January 17, 2021
What Was Promised

What you need: a watch, clock, or timer; a quiet creative activity; a candle (if it's okay, or an intentional object like a cross); a Bible, if you'd like; paper; something to write with; a snack. Have your class with a sibling or other family members, or enjoy this time by yourself.

1) Begin with a transition time - Peace & Quiet: enjoy a creative activity for about 10 minutes (journaling, clay, Legos, drawing, etc.) - a time to change gears.

2) Next, clear that space, or move to another space, and light a candle (or place your intentional object). Settle in, and say a prayer, like: Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105). Offer more prayers, silently, or out loud, if you want.

3) Here are the appointed readings for January 17, 2021. Find them in your Bible, or click here: Read them out loud.
Our focus for this class =
What was Promised - at Baptism:

Here's a refresher on Baptism: we learned that at a person's Baptism (yours?), they (you?) (or their/your parents & godparents) made these promises about the following questions.
(PS: look at the Catechism, found in the Book of Common Prayer* for more insight!)

“Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?”
“I will, with God’s help.”

“Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?”
“I will, with God’s help.”
  • you are never alone (remember: "you are sealed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism and marked as Christ's own for ever" - BCP, p. 308): how can that help you to resist evil? In what ways do you need strengthening? How can you exercise your will?
  • being human, well, you're frail. But here's good news! When you repent, and return, you are joyously received, welcomed home like the prodigal son, a lost coin, a missing lamb, enfolded into the love always waiting for you, as you rejoin the Lord in the Body of Christ, the Church. . . every time.

“Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?”
“I will, with God’s help.”
  • what words can you use? (Or not use!)
  • how can you use your own life to be an example? (Ponder these verses and more!)

“Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?”
“I will, with God’s help.”
  • what does it mean, to seek Christ in all persons? ALL persons? How do you feel about people you dislike, disagree with, or otherwise look down upon? Where is Christ?
  • how does it feel to serve Christ by serving all people? What are some ways to serve?
  • do you love yourself? Do you love your neighbor? How does that balance out? Must it?

“Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?”
“I will, with God’s help.”
  • strive for justice: in what ways? Where do you see injustice? What will you do?
  • strive for peace: what is peace? How does peace happen? How is peace preserved?
  • respect the dignity of every human being: which people are not respected, not treated with dignity? How does that make them feel? What does that mean about those who treat them that way?
  • Carefully, prayerfully, read Bishop Alan Gate's message, sent after the events of 1/6: how can you (we!) “sow with a view to righteousness, and reap in accordance with kindness.”?

(*Book of Common Prayer: these questions are found on pp 304-305)
4) Think about what you read, chat about it if you have company, look it up online (if allowed) and see if there's commentary about it – do you agree? Do you feel called to do something?

5) Brainstorm & make a poster: Top 10 Promises to Keep and/or Top 10 Ways to Keep a Promise. Take a pic or write your list & email it to me!

6) Snack time! Prayers first: talk to God! "I'm grateful for, I'm worried about, I ask for" etc. And/or take 5 or more minutes for Centering Prayer: relaxing into peace & letting thoughts go. Breathe! Enjoy your snack.

7) Finally, clean up your space(s), and say a closing prayer, like: Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. - Plato.

8) Blow out the candle, or put away the intentional object (or leave it there if you'd like to create a little sacred area) and say out loud:
Go now in peace, to love and serve the Lord! Thanks be to God! ALLELUIA!
Next meeting of our Anti-Racist Awareness book club: 7pm on Wednesday, January 27

Google link = Join us, even just to drop by for a moment to say hello! We're reading the book shared in the Newburyport High School Community Read: Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson.

And watch for info on taking action in our own community & beyond - lots of ideas from our group; what's yours?

How are you? What can I, or Fr Jarred, or our church, do for you? What can YOU (we!) do for our church, our community, our world? (You've got the help of everybody at St Paul's!)

- with prayers for hope, love, justice, dignity, joy, and peace! Linda
Please note, these emails are sent to adults; please share with young people. If you would like me to add a youth's email, please send it to me, with your permission. Thanks! Linda