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5-20-20

Dear All Saints Family, if I am correct, we are close to ten weeks into our social distancing because of the corona epidemic.   Each week I am learning of someone who is dealing with a family member or friend who has developed the virus;  I am sure you are experiencing the same. As your pastoral leader, I want to remind you that you are in my thoughts and daily prayers and I would ask you to join me by adding a special group to your prayers this week.  I am praying this week and asking you to also lift up our health professionals and their families.  So many are fearful of losing loved ones and many are in mourning for the family and friends who are dying as they care for corona patients.

This week as we focus on Deuteronomy 31:6, may we recall the words of  Moses before the Israelites entered the Promise Land of Canaan:
“Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread of them, because it is the Lord your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.”  
Gracious God, we pray for the protection of our health care workers and ask for your covering over each of them.  May they feel your presence and know that you are the rock of their salvation.  As they work to care for others, we ask that your angels will surround them. Through your word you have said, “Are any one of you sick?  Let them call for the elders of the church and let them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord.  And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick and the Lord will raise him up.  And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”  We stand together in faith trusting and believing in you, oh Lord.  We pray that you will be the strength and song in the heart of each health care worker; we pray that you will be the God of each patient who is cared for. May you be their rock and stronghold in all that they work to accomplish.  
In the name of your son Jesus Christ.  AMEN.

NOTE:
Remember that Compline and Worship services are on our website. Stay tuned for PayPal to be added to our online payment process.  Check our website for guest preachers and musicians.  I am sure by now we who walk in faith may be tempted to ask, where is God during this pandemic? Where is God during this season of extreme disease and suffering?  As your pastoral leader, I want to remind us all that God is in the midst of every season of our lives, even in the effects of corona.  For such a time as this, may we continue to look toward the scriptures for meditation and prayer. May we lean on the everlasting arms of  God’s love and protection.  Please be safe and take good care.  Also contact me when you or others need pastoral support and personal prayers.

In faith,
Rev. Glenice.

The Ten Commandments - 5/15/20
The Ten Commandments - 5/15/20

Throughout the scriptures, we have been called to keep the commandments established long ago by God. For those who are new to meditation a good place to begin is to use the Ten Commandments by meditating on one of them each day. (This also helps you tolearn all of the Commandments if you don’t already know them.) The key to meditating is like many things which enrich our spiritual walk, it requires time and focus. Meditating requires that we close the doors of the world so that we may hear and receiveGod’s guidance. It requires a quiet space where we withdraw from the everyday distractions of life, so that mind, heart and soul are all equally focused on God. Meditation requires patience. It can’t be rushed. It involves a slow and intentional withdrawal from the distractions of the world in order to be present to God. As we shut out the noises around us and the voices that tip toe into our thoughts, we then are better able to devote all of ourselves to our practice as we await for the Spirit to speak. This week we will focus on the ten commandments to receive guidance on how we are to respond to the current state of the world today. Remember that Compline and Worship services are on our website. For such a time as this, may we continue to look toward the scriptures for meditation and prayer. May we lean on the everlasting arms of God’s love and protection. Be safe and take good care. Please let me know if you or others need pastoral support or prayer.

In faith, Rev. Glenice

The Road to Emmaus - 4/22/20
The Road to Emmaus - 4/22/20

The two disciples walking along the road to Emmaus didn’t recognize Jesus when He first approached them. How often are we preoccupied and miss the very presence of God?

Doubting Thomas - 4/15/20
Doubting Thomas - 4/15/20

Meditate on this…..

So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
 (John 20:25) What does it take for you to believe?

Receiving The Gifts of Mary and Martha
Receiving The Gifts of Mary and Martha

4/2/20

Lord, open our eyes to see where the Martha in us may sometimes become pre-occupied with the busyness of life.  May we practice and pray with ears trained to hear your still small voice leading and guiding us through life.  Like Mary, may we strive to quiet our minds in order to create a sacred space where your guidance and your wisdom will be truly glorified. AMEN.

3-26-20

“Wisdom is not what you know about the world but how well you know God. There is no greater time to grow in an intimate knowledge of God than when you are going through hard times.” (Henry Blackaby)

Dear Friends In Christ,
I pray you all are doing well and have what you need in your homes.  If you require support, please feel free to reach me by calling the church, by church email: rector@allsaintsstafford.org, or the very best way is to email me at g2pc@msn.com.  As we worship from home, please check our website for a weekly meditation and on Sundays for worship service; a video of compline is available now on our website for you to use.  It seems unlikely that we will be together in our physical church for awhile, but I know we are all connected by our “inner church spirit,” and for that I am so very grateful.  I am also creating a new space on our website, “From the Rector’s Desk” at www.allsaintsstafford.org and I will use this beginning next week to provide meditations, sermons, and informational links as we are guided through this season.  The Sunday service for this week will probably be available at least by Monday, if the technology works well.  During this time please feel free to mail in your tithes and offerings to the attention of Debbi Sansom at the church.  Also, if you know of members who are sick and/or in need of support please let me know.  As we move forward trusting and believing in our omnipotent God, may we be comforted with these words from Psalm 9:9, “The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.”
In peace, Glenice+

~Your strength lies in your intimacy with God~

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear…” Psalm 46:1-2
Gracious God,
Thank you for reminding us again and again through your Word and Spirit,
that you are forever with us. You mold us as you teach us not to fear. You
encourage us as you draw us into your Holy Presence. You are the source
of our refuge when the storms of life surround us. Oh Holy One, you are
the solace of our healing and comfort; you are the peace and strength for
each brand new day. And for all of this we continue to seek your will as
you continue to strengthen us through in our inner being and within our
hearts and souls.
Thank you for your goodness, thank you for your mercy, thank you for
showing us the way of truth and righteousness; for only you know the way
ahead and as we move through the ever-changing seasons of life, we
anchor our hope and trust in you. We look to you dear Abba, our Lord and
Savior, for it is your face we seek each day.

AMEN.

6/27/20

~Being led by light and love - Meditating with Mary~

Henry Ossawa Tanner was the first African American artist who achieved international recognition.  Tanner’s father, an African Methodist Episcopal minister, was instrumental in his early work.  Established as a salon artist in Paris, Tanner’s work encompassed many religious themes.  One of his paintings was gifted to me by a dear church member and I meditate on it daily.   As I am drawn to Mary, notice her surroundings and focus upon the light which seems perplexing.  The light is what captures me every day when I enter my office.  In “The Annunciation,” Mary is looking toward the light or perhaps Gabriel.  This pivoting moment in her story is captured by the artist as Mary answers, Yes to God.  Yes, God, I will go wherever you send me; Yes, I will listen to Gabriel and Yes, because I love and trust only in you God, I will with great joy give birth to your Son, the Savior of the world.  Mary’s facial expression shows an inquisitive, yet calm presence.  Through Tanners’s work he seems to capture her at the point of revelation-a revelation which would forever change her life and the life of others. Mary is captured as a humble peasant girl and the white light from the picture seems different each time I have used it for meditation.  Initially, I only saw a white line which I understood to be Gabriel, but later I saw the light forming a cross.  To me it was God indicating to Mary, “I am asking you to do something extraordinary for the world; but you need to know this journey will be difficult, it will be painful, it will end at the cross. But do not fear dear Mary, love will lead the way and will take you through unknown territories”.  Mary's acceptance would include a cross that she would bear as God’s handmaid, as well as the cross her son would die upon.  Today, the very same light of God is available to each of us and it offers us the same promises.   We each will have a cross to bear as we move through the borderlands of life. Today, as we pattern our lives based upon the agape love Jesus practiced, we too have an opportunity to change lives, all through the lens of love.  Through love we will be invited into unknown places and will be called to be light and torchbearers of hope. Like Mary, our stories will be shared with future generations to strengthen their faith and trust through God’s provision of light and love. For it is God’s light and love which will always soothe our doubts and fears; comfort us when we lose our way and strengthen us to walk with the blessed assurance that God is always with us.

Link to Tanners’ Annunciation: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Henry_Ossawa_Tanner_-_The_Annunciation.jpg

Meditation edited from author’s original submittal to Forward Movement.