June 01, 2016

Be Filled With the Holy Spirit!

Here we are, looking forward to summer – to time off from school, the beginning of new jobs after graduation, to time to grow, plant, harvest, rest and play. In short, time to recharge, refresh, renew. Hallelujah!  As part of our renewing and refreshing, our newsletter will take a summer breather… so I am encouraging you to prepare now to look ahead, and to join together at St. Philips to recharge, refresh, and renew as we continue on our journey as Episcopalians in the Jesus Movement.

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry exhorts us to embrace this journey and our calling to The Jesus Movement, and to remember that we will look like Crazy Christians when we do so! Craziness in summer- yep, sounds good! As a good and easy and inspiring summer read, pick up Crazy Christians, or, Songs My Grandma Sang, and let PB Curry’s words and thoughts pick you up and encourage you on. You’ll be glad for time with those great books of exhortations on the Way!

We also will have at least two offerings at St. Philips to capture group energy as we are encouraged along together, and I hope you will join in. First, we will look at the Benedictine Way for us as a parish, and as one way of entering more fully into prayerfulness and openness on the Way. And next, we will do a book group of Richard Rohr’s Falling Upward. If you have read Falling Upward, and want to enhance that reading with other of his works, take a look at Breathing Under Water or Dancing Standing Still… or Immortal Dia- mond, The Naked Now, or any other of his works – they all help us enter into the life of a contemplative in action in prayer and new life in Christ.

But now, back to the Benedictine Way of Life….

Always we begin again…

With these words, the Benedictine Way of Prayer becomes real, and true, inspiring, and livable to me. They remind me that perfection may be out of reach, but the getting back up and continuing on the way is in my reach, and is my job. … or returning to the way… is the true Way.  Although we may get discouraged, overwhelmed, and ready to give up, Always we begin again reminds us that God is with us, and will not leave us or forsake us. So we can let the Spirit dust us off, let Jesus take our hand, let God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit- walk with us through it all!

Always we begin again is a great maxim not just for individuals, but for the Church… the church universal…and the church in particular here at St. Philips. We have been picking ourselves back up, dusting off the disappointments, betrayals, and traumas of the past, and intentionally moving on in sharing love, service, and hope. If we are a bit Crazy on that Way – well, great!

Along the way, Bishop’s Warden Katherine and I have been sharing stories of our experiences at CD I- Congregation Development Institute. We have learned a lot, have learned a lot about what you think and have learned along the way from interviewing many of you (more to come!) – and we plan to share as much of what we have learned and discerned as we can.

To that end, we are looking forward to having as many of you as possible join us in a summer session introduction to parish prayer, grounded in Benedictine Practice. We will commit and pray in ways that will help us all, individually and together, to grow spiritually in depth, strength and joy. The areas of our lives that we will use to focus our prayer are hospitality, generosity, and service. This intentional prayer will enrich everything, and will help us to fulfill our mission to transform our life together, our life in our community, and our life in the world! So sign up – tell us what timing works best for you, and then Come, Begin Again!

May this summer be a time of moving deeper and deeper into the awesome mystery of prayer, and living in the hope and power and love of God. May we find rest, refreshment, renewal. May we play, and harvest and be Crazy Christians on the Way.

Come! Let us – with joy – Begin Again!

With love,
Vicar Janet