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Meditations

  • Sun Jun 30 2013

     "There is a world not unlike ours where mystery unfurls like a leaf in the spring. Not far beneath the surface you will see an underwater community of diversity. Fairy shrimp and nymphs play among the rocks and leafy debris. Water pennies watch where every dollar goes refusing to budge from the rock they live on. And then, there are the fossils of long, long ago. They do not do much. They just sit on the bottom and go with the flow. The water boatman is always going somewhere yet to be determined. The water striders pretend they are Jesus as they walk across the surface. Mayflies are only fair weather friends, quick to leave when the excitement ends. Finally, the whirligig beetle scoots about aimlessly, neither coming nor going on their way to somewhere. So, which part of the community are you?" Meditations on water, Whole Creation Community Facebook page, April 17, 2013    
    The Reverend William Exner
  • Fri Jun 28 2013

    Hebrews 13:16 - "And do not neglect doing good and sharing; for with such sacrifices God is pleased."   We all have something to share.  This was never more clear to me than when I was visiting the hospital recently.  Two women were volunteering in the treatment area.  One woman had a learned talent, she played the harp.  She came in for a couple of hours to play soothing melodies while patients were receiving their various infusions.  The other woman had her hospitality to give.  She was bringing trays of food and water to patients and their visitors.  Then she was helping the nurses by refilling empty boxes of gloves and tissues.  It struck me how very different their skill sets were, yet they were both at the hospital giving of themselves. When my kids were in the younger grades I made sure to volunteer in the classroom.  When the call came out for volunteers in the art room or field trips, I tried (and still try) to make it in.  As life gets crazy we find ourselves with smaller amounts of time to give...but any time is a gift.  I don't have the time to volunteer weekly at my local dog shelter (where our two dogs came from) to help clean kennels, feed and play with puppies, but I do have a smaller amount of time and the skills to perform bookkeeping services for them.  This is my way of helping the helpless and the forsaken as God asks us to. We all have something to share.  What is your gift to offer up to God?   Kelly Kennerson St. Matthew's Administrative Asst. & Clerk of the Vestry
    Kelly Kennerson
  • Thu Jun 27 2013

    Psalm 23:4  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.   The path of Jesus is something we all strive for. We must remember when we are confronted with doubt or sorrow the strength of our faith can guide us through tough times merely on the certainty of our belief that God is always with us.    Roger Fortier St. Matthew's Church Jr. Warden
    Roger Fortier
  • Wed Jun 26 2013

    One of the greatest insights of Christianity is that God is Love and that God is to be found in acts of loving kindness towards our fellow men and women, not by looking above or beyond, but by acting right here and now. When we find ourselves doubting how God can exist in a world such as this, or fearing the end of our days, it is wise to remember the advice of the elder in Dostoevsky's great novel about how to alleviate such doubts:   "By the experience of active love. Strive to love your neighbour actively and indefatigably. In as far as you advance in love you will grow surer of the reality of God and of the immortality of your soul. If you attain to perfect self-forgetfulness in the love of your neighbour, then you will believe without doubt, and no doubt can possibly enter your soul. This has been tried. This is certain." (Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karmazov)   When our attention is absorbed in even the smallest of these acts of kindness, our heart is filled in a way that leaves no room for doubt, and possesses a wisdom of which the mind knows not.   submitted by David Banach, St. Matthew's Parishioner
    David Banach
  • Tue Jun 25 2013

    I am Joan Alayne Stevens, Senior Warden at St Matthew's. I grew up in this parish but spent some time away before returning never to leave again. I think my most fulfilling aspect of church life at St Matthew's is working with others on parish ministries such as Outreach and Lifelong Spiritual Formation. I am particularly interested in bringing children into the fold so they have an introduction to faith from which they can draw throughout their lives. From age 9 - 21, I spent two joyous months each summer at camp. Then a decade later, I returned with husband and daughters in tow for several more years of summertime bliss. We sang a Grace on many mornings that has stayed with me to this day: "God has created a new day: silver and green and gold. Live that the sunset may find us worthy His Gift to hold." How might we each live this day to be worthy of God's amazing gifts?  
    Joan Alayne Stevens
  • Mon Jun 24 2013

    "You can't knock me down, when I'm on my knees" I heard this on my car radio, one day last week, when I was at my most frazzled, rushing from one obligation to another.  It was one of those overwhelming days, where you feel that you can't possibly make everything happen or get done what needs to be done. I pulled into the nearest parking lot, took a breath and prayed.  I immediately felt better and more calm.  Prayer does that for me.  But I often get so caught up in living life that I forget to  pray and thank the ONE who lets me live and breathe. I now have a sticky note on my dashboard with that song lyric to remind me......   Angie Battey wife & mom of 5 Vestry Parishioner since 1987  
    Angie Battey
  • Sun Jun 23 2013

    "'My soul pants, yea, thirsts after the living God.' Not after Creed regarding God, not after an idea of God, not after a remembrance of God, not after a Divine Majesty, that, far removed from the soul, stands over against it as a God in words or in phrases, but after God Himself, after God in His holy outpouring of strength and grace, after God Who is alive, Who . . . in holy exhibition of love reveals Himself to you and in you as the living God. You feel that all learning falls away, all dogma, all formulas, everything that is external and abstract, everything that exhausts itself in words. . . . It is not your idea, not your understanding, not your thinking, not your reasoning, not even your profession of faith, that here can quench the thirst. The home-sickness goes out after God Himself. . . . It is not the name of God but God Himself whom your soul desires and cannot do without." Abraham Kuyper
    Abraham Kuyper
  • Fri Jun 21 2013

    Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul?  and why are you so disquieted within me? Put your trust in God;  for I will yet give thanks to him, who is the help of my countenance, and my God. Psalm 42:14, 15 You made it. It's Friday. Whatever your week has been like-good or bad, or just a time to do the next thing on the list-it's almost finished. (Of course the weekend has its own list!) Sometimes the best we can do is just get through it, just find a way to get through it. My husband calls that the basic ambulatory goal of life: just keep walking. In those times, the psalmist tells us to give thanks to God. Paul also calls on us to "give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thess. 5:18 NIV).   When it is hardest to be thankful, when we are stuck in the mud of everydayness or the quicksand of pain or sadness, giving thanks becomes a command. Giving thanks to God in the middle of it all can become the rope that we can hold onto to help us get out of the mud, or just to help us to the next step. Whatever your circumstances, look up, look around, and thank God. If it helps, make a list. Just to get your started: 1) You are breathing. 2) The sun came up today. 3) You are loved by the infinite creator of all things. Your turn: 4) . . . 5) . . . 6) . . . 7) . . .   -Linnae Peterson
    Linnae Peterson, M.Div.
  • Thu Jun 20 2013

    The LORD grants his loving-kindness in the daytime;  in the night season his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life. Psalm 42:10   Some people are larks, some are owls, and some of us are insomniacs. It's hard to deal with, when I waken out of a sound sleep at2AM. I'm wide awake and no stern instructions to myself will allow me to go back to sleep. So up I get. In the past I would occupy my mind with some old movie and my hands with knitting until I could (hopefully) crawl back in bed, tired and ready for sleep. Lately I've tried something else. The house is quiet and dark. I sit in my favorite chair and pray. There is no one and nothing that will interrupt me. I can listen to evening prayer, I can let my mind wander and pray my way around the globe, praying for whatever comes to my attention. And I can pray for those who are connected to me: friends, people I work with, churches I know or know of. I have found, despite the lack of sleep, the mornings are much easier. Take a quiet moment and say a prayer for anyone or anything that God brings to mind.   -Linnae Peterson                                      
    Linnae Peterson, M.Div.
  • Wed Jun 19 2013

    One deep calls to another in the noise of your cataracts;  all your rapids and floods have gone over me. Psalm 42:9 Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. Song of Solomon 8:7   I often live life on the edge of over-commitment. Try as I might, there are always things I want to do, projects I want to complete. Most of them bring me great joy. I love my work, and usually the days sail by, until. . . . Until that one last thing tips me over the edge. The car breaks down, someone gets sick, the project hits a snag. That is when this carefully balanced boat begins to sink. The waters pour in and I'm flooded, again. Yet, if I stop bailing for a moment, stop and listen, I can hear the voice of my Creator in the raging waters, I can breathe deep and know that I can float, that I can be upheld by the waters themselves. Many waters cannot quench the love of the Creator of the Universe for the creation, and for me, in my floundering rowboat. How is your Creator sustaining you?   -Linnae Peterson
    Linnae Peterson, M.Div.

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