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Meditations

  • Sunday February 25, 2018

    Yesterday we gathered to celebrate our new life together. This service is traditionally called,  "A Celebration of New Ministry,."  This title, however, doesn't accurately reflect the ongoing ministry of St. Matthew's by all its baptized members.  Instead, we celebrated, "The Renewal of Ministry with the Welcoming of a New Rector."  This may seem like mere semantics to some, but it really is more than that.  It recognized the ongoing ministry in this place to which I have been invited to participate as your Rector.  I hope that the celebration and, more importantly, our life together will be marked by a genuine mutuality among us as we go about doing what God has called us to do "with gladness and singleness of heart" (Prayer after Communion, BCP, p. 365).   Theologian Leonardo Boff calls this the "gospel of fellowship" because striving to be in relationship with one another in truly mutual ways is part of the gospel itself.  Jesus said to his disciples, "I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.' (John 13:34-35).    May our life together always be characterized by this mutual love and if there arise times when this mutuality is strained may our love for one another and for God help us find our way back to this gospel of fellowship so that Jesus' joy may be in us and that our joy may be complete.   Peace, Nancy
    Nancy
  • Saturday February 24, 2018

    Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life." (John 8:12)   If you look out my bedroom window on a moonless night you will still see a glow to the east. It is the lights of Manchester. It is hard for those of us born after the introduction of the electric light to imagine how dark the world must have been before the light bulb. There are times we get a hint of it, those nights when the power grid is down and your whole neighborhood is shrouded in darkness. It is in those times when we are most aware of how light leads the way. Those are the nights we walk toward the light, we follow the smallest rays of light to find their source. Life is like that. We are drawn to the light. In the midst of tragedy, sorrow and pain, we look for the light, we look for the light-bringers. We look for those who carry the light of Christ into the darkness. They may be teenagers speaking truth to power. They may be those with an encouraging word as we struggle. They may be people who keep going in the face of loss or difficulty. They bring the light of Christ into our world. May we too bring the light of Christ into our world today.       Linnae Peterson M.Div.
    Linnae Peterson M.Div.
  • Friday February 23, 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 do you think Jesus was like as a kid? What games would you play with Jesus? What else can you imagine about Jesus? Did you meet Jesus in anyone this week? Linnae Peterson, M.Div.
    Linnae Peterson, M.Div.
  • Thursday February 22, 2018

      "And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. "Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied. "Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. "Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets. "But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation."  Luke 6:20-26    I like this time of year to remember that the Lenten season is a remembrance of Jesus's adult ministry. His parables were always my favorite. You can sit there for hours reading his best stories while enjoying the simplicity of the message. His love of the poor, the oppressed, and sinners was something new in the religious teachings of the time. He taught his disciples that the poor were weak in life but rich in the eyes of God. "The meek shall inherit the earth." What wonderful words for his followers and even more significant today.  Thank you for the time you spent with us. I believe your teachings will guide us thru these difficult times. Your words still ring true! Thank you Lord!     Roger Fortier  Sexton "And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. "Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied. "Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. "Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets. "But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation."  Luke 6:20-26    I like this time of year to remember that the Lenten season is a remembrance of Jesus's adult ministry. His parables were always my favorite. You can sit there for hours reading his best stories while enjoying the simplicity of the message. His love of the poor, the oppressed, and sinners was something new in the religious teachings of the time. He taught his disciples that the poor were weak in life but rich in the eyes of God. "The meek shall inherit the earth." What wonderful words for his followers and even more significant today.  Thank you for the time you spent with us. I believe your teachings will guide us thru these difficult times. Your words still ring true! Thank you Lord!     Roger Fortier  Sexton
    Roger Fortier
  • Wednesday February 21, 2018

    "Our God is in the business of transforming ordinary things into holy things, scraps of food into feasts, and empty purification vessels into fountains of fine wine."   Searching for Sunday by Rachel Held Evans   During this time of Lent, as we quiet ourselves to observe and wait, I acknowledge the gift of serving on the Altar Guild. On Saturdaymornings, I enjoy preparing the altar in silence for its use on Sundaymorning. I see where the ordinary things are transformed into holy things: the linens, the vessels, the silver and brass, and the bread and wine. Following the services on Sunday, though the parish is still bustling around me, I feel at peace while putting the altars to bed for the week, washing the vessels after pouring any remaining drops of consecrated wine into the ground, and even while cleaning the soiled linens at home. This feels as sacred as is receiving the host and wine at the communion rail.   "This is the purpose of the sacraments, of the church -- to help us see, to point to the bread and wine, the orchids and the food pantries, the post-funeral potlucks and the post-communion dance parties, and say: pay attention, this stuff matters; these things are holy."    Joan Alayne Stevens
    Joan Alayne Stevens
  • Tuesday February 20, 2018

    The Collect for Frederick Douglass: Prophetic Witness, 1895   Almighty God, whose truth makes us free: We bless your Name for the witness of Frederick Douglass, whose impassioned and reasonable speech moved the hearts of a president and a people to a deeper obedience to Christ. Strengthen us also to be outspoken on behalf of those in captivity and tribulation, continuing in the Word of Jesus Christ our Liberator; who with you and the Holy Spirit dwells in glory everlasting. Amen.   "The American people have this to learn: that where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob, and degrade them, neither person nor property is safe." -Frederick Douglas
    Frederick Douglas
  • Sunday February 18, 2018

    We are officially in the Season of Lent in which we walk our pilgrimage through the wilderness of our lives to the clarifying events of Holy Week and Easter.  We do this as individuals and as a community.  In addition to Sunday morning worship, there are a good number of ways your pilgrimage can be guided and buoyed this Lent:   One way is to come along on Thursday evenings (starting next Thursday, Feb. 22nd) and join in on our Adult Ed Lenten offering. Linnae and I are facilitating this program  and we are excited!  For those who can join us for dinner from 6-7, we will have a time of fellowship.  The program will be from 7-8:30.  We are meeting in the undercroft of the church. I hope you can join us.   Another way is to remember than we are allowed to celebrate life - even in Lent!  To that end, please join us for a Celebration of New Ministry together next Saturday, Feb. 24th at 1pm (followed by a reception).  My dear friend Leah Torrey will preach and the bishop will preside at this service.  Let's celebrate our new life together and all that St. Matt's means to us.  Child care will be provided.   Lent is a time to take stock and make changes that will help us be more fully whom God has created us to be and to help us, as a community, to be at our best for the sake of God's kingdom.   Peace, Nancy
    Nancy
  • Friday February 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. Can you tell a story about a time when you felt loved? Where did you see God's love this week?   Linnae Peterson, M.Div. Join Our Mailing List!    
    Linnae Peterson, M.Div.
  • Wednesday February 14, 2018

    The Collect for Ash Wednesday:   Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.   Join us in worship at 7am or 7pm today.  

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