Calvary is a special place with great preaching, wonderful music, an active laity, and a friendly and mission-focused congregation …
“As a place of tolerance and acceptance of others; the friendliness, love and support of our congregation ensures we will continue to remain an open and affirming place for everyone.”Vision 2020 excerpt
“And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:20
Last week I was going through files to clean-up, clear” out, and reorganize papers and articles that; at some point, I thought were worth keeping. A number of them finally went the way of the trash can, but I did find some treasures.
I found a lovely little booklet, “Lo, I.am with you always,” that had been put together before computers were available for everyone. I could tell by the uneven type and the quality of the copy. It had been compiled by a friend of mine at a time when a beloved friend of hers was dying from cancer. I had just recently been ordained and my experience was limited. I had lost my own mother to cancer four years before. How helpful this would have been for me then.
In her introduction to the booklet she said, “Although God did not heal [my friend] physically, He truly healed her spiritually, for she knew that no matter what happened she would never be alone.”
The little booklet is full of re-assuring words from scripture and short reflections from well-known persons involved in the healing ministry. The Bible, spiritual reflections that bring hope, and beloved friends to support and uphold us during difficult times are gifts we don’t always appreciate. They are always there for us, but we don’t usually take advantage of their availability until we are desperate.
Recently, I read that a study was done which concluded that reading the Bible contributed to one’s overall sense of well-being. It was.one of those articles that I skimmed but have now forgotten just where I had seen it. However, the reality resonates with my own experience: Our denomination participated in a challenge to read the Bible in a year. For those who participated it was an interesting experience. Not many were completely successful, but all o£ us read more than we would have had we not accepted the challenge. Having the affirmations from scripture, and in their context, are valuable tools to have before the crisis arrives. Make good friends with the Bible. You will never regret it.
Articles and books by healing ministers such as Henri Nouwen, Emily Gardiner Neal, Charles Spurgeon, Thomas Merton, [all mentioned in my friends booklet] and many others, are treasures to read now and invaluable to return to when the going gets tough. Whether we are the care-givers or care-receivers, we are helping to spread God’s love in a very needy world.
Thank you my dear friend, Jane. Your booklet reminded me of these three very important things I need today – not just in the time of crisis! God’s word, words of comfort and affirmation, and those beloved bearers of God’s presence for me.
The Rev. Deborah W. Rutter
Rector, Calvary Episcopal Church
[This posting originally appeared on the Religion page of The Warren Sentinel of August 14, 2014]
This month we can report that our brothers and sisters are safe and busy. They are actively
involved in their Unit Prayer Activities.
Brother Seth reports, “ it has become our culture that every year from July to September we have organized a tour of all Churches in our Archdeaconry in order to strengthen the faith of our believers in a way that there are song presentations by all groups, this includes Sunday School children, Youths, Christian Choirs, Mothers Union, and the Laymen.”
They train people how to lead prayers, how to preach and encourage all Christians to raise
contributions for developments in the Church e.g. construction and completion of projects.
“At the end we sit and decide what priority to do each year. We pray that God will con- tinue to help us in this process.” Following this three month study a group gathers to discuss their strategic plans for 2015; “perhaps we will also send to you a copy of this document.”
The Missions Committee will be getting into full swing to raise the funds needed to provide safe drinking water for St. Paul Parish. We are exploring opportunities for grants including a Diocesan Mustard Seed Grant, but it still depends on the support of Calvary Church. Have you bought your share of stock yet?
We will let Seth close this article – “may you continue to pray for us so that life can be better we hope; our God is a loving God He never fails to help his people.”
- Frank Baxter, Chairperson
Calvary Mission Committee
[This article originally appeared in the August 2014 edition of our parish newsletter, Calvary Life].
Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost – Proper 16
Grant, O merciful God, that your Church, being gathered together in unity by your Holy Spirit, may show forth your power among all peoples, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Tenth Sunday after Pentecost – Proper 15
Almighty God, you have given your only Son to be for us a sacrifice for sin, and also an example of godly life: Give us grace to receive thankfully the fruits of his redeeming work, and to follow daily in the blessed steps of his most holy life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32
Matthew 15: (10-20), 21-2
Ninth Sunday after Pentecost – Proper 14
Grant to us, Lord, we pray, the spirit to think and do always those things that are right, that we, who cannot exist without you, may by you be enabled to live according to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
Psalm 105:1-6, 16-22, 45b