No one is immune to experiencing loss; loss of a job, a loved one, a dream, a relationship. Even positive changes in life can bring loss. Sometimes it takes more than two weeks to learn to live with loss, which is why St. Paul's will host a time once a month for those working with loss. Living Loss will meet the first Tuesday of every month at 7pm, starting February 4. Mother Deborah, who has written a guide book to living with loss and facilitated other grief groups will facilitate with Carol McCarthy as co-facilitator. Watch for more information.
Confirmation Transformation Living What We Believe from the Inside Out March 2 – May 17, 2014
Mother Deborah will teach 9 Confirmation classes that will meet in the PaulPit starting at 6:30pm Sunday evenings; and will last no later than an hour and a half. Part of Confirmation class will be the students deciding, planning, and executing a celebration when their Confirmation classes are over. Purpose: Confirmands will have freedom to explore how to transform their faith into practice in all aspects of their life. My goal and hope is that Confirmands will see the church as a resource they can turn to all their life whether they are going through challenges, celebrations, transitions, or whatever happens in life by exploring how the church is or can be a part of 8 different parts of the lives they are already living.
Parents: As your child approaches this important commitment in his/her faith, you can be a support to them by volunteering to come to one of the sessions and giving a brief (no longer than 5 minute) talk about your faith; especially how you live what you believe. That can be sharing your spiritual practice, how you engage worship, or explaining or telling about other ways you see God at work in your life. Studies are showing that children, especially teenagers, are deeply influenced by their parents’ actions and choices. I want to invite you to share your faith journey with the Confirmands of St. Paul’s as a way to show that confirmation is about beginning to take that mature step in faith.
Materials utilized: Book of Common Prayer (provided), Bible, and Journal (provided). St. Paul’s will give each Confirmand a Prayer Book and Journal that is theirs as a gift and to use throughout the program, with hope they will continue to use them after the program is finished.
Each session will include: check in/support for spiritual practice they choose, planning for Celebration Sunday, listening to parents share their faith story, instruction, and discussion. It is expected that each Confirmand will have work outside of class, participate in Holy Week worship (will be explained in class), and be part of celebration they help plan. In addition to the 9 weeks, there is the Celebration Sunday that allows the congregation to participate in celebrating with the confirmands.
Date of Confirmation is Saturday, May 17 at Christ Church, Dayton at 11:00 am
March 2 6:30pm Spirituality: Confirmands will explore options for enriching and enhancing their spiritual life and choose a spiritual practice for the 8 weeks.
March 9 6:30pm Stress Resiliency: Confirmands will explore how their faith can affect choices they make in real life situations that can help them “bounce back” from the inevitable stress life brings.
March 16 6:30pm Relationships: Confirmands will explore how all their relationships can be Christ centered, healthy, and life-giving.
March 23 6:30pm Balance: Confirmands will explore how our baptismal covenant helps them create a healthy balance with all the demands of life, work, relationships, etc.
March 30 6:30pm Handling Emotions: Confirmands will explore how our faith and spiritual practice to explore handling emotions in a Christ-centered way
April 6 6:30pm Organization: Confirmands will explore how the Episcopal Church is organized and how to learn from models of organization to apply those concepts to life, especially participating in the organization.
April 13 6:30pm School/Work: Confirmands will explore how their faith can enhance their productivity and engagement in school and work.
April 20 Easter Sunday: no meeting
April 27 6:30pm Care for self and others: Confirmands will explore what it means to respect self and others by how they care for their bodies, minds, and what our faith teaches about self care.
May 4 6:30pm final meeting, celebration
May 11: Mother’s Day: no meeting
May 17 11:00am Regional Confirmation; Christ Church, Dayton
May 18, Celebration Sunday Confirmands will help plan and participate in worship this day, including selecting music, writing prayers, and preaching.
Rector's Reflection: A Busy-free year?
On New Year’s Eve, Hailey asked me if I had a New Year’s Resolution. I told her I did not, because from what I see, New Year’s Resolutions are usually things people say they will do, and by the end of January have pretty much forgotten all about them. They might be excited about them on New Year’s Eve, but the interest doesn’t stay.
Instead of resolutions, I told Hailey, I reflect on the past year, and look for something I can let go of in order to be open for whatever the year is going to bring. In the past that something has been fear, worry, or trying to control the choices of others. Like cleaning the clutter from a room or home, deciding what to let go of can be a refreshing way to start a new year.
In 2014, what I am going to let go of is being busy.
Don’t get me wrong, I will still be doing plenty of things which I hope are productive. I am just not going to be busy.
The inspiration for this came from an article I read by Tyler Wardis called “Busy isn’t respectable anymore”. In this article he wrote about how overused the word “busy” is. How are you? Some will ask, or How you been? The most popular response is often the word: busy. Tyler wrote about how he liked using that word because it made him feel important, needed, valid, and valuable. In reality, he realized it was a way for him to avoid things that made him uncomfortable, or to avoid important relationships. He saw that being busy hurt not only his relationships with loved ones; they also hurt his profession relationships. When he would talk about how busy he was, he saw how that made others feel less important. He also realized busy-ness and productivity are not necessarily the same thing. This reminded me of something Christian writer and speaker Rob Bell said about busy-ness: that it has become an idol. Remember an idol is something we give ourselves to that isn’t God.
Tyler wrote about a friend of his who stopped using the word “busy” for an entire year and in that year found that he had to be more honest and authentic with his responses to the “How are you” question, which actually helped his business, and personal relationships grow and thrive.
To me, that growth of awareness and relationships is certainly worth the effort of removing the too easy to use word of “busy” from my vocabulary. So as we begin 2014, I am going to use words that better describe what I am doing, and pray that the façade of being busy can be stripped away from my personae so that more of my authentic self can be seen and I can be open to embrace the joys, challenges, disappointments, celebrations, and opportunities this new year will bring.
If you have made your New Year’s Resolution, I hope it doesn’t lose its appeal for you, that it leads you to growth and better health. If you are still looking for a way to approach the New Year in a way that opens your heart and mind to the knowledge and love of the Lord, I invite you to join in me make 2014 a year that is not busy, and with business out of the way creates space for growth and true productivity.
Happy and A Busy-Free New Year!
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