In going through some old papers recently I came across something I had put together in 2011 (I suppose for some retreat I was leading) titled “Finding Holiness/Wholiness in your Day.” I think I was meant to find it, rediscover for myself during a now busy and kind of strange and crazy time how to be more PRESENT, more SELF AWARE, more CONNECTED, INTENTIONAl, PURPOSEFUL and yet CALM. I offer it here in case you might find this recipe for making a day helpful, too.
• Set aside a short time (or longer if you have it) to reflect on the day ahead.
• Begin with quietness, centering, slow deep breathing
• Open your heart and give thanks for the gift of the coming day.
• Be aware of what you may need in the way of resources for the day; ask God to resource you for what is to come, both the expected and the unexpected.
• Review your “calendar” for the day, planned events, work/tasks anticipated.
• Consider the opportunities that may be available to you today.
• Reflect on what purpose the events or non-events may have for your life and the lives of those with whom you may come into contact today.
• Check to make sure you have “breathing room” in your day. Times available to relax.
• Consider the possibility of any calendar re-adjustments for the day.
• Enter into a time of centering silence. Conclude with thanks giving.
DURING THE DAY (The “Pause that Refreshes”)
• Take little “time-outs” during the day. Maybe two: one late morning and one mid-afternoon. Simply stop, drop out of what you are doing and re-orient.
• Breathe deeply with quiet rhythm. Draw in the “ruah” (Divine breath). Feel it cleanse, refresh, renew your body, heart, and mind. This infuses the brain with oxygen, helps you see things more clearly. Deep breathing involves the core of your body, helps “ground” you.
• Take time to eat. Your body and brain need nourishment. Be present in this activity. Sense the nourishment entering your body; feel it renew you.
• Stop and check out your body at least once or twice during the day. Do you feel tension, anxiety, fear, despair, disconnect? What part(s) of your body are most affected when you are under stress – check them out. Don’t judge yourself. Simply breathe in love as you pray for strength, calmness, clarity, a sense of purpose.
• If you have tasks/jobs/events that demand significant energy, ones that you consider stressful or ones that require you to relate to someone(s) with whom there is a difficult relationship, take at least a brief time out before and after such events to center and ground yourself.
END OF THE DAY
• Review your day. Take time to consider the following:
o Where/when/during what events did you feel fullness, connectedness, joy, completion?
o Where/when/during what events did you feel dryness, stress, anxiety, depletion?
o What fed you during the day; what energized you, calmed you, gave you clarity?
o Where did God use you to feed/nourish/support/energize others?
o What would you consider “fruits” of the day?
o Consider what you have learned from responding to these questions for yourself. Then let go of all your thoughts and concerns– hand them over to God. He will take care of them for you through the night so you can rest.
• Pray, giving thanks to God for the gift of the day.
• Relax your muscles and your mind, feel your breath and your heart slow into steady, quiet, sure rhythms.
• Pray for peace. Ask for protection through the night. Give thanks for the rest and peace that awaits you. Sleep.
Thanks to the Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber for our
Prayer of the Week
Everyone's exhausted right now: parents, activists, cashiers, people who are just now actually learning about systemic racism, delivery drivers, the unemployed, the chronically sick, ER nurses, those who fear the police, (the police), the elderly, performers with no hope of an audience any time soon, clergy, social workers, those who can't make their rent, and everyone who has to spray something down with disinfectant for the 1,000th time. Teach us to rest, Lord. Help us dial back our obsession with productivity. Raise up more helpers for those who are over-extended Lord. Stir up the desire to serve in those who only take. Remove barriers to napping. Quiet babies for an hour so those new mamas can sleep. Make us aware of any new binge-able NETFLIX shows that might help. Give employers the will to grant extra paid mental-health days. Quiet those voices that tell us we should be doing more right now, especially the ones that come from inside of us. Teach us not to confuse respite with laziness. Increase our compassion for one another. And while you're at it, increase our compassion for ourselves.
Lord, in your mercy
Hear our prayer.
background photograph is courtesy of Borna Bevanda from Unsplash, no copyright permission necessary
Last Sunday at Farnham & St. John's
Miriam Sisson (above) from Farnham plays "This Land is Your Land" on the keyboard for the Interlude after the homily and Georges Saison (right) plays Beethovan's "Ode to Joy" on the saxophone for the Postlude during St. John's outdoor service at Sabine Hall on July 26
Outdoor service will be cancelled in event of rain.
Face Masks required*, Bring your own lawn chair*, Seating will be marked in advance at 6-8 foot intervals for individuals and/or immediate family "groupings"
"Social" distancing will be respected; We will have music, but not singing;
A food pantry donation basket will be available for can and jar donations.
There will also be a plate to collect the offering.
* There will be some disposable masks and sanitized chairs available if you forget
I will be heading to the mountains of North Carolina for a short vacation in August which will include two Sundays, August 9
th and August 16
th. Sunday "show time" will continue, of course, thanks to our lay ministers stepping in and officiating, weather permitting. Due to the complexities and timing of doing both an outdoors 9 a.m. service at Farnham on the 9
th and Sabine Hall on the 16
th, there will be no Zoom service at 11 a.m. on those two Sundays. However, I recommend to those who choose for health, heat or timing reasons not to attend an outdoors service to use that Sunday morning time individually or with their family members at home to read the Morning Prayer service that will be set out in the Service bulletin for the respective Sundays which you will receive by email the preceding Friday. Also you will be receiving by email each of those Fridays the usual links to the on-line service at the Washington National Cathedral and a Diocese of Virginia sermon offering. Also, you will receive a sermon offering from me, slightly modified to be a little more casual than my usual written sermons, along with reflective questions. While I am away, please take good care of one another and yourselves. Although I will be away, I do want to be notified in the event of any emergency, but trust you and God to keep you safe during that time.
Shrine Mont weekend
has been cancelled
The combined Parish Weekend at Shrine Mont for the St. John's/Farnham/Cople parishes was booked for the last weekend in September for 2020. Due to the ongoing risks associated with COVID 19 and despite Shrine Mont's efforts to provide appropriate accommodations for parish weekends at this time, we have cancelled our booking for 2020. However, we are tentatively booked for the same weekend in 2021 with the hopes that 2021 will be a healthy time for a mountaintop weekend at Shrine Mont.
There will be an outdoor Morning Prayer Service at Farnham at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday and a virtual Morning Prayer Service held via Zoom at 11:00 a.m. Instructions for access to the virtual service arehere.