A congregation gathers on a Sunday morning. There has been a lot of preparation. The altar has been set, bulletins have been printed, the heat turned up. The choir has practiced. Worship begins with The Word: Scripture and sermon, hymns and prayers have challenged and inspired. At God's Table, all come to to be reconciled to God and one another through Christ's body and blood. Renewed and strengthened we are Sent to live into our calling as apostles in the world. But first... the fellowship of coffee hour awaits. The Church, St. Paul said, is the body of Christ and each a member. It's true! Never perfect, filled with all sorts and characters and yet, a beautiful living organism of God's grace.

Letting Go

Palm Sunday | Steven Eubanks

O Divine Master,
Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;  To be loved as to love. 

For it is in giving that we receive; It is in pardoning that we are pardoned; 

And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen

 

I’d like to start today’s sermon by taking you back to Rev. Susan’s sermon a couple weeks ago… I’m going to ask you to take three deep breaths.  But first I’d like to ask you to think of some word sacred to your soul.  A personal word.  A word that brings your focus to your heart, as a beloved child of God.  [Peace.  Love.  Compassion.  Mercy.  Abba.  Shalom.]

 

Now close your eyes.  Say that word in the silence of your heart and take a slow deep breath.  Pause.  Breathe again deeply and allow that word to echo in the recesses of your mind.  Let all else-- your worries, your anxieties, what your going to be doing this afternoon, tomorrow….  Let it all fade into the background.  Allow yourself to sit in the silence of God’s holy presence.  Take another deep breath.  Plant that word in the holy ground of your heart.  You have set apart this time, this space as God’s.  Any time something from your daily life intrudes, repeat your sacred word.  Attach it as if it were a ballon and let that concern, that thought, float off into the distance.   Allow your mind to join itself to your heart…  Breathe.  [Centering Prayer]

Read more: This Week's Sermon

Bathing the newborn

With our firstborn child, bath-time was no easy matter! When Josh was just over a year old, we moved into ‘the tar-paper shack’ while we were hunting for a place to buy; having sold the home we could not afford on a single income because we had wanted to have a full-time stay at home parent, so such was the cost. In this interim one-bedroom, living room/kitchen house of less than 500 sq. feet there was barely enough room to squeeze past the shower in the bathroom. The toddler bed was installed in what I think had formerly been a closet. The shower itself was only large enough to stand in. We placed the baby bathtub at an angle on the shower floor and such was bath-time with our toddler. Despite these less than ideal conditions, bath-time was precious to me. The deep, intimate time spent sharing in the rejuvenating, playful and cleansing act with one that you’ve given birth to cannot be diminished by inadequate ‘externals’.

Read more: Rector's Message

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