Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fully Alive

Article for May Ambassador

As we emerge from a very long, very hard, very cold winter and an equally uncertain spring, we find ourselves, no doubt, feeling as though we are blossoming. We find ourselves itching to get out, to work in the garden or in the flower bed, to go for long walks, enjoy the sun on our faces and the warm air around us.

Spring means renewal. And in the spring, as we exult in the season of Easter, we find renewal to be sort of the catch phrase for everything we do in church. Easter, for us as Christians, of course means renewal. It means not only finding life int eh midst of darkness and death, it means living fully in the wake of death.

“The glory of God is a human being fully alive,” wrote Irenaeus of Lyons and in this season of Easter, we are reminded again and again that, in Christ, we are fully alive. We are full of life and we should be thankful in the life we have been given and should live that life as fully and completely as we can.

I have been reading Barbara Brown Taylor’s latest book, An Altar in the World. In it, she describes her “larger vocation” as “the job of loving God and neighbor as myself. Over the years,” she writes, “I have come to think of this as the vocation of becoming fully human.”

More concretely, Taylor goes on to describe what it means to be fully human: “”To become fully human means learning to turn my gratitude for being alive into some concrete common good. It means growing gentler toward human weakness. It means practicing forgiveness of my and everyone else’s hourly failures to live up to divine standards. It means learning to forget myself on a regular basis in order to attend to other selves in my vicinity. It means living so that ‘I’m only human’ does not become an excuse for anything. It means receiving the human condition as blessing and not curse, in all its aching frail and redemptive reality.”

In this Easter season in which we experience Christ as fully divine and fully human, we are to glimpse in him the full potential for ourselves as well. We are able to realize that we can truly strive to be fully human and fully divine and to recognize that one is not necessarily less than the other, but rather complete wholes that make us more whole.

In this Easter season, exult in life and rejoice in life. Live fully and completely. And when you do, you will be experiencing Christ in your midst.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Easter at St. Stephen's

Alleluia! Christ is risen.
The Lord is risen indeed!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Holy Week and Easter 2009

(all services at St. Stephen’s unless otherwise noted)

The Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday - April 5
11:00AM – Blessing of the Palms and Holy Eucharist

Maundy Thursday- April 9
7:00PM – Holy Eucharist; Stripping of the Altar at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church

Good Friday- April 10
12:00 PM –Good Friday service at St. Mark’s
7:00 PM – Liturgy of the Passion and Holy Communion from the Reserved Sacrament*

Holy Saturday - April 11
10:00 AM – Liturgy of the Word for Holy Saturday

Easter Eve Saturday - April 11
7:00 PM – The Great Vigil of Easter at Gethsemane Cathedral

Sunday April 12 - Easter Sunday
11:00 AM – Holy Eucharist, with the Baptism of Samantha Lemke

* On Maundy Thursday, we will strip the altar and the Sacrament (the consecrated bread and wine), normally reserved in the aumbry, will be removed to an “altar of repose” in the sacristy. Since, the Eucharist is not celebrated in the Episcopal Church on Good Friday, Holy Communion will be administered from the reserved sacrament at the Good Friday service.