News (Page 3)

News (Page 3)

Absalom Jones Feast Day Celebrated Feb. 12th

This past Sunday we celebrated the Feast Day of Absalom Jones, the first African-American Episcopal priest. He helped form St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Philadelphia. Absalom Jones was born into slavery and ultimately was freed and bought freedom for his wife. He had the love of Christ in his heart, was a great evangelist, and was dedicated to breaking the bonds of slavery and to do it in the name of Christ.   Our Godly Play class heard the story…

Approaching the Gospels Together

This morning a group of us gathered with an ease of being together, with a shared sense of wanting to learn from each other, and with a desire to look closely at our scriptures. We read the text of Jesus’ baptism in the three synoptic gospels (seeing with one view or eye): Mark, Matthew, and Luke. We begin by reading the text in Mark (the first of the synoptic gospels written) and then read the same story from Matthew and…

The beauty of our church.

We are blessed by many people who faithfully and often quietly work behind the scenes to beautify our church. Today I am especially grateful for our flower guild. Each week, our altars are adorned with lovely flower arrangements, created with care and with artistic talent. It’s a gift that is freely shared with us and for which we are grateful. This morning the flowers were exceptionally lovely. On this rather cloudy morning with intermittent snow showers, it was such a…

Contemplative Practices: Mary Oliver Poetry

In the dimming light of the evening, draw together by the flame of an oil lamp, we gathered in a circle and read Mary Oliver’s poetry, in a contemplative way, pausing after each reading, allowing time for the words to settle into our souls. We found her poetry to be beautiful, shocking, challenging, descriptive of the journey of the soul, and the images of nature to be stunning. We all left a bit calmer, a bit more tuned into the…

The Work of the People: The Ridiculous Journey of Following Jesus

A number of us gathered on Wednesday evening for a time of sharing a meal, hearing new ideas, and sharing our thoughts in a safe and caring space. We began our 6-week program on following Jesus through the use of videos by a number of theologians. We began our study by reading scripture connected with the evening’s topic, since we as Episcopalians are people rooted in scripture. We listened to and engaged with the story of the Good Samaritan. We…

St. Andrew’s Parish Annual Meeting

Today we held our parish annual meeting. The following members were elected as new vestry members: Susan Davis, Jeanine Goodwin, and John Richardson. We are grateful for their commitment to serving our parish in this leadership role. We also offered our thanksgiving for our two out-going vestry members: Bill Gawors, who has organized our outreach efforts for the past several years, been actively engaged in our spiritual formation programs, and who has faithfully served our parish as a verger in…

Advent & Getting Ready for Christmas Party

Today we began the season of Advent, which bears the invitation to prepare our hearts and souls for the coming of the Christ child in our midst. It is a season of waiting, watching, and anticipating the fullness of life offered to us each moment through the life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus. We had a great time this morning preparing for Christmas. We gathered to make Advent wreaths from fresh greens from our yard, preparing to pray our…

The essential paradox: Christ the King on the cross

This Sunday we celebrate the Feast Day of Christ the King. We end this liturgical year hearing the story of Jesus’ crucifixion. This has got to be the greatest paradox in all of our Christian faith and narrative. Have you ever wondered how the words “crucifixion of Jesus” are connected to “Christ the King”? What about this association could possibly make sense? In the gospel of Luke, a simple statement announces this dramatic act: Jesus is crucified, set between two…

Feeding the body and soul.

Yesterday was a spiritually “full” day, by that I mean, it was a day when the presence of God seemed to saturate us at St. Andrew’s. At expected and unexpected moments, I kept bumping into the awareness of the presence of something bigger than any of us, something more pervasive than effort any of us could sustain, and something richer than any of us could image. After a remarkable morning of glorious worship, when Deacon Wanda, Mother Carenda and I…

Coming together as the Body of Christ: A Pastoral Letter

Dear Friends, This week, we as a nation participated in the election of our next president; the campaign was often polarizing, contained hateful language and hurtful rhetoric, and raised legitimate issues. Many of us are bewildered as to how we have arrived at this place of major division among good and faithful people; some are confused at other people’s reaction to the results; some are elated at the results, others are distraught and afraid. Wherever you find yourself, please know…

Ready to come home.

This morning I took with me the altar veil (the cloth which covers the chalice and paten) which was made out of Gretchen’s wedding dress. I chose this item to bring from St. Andrew’s, since it represented to me a true understanding of community and communion, the giving of oneself to the greater good and the glory of God. It represented to me so much of what I found as the place of my resurrection: self-emptying, surrender, commitment, and dedication…

Stay close to the cross.

We gathered in the morning light, with the lingering clouds highlighted in a rose hue above the cross which adorns St. George’s Cathedral, and we listened to the instructions of our guide, Iyad, as we headed into the city of Jerusalem to walk the stations of the cross. The various stations are strategically placed throughout the city and many pilgrims traverse the Via Dolrosa. The instructions Iyad offered us seemed to be mere logistical considerations, yet they were much more…