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Showing posts from July, 2013

Hooray for Shrine Mont!

My daughter went to Shrine Mont for camp for the first time last week.  We've gone often for parish retreats, but this was her first time there for camp (her first time at sleep-away camp in general).  I'd always heard that if you want your kid to have faith of their own, nothing beats Shrine Mont.  And I've observed for myself the effects of Shrine Mont camp on the teens I've gotten to know at St. Aidan's.  Now I have a little taste of why.  It sounds like a lot of what happens at Shrine Mont is very typical sleep-away camp.  Swimming, games, enthusiastic counselors, a rustic cabin full of kids, lots of time outdoors in a beautiful setting.  But in addition to all this, the counselors are brimming over with love of God; there are daily worship services full of interactive, kid-friendly music; and each evening in the cabins the counselor leads the kids in thinking about where God was in their day (a good practice for any of us to engage in).  If you'd lik

God is very near to us

July 14, 2013 8 Pentecost, Proper 10 (Year C) Deuteronomy 30:9-14               One of my favorite ways of praying is by meditating with scripture – trying to enter into a story of divine encounter and see where I fit into it and what God might be saying to me through a particular story.     I guess because my mind tends to wander when left to my own devices, this kind of prayer works well for me.   And so I’ve found myself walking along the road to Emmaus with Jesus, sitting in a fishing boat with Peter, hiking down a mountain after the transfiguration.               The first time I’d heard of this kind of prayer was during spiritual direction in seminary.   At that point, I assumed prayer was either pious words or holy silence, and I wasn’t all that great at either one.   My experiences of God tended to be despite my attempts to find God, not so much because of them.   So my spiritual director led me to “prayer of the imagination” using stories in scripture.   This method

A Family Experiment

July 7, 2013 7 Pentecost, Proper 9 (Year C) Galatians 6:1-16 I wasn’t wildly impressed with most of our Galatians reading, but one line really caught me.   “Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”   Maybe because it seems to be a theme that has been swirling around for me lately, poking and challenging me. I’m reading a book right now called Abide with Me that has a main character who seems to be trying to consciously live out Paul’s instruction.   Tyler Caskey is a minister in a small town who is attempting to live a faithful life and be aware of God around him in circumstances that are not always the most conducive.   He was raised with a guiding principle that he should “always think of the other person first.”   And he tries so hard to do it, imagining how his parishioners might hear certain things, being careful not to assume he knows what anyone else is really going through, thinking about how to help people through hardships.