Faith Journey

Journeying together through prayer and study

Advent seaon is here!

 

this is mysterious to me b/c my crocheting skills are SLOW. I am reflecting on this paradox.

this is mysterious to me b/c my crocheting skills are SLOW. I am reflecting on this paradox.

We are on the countdown to Christmas and New Years. I am so thankful for the liturgical reminder of Advent. Slow down, be silent, listen, prepare. It helps to take the edge off of the emails proclaiming the good news of discounted stuff. The Good News is our eternal message not to be outdone by loud proclamations like “Welcome Walmart shoppers” and flashy emails proclaiming the best discounts of the season.

This time of Advent is enough. Today is enough is a saying I hold onto. Even using the acronymn TIE brings me back to this moment. Blessings to us all as we maneuver the secular and the sacred, which can be one. Look for the signs and wonders.

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Hello Parish Contacts and Convocational Representatives!

As the coordinator of what will be about 100 women, I wanted to try using my blog for our communitaction. Let me know what you think by commenting. We are geographically in 62,000 square miles, 90 congregations and 7 convocations so we have the opportunity (challenge) of best communicating with each other by finding our most common media. I will also use email, phone calls and text messaging. We are also not up to our 100 women yet! If you want to suggest someone from another parish, please send me her name and number and possibly mention it to her so when I call her, she has some idea of what we do…

As for what we do – we are a group of women who love our parish, who want to offer the women (and men) the opportunities to know what the Diocese offers AND to also share with the Diocese what is going on in your parish.

Bless you all for your ministry!

Catherine Lillibridge

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The New Labyrinth at Camp Capers, Waring TX

The New Labyrinth

Built as an Eagle Scout project, this labyrinth is a perfect size for the new labyrinth walker. There is one way in, which takes you to the center, and you follow the same path out. Take your prayers and concerns on this meditation walk. When you come out, look across the field to the cross.

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Physical Health Helps Spiritual and Mental Health

Lately I have come across friends doing amazing physical things. In this day and age when we work too many hours and don’t often have time to try something new, I am motivated by these friends and their physical goals. One friend went scuba diving and was telling the story of getting certified. Since he was in his 70’s the others in his certification group were amazed. He had been diving in his 30’s but had to learn the completely new ways with computers and all that has changed. They went to an island off Honduras and did 15 dives, 2 at night. Ok, I’m impressed. I’ve snorkeled once and it was a little freaky to me.

A friend in her 50’s  just did her first triathalon and is training for another one. I know a man in his 90’s who plays tennis and a woman in her 90’s who swims regularly. Another friend is 64 and running races. I was 46 and we ran together and she was faster than me!

These physically active people seem to have a positive attitude and deep faith. I started exercising about 10 years ago when I was told osteoporosis was in my future. It has been amazing to see how my mental alertness increases after exercise, how my attitude gets cheerier (is that a word?) and how I connect spiritually to nature, to other people and find a sense of peace even WHILE exercising!

I have made some goals to run a 1/2 marathon and a full marathon in 2012. When I ran a 1/2 marathon a couple of years ago I sewed a scripture to my hat from Isaiah 40:31 “…they will run and not grow weary…” and on the other side “pray with your feet”. I want to find my inspiration for these races. Any scripture or quotes that inspire you to be your best?

 

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Where has your Faith Journey taken you this summer?

The Great Green Growing Season of Pentecost has been a long one. As the weather cools down, I had the urge to get back to this blog. My faith journey has continued to grow and I am so thankful for the books I’ve read this summer (Sue Monk Kidd, Parker Palmer, Pema Chodron, Mary Karr are a few), the places I’ve been (I have walked Labrynths in New Mexico, Tennessee and Texas; had Eucharist with a room full of joyful Christians who sang loudly in Arizona; and found some great little shops in Pennsylvania along with a chocolate factory). I went to a symposium where Walter Brueggemann spoke and he made the stories in Exodus, Jeremiah and Isaiah come alive and related it to our current times. Just the other day I went to a 4 hour writing class led by Carla Pineda and it was what I needed to open up my creativity to spend a little time each day in my newly claimed Art Room.

Where has the Holy Spirit led you these summer months?

Below is an article that I really could relate to. I’m still trying to figure out how to not waste water waiting for the hot water to get through the showerhead – it just seems like bad stewardship of water usage!

It is good to be back on and writing.

Peace, Catherine

Speak Out: We’re responsible for the environment

By Roy Schweers – Special to the Express-News Web Posted: 09/25/2010 12:00 CDT

As a Christian I believe that the Earth and the universe were created by God and belong to the Creator. This idea is clearly expressed in this biblical passage from Leviticus:

… for the land is mine, for ye are strangers and sojourners with me. And in all the land of your possession ye shall grant a redemption for the land.

In this context we are just tenants of the earth and must return it back whole to the original owner — the Creator.

Recently my neighborhood, River Road, built a community garden on a forgotten parcel of land that had previously been a construction dumping ground. The land was healed by removing decades of debris and asphalt. New stone terraces are repairing the land by capturing rainwater and preventing water pollution by reducing storm runoff. We as new gardeners are forming new relationships with each other and pride in our accomplishments. The formally damaged land is now supporting our garden and creating food for our community while restoring our connection with each other and the land.

When designing buildings, I think about how they have a huge impact on the environment — on the created world. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that residential and commercial buildings together account for the largest percentage of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States — almost 39 percent. For electricity, the percentage is even higher, with buildings accounting for 72 percent of U.S. consumption. The true percentage of energy used by buildings is still greater when the original energy required to build a structure is considered.

Along with a rapidly growing concern about environmental issues and climate change, there is a rising interest in sustainable building practices to answer these concerns, popularly known as green building. Reducing the large amount of energy used by buildings is one of the biggest environmental benefits of green building. Using a variety of strategies including solar panels, recycled building materials, and achieving Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification, green buildings minimize pollution and waste, reducing their impact on the environment. They sit easier on the land.

The environmental benefits are good reasons to build green. The solutions technically address concerns. However, a green building does not really solve the environmental crisis unless the values and beliefs of the people who are constructing and inhabiting buildings are reflected in the structure. Examining our priorities in terms of values can help inform the underlining solutions. Thinking of buildings as expressions of ourselves as humans, not just as a space with a roof for us to occupy, is a good starting point.

In addition, to understanding that Creation does not belong to us, people are also called to be good stewards of the earth. A familiar passage from Genesis that reflects this idea is:

God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Dominion of the earth increasingly is seen not in terms of exploiting the natural world. Instead, humans are singled out to have responsibility for the care and replenishment of the earth and its inhabitants. Buildings can become instruments of this stewardship by using resources wisely through the way they are built and maintained. In this context, using solar panels or low-flow showers are not just temporary fixes but become practices of spiritual values. These practices then strengthen the bond among the occupants and Creation and, ultimately, God.

Roy Schweers is a principle at Schweers Design Studio. Along with the Rev. Sally Bingham of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco and others, he will be speaking Oct. 2 at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church as part of a St. Francis Day event, Holy Ground.

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Pentecost is a long season!

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Happy Easter

Here we are in the season of Easter.  Where Will it lead you?  What will you learn in this time of the church year?  What will you share?  Will you allow your heart to PRAY?  How will God touch you this season?  Will you be the person that steps in someone’s path that is seeking, searching, lost?

I PRAY that God uses you as an instrument for HIS will today and through this season.

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40 Day Wrap

If you are able to join us in the library at St. David’s tonight, please do.

We will meet at 5:30 with a light supper, prayer, silence, and discussion of our 40 day journey!

Thank you for following, prayer, attending the Wednesday night program or any other way you have helped our community of faith grow this Lent season.

God Be With You and Bring You Peace in All You do throughout this HOLY WEEK.

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Day 40 Reflection

Today Parker Palmer states that we live while dying, that every minute of life brings us closer to death.  Yet, the paradox here is that we do all we can to muster up the seeds to “GAIN” in life by putting death as far away as possible.  BUT his paradox today is that because of living this illusion and forgoing the end, we do become “lifeless”.

My favorite journal reflection is this…Who am I meant to Be?  and What am I meant to DoHow about YOU??????

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Day 40 Scripture

Biblical Wisdom

Who will separate us from the love of Christ?  Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?… No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:35, 37-39

Psalm Fragment

The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.  The LORD is good to all, and His compassion is over all that he has made.  Psalm 145:8-9

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