Episcopal Church
of the Resurrection
1433 NW R.D. Mize Road
Blue Springs, Missouri  64015
 
(816) 228-4220

Weekly E-mail

Saturday, January 9, 2021

First Sunday after the Epiphany
THE BAPTISM OF OUR LORD.
Sunday, January 10, 2021 
Services at 8:00 am and 10:30 am (live streamed)

Baptism of our Lord
Resurrection will host in-person services this Sunday.  COVID precautions will be observed with a face mask required. 
From Father David Lynch+

Fr. David Lynch_
Dear sisters and brothers in Christ, 

What we have witnessed over the last week and for the many years leading up to what took place at the Capitol building only further reminds us of the healing that must take place to combat the hatred and violence that has become status quo in our society today.

We could all point fingers and rail against who we think is to blame, and the reality is that we are all culpable in varying degrees for where we are today.  Some have cautioned me to not speak politically from the pulpit but I must tell you that religion and politics are inseparable.  Why do you think we vow not to talk about either at the dinner table or family reunions?

Jesus lived a political life and he died for it. So, because we must not condone the violence and divisiveness from any faction, left or right or racially, we must do much more than pray for all things to change. And in that I ask your prayers for the healing of our nation.

I also ask us to purposely take action to recognize where we need change and promote the justice that every person deserves.  What happened at the Capitol building like what has happened in many of the cities in our country is unacceptable regardless of cause. Please pray for me and for all of us as we live to better represent Christ and his Church.  With sadness and hope,   Fr. David+
Annual Meeting
SUNDAY, JANUARY 31.
Annual Meeting
The Annual Meeting is planned for Sunday, January 31 following one Sunday morning service that begins at 9:30 AM.

Current plans are for the meeting to be in-person and virtual.

Ballots for Vestry election have been mailed to member homes for return by January 15.


Monday Matters - RenewalWorks
FROM REV. JAY SIDEBOTHAM +.
Monday Matters Column dated January 4, 2021

The Rev. Jay Sidebotham _
 
Philippians 3:10-14
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus. 

II Corinthians 5:16-20
From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way.  So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation;  that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 

Remember to forget

It's been said that in the journey of faith, we don't need to be instructed as much as reminded. Holy remembering runs as a thread through our tradition. The people of Israel are called to remember Abraham, a wandering Aramean, to remember the Exodus, to remember God's provision in the wilderness. When we gather for eucharist, the prayer over bread and wine always includes reflections on God's goodness expressed in the past, a section called anamnesis. Not amnesia. Not forgetting.

I often find in my own life that the best way to move forward is to check out the spiritual rearview mirror, recalling how God has acted in the past. As a community, we need to reckon with ways we have fallen short and done great wrong, in the spirit of truth and reconciliation. There is holy remembering for sure.

But there is also holy forgetting. As we leave a particularly challenging year, I'm mindful of what we need to leave behind. These thoughts were triggered not only by the calendar, but by a lecture I read given by Walter Brueggemann (awesome theologian and biblical scholar and wise human being) in 2015. The talk was one in a series on memory. The title of this presentation: Nostalgia and Obligations to Forget.

He speaks of a mandate to forget old wounds, noting that most of us are masters at nourishing old wounds that we do not ever want to be blotted out. He cited a pastor named Janos Pasztor who at a gathering of clergy was given 90 minutes to tell his story, to talk about his engagement with the Hungarian Church. After his time was up, he had only gotten to 1300 AD. He required more time. Nothing had been forgotten in that church.

Brueggemann then spoke of a time he was in Macedonia with a friend who said "I wish all Albanians were dead." When asked why, he said that in the year 938 AD, they burned his church down. Brueggemann cited the Lost Cause narrative of the Old South, a matter of remembering too much too well. He noted that we are all tempted to locate our deep hurts and to dwell there.

I visited one church which over 100 years earlier had merged two congregations, one for wealthy folks, the other for less affluent workers. Upon merger, each church had brought a processional cross, one grander than the other. 100 years later it was still the case that the grander cross from the more prosperous church always, I mean, always, came first in procession. Try to change that and trigger a big old church fight.

When my mother, now departed, was in her early 60's, she received a letter from a friend she knew growing up. My mother hadn't seen her in four or five decades. Out of the blue, this woman wrote a letter and said: "I want you to know I forgive you for how you hurt me when we were growing up." My mother had no idea what she was talking about, and so had not been troubled by it. Clearly this woman had been letting this injury swirl around in her head for years. I ached for that wasted energy, the damage to her poor spirit. I wished for her release.

For me, each year brings a New Year's Resolution to let go, to give up resentments, to practice forgiveness towards others and myself. Let's just call it a work in progress. I resolve to embrace the wisdom of Anne Lamott who says forgiveness is giving up the hope of a better past. I need that freedom, so I often pray Psalm 51: Create in me a clean heart. I can hold on to resentments with the best of them. It's a perilous loop. I can live in the unreachable past of how I might have been a better parent, child, pastor, friend, boss, employee, citizen. I pray now for our over-heated political system as we lurch from one injury to another, animated by a partisan spirit of retribution. "We're doing this because your party did that." Is there a way to break the cycle?

St. Paul wrestled with his own history of persecuting the church, in an ongoing struggle. He occasionally talks about his past, his sins and successes. In one of his most helpful passages, he says that forgetting what lies behind, he presses on toward the goal of knowing Christ. He keeps his eyes on that prize.

I want to try to do that in 2021. Any interest in joining me in that adventure? Ask yourself as the new year begins: What do I need to remember? What do I need to forget?
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