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Meditations

  • Saturday March 17, 2018

    The Collect for Patrick: Bishop and Missionary of Ireland, 461   Almighty God, in your providence you chose your servant Patrick to be the apostle of the Irish people, to bring those who were wandering in darkness and error to the true light and knowledge of you: Grant us so to walk in that light that we may come at last to the light of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and e
  • Friday March 16, 2018

    Throughout Lent we are digging into who Jesus is by looking at the Gospel of John. In the Gospel of John we see a Jesus in a different way than the other gospels, with less action and more images and explanations, the writer gives us and chance to encounter Jesus in a new way. Each week we will be posting questions related to this week's focus with an opportunity for you to share your responses. You can respond on Facebook in the comments, by email to the church office, or write your response on a poster in the Undercroft. How did you notice Jesus living in you? How did you notice Jesus living in other people? When did you notice God was with you this week? Linnae Peterson, M.Div.
    Linnae Peterson, M.Div.
  • Thursday March 15, 2018

    From Episcopal Relief and Development Lent Meditations   For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1    So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today's trouble is enough for today. Matthew 6:34    A little child shall lead them. Isaiah 11:6   Recently, I started a weekday Godly Play group for two year olds. I freaked out the night before we began. As is typical with new ministries, I was terrified that I was not enough-not enough toddler experience, not enough activities to keep everyone engaged and entertained. More than once, I wondered why I had initiated this endeavor. Staying up far too late, I raced around all evening preparing the space and doing research.    The next morning, I arrived armed with myriad ideas on how to use our time together constructively. I am, of course, a very competent adult. Yet ten minutes into our morning, the hubris of my anxiety hit me like a ton of bricks. I had forgotten to slow down and simply be present -  to wonder and explore the world and each person without affectation or premise. Two-year-olds know how to do this beautifully. We spent the morning being present. We did not worry beyond our immediate experience, and we took our time. The children led the way. And God was revealed in the minute details: the smell of fresh basil, the tree root that became a train, the crackers we broke and together ate.    -Regan Schutz
    Regan Schutz
  • Wednesday March 14, 2018

      From Episcopal Relief and Development Lent Meditations   Train children in the right way, and when old, they will not stray. Proverbs 22:6   When church leaders talk about Christian formation, we rarely talk about training. The only training conversation that comes up regularly in my life deals with potty training. In my work in Christian formation, I tend to focus on the straying part of life. I teach the questioning. I teach "why."    The "why" comes up a lot in my work at All Saints Church in Pasadena, California. If Christ is the light of the world, then why is it so dark out? Why do some children wake up in multi-billion dollar homes, while others wake up to immigration officers banging down their front door? Children don't try to make excuses the way we adults do. Children don't ask if a recently deported neighbor had a traffic violation. Children seek unobstructed justice and ask, "Why? Why are we allowing this to happen?"    When I think about teaching children, I think about training children to ask questions, to make bold stances and to not make excuses. After all, when I am full of excuses and sitting down in the face of injustice, I know my students will be the first to ask me, "Why?"   -Kelly Phelan From Episcopal Relief and Development Lent Meditations   Train children in the right way, and when old, they will not stray. Proverbs 22:6   When church leaders talk about Christian formation, we rarely talk about training. The only training conversation that comes up regularly in my life deals with potty training. In my work in Christian formation, I tend to focus on the straying part of life. I teach the questioning. I teach "why."    The "why" comes up a lot in my work at All Saints Church in Pasadena, California. If Christ is the light of the world, then why is it so dark out? Why do some children wake up in multi-billion dollar homes, while others wake up to immigration officers banging down their front door? Children don't try to make excuses the way we adults do. Children don't ask if a recently deported neighbor had a traffic violation. Children seek unobstructed justice and ask, "Why? Why are we allowing this to happen?"    When I think about teaching children, I think about training children to ask questions, to make bold stances and to not make excuses. After all, when I am full of excuses and sitting down in the face of injustice, I know my students will be the first to ask me, "Why?"   -Kelly Phelan
    Kelly Phelan
  • Tuesday March 13, 2018

    From Episcopal Relief and Development Lent Meditations   Discipline your children while there is hope; do not set your heart on their destruction. -Proverbs 19:18   For years, I hated the words discipline and discipleship in regard to faith. I thought they sounded controlling, a way of churning out cookie-cutter people. I felt this way until my artist brother told me that a discipline is simply an intentional practice and discipleship is the journey of that practice. This perspective changed both my view of God and how I parent.    To be a disciple of Christ is to be constantly practicing the ways of Jesus- not out of fear of condemnation but in order to be in (and filled with) the presence of whole love. Like an artist who must always be practicing her craft in order to live out a calling, we must regularly engage in spiritual practices to develop a greater ability to live lives of love and wholeness.    The same is true for our children. To discipline my kids is not to try and knock the sin out of them. Instead, disciplining them teaches practices that will root them in abundance, not scarcity; in generosity, not selfishness; in love, not hate; in welcoming, not exclusion. These practices will create an abiding place for the spirit of God to reside, resulting in such wholeness within them that sin has no room to flourish.  -Jerusalem Jackson Greer
    Jerusalem Jackson Greer
  • Monday March 12, 2018

    From Episcopal Relief and Development Lent Meditations   While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is my body." -Matthew 26:26   When I worked with children and youth in a North Carolina parish, I would sneak into a back pew after cleaning up children's chapel just in time for communion. I loved watching the young children make their way to the altar rail. They seemed so much more excited than the grown-ups. Some were carried, others wiggled or skipped or swayed to the organ music. But my favorite was when two-year-old Thomas broke free from his parent's grasp. He would run right down the aisle, clamber up three stairs, and climb onto the kneeler with his chubby hands outstretched before anyone could catch him. His purposefulness and eagerness was striking.   I want to participate in this sacred meal each Sunday just like Thomas. His fervor and excitement week after week inspire me to show up more fully, taste more deeply and go forth more purposefully.   -Sarah Bentley Allred
    Sarah Bentley Allred
  • Sunday March 11, 2018

    St. Matthew's is full of activities for your participation this coming week. At today's Sunday's "Theology Under Wraps" for our high school teens, we will be discussing the Florida school shooting and the proposed responses to it (new legislation, school walk outs, marches, etc).  Later in the afternoon is a "Meet and Greet" at the Ambrogi's home in Manchester.  Please come and ask me any questions, let me know what you think of St. Matt's, ideas you have for its future, etc.    We also have workshops on making a "Resurrection Garden" or "Ukrainian Easter eggs" here at St. Matt's to learning about suicide prevention, race issues in NH, active bystander and active shooter trainings to a quiet day. It's all good and some events are at the same time as others.  So, "read, mark, and inwardly digest" the offered programs and look at your schedules and do what your time and interest permit.     It's always good to learn something new, to grow in your faith, and act on your convictions.  And, if you do attend an event, I'm always interested in hearing what you learned and how that information could benefit St. Matt's.   Peace, Nancy
    Nancy
  • Saturday March 10, 2018

    *Don't forget to spring the clocks ahead tonight.   From Episcopal Relief and Development Lent Meditations   The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. -Isaiah 11:6   On September 11, 2001, my son was a little over four months old. Our little family of three would commute together from the eastern side of San Francisco Bay into "The City" every morning, where we would drop Patrick off at daycare before heading to work. His daycare was located in a federal office building. That morning, the daycare closed and I had to carry Patrick to work with me at San Francisco's Grace Cathedral.    There was nothing typical about that day for any of us. There were tears and questions, anxiety and fears. It was tense, as I'm sure it was everywhere. No matter how difficult it was, though, one thing continued to happen: Colleagues kept coming to my office to hold and play with this tiny baby. Patrick got a lot of attention that day, and he actually brought a lot of smiles. At noon, Grace Cathedral held its daily Eucharist. Usually, this Eucharist would draw less than a dozen people. On September 11, almost 200 came. When the cathedral dean, Alan Jones, stepped up to preach, he came over to me and took Patrick into his arms. Alan preached his whole sermon holding Patrick, who surprisingly cooperated. Alan's message that day: Children are living signs of hope for the future.    Patrick was well-loved and nurtured in his early childhood. Now, this teen hungers for justice and peace. He is still my sign of hope for the future.    -Sean McConnell
    Sean McConnell
  • Friday March 9, 2018

    Throughout Lent we are digging into who Jesus is by looking at the Gospel of John. In the Gospel of John we see a Jesus in a different way than the other gospels, with less action and more images and explanations, the writer gives us and chance to encounter Jesus in a new way. Each week we will be posting questions related to this week's focus with an opportunity for you to share your responses. You can respond on Facebook in the comments, by email to the church office, or write your response on a poster in the Undercroft. What are some ways you can be a friend to Jesus? How were you a friend to Jesus this week? What do you think it means when Jesus says Jesus abides in you? Linnae Peterson, M.Div.
    Linnae Peterson, M.Div.
  • Thursday March 8, 2018

    Age is merely the number of years the world has been enjoying you.  - Anonymous   Wednesday is my favorite day in the office because it is the day the SHINE program meets. It's a program for seniors in the community. They come in for fellowship, snacks, and some activity. I can hear conversation and laughter while I'm at my desk. Yesterday, special guest Margie Battey, came in with her sewing machine. She showed the women (men are welcome too!) how to make bowl cozies so that you don't burn your hands on the bowl you put in the microwave.  If you're interested in coming to the group, it meets Wednesdays from 10:30-11:45am.    Kelly Kennerson, Parish Administrator    
    Kelly Kennerson

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