Sunday, March 17, 2019
In the Name of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Jesus says, “How often have I desired to gather [you] together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!”
Jesus’ image is tender: A chick would feel entirely safe nestled in the cleft of his mother’s wing. He would feel the softness of his sisters and brothers gathered in tightly ‘round. He would feel the warmth of community. He would feel that while he might be small, his...
at Sunday, March 17, 2019
Thursday, March 7, 2019
St. Mary’s Upper School Chapel Address
Hello! Good morning!
I’m so glad to get to be here this morning.
Thanks to Rev. Bush for inviting me and to y’all for welcoming me!
As she said, my name is Jonathan and I’m an Episcopal priest
here at the Church of the Holy Communion.
I got married to my wife, Ali, in September, moved down here,
and started at Holy Communion in October.
Ali is an environmental educator and sometimes she...
at Thursday, March 7, 2019
Sunday, March 3, 2019
I just love Lent.
It’s not like I have a thing for penitence … or do I?
A quick Google search reveals penitence synonyms like guilt and shame. I don’t believe God’s inviting me to spend 40 days framed in those two feelings, but I also see the words sorrow, regret and amends. These three words prompt questions in my heart that stir up emotions asking me to pay attention.
I’m human. One of the toughest gigs I can imagine. A day doesn’t go by...
at Sunday, March 3, 2019
Thursday, February 21, 2019
Twenty years ago this summer, Holy Communion sent its first group of teens on a pilgrimage, setting up a tradition of investing in young people in ways that change them, inside out.
The church has sponsored eleven trips for youth, including the 2019 pilgrimage to Ireland in June. It’s hard to name a single other church program that affects them as much, both for what the youth take home to grow in their hearts and in the empowerment from the community, which stands united to help them...
at Thursday, February 21, 2019
Thursday, February 14, 2019
By Connie Cruthirds
Waves come fast.
Prepared, I grasp hold of what I can
knowing I can’t control the ocean.
Drowning was my specialty.
Strapping my ankle
to heavy bottom coral
while asking for help
was my pattern woven by habits.
They choked the breath out of my lifetime.
Time lines carved onto paths
that twist and curve
so I can’t be followed into truth.
builds strength for lungs
that will someday scream,
at Thursday, February 14, 2019
Monday, January 28, 2019
I prayed twice last month. In truth, I prayed more than twice last month, but I prayed once in a way that counted for two: I joined the choir.
There’s an old saw – sometimes attributed to St. Augustine, sometimes to St. Francis – that “he who sings prays twice.” When we sing our words, they become more meaningful and more beautiful than when we speak them. We pray the words and we pray the song – two for one.
Music has been a part of divine...
at Monday, January 28, 2019
Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Jeff Porter, superintendent of the church’s $8 million renovation project, is on the job site an hour before the first worker shows up at 7 a.m., going over the day’s work in the pre-dawn darkness.
His office is carved into a nook in Blaisdell. Instead of a construction trailer removed from the racket of progress, the din happens all around him, including overhead, every day. Until the project is enclosed, there is no heat in the winter nor air-conditioning in the summer.
at Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Sunday, January 6, 2019
By Connie Cruthirds
Good morning, God.
Thank you for this new day.
For the beauty of the dark morning light
And the love of possibility.
There’s hope in my heart,
Playfulness in these eyes,
Yet I hold my breath to see what the state around me will be.
I am hostage to truths I don’t want to see.
We each “got” something ~
Something to weave into a noose that stops our breath with fear.
We all got something that races our...
at Sunday, January 6, 2019
Thursday, December 27, 2018
Isaiah 52:7-10; Psalm 98; Hebrews 1:1-4,(5-12); John 1:1-14
Words are hard. They’re dependent utterly on hearing, context and history. The subtext and impact of a word may be totally different between how you hear it and how I hear it. The Epistle of James even famously calls the tongue “a restless evil” so aware was he of the power of words to sow discord in misunderstanding and become weapons in malice. That’s why clear communication is so critical to...
at Thursday, December 27, 2018
Wednesday, December 19, 2018
In the hospital where I served as chaplain last year, in which I cared for the emotional and spiritual needs of patients, family, and staff, just a few hours of work could mean jarring emotional experiences. I could go from one visit with a patient who had just received the news of their worst fear being realized, to another room next with someone who was responding so well to medicine they were getting to go home earlier than expected. I could go from offering a blessing over a newborn baby...
at Wednesday, December 19, 2018
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Part of being a rector means making connections with people, with resources, even antiques! When a private collector last spring asked the diocese’s Bishop and Council board to sell him several old, stained glass windows, Sandy Webb couldn’t stop thinking of the possibilities.
“I was a member of the Council at the time, and I was proud of our decision to retain the windows for sacred use rather than selling them. I then started looking for a sacred use at Church of the Holy...
at Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
By Carol Paterson
When the Prime Timers named their October event “A Day in the Country,” the intent was to create a relaxing day away from the city. In farming communities, days of relaxation came after everyone had worked together.
Our plan for the Prime Timers’ trip to Rossville is to gather friends for food, fun and fellowship reminiscent of “Sunday Dinner on the Grounds.” Join us as we return to another era this Saturday in the Rossville...
at Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Marshall McGahey, 13, runs on the St. Mary’s cross-country team this fall; she’s a new aunt to twins and somewhere in the few minutes between school and homework, she’s planned her Fourth Annual Pooch Olympics.
Not only does that mean the doggie obstacle course the McGaheys store in the garage and attic was unpacked and carried out, but this year, Marshall was determined to raise $7,000 for the Humane Society of Memphis and Shelby County in the carnival she stages in the...
at Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Sunday, September 2, 2018
By Connie Cruthirds
Since I was a little girl, Labor Day weekend has always meant the end of summer. School began, white shoes were put away, and long play days were over. I remember that almost every year from kindergarten on, teachers would ask us to share something about our summer break. My five-year-old self was learning early that reflection on where I’d been might help me find my way to where I was going next.
When the summer of 2018 began, I wasn’t sure about much...
at Sunday, September 2, 2018
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
At this convention, I serve on the legislative committee on Social Justice and U.S. Policy. This morning (July 9) I started off at 7:30 with yet another hearing and committee meeting on the topics of immigration and sanctuary churches, which are getting a good deal of...
at Wednesday, July 11, 2018