and unity, above and beyond all forms. We believe that today is a day when all of humanity will come together, be reconciled, and love each other in one universal community of humans and of all living creatures, under the banner of unconditional love and altruism.

Let’s end racism, once and for all.                                        

One human family, in God.                                      

Click here for the Prayer Guide Introduction

#praywithusPUMC to End Racism Prayer Guide 4

 

DAILY PRAYER TO END RACISM

DAY FOUR

DAY OF FORGIVENESS – SOUL.                                    

  • God’s Word for Today

John 4:13-14 

Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

  • Reflection

Jesus shows us clearly that there is a way not to be thirsty again. There is a way to end racism and all sorts of separateness amongst us humans. The way out is to drink the water of eternal life.

Every healing process brings us to a point where we have to reconcile. We reconcile with the energy of life, of God. For that, we need forgiveness; forgiving ourselves and forgiving others, and everyone we still have to ask for forgiveness or that we have to forgive. Loving ourselves and loving others can’t happen without forgiveness. This is the day of the soul, where we can access the living water of eternal life. Let’s take this day to put the light on what is going on in our country as much as what is going on in ourselves through the lens of our Soul.

  • Prayer and Contemplation

How can I reach forgiveness and pardon today?

Is there something I can forgive myself about?

Is there someone I can ask for forgiveness or forgive today?

In which areas can I reconcile with myself – body, emotions, thoughts, spirit? 

With whom and what can I reconcile around me and in my daily life? 

We invite you to light a candle, take a cross or a bible, and go simply in a calm space and start breathing for a few seconds.

Shine the light on a historical wrong regarding racial injustice that causes all of our pain, give it a voice and an ear, and then pray for reconciliation.

Ask God to support you in your pain and towards happiness.

Ask the Holy Spirit to heal you and everyone.

Ask the Son, Christ, to be with us and in us so we can not only believe, not only follow but abide.

Together we pray.                                                                      

Let’s end racism, once and for all.                                      

One human family, in God.

 

Click here for the Prayer Guide Introduction

#praywithusPUMC to End Racism Prayer Guide 3

 

 

DAILY PRAYER TO END RACISM  

DAY THREE

 

DAY OF EXPRESSION

  • God’s Word for Today    

John 1:1-18

The Word Became Flesh

In the beginning, was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him, not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave the power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, ‘This was he of whom I said, “He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.” ’) From his fullness, we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.

  • Reflection

Every healing process needs us to let the emotions we are feeling to be expressed; to be expressed in a non-violent way, in a constructive way, without judgment on what we feel. Sadness, anger, and all other expressions of frustrations are not bad or good. They are just a vehicle of transformation. They show us there is something to move on from and to go to. They are indicators of change. Let’s embrace our feelings and use them as a power of transformation. How do we feel in our body? How do we feel in our heart? How do we feel in our head, the ideas, the thoughts we are having right now? How do we feel in our connection with our soul, with our highest purposes and ideals in life? Let’s take this day to put the light on what is going on in our country as much as what is going on in ourselves through the lens of our Heart.

  • Prayer and contemplation

How have you experienced Christ’s “moving in” toward you?

How have you come to know Christ as you’ve “moved in” toward others?

Reflect on a time when you were surprised or changed by getting to know more of what life is like for someone else?

We invite you to light a candle, take a cross or a bible, and start breathing for a few seconds.

Shine the light on the distances of all sorts that exist between you and some other person or group.

Ask God to support you in your pain and towards happiness.

Ask the Holy Spirit to heal you and everyone.

Ask the Son, Christ, to be with us and in us so we can not only believe, not only follow but abide.

Together we pray.                                      

Let’s end racism, once and for all.

One human family, in God.

Click here for the Prayer Guide Introduction

#praywithusPUMC to End Racism Prayer Guide 2

DAILY PRAYER TO END RACISM

DAY TWO

DAY OF EXPRESSION – HEART          

  • God’s Word for Today

John 4:11

Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman    

11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 

  • Reflection

We are all in the same situation as the Samaritan Woman. We are powerless and feel discouraged. Let’s take a moment to feel those emotions. They are the starting point of a change. They lead us to the next question of asking God: “Where can we get this eternal water?”

Every healing process needs us to let the emotions we are feeling to be expressed; to be expressed in a non-violent way, in a constructive way, without judgment on what we feel. Sadness, anger, and all other expressions of frustrations are not bad or good. They are just a vehicle of transformation. They show us there is something to move on from and to go to. They are indicators of change. Let’s embrace our feelings and use them as a power of transformation. How do we feel in our body? How do we feel in our heart? How do we feel in our head, the ideas, the thoughts we are having right now? How do we feel in our connection with our soul, with our highest purposes and ideals in life? Let’s take this day to put the light on what is going on in our country as much as what is going on in ourselves through the lens of our Heart.

  • Prayer and contemplation

What does the pain and grief in me feel like?

In which situations of my life have I encountered the same type of feelings?

How can I express it out in a constructive way?

We invite you to light a candle, take a cross or a bible, and go simply in a calm space and start breathing for a few seconds.

Shine the light on a particular overwhelming emotion that you feel.

Ask God to support you in your pain and towards happiness.

Ask the Holy Spirit to heal you and everyone.

Ask the Son, Christ, to be with us and in us so we can not only believe, not only follow but abide.

Together we pray.

Let’s end racism, once and for all. One human family, in God.

 

 

Click here for the Prayer Guide Introduction

 

 

 

Tune in for ‘Story Time’ on Father’s Day with Evangeline Burgers

Hello, Beloved PUMC Families and Children!

This Sunday we celebrate Father’s Day and our first Summer Session Sunday School! I’ll be sending out information for Sunday School later this week, but here is a mid-week update!

I’ve recorded a read-aloud of one of my all-time favorite children’s books, The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson for our children: https://youtu.be/xc7GdToBYvs. Woodson’s message of empowering young people to resist injustices and break down barriers is such an important one!

Have a safe and healthy week! I hope all of our children are feeling blissful as the long-awaited summer break is finally upon us.

Love,

Evangeline Burgers

Director of Children’s Ministry

Princeton UMC

 

 

GNJ-CAPITAL:  Silence is NOT an Option – Prayer Vigil INVITATION! June 7, 2020, 4:00 PM

 

 

 

 

Dear Clergy and Congregational Leaders of the Capital District,

This week, we have another destructive virus that has painfully reminded us that, for way too many years, it had inflicted undue pain and death on our Black siblings and other siblings of color. Racism requires our attention! Our hearts are breaking for the growing number of Black men and women killed by police, most recently, George Floyd, and, for the inequities against people of color that plague our nation. 

As Christ’s followers, and United Methodists, we believe that racism is a distorted value system that assumes that one race is innately superior to the others that translates into wrong mindsets, behaviors, policies, and systems.

SILENCE IS NOT AN OPTION; IT’S TIME FOR ACTION 

I invite all Capital clergy and laity to join our resident Bishop, Rev. Dr. John Schol, and I, this coming Sunday, June 7, 2020, at 4:00 PM for a special peaceful public witness of our faith and prayer vigil in solidarity with the African American community and other people of color. This public witness will be a statement of presence, prayer, and reflection in the community. We will practice responsible physical distancing measures and will model the highest standards of Christian love.

Our special guest and speaker will be Rev. Gil Caldwell, a United Methodist, and renowned Civil Rights Activist. Other guest speakers include Bishop John R. Schol, Willingboro Mayor Hon. Tiffany Worthy, Charlene Walker from Faith in NJ, Rev. Geralda Aldajuste, Rev. Vanessa Wilson, Rev. Rupert Hall & Rev. Laura Steele.

JOIN US.

If you feel comfortable, bring a poster that expresses the Christian values of Peace with Justice, and invite a friend. We welcome children and youth. The new generations need more than ever, positive spaces to express their hopes and aspiration for a better society and world. 

In consideration for others – we request that all persons participating from United Methodist congregations wear a face mask.

 We’re together on the journey.

Paz, Héctor

Rev. Héctor A. Burgos | Capital District Superintendent

O: 732.359.1085 | C: 609.661.1768 | E: hburgos@gnjumc.org