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Daily Meditations

Daily Meditation April 20, 2018

  The Environmental Affairs subcommittee of the social justice committee would suggest the following for folks in celebration of Earth Day.   Quick List Take hazardous materials to Transfer station  (used oil, pesticides, oily rags, other chemicals you have not used in years and have no plans to use Replace old weather stripping around doors and windows Use a clothes line or clothes rack rather than dryer Install programmable thermostats Insulate and air seal attic scuttle (access to attic)   Longer-term list Get an energy audit When it is time to replace your existing car, buy a hybrid car Heat your house with wood Install insulated window treatments  

Daily Meditation April 19, 2018

  From St Basil the Great (c. 330-379)   O God, enlarge within us the sense of fellowship with all living things, our brothers the animals [and all creatures] to whom you gave the earth as their home in common with us. We remember with shame that in the past we have exercised the high dominion of humans with ruthless cruelty so that the voice of the earth, which should have gone up to you in song, has been a groan of travail. May we realize that all creatures live not for us alone but for themselves and for you, and that they love the sweetness of life.   This is a prayer for Earth Day, as we try to comprehend our dominance of Earth and the ever-increasing damage that has been done with our current technology. The Pacific Ocean now holds several un-filterable gyres of ‘plastic soup’, perhaps the size of France, that are now the toxic environment of our marine fellow creatures. The very meaning of 'ruthless cruelty’ has changed so dramatically in the 1800 years since St Basil wrote this prayer that it is a challenge for us all to even understand how we are complicit in this disaster, and what we can do to try to reverse it.   Bob Jones
Bob Jones

Daily Meditation April 18, 2018

As Earth Day approaches, this quote from Joan Chittister rings oh so true:   " The Creator of all, the scriptures tells us, saw all of creation as 'good.' It is our role to protect it, to guard it, to develop it, to sustain it--not to destroy it for our own purposes."   That is a gargantuan task for any one of us to embrace but the other Earth Day theme that can help us carve out our own role in saving creation is to:   "Think Globally; Act Locally."   What can you do right here right now to protect, guard, develop, sustain creation? The land the sea, the sky and all that live within creation will thank you. And if we each do our part, together in total Thy will be done.   Joan Alayne Stevens
Joan Alayne Stevens

Daily Meditation April 17, 2018

I attended the book group last week. During the discussion I mentioned that walking the dog is the time my brain decompresses and I become aware of other things. I was asked the question – ‘is that the time you pray?’. I was a little taken aback at the question because I really don’t consider myself a person of prayer. I answered that I didn’t think so, but then went on to explain what I do when walking. I notice the shafts of light through the woods and think about the amazing warmth and happiness that the sun brings, I notice the lone fern moving and think about the invisible breath of God, I see a certain blue in the sky some mornings and think of the eyes of a young friend who died much too soon. I was told – yes, that is prayer. Just because you don’t have your head bowed and hands clasped doesn’t mean that you’re not offering up a prayer of thanks and wonder for things around you. I hope you become more aware of your prayerful thoughts today.   Kelly Kennerson
Kelly Kennerson

Daily Meditation April 16, 2018

The Collect for Mary (Molly) Brant (Konwatsijayenni)] Witness to the Faith among the Mohawks, 1796: Maker and lover of all creation, you endued Molly Brant with the gifts of justice and loyalty, and made her a wise and prudent clan mother in the household of the Mohawk nation: Draw us also toward the goal of our faith, that we may at last attain the full dignity of our nature in our true native land, where with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit you live and reign, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.   Mohawk Prayer Oh Great Spirit, Creator of all things; Human Beings, trees, grass, berries. Help us, be kind to us. Let us be happy on earth. Let us lead our children To a good life and old age. These our people; give them good minds To love one another. Oh Great Spirit, Be kind to us Give these people the favor To see green trees, Green grass, flowers, and berries This next spring; So we all meet again Oh Great Spirit, We ask of you.  - Mohawk Prayer   From Holy Women, Holy Men: Mary, or Molly Brant, known among the Mohawks as Konwatsijayenni, was an important presence among the Iroquois Confederacy during the time of the American Revolution. Baptized and raised as an Anglican due to the British presence in her tribal area, she spoke and wrote in English, and she sought to keep the Mohawks, as well as the other tribes of the Iroquois Nation, loyal to the British government during the Revolution. Born to Peter Tehonwaghkwangeraghkwa and his wife Margaret, she moved west to Ohio with her family and lived there until her father’s death. She and her brother Joseph took the name of their stepfather, Brant Kanagaradunkwa, who married their mother in 1753. Her stepfather was a friend of Sir William Johnson, the British Superintendent for North Indian Affairs. Mary met Sir William in 1759, and though they could not legally marry, she became his common law wife, and together they had nine children. She exerted influence among both the British and the Mohawks, and her voice was often sought among tribal councils and in treaty efforts. Following her husband’s death, the Oneidas and the Americans, in retaliation for her loyalty to the British and to the Anglican Church, destroyed her home. She and her children fled and were protected by the principal chief of the Five Nations, whose leaders respected her word and counsel. In 1783, she moved to Kingston, Ontario, where the British Government rewarded her for her loyalty. A lifelong Anglican, she helped found St. George’s Anglican Church in Kingston. At her death her tribesmen as well as the British with whom she had worked mourned her. 

Daily Meditation April 15, 2018

Today's Gospel lesson recounts another “post-resurrection” appearance of Jesus to his disciples - this time recounted by Luke. Not having a category in their brain for a resurrected Jesus, the disciples think they are seeing a ghost! It takes time for their brains (and hearts and psyches) to take in that it’s really Jesus - to see him as he really is. Do we - like the disciples - have a hard time seeing Jesus for who he is when he shows up in our lives because we, too, just don’t have a category in our brains for it? This is something I’ve been pondering about all week and will preach on at this morning's worship, 8 & 10am.   Peace, Nancy
Nancy

Daily Meditation April 14, 2018

  'The first is ... "you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength." The second is this, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.’ Mark 12:30-31   We live in a world that gives us easy access to an untold amount of information. Between newspapers, books, tv/radio and the internet, it's almost a flood. What advice do we give to somebody who's gotten swept away by that flood as they seek their path in life? We might tell them to start with the Bible - but where in the Bible? I think that each Bible that is published should come with a great big bookmark that has "Start Here!" printed on it. That bookmark should be placed on the passage from Mark that is quoted above. In this passage, Jesus tells that, no matter how big the flood, these are the things that are the most important. He doesn't tell us it will be easy to follow these commandments, but he does tell us exactly where to get started.   -Leo Steffens (reprinted from May 2014)  
Leo Steffens

Daily Meditation April 12, 2018

The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm. Aldous Huxley   They will still yield fruit in old age; They shall be full of sap and very green, Psalm 92:14   Even if you're not a Loyola University basketball fan, you've probably seen some news clips recently about their team chaplain Sister Jean. She was born in August 1919, which makes her 98 years old and she is having the time of her life right now! She became the team chaplain at age 75 and has prayed with them and for them for years. This year the team advanced to the final four, she lives in a freshman dorm on campus, and she threw out the first pitch at a Chicago cubs game. There is no such thing as 'old age' in her mind.   In past meditations I've mentioned the SHINE group that meets at St. Matthew's on Wednesday mornings. I love being in the office where I can hear their laughter and sharing of stories. The women in the group (although men are welcome) are a shining example of aging without slowing down! A couple volunteer at the CCC, they all help fold our Sunday bulletins, and others give rides. They all have an enthusiasm for life which they love to share with others. Blessings to them all.   What is your own mind set about growing older? Perhaps it's time for a visit to our SHINE program!   Kelly Kennerson, Parish Administrator
Kelly Kennerson

Daily Meditation April 10, 2018

Gazing   Fr. “Bill” McNichols, iconographer and religious artist, explains the need for icons: “What you gaze upon, you become.”   Since reading that, I have become a lot more mindful of where I allow my gaze to rest, the images that truly and fully engage my attention. I have little control over some of this; in my job, I have to spend a lot of time gazing at text on a computer screen. But I also have some pieces—not icons per se, but religious art—in my office, including a small poster, created by a young lady of this parish, that reads, “Keep calm and pray on.” I can also steal a moment occasionally to gaze upon the green, growing things sitting in my office window, or the changing seasons outside my window, images that reflect God’s creative, sustaining action, God’s gift of life.   McNichols puts it this way: “You gaze on the icon, but it gazes on you too. We need to gaze on truly conversational, truly loving images, images that will return our love.”   What will you gaze upon today? What will you become today?   Paul Peterson
Paul Peterson

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