March 2014 VOLUME 4 ISSUE 3
ST. ALBAN’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH
The Little Church with the Big Heart
From the Rector: Lenten Challenge: 5 Minute Wilderness Ash Wednesday begins March 5th. Through Lent, I would ask that gatherings and conversations in the Narthex cease by 7:55 a.m. and 10:25 a.m. so that the community can spend 5 minutes in silence before the Eucharist begins. Dale will play his prelude early to honor the silence. Five minutes may not seem like much. But within the course of 5 minutes people have made decisions that have changed their life course and the lives of others. For some of us 5 minutes of silence may seem like an eternity as most of us at St. Alban's are quite gregarious. But this is Lent and 5 minutes of silence is just a pre-appetizer in comparison to the Wilderness environment that Jesus invites us to join him within for 40 days. Silence begins as chaos and then is transformed into gold with its riches of light and life within. Silence can be downright uncomfortable—at least at first. When we are quiet all the external distractions no longer work to screen us from the inner world within us and all the things that can be hidden that cover and compromise our soul—who we really are. We don't have a soul. We are souls. The soul is who we are. Silence is the way to the soul and the way out of all the incessant desires and conflicts of the ego—our false selves. During the silence, all that is not true, not of God or of us (experienced as irritation, anxiety, insatiable desires, depressed mood and others) will begin to surface in our thoughts and feelings as an ocean clears itself of its debris by releasing it on shore. At first, all of this discordant experience is not comfortable. Deep prayer is attending to this and allowing it to surface so that we can practice letting go. When you hear the bell just before 7:25 a.m. and 10:25 a.m. enter the stillness to hear the call of the One who created you, calling you to become one with Him. Peace, Fr. Mark
Ash Wednesday Imposition of Ashes and Holy Eucharist 1:15 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
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How Jesus' World Differs From Our Own (and I'm not talking about technology)
The Ancient Aramaic Prayer of Jesus by Errico Rocco Briefly, the compiled scripture readings that we know as The Bible, were first spoken in Hebrew and Aramaic, then written into Hebrew and Aramaic, then into Greek, then into Latin, and then Elizabethan English before it reached the modern texts we know today. However, translations of words do not take into account the life perspective and experience of Jesus who lived during that time. These perspectives and experiences are crucial not only understanding his spiritual experience and worldview but to give us the ability to use the scriptures to open our own spiritual experience. Our world view is heavily shaped by Plato and Greek philosophy which also "colors" our reading and understanding the scriptures in their original world and culture. Praying and studying the Lord's Prayer in the language of the Master will begin to give us the perspective and experience of Jesus and begin to open our eyes and heart to see, hear and receive Him in a new way-the way that he really was and not through the eyes of Greek philosophy. To simplify, to pray in the words of the Master, will make us more like him. Errico Rocco's book is out of print but can be found used online. His other book, Setting a Trap for God, will not be used in the class but can companion his book if you desire to read it. The soup supper will begin with prayer at 6:00 p.m. in Wynn Hall, followed by the exploration of the Lord's Prayer in the Aramaic words of Jesus. Hope to see you. Peace, Fr. Mark
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father,
Contemplative Corner "Our awareness of God is a syntax of the silence in which our souls mingle with the divine, in which the ineffable in us communes with the ineffable beyond us. "
Abraham Joshua Heschel
unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matt. 6:6
St. Patrick's Day Celebration: March 16th 10:30 a.m. Come celebrate the flavor of Irish worship! Bagpipes and the Eucharist from the Irish prayer book will fill our spirits as we observe our second St. Patrick's Day Celebration. Wear something green!
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FROM THE SENIOR WARDEN: I had the privilege of attending my first Diocesan Convention ever and I was honored to represent St. Albans as a delegate along with Fr. Mark, Deacon Bill and Jim Shearouse. Bishop George led the convention speaking to the mission of the Diocese; “Proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom” which I thought was very informative, entertaining and moving. We heard from many different speakers, voted on many important things, including the 2014 Budget for the Diocese, and elected the officers. I met many new people and ran into several old friends. On Saturday near the end of the Convention Fr. Mark asked me what I thought about the process and I told him; “it was a lot like a Large Vestry Meeting.” I can tell all of you that we are very fortunate to have a Spiritual Leader like Bishop George leading our Diocese, and we are truly blessed to have Fr. Mark and Deacon Bill as our spiritual leaders at St. Al\bans; who along with the Vestry and a creative vision is leading us to a bright future. Yours in Christ, David Stuart, Senior Warden
P.S. On a lighter note I did have a realization and learned something new: I learned that if you are on the ‘standing committee’ that you tend to sit around a lot and you get a better breakfast, I also realized that when you get a large group of Episcopalians together there is going to be a procession. We processed through the halls of the hotel to the convention room then we processed through the streets of Knoxville to St. John’s Cathedral. I think next year I’ll try to get on the Standing Committee.
Lenten Calendars There are Lenten Calendars with daily meditations in the narthex for your taking. Please take one home and place it in a prominent place so that you may read, reflect and pray the daily meditations. The author of the meditations, The Rev. Mary Earle, is a priest I know from West Texas and her writings will move your hearts and minds. I pray the calendars will be a reminder to support your season's pilgrimage.
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How the Prayer List Works We have copies of the prayer list on the table in the narthex. Our readers use these during the prayers of the people. You are also welcome to take one home for your personal prayer time. We ask that you leave at least one copy on the desk and each week, Pattie, our administrative assistant, updates the list and puts out copies of the new one. If you have someone you would like to place on the prayer list, please let me know on Sunday, email me or Pattie (email@example.com) or leave a note in Pattie's box on her desk in the office. Pattie is in the office on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons. Pattie will keep track of names on the prayer list. Names will remain on the list for 90 days and then be removed unless you notify us. If you forget and notice that your loved one is not on the list anymore, all you need do is contact us to have the person placed on the list again. Let is know if you have questions. Keep the prayers going! Peace, Fr. Mark
FROM DEACON BILL MCGEE: What: Breakfast (pancakes, sausage, coffee, juice) Where: St. Alban's Episcopal Church When: April 26, 2014, the Saturday after Easter Sunday. Time: 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM. Our feeding time will overlap with the Market that St. Alban's Church hosts every Saturday, and which begins at 10:00 AM. We will cook and serve breakfast to those who come. We will stop serving at 10:00 AM or sooner if we run out of food before 10:00 AM.. Who is it for: This breakfast is to feed the people of God. Questions? Need more information? Contact The Rev. Bill McGee at St. Alban's (423-842-1342).
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FAMILY PROMISE During our latest Family Promise Host Week of January 26 th – February 2nd we had as our guests 2 Moms and their 3 young children. Our guests expressed their thanks to us for our fellowship and caring to their needs – you can find the Moms thank you cards on the information board by the kitchen. For a Family Promise host week to happen – a week of our opening our church to provide a home to homeless families – requires many volunteers. Our host week had 43 plus volunteers giving 196 hours plus of their time. Volunteers from outside our church: Fairview UMC came in Monday to provide dinner and activities, Friday night had Maggie and Darrin Evans with activities and the overnight hosts that evening were the Williams Family – Mark, Cindia and their daughter, Grace. The Williams Family also helped with the preparation of the hot breakfast on Saturday morning for our guests. A heartfelt and grateful thanks to everyone who served during our host week – it is you who make it possible for St. Alban’s to share our church home to those without a home. Want to know more about Family Promise? The website is: http://familypromisechattanooga.com There are many opportunities to be a part of this outreach ministry – from unloading the trailer, setting-up of bedrooms and Parish Hall on the Sunday our guests arrive to serving as a greeter, dinner, activity, overnight hosts during the Family Promise host week. **On the Sunday our guests leave there is a big need of helping hands with loading the trailer, seeing our guests off then the cleaning of the church.** Our next host week will be April 27th (the day our Family Promise guests will arrive) through May 4 th (the day our guests leave). Look for the volunteer sign-up board in the Narthex in late March which will give the many opportunities to volunteer in this ministry. Many thanks again to all who were a part of our latest Family Promise Host Week.
Information Corner Sunday Service attendance & Offerings for the last 4 weeks
Day 4th Epiphany
Plate Offerings $3,738
Dates to remember: March March March March March March March March March March March March
1—Men’s Club Breakfast 2—Covered Dish & Guest Speaker; Herb Berl 5—Ash Wednesday 1:15 & 6:00 pm 9—Children’s Homily 9—3:00 pm Blue Monarch Special Celebration 12—Soup Supper Lord’s Prayer (see page 2 of Albanac) 16—10:30 Irish Eucharist w/ Bagpipes 16—Vestry Meeting 12:30, Library 17—St. Patrick’s Day 19— Soup Supper Lord’s Prayer (see page 2 of Albanac) 22—Community Garden meeting 26—Soup Supper Lord’s Prayer (see page 2 of Albanac)
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From Sherri Bishop: The following meditation/prayer spoke to me so powerfully I felt compelled to share it. As I've pondered it over the last several weeks I wonder if I really am brave enough to pray it and desire it. After all, what would happen in our lives if we were OVERTAKEN BY GOD...FINISHED OFF BY GOD...SLAIN BY GOD? What would it feel like to be ONE with God and to SEE Him in each and every little thing? Freedom...freedom....what kind of freedom? So I will continue to ponder it over the next few months. Maybe you'll want to also and we can discuss it over a cup of coffee. --Sherri Bishop
May each of us be so fortunate as to be overtaken by God in the midst of little things. May we each be so blessed as to be finished off by God, swooping down from above or welling up from beneath, to extinguish the illusion of separateness that perpetuates our fears. May we, in having our illusory, separate self slain by God, be born into a new and true awareness of who we really are: one with God forever. May we continue on in this true awareness, seeing in each and every little thing we see the fullness of God’s presence in our lives. May we also be someone in whose presence others are better able to recognize God’s presence in their lives, so that they, too, might know the freedom of the children of God. Copied from Richard Rhor's Daily Meditations Adapted from Oneing, “The Perennial Tradition,” Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 81-82
Our beautiful farm property in Middle Tennessee has provided a healing sanctuary to over 500 women and children since we began in 2003. At that time some really kind folks borrowed nearly $1 million so we could open our doors. We have been chipping away at that debt for ten years now, which has been challenging for our small nonprofit in the middle of nowhere. But...guess what! That's right. We paid it off! And we've been celebrating all week. But we know it was only through God's tremendous faithfulness and abundant provision - and the good folks He sent our way to help, that we have been able to reach this enormous milestone. Now that we have this commitment behind us, we can begin to explore ways to serve more women and children. And we hope you will be a part of that as well.
So mark your calendars for Sunday, March 9 at 3:00 and join us for this very special day! For further information or directions contact firstname.lastname@example.org Artwork by former resident of Blue Monarch
ST. ALBANâ€™S EPISCOPAL CHURCH
FARMERâ€™S MARKET 7514 Hixson Pike, Hixson TN. Every Saturday 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon
The market has moved indoors with shortened hours for the winter. We will be open from 10:00 until 12:00 from December, 2013 until April 1, 2014. We still have plenty of eggs, honey, beef, pork, baked goods (taking orders for Christmas cookies), fried pies, canned goods, jellies, soaps, herbal teas and mixes, etc. We plan to have free gift wrap every Saturday in December. We also can assemble gift baskets with goods of your choice. If you have a craft (must be homemade) and would like to sell, we are currently looking for a few craft vendors.
New vendors welcome. Contact Information: Dee Clark (423) 842-6303 GDClark503@comcast.net
Published on Mar 27, 2014