Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Blessing of Animals 2016


The Blessing of Animals

Sunday October 2, 2016 at 11:30 AM



Officer Rivera and Capo


Service in the Parish Hall


Michelle Blessing a dog

The Blessing of Animals service was held on Sunday October 12, 2016.  We had to hold the service in the Parish Hall because of the weather.  There were five Dogs and one Cat along with their human companions participating.  Officer Rivera from the East Hartford Canine Unit participated along with his Canine partner Capo.  
We thank the East Hartford Canine Unit for participating this year.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

How Quickly things Change!

I was Driving to Church today and it suddenly struck me, the leaves are changing! As I drive to Church two days ago, on Sunday, most of the trees were green.  We have had a very hot and dry Summer and it is now Mid September.  There seemed to be little change in the foliage.  Today!  Voila, there was a beautiful mixture of red, yellow, brown and green.  What a change just two days has made!


I think we can often fall into the trap of thinking that things change slowly in our lives, but the reality is that change often is sudden.  Jesus warns us to continually be prepared because no one knows when the Day of the Lord will come.  My guess is that it will come suddenly when we least expect it.  I doubt that the self-proclaimed prophets will ever get it right.  It will be in the Lord's time and not in ours.

In the mean time, we are here to do whatever we can of the Lord's work.  St. Paul believed that the Day of the Lord would be in his lifetime, but he was wrong.  Even so, he worked tirelessly to spread the Good News of Jesus, the Christ (Messiah) who died and rose again for us. We can do no less than continually work in the Lord's name.  As we work, "Alleluia's" should be our song.

Recently we had our Fall Apple Fair and once again I saw our Parish come together in work and prayer as we reached out to the community and touched the lives of others.  Alleluia!


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Orlando

How can we not respond?  How can we not feel?  How can we not be outraged?

A few short days ago, very early morning on the Lord's Day,  a young man walked into a gay club in Orlando, Fl and shot 50 people to death and wounded at least that many more.  One hundred lives changed in an instant. In fact many more lives changed when you look to the family, friends and loved ones of those people who were shot.  It is mind numbing to think of it.

I know there will be those who will point fingers, politicians, news personages, and neighbors, but that doesn't help the dead or the injured.  So what do we do?  Do we take guns from the hands of potential risks, do we eliminate certain guns altogether or possibly do we take all guns away? I really do not know the answer, but I do know that something needs to be done soon.  How many more of these incidents of extreme violence will we live through with absolutely nothing being done?

I bleed inwardly for the families and loved ones of those who died.  God has taken the victims home where God's mansion has many rooms and there is no longer pain.  We will some day be joined with them.  The wounded and the families and loved ones will grieve and suffer for years and I pray for inner peace for them.  But, damn it, the politicians must break from the powerful money and do what is right for a change!

God's Blessings all those lives that were changed and damaged by the violence in Orlando.  May the Holy Spirit speed to them and heal and uplift them.

Michelle+

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Ascension Day Again

I have long been struck with the perspective of the above picture of the Ascension.  Are we left here on earth looking up at the ascending feet of Jesus?  In the Gospel of Peter, a work that is generally not accepted as be authoritative, we see a resurrected Jesus coming forth from the tomb escorted by angels and followed by the Cross.  The Cross is speaking as a living being and Jesus rather than ascending as above extends into the heavens from earth all the way up.

In a way both interpretations are fantastic, but also in a way they both may hold some truth.  The Jesus that walked on earth was no longer in the presence of his followers.  He had walked with them and then been killed on the cross.  He was then with them again, but now was gone again.  This time he had gone to be with the Godhead and a new energy filled the followers.  There was also a belief that Jesus would come back again and this time to make real changes. "See, I am coming soon; my reward is with me, to repay according to everyone's work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." (Rev. 22:13)

This all was nearly 2000 years ago.  So what does "I am coming soon" mean?   Revelations wasn't written in English, but Greek and we work from a translation.  The word that is translated "soon" can also mean "suddenly".  We really don't think of 2000 years as soon, but Jesus could still come suddenly.  In fact, Jesus warns that his coming will be unexpected and sudden and that we should be constantly prepared.

But did the Ascension mean that Jesus left us at all?  Paul years after the Ascension meets Jesus on the road to Damascus.  In Acts the meeting is described as a blinding light and a voice.  Paul in his own letters says that he met Jesus face to face.  Remember this was years after the Ascension.  Our conventional thinking of the Ascension is that the Disciples watched as Jesus Ascended, check the picture above. It is as if the church was on the train platform waving goodbye or possibly watched at Jesus left on a Jet plane.

The other aspect here is that just after the Ascension the Disciples had an infusion of the Holy Spirit.  What is the Holy Spirit?  God with us and in us, to guide us and support us on the way.   This is the way that the writer of Luke Acts portrays the time immediately after Jesus Death and Resurrection.  The other Gospel writers describe things quite differently " Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”  When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.  Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”  And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.” "(John 20:19 and following)  The question in my mind is "Does the Ascension mean Jesus left or does it mean something quite different?"   What does "I will be with you always" mean? Does Jesus appear to us today still?  These are deep questions, but I am sure that somehow Jesus still moves within us and with us and still show us the way.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Here it is 2016!


Time really flies!  The last Blog post was in 2014 and it is already 2016.  Part of this has to do with the fact that I am at this Parish on a part-time basis.  The reality is that there is only so much time to go around.  I have been busy and that I guess is a good thing.  Possibly I have been too busy to do the Blog justice, an that isn't so good.

This will be a very busy year.  There is a very short Epiphany Season and that is followed by an early Lent.  Things are happening too fast.  I really hope that the Holy Spirit will help a bit and bring us all to a Holy Lent and most Blessed Easter!

God Bless!
Michelle

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Feast of Christ the King 2014

The Crucifix depicted above is much like one that is above my desk at All Saints'.  It depicts what is these days referred to as Christus Rex or Christ the King.  The Feast of Christ the King is celebrated on the last Sunday of the Pentecost Season.  As a festival it is relatively modern, originating in Roman Catholic practice. 

Even so the notion of Christ's rule is quite ancient and has been a part of Christian belief and practice for close to 2000 years.  There are Orthodox Icons of Christ Pantocrator that are quite ancient.  Christ Pantocrator meaning Christ the Almighty.



This year has been the year of Matthew, that is the Gospel of Matthew had been the major Gospel for our weekly Gospel readings.  Matthew stresses the position of Jesus as the Messiah (Christ) and therefore the anointed King and ruler of the Jews.  Yet Matthew points out that this kingship was denied by the Jewish Leaders and the Romans.  Jesus Kingship does not exist in armies and weapons or for that matter in any form of force.  Jesus' Kingship, his rule is over our hearts and souls and only to the extent that we submit ourselves. 

Christ's kingdom therefore lives within us.  We now bring that kingdom into the world and the work of that kingdom originates within us.  This is not a popular notion today especially in places where people are arrested for feeding the poor.  But we must remember that we meet Christ when we help the disadvantaged, the sick and disabled.  We feed Christ when we feed the poor.  When we are callous and cruel to others we are callous and cruel to Christ!

Meet Christ the King in your life.  Reach out to Christ in your life and make Jesus the ruler of your heart and soul. Reach out to Christ by reaching out to the needy.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Soup, Socks and Saints

The Feast of All Saints 2014

All Saints Sunday, Nov. 2nd was themed by everyone being asked to bring three things, Canned Soup for the needy, Socks to keep the homeless feet warm and a Saint that was known personally.  This may need some explaining.  The soup and socks I hope are clear.  The saint may not be so clear.  I asked for the name and description of a person known personally who displayed saintliness.  

From the contributed saints we built a tower of saints.  There were so many moving stories and contributions that it was clear the Spirit moved within us.  Praise God for all the Saints among us!