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October 26, 2016, 12:00 PM

A word at mid-week, 10/26

Happy mid-week to you all!

It must be part of the human DNA that we often look around at others to see how we compare to them. We wonder how we stack up against others - our neighbors, co-workers, even other family members. We are bombarded daily with images and messages that can easily tempt us to equate our sense of self-worth with how smart we should be, where we went to school, our net worth, what kind of family we have, how much we have accomplished, where we live, and what kind of job we do and the list goes on and on.

In our Gospel for this past week about the Pharisee and tax collector who went up to the Temple to pray, Jesus reminds us that God is not interested in how good we look or how much we want others to think we have it all together. God is not interested in our comparing ourselves to the Pharisee or the tax collector or anyone else. He is not interested in our tendency to label others as modern-day Pharisees or tax collectors. But, God is interested in our hearts being open before him and being open to discovering what is of true and ultimate worth, discovering the unique person we were created to be. Please see my sermon, below.

This week is the Diocesan Convention! It is an especially important convention this year as we will elect our 11th bishop. I hope you have taken the opportunity to view all of the videos and read about each of the candidates. It is a good slate of people from diverse backgrounds and experiences. I will post results on Facebook as soon as I can, so stay tuned!

One of the goals for our strategic plan is to do a community event each month. For October, St. Matthew's will have a booth THIS COMING SATURDAY at the Irvington Halloween Festival. If you can help, please contact Andrew Lloyd-Jones! (see ad below)

The Coffee Hour this coming Sunday will be Hosted by Amanda Lloyd-Jones and Flour-De-Lis Bakery. There will be samples to share from the fall and Christmas menu and you will be able to place your orders! 

On Monday, November 7 at 6:00 pm, St. Matthew's will participate in the diocesan-wide prayer vigil on the election-eve. We will be hosting an Evening Prayer service. Please plan to attend.

On November 6, Brenda Iacocca's vocal group, VOCE, will be performing the Rutter requiem at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church. Our current interim Music Director, Robert Bolyard, will be singing as part of this group. 

God's love to you all! Fr. Frank




October 19, 2016, 12:00 PM

A word at mid-week, 10/19

Hello everyone! I hope you have been able to enjoy at least a bit of this nice fall weather and to watch the leaves beginning to change.

As the seasons change and we anticipate the coming of cooler weather, Luke's Gospel seems to be heating up as we head into the 18th Chapter. Over the past several weeks, Luke has seemed relentless in teaching us about faith. He has given us various glimpses of what faith is and is not. Faith is not a super-power. Faith does not have to be bigger in order to be better. Faith is something that may at first appear insignificant, unimportant like something right in front of us that needs tending to. This is the faith of a mustard seed that has the power to move mountains and mulberry trees.

Gratitude and thanksgiving flow from faith, even when we are suffering or hurting. This kind of deep gratitude flows out of us when we trust that God is in us and with us through all things. As the Preface to the Eucharistic Prayers says, "it is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks you, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth." Always and Everywhere!

And, in this past week, Luke again talks about faith. He impresses upon his readers - both then and now - the importance of being persistent, especially in the face of hardship. Our faith is what sustains us even in the worst of times. Like the widow, in the parable, we keep coming, keep hoping against all odds, keep persisting, staying determined, being relentless in our pursuit, and keeping close to God. Or like Jacob, we cling to God demanding that we will not let go until he blesses us!

In the week ahead, Luke will again put another aspect of faith before us - humility. Luke is preparing us, equipping us to carry on the journey of discipleship by giving us what we need to endure the long road. I hope you will join us on this journey! Please see my sermon, below.

We had a great turn out for the beginning Adult Forum (Sunday School) series, Pilgrim: Turning to Christ. I still have one copy of the book for anyone who would like it ($10) or feel free to order a copy for your self or on Kindle. We will be meeting in the Conference Room (just past my office) at 9:15am. This series is for both those who are new to faith and the Episcopal Church as well as for "lifers!" Hope to see you there.

On Sunday, October 30, Amanda Fox Lloyd-Jones and Flour-De-Lis Bakery will host Coffee Hour after the 10:30 service. The bakery will be sharing samples of fall and Christmas menu items and will be happy to take your orders! Please help get the word out and invite family and friends to join you for church!

Below please note some information about the St. Matthew's Booth at the Irvington Halloween Festival. All of our partners who share ministry out of St. Matthew's have been invited to include print materials along with us to help showcase ministry partnerships with our parish.

God's love to you all! Fr. Frank




October 12, 2016, 12:00 PM

A word at mid-week, 10/12

Good day everyone!

The Gospel reminds us that we are a Eucharistic people - literally, a "thanksgiving" people, always, everywhere and in all things! Although this may sound good in our ears, the reality of living into this truth is not always easy. 

In Luke's story, all ten of the lepers were physically cured, but one person, who turned around to give thanks, was made whole. Something happened to him beyond physical wellness, something beyond physical cure. Through his gratitude, there was a spiritual healing of sorts, a new level of awareness of who he was and who God was in his life. 

Because of his gratitude - a gratitude deep in his being - he became aware of and embraced the truth that even when all seemed lost, God remains faithful. This is an important message for all of us today because, though life can be painful and scary at times, this deep gratitude can free us and make even surviving our most horrific experiences possible. Please see my sermon, below.

On Monday evening, St. Matthew's celebrated a Service of Admission for The Order of the Daughters of the King. The new members admitted to this special order were: Rocio Carrasco, Angie Wilkinson, and Amanda Lloyd-Jones. This is an order of Christian women from every age and stage of life who desire a closer walk with God along their Christian journey and find it through a rule of prayer and a rule of service. In today's world, I admire these three women (and many others in the order) in dedicating their lives in such a way and for being an example for all of us. Please take an opportunity to congratulate them.

This Sunday, join us for 2 important events: (1) the CROP Walk (see flyer below for more information) and, (2) the Sunday School Series, Pilgrim: Turning to Christ. There will be 5 copies of the book available on Sunday for purchase ($9.99) or you may order copies for yourself through Amazon.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: October 14, Walk-About, bishop candidates@ St. Paul's, Indy. Check-in begins at 6:30 p.m. Candidates begin the conversation at 7 p.m.

God's love to you all! Fr. Frank




October 5, 2016, 12:00 PM

A word at mid-week, 10/5

Have you ever thought that being a good Christian, a good Episcopalian, or a good Follower of Jesus took some kind of super-hero faith? Like the disciples from last Sunday, have you ever pleaded with God to increase your faith? To strengthen your faith? Did you ever wish you had more faith when dealing with something in your life? I know that I have. Lots of times!

But, Jesus teaches us that faith isn't something super-human, that it isn't like having a super-power, that bigger is not always better. In fact, Jesus says that small, simple, barely noticeable faith - like that of a spec or a mustard seed - can uproot trees and mountains! Hard to believe, perhaps, but no less true!

Faith is really about attending to the things right in front of us. All of our small actions, taken together and blessed by God can, and do, do extraordinary things! Please see my sermon, below.

October 4 is the official Feast of St. Francis and many churches are offering Pet Blessings in honor of this great saint! I hope you will join us this Saturday at 11am for Pet Blessings at St. Matthew's. For more information, please see the post below.

This past Sunday, we welcomed Robert Bolyard into our community and worship as our new Interim Music Director. Robert is a Master's graduate of Yale University in Music and Conducting and made his debut at St. Matthew's after catching the red-eye from Seattle! Robert and I are in conversation about music at St. Matthew's and plans are in the works for Robert to begin working with the choir very soon so that we can enjoy the choir's ministry at worship. Please take the opportunity to introduce yourself to Robert this coming week!

God's love to you all!
Fr. Frank




September 28, 2016, 12:00 AM

A word at mid week 9/28

This past Sunday, the parable about the rich man and Lazarus challenged our assumptions about the responsibility we have for one another. No matter our social or financial status, we all have responsibility not only to see, hear, or be aware of the disparity between ourselves and others, but more significantly, to cross that enormous gulf that exists between people, between communities. To figure out ways - even small ways - to deal with these things we see everyday.

We come to church to be nourished and challenged by God's Word, to sing hymns and songs that lift us up, to pray the prayers, and to partake of the bread and wine, so that we can be strengthened for this task.

How do we use the gifts that we have been given? Our wealth? Our time? Our intellect? Our practical abilities? Where are the Lazarus's at our gate?  Jesus makes one thing clear through this parable: Doing nothing is not an option! Please see my sermon below.

Grab a cup of coffee and something sweet to nibble on and join us at 9:15am for Sunday School (Adult Forum). We began Part 1 of the Psalms of Lamentation as a personal and private devotion in times of hurt, illness, and reconciliation. We resume with Part 2 this coming week as we take a closer look at how these special Psalms provide ways we can grieve and heal and reconcile to God and with one another.

Sunday School for Children is also offered at this time!

God's love to you all! Fr. Frank

 


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