Entering The Story | The Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson, Rector

Entering The Story | The Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson, Rector

  A “threshold” is commonly understood as a strip at the bottom of a door, over which one must cross in order to enter a different space. We cross a threshold from room to room, or from indoors to out. But there is a secondary definition to this word: a magnitude or intensity that must be exceeded for a certain reaction, phenomenon, result or condition to occur or be manifested.

           We are at the threshold of Holy Week. We are about to relive the events that steer the momentum of this story toward Jesus’ death. The liturgies of Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday pull us into God’s time and space. Our worship this week is structured differently. It has a unique rhythm. It highlights a unique reality…..

Entering The Story | The Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson, Rector

Discipleship | The Rev. Robert A. Jacobs, Deacon

Although we find it easy to be distracted by many voices in our world, it is crucial that we as Christians be focused on serving Jesus in intentional ways.

We are just past the midway point in our Lenten Journey being Disciples of Christ. Discipleship is a way if life.  It means that we align ourselves with Jesus. We seek to follow his ways. We hunger to have a relationship with him.

Jesus is more than someone we read about in a book. We can read about famous people, we can appreciate their courage in the face of persecution and adversity. They may still be with us or have past on but Jesus lives with us now. He is the same, yesterday, today and forever. He’s our eternal and living savior….

Entering The Story | The Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson, Rector

The Insistant Yes | The Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson, Rector

Today, March 25, is the Feast of the Annunciation, when we commemorate the visit of the archangel Gabriel to Mary. A popular subject with painters throughout Christian history, the Annunciation is often portrayed as an inevitable encounter. Gabriel tells Mary that she will be the mother of Jesus the Christ. Mary responds with a resounding “yes” to Gabriel’s pronouncement: “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”….

Entering The Story | The Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson, Rector

The Holy Week Gifts of Cyril of Jerusalem | The Rev. Susan E. Hill, Associate Rector

Blessed St. Patrick gets all the attention this week, but today, March 18, the Church remembers another saint who had a formative impact on the way we worship at this time of year: Cyril of Jerusalem, Bishop and Theologian.

Cyril was born around 315 in Jerusalem, only a decade before one of the big Councils of the Church took place in Nicea in 325. Cyril became a bishop in about 349 and soon became embroiled in the theological controversy that came out of that Council ― namely, how to properly express the Son’s relationship with the Father. In trying to find a way that satisfied multiple constituencies, Cyril ended up pleasing no one. In fact, he was exiled from his bishopric three times, for a total of sixteen years! In 381, at the Council of Constantinople, he voted along with the majority for the original position espoused at the Council of Nicea and included in our Nicene Creed: the Son is “of one being with the Father.”…

Entering The Story | The Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson, Rector

The Equalizing Season | The Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson, Rector

As has been announced in various ways, Holy Apostles is in the preliminary stages of a multi-faceted capital project. One of our first steps has been to hire a consulting firm to assist us in creating a case for supporting the work. This process includes interviews with various “stakeholders”: staff, guests, volunteers and donors. Once the consultants hear from a wide swath of interested parties, they will weave together aspects of engagement in our common life and build materials that help us articulate the important benefits of the project.

            During my interview the questions were far reaching and wide ranging. We discussed details of CHA and HASK as well as hopes and dreams for the future. At one point, my interviewer asked me about using terms like “vulnerability” and “need” when referring to our HASK guests. The point of the question was clear: such terms, even when accurate, help maintain distance between groups of people. Those designated as “in need” must be different from those who are responding to those needs—and not in a good way….

Entering The Story | The Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson, Rector

Whom Do We Please? | The Rev. Robert A. Jacobs, Deacon

Daily we make decisions as to what to do in our life’s journey, but before we ask, what will the people think about our decision, let’s ask, “What will God think about our decisions?”

If we are in a group we all know the pressure to just say nothing, to try to keep them “liking us.” I know I have felt that pressure as I have fallen into it at times. It takes work to learn how to do it and it’s sometimes a risk to step out and say something. That’s just the moment when we can learn what is really of highest importance to us. If pleasing God is number one, then we’ll speak up for God’s standards. If pleasing people is number one, then we’ll bite our tongues and say nothing.

Jesus had moments when He got wonderful feedback from the people he served. Why, because He was listening to the Father in making decisions. Then there were those other days.

Pharisees disrupted his teaching sessions with heckling questions. When He healed the sick and fed them, everybody wanted in. When he talked about the cost of discipleship, most of them just walked away. They abandoned Him….

Entering The Story | The Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson, Rector

The Care and Feeding of Others (and Ourselves!) | The Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson, Rector

Today, in our yearly calendar commemorating Holy Women, Holy Men we remember Emily Malbone Morgan. I confess that I did not know very much about this woman. Looking her up, I found her described as a “prophetic witness” and a “modern contemplative.” She was a founder of the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross in 1884. This lay order for Episcopal women was both fervent in prayer and very involved in issues of social justice reform at the turn of the twentieth century….

Entering The Story | The Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson, Rector

Our Leaders Need Our Prayers | The Rev. Susan E. Hill, Associate Rector

This Monday our country will commemorate Presidents’ Day. My personal celebration of this holiday in past years has had little to do with any presidents and much more to do with taking a ski trip over the long weekend (with roughly a billion other people who are also trying to take advantage of the winter weather and the school break!). But this year I decided to actually remind myself of just who we are meant to be celebrating…..

Entering The Story | The Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson, Rector

Embodied Faith | The Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson, Rector

The latest newsletter from the Society of St. John the Evangelist in Cambridge, MA included a page with the headline Formation in Practice. Underneath was this introductory question: “what does it mean to believe?” Stating that belief is something we do (rather than something we think), the short article included the following questions for reflection:

What other words are synonymous with “belief” for you?
Who has inspired belief in your life? What did they do or say that inspired you?
What actions engage or express your beliefs? How do you feel you are embodying belief?…

Entering The Story | The Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson, Rector

Obedience to God | The Rev. Robert A. Jacobs, Deacon

The Outcome of Obedience to God will always bring blessings!

The Lord’s simple requests often serve as stepping-stones to life’s most wonderful blessings.

Simon Peter illustrates what can happen when we say yes to God.

The Lord wanted to use Peter’s boat as a floating platform from which to address the multitude, so He asked Peter to push his boat out a little way from shore.

Peter’s compliance to His request paved the way for a life changing blessing….


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Church of the Holy Apostles

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