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April 26, 2017, 9:42 AM

A word at mid-week, 4/26

Welcome to Consecration mid-week! I hope you are all continuing to celebrate the meaning of the resurrection in your lives! 

Easter is the longest season of the Church Year - for a good reasonAlthough, because of the centrality of the Incarnation in our theological understanding of creation, Anglicans tend to "favor" or give special emphasis on Christmas, it is the Easter mystery (aka Paschal Mystery) around which Christianity revolves! In fact, every Sunday celebration of the Holy Eucharist is a "mini Easter" in which we not just recall the life, death, suffering, passion, and resurrection of Jesus, but in this great mystery somehow recognize its presence in and among us "in the now."

This past week, in the Gospel of John, we heard the continuation of the Easter story when Jesus appears to the other disciples the evening of the resurrection. He greets them with peace. But this peace is more than a mere greeting, it is the fulfillment of his promise to restore our lives, "to make all things new!" And, as we learned, the fulfillment of his promise includes the immediacy of sending us out into the world to spread this peace - the peace that St. Paul says, "surpasses our understanding" that nothing, no thing, not one thing can ever separate us from the love of God! This is the peace he gives us and that we are charged to give to one another!

I hope you all will take in many of the events this weekend of the ordination and consecration of Bishop-elect Jennifer. I am excited to be a part of this celebration and to see so many others throughout our world-wide Anglican Communion coming to this city to celebrate this joyous event! Thank you Joe Weaver for being the St. Matthew's Banner Carrier and processing at the ordination! Below there is more information, including how to watch is live via webcast!

This past week, Greg and the Vestry have been looking into both the Amazon and Kroger fund raising programs where a portion of designated sales from those two entities would come back to St. Matt's as Fund Raising. More information will be made available as this comes about. Please stay tuned!

This past Sunday was a full day at St. Matthew's. I hope you not only saw but shared many of the Facebook posts with your FB friends!

  • At 2:00pm, we welcomed 200+ people in the Narthex and Sanctuary for the annual Michael Florek Musical Recital. I don't recall how many years we have hosted the recital, but Michael and many of the returning recitalists told me how great it is to perform at St. Matthew's because of our acoustics. One person said, "Playing at St. Matthew's is like home to me!" The event was followed by a pitch-in reception provided by the Florek's, the families of the recitalists, and by Vestry Members Celeste Sheets-Eaton and Angie Wilkinson! It was delightful to hear so many "students" - all ages and stages - play solos and ensembles - violins, guitars, banjos and more!
  • Also at 2:00pm, Templo Gracia, the evangelical Hispanic faith community that resides at St. Matthew's, held their 6th year anniversary church service and dinner reception in the Parish Hall. It was packed wall-to-wall with members of the church. The festivities included live music, electric and acoustic guitars, drums, and lots and lots of singing! I was also present for a portion of Pastor Rodriguez's fiery sermon! With the pitch-in reception upstairs and the full-meal dinner downstairs, St. Matthew's was filled with wonderful smells of food!!!
  • In the early afternoon, the Boy Scouts arrived and aired out their tents and equipment from a recent campout. It had rained some at the campout and so supplies needed to be cleaned and reset for the next campout.
  • And, if you missed it, St. Matthew's was live on Facebook promoting Kite Sunday on May 21!

It was really marvelous to see so much activity just in one day and to realize that this is part of the mission of St. Matthew's in partnering with various groups in the area to use our space as a foundation for their life and work. St. Matthew's has a great gift to offer the community in its building and grounds and in its people. Jesus says to us, "Peace be with you. Now go and change the world around you!"

 God's love to you all! Fr. Frank

We Walk by Faith and Not by Sight

Sight and vision have been very much on my mind the past number of weeks. While grateful for my glasses purchased a few weeks ago which brought much needed clarity to road signs, they did nothing to fix the numerous floaters that plague my sight. At times those floaters make reading music a challenge. My partner Neil just came through successful cataract surgery on both eyes. Even better than being able to see things clearly came his repeated exclamations of how bright everything seemed.

The disciple Thomas demanded that his senses of sight and touch confirm Jesus' resurrection. He could not rely on the hope he surely must have felt in his heart. Our gradual hymn last Sunday,

We walk by faith and not by sight, declared the reality that faith requires more of us than our senses can possibly provide in believing in the resurrection. The Gospel reading this week tells one of my favorite stories: two disciples do not recognize who walks with them on the way to Emmaus until they share the Eucharist. They find Him in simple bread and wine and their eyes are opened.

The floaters and cloudy lenses seem to me to be a metaphor for the hurts and prejudices that prevent me from truly seeing the beauty and love in the people around me. My personal prayer is that I can see everyone as God sees his beloved children. Even with all our faults, we are loved unconditionally.

May our vision be clear and bright.

Dale Caldwell


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