You are here

Daily

Saturday December 16, 2017

...sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts  Ephesians 5:19   Tomorrow evening at 7pm, St. Matthew's Church will host the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols with members of the Goffstown Clergy Association. Come prepare for Christmas.   The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is a service of Christian worship celebrating the birth of Jesus that is traditionally followed at Christmas. The story of the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah, and the birth of Jesus is told in nine short Bible readings from Genesis, the prophetic books and the Gospels, interspersed with the singing of Christmas carols, hymns and choir music.  The festival was first celebrated at King's College, Cambridge on Christmas Eve, 1918. The original liturgy has since been adapted and used by other churches all over the world. (from Wikipedia)

Friday December 15, 2017

From: Seminary of the Southwest Advent Meditations   I write this as I'm on a train from D.C. to New York City, and with the boarding and disembarking, I feel I'm in a Hitchcock movie: where momentous things happen when we weren't paying attention. Or, something happens and we fear the culprit, though known to us, might get away with it. Hitchcock films like Shadow of a Doubt and Strangers on a Train are suspense thrillers, where we know 'whodunnit' and spend the rest of the movie guessing when and if the perpetrator will get caught.   The sacred season of Advent is a lot like a suspense thriller: we are waiting for something that already happened. We already know what God did. Assuming Jesus of Nazareth died in 33 CE, it was 2,017 years ago when our God-who is known to intervene in human a airs-made the ultimate intervention. St. John the Evangelist describes this intervention poetically, "And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14)   Like riding on a train, Advent is a time to pause and reflect. Advent is that time of peace, joy, hope, and expectation. Our image of children waiting for Santa to bring gifts is a secular analogy of our waiting again for the Gift God has for all of us. But, our waiting is symbolic, for we already know what we got. We're actually waiting for what's already happened. Advent should be a celebration of God's Gift, Who came before and will come again. The Incarnation (God becoming human in the form of Jesus) is a hallmark of our faith. no wonder we get into the Christmas so early; we know what's happened and can't wait to re-live it!   As we march toward the Feast of the Holy Nativity, let us not apologize for our saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. he is the greatest gift God could have given us. We already know God "dunnit." All we need now is for the whole world to "catch him!"   Heavenly Father, teach us how to wait joyfully for the One Who was, Who is, and Who is to come. Amen.   The Rt. Rev. Carl Wright Bishop Suffragan ARMED SERVICES AND FEDERAL MINISTRIES THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH
The Rt. Rev. Carl Wright

Thursday December 14, 2017

Ornaments Of Our Lives The shell angel was made by my sister. It says "From J & K to S & R Christmas 1992" on the back. The flax angel is one of three, that we bought in Castle Coombe, England, in 1985.  Wow, 32 years ago !  1985 was a dramatic year in our lives, with many unexpected changes. It was then that I fully realized that God was watching over us. 1992 was the horrible winter at Lake Tahoe. People were entering their homes through second-story windows. These were milestone years in our long lives.  As we dig through our boxes of ornaments, and hang them on our tree, we are surrounded by memories like a cloud of angels. My mother's crocheted snowmen, the antique ones we inherited, the ones we bought together, the gifts from family and friends, they all mean so much. This tradition is a wonderful part of Christmas. We aren't alone in feeling this, I'm sure.  Steve Fry  
Steve Fry

Wednesday December 13, 2017

The Feast of St. Lucy from Holy Women, Holy Men: Lucy, or Lucia, was martyred at Syracuse, in Sicily, during Diocletian's reign of terror of 303-304, among the most dramatic of the persecutions of early Christians. Her tomb can still be found in the catacombs at Syracuse. She was venerated soon after her death and her cult spread quickly throughout the church. She is among the saints and martyrs named in the Roman Canon of the Mass.    Most of the details of Lucy's life are obscure. In the tradition she is remembered for the purity of her life and the gentleness of her spirit. Because her name means "light," she is sometimes thought of as the patron saint of those who suffer from diseases of the eyes.    In popular piety, Lucy is perhaps most revered because her feast day, December 13, was for many centuries the shortest day of the year. (The reform of the calendar by Pope Gregory VIII (1582) would shift the shortest day to December 21/22, depending upon the year.) It was on Lucy's day that the light began gradually to return and the days to lengthen. This was particularly powerful in northern Europe where the days of winter were quite short. In Scandinavian countries, particularly Sweden, Lucy's day has long been a festival of light that is kept as both an ecclesiastical commemoration and a domestic observance.    In the domestic celebration of Lucia-fest, a young girl in the family dresses in pure white (a symbol of Lucy's faith, purity, and martyrdom) and wears a crown of lighted candles upon her head (a sign that on Lucy's day the light is returning) and serves her family special foods prepared especially for the day. In praise of her service, the young girl is called Lucy for the day   The Collect: Loving God, for the salvation of all you gave Jesus Christ as light to a world in darkness: Illumine us, with your daughter Lucy, with the light of Christ, that by the merits of his passion we may be led to eternal life; through the same Jesus Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.   One fun thing to do, bake some St. Lucia rolls in honor of the day. 

Monday December 11, 2017

"When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on."        Franklin D. Roosevelt   Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times. Romans 12:12   As a member of the Outreach team I sometimes have to wonder why we do what we do. We have made mortgage payments to prevent foreclosure. We have paid electric bills to keep the lights on. We have had oil deliveries to keep families warm. Our intention is to prevent families from terrible suffering. Sometimes I am asked why we do this? What happens next month? Is the problem going to go away? Why do we waste the money? Sometimes I get frustrated wondering the same thing. You know what? I think back to some of my own experience with the Outreach team and realize what we do best. We give hope!!!!! No matter how bad things are when we help someone today we open a door to the possibilities of maybe tomorrow will be better. I firmly believe our greatest accomplishment is that we battle despair! Our clients know that someone out there cares.  I am proud to say that St. Matt's is my home.   Roger Fortier Sexton
Roger Fortier

Monday December 11, 2017

"When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on."        Franklin D. Roosevelt   Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times. Romans 12:12   As a member of the Outreach team I sometimes have to wonder why we do what we do. We have made mortgage payments to prevent foreclosure. We have paid electric bills to keep the lights on. We have had oil deliveries to keep families warm. Our intention is to prevent families from terrible suffering. Sometimes I am asked why we do this? What happens next month? Is the problem going to go away? Why do we waste the money? Sometimes I get frustrated wondering the same thing. You know what? I think back to some of my own experience with the Outreach team and realize what we do best. We give hope!!!!! No matter how bad things are when we help someone today we open a door to the possibilities of maybe tomorrow will be better. I firmly believe our greatest accomplishment is that we battle despair! Our clients know that someone out there cares.  I am proud to say that St. Matt's is my home.   Roger Fortier Sexton
Roger Fortier

Tuesday December 12, 2017

He has come to the help of his servant Israel,      for he has remembered his promise of mercy, The promise he made to our fathers,      to Abraham and his children forever. Luke 1:54-55   There are promises everywhere. Promises for the perfect holiday, promises to make you thinner, prettier, smarter, richer, happier. We hear them all the time and have, for the most part, learned to take all of these proclamations with a grain of salt. It leaves me more than a bit jaded. I find that there are very few times that I really trust the promises made to me. I always reserve a bit, so that I'm not disappointed. It has left me with a trust deficit - something that I need to change. Interestingly, the only way to fill this deficit is to trust. The coming of Jesus was the fulfillment of God's promise to humanity, and to me. Jesus' presence with me allows me to trust, to know that God's promise of love and mercy are forever.   What helps you trust in God's love?   Linnae Peterson, M.Div.   (reprinted from December 2014)
Linnae Peterson, M.Div.

Sunday December 10, 2017

Advent greetings to you all!  The scripture lessons assigned for this Sunday provide us with two versions of the message,   the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,'"   Both speak of building a highway for God.  But it's not clear whether it's a highway on which God can come to us, or whether it's for us to tread as we follow Him on His way.  There's also some confusion about whether the wilderness is where the highway will be built, or whether the wilderness is where the prophet-the one crying out-is to be found.  Please join me today as we explore highways and wildernesses, and how we can find our way.   "See you in church, at 8 or 10am"           Celeste
Celeste

Saturday December 9, 2017

No day is accidental or incidental. No acts are random, or wasted.   Look at the Bethlehem birth... a king ordered a census.   Joseph and Mary were forced to travel. Mary, very pregnant, bounced on a donkey's back. The Inn was full, the hour was late. The event was one big hassle.   Yet, out of the hassle, Love was born. It still is! We don't like hassles, but we love Christmas because it reminds us that: God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God.(Romans 8:28)   How do you see God working for good in the hassles of your life?   Rosemarie Fry, Parishioner
Rosemarie Fry

Friday December 8, 2017

...continued from yesterday:   So what DO I have then?  This seems to be where I can find the guidance for how I should proceed in my life.  When overwhelmed by the needs around me, I can simply start where I am, in the present, in this time and place, and with the resources I have.  What do I have?  I have a profession in which I teach students, a career as a nurse, lots of higher education, a faith community, a family and yes, even unearned privilege.  I can start there.  I can give from the (many) resources I already have, and in God's hands, it can multiply to address the needs of what sometimes feels like a whole crowd clamoring for provisions and healing.   This even leads me to another answer to the question "so what DO I have?"   It reminds me of how powerful gratitude is amid angst and the sometimes unfathomable level of human need all around me. The crowd following Jesus had just seen healing galore, and remembered to be thankful.  Yet, in the next breath, they got worried again.  But then they gave what they had and were thankful.  The crowds were fed, and there were leftovers.  Leftovers!!  That means that the giving was not at the expense of the giver, but that everyone had what they needed and more.   I am reassured by this message that I already have enough to do what I am supposed to be doing.  If I give what I have, in God's hands, it can be enough.  I may not see how, but instead of anxiety, I can be grateful for all the resources I DO have, and give those to the task at hand, one day at a time.   Deb McCarter, Parishioner
Deb McCarter

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Daily