This last Sunday was the Second Sunday of Advent. We lit the second candle on our Advent Wreath. It stood for the light of peace.
The day before someone asked me, “How do I find peace? I just feel so unmoored, so adrift but drowning in busyness. I can’t pack any more things into my day, but I feel so unsatisfied with my life.” I am hearing this a lot these days. Especially in light of the pandemic and divisions along political, racial, gender and sexuality lines.
It is a symptom of our age. We are experiencing change, trauma and drama at a rate faster than at any time before in human history. As philosopher Jean Houston reminds us, you and I have lived 10 to 100 times the life experience of our ancestors of previous generations. This pace is creating cultural anxiety that has many of us feeling disoriented, unsettled and wondering if this is how to live our best lives.
In his autobiography, the psychologist Carl Jung, one of the great explorers of the inner life, described a conversation he had with a Native American chief named Mountain Lake, whom he regarded as a kindred spirit.
“I was able to talk to him as I have rarely been able to talk to a European,” Jung recalled.
Perhaps because of their mutual respect, Mountain Lake gave Jung a very frank assessment of the way his people saw Europeans.
“Their eyes have a staring expression,” the chief said. “They are always seeking something. What are they seeking? The whites always want something. They are always uneasy and restless. We do not know what they want. We do not understand them. We think they are all mad.”
Jung asked Chief Mountain Lake to elaborate: Why, exactly, did white people seem so insane to the Native Americans?
“They say they think with their heads,” responded Mountain Lake.
“Why, of course,” said Jung. “What do you think with?”
“We think here,” said Chief Mountain Lake, and he pointed to his heart.
This is the key to peace. Thinking from our hearts, the place where God speaks to us most freely. The work of making peace begins with the task of making ourselves whole. The tragedy is that our culture places little value on this. We are all taught at a young age that knowledge comes through reading, writing and arithmetic – all exercises of our heads. We value external results. We have invested countless years, dollars and talent exploring the outer world. We have sailed to every continent, encountered many diverse cultures, and discovered most of the species of plants and animals on the earth. This has kept us busy “doing,” but it has not always deepened our experience of “being.”
The critical calling of our age today is to explore our inner world. In fact, I believe the survival of our outer world depends on our ability to reconnect with our inner world. It is only when we realize that we are enough that we finally understand that we have enough. And then, we understand peace.
As we travel through these days of Advent, preparing for the in-breaking of God anew, I am praying for peace for you.
May the God who created the seas give you deep calm.
May the God who created the stars give you radiant light.
May the God who created people grant you many friendships.
May the God who is your loving parent abide with you always.
The peace of the deep sea calm be yours.
The peace of the deep forest quiet be yours
The peace of the mystics inner silence be yours
The peace of the blessed Three be yours
by John Johansen-Berg
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
Christmas Message 2020
BISHOP"S COMMITTEE MINUTES for NOVEMBER
HYMN OF THE MONTH by Beth Kerzee
Advent 2020 Hymn of the Season - My Soul in Stillness Waits for You
This is the hymn we sing in response to the lighting of the Advent Wreath each Sunday in Advent.
My Soul in Stillness Waits for you - It’s called Advent, people, and it’s crucial to our understanding of Christmas.
In Advent, we put ourselves in the place of the faithful who had waited generations for their promised King. Our four-week period of hope and expectation encapsulates the longing and yearning into which Jesus finally, miraculously arrived. Advent slows us down and restores our hearts and minds so that the heaven-born Prince of Peace can be fully born in our hearts once again.
People of God take time to ponder anew the mysterious reality of the Incarnation. Allow yourselves to feel the emptiness and allow it to be filled with joyous hope in the coming Messiah, through whom all of creation would be made whole. Christmas may come but once a year, but the discipline of Advent can allow the incarnational reality to take root in our lives, and to mold us and make us into the church we’re called to be.
Composer: Marty Haugen (b.1950 - ),
A prolific liturgical composer with many songs included in hymnals across the liturgical spectrum of North American hymnals and beyond, with many songs translated into different languages. He was raised in the American Lutheran Church, received a BA in psychology from Luther College, yet found his first position as a church musician in a Roman Catholic parish at a time when the Roman Catholic Church was undergoing profound liturgical and musical changes after Vatican II. Finding a vocation in that parish to provide accessible songs for worship, he continued to compose and to study, receiving an MA in pastoral studies at the University of St Thomas in St Paul Minnesota. A number of liturgical settings were prepared for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and more than 400 of his compositions are available from several publishers, especially GIA Publications, who also produced some ep recordings of his songs.
He is composer-in-residence at Mayflower Community Congregational Church in Minneapolis and continues to compose and travel to speak and teach at worship events around the world.
We are looking for people to be part of a Stewardship group to allow the church to be sustainable.
THIS SUNDAY - December 13th
St. Paul's Quarterly Annual Meeting
Noon - THIS SUNDAY
Let us catch up with one another,
look at the proposed budget for next year,
talk about serving on the Bishop's Committee
and virtually enjoy one another's company.
SAFELY on ZOOM
I Was a Stranger, and You Welcomed Me
An Advent Prayer Vigil
for All Seeking Refuge and Home
Sunday, December 13, 6:00
A prayer vigil offered by Episcopal Migration Ministries
In the Christian liturgical year, Advent is a time of waiting and preparation for the birth of Jesus, a time of prayerful yearning for Emmanuel, “God with us.” To honor and mark this holy time, EMM offers a prayer vigil, modeled off a ‘Blue Christmas’ prayer service, to invite prayer and reflection on Advent themes in a world being transformed by forced migration.
Download EMM Refugee Prayer Vigil PDF or Word doc.
Episcopal Migration Ministries, in partnership with the EMM Asylum Ministry Network and EMM Immigration Detention Ministry Network, will host a virtual Advent vigil on Sunday, December 13, 7:00 – 8:00 pm EST. The Advent vigil, available via Zoom webinar and Facebook Live, will offer a time of prayer and reflection in a world being transformed by forced migration.
Registration is required and is available here. The vigil will be available on-demand following the event.
Diocese of the
|A Service of Evening Prayer
for the LGBTQ+ Community
Our Friends and Allies
Third Sunday of Advent
BOOK STUDY - December 17 @4:00
A chance encounter with a reproduction of Rembrandt’s The Return of the Prodigal Son catapulted Henri Nouwen on an unforgettable spiritual adventure. Here he shares the deeply personal and resonant meditation that led him to discover the place within where God has chosen to dwell.
Book Study Group is on Zoom
The Return of the led by Tricia Seifert
Contact Fr. Mike or Tricia Seifert for Zoom information
or click here
December 22 - 7:00 pm - The Longest Night Service
Live Streamed at 7:00 pm
Join with us in sharing and hearing prayers, scripture, and music that acknowledge that God’s presence is for those who mourn, for those who struggle - and that God’s Word comes to shine light into our darkness.
5:00 pm - Christmas Eve Lessons and Carols
Live Streamed at 5:00 pm
~Come worship -
see people virtually you have not seen in a while!~
The needs of paying the the church bills, funding our ministries, and proclaiming the Good News continues during this Pandemic. Please consider making a monthly gift.
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!---to all of you who have contributed and continue to contribute to our virtual collection plate. Some of you have made it a monthly donation through our "Donate Button. Either way you have done it....it is greatly appreciated.
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ALSO---Thank you, thank you, thank you for all who have mailed in pledges and donations.
Things to do to benefit the church and the community during the Coronavirus Restrictions
1. THE MARFA FOOD PANTRY IS EMPTY! - Keep bringing food donations...our doors are open 24 hours and you will find a basket at the back of the church.
2. Pray for Rudy and Allison.