The sacrament of baptism is an opportunity for joy, power, and a deep connection with tradition. These 3 short videos follow the Gregory family as they navigate the process of preparing their young daughter, Anna, for baptism. Watch as they discover the beautiful reason why we baptize, create lifelong relationships with the community of believers on this journey with them, and connect with the ancient history of God’s presence through this outward sacrament of inner grace.
Watch the videos...
Throughout the world this past week, churches held special services for the blessing of animals. People young and old brought their pets to the service to have them prayed over and blessed. When I have had the honor to help at these services, I have blessed beloved dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, birds, fish, and even a few stuffed animals that children lovingly brought with them to church. I have friends who have blessed horses, cows, goats, rats, and snakes!
Mother Susan's Book Recommendation:
You Are the Beloved: Daily Meditations for Spiritual Living, By Henri J. M. Nouwen
This daily devotional book is a compilation of Henri Nouwen's wisdom over a life-time. Truly - it is balm for the soul.
Like Henri's "Bread for the Journey: A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith," this book also contains focused nuggets of lifegiving truth. Most mornings - as I read these half-page reflections, I am not only reminded of my own Belovedness by God, but feel like Henri's given me glimpses through a compassionate lens to 'see' as God does. He speaks about faith, love and death in ways that resonate with my heart and allow me to carry a blessing into my day to share with others. This book makes a great personal companion near your Prayer Chair for daily devotions. The good news is - you can also receive these daily devotions by email for no charge at https://henrinouwen.org.
Father Nick's Book Recommendation:
Walking in Wonder: Eternal Wisdom for a Modern World by John O'Donohue
In October, St. Christopher's will be hosting a Godly Play workshop for the Southeast region of the United States. As part of our program we will feature a John O'Donohue presentation on some of the theology present in Jerome Berryman's work. Finding examples in Berryman's writings on the subject of “wonder" has proved to be a very edifying as well as pleasing experience. O'Donohue's work on the other hand, albeit an indirect analog, is quite complementary to Berryman's in a variety of ways. In particular, O'Donohue's theology of “wonder" complements Berryman so well that I felt the need to share it will all of my Godly Play friends here. O'Donohue says that "wonder has a sister and her name is compassion." I think that is such a rich theological statement and worthy, so worthy, of discussion here for the many ways you all remain compelled to "walk in love" with one another.