Waiting With Eager Longing

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

Genesis 28:10-19a and Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24 

Wisdom of Solomon 12:13, 16-19 or Isaiah 44:6-8 and Psalm 86:11-17

Romans 8:12-25

Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

What a strange and interesting time we live in! It has been fascinating to observe the reactions of people in my networks as they grapple with feeling trapped at home, with having to teach or simply appease frustrated, restless kids, and with the fears of the impact of the virus (real and imagined) on communities, on families, and ultimately (you knew this was coming) on themselves individually. In other words, what about ME? Read more

The Yoke of Injustice

Proper 9, Year A

Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

The July lectionary readings from the Gospel of Matthew are threaded together with agricultural images that run through Jesus’ teachings.  Jesus invites his disciples in this week’s scripture to shoulder his “easy yoke.” Next week’s teaching will bring news of productive soils and seed. The third week of July finds Jesus talking about weeds and wheat, and the last Sunday reading of July provides a cornucopia of agrarian themes: the small mustard seed that blossoms into something big, a field that contains a treasure, and vivid images of the harvest. Read more

Desires of the Heart

Fourth Sunday After Pentecost

Genesis 22:1-14

The saga of Abraham’s life collapses into one terrible command. “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah and offer him there as a burnt offering.” These murderous words in the mouth of God are heart-stopping, and whatever uneasy peace we might make with them, they tend to linger, adding fuel to the fire of our deepest suspicions about God. Read more

Weekly Prayer – week 2

We will gather again this week for prayer on Zoom at 9pm eastern/ 6pm pacific. If you’ve already registered, you can join directly at this link: Evening Prayer. If you would like to register for the upcoming service, you can register here: Registration. 

At our first service, we had about a dozen people from places throughout the U.S. You can view the text from that service (and from future services) here. 

Though we regret that we won’t be gathering this year, we are glad that we can stay connected in this small way. If you can’t join us but have a prayer concern you’d like us to be aware of, you can email info@ekklesiaproject.org or leave a comment anonymously on this Google form. If you are interested in helping to plan or lead upcoming evening prayer services, you can contact us at the address above.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. – Philippians 4:6

George Herbert-Lectionary Poem for the Second Sunday After Pentecost

Throughout this church year, The Englewood Review of Books has been curating a weekly series of classic and contemporary poems that resonate with the themes of the lectionary readings. Here is one of the poems for this coming Sunday (Second Sunday after Pentecost – More poems for this Sunday can be found here)

 

Grace
George Herbert

 (to accompany the lectionary reading: Romans 5:1-8)

MY stock lies dead, and no increase
Doth my dull husbandrie improve:
O let thy graces without cease
               Drop from above!

If still the sunne should hide his face,
Thy house would but a dungeon prove,
Thy works nights captives: O let grace
               Drop from above!

The dew doth ev’ry morning fall;
And shall the dew out-strip thy Dove?
The dew, for which grasse cannot call,
               Drop from above.

Death is still working like a mole,
And digs my grave at each remove:
Let grace work too, and on my soul
               Drop from above.

Sinne is still hammering my heart
Unto a hardnesse, void of love:
Let suppling grace, to crosse his art,
               Drop from above.

O come! for thou dost know the way:
Or if to me thou wilt not move,
Remove me, where I need not say,
               Drop from above.

*** This poem is in the public domain,
  and may be read in a live-streamed worship service.

George Herbert (3 April 1593 – 1 March 1633) was a Welsh-born poet, orator, and priest of the Church of England. His poetry is associated with the writings of the metaphysical poets, and he is recognised as “one of the foremost British devotional lyricists.” He was born into an artistic and wealthy family and largely raised in England. He gave up his secular ambitions in his mid-thirties and took holy orders in the Church of England, spending the rest of his life as the rector of the little parish of St Andrew’s Church, Lower Bemerton, Salisbury. He was noted for unfailing care for his parishioners, bringing the sacraments to them when they were ill and providing food and clothing for those in need. He was never a healthy man and died of consumption at age 39.  (bio via Wikipedia)

An Absurd Hope

Second Sunday After Pentecost

 

Genesis 18:1-15; 21:1-7

Psalm 100

Romans 5:1-8

Matthew 9:35-10:8

“Allow me to tell you a little story about the nature of hope and absurdity. In 1989, only a few months before I was to become, to my bewilderment, an actual head of state, I survived my own death.” Those are some of the best opening lines to an essay that I’ve ever read. They come from a piece written a little over twenty-five years ago by Vaclav Havel, the playwright, poet, and activist who emerged from a Cold War era revolution in Czechoslovakia to become the first democratically elected president of the Czech Republic. Read more

Weekly Prayer

Beginning on Thursday 6/11 we will be offering weekly prayer on Zoom for those who can join us. This will begin at 9 PM EDT and we will offer recordings of the prayers when they become available. A link to the text of the prayer service will be added to this page when we have finalized it.

On 6/11 we will be together particularly to lament over our losses and suffering– from sickness, from economic shutdown, from entrenched systems of racial injustice and specific harm to bodies and relationships that steal beloved members of our family from us.

All prayer, at its heart, is about our embracing for ourselves what God is giving to us, our share in God’s life. When we pray, we aim to see and desire and speak at one in the Trinity, receiving and giving back in love. Lament is a kind of prayer. In lament, we bring our grief and anger to God, crying out for God to act. Jesus does this himself, so we stand with him and with our forebears in the faith, crying out for the coming of God’s kingdom.

Please register for this time together: EP Evening Prayer. Though the registration link shows all the dates planned, we understand that you may not be attending every week. 

Talking About God

Trinity Sunday

 

 

Genesis 1:1-24a

Psalm 8

2 Corinthians 13:11-13

Matthew 28:16-20

Trinity Sunday can be exciting and perplexing. For some pastors, it is an occasion to dust off some of their theological knowledge from seminary and maybe stretch laypeople’s intellectual muscles. For others, it is a nerve-wracking time. Knowing all the inadequacies of popular Trinitarian analogies, they are full of concern about having something to say about the Trinity (and having something relevant to say). While the church certainly needs to learn and remember the Trinitarian affirmations found, for instance, in the Athanasian Creed, there is also the need to speak to the moment. This is the tension as we arrive at Trinity Sunday. Read more