Grace & The River of God, Published June 14, 2017 From June 4-10, pilgrims embarked on the second leg of the journey down the Connecticut River: "Water, Grace, & The River of God." "All God asks of us is to come - dams, stagnation, obstacles, all of it. Bring it to the constant, ever-flowing wonderful stream. God will wash it all away, revealing the beautiful, good, loving creature formed and loved by the divine." It was a week of both joys and tears, rejoicing in the beauty of the water and grieving the damage and pain we as humans have wrought upon it. It was a week of remembering where in our own hearts and spirits God's love flows through us, strongly and ceaselessly, and where in us there are blockages and dams, places where we feel stuck or stagnant.
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- Basil of Caesarea "I am wronging no one," you say, "I am merely holding on to what is mine." What is yours! Who gave it to you so that you could bring it into life with you? Why, you are like a man who pinches a seat at the theater at the expense of latecomers, claiming ownership of what was for common use. That's what the rich are like; having seized what belongs to all they claim it as their own on the basis of having got there first. Whereas if everyone took for himself enough to meet his immediate needs and released the rest for those in need of it, there would be no rich and no poor. Source: Ownership: Early Christian Teaching Submitted by Deb Haines, Eucharistic Visiting Minister
- The lessons appointed for the feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul: Almighty God, whose blessed apostles Peter and Paul glorified you by their martyrdom: Grant that your Church, instructed by their teaching and example, and knit together in unity by your Spirit, may ever stand firm upon the one foundation, which is Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
- In the sheltering arms of the blossoming apple tree, is a long wooden bench, perfect for sitting on, hidden from passer-bys, enveloped lovingly in the full branches that touch the ground, each blossom, promising an apple (in season). In the meantime, you can quietly drink in the abundance of peace, the quiet, knowing that "all is right with the world", silently praying that this is True. Barbara Mace, Parishioner
- "God's love is always waiting, gently urging, assisting, longing ,loving us into what we are called to be. We are God's summer roses" I found these words in a book of meditations titled "Gardening the Soul" by Sister Stanislaus Kennedy, a Sister of Charity in Ireland. I love the thought of being one of God's summer roses, we, at St. Matthew's, surely make a beautiful bouquet. Barbara Carbonneau. LEM
- "She has spoken through the prophets" The Syriac Church, which dates back to the time of the apostles, has always thought of the Holy Spirit as feminine. In Syriac (a form of Aramaic), the word for "spirit" is feminine, so it was natural for them to think of the Holy Spirit as female. Some years ago, a friend of mine learned of this and decided to experiment. Although she had never felt terribly "put off" by masculine terms for God, she took her lead from the Syriac Church and started referring to the Spirit as "she." So, for example, when she recited the Creed, she would say of the Spirit, "She has spoken through the prophets." To her surprise, my friend discovered that she began to feel a connection with the Spirit that she had never felt before. Although the point of the incarnation is that God, in Christ, became "like" us in every way (Heb. 2:17), for her, God, understood as male, was decidedly UNLIKE her. That barrier dissolved when she changed terminology. There is no one "right" way to think about God; all of our terms for God are metaphors, and even the best metaphors are imperfect. We should feel free to find ways of thinking about God that truly convey to us that God is with us and understands where we are coming from and what we are experiencing. God can relate. God empathizes with us, just as we are. How will you experience divine empathy today? Paul Peterson, Sr. Choir
- I have been thinking about why I am enjoying "Flat Matt" so much. It may just be because it brings back fond memories of the flat Stanley adventures I used to have when my children were young. But I think there is more to it. Summers in New England go by very quickly, and before we know it, the days are getting longer and colder. I want to truly enjoy each day of this time which has a different rhythm than the academic year. If I stop and take a photo with Flat Matt, I have marked a moment in time, and can remember then to be grateful for that moment. This past week, I did not take Flat Matt to the Goffstown High School graduation or freshmen orientation at Saint Anselm College - I think my daughter Rebecca would have disowned me from embarrassment. But from my home, Matt could witness how Rebecca's parents and grandparents surrounded her with love and congratulations on her graduation day. He heard all about freshman orientation. He was present at the sharing of meals at my table. Last Sunday he was back at church, reconnecting with the community, and present as we worked together to continue the legacy of ministry. Flat Matt got in to some pictures, and with each photo I can pause and be thankful for the slice of my life that the photo captures. Deb McCarter, Eucharistic Visitor
- The Headwaters, Published June 3, 2017 As Mark and Lisa, the trusted and joyful river guides, reflected, "the wilderness...is the place where our ordinary human confines fall away - our routines, our physical comforts, our habitual thought patterns and our cultural conditioning are disrupted. God invites us to let go, to be broken down and broken open, so that God's own wild presence can speak to us freshly. To bring something new into our hearts and into the world, God needs to first lead us into a place of wilderness and freedom." from: http://kairosearth.org/category/river-blog/
- "The first theory is that if we make the rich richer, somehow they will let a part of their prosperity trickle down to the rest of us. The second theory was the theory that if we make the average of mankind comfortable and secure, their prosperity will rise upward through the ranks." Franklin D Roosevelt I love these words from one of our greatest leaders. As an advocate for the needy I am inspired by his words. We live in a time when the rich seem to have the advantage and the poor are about to suffer because of shifting priorities. Let us join together and spread the word . "There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land." Deuteronomy 15: Jesus loved sinners, the oppressed, and the needy. He showed us that we need to love our all our neighbors . Think about this today. In today's environment there is plenty to think about. God, show us the way. We need you. Roger Fortier Sexton
- Yesterday I wrote about what I learned about the Kingdom of God at the St. Matthew's Yard Sale. Today I want to share another Kingdom insight I got at the Goffstown High School Baccalaureate. And this, also is from St Matthew's, because I understand the original idea came from Bill Exner. It was the Heads and Tails Scholarship. The Goffstown Clergy Association gave two $250 grants to graduates who "won" the scholarships - not by good grades, or community service, or even by any particular merit at all. In fact, there was no contest, and no intentional competition involved. The winners (and our own Kathy McKim was one of them!) were simply the last persons standing after successive eliminations by coin tosses. Everybody applauded when the winners were announced, joyful at their good fortune. This was a living parable about God's unconditional love - a love that we don't have to earn, and in fact, one that we couldn't earn even if we tried, because it's available to all. Thank you, Goffstown, for your unique spirit of generosity. Celeste Hemingson