A Prayer In Spring Robert Frost Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day; And give us not to think so far away As the uncertain harvest; keep us here All simply in the springing of the year. Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white, Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night; And make us happy in the happy bees, The swarm dilating round the perfect trees. And make us happy in the darting bird That suddenly above the bees is heard, The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill, And off a blossom in mid air stands still. For this is love and nothing else is love, The which it is reserved for God above To sanctify to what far ends He will, But which it only needs that we fulfil.
You are here
I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge --- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesian 3;17-19 What is your story? Why are you here? These are two questions that have been swirling around me frequently the last month or so. A week ago I attended a Diocesan workshop that asked us to tell our story and share why we are here. Why do we show up to church on Sunday mornings? Why do we volunteer in our communities? How can our presence help reach others and shape our stories? This past Sunday, 3 moms shared their spiritual story and how it has affected them as mother's. This got me thinking about my story and how over the 28 years that I have been a mom, my story has changed and evolved. This also got me thinking about the people around me at church, in the community and work. What is their story? How has it shaped who they are and what they do? I am interpreting these thoughts as God asking me these questions. He is showing me that my spiritual journey needs to be constantly evolving and growing. I am interested in hearing your story. Let's share our stories with those around us. It is a way we show that we care and share God's unconditional love for us. Why are YOU here? What is YOUR story? Angie Battey, Sr. Warden
I love this piece from SSJE. It reminds us to be still as we listen. It is not only OK but it is necessary to be still. And listen. Joan Alayne Stevens Listen Listen to me, Jesus says. Listen with still posture and eyes closed. Listen while walking or letting yourself dance. Listen looking up gazing at bright green-leafed trees. Listen kneeling in soil to tend plants springing to life. Stop to smell the flowers and listen. Jesus the good shepherd has so many good things to say to you. Be still and listen. -Br. Luke Ditewig Society of Saint John the Evangelist
“Hitler didn’t steal power. His people voted for him and then he destroyed his people. That is the risk.” Pope Francis I have always believed in the power of our daily meditations to provoke thought and something to think about as we go about our daily lives. As a former Catholic I have been impressed with Pope Francis and his messages. I try not to be political in my opinions but I confess that I am so concerned with the lack of morality and empathy we are surrounded with in the leadership we have today. Where has respect and and tolerance gone? Since when has immorality become acceptable? I think we had better pay attention. History is known to repeat itself. I end this with a prayer: Dear God we need your help and understanding, and more than ever we pray for your guidance. Roger Fortier Sexton
"Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion." - Thích Nhất Hạnh
Praying Seasonally I try to pray daily, and as I do so, I try to remember to include some small prayer that ties in with the liturgical season. So right now, between Easter and Pentecost, I pray, “Lord, fill us with your new life in this holy season of the resurrection.” In this way, I seek to connect my personal prayer life to the spiritual journey of the whole church, traveling together through the liturgical year. And this, in turn, connects me to the Great Story that is represented by the changing liturgical seasons, the story of sin and redemption, of death and birth to new life in the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s good to be reminded that each of us is part of the whole church, that each of us is part of the Great Story. How will you connect to the Great Story today? Paul Peterson
The words below are taken from "Bread for the Journey" written by theologian Henri Nouwen, a book of meditations for each day of the year. As I read this one, a picture appeared in my mind of a place I know very well, one that I see each week, usually on Sunday. As you read Henri's words, what picture do you visualize? The Mosaic that shows us the face of God A mosaic consists of thousands of little stones. Some are blue, some are green, some are yellow, some are gold. When we bring our faces close to the mosaic, we can admire the beauty of each stone. But as we step back from it, we can see that all these little stones reveal to us a beautiful picture, telling a story none of these stones can tell by itself. That is what our life in community is about. Each of us is like a little stone, but together we reveal the face of God to the world. Nobody can say "I make God visible." But others who see us together can say, "They make God visible." Community is where humility and glory touch. What picture came into your mind of a community that makes God visible? Barbara Carbonneau: Outreach member, St. Matthew's (reprinted from May 2014)
"A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing" - Martin Luther (words and music) Whenever we sing this hymn in church, I feel the words and music echo through me back to when I was a young boy growing up in the Midwest. As I sing it, I get a deep reminder of piling into the station wagon and attending mass with my parents and siblings. God gave us five senses and we use all of them as we go to church. Which sensory experience takes you back to your youth: the melody of a hymn, the smell of incense, the squares of colored light on the back of the pews as sunlight shines through stained glass? I wonder what aspects of our little church will resonate with my children when they are older. -Leo Steffens (reprinted from May 2014)
"All of life becomes a liturgy” Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf I remember reading somewhere that each moment of our lives can help us connect to God’s presence in us: Our awakening in the morning begins our life that day, it is our birth in Christ; our morning shower brings us to our baptism and the washing away of our sin; we break our fast and connect with the wonders that God has made; we work and remember that God has given us the gifts and talents that we use each day. You get the idea. Zinzendorf left his home in what is now Germany and eventually came to Pennsylvania. His focus on a personal relationship and the connection of all Christians had ruffled feathers wherever he went. Yet he has left a lasting imprint on the Moravian Church that he helped found and on our understanding of what it means to live our lives “in Christ.” As you go through your life today, take a moment to consider how your actions connect with your life of faith. Linnae Peterson, M.Div.
Becoming ~ What do you want to become this day? I have a heartfelt desire to reach a state of loving acceptance of those around me, to live a Godly life so that my actions and sharing can be a healing balm to those that I meet each day. Barbara Mace, Parishioner (reprinted from May 2015)