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The Clergy Corner
On Sunday it was my privilege to read aloud the questions offered during the liturgy as we reflected on the story of Jesus in the synagogue. We know he had questions about his hometown, the place where he was raised. And so did we, about the places where we lived as children.
What stood out to me is how many of our questions were about unnecessary divisions: between Catholic and Protestant, between rich and poor, between people of different races or backgrounds. It's not surprising that as children we would have had those questions. Jesus taught us that children help open our eyes to the holy. When we remember who we were as children, that is helpful as well.
This week I am at
Holy Wisdom Monastery in Madison, Wisconsin for continuing education. Holy Wisdom Monastery is an ecumenical Benedictine community that I first knew 20 years ago. Through a grant from Duke Divinity School to Plainsong Farm & Ministry, I will be here once this year and once next year to reflect on the teachings of St. Benedict. It is a blessing to experience this community's way of prayer and life together.
While here, I am remembering my own past - not myself as a child, but as a young woman whose life and ministry was largely ahead of her. The last time I prayed in this place, I had not met my husband. My children were still only imaginary. I certainly never imagined I would return as a priest of the Episcopal Church.
In this season of winter, as we huddle indoors against the cold, it is good to spend time in prayerful recollection. It is good to reawaken the holy questions of our childhood and young adult years. It is good to find the thread of life that God spins for each of us, the questions that keep us wondering how we might be part of God's work in the world.
Thoughts to Ponder
In our culture, time can seem like an enemy: it chews us up and spits us out with appalling ease. But the monastic perspective welcomes time as a gift from God, and seeks to put it to good use rather than allowing us to be used up by it. A friend who was educated by the Benedictines has told me that she owes to them her sanity with regard to time. "You never really finish anything in life," she says, "and while that's humbling, and frustrating, it's all right. The Benedictines, more than any other people I know, insist that there is time in each day for prayer, for work, for study, and for play."
Holy Spirit at Plainsong Farm Sunday evening, March 24
Our church shares Mother Nurya with Plainsong Farm, the ministry God called her to begin with Mike and Bethany Edwardson in 2015. Plainsong Farm has grown quickly over the three years of its life and is now a separately incorporated mission of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan. Although we are separately incorporated, sharing a priest means we are deeply connected. The congregation of Holy Spirit is invited to a Sunday evening potluck learning supper at Plainsong Farm on March 24. At the supper we will eat together, hear from the co-founders about what this ministry involves, and talk together about ways to foster relationship. The potluck supper will be held indoors, rain or shine. A farm tour will be available if weather allows. Potluck signup will happen in March - mark your calendars now!
For 2019, Holy Eucharist will be offered on the
1st, 3rd and 4th Sundays of the month.
All other Sundays will be Morning Prayer service.
ECW meeting (Chocolate Party!) is THIS Saturday, February 9 in the parish hall. Meeting called to order promptly at 9:45 am. All women in the church invited.
Explore & Soar Reading Club: the Reading Club is in the process of getting new books - much needed after 11+ years of the program. Lead teacher Diane Pickel has a wish list for books from Scholastic Books and needs another $100 to complete the order. Would you like to contribute? Donations can be made by cash or check payable to
Loaves & Fishes Family Center and given to Mary M. Thank you!
Lent Madness is coming...more details soon!
Traveling the Way of Love, a new video series, premiered January 31. Six additional episodes are planned for 2019. Host Chris Sikkema, manager for special projects, the Episcopal Church's Office of Communication, journeys across the Episcopal Church in search of stories of the ways people in the church are engaged in the seven practices which encompass the Way of Love. The videos are available on demand at the Episcopal Church's
Facebook page and
here. Want to be notified when a new episode is released? Sign up
here and Episcopal Cinema/YouTube
Four books recently released by Forward Movement have been recognized as among the year’s best Christian books by the Illumination Book Awards. Forward Movement is a ministry of the Episcopal Church located in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Note to Self: Creating Your Guide to a More Spiritual Life by Charles LaFond received a gold medal for Spirituality. Two silver awards were bestowed: author Mary Parmer and her book
Invite Welcome Connect in the Ministry/Mission category, and
Acts to Action: The New Testament’s Guide to Evangelism and Mission, edited by Susan Brown Snook & Adam Trambley for Bible Study. The bestselling
Walk in Love: Episcopal Beliefs & Practices won a bronze medal in Theology.
To celebrate these awards, Forward Movement will offer a special 25% off “Illumination” discount on these four titles, through Friday, February 8. To order these books or other resources, visit
www.forwardmovement.org or call (800)543-1813. They are also available as ebooks on Kindle, Nook, and iTunes platforms.