This coming Sunday, August 18th, will be our Kickoff Sunday and Blessing of the Backpacks. We launch our program year together as the school year begins again. After the 10am service we will gather for an all-parish picnic and celebration.
August is an exciting month for me. It is a time for preparation and anticipation as the next school year will soon begin. Summer is a time of relaxation, and renewal, a time of reflection on the previous year and a time to enjoy the weather and family and friends. But, when August arrives, things begin to change. For a child, it is a time of anxiety and anticipation. a time when there are many unknowns ahead…new teachers, new things to learn, old friends to see again, new experiences and new classmates to meet.
One of the gifts of going on a mission trip is that you are afforded the opportunity to get to know people. You tend to see people in situations that you wouldn't otherwise have the chance to be a part of in the life of church. You go out and work and serve and sometimes people get smelly. You pack lunches or stop to eat and share stories of life in the time in between. There is time in the car or on the plane and traveling together, well, it brings things out in people.
As many of you may or may not know, as a child my family moved a lot. My father was an engineer and lead teams to build various types of power plants. Needless to say, we never lived in ‘the most beautiful’ places in the country, but each one I was proud to call home. Both of my parents always made sure all went as well as possible.
Recently the third season of the popular show Stranger Things came out to polarizing results. Some thought it was a return to form after a weak second season, but others couldn’t bear seeing the innocent children on the show grow up, form romantic relationships, and struggle with their feelings.
I sat in the church with scores of people all feeling the loss so deeply. It was the Celebration of Life service for my friend’s little boy, Elijah, who died of brain cancer six days before his second birthday. Of course, knowing that Elijah was no longer in pain and instead running, laughing and playing in heaven in the presence of God brings incredible comfort and peace.
I have an icon in my office that I often use in my prayers. It is an icon that I drew (icons are drawn, not painted—who knew!?) at a workshop back in 2010. Icons are often images of saints, biblical figures, and central stories of our faith. This icon in my office is of Jesus as a little child. His head is large and bulbous, symbolizing wisdom; his hair and garments are highlighted with white, signifying his glory; a halo of gold-leaf surrounds his head expressing his divinity.
There’s a scene in the Disney movie, 101 Dalmatians that has been on my mind lately. Cruella De Vil is driving at breakneck speed, her hands white knuckled on the steering wheel, trying to keep it on the road, her eyes in a maniacal stare white razor focus. It’s an image that has stuck with me because it feels a bit like our world sometimes. I see friends and neighbors, even my own self, trying to keep it on the road, the slightest bump could send it all to the ditch.
I read this story the other day and wanted to share it with you:
Summer is a special time. Families are taking vacations, parents are wondering how in the world teachers survived their children, sports practices are warming up, family gather for reunions, and the colors of the season are all around us. Sometimes, things slow down this time of year. Sometimes, nothing much really changes. Wherever you find yourself this summer season know that St. Timothy’s is with you.
This past week has left many of us scratching our heads wondering, what season is this? Spring? Winter? I know I have. Just like the seasons of weather change, and are unpredictable or strange, so are the seasons of our lives.
This coming Saturday marks a new chapter in the life of The Episcopal Church in Colorado. We will welcome our new bishop as The Rev. Kym Lucas is ordained as the new bishop of our diocese. God willing and the people consenting, the Reverend Kym Lucas will be ordained a bishop in the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church, and eleventh bishop of The Episcopal Church in Colorado.
Spring is upon us and signs of life in the natural world are all around us. May is a month when life is crazy for many of us. There are graduations, job searches, vacations to be planned, yard work to be done, projects to turn in, family gatherings, and the church season of Easter and Pentecost as we celebrate the promises of new life in Christ. Amid all of the rush, transitions, and thresholds of life that are so obvious during the spring season, it can be easy to forget what is always before and with us. This simple truth: you are loved by God today, tomorrow, and for all time.
Yesterday morning, at 2am, I awoke to the sound of a text from Littleton Public Schools notifying parents that the school system, along with many others throughout the Denver metro area, would be closed due to safety concerns caused by one person infatuated with a shooting that happened 20 years ago in our community. This moment has played out thousands of times for families across our metro area—and likely happened to you.
On Sunday we begin Holy Week. This is the holiest of times for us during the church year, as we remember the final days of the Jesus’ life, his teachings, and our call to follow him. All of this culminates on Easter Sunday as we celebrate the promises of the resurrection. Often overlooked, Holy Saturday is a day that we, as Christians, contemplate the silence of the tomb as we await the promise of the resurrection.
A few weeks ago, the marquis here at St Tim’s displayed Micah 6:8 “to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.” As I read that passage every day on my drive home, I was struck by “walk humbly.”
Today I would like talk to you about commitment. The definition of commitment is devotion, faithfulness, allegiance. Commitment shows up in a church in many ways. Devotion and faithfulness are hopefully part of every member of a church. But this is not always the case.
Several years ago I found myself working in a parish in which the season of Lent had not, historically, been observed with any serious intentionality. In fact, there were individuals who simply disappeared after Shrove Tuesday and reappeared on Easter because Lent was “so sad” that they couldn’t tolerate it. As we approached Holy Week I even recall one person asking me, in what I believe was true sincerity, “How could they do all that to Jesus?” Granted, I am no theologian and would never presume to answer such a question but it did seem to me that we had lost something important by focusing only on sadness and misery and by painting the season as a great tragedy.
Next week, I take a journey I have long dreamed about. By this time next week I will be arriving into Delhi, India for a two week trip with my brother. I don’t like talking about myself or having people focus on me—maybe it’s part of being the youngest child who got used to getting the thrice hand-me-down bike or the freedom that came with often being overlooked amidst the siblings. Yet, I want to share with you all a bit about this trip because I’ve noticed in myself some changes in preparing for this long-hoped-for trip.
Lent. Not growing up in the Episcopal church, I knew very little about the season of Lent, other than giving up or sacrificing something for six weeks prior to Easter, and that I saw more advertisements for fish at fast food restaurants. Throughout the years, I have grown in my own understanding of what this special and sacred time of the year means and how each of us reflect and respond.