Weekly Reflection, Sunday, January 13, 2019
By: Emily Bruch, Director of Youth Ministries
For the past few weeks I have been continually bombarded with the question “What is your New Year’s resolution?” I’m immediately exasperated; I do not have an answer. Many of us set forth goals each year, yet it sometimes takes months before we put them into practice. Often, these resolutions are to better ourselves, either outwards or inwards.
One of my favorite moments of January is the celebration of the Baptism of our Lord; the celebration of new life as a way to kick-off the new year. This Sunday we welcome two new members into our extended Christian family. During the Baptismal Service we are asked to renew our own Baptismal Covenant—a promise we have made with God before, and a way to live out our lives every day.
Similar to our New Year’s resolutions, we may find ourselves losing our way. The beauty of this covenant with God is that we can always renew our promises. We do not have to wait for a new year for a fresh start. Through this sacramental promise we are reminded by the waters of baptism that we belong to God and nothing can separate us from His love.
The last five questions of the Baptismal Covenant stand out to me, as these are vows we make about how we will live out our lives. We are asked to boldly respond to each question with “I will, with God’s help.” Here we are reminded that we are not alone. These promises can be carried out with unconditional love from God.
As you move forward into your year, I ask you: How are your resolutions reinforcing these promises you have already made to God? How do you live into this covenant every day?
Together we can, with God’s help.
January 10, 2019
Dear People of St. Mary’s,
We have been monitoring the forecast for this Sunday, January 13. Due to the predicted snow fall, we are holding one service at 10 a.m. in New St. Mary’s. Unfortunately, all other church activities including Sunday School, Parish Breakfast, and committee meetings planned for Sunday are cancelled.
Please keep checking the website, Facebook page, email, and phone message for any updates. Please help us spread the word to our parishioners who do not use the internet.
Our primary concern is your safety, so please make the safest decisions for your own well being.
God bless you.
The Rev. David H. May
Weekly Reflection, Sunday, January 6, 2019
By: David May, Rector
My wife Emmy and I have been watching ‘Call the Midwife’ on Netflix. It’s a new discovery even though it aired eight years ago. It’s a wonderful story of an order of Anglican nuns who serve as midwives and care-givers living in one of the toughest neighborhoods of London’s East End in the late 1950’s. In a recent episode, a local constable asks Sister Julienne what had motivated a young woman who had recently abandoned her newborn. Sister Julienne replies that there are only two things that motivate any of us: love or fear.
Of course, we human beings are mysterious creatures and so, who knows why any of us does what we do sometimes! But the clarity of Sister Julienne’s observation is a pretty good place to start.
It’s natural this time of the year to look ahead. And I ask myself, am I looking ahead to what this year will bring with love or fear. Or maybe, even, with a little bit of both. As a part of a self-evaluation for our wardens, I’ve been asked to look ahead and articulate what I see as the important priorities for the people of St. Mary’s in our holy calling to be disciples of Jesus in our world. I can quickly rattle off about a dozen or so things! But more and more, before rattling off that list of things, it’s important to wonder what is motivating us. Do we look ahead with love or with fear? Or a little of both!
The Prophet Jeremiah spoke a most beautiful word from God for those who look to the future. This word came to the children of Israel in exile in Babylon, far from home, who had every reason to live from fear and not love. Jeremiah proclaimed: “Thus says the Lord…For surely I know the plans I have for you…plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me….” (Jeremiah 29:11-13a)
The year before us already feels like a gift from God. And what will we do with this gift that God is giving us? Well, God knows. And so shall we as we learn to live, more and more, from love, and for love.