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For the means of grace, and for the hope of glory

Posted by Jason, March 4, 2015

One of my favorite prayers found in The Book of Common Prayer is one that we pray at Evensong. It is known as The General Thanksgiving. The poetic language moves me at each recitation.

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A Quiet Day in Lent

Posted by John, February 25, 2015

An important writer of the 21st century is the poet, novelist, and essayist Wendell Berry. Though he has no idea of his influence, Wendell has had a profound impact on my ministry. 

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Saying Goodbye for Now

Posted by Ann, February 18, 2015

“We live a life of departures,” one of my seminary professors once said. “We are given all these opportunities to practice and prepare for the final departure,” he went on to say. That’s why goodbyes are hard. There is loss and grieving around goodbyes, just as there is loss and grieving around change and death.

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The Alpha and Omega – Discernment and Action

Posted by Melanie, February 11, 2015

Someone asked me recently if I had a motto that I live by. I have a couple of mottos, but the most important one to me is simple, yet at times elusive, no action without contemplation. I don’t know who said it first or where it came from exactly, but from the first time I heard it I knew it contained a really big Truth, one that we either wrestle with or we are lost.  

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A Pilgrimage

Posted by Chris, February 4, 2015

This month I was able to take a class at St George’s College in Jerusalem, which is an enclosed campus housing the Anglican Cathedral with guest housing and diocesan offices. The class, The Palestine of Jesus, essentially followed the Gospels throughout Israel. Each day we saw something new at various sites while reading the corresponding part of the Gospel.

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The Words of Dr. King

Posted by Heather, January 28, 2015

Just over a week ago, on the federal holiday for Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday, Christ Church was open for a feast of words. We held a day of readings from the works of Dr. King. From noon until 7:00 p.m., sermons and speeches by Dr. King were read by a variety of people from the church and the community. Over fifty people, in addition to the 16 readers who had signed up in advance, came to listen, with some being moved to join in the readings and one gentleman offering song to enrich the day.

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Striving for Excellence

Posted by Jason, January 21, 2015

I have just returned from Chicago where I attended a conference hosted at St. James' Cathedral. The title of the conference was "Cultivating Excellence in Liturgy, Music, and Preaching: A Conference for Musicians and Clergy." This concept came from an inspiring sermon delivered by The Rt. Rev. Eugene Sutton, Bishop of Maryland, last summer as part of the annual conference of the Association of Anglican Musicians. Bishop Sutton spoke of the need for the Episcopal Church to return to its identity of being known for its excellence at worship. He urged us to create a new three-legged stool for our church based on liturgy, music, and preaching. Strength in all three of these, not just one or two, but in all three, he believes, will stop our membership decline and help us reach more people with the great news of the Gospel of Jesus.

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Epiphany

Posted by John, January 14, 2015

‘Tis the time of Epiphany when we of the church are called to “show forth” or “demonstrate” the faith that is in us. The news of Jesus' birth has been revealed first to the shepherds "who proclaimed all that they had seen and heard" to those who would listen, and then to the Wise Ones who traveled such a great distance from the East to see this newborn King for themselves.

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All of Us are Grass

Posted by Ann, January 7, 2015

On the cover of Atul Gawande’s new book called Being Mortal there is a single piece of grass. If you rub your fingers over it, you can feel that it is embossed, raised off the paper. Even though the picture of the blade appears raised because you can see its shadow, it actually has dimension if you touch it. Although there is nothing overtly religious about this book, it is one of the most theological books I have read in a long time, beginning with the subtle reference to Isaiah 40:6-7 on the cover.  The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the Lord blows upon it. Surely the people are grass. This was a brilliant design metaphor. Kudos to whomever came up with it. Even though we are all grass, each of us can have dimension and dignity until we die.

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New Traditions

Posted by Chris, December 31, 2014

Here we are toward the end of “winter holidays” where school is still out, but the return is on the horizon, and new resolutions are being made. Some resolutions are the same, some are small, and some take a big mind shift. Family traditions are taking a big shift for me after this year.

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