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  • Mon Nov 11 2013

    A Collect for Peace, BCP pg. 258   Almighty God, kindle, we pray, in every heart the true love of peace, and guide with your wisdom those who take counsel for the nations of the earth, that in tranquility your dominion may increase until the earth is filled with knowledge of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.
    Book of Common Prayer
  • Sun Nov 10 2013

    Sunday - Sunday- Sunday... At St. Matt's this morning at the 10 am service our new Junior Choir will rock the house with an anthem that speaks of a new thing in store every morning around God's family table. Y'all come and support our kids. It'll feed your soul. Additionally, St. Matthew's Church will close out our annual pledge drive with an 'Upstairs Coffee Hour and Talent Show' following 10 am worship. Great talent and snacks. Prizes will be drawn between acts. Now start your Sunday off right with a prayer. Clear your head - Say the name of your loved ones to God right now with love in your voice. ... Pause... Now ask God to bless and sustain this lovely earth... Now ask God to grant you a loving, accessible and generous heart this day.   ... And now pray, 'O Eternal Radiant God: Place our minds before the mirror of your eternity; place our souls in the brilliance of your glory; place our hearts in your divine life that we may live always in the presence of your being; in the name of the Risen Christ.' Amen. (St. Clare of Assisi, 13th century)   Rev. Wm. Exner
    The Reverend William Exner
  • Sat Nov 9 2013

    Start Saturday off with a prayer. But of what kind? How about this? While lying on your back (I do this in bed often before getting up) straighten your body out so your back is fairly straight. Breathe in and out. Relax your body. Now cross your right ankle over your left and gently stretch your left heal as far down the bed as you can and hold the stretch for a few seconds. Breathe in and out. Now cross your left ankle over your right and do the same thing. Stretch and breathe. Now move your chin slowly toward your left shoulder as far as you can comfortably...hold it and breathe deeply. Now move your chin slowly to your right shoulder, hold and breathe deeply. Lastly bring your chin to center, take a nice deep breath, finish reading this morning meditation ... and get up to greet this day that God has entrusted to you.      "Lover of souls and healer of nations, be present to me now and guide me into this day; that I may be a window to your grace for others and a grateful servant to you, O Lord throughout this new day." Amen   Rev. Wm. Exner
    The Reverend William Exner
  • Fri Nov 8 2013

    A few weeks ago, in browsing though a book titled "Cries of the Spirit" I came across the verses to follow, written by Hildegarde of Bingen, who lived on earth over nine hundred years ago.  She was a woman of deep faith and vision. Her eloquent, poetic words touched me deeply as she pictured the Holy Spirit at work within each of us. As I read them over and over, I knew I needed to share them with you as a daily meditation.                    " The soul is kissed by God in its innermost regions.                   With  interior yearning, grace and blessing are bestowed.                    It is a yearning to take on God's gentle yoke,                    It is a yearning to give one's self to God's way"     Let us take time to ponder Hildegarde's words, letting them dwell within   us as we travel through each day.    Barbara Carbonneau: Lay reader and Eucharistic Minister
    Barbara Carbonneau
  • Thu Nov 7 2013

    First thing this mid week morning I awaken with head filled with thoughts like who is coming home for Thanksgiving? What might I ask for on the Christmas list that the extended family wants me to share soon? When will I plan time for careful/thoughtful shopping and volunteering? Will St. Matthew's people come through with pledge support this Sunday to assure that our witness of compassion and worship continues at a strong level in 2014? I think back to the year when my wife and I shared a single winter coat and yet we pledged a modest sum to God anyway as a matter of faith. I think of how greatly blessed we have become over the forty years since those lean (read desperate) times and how important that commitment was and has continued to be In our lives. Some mornings you wake up with such 'monkey brain' . It's worth paying attention to, praying about, one monkey at a time.     Rev. Wm. Exner
    The Reverend William Exner
  • Wed Nov 6 2013

    My thirteen year old, used, pick up truck gave up the ghost a couple months ago so I purchased a brand new one. I got a great deal from my daughter in law who manages a dealership and, over the past couple months, I have been learning about all the standard bells and whistles that come standard these days. Now that it is November in New Hampshire, I recently began wondering how my new defroster and heater would work (and where the switches are located). Just about that time my lovely wife said, "Hey, do you see those two buttons on your new truck key, if you hold them both down at once you can start your cold truck from inside our warm house." Who knew? I could very well have gone through the entire upcoming winter not knowing I had this capability if not for Jane's willingness to share her knowledge.   It occurs to me that each of us has resources and capabilities yet to be discovered. Our standard spiritual equipment is vast and, as we venture out into the world with the vehicle of faith, let's be open to learning what is at our finger tips to take the chill off, to engage one another in loving service.   Rev. Wm. Exner
    The Reverend William Exner
  • Tue Nov 5 2013

    I was at church this past Sunday, All Saint's Day, and deeply enjoyed the sermon (if you missed it, check it out on St. Matt's website).  I like the thought that we are all saints in our own ways.  I went through the rest of church and started the recessional Hymn 618 'Ye watchers and ye holy ones'.  I love the hymn and sang with joy for the first verse until.... the cross was recessed down the aisle.  There must have been more clouds than sun for most of the service and just before the cross got to me, the sun really shone strong through the stained glass windows and hit the cross.  It was just a beautiful sight that choked me up.  I managed to get through the next verse and then the third verse, I was good until our verger came down the aisle.  He is a new acolyte and I saw the face of a new saint (although I'm sure his parents beg to differ).  Finally, the last verse, the choir was at the back of the church and the sound was simply beautiful.   Those last two minutes of church were such a sensory experience - the sun, the cross, the faces, the music. May the sun shine upon you to enlighten and bring joy to your day.   Kelly Kennerson Parish Administrator & Clerk of the Vestry
    Kelly Kennerson
  • Mon Nov 4 2013

        I became acquainted with the elderly Good Shepherd sisters when I enjoyed their hospitality by staying frequently at their retreat house on the ocean in Saco, Maine. They had been mostly teaching sisters, some missionaries, and the original focus of their order had been to help poor women in Quebec. Some became friends whom I still visit in their retirement home on the Saco River in Biddeford, Maine. Their newsletters include reminiscences of childhoods in rural northern Maine or the then mill city of Lawrence, Mass,and of 40 years in Lesotho, Africa.      Their sometimes colorful examples of faith in action include tales of seeing carnival performers setting themselves on fire and leaping from platforms into a tub of water. Of a grocery-owning father being genuinely glad to see neighbors who owed him a large debt taking their many children to the movies in a cab instead of paying him. Of listening transfixed to one of their elderly Sisters in her "altered state" suddenly breaking into song during Mass with the hymn "How great Thou art".      In her tiny little room or in the common room, my courteous and kindly friend Sister Theresa and I always find a way to share time together and talk for hours. The example of their brave and faithful lives has been one of the steadying forces in my life.   -Pat Soule Parishioner & SHINE Volunteer
    Pat Soule
  • Sun Nov 3 2013

    Did you set your clock back an hour last night? Do you know what time it is? Do you know what Sunday it is? It's All Saints Sunday- my favorite! I don't buy into the definition of sainthood as people who pulled off supernatural feats. I think the real miracles happen when regular people choose what's right- when regular people act compassionately, creatively and bravely-when regular people help out the poor and struggling instead of vilifying them. In short the true saints follow this maxim from a 14th century theologian Meister Eckhart who said, "All God asks is that we let God be God in us." Wake up and grab a cup of coffee, it's All Saints Sunday. Let God be God in you.   Rev. Wm. Exner
    The Reverend William Exner


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