A back-to-school Meditation (BCP p. 829) God our Father, you see your children growing up in an unsteady and confusing world: Show them that your ways give more life than the ways of the world, and that following you is better than chasing after selfish goals. Help them to take failure, not as a measure of their worth, but as a chance for a new start. Give them strength to hold their faith in you, and to keep alive their joy in your creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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How does God recognize me? If I have been created in his image, he must have eyes to see me. But I often imagine God as a fluid, surrounding us like air, feeling our souls. After all we spend a lot of energy commending the souls of the dead to heaven. A soul is something we never see ... or touch. We may feel one, especially those of us who have suffered the loss of a loved one. Is that how God experiences us? Does God read our minds? Our innermost thoughts? Or just our calling and prayers? We identify each other with the first of our senses - sight, hearing, touch and smell. If you were to be recognized by your thoughts and internal conversations alone what would your footprint on this earth look like? Would you make changes? Randy Cheyne Reprinted from August 2014
In the Gospel lesson for today Jesus asks his disciples what people are saying about who he is. And then he asks them, "But who do YOU say I am?" He's asking us that question too. And with great urgency right now. Who is Jesus for you? How do you proclaim that in the world? Come and let us wrestle with those questions together at 9am. Rev. Celeste+
As parents return their students to college or people try to squeeze in that last weekend at the beach or mountains here is a prayer: 53. For Travelers O God, our heavenly Father, whose glory fills the whole creation, and whose presence we find wherever we go: Preserve those who travel [in particular _______________]; surround them with your loving care; protect them from every danger; and bring them in safety to their journey's end; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP 831)
Flat Matt finding Nemo at the New England Aquarium with Steve & Rosemarie Fry
Flat St. Matt doesn't just vacation! Here he is with Dr. McCarter and co-worker near a baby scale.
Flat St. Matthew is helping William, Paul and Linnae visit Hamilton College in Clinton, New York .
From the rising of the sun to its setting The name of the LORD is to be praised. Psalm 113:3 On Monday, August 21, 2017, all of North America will be treated to an eclipse of the sun. Anyone within the path of totality can see one of nature's most awe-inspiring sights - a total solar eclipse. This path, where the moon will completely cover the sun and the sun's tenuous atmosphere - the corona - can be seen, will stretch from Lincoln Beach, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. Observers outside this path will still see a partial solar eclipse where the moon covers part of the sun's disk. From the NASA website: https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/eclipse-who-what-where-when-and-how. Click on the blue link more information, including how to safely view the eclipse.
A Message to the Church from the Presiding Bishop Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? In this moment - when the stain of bigotry has once again covered our land, and when hope, frankly, sometimes seems far away, when we must now remember new martyrs of the way of love like young Heather Heyer - it may help to remember the deep wisdom of the martyrs who have gone before. The year was 1967. It was a time not unlike this one in America. Then there were riots in our streets, poverty and unbridled racism in our midst, and a war far away tearing us apart at home. In that moment, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote a book, his last one, with a message that rings poignant today. It was titled, "Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?" One of his insights then was that a moment of crisis is always a moment of decision. It was true then and is true now. Where do we go from here? Chaos? Indifference? Avoidance? Business as usual? Or Beloved Community? I'm a follower of Jesus of Nazareth because I believe the teachings, the Spirit, the Person, the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus have shown us the way through the chaos to true community as God has intended from the beginning. Through the way of love, he has shown us the way to be right and reconciled with the God and Creator of us all. Through his way of love, he has shown us the way to be right and reconciled with each other as children of God, and as brothers and sisters. In so doing, Jesus has shown us the way to become the Beloved Community of God. St. Paul said it this way: "In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself" and now he has entrusted us with "the message of reconciliation" (2 Corinthians 5:19). I know too well that talk of Beloved Community, which Jesus was describing when he spoke of the kingdom of God in our midst, can be dismissed as nice but naive, idealistic yet unrealistic. I know that. But I also know this. The way of Beloved Community is our only hope. In this most recent unveiling of hatred, bigotry, and cruelty, as Neo-Nazis marched and chanted, "The Jews will not replace us," we have seen the alternative to God's Beloved Community. And that alternative is simply unthinkable. It is nothing short of the nightmare of human self-destruction and the destruction of God's creation. And that is unthinkable, too. We who follow Jesus have made a choice to walk a different way: the way of disciplined, intentional, passionate, compassionate, mobilized, organized love intent on creating God's Beloved Community on earth. Maybe it is not an accident that the Bible readings for the Holy Eucharist this Sunday(Genesis 45:1-15; Isaiah 56:1,6-8; Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32; and Matthew 15:21-28) all point toward and bear a message of God's passionate desire and dream to create the Beloved Community in the human family and all of the creation. This Sunday and in the days and weeks to come, as we gather in community to worship God and then move about in our homes, neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, social circles and more, we will be faced with a choice. I ask and invite us as congregations and individuals who are together the Episcopal Church of the Jesus Movement to intentionally, purposely, and liturgically rededicate ourselves to the way of Jesus, the work of racial reconciliation, the work of healing and dismantling everything that wounds and divides us, the work of becoming God's Beloved Community. Resources that can assist us in doing this work are included with this message, including an adapted version of the Becoming Beloved Community vision that our church's key leaders shared this spring. I urge you to spend time reflecting with them individually and in your churches. Where do we go from here? Maybe the venerable slave songs from our American past can help us. In the midst of their suffering, they used to sing ... Walk together children And don't you get weary. Cause there's a great camp meeting In the promised land. We will walk there ... together. We will make this soil on which we live more and more like God's own Promised Land. So God love you. God bless you. And let's all keep the faith. The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry Presiding Bishop and Primate The Episcopal Church
Pilgrimage: Endings & New Beginnings From the River Blog, Published July 10, 2017 http://kairosearth.org/category/river-blog/ The truly wonderful thing about pilgrimage is that reaching the final destination does not mark the end of the journey. If it has done its work, the end of a pilgrimage is only the beginning of something much greater and folded into Divine mystery. May the joys and blessings of the winding and beautiful journeys ahead be with you, Pilgrims! (Photos from the series by: Jo Brooks, Heidi Shott, Bishop Tom Ely, Bishop Ian Douglas)