Saint George's Church
Loving God. Serving Others. Changing the world.

Weekly Message

Posts tagged Weekly Message
In Praise of Mentors, by Manuel Figallo, Vestry Member

I have worked for several organizations where "transformation" becomes a central theme, sometimes in a last ditch effort to remain in business. I remember when I worked for a San Francisco software company, the leadership even combined "transformation" with "creation" to form "transcreation" (for those who work in business, it was basically business process reengineering. My leadership was desperate!). Management introduced "transcreation" to us as a means to drum up new business, but within a couple of months, the office shut down.

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Preludes and Postludes-More than just pretty music!

My daughter likes to ask questions.  A lot of questions. So many that we final bought her an Echo dot so she could ask Alexa several of her burning questions.  A few weeks ago, while I was practicing a piece at home, she asked why we had preludes and postludes in worship.   Perhaps you have wondered the same thing.  

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Living the Holy Spirit

This Sunday it isn’t just an opportunity to wear one’s most audacious dye, to weigh in on an ongoing debate about whether coral, garnet, vermilion, or another hue is the best expression of those lowest wavelengths on the visible electromagnetic spectrum—this Sunday is a birthday party for the church, one of the three principal feasts of the liturgical year-

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Celebrating our Children

With the World Premiere of our 4th-7th grade Sunday School movie scheduled to follow our 10:30am Youth Sunday Service, this weekend is an opportunity for us to reflect on what the youngest St. Georgians among us can teach us about our faith. I know there have been numerous times in my own life, where someone younger has ended up being my teacher in matters of faith.

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St. Paul's letters

Having looked at this Sunday's readings, I decided it was finally time to confront my ambivalent feelings toward St. Paul. I'm not an expert; I can tell from his letters that Paul was a crucial figure in spreading the word of Jesus and establishing the early church, yet I also know that Paul's writings have been used to justify sexism, misogyny, and homophobia…

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Choristers make pilgrimage to Lincoln Cathedral

This summer, July 8-15, several of our youth and adult choristers, together with choristers from Saint Mary’s, Arlington, and Saint Andrew’s, Burke will make a pilgrimage to England where they will be the resident choir at Lincoln Cathedral for the week, as well as sing services at Sheffield Cathedral and St. Botolph’s, Boston.  Most Cathedrals in England have an adjoining cathedral school and during school holidays, visiting choirs are invited to be the resident choir.  Lincoln Cathedral has had a tradition of daily worship since 1088, one in which our singers will take part. 

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My sheep hear my voice

Even with all the advances in phone technology, picking up a landline telephone is still an exercise in anticipation. Among all those who might be calling, it is still a joy to recognize the voice of a friend over the phone. It is a statement of relationship to recognize someone’s voice and say, “Hi Chris” when all that they had said on the other end of the line was a simple “Hello, can I speak with John?” I hear Jesus describing this kind of relational recognition in our Gospel for this Sunday:

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Easter Joy

Dear Friends,

We had such an amazing Easter celebration last Sunday!  It was great to have two completely packed services.  It was a blessing and privilege to share our nave with so many family members and friends as we rejoiced in the Resurrection.

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Resting in God

Dear Friends,

One of my favorite stories in the Old Testament is found in Exodus 3: 1-15.  Moses is tending his father-in-law's sheep "beyond the wilderness" on Mount Horeb when he suddenly encounters God speaking to him from a burning bush.  God tells Moses that he is to lead the Israelites from captivity in Egypt to a "land flowing with milk and honey". 

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Lenten Reconciliation

Dear Friends,

One of my favorite stories in the Old Testament is found in Exodus 3: 1-15.  Moses is tending his father-in-law's sheep "beyond the wilderness" on Mount Horeb when he suddenly encounters God speaking to him from a burning bush.  God tells Moses that he is to lead the Israelites from captivity in Egypt to a "land flowing with milk and honey". 

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Into the Lenten Wilderness

Dear Friends,

One of my favorite stories in the Old Testament is found in Exodus 3: 1-15.  Moses is tending his father-in-law's sheep "beyond the wilderness" on Mount Horeb when he suddenly encounters God speaking to him from a burning bush.  God tells Moses that he is to lead the Israelites from captivity in Egypt to a "land flowing with milk and honey". 

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Having touched “another world”

I love the season of Lent!  It’s not just that it provides us with a time for the spring cleaning of our souls, or that it has some of the most beautiful music of any of our liturgical seasons.  For me, Lent is anything but a sorrowful and sad season, but quite the opposite.  There is a quiet joy that pervades.  What I love most is that this season is about undergoing a transformation.  Lent provides the structure for self-examination in the midst of our chaotic world.  It provides that opportunity to re-order our lives, to put our focus and energy into that which is truly important - our faith in God…

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Our Lenten Journey

I’m fairly used to spending most of my time inside these days. And, at this point, imagining a forty-day trip into the wilderness feels downright bucolic. I can imagine the beauty of those desert afternoons—the evening breeze through the dunes at sunset, the stars multiplying in the sky as the blue of eventide fades into violet. And, as the night darkens, I imagine a new moon revealing the cascade of the milky way across the sky. I feel a deep sense of peace, outside in creation.

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Social Justice Sunday

This Sunday is the Last Sunday after the Epiphany and the final Sunday before the Lenten season begins.  It is also Social Justice Sunday at Saint George's.  We will be blessed to have the Reverend Melanie Mullen, Director of Reconciliation, Justice and Creation Care for the Episcopal Church, USA, as our guest preacher and forum speaker.  Melanie is on Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's staff.  I hope that you will be able to come to a service as well as the 9:30 a.m. forum to hear about the vitally important social justice ministry of our National Church. 

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Diaconal Ordinations

Dear Friends,

I am really looking forward to the diocesan diaconal ordination on Saturday, March 2nd at 10:30 a.m. at Good Shepherd, Burke.  Saint George's is blessed to have three of the five ordinands, Crystal Hardin, Daniel Johnson and Amanda Kotval.  Crystal is a former Senior Warden and discerned a call to the priesthood here.  Daniel is our current seminarian and has been with us for the last two years.  Amanda was with us last summer.  It is great honor for all of us to be a part of shaping these future priests.   

Saint George's has a long history of having wonderful seminarians…

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The Beatitudes

Our text this Sunday is the story of the Beatitudes from Luke’s Gospel, chapter six. Before Jesus’ speech gets underway, we are told about the crowd: “They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases”
 
It is easy to feel overwhelmed by difficulty or disease. For me the Beatitudes are a reminder that even in the midst of difficulty, God can still bring healing and new life into our world. St. George’s is thriving. We are blessed with so many kind and thoughtful individuals who give their attention to effective and powerful service.  There are a variety of gifts here, all being woven together in God’s good purposes. Haley and I are thrilled to share that we are expecting a second child. Life is beautiful and good.  I hope you can join me in saying, in the midst of our challenges, “Thanks be to God.”

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Singing together…expanding the landscape of the heart

One of the reasons I chose my profession over others was because I loved to sing.  But more than just loving to sing, I loved to sing with others, especially when it involved hymns.  As a young child, I was immersed in the great four-part Lutheran hymn singing tradition.  It was both mystical and robust and it made a lasting impression on me.  And though I didn’t realize it in my youth, it was something that I physically felt and profoundly holy experience.  I still do today.

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Love is patient; love is kind;

This Sunday our 2019 vestry will be commissioned after spending Friday and Saturday at Roslyn Retreat Center in Richmond.  Please pray for our vestry as we begin this new year together.  We have a wonderfully diverse leadership group:  Mary Yuhas, Anne Norloff, Seton Droppers, Ed Mott, Katie Wells, Manuel Figallo, Lyn Crawford, Suzanne Stephens, Ike Emejuru, Preston Findlay, Margret Hjalmarson and Mike Giaquinto.  

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