Thursday, January 31, 2019

Antithetical


"action, not words"
but, oh! the words!
the red words
the ones which bring connection

through letters
novels, stories
spoken, written
not half symbolized text messages

feel the depth
in the true words
the true actions
born from humanity, not automation

12/31/17

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Annual Meeting

Almighty and everliving God, source of all wisdom and understanding, be present with those who take counsel for the renewal and mission of your Church. Teach us in all things to seek first your honor and glory. Guide us to perceive what is right, and grant us both the courage to pursue it and the grace to accomplish it; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(For a Church Convention or Meeting BCP 818)

Sunday will be our Annual Meeting at St. John's. Each year we gather as a full congregation to review the past year, its financials, its events, its groups, and to look forward to the new year. The Annual Meeting is when we vote on new Vestry members, elect those who represent us at Diocesan Convention, and hear the stories of ministries throughout the year. Our Vestry slate for this year is Jim McDonald, Chuck McKain, and Karen Steele.

Also, the Annual Meeting is a time for the priest of the Church to address the overarching questions of vision and leadership of the Church in this time and place. This year, I  will be sharing my vision and hopes for the next few years, as we work in fulfilling our calling from God. As part of the morning, at Coffee Hour, I will be showing a video of some of our folks sharing stories of our past and their hopes for our future.

I pray that you will join us at 9 am for the Annual Meeting, and again after the 10 am service for Coffee Hour and the video presentation. Come and share in the celebration of what we accomplished in 2018 and in the visioning process for the future!

Permeable


like so many ghosts
convening in the hall
floating through the walls
the floor, the ceiling
history makes itself known
centuries mixed with decades
time as permeable skin
wrapped loosely as a dressing gown
preparing us for forever

12/18/17

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Candor


the honest truth
people don't even like
when others
are not busy enough

the honest truth
we don't know how
to handle our own
frustratingly similar emotions

the honest truth
we forget
that uniqueness and similarity
are not opposites

12/6/17

The Wedding at Cana


Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ is the light of the world: Grant that your people, illumined by your Word and Sacraments, may shine with the radiance of Christ's glory, that he may be known, worshiped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (Second Sunday after the Epiphany, BCP 215)

Every three years we hear the story of Jesus going to the wedding feast in Cana. The story from the gospel of John only comes up in the Epiphany season. It is known as the first of the miracles Jesus performs in showing who he is in the world. The other gospel writers did not include this story in their books, but it is an important part of the structure and overarching story of the gospel of John.

The story is an interesting one. We never learn whose wedding it is, but it must have been someone well-known to Jesus' mother and her family. His mother has clout with the servants and instructs them what to do, despite Jesus telling her that it wasn't his time yet. Turning water into wine isn't actually all that miraculous, all you need to do so is some grapes, some yeast, and some time. Crush up some grapes, add some water, add the yeast, let it sit, and voila! Wine. Yet, the real miracle taking place isn't Jesus circumventing the natural processes of turning water into wine. The real miracle is Jesus himself, showing and sharing himself with ordinary people. God participating in the ordinary acts of humanity. That is the real miracle.

As we continue in this season of Epiphany, take moments to open your heart and eyes. Where is God participating in the ordinary acts of your day? Where has Jesus revealed himself to you? God is working in and around us all the time. Take a look, God is waiting to be found.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Truth


the gleaming look in your eyes
belies the falsehood and shows

in stated garb, the truth
as such as it is in war

where lies no justice, no just reward
no righteousness in trade for death

a single sigh, a headless doll
lying on the bank of the pillaged village

this is not the end, nor the beginning
it is in fact, the messy middle

11/26/17

The Baptism of our Lord


"Father in heaven, who at the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit: Grant that all who are baptized into his Name may keep the covenant they have made, and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen."
(First Sunday after the Epiphany: The Baptism of our Lord, BCP 214)

As we move into the season after Epiphany, the seasonal emphasis of Jesus as a baby in Christmas changes to seeing Jesus start his ministry as a young man. We will hear the stories of Jesus starting his ministry, in starting to show the world who he really is. This coming Sunday we will hear the story of Jesus being baptized by John in the Jordan River.

In some ways this story is quite appropriate for the beginning of a New Year. Jesus starts out his new ministry, and we start a new year again. Both are the beginnings of journeys which will take us further than we expect. Jesus may have had some knowledge of what would happen throughout his ministry, and we have some knowledge of what may await us in this new year, but there are always surprises along the way.

As we start out again this year, we join together to give thanks for the companions along the way. This season we will hear the stories of Jesus finding his companions, and perhaps this year we will find new companions along our ways. Let us offer up gratitude for the new beginnings and the new companions God gives to us each day.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Truth


the room is full of truths
wandering through the minds
of people in their walking sleep
passing by unseen
dust in the wind
catch a breeze... and sneeze
be aware
your body may not like the truth
when it enters in.

11/10/17

The Feast of the Epiphany


O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (The Feast of the Epiphany, BCP 214)

This coming Sunday is the Feast of the Epiphany, which starts the season of Epiphany. Epiphany is a season of seeing God, seeing Jesus as truly divine and truly human, seeing God in creation, seeing the Holy Spirit in others. While seeing is one of our five basic senses as humans, in the Christian tradition, we talk about seeing going deeper. We see with our hearts, especially when it comes to God.

Being able to see beyond what is right in front of you is a gift from God. Having a vision of the future or of a ministry is a gift, not only personally, but also communally. In this season of Epiphany, I invite you into a season of visioning. Seeing beyond what is in front of us to seeing what God sees. God sees into our hearts, into our futures, into our nature. Through following Jesus and keeping close to the Holy Spirit, we too can see deeper and look with God's eyes. I invite you to join us in looking deeper this Epiphany.