Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Face Lift

For those who may have seen someone outside scraping or painting the church, Holy Trinity is getting a much needed paint job - which would likely go faster if the author of this blog would allow her son to work on a ladder without a spotter, but paranoid mom that she is, it'll just have to go as quickly as it can when she gets breaks from her own work schedule.  Once it's all finished, we'll post pictures. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

East Coast Quake

Many of you probably read about the earthquake on the East Coast.  For some, particularly those in California, there's a lot of laughter that a 5.8 isn't anything to get excited about.  However, the East Coast doesn't have the same building requirements as the West Coast, and some of the damage is fairly significant.  They were pretty lucky that it wasn't worse than it is.

The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. suffered some pretty significant damage.  You can see pictures here.  They are a self-sustaining congregation, but these repairs are going to be costly.  They are asking any who can to help - which you can do here.

Even without being able to offer funds, we can all offer prayers for a speedy recovery of a national treasure.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Who Am I?

This seemed to match pretty well with the lesson we got from Peter a couple weeks ago.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Saint Mary

Today is the Feast for the Assumption of St. Mary in the Catholic calendar. Being an Episcopal church, we still acknowledge the importance of Mary, but I thought I'd tell you a story about one of St. Mary's flowers that doesn't have the name "Mary" in it (the way that Marigold or Lily of the Valley do).


When the soldiers of King Herod were out killing little children, Mary and Joseph traveled through the mountains of Judea with the Baby Jesus. Joseph had gone into a nearby town, leaving Mary and the baby to shelter by the road. While he was gone, Mary, sitting at the side of the road, felt the vibrations in the road that told her the soldiers were coming.

She first went up to the Rose bush, and asked if it would open its petals and leaves and hide her and the baby from the soldiers. The Rose was rude, not only saying no, but to get out of its sunlight, as it had beautiful blooms to put out for all to admire. Mary then went to the Clove bush, and asked if it would allow her and the baby to hide among its leaves and flowers. The Clove bush refused, saying it was busy creating beautiful blossoms for all to see.

Finally Mary came to the Sage plant and asked if it would be willing to shelter her and the baby. The Sage plant agreed, blooming and filling out its leaves so abundantly that a whole canopy was created for them to hide under. The soldiers of Herod rode by, not noticing the plants or the woman and child.

In return for its shelter, Mary blessed the Sage plant with a sweet smell, and a useful life, wherein it could help many with the medicinal properties of its leaves and flowers. And since that time, the Rose has had thorns, and the Clove bush bad-smelling flowers.

If you'd like to see more stories about Mary's Flowers, there's a great book with legends, meditations and stories here.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Are We Ready to Take God's Hand?

My thanks to Rev. Judith Schenck, for an excellent inspiration in her sermon about today's readings. First is the story of Joseph and his brothers. And the Gospel is the story of Jesus walking on the water in a storm out toward the boat, and Peter believing in Him enough to join him, for a time.

I am reminded of the story that goes around about the flood and the man who is convinced God will save him. He is visited by two sets of people in boats and a helicopter, but sends them away, because God will save him. When he dies, of course, he asks God why He didn't save him and God's puzzled response of - "I sent you two boats and a helicopter - what did you expect?" is priceless. Or the other joke about the atheist college professor who says he'll wait 15 minutes for God to smite him in order to prove He exists - and the Marine that decks him because God's busy right now and sent him.

In the midst of our daily lives, how much do we focus on the coincidences - the opportunities that we allow to pass us by because we don't trust that God might be acting through someone who can provide what we need? And how often do we pay attention to the fact that we, ourselves, may be the instrument through which God is acting?

Even in the face of the evils done to Joseph, is it not possible that God, in His infinite wisdom, wanted Joseph in another place, where he might act as His hand, extended in grace at a time of His choosing? Looking at the rather volatile history of the Christian Church, is it not possible that some of these things that occurred were to aid in spreading the news of the Christian Faith - in a way that could be accepted at the time? Would the Church have grown without the choices made, at the Council of Nicaea, for instance? While men have free will in the choices they make, can God not turn acts of ignorance or evil, into acts that will benefit His faith?

Like Peter, do we trust that God will guide us right? Or, like Peter, do we flounder in the face of our own fear of trusting in God? Are we ready to take the hand God sends us? And are we ready to be the hand God sends us to?