All Saints Messenger


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posted Jul 12, 2018, 7:03 AM by Church Secretary

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The Forward Day by Day Meditation for July 5, 2018

Matthew 22:14   For many are called, but few are chosen. 

"It's going to be hot, so bring shorts," my friend wrote in preparation for my trip to South Africa. "But be sure to bring a jacket and long sleeves for the cool evenings."

I hate to pack, mainly because I never know what to take. And invariably, I pack things I don't need. 

When it comes to packing wrong, no one outdoes Captain John Franklin, the doomed British explorer who sailed to the Arctic in 1845 with two ships full of the most inappropriate things-silver, fine china, nearly 3,000 books, and a grand piano. Much of his inventory was later found dumped on the ice, pitched when the crew became stranded. 

No, I may not be that bad, but schlepping my overstuffed luggage through a foreign airport, I wonder what I might have been better off leaving at home.

MOVING FORWARD: How can you travel lightly? What might you need to dispose of so that you can enjoy the journey?

All Saints Messenger - June 28, 2018

posted Jul 12, 2018, 6:59 AM by Church Secretary

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Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, 


As I read this passage from Mark, Jesus' deep love for others stands out. The woman was suffering. She knew if she could just touch Jesus she would be healed. Immediately after touching him, she was freed from her suffering. Jesus said, "Daughter, your faith has healed you." These two healing stories show us that Jesus' heart is for healing things that seem impossible to heal. 

Today, we are called to connect and love others. Through faith we can spread the word of God by our actions. How so? Reread the promise in verse 36; what does it say? Jesus is bringing us together at General Convention to have us be Jesus' hands and feet and to show others his deep love. Jesus shows us, be healing these two people, that this is part of why we gather, this year in Austin, and every three years.

Dear God, help me to do your work with my hands. I know it will not be easy, but give me strength to go beyond my comfort zone and be the light of Jesus for others. Amen. 

See ya Sunday!

Blessings
Fr. Gary+

All Saints Messenger - June 21, 2018

posted Jun 25, 2018, 11:52 AM by Church Secretary

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Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, 

"Don't you care?" You can just imagine the fear and frustration of the disciples as the storm battered their boat. The waves were treacherous, the shore was distant and their odds of survival were increasingly slim--yet Jesus continued to sleep. Do their lives matter so little to him that he cannot be bothered to awake? 

When God seems silent in our seasons of distress, the same question comes to mind. Hard pressed by anxieties and tragedies, we have little choice but to try and wake God up. We pray, we beg, we shout: "Lord, don't you care that I'm perishing?" If you are waiting for an answer to that question, then take this to heart: your God cares so deeply that God underwent death for you. Though the silence is deafening, your God is neither distant nor indifferent. The one who watches over you neither slumbers nor sleeps.

God of salvation, draw near to me in my distress and give me the peace that comes from you. Amen. 

See ya Sunday!

Blessings
Fr. Gary+

All Saints Messenger - June 14, 2018

posted Jun 25, 2018, 11:41 AM by Church Secretary

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Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, 

I've always admired gardener-types, especially my grandmother, who was able to transform a patch of dirt into a flower garden or a vegetable patch. A green thumb I am not. 

Jesus reminds us of the power of a little underwhelming seed. This is how the Kingdom of God comes about--gently, slowly, breaking through ground. Earthly kingdoms break the ground too, but like a bulldozer--through coercion and force. Sometimes we expect the Kingdom of God to be like a bulldozer. We want to see progress that is earth-shattering and immediate. 

A seed doesn't only change a garden bed, it can change an entire landscape. The Kingdom of God enters one's heart, and at first, it may seem to make no difference at all. But as one ponders, considers and wrestles with it, things begin to stir. And after a while, this little seed of Truth has the potential to transform our landscape and change the world.

Powerful Lord, you show us your strength through gentleness and your might through service. May the seed you plant in our hearts spread into all we do and say. Amen. 

See ya Sunday!

Blessings
Fr. Gary+

All Saints Messenger - June 7, 2018

posted Jun 7, 2018, 11:02 AM by Church Secretary

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The Forward Day by Day Meditation for THURSDAY, June 7

Matthew 14:20  And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full.

On a good night, the community kitchen serves more than a hundred meals to those who would otherwise go hungry. Many men and women in our area lead lives of social and economic scarcity, so part of our mission is to ensure that there is always enough for everyone to eat and be satisfied.
 
The gospels teem with similar stories about people leading lives of scarcity-no food, no shelter, and poor health. But when they meet Jesus, their scarcity is transformed into abundance! Their sicknesses are made well, their hunger is satiated, and their rejections are redeemed.

In a world filled with fears of scarcity and squabbles over who deserves more goods or services, we are invited to Jesus' table, where grace and love and mercy overflow. May we never cease to look for ways to heal the sick, feed the hungry, and embrace the rejected. Then, our empty baskets will be filled and our half-filled cups will overflow.

MOVING FORWARD: Volunteer with a community soup kitchen or food pantry this week. Consider making this a regular part of your discipleship.

All Saints Messenger - May 31, 2018

posted Jun 7, 2018, 11:01 AM by Church Secretary

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Greetings in the name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

Don't forget our Summer Blast Event, tomorrow night from 5-8. Fun for everyone!

Any of you who have received a speeding ticket or the like probably do the same thing that I have done. We slowly merge back into traffic and for a while I manage to keep my "heavy" foot off the gas pedal. My willpower doesn't last for long, though--a few days perhaps. Still, being caught, called out, or shamed is a compelling, albeit fleeting force. 

Jesus didn't stay on the good side of the law for even a few days. Seemingly, on the same Sabbath day as the grain plucking incident, Jesus again flagrantly breaks the law by restoring the withered hand of a fellow synagogue-goer. Again Jesus justifies his actions with an appeal to the inherent righteousness of doing good rather than harm. One would expect Jesus to follow what proper religious practice dictated and ignore the man on the assumption that his gnarled hand was a sign of a gnarled soul.

But Jesus is intent on doing good. And for that--for daring to disrupt a system that, while good for some, is calculatedly designed to keep the most vulnerable from receiving even the simplest of blessings--Jesus earns himself a death warrant.

Make us thankful for your gift of rest Lord, and when there is good to be done, help us to do it even if it means breaking the rules. Amen.

See ya Sunday!

Peace,
Fr. Gary+

All Saints Messenger - May 24, 2019

posted Jun 7, 2018, 10:59 AM by Church Secretary

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Greetings in the name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

God said to Moses, "Make a poisonous serpent, and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten shall look at it and live: (Numbers 21:8). If you have ever been to the doctor, a hospital or a clinic you may have seen this image--a traditional medical seal with two snakes circling a pole. 

Jesus used this ancient story, but with a twist. Instead of looking at a snake on a pole for healing, Jesus said, "Look to the cross and live." Throughout the ancient Roman Empire, the cross was a symbol of power, pain and fear. The cross represented something so horrible that just its image, forlorn and looming over a city, conveyed great suffering and sin. 

God takes the cross, this symbol of sin and transforms it into an instrument of life. God's son is lifted up on the cross so that all who look to it will find life. Through the cross, our pain, brokenness and burdens are transformed into balm, healing and peace. Look to the cross and you shall live.

O God, we give thanks that through Jesus' death on the cross you have shown the power to turn suffering into healing, to turn brokenness into wholeness, to take death and turn it into life. Amen.

See ya Soon!

Peace,
Fr. Gary+

All Saints Messenger May 17, 2018

posted May 21, 2018, 6:33 AM by Church Secretary

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Greetings in the name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

This Sunday is Pentecost, that great festival of the Church when we welcome again, the Holy Spirit, into our lives. The reading from John this Sunday is about love that helps us remember and hope. The love of Jesus that is always with us, most often through the Holy Spirit!

Jesus gave important last words before going back to the Father. These were abiding words that would help them "remember." This remembering is not merely a, keeping some thought in mind, it is action.  It is action that takes hold of Jesus' promise. It is action that moves one to walk with confidence into the future God has planned for you. 

Knowing Jesus was going back to the Father, the disciples were afraid of their future. But love was not about to leave them orphaned. Jesus promised to be present with them in the person of the Holy Spirit, to be their guide and to help them remember. Jesus makes that promise not only to the disciples of old, but also to us: "The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of (make you remember) all that I have said to you. ...My peace I give to you...Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid." (John 14:26-27)

Thank you, Jesus, for your presence with us in the person of the Holy Spirit who even now is transforming our fears into a living hope. Amen.

See ya Sunday!

Peace,
Fr. Gary+

All Saints Messenger May 10, 2018

posted May 21, 2018, 6:31 AM by Church Secretary

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Greetings in the name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

This Sunday's entire reading from the Gospel of John is part of a prayer made by a son to his father. Jesus is going down the checklist, as if his father had asked whether he had completed the chores that were assigned. I've made your name known, Abba. The words you gave me, I gave to them. I protected them. Jesus, like any human son, is assuring his beloved father that his duties have been accomplished. But it's verse 13, speaking of his joy, that highlights his humanity and endears him to me even more.

Happiness, delight, pleasure--his innermost feeling is revealed, giving us a sense of what he has endured. Unspoken are the years away from his father, the yearning to be back where he belongs, the self-discipline required to be faithful in all things, the intensity of his love. Reunion pictures whiz through my mind; like children running on the tarmac to a returning military dad, or an immigrant son crying with joy as he is united with his absent father once again.

Lord of all joy, with a grateful heart I praise and thank you for loving me so much in spite of the cost demanded of you. Grant me courage for the living of my days as you lived yours. Amen.

See ya Sunday!

Peace,
Fr. Gary+

All Saints Messenger May 3. 2018

posted May 21, 2018, 6:29 AM by Church Secretary

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Greetings in the name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

If you jump into a swimming pool you will get wet. It's not that if you jump in you will prove that you are worthy to get wet and therefore will be granted wetness. No, it's just the way it works. Jesus said if we keep his commandments--love God and love each other--we will find ourselves abiding in Christ--a place of abundant life and complete joy. That's just the way it works. It's hard to love as Jesus loved, though--to put yourself aside for the good of the other, especially to the point of sacrifice and suffering. But Jesus chose us for this and gave us the command so that we could love one another. We love--we abide; we abide--we love.

Lord, sometimes you talk in circles. It's a circle of love. Help us to color inside the lines of your love, which has no boundaries, so it shouldn't be too hard for us! Amen.

See ya Sunday!

Peace,
Fr. Gary+

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