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The Light Shines, Even in the Darkness

Posted by Heather, December 17, 2014

The news today is full of sadness. A massacre at a school in Peshawar, Pakistan. A veteran likely suffering from PTSD is suspected of killing several current and ex-family members north of Philadelphia. The aftermath of the hostage standoff in Sydney, Australia. Continued protests and prayer vigils that call for an examination of how America's criminal justice system works for, yet also fails, its citizens. And those are just the headlines of the day.

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Praying, Listening, Hearing, and being open to the Journey

Posted by Heather, November 26, 2014

I’ve known the Very Rev. Mike Kinman, currently the dean of Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis, for six years now and knew of him before that when he was a college chaplain. I have followed the work he has done with other clergy in the St. Louis area since the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri this past August. Here is one of the four things he asked in particular of his clergy colleagues last week:

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Of casseroles and care

Posted by Heather, October 29, 2014

My family and especially my mother-in-law have been the recipients of care in these past few weeks. With my father-in-law’s rapid decline across this month and his death last week, she and we have received representations of care and love in the form of cards, calls, casseroles and soups, flowers, plants, and hugs. For a church community, these are expressions of care for another member of the congregational family, as well as a way of living out biblical calls to care for the orphan and the widow. The person or people receiving the care are invited to be vulnerable in a good way – to be open to receiving the offered care.

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On death, dying, and gratitude

Posted by Heather, October 1, 2014

I write this from my in-laws home as we wait for my father-in-law to pass away. After a long life well lived and a fairly slow-moving illness, he is ready to die and have the feeling of peace he has be made complete. Bob is a man of deep faith -- he grew up the son of a Lutheran pastor and God and his relationship with God has been central to his life. He left the corporate track after a couple of decades in order to teach business at a Christian college and shape students who would live lives of faith and ethics, not just seeking profit at any cost. He called those students Christian Tigers -- business leaders who would still seek to achieve many things but do it with a sense of the greater good and living in Christ-like ways.

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Prayer for the New Day

Posted by Heather, September 4, 2014

It was back to school this week for my daughters. They continue their journey through elementary school with its own joys and struggles. We’ve been having a variety of pep talks in the past week – getting the brain ready to be back at school, staying on task, being open to friends old and new – as well as reminders to be kind, to care for others, to embody our family’s values, and to live out their lives as Christians even in the school environment.

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Seek the physician and let me know too

Posted by Heather, August 6, 2014

Recently I had a conversation with an older couple, one of whom is having some health issues. They have been Sunday-in and Sunday-out attenders of their church for a few decades and now their church has a new senior pastor. They mentioned that the pastor hasn't been in contact with them to ask about his health. So I asked if they had told the pastor about the health issues. Their answer? No. Why, I asked? Well, he should know about it.

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It's not a recessive trait

Posted by Heather, July 9, 2014

A few Sundays ago, June 29, the Episcopal Church had a voluntary day to stretch its capacity and participate in Social Media Sunday. Christ Church participated in this endeavor at all of its services. Some of you know this because you were there and are in one of the photos that I took during the announcements.

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We Will!

Posted by Heather, June 4, 2014

It was a rock concert Sunday! Last Sunday was our annual visit from the Bishop, which this time was our diocesan bishop, the Rt. Rev. Shannon Johnston. Bishops are expected to do many things on their annual visitations to churches: in worship to baptize, confirm, receive into the Anglican Communion, reaffirm, and celebrate the Eucharist, as well as connect with vestries, clergy, and the whole congregation. Bishop Shannon did a wonderful job of being very present and available for all of Christ Church and I am thankful to God for his ministry and the gifts that he shared with us.

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The Continuum along Doubt and Faith

Posted by Heather, April 30, 2014

We just marked the second Sunday of Easter, which is often called Doubting Thomas Sunday. Poor Thomas! He asks a question of the other disciples, makes a bravado statement in his grief and struggles, and gets labeled “doubting” for the rest of history. There is a great comic that I saw making the rounds this past week.

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A Feast in Lent

Posted by Heather, March 26, 2014

Today is the Feast of the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary. It is one of those feast days that often falls in the midst of Lent. The contrast between the Annunciation, which is a story we hear annually in Advent as we prepare to celebrate Jesus’ birth, and the season of Lent, when we prepare for Jesus’ crucifixion, might seem odd. Yet it is only in the light of the mystery of the Incarnation that we can understand the mystery of Jesus’ death on the cross – that God became fully human to live the life we live, to share our sorrows and joys, and to pour out Love upon Love for us. The Easter mystery of the Jesus’ Resurrection deepens the Christmas story and moves us beyond the cute, little baby Jesus to see the Savior of the World.

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