Dear Friends,  

Today saw the passing of poet Mary Oliver. And in celebration of her life and witness to God's beauty and life's depth, I pass along my favorite of her poems. That is to say, the poem of hers with which I've spent the time to learn something.

"Rumi (for Coleman Banks)" 

When Rumi went into the tavern
I followed.
I heard a lot of crazy talk
and a lot of wise talk.

But the roses wouldn't grow in my hair.

When Rumi left the tavern
I followed.
I don't mean just to pick at
such a famous fellow.
Indeed he was rather ridiculous with his
long beard and his dusty feet.
But I heard less of the crazy talk and
a lot more of the wise talk and I was
hopeful enough to keep listening

until the day I found myself
transformed into an entire garden
of roses.

...In her words on Rumi, I hear the story of pursuit. Of hearing just enough of the "wise talk" to stick around for more. And of listening, long enough, to find the wisdom that was hidden at first.  

And so Rumi reminds me of Christian discipleship. Hearing enough of the wisdom of Jesus to follow him around, for another minute, for years, for a lifetime...slowly being transformed into an entire garden.  

And perhaps you hear something fully different! For that is the nature and gift of Mary's craft. So similar in that respect to the parables of Jesus. 

Thank you for your poetry and love, Mary. Blessed Mary Oliver, pray with us. 


In Peace,

Reed 

Notice of Annual Budget Review Meeting, Jan. 20th, 9-9:45 AM

Notice of the 216th Annual Meeting of the Parish, January 27th, immediately following our single 9 AM Holy Eucharist. 

Dear Friends,

In accordance with our bylaws, we post notice of and invite you to this year's Annual Meeting of the parish. We'll conduct the annual business of St. Andrew's, electing new members and officers to the Vestry, we'll celebrate our life this past year, and we'll have a peek ahead to 2019. Annual Meeting includes a Parish Luncheon as well! 

The Annual Report of the Parish will be sent to all ahead of the meeting.  

The Budget Review Meeting is a presentation of the 2019 Budget, as passed by the Vestry. It's an open forum for all to learn about this year's budget and ask questions. This allows spacious time for discussion of our financial resources for mission while helping keep Annual Meeting oriented toward our mission itself. All are welcome. 


In Peace,

Reed 

Dear Friends,

Merry Christmas! (gotta soak up every day of it)

I expect that for most all of us, "Christmas" has passed, in the sense of play, of gifting, of family visits, of church celebrations, of random "Merry Christmas"s at the store. Maybe like me you still have the decorations up. But even so, something about the colored lights looks different to me, nine days after the day of Christmas.

One funny thing about the Christian Calendar, or "Church Year" is that it's often pressing a little beyond our expectations. Like how today, even when the lights don't seem so bright to me, it's still Christmas. Work is back, stores have cleared their shelves of whatever they were desperate to sell me two weeks ago, the burdens of life have redoubled their pressure upon me after that blessed lull...and...God is still showing up among us, personally, face-to-face, right-here-in-the-world.

To soak up the surprise of this, we'll given ourselves a whole church season of "Epiphanytide" between now and Lent.  

The reality that God would be still with us was often surprising to ancient Israelites, was surprising to those whom Jesus touched, healed, welcomed and confronted, and is apparently still joyously surprising me, this Christmas.  

In these last 3 days of Christmas, what could our "continuing Christmas" give you the strength to do? The peace to accept? The joy to appreciate? The courage to say?  

Merry Christmas!

Reed 

The dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
                                                
                                                  -From the Song of Zechariah in Luke's Gospel

Dear Friends,

As the "pre-dawn" light shines from on high in these last days before it breaks out at Christmas, I offer a final echo of the biblical invitation to come and see. In the days ahead we will worship, gather shoes for the shoeless, undertake a final few acts of light-ness from our Advent calendars, serve dinner a few more times to the homeless neighbors sleeping in our classrooms, decorate our space for Christmas, sing carols together, and...worship again!

Really, in turning our selves toward our living and imminent God, it is all worship. You can tell because the light is breaking in through all of it.

The invitation I offer up is, of course, to all of you who read this, but today I especially encourage you to be bold and to in turn invite someone who I've probably never met, but whom you know and love, and whom you would love to see basking in God's light. Invite them to give you a couple pairs of shoes to take with you to church. Or to bring their kids for decorating the church after the 10am service on Sunday. Invite them to the Family Eucharist at 5:00 Christmas Eve, or the 8:30 PM Carols and 9:00 Festival Eucharist with candlelight, choir and a woodwind ensemble. Like the dawn that breaks every morning, there is plenty of light for us all!

May your feet be guided in peace, my friends, in these last days before Christmas. I am familiar with the many cares of the world that pull and press as the holiday arrives, but hope to remember, and hope you remember, that under them all is peace, peace...peace.

In Christ,
Reed