Sunday, March 23, 2008


I am looking forward to seeing all of you later this morning as we celebrate Christ's Resurrection together.
Just wanted you to know that I had an "Easter dream" early this morning.
I posted it on "Maggie on Elm" and you can link there from here.
Look at the right hand column.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A Face that Graces our Space

Margot Bradbury is a steadfast member of our fellowship and really needs no introduction.
[This is the photo my software would not let me post. Read the earlier note: How many Episcopalians does it take. . ..}

HOLY SATURDAY -- A Day of Preparation

So how many Episcopalians does it take...
to prepare for the Feast of the Resurrection
of our Lord Jesus Christ?

Twenty six and one Lutheran*!
[Kathy M. is filling in for Norman S.]

+ O God, Creator of heaven and earth; Grant that, as the crucified body of your dear Son
was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so we may await with him the coming of the third day, and rise with him to newness of life; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Collect for Holy Saturday
from The Book of Common Prayer, p. 283

The first person arrived before 8 a.m.

Three parish members then read the Proper Liturgy for Holy Saturday.
Before the last remains from Good Friday's Stations of the Cross had been gathered and before the clergy finished washing the main altar, the Altar Guild came bearing Easter flowers to decorate our worship for Sunday morning.

Meanwhile, downstairs in the Parish Kitchen, the Church School children were dyeing Easter eggs.
Some where dedicated to be carried to the homes of our shut-ins, others would go home with the children, a few will be part of our traditional Easter egg hunt tomorrow morning. [Thanks, Jenn B. for your oversight of this project. Hope you feel better!]
Sally W. loaded her crew to set up for the Parish Breakfast with five strong men. Then she "Tom Swayer-ed" the young guys to help. The tables were readied in short order. Then Margot B. returned bringing her traditional pansies to be used as centerpieces. [And I don't know why these things happen. The software is not letting me add the last few pictures. So expect another post!]

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Maundy Thursday at St. Margaret's

Maundy Thursday

The Lord Jesus, after he had supped with his disciples and had washed their feet, said to them "Do you know what I, your Lord and Master, have done to you? I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done."

For many of us the three days before Easter- Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday - are very moving. We mark the time with special worship services that include Foot Washing, Stripping the Altar, a Vigil through Thursday night to noon on Good Friday and Stations of the Cross.

Several members of the Worship Commission which works behind the scenes to plan and prepare for these services offer these reflections:

Since I have been a member of Altar Guild I have found that one of the most moving experiences for me during Holy Week is the stripping of the altar following the Maundy Thursday service. The physical action of taking everything from the altar and sanctuary area leaves in me a deep feeling of sadness that Christ will be gone. The starkness of the altar makes me want to cry. Needless to say it is with joy that I help prepare the altar on Easter Saturday for the jubilant Easter morning services.
Kathy Leber, Head of Altar Guild

Jesus is gone ! This is the heart-wrenching realization whenever I see the altar stripping at the Maundy Thursday service. All visible signs of Jesus disappear: bread, wine, crosses, Bibles, paraments. It is an always powerful, moving, experience for me. I feel alone, empty . . . yearning for Christ’s return.
I think about how meaningless my life would be without him.
"Could you not stay awake with me one hour?" Jesus’ Gethsemane question to his disciples has pulled me up short and drawn me to St. Margaret’s Garden of Repose for the past nineteen years. It is one of my most enriching, treasured spiritual experiences.
Our garden is a special place where I pray, read scripture, sketch, jot down thoughts. Often I do absolutely nothing except absorb the peace and beauty. I highly recommend a visit. Good things await you !

For these Maundy Thursday experiences I give thanks, because it somehow helps me to more fully appreciate and celebrate our Lord’s Resurrection on Easter Day.
The Rev. Elizabeth Diely +

For many years I avoided participating in the Maundy Thursday foot washing: for the usual reasons, I suspect, mostly like Peter's protest. My perception of the rite was changed at an icon workshop on the day we were to observe Maundy Thursday with foot washing. The priest who served as our Chaplain noted its importance to him. He said, in effect, that he felt his priesthood most keenly as he emulated Jesus by washing feet, and how the act strengthened him in his ministry.
Belatedly, I realized my reluctance to participate missed the point entirely. My role was to emulate the Disciples, who, whatever their feelings were, obeyed, and submitted to their Lord's desire to serve them. The observance has become for me a reminder that we are, as followers of Christ, to live into the role of disciples as well.
Marian Stewart, Vestry Member

Jesus said to Peter, "COULD YOU NOT WATCH WITH ME ONE HOUR?!! (Mark 14:37).
This is a haunting phrase to me, especially when I have put off bible reading and prayer.
The phrase brings to mind Maundy Thursdayservice's last hymn,
Stripping of the altar then follows, bringing a feeling of somberness, awe and darkness. We watch, pray, and recall Jesus' words and his great agony.
Alice Luetzel. Organist
Good Friday
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, we pray you to set your passion, cross, and death between your judgement and our souls, now and in the hour of our death. Give mercy and grace to the living; pardon and rest to the dead; to your holy Church peace and concord; and to us sinners everlasting life and glory; for with the Father and Holy Spirit you live and reign, one God, now and for ever. AMEN.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Seven MORE "Deadly Sins" -- Yipes, gulp... and... makes you think.

The Vatican has added seven modern vices to its list of mortal sins.
So in addition to pride, envy, gluttony, greed, lust, wrath, and sloth, we now get to consider
polluting, genetic engineering, being obscenely wealthy, taking drugs, abortion, pedophilia,
and causing social injustice.

Spokesman Msgr. Gianfranco Gitotti said that the old sins focused on self
while the new ones concentrate on actions that affect (sic) others.
Girotti is head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, which is in charge of guessed it...absolution.

For me, this raises questions like:
If my income is in the top ten percentile for women worldwide, am I obscenely wealthy?
If I take aspirin...
If I don't recycle...

But also, if I don't speak up...
So, while I don't like these it a sin to be pro-choice?
I am pro-life. Which is why I am also pro-choice and a pacifist. And against the death penalty.
It is a seamless garment for me.

Friends, why does this list sound off?
Have I become a conservative ranting against political correctness?
Have I become a cynic who wonders why the Roman Catholic hierarchy is now listing pedophilia as a deadly sin?

Football fans out there...can you say "piling on"?
Something is foul here.
Help me identify it.



Saturday, March 15, 2008

Holy Week and Easter

+ Almighty and everliving God, in your tender love for the human race
you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature,
and to suffer death upon the cross,
giving us the example of his great humility;
Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering,
and also share in his resurrection;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Sprit, one God, for ever and ever.