Monday, June 30, 2014

Sonnets for Peter & Paul

as used at our outdoor service on Sunday.
First Reading: A Sonnet for St. Peter (by Malcolm Guite)
Impulsive master of misunderstanding
You comfort me with all your big mistakes;
Jumping the ship before you make the landing,
Placing the bet before you know the stakes.
I love the way you step out without knowing,
The way you sometimes speak before you think,
The way your broken faith is always growing,
The way he holds you even when you sink.
Born to a world that always tried to shame you,
Your shaky ego vulnerable to shame,
I love the way that Jesus chose to name you,
Before you knew how to deserve that name.
And in the end your Savior let you prove
That each denial is undone by love.

Second Reading: Apostle! - a sonnet for St. Paul (by Malcolm Guite)
An enemy whom God has made a friend,
A righteous man discounting righteousness,
Last to believe and first for God to send,
He found the fountain in the wilderness.
Thrown to the ground and raised at the same moment,
A prisoner who set his captors free,
A naked man with love his only garment,
A blinded man who helped the world to see,
A Jew who had been perfect in the law,
Blesses the flesh of every other race
And helps them see what the apostles saw;
The glory of the lord in Jesus’ face.
Strong in his weakness, joyful in his pains,
And bound by love, he freed us from our chains.

Both sonnets found in "Sounding the Seasons by Malcom Guite"

Friday, June 27, 2014

June 22 Sermon

You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them. ~ Desmond Tutu
I have always liked his quote, reminding us of our interdependence in our families, and the gifts we are to them as they are to us. But of course, sometimes families don’t get along…
“Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, playing with her son Isaac. So she said to Abraham, "Cast out this slave woman with her son; for the son of this slave woman shall not inherit along with my son Isaac." The matter was very distressing to Abraham on account of his son. Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed, and wandered about in the wilderness of Beer-sheba.” (Genesis 21)
But God would not forget Hagar and Ishmael – when all seemed lost, God heard the cries – God provided water – and we are told “God was with the boy, and he grew up; he lived in the wilderness…”

The religions of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all trace their roots through Abraham, Islam through the son Ishmael, Christianity & Judaism through the son Isaac. This family tree has born lots of hatred and lots of violence against the others on the tree, a rivalry from the beginning.

Currently we are watching Iraq tear itself apart as different factions within the family of Islam fight for control; Sunni & Shiite, with many other groups taking advantage of the chaos, like al-Qaeda. “The two Islamic sects split in the seventh century in a dispute over the true heir of Islam's Prophet Mohammed. In most Islamic countries other than Iran, Sunnis have long enjoyed political prominence and economic advantage over the Shiite.” (from USA Today)

Watching the unrest and fighting in the Middle East has reminded me that our Christian family has also had a lot of fighting through the years, much of it religious and political just like Iraq today. Who of us can forget Northern Ireland and the fight between Protestants and Roman Catholics?
You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them. ~ Desmond Tutu
Too often we forget this saying. We see family as a burden, especially when we disagree. On a large scale, such family disputes can often evolve into civil wars. But families can also help patch up such disagreements. Ann and I saw this in Mozambique, where after a terrible civil war, a framework for peace has been reached with Bishop Sengulane & others helping to bring the different tribal families back together even as great disagreements still exist.

But Jesus in the Gospel for today, seems to say that following him, will bring conflict with our families. Jesus said, “"For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one's foes will be members of one's own household… whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me.”

The cost of discipleship, of following him, may lead us to be at odds in our own family. What might that look like? And what might Jesus be calling us to do even as he tells us not to be afraid?
Blonde and giggly, Marla Ruzicka was easy to dismiss. When she first arrived in Kabul, Afghanistan at Christmas in 2001, Afghan guards and western reporters called her "Bubbles." She was easy to underestimate: She gushed and fawned and giggled; she loved to party; everything was "cool" or "awesome." But for four years - first in Afghanistan and then in Iraq, Marla Ruzicka was a one-woman human rights organization for she believed “that governments had a legal and moral responsibility to compensate the families of civilians killed or injured in military conflicts.” She then started her own NGO, Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict.

Marla's social consciousness developed early: As a teenager in northern California she was suspended for leading a school protest against the Gulf War, much to the chagrin of her family. At her high school graduation, someone shouted as she received her diploma, "Marla, go out and save the world!" And Marla proceeded to do just that.

Fiercely anti-war, Marla was savvy enough to understand that she probably couldn't stop the conflict but she could help the victims. Behind her party-girl personality was a fierce determination and astonishing compassion. With a few dollars she scrambled to raise, she built an impressive network of contacts among aid workers, reporters and U.S. military officers. She located Iraqi civilians who were killed or injured, documented their stories and then secured compensation for them or their surviving families. She cajoled American reporters to write about the innocent civilians caught in the crossfire. She organized a corps of volunteers to visit hospitals and compile the first credible list of people killed or injured. "A number is important," Marla wrote, "not only to quantify the cost of the war but, to me, each number is also a story of someone whose hopes, dreams and potential will never be realized and who left behind a family."

Back home, Marla mobilized relatives and friends to successfully lobby Congress to provide some $22 million in compensation for the civilian victims of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Everyone - from cynical freelance reporters to battle weary U.S. Army officers - came to know and respect her. For many Iraqis, Marla was the face of American compassion.

On April 16, 2005, Marla was traveling with her Iraqi translator, Faiz Ali Salim, along Baghdad's Airport Road to visit Iraqi families who had lost relatives in the violence. Her car was caught between a suicide car bomber and a U.S. military convoy. Marla Ruzicka's last words as they pulled her body from the flames were, "I'm alive." (from the Guardian & Wikipedia)
"You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them." ~ Desmond Tutu

Marla Ruzicka reminds us of the cost of seeing the needs of the whole human family. Her short life, so packed with adventure and risk, is proof that belief and resolve can accomplish great things. Jesus calls every one of us to take on the work of discipleship: to proclaim God's love in our midst, to be vehicles of God's mercy and justice for all his family. May we see the gift of family, in our home and in our world, and be that gift to all. Amen.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Remembering the Refugees

With over 50 million displaced people around the world, it is importat for us to remember the plight of the refugees and to work for a proper resettlement.

A prayer for refugees:

O God, we ask your living protection of all refugees yearning for freedom and hope in a new land. May we ever remember that the Holy Family, too, were refugees as they fled persecution. Bless, guide and lead us in faith to open doors and to open our hearts through this ministry of hospitality. Give us strength, vision and compassion as we work together to welcome those in need. We ask this in the name of Christ. AMEN

(The following is suitable for children.)

Dearest Jesus, thank you for making us all brothers and sisters in God's family. Help us to help our brothers and sisters who have no homes. Remind us to pray for them and give our gifts to help them. AMEN.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Remembering Bernard Mizeki

Almighty and everlasting God, who kindled the flame of your Love in the heart of your holy martyr Bernard Mizeki: Grant to us, your humble servants, a like faith and power of love, that we who rejoice in his triumph may profit by his example; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

They begged him to leave, but he refused. He knew his life was in danger, but he would not leave those he had been teaching the Christian Faith, to those whom he had given his love. So he stayed, not knowing what would come next. His name was Bernard Mizeki. The year was 1896. Why did he stay?
An Anglican Bishop some 80 years later in an another part of Africa put it this way, “In Uganda, during the eight years in the 1970s when Idi Amin and his men slaughtered probably half a million Ugandans, "We live today and are gone tomorrow" was the common phrase. We learned that living in danger, when the Lord Jesus is the focus of your life, can be liberating. For one thing, you are no longer imprisoned by your own security, because there is none. So the important security that people sought was to be anchored in God.” (from Revolutionary Love by Festo Kivengere)
Bernard Mizeki was anchored in God. He was born Mamiyeri Mitseka Gwambe in 1861 in the Inhambane district of Portuguese East Africa which we know today as Mozambique. When he was about twelve years old, he left his home and went to Capetown, South Africa. In his 20s, he began to attend classes at an Anglican school. Under the influence of his teachers, from the Society of Saint John the Evangelist, he was baptized in 1886 and took on the name Bernard Mizeki. In his schooling, he mastered English, French, Dutch, and several local African languages.

After his baptism, he was trained as a lay catechist, one who taught the Christian faith to others. After graduating, he accompanied Bishop Knight-Bruce to Mashonaland, a tribal area in what is today Zimbabwe. In 1891 the bishop assigned him to Nhowe and there he lived among that tribe. He prayed the Anglican hours each day, tended his garden, and studied the local language so he could talk and pray and teach them in their own language, which also helped him cultivate friendships with the people.

With the chief's permission, he moved his huts onto a nearby plateau, next to a grove of trees believed to be sacred to the ancestral spirits of the Mashona. This angered the shamans when he cut some of the trees down and carved crosses into others. Although he opposed some of the tribal religious traditions, Bernard was attentive to the nuances of their religion and developed an approach that built on the people's faith in one God, and on their sensitivity to the spirit, while at the same time proclaiming Christ. In many ways, he reminds me of St. Patrick and what he did among the Irish, cultivating the faith in similar soil, helping them see the Christian faith in what they already knew.

Sadly, his life would not end so peaceably as St. Patrick’s did in Ireland. In 1896, when tensions reached a fevered pitch in Mashonaland, missionaries were ordered out for their safety. Bernard refused to go. On June 18, 1896, Bernard was killed by the local shaman and his huts and his mission destroyed.

And yet his work did not die with him. His pregnant wife survived and in fact, the first baptisms from that tribe followed his death, including his wife and child. He is revered among African Anglicans and is considered both a martyr and a saint.
In our reading from Leviticus, “The LORD spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to all the congregation and say: You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy. You shall not hate in your heart…You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.”
This was true of the life of Bernard Mizeki. Who refused to go down the road of hate, even when threatened by the local religious leaders. He knew his anchor was in God, that Jesus guided him onward as he loved everyone he was with. He tried to live that holy life in prayer and in love to whom he was called. And like St. Paul, he understood that his work was not for himself…
“According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building on it. Each builder must choose with care how to build on it. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ. So let no one boast about human leaders. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future-- all belong to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.”
The foundation laid by Bernard Mizeki was built upon by many other Christians in African in the decades since his death. He knew he belonged to Christ and he wanted to share that with others, in their own language and customs. And he was trying to live as Jesus had taught. Many shrines were set up to remember his work and his martyrdom.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus said “You have heard that it was said, `You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.”
Bernard tried to love his enemies even at the end, worrying more about his wife and those he taught, then his own life. He tried to be as Jesus said, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

But of course, Bernard wasn’t, nor are any of us perfect. But Jesus calls us to work towards that perfection in how we live our lives. As one person has written on Bernard… “While attaining the highest, he yet comes within the comprehension of the lowest. He is not as saints and martyrs often seem to be – a being of a different order. He brings the crown of martyrdom within the compass of his people's understanding; he is bone of their bone and flesh of their flesh .... He stands for modern Africa. He stands true to type. In all the happenings of his life – save in the manner of his death – he recapitulates the story of countless thousands of his African brothers and sisters.” (Fr. Osmund Victor)
Today, we are called to have a like faith and power of love that Bernard Mizeki had in Jesus, who “proclaimed that he followed the Holy and Loving Spirit, whom we call God and because of this, he had lost all anxiety and no one could ever disturb his peace and happiness.” (from an eyewitness to one of his teachings)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

More prayers for the World Cup

The Church of England has released Prayers for the World Cup, including prayers for the England Team ahead of England's first match against Italy. The Prayers have been written by the Bishop of Leeds, the Rt. Revd. Nick Baines, who originally penned them during the last football World Cup in South Africa in 2010 and has posted them on his blog.

Prayer 1
A Prayer for the World Cup

Lord of all the nations, who played the cosmos into being, guide, guard and protect all who work or play in the World Cup. May all find in this competition a source of celebration, an experience of common humanity and a growing attitude of generous sportsmanship to others. Amen.

Prayer 2
A Prayer for Brazil

God of the nations, who has always called his people to be a blessing for the world, bless all who take part in the World Cup. Smile on Brazil in her hosting, on the nations represented in competition and on those who travel to join in the party. Amen.

Prayer 3
A prayer for those simply not interested

Lord, as all around are gripped with World Cup fever, bless us with understanding, strengthen us with patience and grant us the gift of sympathy if needed. Amen.

Prayer 4
Prayers for the England Football team

"Oh God..."

Prayer 5
"God, who played the cosmos into being, please help England rediscover their legs, their eyes and their hunger: that they might run more clearly, pass more nearly and enjoy the game more dearly. Amen."

Sermon on Bishops (June 15)

Given at the 8 AM service.
With Bishop Ian Douglas with us at the next service, it’s a good day for us to think about bishops, their role in the Church and our understanding of bishops today & throughout the centuries.

We begin with the NT, which speaks of three offices of the church, the overseers, presbyters and deacons. It is from these that our modern notion of three ordained ministries exist from the baptized: bishops, priests and deacons. Bishops are the overseers, episkopos in the Greek, those who oversee church affairs. We read about them in the Acts of the Apostles, but the term overseer seems to be interchangeable with elder or presbyter in those early days. Only later the letters of 1 Timothy & Titus talk specifically about different offices within the baptized community, and they alone lay out the office of bishop.
From 1 Timothy 3: “The saying is sure: whoever aspires to the office of bishop desires a noble task. Now a bishop must be above reproach, husband of one wife, temperate, sensible, respectable, hospitable, an apt teacher, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, and not a lover of money.”
Wise words to live by for all of us, but certainly wise words for our bishops to be respectable & sensible, gentle not quarrelsome, not lovers of money or drunkards… We expect our bishops, as the Book of Common Prayer states, “to represent Christ and his Church, particularly as apostle, chief priest, and pastor of a diocese; to guard the faith, unity, and discipline of the whole Church; to proclaim the Word of God; to act in Christ’s name for the reconciliation of the world and the building up of the Church; and to ordain others to continue Christ’s ministry.” (BCP p. 855)

But in the beginning, the church was not structured like our own day, they were single churches spread out, often fearing persecution; house churches meeting in homes of wealthy patrons. After the Roman emperor Constantine ended the violence against Christians, and then made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire does the modern notion of a bishop start to form. As more and more churches are formed, the bishop moves from overseeing one church to many churches, and this begins the emergence of what we call dioceses today that is a group of churches in a geographical area formed with one or more bishops to oversee them.

Bishops connect us to the past, and connect the churches under them together in common mission. The chief duties of a bishop are with the administration of those sacraments that belong to bishops, that is confirmation and ordination, and the oversight of the diocese, the parishes including the supervision of the clergy.

It is these occasions in the life of a parish that a bishop comes and celebrates with them; the same is true for a dedication of a church, or a rebuilding or restoration of a church. On September 18, 1807, Bishop Jarvis came and dedicated and consecrated this church as St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. The parish and the Bishop work together for the ministry of a diocese and the bishop comes to celebrate with the parish. But of course, there have been hard times too, for a bishop can step in with appropriate authority from the Standing Committee of the diocese to oversee errant clergy, which Bishop Thomas Brownell, the 3rd Bishop of Connecticut did with the Rev. Menzies Rayner priest of the diocese and rector of this parish in 1827. Two months later, Rev. Rayner was no longer an Episcopal priest…which at least the history book recorded is what the parish wanted.

Bishops have been greeted at times with either enthusiasm or disdain…

In Milan, Italy in 374, they were looking for a new bishop. The bishop had died (who was not well liked by a majority of folks there) and they were looking for a fresh start. Ambrose, a catechumen, but not yet baptized, was well known and liked in Milan for his authority over the area as the local Governor. The people rose up at the election and said they wanted him, he accepted after some initial hesitation, was baptized and ordained first as a deacon, then a priest and finally as bishop. A Church that was tested & fragile was brought together under his leadership and began to flourish.

In 1783, Samuel Seabury, a clergyperson here in the newly formed state of CT, after his election in Woodbury went to England to receive the laying of hands and ordination as a bishop but he could not swear allegiance to the King, so he went to Scotland and was ordained bishop there because he did not have to make such a vow. And the Episcopal Church in the brand new USA had its first bishop in 1784.

In 1989, Barbara Harris was elected suffragan bishop (which is an assisting bishop) of the Diocese of MA. She would become the first woman bishop in the Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion. She had death threats against her and bomb threats made at her ordination. Certainly, her ordination as a bishop, brought joy to some and anguish to others.

The Church, I believe, was renewed each of those times, and it began with guidance from the Holy Spirit to understand that there are no barriers for ordination. Those who are baptized into the midst of the Body of Christ are those who can be ordained, deacon, priest or bishop. And this is done in the Episcopal Church through an election by representatives of every parish, its laity and clergy. We all have a role play in God’s mission in our world today, which is what our Bishop Ian would say. So on this Trinity Sunday let me end with Bishop Ian’s words on our calling as the baptized by our Triune God.
“As followers of Jesus Christ today, as the Church, we too share in this household of God and thus are called to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near. Participation in God’s mission, therefore is at the heart of the baptismal call…Just as God sent Jesus into the world, and Jesus sent his disciples to the ends of the earth, we too are sent in mission.

The calling of the Church, the calling of every Christian, is to participate with God in the restoration of unity between ourselves and God and ourselves and each other; to participate in the missio Dei. It is the work of the Church to herald and effect the new order where alienation, division and separation give way to inclusion, reconciliation, and unity. The eminent missiologist David Bosch has thus summarized,

Mission is, primarily and ultimately, the work of the Triune God, Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier, for the sake of the world, a ministry in which the church is privileged to participate. This is the deepest source of mission. . . there is mission because [our Triune] God loves people.

Our identity as followers of Christ is dependent upon, and judged against, how faithful we are to the mission of God, to the making real of God’s reconciling love in the world. As Christians we are “called and sent” to live beyond ourselves trusting that God will use us to effect God’s restoration to unity; God’s redemption of creation to wholeness and oneness in Christ.” Amen.

Prayers for Nebraska

For those communities affected by the Tornadoes:

Merciful God, in your hands are the caverns of the earth and the heights of the hills: our times also are in your hands. Hear our prayers for those suffering in the aftermath of the tornado in Pilger, NE and throughout Nebraska & the US; soothe those in distress; watch over those trapped and hoping for rescue; comfort the bereaved; strengthen those who labor to help others, lift up those who cannot help themselves; and in every danger be their very present help by the power of your Holy Spirit; we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. (The Rev. Jennifer Phillips)

God our refuge and hope:
Hear our prayers for those whose lives have been overturned by disaster.
Direct relief to the desperate,
comfort the injured and bereaved,
calm the fears of those who do not know where to turn,
cheer and protect the downhearted,
strengthen those who lend help,
and in all things increase compassion and care for the commonweal;
through Jesus who knew our sufferings
and opens for us the gate of new life. Amen. (The Rev. Jennifer Phillips)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

A Prayer for the World Cup

O Lord, bless the athletes, their coaches and all those involved in the World Cup so that no evil might happen to them. Bless Brazil during the World Cup so that every visitor would be treated with kindness and loving care. We remember those in Brazil who struggle to make ends meet. May the government invest in essential services for all communities. As we enjoy the skills of the players, many of whom are paid so well, may we remember the plight of the poor, in Brazil and around the world. As we enjoy the World Cup, grant fair play and respect for all, so that the tournament might inspire peace around the world.  And as we reflect on the dedication and excellence of the World Cup players, may we have this same dedication for the kingdom of God! Amen.

(adapted from the Prayers for the World Cup, by Archbishop Francisco de Assis da Silva)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Pentecost Sermon

Breathe on me, Breath of God, fill me with life anew, that I may love what you love, and do what you would do. Amen. (1st Verse of Hymn 508, adapted)

This morning we celebrate Pentecost: the coming of the Holy Spirit (as Jesus promised)!

The word Spirit in Hebrew & in Greek comes from the word for wind or breath. Our Scriptures tell us two different accounts of the bestowal of the Holy Spirit upon the gathered church, the community of faith. In the Acts of the Apostles we have the big public event, with lots of people and dramatic special effects. The event takes place on the Day of Pentecost, fifty days after Easter.
They were "all together in one place [when] suddenly there came from heaven a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.”
In the Gospel of John, the Spirit comes to the disciples on Easter Day, in the evening, in an intimate setting. Jesus gave his gift of peace to the disciples and "breathed on them" to commission them: "as the Father has sent me, so I send you" (John 20:21).

Today we celebrate the presence of God in our midst, that promised gift on Pentecost. In Jesus’ breathing upon the assembled disciples the new life of the Spirit, the community of the Resurrection — the Church — takes flight and is free. In the outpouring of the Spirit on the disciples from the book of Acts, they go out to speak the Good News to everyone. They are two different stories but they each speak to the spirit of God that blows into our lives.

Today we will welcome Peyton Nicole Thompson into the Body of Christ, as she is baptized at 10:15. In Baptism, each of us was sealed by the Holy Spirit and marked as Christ’s own forever. In Baptism, we become part of the body of Christ, for there is one Body and One Spirit.

It is that Spirit that is given to each of us at our baptism that guides us for the common good. On Friday night, you could feel that Spirit alive at Trumbull High School as many of us put our faith & our hope into action, raising money & awareness, walking & remembering.

We gathered from Monroe & Trumbull to celebrate life, to remember and to fight back against cancer at the Relay for Life. At the Luminaria Ceremony, in darkness we walked around the track, with glow sticks in our hands, surrounded by those luminaria lit to remember loved ones who have died and to honor the living. It was a fitting tribute for the place was alive with God’s spirit, because it was all about life. Survivor t-shirts said on the back, I am hope, and there was hope, lots of it; many of us walked with hope & faith, faith that says cancer is never the final word for us, for the Spirit of God is with us, for it is the Spirit that gives us life.
This year's Boston Marathon was an extraordinary event of hope and healing. Among the many stories of generosity, courage and commitment that day was one small moment, caught on video, that was particularly moving.

The images were captured by Wes Lowery of The Washington Post. A Massachusetts man was running in the middle of the pack, one of the thousands of runners who know they'll never win the race but run for the joy of the sport. About a third of a mile from the finish line - just past the 26-mile marker - the man started to struggle to stay on his feet. His legs started to vibrate rapidly, nearly giving out.

A runner not far behind him saw what was happening. He caught up with the injured runner, wrapped the man's left arm around his shoulder and began to carry him.

"We're gonna make it, we're gonna make it," he kept saying to the staggering runner, "but you're gonna have to help me get there." the exhausted man had nothing left; he was slipping from the runner's grasp.

Then another runner came along side and took the faltering runner's other arm. Two more runners, a young man and a young woman, also came to the rescue - and the four of them carried the exhausted man the last quarter-mile. They stopped just short of the finish line and the man was able to walk across on his own power.

When all five crossed the line, they exchanged high fives. Nothing more was said. Then they went their own ways, satisfied that this year everyone finished Boston.
Four strangers, in the midst of completing their own races, are able to stop and help another runner finish his. Such a moment of compassion and generosity is the Spirit of God in our midst. Those marathon photographs are images of Pentecost: the unseen, immeasurable presence of God in our lives and of the breath of God that animates us to do the work of the Risen One, transforming us so that we might bring his life and love into our broken world.

That same Spirit continues to blow, on a track in Trumbull, on the streets of Boston, in our very own church & in our lives. Today the spirit will rest upon Peyton, as it has on all of us, for as St. Paul says, for in one spirit we were all baptized and we are all made to drink of one Spirit. On this Pentecost, where is the Spirit sending you?

Breathe on me, Breath of God, fill me with life anew, that I may love what you love, and do what you would do. Amen.