February 16, 2020, 12:00 AM

Mother Nancy's Reflection 2-16-2020

Bishop Addison Hosea was famous for his class, The Bishop's School of Religion. Every Lent he taught it somewhere. I think I attended it in three different congregations. He was an excellent teacher and some of the lessons come back to me at odd moments.

He often spoke about prayer being a dialogue with God. He would say there was nothing too small to ask God. He said women should ask God what shade of lipstick looked best. Men could ask which tie to wear. I remember asking him if we should pray for parking spaces. He said, "Yes, of course."

Now, I am quite sure I never consulted God about lipstick but there were times I prayed for a parking space. Often one would be provided but, of course, there is no way to prove God put it there for me. Last Tuesday night I was headed into Rupp for a game. It was raining hard and predicted to continue through the night. I decided to pay the parking for the lot off High street. As I slowly followed the traffic, I remembered what the Bishop said. Sure enough, close to Rupp, I saw a car pull out. I grabbed the spot.

Now, I don't know if it was God's way of reminding me of a kindly Bishop and excellent teacher or just a gentle nudge to say, "See, I am with you always." Either way, God managed to catch and hold my attention for many days. And that really is what God wants, to know from time to time we are paying attention. God is as close as our breath. Like our breath, God often goes unnoticed. Be mindful of breath and rain and parking places. God will use the mundane to call us.

January 27, 2019, 4:00 PM

Epiphany Greetings 1-27-2019

The motto over our church door reads 20 C+ M+ B 19; that is, Christus Mansionem Benedicat 2019 / May Christ Bless this House, 2019.

In the Season of Epiphany, where the readings focus on Jesus' revealing who he is, we ask, "who is he for me?" Here is a quote that got my attention and raised questions for me. "The wise men cannot return to their own country by the same way they used to come to Bethlehem. While they cannot go the same route because of Herod, we cannot go the same way once we have met Christ. We emerge from our encounter with Christ as changed people. We cannot follow the same path as before. Like the wise men, we must seek out Christ, but we will always leave as transformed people." - Richard Meux Benson

Here are my questions, for me and for each of us: When/how do I encounter Christ? Where do I seek transformation? Where do I need to offer another way to someone else? These questions imply that we meet Christ again and again and as we grow we will always need transformation. What do you think? What a beautiful and wondrous gift we are given. May our lives and the life of our congregation shine forth with this gift into the world.


January 27, 2019, 3:00 PM

2019 Unity Breakfast and Freedom March

How it was on January 21:

It was a frigid and grey beginning to Monday morning at 6:00 AM but my spirits rose as I saw a stream of cars pulling into the Rupp parking lot and folks walking to the arena. As it turned out there were 1,100 people at the UNITY breakfast. Our table of 8 included Bp Mark and Helen, Canon Elise and several from Good Shepherd. The program was good and inspiring and the music heartening. The theme of this year's breakfast was UNITY: The Promise of Hope. The winner of the essay contest was a middle-school young man who said "Division and violence make no sense to me. What does make sense is to Honor the Other in Peaceful Equality. HOPE." Wow! A motto to remember and live into.

The sun shone brightly as we gathered for the Freedom March. The Episcopal banner and folks were thirty-third in the line-up and we moved into the bright sunny morning along the route planned. More people found us and joined in warming up (well, at least I did . . . had to take my scarf off and open the top button of my coat. Maybe that's the Minnesota in me!) as we marched along with at least 1,000 others. It was a great morning: a reminder of how far we have come and how much there is yet to do. 


January 16, 2019, 3:00 PM

Epiphany Greetings 1-13-2019

The motto over our church door reads 20 C + M+ B 19; that is, Christus Mansionem Benedicat 2019 / May Christ Bless this House, 2019

Faith is the star that guides you. I found this explanation of our Christmas/Epiphany liturgies in the writings of Thomas Keating: The key to understanding the Christmas/Epiphany mystery and to receiving it is the openness we bring to it. "The message is: We belong to the universe and to the God who created it. We belong to the God who is within us. We belong to the human family in which God dwells and manifests. The light and life of God are available in the measure of our increasing receptivity. Each year that we celebrate this opening to the gifts of God, we open more."

What a beautiful and wondrous gift we are given. May our lives and the life of our congregation shine forth with this gift into the world.


March 26, 2018, 3:12 PM

A Message from Mother Marcia: Holy Week 2018

The rites of Holy Week are at the very heart of the Christian year, central to our faith. We will journey with Jesus as he enters Jerusalem with joyous greetings and waving palms and then drop right into the reading of his passion on the way to and on the cross. We are reminded that Jesus' suffering and death had a purpose, and though his soul was troubled when the moment had arrived, he nontheless chose to face the fully human experience of dying so  that we might live a whole and holy life IN HIM.  

On Maundy Thursday we will celebrate Eucharist, as Jesus established it in his last supper with his disciples. Then we will remove all the vessels and vestments from the altar and leave it bare.  There will be no blessing or dismissal, and all will leave in reverent silence.

On Good Friday we celebrate Jesus conquering death itself...the reason we call that day "good". There will be solemn readings and the Passion story followed by the Veneration of the Cross. Once again, after praying the Lord's Prayer, we will leave in silence. Those who wish to do so may remain for the Stations of the Cross procession.

These rites prepare us more fully for the JOY AND DELIGHT of EASTER DAY.  I hope many of you will make time in your week be with Jesus in these times of solemn remembrance.