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ALLELUIA

2o17


cover art by Marin Purdy


~ Dear Parishioners ~ Please read these inspirational pages with family or friends each of the fifty days of Eastertide. As you read, discuss, and reflect, set aside a minimum of two dollars each day (most put aside much more as their resources allow) and on the Day of Pentecost, bring the envelope with cash or check to the altar for blessing and reception. You may also donate through the Alleluia webpage using the donation tab. These funds will be used to help any of our own members who are struggling or in need in this challenging economy. Be prepared to mail or bring your Alleluia Offering envelope on Pentecost Sunday, June 4th, 2017. Thank you and blessings!

~ The Reverend Bruce Freeman

How did all those priests ever get so serious and preach all that gloom? I don’t think God tickled them yet. Beloved God - hurry! ~ Teresa of Avila


In past years, many of my Alleluia moments have been experienced on the African Savannah at sunset, in a fishing village in Costa Rica, or in a cathedral in Barcelona with light shining through stained glass. Travel is a huge part my life and it is where my heart is most open. But in thinking about this year, my Alleluia moment is closer to homeright in the heart of St. Matthew’s. Six years ago, we started the prayer ministry with a dedicated group of lay parishioners. We were trained by the prayer ministry leadership at All Saints Beverly Hills, and we adapted our approach to work for us here at St. Matthew’s. Over the years, I have heard stories of sorrow and joy, loss and celebration, always with the gratitude that the Holy Spirit is with us in prayer whether we remember it or not. And as result of this amazing privilege to serve, my personal prayer life has grown, not always consistently, but always in the right direction: deepening and lifting me up. (con’t)

Day 1


So when we were asked last summer as a prayer ministry group to consider becoming anointing ministers for both services, I had to stop and think about this. My initial reaction was to want to hide from this request, feeling like it would be too much responsibility, something that should be reserved for the clergy. But like every intimate moment I’ve experienced in service at St. Matthew’s, from offering the chalice as a Lay Eucharistic Minister to sitting in payer with a parishioner needing personal attention, I knew I needed to stretch and try. Sitting in the Chapel one morning, I looked across to the rail and witnessed a fellow prayer minister who had been recently trained in anointing, deeply leaning in with hands on the head of a woman kneeling. Both were my friends. Both were together in the most cherished closeness imaginable. At that moment, I knew I wanted to be trained to serve in the anointing ministry. So first I learned the words, then I felt the feelings: “I lay my hands upon you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, beseeching Him to uphold you and fulfill you with His grace, that you may know the healing power of His love. And so I anoint you with oil in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Go now in peace. Amen” The anointing ministry has become an important part of my spiritual life. It has expanded me in ways I couldn’t have envisioned. And the Alleluia moments for me are waiting expectantly at the rail on Sundays at 8am, to see just how the Holy Spirit will show up. ~ Lise L. Luttgens

Day 2


~ photo by Lise L. Luttgens

Day 3


Little Nightingale Once in the forest, the garden of God, a bird spoke. The bird sang as though he was singing for an emperor. The Nightingale sang its sweet song seeing heads bobble to his direction. It was peace. The song grew wings and flew into the sky’s ears. Bringing home memories of soothing lifetimes like a movie, strip by strip, the movie played soft and fast while the song still flew. It flew to heart, to mind, to body, to peace. ~ Savannah Strome SMPS Student Day 4


~ Cynthia Smith

Day 5


I recently learned of the death of Pamela Bowlay-Williams, and it has sparked this memory of her. For several years, at 1:00 on Mondays, I offered a creative writing class at Daybreak, a homeless women’s shelter on 4th Street in Santa Monica. Pamela was my star pupil. Her outsize presence—intellectually, physically, and spiritually —anchored the group. And, not only did she have the best laugh I’ve ever heard, but I have never known a person of such invincible self-esteem. One day the writing prompt I put forth was: If you could be any kind of light, what kind of light would you be? One by one, the women read their responses and explanations: sunbeam; laser; reading light; wobbly moonlight on water; flashlight in a power failure; a green traffic light… I can’t remember whether Pamela actually went last or not. But I do know that what she wrote stopped us in our tracks. “If I could be any kind of light,” she’d written, “I would be the light at the end of the tunnel.” Rest in peace, Pamela, my friend and fellow writer. ~ Melinda Benton

Day 6


photo by Lise L. Luttgens

Day 7


Rise Up (from the perspective of a 23 year old woman)

“You can be anything,” they all used to say. “What holds you back? You answered, “Nothing.” But you don’t know if that’s still possible in the world that we live in. Don’t let someone in this new time tell you that you can’t hope and dream like you used to. If you let them you would be even more disappointed in yourself then you would be with that person. You can hope and dream like there is no tomorrow! But most importantly, ask yourself “What do I want to be??” Correct answer: You can be anything. I wanted to be a writer, look at me now. ~ Eliza Sandifer SMPS Student

Day 8


THE LABYRINTH JOURNEY TO JERUSALEM Early Monday mornings on our beautiful campus: Searching for my Jerusalem, my place of peace. I am led by the light on our hills, which filters through the oaks and shines on the palm trees high above, through twists and turns to the center to that space where I sense the healing power of God's love. An inspiration from William Blake fills my soul: "I will not cease from mental fight... until we have built Jerusalem in every... land." Alleluia, Alleluia! ~ Elizabeth Fore Keatinge

Day 9


Ending All Over Again I sat listening to the chanting in the desert The spider’s string broke It twirled through the air like a starfish It hit the ground sounding like a narrow blue piano It now sounded like trumpets falling and hitting the ground I opened the window and saw myself falling from the sky In a flash I twisted around and curled into a ball It was raining me. ~ Evan Stokdyk SMPS Student

Day 10


The Road Less Traveled, or Taking Side Streets to Avoid Traffic

On the road less traveled I get to see more green Less machine Butterflies before my eyes… At a slower pace I see More of God’s face More of God’s grace ~ Wendy Jackson Day 11


I first walked into St. Matthew’s over 20 years ago and felt deeply and personally connected in a way I didn't understand, but knew I wanted more of. Since, I've ventured a lot of serious guesses and even a few jokes about why I like going to church so much, but still I couldn't quite grasp what the sense of connectedness was to or about. The sermons lately have me thinking about this. Bruce waves his arms a lot, painting in repeatedly broad and frequent brush strokes the existence of a loving and forgiving God (Dana says his sermons are all about that, and if so, bring it Bruce!). Christine recounts the Scriptures as oral stories in contemporary language, asking questions that resonate with the admission that it's okay to doubt. Her voice singing the Eucharistic Prayer is plaintive, longing and adoring of a living God. Last Sunday, I realized what the big draw has been for me all along! Call me dense, because the answer is simple. The practice, however, is more difficult: It is to invoke a living God in all aspects of my life. When my fellow parishioners and I shake hands with such sincere intention during the Peace... when I watch friends and newcomers cup their hands to be fed by the essence of Christ... and when Bruce and Christine light up in the way they do... I am eternally grateful for the help of St. Matthew’s in bringing me closer to a relevant, living God. ~ Betty-Jo Tilley Day 12


Contemplating My ‘Guest House’ during Lent, 2017

The Guest House This being human is a guest house every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! even if they are a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of all its furniture, still treat each guest honorably. He may be cleaning you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet the at the door laughing and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from the beyond.

~ Rumi (1207-1273) Persian poet and theologian

Day 13


photo by Lise L. Luttgens Day 14


My Time is Coming to an End The wind blew against my warm jacket. Slowly, raindrops started coming down on my head. I needed to get home but I just couldn’t bear to leave the beautiful gray skies. I put my hand out and memories came rushing back from childhood. I started to cry. It was embarrassing but worth it. All those times I was bad, but mostly good. Please, can I be young again, please. ~ Riley Sullivan SMPS Student

Day 15


(a few years ago) The envelope arrived a week after the Women’s Retreat with a return address, but no name. Enclosed were two beautiful items: a bookmark with dried pressed flowers from the Holy land - including an olive wood cross made from paper thin slices of wood; and a lovely quote about friendship written in calligraphy and printed in chocolate brown ink on heavy cream colored paper. At the Women’s Retreat several weeks earlier we had been encouraged to give away something of value with no expectation of return, and one of my retreat sisters had just done that. I wanted to thank her, but didn’t spot the short signed note on the reverse of the book mark for several weeks. (The two gifts were from Carol Lanning, who has always graced our Women’s Retreats with her wisdom and kindness.) The experience of receiving an unexpected gift anonymously in the mail – amongst the bills and “junk” mail – filled me with wonder and joy, like suddenly spotting a shining rainbow amidst gray storm clouds. Several years have passed and I still treasure the two gifts. The bookmark is in a favorite book I’ve been savoring slowly. The quote sits near my desk so I can enjoy it often. Here are the beautiful words about friendship: “Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort, of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away. “ Dinah Maria Mulock Craik, 1859

~ Kathleen Summerland Heuser Day 16


A

At Hadrian’s Wall

Beneath a slate sky The ruins wait warily As pilgrims approach

~ Cynthia Smith

Day 17


Sunshine In the middle of green and yellow and all colors that are bright I feel included, included with the world and with what is around me. The wind whispers like something is coming. Something that gives you butterflies in your stomach, and makes you swallow your life so all that is felled inside of you can be replaced with this wonderful feeling. Then there is a whirl of air and it is staring at you shining with light and warmth. Spreading its love to everyone yet it feels like it’s only with you, and now I feel more than included, I feel love.

~ Kiki McKenzie SMPS Student Day 18


Smile Even a sprinkle of sadness on the earth will become too salty and the sweetness will be diminished, like skipping a pebble, the effects will ripple, but even a grain of sugar will be dominant depending on how you shall use it. The sprinkle will become a geyser the sweetness will always be the dominant force. It depends on how you use it. ~ Asher Rawlins SMPS Student Day 19


On Lindisfarne

Worn hulls on the strand The castle rises in mist Holy is the land

~ Cynthia Smith

Day 20


Storm Yet we were still out there, sitting swaying, casting, despite the thunderous roar of the electrifying lightning. Our desolate full-metal rowboat left us like sitting ducks in the rain. Stuck in the weeds cemented in the weeds, actually, the slight tremble of the enclosed phone soon became a collection of buzzes. Despite this, the stubborn persistence inside us to catch a fish pulled through. Only at the final call, when the shockingly, yet stunning, storm clouds came near, we went back to the Jurassic Park of a canal, probably worse to swim in than a lake in a thunder storm. Light was dimming, but the storm wasn’t and wouldn’t. ~ Aidan Flintoft SMPS Student Day 21


Photo by Lise L. Luttgens Day 22


Dear God, We struggle, we grow weary, we grow tired. We are exhausted, we are distressed, we despair. We give up, we fall down, we let go. We cry. We are empty, we grow calm, we are ready. We wait quietly. A small, shy truth arrives. Arrives from without and within. Arrives and is born. Simple, steady, clear. Like a mirror, like a bell, like a flame. Like rain in summer. A precious truth arrives and is born within us. Within our emptiness. We accept it, we observe it, we absorb it. We surrender to our bare truth. We are nourished, we are changed. We are blessed. We rise up. For this we give thanks. Amen.

~ Leunig

Day 23


Untitled The cool mist on my face. The thick leash that I held now dampened by the moist air. The furry being in front of me shaking water off her fur. She sniffed the air around her. She walked on, twirling the blue leash behind her. She bent down and sniffed a small tree. Her senses tingling, she might have smelled another dog. Her collar jingling as she sped up. Her eyes must have met with our destination. And then I heard my name and my mind flashed forward into the present. ~ Christopher McCarthy SMPS Student

Day 24


Glass Bottom Boat Because there's so much color to admire below but feeling a little sick on my bench with the swaying, our stalled and stationary drift, I had to look down through glass with the other ogling families in hoodies and parkas, the better to see where shoals of orange Garibaldi swarmed through streaming algae, soft as in slow-motion dreaming. You cannot fish particular species protected by the state, our captain said. And we nodded in silence. It always heartens me to hear it: For he will pluck my feet out of the net... In the wide and delicate pond of humankind, if only such care were taken with us all.

~ Michelle Bitting Abrams

Day 25


~ photo by Lise L. Luttgens Day 26


Endless Road Wind blows through my hair, through my clothes, through me. I look forward at the endless road. It never ends, until it does. It never starts, until you are born. It’s my road. It’s my life. It is straight with occasional turns. These turns are my choices. Mine Alone No one can force you to make turns. No one can force you to make choices. You travel longingly on the road of life. Until it stops, until you stop. ~ Ava Ozbolt SMPS Student

Day 27


Untitled Stuck in the cement tangled in vines I watched the yellow light of the hurricane the pale sky turning into darkness there would be nobody dancing tonight My red hammer bashing stone, circling in the air to the music of the violin hiding under my umbrella but the rain still touched my tongue In time the storm will pass Shaking was the jigsaw, my apron was trembling, my ladder was spinning in a spiral, “Clang!� went the door as it fell off the hinges My head was falling next ~ TJ Hastings SMPS Student

Day 28


God Help us. With great skill and energy we have ignored the state of the human heart. With politics and economics we have denied the heart’s needs. With eloquence, wit and reason we have belittled the heart’s wisdom. With sophistication and style, with science and technology, we have drowned out the voice of the soul. The primitive voice, the innocent voice. The truth. We cannot hear our heart’s truth and thus we have betrayed and belittled ourselves and pledged madness to our children. With skill and pride we have made for our selves an unhappy society. God be with us. Amen.

~ Leunig Day 29


photo by Wendy Jackson Day 30


Me and My Mind Walking slowly but hearing the crunch when I step. Don’t leave, you’re safe. The look of elegance and flap of magic. It warms me. Yet I’m not hot. “Flap, Flap.” Don’t fly away. The thought of something out there. Feel like I’m turning but I’m completely still. This graceful creature leaves. Not in a rush, but in a trance. “Flap, Flap.” Sun glows through the wings like glass. It leaves but I’m still here. I’m still the same. No one else. Just me and my mind. And that’s how I like it. ~ Caroline Albert SMPS Student

Day 31


Hymns Rock of ages, cleft for me Let me hide myself in Thee Hymns are like living memories that, for me, pack a mysterious, spiritual punch. Sometimes the notes on the page are too complicated for me to follow, and only the organist doesn’t seem lost. I sense a lack of enthusiasm for hymns, as if they’re some vestigial organ from our past that no one has the heart to declare obsolete.

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' name. On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.

Personally, I experience joy whenever I hear an old familiar hymn. Perhaps this feeling comes from my fond memories of sitting in a pew crammed between my grandparents, parents, two sisters and friends inside various church sanctuaries throughout my childhood.

(con’t) Day 32


(con’t)

But, a familiar melody will bring the lyrics effortlessly to my lips, and I cannot help but sing along. It’s feels like something warm and pure descends over me and grips me in a joyful embrace.

Crown Him with many crowns, the Lamb upon His throne / Hark! How the heavenly anthem drowns all music but its own / Awake, my soul, and sing of Him who died for thee /And hail Him as thy matchless King through all eternity.

The act of praising God vocally, out loud is a powerful thing. I feel connected to my Christian forefathers and the early church in a palpable way. It’s like I’m standing shoulder to shoulder with Christians from days gone by, and we’re sharing our awe and delight and frailty together. A reminder I’m not alone on this journey.

(con’t)

Day 33


(con’t)

So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross, Till my trophies at last I lay down; I will cling to the old rugged cross, And exchange it some day for a crown.

Great hymns have unapologetically survived the test of time. Despite the formality and predictability of them, I’m often moved to tears. This isn’t a rational response. Maybe my soul longs to cry out to God, to simply praise and glorify Him? Perhaps my actual body on a cellular level would respond in song, even if I didn’t command myself to do it?

Oh Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder, consider all the worlds Thy hands have made. I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed Then sings my soul, my Savior God toThee, How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

(con’t)

Day 34


(con’t)

The devout, unblinking faith from my childhood loyally returns to plant her flag in my soul once again. The oldfashioned words inhabit me and, like a pair of spiritual glasses over my eyes, I recover my certitude and wonder. What a friend we have in Jesus All our sins and griefs to bear And what a privilege to carry Everything to God in prayer The most enduring and beloved hymns are like sobering visitations from the past, still able to ignite our faith and incite our passion for Christ. Alleluia indeed.

When peace, like a river attendeth my way When sorrows like sea billows roar Whatever my lot, Thou as taught me to say It is well, it is well, with my soul.

~ Monica Lacy

Day 35


Still your mind and your heart Deep within all is well We are all One In the Sacred Spirit

~ Wendy Jackson

Day 36


481 days (but who’s counting) into my life with Parkinson’s Disease I am nourished by God’s grace in the bucolic setting that is St. Matthew’s. I am grateful. I will continue to stumble through this life trying to walk as Jesus did knowing that I will fail and yet secure that St. Matthew’s will always catch my family and me when we fall. ~ Amy Sommer

~ photo by Cynthia Smith

Day 37


From Your Grandmother Glowing since birth two gifts of light, growing now 20 and 16. Learning to live and lighting our lives, we learn from you. Living this life you find new paths, two journeys traveled from one birth. Finding ancestry, schools, planes, trains, buses and work move your world. Loving you these 20 and 16 years, the past and future we cherish.

~ Maja

Day 38


Alleluia One of my greatest joys this year has been to get to know The Rev. Christine Purcell. I first met Christine a year or so before she came to St. Matthew’s. We had lunch awhile back after she joined the St. Matthew’s staff and I discovered how much we have in common. We both are tall and we both have a good bit of life experience under our belts. We both went to Marlborough (though she is a good bit younger than I). We both drive white sedans. Our kids have had similar school experiences. We both entered the ministry after having raised our kids. We both care a lot about ministry and the mission of the church. However, one day during this last year I pulled into the upper parking lot at St. Matthew’s and saw my old office couch sitting on the driveway about to be given away. It was old when I first started at St. Matthew’s, and had been in the Rev. Pat O’Reilly’s office for a good bit of time. I was very happy to see that it was going to find a better home, even though it has been a part of a lot of good conversations in that office. Most importantly I discovered in our conversations how much depth and spiritual grace Christine brings to St. Matthew’s. I have loved her sermons. I love experiencing her celebrate the Eucharist and conduct funerals. I love how much she loves the good people of St. Matthew’s as I do. I love how beloved she is becoming. For me the greatest joy is to know that St. Matthew’s is blessed by her strength and faithfulness and depth. That for me is a great Alleluia moment! Thanks be to God that you all have found each other, and that God obviously is working in and amongst all of you, even amidst so much transition. ~ The Reverend Betsy Anderson Day 39


God My feet crunch through snow. Why is this? The warm sand enters my shoes. Why is this? My hands scrabble for handholds against the smooth rock. Why is this? Cool water flows against my skin. Why is this? The answer is God. He who created the sand and rocks. He who created water and snow. God is the answer.

~ Walter Burkley SMPS Student

Day 40


In spite of Joan’s nasty hiking hip fracture lots of goodness…. Christine’s hospital visit was a real splash of joy and support before surgery – never forget it …the week’s supply of lentil soup at our front door on return from hospital great…We had Friends in on Christmas Eve… big fire… fine wine and handmade tamales… a stop off before Services… Our dining room never has been busier. A gal whose husband won a Golden Globe the Week before showed up to the book club wearing the dress she wore to the awards, the group played Music and sang Ringo songs (was a Beatles book). Neighbors who we have just waved to for years Have dropped off movie CD’s and come for visits. Our daughter flew in and took charge of hospital Needs and got us centered on needed home equipment. People make the difference. Joan is doing Better but we will work to keep the goodness and Alleluia.

~ Kent Sather

Day 41


photo by Lise L. Luttgens Day 42


MY ALLELUIA MOMENT When our mother died in 1993, my sister and I were so consumed by the details relating to her death that we hadn’t taken the time to grieve. We agreed in October of that year that we would carve out a week to get away together to some peaceful place to reminisce on our lives with mother and to have a chance to close a meaningful chapter in our lives. We chose to go to Santa Fe, a place that had family meaning in that our parents had grown up in New Mexico, plus the area surrounding Santa Fe had a spiritual essence with all of the Indian traditions. My husband, Walton, contacted friends In Texas who owned a property near Bishop’s Lodge, but now lived outside of Dallas, to see if my sister and I could stay in their Santa Fe home for a week. They graciously offered us their hospitality! After a glorious week together, with a side trip to Taos one day, my sister boarded a plane at Albuquerque for her home in Arizona, as I met Walton landing from Los Angeles. Walton and I enjoyed the week-end in Santa Fe before returning home to Los Angeles. As we left Albuquerque, we drove south to Willard, a small town where my father’s parents had settled in the 1930’s, owning the gas station, general store, motel and café. Because I had inherited a half interest in the family properties upon my mother’s death, we thought it wise to take the detour south before going to Santa Fe. We saw what I had expected…almost a ghost town. We walked down the unpaved main street to the Catholic Church where we lit candles for my mother and for Walton’s sister, Rosemary. Rosemary had suffered an aneurysm bursting in her brain and was on life-support in Orange County. We prayed for her recovery as we lit her candle. When Walton and I returned to Los Angeles, we went to Orange County to visit Rosemary. While she was hospitalized, she was no longer on life support. Her doctor prescribed a shunt be placed at the base of her brain to collect excess fluid. As Rosemary was released from the hospital, she was sent to a Board and Care to recuperate. She was unable to communicate intelligibly. Difficult to accept for a Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford! One Saturday, perhaps six months after her aneurysm burst and her brain had healed, she came back to the present and was able to converse and knew who she was and where she was! This was our Alleluia Moment…when Rosemary came back to life!! Blessings, Anita A. Brown

Day 43


Ah, Oh I used to boil marbles In a pot Till they cracked Leaving beautiful patterns Like small worlds I could gaze into And treasure. I used to feed bees One at a time Pulling nectar from honeysuckle Inviting each bee to rest On my peacefully extended finger Eagerly offering sweetness And while waiting For the next one to alight Tasting the sweetness myself Ah the delight Of shared nectar! I used to tease my brother Two years younger He believed fantastical stories I told him were true Ah the curve From reach to loss. When we were children Growing up together Sometimes going our separate ways We braved this big life Together yes Separate, apart (con’t) Day 44


(con’t)

Ups and downs And all arounds Worlds above and below We wound around Trying to claim our seats Musical chairs Too often thrown Over the net of eternity Before we felt equipped For the journey To the stars... Where are you now My dear one My brother My friend I dream your young face Your ginger hair But sensing your presence As another Eludes me You seem only In my head and heart Ah, oh scrapes the hull of my heart Ah, oh, oh, oh The sound jumps From my throat The tears trapped In my eyes The love curving From reach to loss Searching, searching For your sweet soul. ~ Wendy Jackson Day 45


Colors Soft waves crashing The smell of salt makes me ponder When Slow rocking soothes me The Sand below the water makes Ripples show were there is life Beneath the water streaks of movement alarm me Green, purple, and red colors glow from beneath the water The colors seem to kiss the sand All life at its bliss

~ Julia Momtazee SMPS Student

Day 46


Umbrella Every umbrella is black that is except for mine. The light went away that day, and everyone went with it, that is except for me. I kept the light there. As the rain was spiraling down so was everyone else. That is except for me. The world became dark and so did everyone else, that is except for me.

~ Sophia Vinciquerra SMPS Student

Day 47


Alleluia I had not intended to write for the Alleluia book this year because most of my moments of Alleluia, times of joy and thanksgiving, occur when I am playing with my grandchildren, Jackson and Emma, and who wants to hear another grandmother story! However, as I thought more about Alleluia, I thought about the times when I have shared moments of intimacy, both joy and pain, with other parishioners, and have truly felt God’s presence with us. This has happened when I have been to the Prayer Chair after taking the Eucharist. I have been there in both capacities, either as the one who receives others and offers prayers for them, or as the one asking for a prayer for myself. It takes a lot of courage and trust to come to the Prayer Chair. I sometimes look around the church and imagine that these beautiful people have it all together. I feel alone when I get into that awful place of thinking that I can never measure up to these successful people.

(con’t)

Day 48


(con’t)

I know this is a mind game that lots of us play from time to time, but I cannot stop myself. That is why I think the Prayer Chair has been so important to me. When I hear of the fears, the grief, the sadness of others who come to ask me to pray with them, I realize that I am not alone. God is with us in a special way that belies words to explain. After someone has come to the Prayer Chair, I feel a special connection to that person that lasts long after the brief time we have been together, and it is the same when I have gone to ask for prayers for myself. The few minutes we are together do not end there. I have long believed that we find God with each other, and that we are changed by relationships that are truly meaningful. When we let go of our defenses and open ourselves to God's grace in prayer with another person, we are truly having an Alleluia experience. I am deeply grateful to be part of the Prayer Ministry, and at this Easter Season want to say, “Alleluia!�

~ Sarah Adams

Day 49


Free Swim in the Rivers Fly in the Winds Climb on the Mountain and roll in the Grass But do whatever you want to do and be whatever you want to be just remember that you are free you are on top of the clouds and nothing can bring you down Unique like a snowflake and as special as a rainbow as bright as a star You can be whatever you want to be because you are free ~ Emma Wuchenich SMPS Student Day 50


ALLELUIA!

ALLELUIA! ~ photo by Lise L. Luttgens


photo by Lise L. Luttgens

Alleluia Book 2017  

Celebrate Easter at St. Matthew's with a daily devotional from the creative spirits in our own community. Save $2 a day as you reflect on ea...

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