I learned something about the Kingdom of God at the St. Matthew's Yard Sale earlier this month. One of the things Jesus taught is that the Kingdom is characterized by abundance. There is enough to go around for everybody, and all are welcome at His table. What I discovered at the Yard Sale was that there was no price set for the items on sale. Not only that, but customers didn't have to bargain on a price. I have never seen anything like this before, but I quickly got the hang of it. I invited customers to pay whatever they felt the item was worth to them because all the money would be used to help others in financial need. This amounted to us giving the items freely and the customers "passing on" the gift by giving to others. This is a perfect witness to God's abundant Kingdom. As such it is the Gospel in action for all to see. Blessings to St. Matthew's Church for such vivid evangelism. Celeste Hemingson
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- The Collect for: Adelaide Teague Case, Teacher, 1948 Everliving God, who raised up your servant Adelaide Case, whose compassion and commitment to peace inspired generations of students: Grant that we, following her example, may serve you in our vocations, laboring for your reign of peace, through the companionship of Jesus Christ, your Saving Word; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen. I wondered who was this Teacher officially recognized by The Episcopal Church? I have been thankful to know many good teachers who deserve to be recognized for their commitment to students. A little digging found that she was the First woman appointed to teach at an Episcopal seminary (Episcopal Theological School, Cambridge, MA). Her interests were Christian education and social reform, and she took part in many educational, social and ecumenical movements including "The Episcopal Pacifist Fellowship." - from Holy Women, Holy Men Take a moment and remember one of your favorite teachers. Offer up a prayer of thanks for their patience, endurance and calling.
- Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14 ....or "Flat Matt" in this case. Where will the children & adults go with Flat Matt this summer?
- The Headwaters, Published June 3, 2017 Bishop Rob Hirschfeld writes, "This pilgrimage will be a time when we are asked to be face-to-face with the source of our Existence, the Being that flows through our days, our bodies, our personal and collective histories. Some of us may have been asked, 'What's the purpose of a pilgrimage? What are your goals?' I wonder if Moses felt the same hesitancy if people asked him questions when he came down from Mt. Horeb? I want to be unprotected in my encounter with God, the IS WHO IS AND WILL BE, stripped of the cushions that keep me from fully BEING WHO I AM. I want to see if, apart from my doing in this world, can I live in God's presence and not be consumed? I want deliverance, which the Bible tells me happens, so often, through water. That people look at me askance when I say these things may be an indication that we are indeed on a pilgrimage with God." from: http://kairosearth.org/category/river-blog/
- In the 'Church to Go' boxes was a piece of cardstock with a flat St. Matt to color and take with you on your summer journeys. (If you'd like one, please let me know and I will get one to you.) Flat St. Matt made his first appearance at Mass on the Grass last Sunday. The liturgy, fellowship, and food were refreshing and inspiring. The office welcomes your shared photos. "This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it."
- Deb Haines came across the following, but we have no idea who to attribute it to...Enjoy this different perspective! Wonder Dusting Day - Today dust off your furniture and books with the knowledge that you are dealing with very ancient dust. It is possible that some of the dust in your home is 4.6 billion years old! Each year four million tons of dust from outer space falls on our planet. Rather than considering dusting a drudgery, light a vigil candle in front of your dust cloth and pray a prayer of awe.
- The collect for Gilbert Keith Chesterton: Apologist and Writer, 1936 O God of earth and altar, you gave G. K. Chesterton a ready tongue and pen, and inspired him to use them in your service: Mercifully grant that we may be inspired to witness cheerfully to the hope that is in us; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. "The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried." G.K. Chesterton
- At St. Matthew's, we have been holding an annual outdoor worship for many years, our Mass On the Grass. One reason to do this is to worship in a natural setting, merging our worship with all of the worship of all the creatures of the Earth. Another reason struck me this past Sunday when we all gathered on the side of the hill by the Clark's barn. It made me think of people in biblical times who gathered on a hillside to listen to Jesus. It is a very primal action to gather together as a body to worship outside of the "church". It is how the Christian Church started, and it is how St. Matthew's started. Wherever we gather we are a church, no building required. Benge Ambrogi, Parishioner
- The Season after Pentecost is not actually a season with a single common focus, but is simply the weeks between the Day of Pentecost and the First Sunday of Advent. It is often called "Ordinary Time." These weeks hold both the slower pace and peaceful quality of summer months and the quicker pace and flurry of activity in the early fall. These are our "ordinary" days, in which we live the Christian faith in our daily lives. After Pentecost we settle into the growing season, nourishing the seeds planted at Easter and putting down roots in our faith. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit because, apart from me, you can do nothing. You did not choose me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last. (John 15:5,16a) How will I use the gift of this new day? How will I notice the glory of creation? from: Daily Prayers for All Seasons
- The Headwaters, Published June 3, 2017 A small group of pilgrims began paddling south from the headwaters of the Connecticut River at Fourth Connecticut Lake this week - the start of the 40 day journey of the River of Life pilgrimage. They began with a Pilgrimage Blessing: Dear pilgrim, As you go into the wilderness of the land and of your heart - May you experience the ever-flowing grace of God's presence! May you be immersed so fully in God's love that you learn to let go and swim! May you engage deeply and radically with the natural world, as steward, co-creator, and friend! May you drink anew from the divine source, the stream of living water! And may you be transformed, may the stagnant waters of your spirit begin to flow, and may all which is dead in you rise again! God is here. The river awaits. Let the adventure begin. from: http://kairosearth.org/category/river-blog/