Ministry Minute

Holy Breath

"Jesus said to them again, 'peace be with you. As the Father has sent me so I send you.' When he had said this he breathed on them and said to them 'receive the Holy Spirit.'" - John 20:21

80% of my pastoral conversations with people involve me telling them to take a breath, but only 5% of people literally do that after I say it. Ok, so I am busted I don't actually count. But, it is interesting to me that "take a breath" is such an expression that we stop listening to it as advice. That can be unfortunate, because if I ever tell you, "whoa, hold on. Take a breath." I mean take an actual literal breath and try to enjoy the feel of it.

Breath is one of the most powerful symbols and practices in religions across the world. In Yoga for example, they talk about the breath as the vehicle for connection between mind and body. It is the divine presence of the breath that brings the yogi to wholeness. Meditation, prayer, singing almost every major spiritual practice in any religion involves focusing and intentional use of breath.

But in Christianity, in my opinion at least, the role of breath is even more fundamental. This might be a surprise to many English-speaking Christians but that is because of a translation problem. It floors me how many Christians don't realize that breath is found in the very name we use for God Himself. Breath is mentioned in every commissioning, every blessing, every absolution and almost every prayer we have ever shared at St. Aidan's. If that sounds funny it is because you can't hear the Greek or Hebrew behind our English vocabulary.

Countless times you have heard me say, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." For those old school church goers you might remember in the 1970s when they changed that translation. Until then in English it was almost always "The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost." They decided to change it because to the contemporary ear the word "Ghost" sounded spooky, and maybe even morbid. But in both Greek and Hebrew which is to say all of the languages of the Bible the word for Ghost, is the same word as spirit, which is the same word as wind, which is the same word as breath. In Greek it is the word pneuma, and in Hebrew it is the word ruach. It is the ruach, the spirit, the wind that blows through creation in the beginning so the Old Testament tells us. It is the pneuma, the spirit the breath that the resurrected Jesus literally breaths on his disciples when he sends them out in love and healing to the world. Just imagine for a second how much more intuitive the above quote would be if it were simply translated "When he [Jesus] said this, he breathed on them and said to them 'receive the Holy Breath.'" And it could just as easily have been translated that way. Just as easily I could say, "I bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Breath."

Think about the Christian story for a second. The Father creates through the Holy Spirit (Breath), and the Son preaches and redeems through the Holy Spirit (breath). Earlier I said that in Yoga the connection between mind and body is breath. Well in Christianity the connection between heaven and earth is the Holy Breath. Its power and meaning is cosmic. And each time you as a disciple of Jesus breathe it is his holy breath that fills your lungs. It is the Holy Breath that gives, sustains and in many ways defines life.
So when you are anxious and afraid and I say, take a breath. Know that I mean it. When you are overwhelmed with joy and gratitude and I say, "take a breath and enjoy it." Know that I mean it. God's love is so present and so close that it fills our lungs and we literally cannot live without its blessing. So take a breath and know that God is with you. Then do it again. And again...

In Peace
Les +
All Church Announcements

Shrove Tuesday-Pancake
Supper March 5th 6:00 -8:00 p.m.
Save the date! We will have our Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper on in the church building. available.  The suggested donation is $5.00 per person with a $15.00 maximum per family.  
See preregistration forms in the Church.

Ash Wednesday
March 6th 6 AM & 7 PM
Begin the Holy Season of Lent right with the Ash Wednesday service of reflection and repentance. If you are interested in volunteering to minister Ashes to go please contact revles@aidanschurch.org.

Note: You can be a sponsor of "Lent in a Bag." Last year "Ashes to Go" and "Lent in a Bag" were both such a success that this year we are combining them! Rev. Les challenged the congregation to provide a "lent in a Bag" to every family going through "Ashes to Go." That is over 300 bags! The average cost per bag is $3 so please consider making a special donation. You could bless 20 families for just $60.

Caravan To Yoga Mass
March 9th
Rev. Les is gathering some people to go check out Yogamass.
Yoga mass is an Episcopal Eucharistic act of worship that incorporates Yoga. We will meet at St Aidans at 4pm to make sure we can be at Yogamass before 5.
Yogamass is held at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church Parish Hall, 1819 Heights Blvd, Houston, TX 77009, Parking off of 19th St. Join us at 4 for the drive over or just meet us there! For more info on yogamass click here
 
PJs & Prayers-Wherever You Are
We will meet at Every Wednesday, 13 Mar - 10 Apr
Join us on our church FB page from the comfort of your home -- or wherever you are -- on Wednesday evenings during Lent for a special addition to your evening routine, PJ's and Prayers. This weekly time of reflection, song and prayer will help us stay focused and centered throughout Lent.

Ladies Bible Study starting in January!
Join us for a ladies only Bible study every other Thursday at Patti Foucha's house beginning Thursday, January 10 From 7:00 to 8:30 PM. 
Our studies will be broken into relevant life topics. Our first topic will be what the Bible says about PURPOSE. Please contact Patti at 281-844-3383 or Dorothy Keays at 240-304-2209 to let us know you will attend or if you have any questions. Light appetizers and drinks will be served! Bring a friend!

GIFT Event - March 3- Prodigal Son 
This Sunday School is set apart to combine children youth and adults into a cluster of formation experiences where people of all ages can come together. We all are students and we all are teachers in these unique formation experience. So come meet your faith anew as we are Growing in Faith Together!

 
" Under Construction"
We have begun our process of construction on our expansion. Please be patient with us over the next 6 months and pay attention to the rerouting of foot traffic. For example if you are going to the portable buildings we recommend you take the temporary path around the other side of the playground. Thank you for joining us for this exciting time of growth for our church.

Uncurriculum 
Sundays, 9:15 AM, Classroom 1
We have created our own unique approach to Sunday School. Approximately once a month we have a large gathering for all ages where we teach a Bible story. The weeks leading up to that Sunday School consists of people coming together to help discover, create and implement the upcoming GIFT Sundays. There is a fresh leadership team for every month, but all are welcome every Sunday whether you will make it to the GIFT or not. The best way to know the Creator is to create. Join us for the learning and fun!
 
Friday Bible Study
Fridays, 10-11:15 AM, Church Office
Join Rev. Les every Friday for a Bible study. It is helpful if you let him know you are coming. All are welcome.

SALSA
Do you have about 2 hours a month to help keep your church grounds looking beautiful? If so, SALSA (Saint Aidan's Lawn Service Associates) needs you! If you are interested and able to serve your church in this fun ministry, we are looking for teens and adults to join the effort. Please call or text Joni Buck @ 832-746-5406!

New Options for Online Giving!
Most Efficient
Set up a recurring online bill pay with your bank. All you need is the church's name and address and you can set up your pledge payments to go out with no fees at all.  (Saint Aidans Episcopal Church Cypress Texas, 13131 Fry Road, Cypress. TX 77433-3339)
Most Convenient
Download the Tithe.ly (that is not a typo it is how it is spelled) app from your android or apple appstore. You can set up an easy giving profile and you can give from a credit card, debit card, or directly from your bank account. There are some fees associated with this service, but you can select to pay for the fees yourself if you like. You can also set up and track recurring giving through the app.

SMILE/AMAZON
We have registered Saint Aidan's on Smile/Amazon. Please find link here
Once you have linked your Amazon account there will be a donation to support Saint Aidan's with every purchase you make at no extra cost to you.

Opportunities to Serve
We are looking to expand our ranks of volunteers around worship. There are training videos now available on our website under the action tab (Liturgical Training Videos) where you can scope out what is like to be an acolyte or chalicer. One of the things we could really use help with is our sound booth. Contact  tracy@aidanschurch.org if you are interested. 
Youth Ministry

Confirmation Classes
Will begin on March 17th. The class will be immediately following the 10:30 service, starting with lunch in the kitchen, ending at 12:30 in Children's Chapel. These classes will go through April 7th The topic for this round of classes is Eucharist.
After class, we encourage the Confirmation class to go to the youth room so they can further bond and spend time with youth not in Confirmation class. Pick up time is 1:30 p.m.
If you are a youth who would like to be Confirmed, please email Taylor Durr at taylor@aidanschurch.org. If you would like to be Confirmed as an adult, please email Les Carpenter revles@aidanschurch.org for more information.
 
Feb 17: Game afternoon, 12:00-1:30 p.m.
 
Feb 24: Bible study, 12:00-1:30 p.m.
 
Mar 3: Service project, 12:00-1:30 p.m.
 
March 10: No youth group, Happy Spring Break!


If you have any questions, please contact Taylor Durr at taylor@aidanschurch.org
Children's Ministry

Dr Seuss Theme Night!
This SATURDAY!!!!

February 16th  5-8 p.m.
Calling all 4 year olds-5th graders! On February 16 come ready for dinner, games, snacks, crafts, and activities with everything from sala-ma-goox to schlopp to wockets in our pockets! We will start with dinner at 5 p.m. in the kitchen and continue our fun until pick up at 8 p.m. If you have any questions, or would like to RSVP, please email Taylor at taylor@aidanschurch.org.
 
Sunday School
For Prek-3rd grade (on non-GIFT Sundays) we will be using a special curriculum that uses Legos to teach the Bible. As Rev. Les put it, "This method is simple, and beautiful and powerful and it is the first accessible Sunday School curriculum I have ever seen that truly empowers the soul of a child."
 
For 4th grade-Adult we have created our own unique approach to Sunday School. Approximately once a month we have a large gathering for all ages where we teach a Bible story. The weeks leading up to that Sunday School consists of people coming together to help discover, create and implement the upcoming GIFT Sundays. There is a fresh leadership team for every month, but all are welcome every Sunday whether you will make it to the GIFT or not. The best way to know the Creator is to create. Join us for the learning and the fun.

Children's Chapel
Children's Chapel is available at our 10:30 service. It is a place for children to worship in the traditions of our faith but in a way that's geared towards Pre K - 3rd grade. A procession will guide the children to the chapel in the beginning of the service and the kids rejoin their families for Communion.
 
Youth Group
We have a great group of youth. Warm inviting and impressive. They generally meet Sunday afternoon from 12-1:30 pm, but check the schedule for more information.
 

Worship

Sundays
 
Traditional Worship 8:00 am

Traditional Worship with Contemporary Music 10:30 am

 

Are you serving Sunday?
Click below to check the 
Sunday's readings can be found at  lectionarypage.net . We are following Track 1. 

Questions about the new church set up? Check out our Temporary Customary here.
 
 
Saint Aidan's Episcopal Church
13131 Fry Road
Cypress, TX 77433
281.373.3203