Fr. Mychal Judge's Prayer

Lord, take me where
You want me to go;
Let me meet who
You want me to meet;
Tell me what
You want me to say,
And keep me
out of Your way.
Mychal Judge, OFM. was an Irish-American Franciscan and chaplain to the New York Fire Department who was the first listed casualty of the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers in 2001.

He prayed this prayer daily; it was a guide to his approach to his pastoral ministry, a ministry rich in life-giving compassion. The prayer has become well known since his death.
Torrence's Message
“Unsubscribe Me”
(A New Spiritual Practice)
About twenty or more times per day. That seems to be the average number of times I go through the process of “unsubscribing” to e-mail messages on my computer in a period of twenty-four hours. Do I really need coupons for all that toilet paper someone thinks I need? Or yet another graduate degree – don’t I have enough by now? Just how many gutter, tire, self-storage unit businesses are there – they all have found me. I have no idea
what a bitcoin is, and I sure don’t need marijuana stocks or anything to do with that “m” word living in Virginia. I figure the marketing analysts have classified me a “boomer” for that one. Not to mention all those products that are supposed to make me more svelte (although I could lose a few pounds) or grow more hair (although the top of my head seems a little thin these days) or the hundreds of products out there to make me look more youthful. It’s just cheaper to stop looking in mirrors.
Those of you who are more technically savvy than I am could probably give me advice about ways to cut down on all these “trash” emails. And, please, I would welcome your input. But in the meanwhile, I’ve decided that the idea of “unsubscribing” to things that I don’t need or want is a good metaphor for life.
It could also be a great spiritual practice. Like fasting. And like with the spiritual discipline of fasting we talked about last Lent (shifting the fast idea from something like chocolate to something like anger or resentment) the spiritual practice of “unsubscribing” could look something like this: to shift the object of unsubscription from marketplace items produced in the world outside of me to those that seem to be generated and produced in the world inside of me. I’m talking about some of the products that are unhealthy – ones then marketed by an immature ego or primal self-serving reactivity that hasn’t taken the time to appropriately process what’s going on with me.

Jesus seems to distinguish between the things we take in and those that we generate from within and then spill out. “There is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile. For it is from within, from the human heart that evil intentions come.” (Mark 7:15, 21)

Well, I might have a conversation with him about some of the things we ingest that can be unhealthy dependent on our use of them (for example, opioids) and maybe Jesus wasn’t thinking about a kid drinking something like bubble bath soap, or taste testing Mom’s perfume or swallowing a plastic toy that seemed to be a good teething device. But Jesus has a good point. The difference between giving up something I ingest and giving up resentment that I seem to produce on my own inside and then unfiltered comes out in unhealthy ways is profound. Also, there is obviously a greater difference between the impact on my life and the life of those around me when I compare unsubscribing to the marketing of bitcoins than, to use an example, to the marketing of prejudice.

So, I’ve started a list to consider for my spiritual practice of “unsubscribing.” It’s a way of trying to live into our parishes’ reoccurring prayer this past year: “Create in me a clean heart, O Lord, and renew a right spirit within me.” Remembering that we discussed the ancient understanding of the “heart” as not just the seat of emotion, but an integrated space of heart and mind and uniquely valued by the ancients as the seat of wisdom.
Oh, how crowded one’s heart can become with attitudes and orientations that are unhealthy for us and then spill over into the world around us. Oh, how lovely to filter out what’s unhealthy, do some fall house cleaning and have plenty of room for what is really useful, like love, peace, mercy, equality, justice and to have available an open heart space to originate and channel energy to make a positive difference in the world around us.
Here are some “products” that I am considering for my spiritual practice of unsubscription: anxiety, indifference, prejudice, unconscious “privilege,” irritability. Also, while practicing I want to unsubscribe to one of my favorites: that critical judgmental
voice that loves to make itself heard in me and whispers: “Are you doing it right? Are you doing it well enough? How are ‘we’ doing in comparison to everyone else?”

Oh, how creative this practice could become! How about you? Want to try out this spiritual practice for yourself? Maybe make it a family practice. Maybe all together  we can come up with a wonderfully creative list and then be a support for one another as we “practice.” Just imagine what the heart space of our two churches would look like as all of us as members of the body of Christ in these places practice this spirit open way of being. Then how the Spirit might move through us, spilling over in the community all around us and wherever we go? 
 Just imagine!

All above images downloaded from the web via pinterest. No copywrite infringement intended.
The picture of Arline Hinkson, below, is courtesy of Anne Neuman.

The haven is looking for volunteers, in general. If you're interested, contact Brittany Clayborne

Farnham & St. John's have committed to having a couple of people supply dinner for them on Monday, Sept. 24th by 5:00 p.m. If you can help do this, please let Torrence know.
Last Sunday for the second week of Ben Cox's vacation, Arline Hinkson supplied the music, and not with the violin! Thank you, Arline! Welcome Home, Ben!
Arline Hinkson at the organ
Sunday Sept. 23rd “PEACE” SUNDAY . Since the 70th annual International Day of Peace is Friday, Sept. 21st, our service on the following Sunday will focus on the theme of Peace.
click here for the UN Peace Day site
 Sunday, Sept. 30th  5th Sunday combined parishes service at Farnham will be a “COME AS YOU ARE” Sunday and the annual BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS service.
Also on Sept. 30th at 5:00 p.m. , there is a Northern Neck EVENSONG Service at Grace Church, Kilmarnock. Picnic to follow
October 2nd through November 13th, we will begin a seven week JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE , an adult education series which will held on Tuesdays.   We will study the Old Testament to develop a basic familiarity with important stories and examine them in their historical, geographical and cultural contexts and to consider the important themes and their relevance and potential implications for contemporary life and world events in the 21st century.  Click here for the tentative schedule.
( B ag L unch & C onversation) Thursdays at noon

and First Fridays
SUPPER & A SHOW October 5th
with Potluck at 6:00 p.m. and Showtime at 6:45 p.m.
In the Church

Sunday September 16th
Morning Prayer 

9:00 a.m. at Farnham

11:00 a.m. at St. John's

click above to see lessons

Sunday September 23rd
Holy Eucharist

Peace Sunday

9:00 a.m. at Farnham

11:00 a.m. at St. John's

Sunday September 30th
Morning Prayer &
Blessing of the Animals

"Come as You Are " Sunday

10:00 a.m. at Farnham

Sunday October 7 th
Holy Eucharist

9:00 a.m. at Farnham

11:00 a.m. at St. John's

In the Parish Hall
Come Worship With Us

Sunday Service this week
9:00 a.m. Farnham Church, Farnham
11:00 a.m. St. John's Church, Warsaw

 ‌ except the fifth Sunday of the month, see schedule.