Creating a Loving Container through Listening

Listening deeply is a way of creating a container so that another person’s soul can grow in this way. When we listen prayerfully to another person, we create a positive container that provides safety and encouragement. The container provides the energy and love God wants each of us to have. Within this nourishing container, the soul can wake up, stretch, and fly. The soul can find its purpose and move towards action in the world.

Meals in Motion - The Healing Power of Feeding and Being Fed

Remember that feeling of being sick as a kid and your mother bringing you chicken soup and how that soup made you feel better, not just because of the magical properties of chicken soup but because the simple act of being fed made you feel loved? If you were blessed with this care as a child you know the healing power of being fed when you’re sick or in crisis.

All Humans are Inherently Leaders

Leadership is an inherent human characteristic. The most basic definition of leader is someone who makes things go well around them. This means that if you are in any situation, no matter how simple, and you make something go well, you are leading. Let me give you some simple examples.

Growing a Grateful Heart

There is a beautiful prayer on page 836 of the Book of Common Prayer that taught me how to recognize and offer gratitude. It starts by reminding us to whom we should be grateful: God. Next, it offers some big picture items for which to be grateful: creation, life, and love, before moving a little closer to home by offering thanks for family and friends, and even the challenges we face that lead to satisfying accomplishments. Then, perhaps the most surprising part of the prayer invites us to offer thanksgiving for our disappointments and failures.

Christian Leadership: Being Open to the Sacred

There are as many kinds of small groups as there are kinds of people, and humans look for ways to share in so many ways. I’ve often marveled how a group of strangers spontaneously searches for the things they have in common, even if they have to stretch in very odd ways. “I see you like potatoes.” And they can talk animatedly for some time about all their experiences with potatoes.

The Youth Pilgrimage Process

Our CAP (Confirmation and Pilgrimage) class of high schoolers will be heading to England and France next summer, so I thought now is a good time to share with everyone how we made that decision. It is important to note, first of all, that this is a pilgrimage - not a community service trip, mission trip, or vacation. A pilgrimage is defined as “a long journey or search, especially one of exalted purpose or moral significance” (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language). This is an important distinction to make as our students embark on this trip - important for them to focus on the journey, and important for the rest of us to know how to support them in the coming year, and while they’re on the journey.

A Helpful Book for Children Facing Grief

A Helpful Book for Children Facing Grief

When I read this story, I felt tears in my eyes and my heart was touched deeply. This story was frank yet appropriate for children who might be dealing with a loved one who is ill or dying. The story is helpful not only for grieving children but parents who might be struggling with how to introduce their children to the concept of death and grief. In the back of the book are tips for before the funeral, during the funeral, and the weeks that follow. 

Saturday Breakfast - Respecting the Dignity of Every Human Being

But Saturday Breakfast is not just about serving calories. We strive to respect the dignity of every person who comes. They are our guests in every meaning of the word. We start with coffee hospitality as they gather to wait their turn for breakfast. The breakfast we serve is carefully chosen.

Why Leaders Need Support: Small Group Leadership Support Groups

At St. Mary’s Episcopal Church we would like to have a small group available to anyone who would like one. Small groups are places where people practice listening to God and to each other. Small groups can provide safety and closeness that makes our community life together more meaningful. Sunday worship gains a whole new level of joy when you see your group members sitting in the pew opposite.

Earth Day

As Christians, we have a responsibility to care for God’s creation. At the end of the first chapter of Genesis, we are told that humanity has been given dominion over creation. This has been misunderstood by some to mean that we can use, even abuse, creation however we would like. But Scripture teaches us quite clearly that dominion from a Christian perspective means to be servants, not lords. We were invited to be stewards, not rulers, of creation. We are to appropriately use, not abuse, this gift that God has given us. 

Listening Hearts - Small Group Leadership Training

Small Group Leadership Training

Sunday April 22

3 to 5 PM in Berktold Hall

 

One of our five-year goals at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church is to have a small group available to anyone who would like one. Small groups are places where people practice listening to God and to each other in order to discern God’s presence and movement in our lives and community.

Maundy Thursday

I wouldn’t say we go to an experimental church.  But, yesterday our church had an experiemental service.  They offered their first annual Maundy Thursday Family Service.  I would call the experiment a success.  The only thing they should change would be saving the nice towels for the adult service.  More on that later.