While we celebrate All Saint's Day in church this coming Sunday, the true day is the day after All Hallow's Eve, today. Take a moment to remember those who have gone before you and give thanks and praise for their life on earth and their eternal dwelling with God now and evermore.
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- Boo! One Halloween, also known in religious circles as All Hallows Eve, a child holding his mother's hand asked, "Father Exner, do you believe in ghosts?" To which I replied, "No, I believe in God." Looking somewhat relieved the child smiled and responded, "Me too!" Then his mom caught my eye and mouthed the words, "Thank you." Rev. Wm. E. Exner
- This is one of my favorite weeks of the year every year. No, it's not specifically because the Red Sox are in the hunt to win a World Series. That joy does not come around every year this time of year. But what does are these days right after the Maple trees in my yard give up the last of their leaves and the nights get crisp and clear and the mornings brisk. What can this mean? It always means we are closing in on All Saints and All Souls days, the first and second of November. While the kids are clamoring about Halloween fun my soul ponders these days when the earth in this hemisphere winds down dormant, gets quiet, resembles the kind of quiet, peaceful death I have had the honor of witnessing with a number of good and faithful souls over the years. There is a silent assurance in these days prior to All Saints and All Souls, a solid feel and subtle nudge not to hibernate - GET Up and greet this day - but to put on our adult November costumes complete with gloves and fuzzy hats all the while giving thank for the witness of the saints and for the fact that you are a living soul. Rev. Wm. E. Exner
- Among my collection of 30+ years of saved clippings, poems, cartoons, bits of good writing by others, things to think about, memorable, wise, or funny stuff, is a "comparison of dialogue and debate". Both have their place. Debate is confrontational, right or wrong, winner or loser, laws, rules, decisions our society has to have to function. Dialogue is more open-ended, doesn't necessarily reach a conclusion, is a continual learning and sharing process. Productive communication toward mutual understanding has to be one of the most challenging of human endeavors. How to make oneself understood, and understand and help each other without escalation or confrontation. Arguing causes unpleasant feelings, and avoidance doesn't solve anything. Prayer helps, but doesn't take away our responsibility to deal with our realities toward each other in this world. That's one reason why I've enjoyed these daily meditations from St. Matthew's folks. We are a faith community but with our own individual rich backgrounds and insights. It's wonderful to hear people's thoughts and feelings in a "slow" way we would not usually have time for, and in a way that doesn't require an immediate response from us. Call it a "dialogue". -Pat Soule Parishioner & SHINE Volunteer
- We flip the calendar soon to November and the beginning of 'the holiday season'. I was thinking of my family and wondering who might be gathered around the table this year. Then I really got to thinking about the larger scope of family. When I was a child I simply thought of family as those related by blood- parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts & uncles. As an adult with children of my own and my 'blood family' scattered, I've come to realize the many families I've had throughout the years: our preschool family, our soccer family, even in off season we have a wonderful AAU Basketball family, work families, and of course, our church family. If you are reading this, you are part of my church family. Even though we don't see each other all that often, we share a common spark in our hearts that bonds us. We have a faithful hope in the love of God and all humanity. It's what brings us together each Sunday, or when we start up our computers in the morning to read the Daily Meditation. Today, be thankful for the family you are a part of at St. Matthew's. Blessings, Kelly Kennerson Parish Administrator & Clerk of the Vestry
- "The angels of God guard us through the night... For those beloved of God are given gifts even while they sleep." (New Zealand's Prayer Book) Sunday, Sunday, Sunday - Awake to love and care. The prayer from New Zealand above sparks the early morning realization that God was at work on your behalf throughout the night just past, that as you slept peacefully or fitfully, God was on watch imparting energy and subconscious integration of experience to equip you for the unveiling of this new day. The Jewish Talmud encourages us to stride into the new day with a 'rule of life' approach that says to give thanks, then to feed first your animals, then your children and elders in the house and then yourself. My dogs, kids and mother in law seem to approve of this daily morning approach. Oddly, I find that waking up with a servant's sense of faithful duty gets me ready, better prepared, to take on the day. Who knew? God knew, that's who. Blessings to you and those you love and those who need you locally and globally this Sunday from St . Matthew's. < /p> Rev. Wm. E. Exner Worship 8+10 am. Meet the Daily Meditation Writers 9-9:45am. Church Grounds/Roadside Fall Clean-Up at 11:15am. Sunday School for all kids 10am.
- Happy birthday, Dad! So if you haven't guessed already, today is my Dad's birthday and I thought it would be a good day to think about why parents are the best. First, parents are the best because they love you unconditionally and for all time, even when you have tried to test the limits of that love. Second, parents teach you so much about life and help you grow as an individual and as part of the larger community around you. As I get older, I realize that never really ends. Third, your parents are always there for you. Whether they are over for dinner, a phone call away, or smiling down from heaven, our parents always have the best advice and provide a shoulder to lean on. I cannot help but think this is how God wanted us to think about our parents. And I don't think it's a coincidence that if you inserted God for parents above, you would find a striking similarity between the two. So while today is not Mother's or Father's Day, take a second, say a little prayer, and think of all the ways your parents have influenced your life! Shea Sennett, Youth Group Leader
- 'Whoever is faithful in the little things is also faithful in the biggies' (paraphrase Luke 16:10) At a recent gathering of wonderful Episcopal Clergy we were talking about the historical, geographical, religious and geo-political factors in which Jesus of Nazareth gave witness to the present power of God at work in ways personal and global. At one point it hit me as to how Jesus's spirituality of loving commitment both the individual and the global impacted each profoundly. Theologian Ched Myers asked us if we could imagine that the dove that flew from Ark looking for land in the midst of the chaos of the epic flood was somehow the same dove that lighted on Jesus at his baptism thousands of years later. And, if we could imagine this, does it not signify a fresh start and new beginning in the One who was faithful in the small matters as well as the global? Food for thought. Rev. Wm. Exner
- A friend posted a video of the comedian Louis CK on the Conan O'Brien show. I don't usually watch posted videos but the caption of 'cell phone' caught my eye (because none of my children have one). I certainly appreciated it and laughed, and was a bit saddened by the truth of his comments. One of his points was on texting & driving. He commented on how people have a hard time being alone in this country. We need constant companionship and it is usually through technology that we get it (tweets, instant messages, texts, email, facebook, instagram, etc.). We'd risk an accident to text rather than be alone in the car. I found myself still thinking about the video the next day and I realized that so many people are feeling empty and instead of making positive, real people connections, they are substituting unfeeling technology. I think because of the Sunday messages I hear and the Daily Meditations I read, I never really feel alone. God is always with us. My quiet car time is usually when I think of others....I ask God for strength, support and comfort to friends and family that are in need of it and give thanks for the blessings in my life. I hope you enjoy some quiet, thoughtful, positive time while alone in your car this morning. Kelly Kennerson Parish Administrator/Clerk of the Vestry
- A Puppy's Prayer God, thank you for waking me up and the day I have before me. Please let me find people to please... who need a little love or a lot. Lots and lots and all kinds of people - I promise to reach out to all that I can. Let me lick the ones who hurt... And put smiles on the hard of heart. I feel so much better when I have given them everything I can. God grant me the strength to wag my tail all day to show how happy I am to be in your presence. And some food - just enough to carry me through the day. I can't carry it with me and I know not where life will take me anyway. I am sorry my desires are so great. Your pat of forgiveness is all I really need. In my Master's name I pray. Woof Woof Written by Randy Cheyne, Vestry Member