Invited guests and stretched hearts

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All are welcome – that’s the idea anyway.

Imagine that you are invited to a great banquet, a sumptuous feast, a life changing event that you never imagined that you would attend. Maybe you wanted to attend, maybe you swore you would never go to such a thing, but whatever the case, you find yourself getting ready to enter. As you approach, someone greets you, but you notice they are looking you up and down in a way that makes you deeply uncomfortable. You were told that the host of the vent welcomed all people, yet now you are not so sure.

As you proceed, another person stops you and asks for your credentials. Suddenly you loose your emotional footing – you wonder what’s going on. You have your invitation, and it appears to express that you are welcome at any time, so you’re not sure what might be wrong.

While others stream in through the great doors, you and some others are asked to step to the side while these so-called greeters meet. You see them looking over at your ever growing group, and talking. You may feel Continue reading

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An Advent invitation

0e1144359_blog-the-season-of-adventGreetings to all! This is from my parish blog, and I wanted to share it here for a few reasons. One is that if you are in the Albany-Schenectady-Troy-Saratoga Springs area, please consider yourself invited to join us for Evening Prayer in Advent at St. Edward the Confessor in Clifton Park.

This is our 6th or 7th year of offering sung evening prayer during Advent, and it is most beautiful thanks to our music ministry at St Ed’s, and thanks to the many who join us in song and prayer. For less than an hour your busyness and stress will melt away thanks to a sublime environment and prayerful music, all held in communion and love.  Prayer is every Tuesday prior to Christmas at 7PM. And as the post below says – one need not be Catholic or a parishioner, all are truly welcome. If I have not met you before, please introduce yourself to me! On the first Tuesday, December 1, I will offer a brief scriptural reflection during prayer.

Also, at St Edward’s we have a tradition of offering reflections on as many days of Advent as we can. They are written by parishioners and others and will begin this coming weekend. I will publish any reflections that I write here, but you may want to check out the parish blog for a variety of voices. If you would like to submit a date for your own reflection to run, please get in touch with me. At St Edward’s we cannot say it enough – all are truly and joyfully welcomed!  Read on, and thank you!

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EVENING PRAYER: On Tuesday, December 1 – and on every Tuesday in Advent, the Roman Catholic Community of St Edward the Confessor in Clifton Park will offer sung evening prayer at 7pm. Admission is free and all are welcome. Please consider joining us, as we said, all are welcome. One need not be a parishioner, or a Roman Catholic.

Perhaps this will be the one time a week that you can get away from the busyness of life and find time to wait for the Lord through prayer and song. If you have questions, please let me know in the comments. We await the opportunity to welcome you with great joy on December 1, and on every Tuesday during the season.

advent_0ADVENT BLOG REFLECTIONS: Sunday, November 29, 2015, is the First Sunday of Advent. With that, our Advent reflections will return. Our reflections are offered by parishioners and others who simply wish to share their faithful insights with us in this space.

Please join us by reading the reflections and praying with us. If you are moved to write a reflection, which can be one sentence or up to about 1200 words, please let us know. And no worries about your word count, if you have something to say, let us explore the possibilities as we wait in joyful hope. Again, all are welcome, one does not need to be a parishioner or Catholic. All editorial rights are reserved by the parish, but so far we have turned away no one. We hope you will be reading and praying with us.

Feel free to share this post widely on social media, through email, or simply through word of mouth. Thank you and God bless you!

Epiphany

e·piph·a·ny

əˈpifənē/
noun
noun: Epiphany; noun: epiphany; plural noun: epiphanies
  1. the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi (Matthew 2:1–12).
    • the festival commemorating the Epiphany on January 6.

This Sunday the Roman Catholic Church celebrates the Epiphany of the Lord. Guided by a star, the magi – or three kings, made their way to the “newborn king.” Here at the blog, I will wait until Tuesday night to post my reflection.

There is a method to my madness; I will be offering said reflection at Evening Prayer at St. Edward the Confessor in Clifton Park on Tuesday night, at 7PM. All are welcome! If you are a reader and I do not know you, please make sure you catch me and say hello – I would love to meet you!