In less than four weeks we will celebrate the end of our Annual Campaign on Sunday, November 10th. Just two weeks in, I want to pause and thank you all for your generosity to our shared ministry here at St. Tim’s.
Hope is a big deal. It’s a big deal when for many, if not all of us, hope can seem fleeting. Where are we to find hope in our grief or struggle, in the turmoil of the world or the unknown and insecurity we might feel?
This upcoming Sunday we will read about a big request from the apostles: “Lord, increase our faith!” Jesus, of course, never responds the way that anyone thinks He will. “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed…” He responds. A mustard seed.
Over the past eight months, we have been on a journey. The vestry determined in the winter that in order for us to keep moving forward into God’s leading it was necessary for us to explore calling an Associate Rector (that is, another priest to join our ministry).
When was the last time you lost your keys? Or, your wallet? Maybe, even your homework, car, or favorite jacket? The feeling that comes close to the anxiety of realizing you’ve lost something, is the joy that comes with finding it. “Oh, there are my keys!” “Whew, I found the wallet.” “That’s where we left the car.” It feels good to find things that were lost. But what is even better than finding something is the sensation of being found. Being found is all about being known and loved. Being found is all about sharing our lives and being embraced. Being found is all about feeling lost and then suddenly coming home. Jesus reminds us that God’s deepest desire is to find us, that we might be found and loved and embraced. We hear on Sunday how the heavens are filled with joy over the lost, the outcast, the sinner, the brokenhearted, the downtrodden, you and me, coming to know God’s grace and mercy, forgiveness and love. It is offered to us in Jesus, it is offered to us every moment through God’s Spirit among us. This is God’s heart—to love and forgive, to celebrate and rejoice. We will hear on Sunday how God’s love is like a woman who searches for one coin, only to find it, and then, throw a party over this “finding”. Imagine that, spending the coin on a celebration you throw after having found the coin. It doesn’t necessarily make sense. But joy doesn’t always come to us in understandable ways—it simply comes.
This Sunday, we’ll celebrate the give of God’s love among us. We will welcome Adam Torres, our new Director of Music; we’ll share in reflecting upon our lives and faith in the Adult Forum as Dr. Will Gravely begins a 3-part series on race in America and our faith. Come and hear the most powerful of messages that God loves you, celebrates you, and rejoices in knowing you. It can be hard to believe this when we reflect upon our lives and world in the solitariness of our lived lives—that’s why we need to come together and be reminded. You are loved. Life is full of joy. Let’s celebrate together!
See you Sunday,
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.