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More or Less Church

Joanna Depue "DJ/Deacon J" writes original songs and liturgies, does daily Farm office work and records Barbara's eMos on The Geranium Farm. A singer and dog trainer she utilizes healing touch in her private massage practice. PLEASE share YOUR original ideas for worship, special liturgies, prayers, songs, sermons and noteworthy blogs right here.
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Friday, November 01, 2019


Friday, November 1 (All Saints Day)


 Nearly every week I run across a person who is a good example for others. These people can be in any walk of life. When we witness their example, they exude goodness. Often they are caught looking after the welfare of others.

When I ask a long-term volunteer at church or in the community when they became “lifers” — people who decide to provide influence through selfless service to others for as long as God gives them breath — they almost always point back to specific people who instilled in them the spirit of giving. In those encounters of mentoring, they say things like, “I felt that God put this person in my path, and by following his or her example, I discovered that there’s nothing in the world that beats the experience of being of good use with and for others.”

Whether they taught a child how to pray, guided someone toward faith, helped a couple reconcile, served a meal to a homeless person, or wrote a memoir full of life’s wisdom, they knew their lives would never be the same.

Today is All Saints’ Day. It is the day in the church’s calendar when we recall those faithful mentors of the past, and when we renew our commitment to be of good influence in our own day. What we know about the saints we celebrate is that they were not merely born that way, they were formed along the way. The people we admire the most received grace upon grace so that an unfakeable inner virtue shined forth to bring light and guidance to our lives.

We live in a culture that increasingly promotes the self, what David Brooks has called the “Big Me” society. This meritocracy wants us to promote self above all else. We see this clearly and daily in government, sports, entertainment, business ... and the church. Social media contributes, inviting people to broadcast a daily reel of one’s shiny objects.

But the people we admire the most, the ones we want most to imitate and emulate are profoundly honest about their own weaknesses and their need of God and others. They are transparent about their cracks, whether its selfishness, the desperate need for approval, cowardice, hardheartedness or whatever. In such wise, those we set up as examples are humble, which, ironically, comes from a confident self-awareness and the need to be “other-centered.”

As followers of Christ, we are invited to examine what it means to be an exemplar — an example, a model, and person of influence for others — to have a generous, open, non-resentful construction of what we see and the way we behave. The first lesson in true formation, a lesson that began with those wonderful mentors we call saints, comes in the form of this basic question: “When you get up in the morning and look in the mirror, do you value what you see as a gift from God?” Formation begins here with what we see and value — with the soul of the saint — because we all learn by mimesis — imitation. Each of us began our formation by mimicking someone. We have learned, then, to mimic what we long for.

So, during this All Saintstide, we have the freedom to choose our mentors, to choose those stories which form the shape and worldview of our thoughts and structure our longings and aspirations into meaning, to choose those models which enhance human life.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

e-Devotions from The Rev. Bob Dannals ~ for Christ the King Sunday

Saturday, November 24



Daily Devotionals - Based on RCL The Last Sunday After Pentecost, Proper 29, Year B:

Daniel 7:9-14; Psalm 93; Revelation 1:4-8; John 18:33-37



Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?" John 18:34

Pilate questions Jesus inside the Praetorium, but he negotiates with the Jews outside, since they do not wish to be defiled by entering a Gentile's house and thus be prevented from eating the Passover meal. Jesus detects that Pilate is not smart enough, aware enough, or caring enough to have knowledge of Jewish messianic expectation. He is working the crowds and the authorities for his own advantage. Mostly, he doesn't want to be bothered with religious matters. So, Jesus pointedly asks him to state his investment in the questioning.

Challenge and Opportunity:

The question comes directly at each one of us. To what extent is our faith in Jesus Christ a personal faith, personally decided upon and personally nourished, or to what extent is it a matter of something picked up by hearsay, a voice reading a lesson, pages in a prayer book idly turned, words drifting to one's ears from a pulpit, the half-remembered voice of a parent, or of a mentor, or of a priest in one's confirmation year? That's the question our Lord asks of me ... how about you?

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Perspective from Meister Eckhart

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice. ~Meister Eckhart

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

A glimmer of hope from St. Francis of Assisi

"I have been all things unholy.  If God can work through me, he can work through anyone."

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

November 6, 2018 ~ Election Day

"We do not have government by the majority. We have government by the majority who participate." ~ Thomas Jefferson

"Someone struggled for your right to vote. Use it." ~ Susan B. Anthony

Sunday, October 28, 2018

This Sunday, Proper 25 Year B

Friday, October 26, 2018

Feast of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, October 26th

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