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Daily Meditations

Thursday February 8, 2018

"Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better." Harry S. Truman   "America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great." Alexis de Tocqueville   "Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. " Ephesians 5:11   I can't imagine how confusing it must be for our children to really know what is right and wrong. Have we as a country lost our moral base? I worry about all the foolishness that is accepted from our leaders and the lack of commitment to challenge what is being accepted as normal. I thank God every day for giving me the comfort of my faith in his teachings and pray that his words will rise above the confusion we live with every day. We all need to do our part every day to challenge what is not right and lead by example. I know that God will help us get thru.   Roger Fortier, Sexton
Roger Fortier, Sexton

Wednesday February 7, 2018

I found this meditation particularly interesting because, though I have never paused to think of my relationship to God in his two "carnations", I certainly have related to him on different occasions in his divinity as well as in his humanity. You? - Joan Alayne Stevens   Emmanuel Some days we need to know God as someone not groveling on the same plane in which we live, but someone lifted up, revealing the glory of the God whom he calls "Father." What may seem more important to you - Jesus' humanity or Jesus' divinity - may depend on the day.  Both are true.  Call on him. - Br. Curtis Almquist Society of Saint John the Evangelist
Br. Curtis Almquist

Tuesday February 6, 2018

  "How dear to me is your dwelling, O Lord of hosts!                  My soul has a desire and a longing for the courts of                                                the Lord;                  My heart and my flesh rejoice in the living God." Ps. 84, v1   On the first Sunday of this month I was standing at the back of the church, in my choir robe, waiting to process down the aisle singing a favorite hymn, noticing the congregation filled with many familiar smiling faces and thinking to myself: I am so blessed to be in this place of worship, God's house, my home away from home, where I am  surrounded by love, where a sense of peace always fills my soul. As the service progressed and psalm eighty-four was read, it struck me that verse one summed up my thoughts in a nutshell.         St. Matthew's, my dwelling place on Sunday mornings, always makes my heart and soul rejoice in the living God especially when I'm in the midst of such a loving parish family.   Barbara Carbonneau
Barbara Carbonneau

Sunday February 4, 2018

The Apostle Paul, in today's epistle lesson from his first letter to the Corinthians, writes that he became "all things to all people" so that, by all means, he might save some (1 Corinthians 9:22).  What are the implications for us?  Are we called to be all things to all people as well? Doesn't that run the risk of burn out? Is it even possible to do?    Peace, Nancy

Saturday February 3, 2018

This morning your vestry is going to meet to spend some quiet hours and get to know each other. We are welcoming Abby Mathewson who is new to the group for one year and thanking David Betz and Randy Cheyne who are returning for three years. There will be prayers, reflection, and visioning for the upcoming year. Please keep us in your thoughts and pray with us...   For Guidance: Direct us, O Lord, in all our doings with thy most gracious favor, and further us with thy continual help; that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in thee, we may glorify thy holy Name, and finally, by thy mercy, obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP p. 832)   Kelly Kennerson Parish Administrator
Kelly Kennerson

Friday February 2, 2018

The Presentation of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Temple   I thought I should add some artwork to the meditation this morning. When I looked for images depicting the presentation of our Lord in the temple, the choices were many.  These two were very different and yet showed the same story about 700 years apart.  Kelly Kennerson, Parish Administrator    The Collect - Almighty and everliving God, we humbly pray that, as your only-begotten Son was this day presented in the temple, so we may be presented to you with pure and clean hearts by Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.   From the Menologion of Basil II (10th Century)   Presentation of Jesus in the Temple by Rembrandt (1631)

Thursday February 1, 2018

With a daughter named Bridget, I feel I must share the history of St. Brigid on her feast day. Kelly Kennerson, Parish Administrator   From Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints -   Next to Patrick, Brigid is the most beloved of Irish saints. Born at Fauchart about the middle of the fifth century, she may have met Patrick as a young girl. She was said to be the daughter of Dubhthach, poet laureate of King Loeghaire, and was reared in a Druid household. She decided early in life to dedicate her life to God alone as a Christian. She received a nun's veil from Bishop Macaile of Westmeath.   Gathering around her a group of women, Brigid, in 470, founded a nunnery at Kildare, a place whose name meant "Church of the Oak." Here had flourished the cult of a pagan goddess, from which it was said to have derived the sacred fire, which she and her successors maintained. To secure the sacraments, Brigid persuaded the anchorite Conlaed to receive episcopal ordination and to bring his community of monks to Kildare, thus establishing the only known Irish double monastery of men and women. Brigid actively participated in policymaking decisions in Church conventions. One story has it that she received episcopal orders, which may reflect only the fact that she exercised the jurisdictional authority that was customarily wielded by medieval abbesses.   Many stories are told of Brigid's concern for the poor and needy. When a leper woman asked for milk she was healed also of her infirmity. Two blind men were given their sight. Best known is the tale that tells of Brigid's taming of a wolf at the request of a local chieftain whose pet dog had been killed accidentally by a peasant. The Gaelic name given to the oyster-catching bird, galle-brigade, attests to her affinity for birds. Her feast day itself, February 1, was long held sacred as Imbolg, the Celtic festival of Spring.   Brigid died about 523 at Kildare, outside whose small cathedral the foundations of her fire-house are still shown to tourists. Her remains are said to have been re-interred, at the time of the Danish invasions of the ninth century, with those of Patrick, at Downpatrick.   Brigid, also known as Bride, was very popular both in Scotland and England, where many churches have been dedicated to her. The best known of them is that church which was designed by Christopher Wren on Fleet Street in London. In Wales, Brigid achieved fame under her Gaelic name Ffraid.
Kelly Kennerson

Wednesday January 31, 2018

It must be crazy up there in heaven - wherever our prayers go to: "give us this day our daily bread", "please watch over my daughter"," help my mother with her trouble", "how do I get a do-over?"   Imagine if you were responsible to answer just the prayers from your family, or the people on your block, or in a small village in a difficult part of the world.   You would have to respond to every one of them, without revealing yourself, probably creating chains of events to answer those prayers. You need to do it thoughtfully and with love for every requestor. And you have promised to be with each one of us so there are millions - no hundreds of millions of prayers - coming in all day, all night, never ceasing with the day's movement across the continents. How do you do it? How great is God?   I know I would get some help, probably draft my children. I would make sure that all my family knew my promises and felt my promise within them. I would charge them with using my gifts to them to help those in trouble, need, sorrow or sickness. And since many hands make light work, I would make sure they spread my word to others to do the same.   We are all God's children. As surely as Jesus promised us Heaven, he tasked us with performing God's wonders. Someone with a prayer of need is within your reach... or maybe they are someone's daughter needing watching or mother needing assistance. When you reach to help, be confident that God's multiplying power can turn your efforts into miracles.   Randy Cheyne, Vestry Member (reprinted from 2013)
Randy Cheyne

Tuesday January 30, 2018

It's the mail and messages around Christmas and New Year. These always give rise to feelings about the people who send them, possibly a review of all that the individuals mean to me and why. In the context of the messages of divisiveness that abound from the news about government, friends and acquaintences look mighty good.   In every way, it is the generosity of spirit in people that I count on the most. How about you? I look at myself through that lens as well and know if and when I come up short. At the conclusion of Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address (March 4, 1865), there is the grand charge:   "With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and all nations."   Using these words in the context of our present lives, with all the generosity of spirit we can muster, we can curtail the hand wringing and do more hand clasping and use those hands to help.    A Chinook prayer: "May all I say and all I think be in harmony with Thee, God within me, God beyond me, Maker of the trees."   Gayle Feick, Parishioner
Gayle Feick


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