Monday, February 26, 2007

Pretzel Sunday Returns!

Join us on March 18th for Pretzel Sunday.

Tradition says that pretzels (Latin for little treats / little prayers) were baked during Lent when they were given as rewards to children who memorized prayers and scripture. The pretzel shape represented arms crossed for prayer. The three holes were said to represent the Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The salt on the crust of the large, soft pretzels were a reminder of the tears of Christ.

In this Lenten season, may our Loving God mold our longings and passions, our wounds and wanderings into a more holy and human shape.

In prayer, let us remember
+ all who feel twisted into knots
+ all who cry salty tears, and
+ all who long to be shaped by God.

With all thanks and humility, we say, “Bend us, shape us, any way you want us. As long as you love us, it’s all right!” Amen.

SMNS Family Night at Friendly's

Monday, March 26, 2007 is the St. Margaret’s Nursery School Family Night at the Friendly’s Restaurant on Cedar Crest.

This is a favorite fund-raiser for the Nursery School and the families!

A portion of all money raised that day are donated to SMNS.

Please help the school and enjoy a night out with your family! Contact Meta Cadugan for more information.

Groundwork III + Truth and Hope

Looking for a Lenten discipline or study? Consider this offering:

Together we will look at the urgent need for our parish to proclaim the gospel and to strengthen our community of faith. We will be using national church resources and looking at the scriptures assigned for the Sundays of Lent.

Two Lenten Forum groups are being formed for your convenience:
One will meet the Sundays of Lent from 9 am to 10 am over coffee. The other will meet the Wednesdays of Lent from 6 to 7:30 pm and a light meal of soup and bread will be provided.

Canon Shallcross is the facilitator. Sign up now. Phone the Parish Office at 610-967-1450.
It's not too late to join us!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Rewards of the Women of St. Margaret's Retreat

Discovery of a gem of a small park in our back yard, so to speak, the Kalmbach Community Park. The warm welcome of a delightful meeting space in the restored barn.

With thanks to Canon Shallcross for facilitating the Retreat, experiencing an extended period of true silence, and discovering what it is to BE STILL. Despite the cold and damp, hardy folk ventured forth and were rewarded with invigoration. For the less active who didn't wander far, there were wonderful ice crystals to be observed in the partially frozen stream while enjoying the chuckle of the flow of water. Warm soups and hearty sandwiches plus great cookies for dessert, and, of course, coffee.

Thanks to the Rector and to Christina Nord for imagineering a refreshing , de-stressing change of pace; an opportunity to " be still, and know that I am God".

-Submitted by Marian Stewart

Kajo Keji Ministries

Diocesan ECW raised $20,000 for Kajo Keji ministries.

Since October 2004, our diocesan Episcopal Churchwomen have raised some $20,000 through their sale of crafts made by the Mothers’ Union of the Diocese of Kajo Keji in southern Sudan. That includes a recent transfer of $5,706, according to the diocesan World Mission committee.

All proceeds, not simply the profit, support the Mothers’ Union ministry with orphans and widows as well as their vocational education projects such as sewing classes that include dress making and embroidery. Hefty postal costs have been offset by additional contributions. The Mothers’ Union is the counterpart to ECW in many parts of the Anglican Communion. The artistic renderings have been shown at diocesan conventions, parish forums and fall and holiday craft shows. They include finely woven baskets of millet, palm leaves and split bamboo (all renewable sources, ecologically speaking) and small carved pieces.

The ECW board encourages parishes to schedule a craft show. Fellowship gatherings after services or forums, parish women's meetings: all are great places to present showings. For further information or scheduling, contact Catherine Jeffery at 610-868-6682.

Episcopal Churchwomen Annual Meeting

The diocesan Episcopal Churchwomen invite all to their annual spring meeting at Kirby House, Mountaintop, May 9. Bishop Paul will present the program, Women of the Bible. A fee of $12 includes registration, refreshments, lunch and program.

Registration deadline: April 22. No registrations accepted after that date. Submit names of each person attending.

Checks payable to Diocesan ECW.

Mail to Catherine Jeffery, 1839 Ulster Road, Allentown, PA. Phone: 610-868-6682.

Daylight Savings Time

Daylight Saving Time begins a lot earlier than usual this year: March 11, 2007.

Don't forget to Spring Ahead!


A wonderful new blog about the Episcopal Church. It also includes links to many other Episcopal-related blogs that look left, center and right.


Sunday, February 11, 2007

Making Contact

This Eucharistic prayer can be found in the Book of Common Prayer:

God of all power, Ruler of the Universe, you are worthy of glory and praise.....At your command all things came to be: the vast expanse of interstellar space, galaxies, suns, the planets in their courses, and this fragile earth, our island home.

Did our film group make "Contact" February 10, at the home of Mark and Jill Tillotson? You bet we did!

What a theological powerhouse this movie was! We discussed topics about faith and doubt. We questioned how many times we have had to defend our beliefs. We looked at the ongoing conflict between science and religion. We talked about the search for truth....whose truth.....and how do you prove what you believe to be true.

The movie Contact, based on Carl Sagan's best-selling book, and dedicated to Sagan, explored the nature of truth, the evidence of science, and the evidence of the heart. Contact drew our attention to the vastness of the universe, reminding us that our Earth-centered perspective is limited and flawed. We were all amazed at the beauty and wonder visually expressed in this film. I think more than one of us left feeling fortunate to be a part of our "earth home," even as a tiny spot in this universe. We also realized how fortunate we were to realize that the God who created this earth can also see into the depths of our hearts and grant us love and peace.

If you haven't seen this movie in a while, rent it. Your concept of God will be enlarged, your appreciation of the universe will be gratified.

A question that was asked throughout the movie was, “Are we the only ones out there?”

The answer: “If we are, what a great waste of space!”

- submitted by Carol Beightol

** Parts of this commentary were taken from the book, Finding Faith At The Movies, by Barbara Mraz.