Faith Forum - Practicing Our Faith
The Sunday Faith Forum is based on the book Practicing Our Faith by Dorothy C Bass.
"Christian practices are not activities we do to make something spiritual happen in our lives. Nor are they duties we undertake to be obedient to God. Rather, they are patterns of communal action that create openings in our lives where the grace, mercy, and presence of God may be made known to us. They are places where the power of God is experienced. In the end, these are not ultimately our practices but forms of participation in the practice of God." — Craig Dykstra
The Practicing Our Faith website summarizes these practices
Be part of the #AdventWord Global Advent Calendar. It’s an innovative way to engage in the season of Advent with people all over the world.
Sign up for a daily email meditation. Then simply respond to the daily meditation emailed to you with images and prayers that speak to your heart. Your images and prayers will appear in the Advent Calendar with others from around the world. Join us as we anticipate the coming of Christ, the fulfillment of our deepest longings.
Share your own image or short reflection via social media using #AdventWord and a hashtag for the word of the day. Make sure there is a space between the tags, for example: #AdventWord #Celebrate. On Facebook, go to the AdventWord page and post to the Timeline using #AdventWord and the tag of the day, making sure that your post is set to “public,” or we can’t see it!
The Rector’s Thanksgiving Message
Thanksgiving is important for Americans historically, but it can also be a huge blessing to us personally. This week we are given some space to “Bless the Lord,” and give thanks for all His many gifts to us. Plus - for those of us who work - the holiday offers a chance to share some relaxation time with friends & family. Even if you live alone - perhaps this is the time you reach out to others for a fellowship gathering, or serve the hungry. I know for many - this is one of your favorite holidays; one with few expectations - just time to be together!
Whatever Thanksgiving means to you this year it reminds us, once again, that we are made for Gratitude. Observing our blessings and then Giving THANKS is an important Soul Muscle for us to strengthen. Words of gratitude to God - even before getting out of bed each day - can make a huge difference in the way our day unfolds. The same is true in the evening. Bedtime - offers the perfect opportunity to reflect on the day, give thanks to the Good Shepherd who watches over us, and let undone things “be,” till there’s a new day to pick them up again…
Of course, for all of you who are still in town, you are invited to come to the Thanksgiving Service tonight at 6pm, to corporately give thanks to the Giver of all good gifts.
One thing for sure; I give my whole-hearted “Thanks" for this faith-family of St. Christopher’s!
Lastly - I offer you my favorite General Prayer of Thanksgiving that can be read anytime.
It’s found on page 836 of the Book of Common Prayer.
Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise for all that you have done for us. We thank you for the splendor of the whole creation, for the beauty of this world, for the wonder of life, and for the mystery of love.
We thank you for the blessing of family and friends, and for the loving care which surrounds us on every side.
We thank you for setting us at tasks which demand our best efforts, and for leading us to accomplishments which satisfy and delight us.
We thank you also for those disappointments and failures that lead us to acknowledge our dependence on you alone.
Above all, we thank you for your Son Jesus Christ; for the truth of his Word and the example of his life; for his steadfast obedience, by which he overcame temptation; for his dying, through which he overcame death; and for his rising to life again, in which we are raised to the life of your kingdom.
Grant us the gift of your Spirit, that we may know Christ and make him known; and through him, at all times and in all places, may give thanks to you in all things. Amen.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving!
P.S.: If you are looking for a prayer to offer at the supper table on Thanksgiving, our Book of Common Prayer has a good one...
Almighty and gracious Father, we give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we pray, faithful stewards of your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
~ Book of Common Prayer, pg. 246
Advent in 2 Minutes Video
What is Advent all about? How is Advent different than Christmas? In a BRAND NEW version of our classic video, Busted Halo explains the significance of this special season in the Church and why the experience of waiting, hope, and preparation is still so important in our lives today.
Reformation Concert November 12, 2017
Our thanks to the staff of St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church
A Veteran’s Day Meditation
The Rt. Rev. Carl Walter Wright is the bishop suffragan for the Armed Forces and Federal Ministries.
I greet you in the Name of the Lord Jesus on this the 98th commemoration of “Veterans Day.” It used to be called “Armistice Day” in thanksgiving for the peace that was signed between the Allied and Axis powers. When President Woodrow Wilson made the second Armistice Day (11 November 1919) an official celebration, we were an optimistic people. The horribly tragic “War to End All Wars” had ended the previous year. Things were looking up. Americans had every right to expect that no civilized person would ever want to go to war again. Then, barely 20 years later, a deranged German army corporal, a veteran of that same war, set out to conquer the world and brought us into WWII. And so went the 20th century, arguably the most violent century ever.
Undoubtedly, those wars (and all subsequent ones) made us wonder what in the world can we trust. We were so hopeful that goodness and truth would come out of violence and evil; and it did not happen. Moreover, we are even now living through precarious and dangerous times – more dangerous than we have known for several generations – dangerous morally, socially, politically, etc. Upon reflection, our time bears a close resemblance to the inter-war years (1918-1938). We, too “have been through a great tribulation” (Revelation 7): ours was called the Vietnam conflict. Our whole society changed during and after the 1960s. Previous customs, values, and beliefs were all questioned or abandoned altogether.
These are times like those. Consensus has broken down. Fear is all around. There is an unspoken undercurrent of anxiety and uncertainty. We don’t know what the future holds.
But I ask you to join me in trusting in the true and living God, just as Job did, when he said, in the midst of great confusion, “I know that my Redeemer liveth” (Job 19). Let us be hopeful that the good will always eventually win out. Our veterans deserve our respect because they are the guarantors of the freedoms we enjoy. Our veterans do the bidding of politicians and diplomats, who we pray have our best interests in mind. Veterans fight to preserve our constitutional rights. Veterans die so we can live. So, on this 98th commemoration of Veterans Day, let us give thanks to God for their service keep them in our prayers.