Six years ago, director Martin Scorsese released a film called Silence. Based on a novel by Shusaku Endo, the film was a fictional story about 17th century Portuguese Jesuits who travel to Japan in search of a missionary member of their order who has renounced his Christian faith. The film was a passion project for Scorsese. It was not widely distributed or widely seen, despite its universal theme of keeping faith in hostile situations and dangerous places….
Born Again | The Rev. Robert A. Jacobs, Deacon
Lent is a time of renewal in spirit in our life and of service to God. A time of repentance.
The work of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life is not something we can necessarily see, but it is no less real. So, the Holy Spirit moves in us to draw us to God, to cause us to become a new creation. The call to be born of the Spirit is the same for us as it was for Nicodemus. We must be born of the Spirit. We can’t see the Holy Spirit, but we can recognize its work….
Here We Go | The Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson, Rector
Years ago, I was standing at the entrance of the church where I was serving. It was a major feast day—I can’t remember which one—and the church was packed. As we waited, the prelude ended. And in the short silence between those final notes and everyone standing to sing the opening hymn, the seminarian working with me at the time leaned over and said, “I always feel that this moment in the service is like the safety bar coming down once you’ve entered one of the cars on a roller coaster. You hear the click, the car lurches forward, and you’re on your way. There’s no going back.”…
Meeting Moments | The Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson, Rector
Charlie and I recently moved to a new apartment. Our windows face south, and our city view includes the rooftops of a few buildings nearby. Most of these spaces are set up for resident gatherings on one kind or another, but one of them houses a rooftop playground for what must be a daycare or kindergarten somewhere in that building.
On Fridays I don’t come into the office. Sometimes it is a day off, sometimes there is work to be done, but either way, mornings are usually a bit more leisurely. If I find myself sitting at our table mid-morning with a second cup of coffee and I look out the window around that time, I can see children in the distance playing on the rooftop during their morning recess….
Let Your Light Shine | The Rev. Robert A. Jacobs, Deacon
When was the last time you thought about your relationship with the Lord? How is it? Do others see the light of Christ shining in your eyes and from your face? Do you serve the Lord letting your light shine in the darkness, or do you only allow it to shine in the light, among other Christians, where it may not be seen? Does your salt flavor the world or does it harm those around you?
We need to get out and salt the world and lead the lost to the light of Jesus Christ. If we are not doing so, then we need to ask the Lord to forgive us where we have failed Him….
Come Together | The Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson, Rector
As you have heard and read over the past weeks, the Annual Meeting of Church of the Holy Apostles is scheduled for this Sunday, January 29. It is a general expectation that all parishes in the Episcopal Church hold a meeting open to members of the congregation at least once per year, and the bylaws of most churches (including ours) codify this expectation and make it a requirement.
In worshipping communities, where mystery is assumed and faith provides the foundation for action, annual parish meetings are very businesslike affairs. Vestry members are elected. Budgets are presented. Projects are discussed. Reports are offered, and the Rector tries to sum everything up in a “state of our church” address (I will deliver mine in place of the sermon during the 11 am service). All of this is very important—essential, actually. Not everyone serves on every committee, and we all benefit from being able to hear the same information at the same time, and from the opportunity to ask questions in an open forum….
The Sacredness of All | The Rev. Susan E. Hill, Associate Rector
On Sunday mornings this Epiphany season we are offering an Adult Forum series called, “Eco Saints.” We are highlighting people of remarkable faith who have particularly raised our consciousness about the sacredness of the universe, our world, and all of life – the sacredness of earth and birth….
Life Could Be A Dream | The Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson, Rector
It’s easy to dismiss dreams. While we may find them interesting, we rarely take them seriously. If our dreams have been pleasant, we smile to ourselves as we wake, realizing that what had seemed so real in our sleep fades quickly as we regain consciousness. Or, if the visions we experienced were unsettling, we sigh with relief when we wake up and comfort ourselves by saying, “it was just a dream.”…
Baptism | The Rev. Robert A. Jacobs, Deacon
On Sunday we will hear the story of Jesus’ Baptism. As he came out of the Jordan River, a voice from heaven was heard to say, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”
As we reflect on Jesus’ baptism we take the opportunity to reflect on our own baptisms. John practiced a baptism of repentance. Our Baptism is done in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
There is a similarity between John’s baptism and ours. In baptism we are adopted as God’s sons and daughters. That act of baptism is God’s way of saying, “You are mine. I love you. I am well pleased with you….
Celebration | The Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson, Rector
The picture below is a rendering of Exodus 15:20-21. The Israelites have just crossed through the Red Sea, and the Egyptian army has drowned in the water rushing back to its normal depth. In the awe and wonder that follows, the text tells us “Then the prophet Miriam, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dancing. And Miriam sang to them: ‘Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.’”….