Thursday, November 21, 2013

Worship has ended, Service has begun or What happens after Sunday Morning?

The doors close Sunday afternoon when the last meeting is over, or the last of the coffee hour conversations have ended. Do you wonder what happens next or do you go on with the rest of your week and come through the doors again on Sunday morning not thinking of what else St. Stephen’s does as church – not the building - the people?

Monday through Friday at 9:00am, Morning Prayer is said by a faithful group who take turns on these days to insure that we are first and foremost a house of prayer – the prayers of the people that are prayed each Sunday are also voiced during the week at these services.

On those same days, Monday – Friday, from Noon to 3:00pm the Food Pantry is open to serve the families of Luzerne County.

Tuesday 3:00pm to 7:00pm and Wednesday noon to 4:00pm the Clothing Closet is open. Those same Tuesdays and the First Wednesday of each month the Medical Clinic and Dispensary is open, and on other scheduled days an ObGyn is in to see patients. The Dental Clinic also has scheduled days when a dentist is available to lend his services.

Wednesdays, September to May a Noonday Healing service is conducted.

The third Wednesday of those months the Ladies meet after the Noonday healing service for prayer, discussion and planning of events: Rummage Sale, Silent Auction, Stocking stuffing for Nursing home residents to name just a few.

During the week – there is a group whose purpose is to visit or maintain contact with the sick and/or shut in, via phone, in person or letter.

These are only a small sampling of the things that go on during the week, because there are many, many more: between the meetings of the finance committee, Wardens meetings, staff meetings, and clergy meetings the office area is often busy beyond the bulletin and bulletin inserts being done, the music being selected, and the phones being answered.

These don’t include the various mailings of the Newsletter, or Music from St. Stephen’s, or the compiling of reports for the committees and business meeting.

These happen on a normal week; Lent and Advent add to organized chaos with Organ recitals and Ecumenical Services on Wednesdays and Stations of the Cross Friday evenings in Lent. Advent prepares us for the Incarnation and during that time there is Greening of the Church, Lessons and Carols and a Homeless Memorial Service- December 21st –the longest night of the year.

I didn’t even mention the concerts or recitals, practices for them or the organ students that keep our Nave alive with music at various times and days, not to mention the faithful men and women who prepare the alter for all services.

Worship may end after the last person leaves the parish house on Sunday afternoon, but worship turns to Service that takes the form of true church – the people that do what they are called to do in worship during the week, until Worship brings us together again in the Eucharist.

If any of these ministries interest you – and you wish to participate in them, please call the church office and they will direct you to the person that can best answer your questions of how and when. If you are not able to help physically – but want to be involved, chose one of those ministries and find out how you can be a help in a less active, but very personal way: prayer.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

the sounds of prayer

When we don't know what to pray....

When everything is in chaos.

When our daily life is in turmoil and we don't have an end in sight.

When our personal life is upended and unsettled.

When the local news is all shootings and children dying.

When the national news is war, violence, and celebrations of death.

When the shouting is too loud and too contradicting.

When the battle of who is right and who is wrong becomes more important.

When we don't know what to pray.

When we don't know where to pray.

When we don't know why to pray.

Silence, sighs, groaning, tears .... these are the sounds of prayer.

Romans 8:26-27
"26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. 27 And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirits intercedes for the saints according to the will of God."

Lord have Mercy
Christ have Mercy
Lord have Mercy

"Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or
weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who
sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless
the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the
joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen."
- Book of Common Prayer Compline

-Debra Kellerman

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

God in a Box

We get all sorts of things in a box: Office in a Box, Jack in a Box, party in a box, bed in a box (ok it's actually a bag, cake in a box and prayer in a box. Not to mention what is available in jars and on a stick. We like things convenient, transportable and packable.

Apparently so did David; King David established his kingdom, built his house, looked around, thought now what and decided that God needed a house too. The disciples were not immune to the box disease, upon seeing Moses and Elijah having a conversation with Jesus wanted to build a dwelling for each of them.

Please do not think that I believe building a house of God (aka Church building) is wrong, I love our church buildings and that we can openly gather to worship and praise our creator, so many can't and don;t have that luxury. A house of God is much different than a house for God - it puts God in one place and boxes Him in - or tries to, and God is not convenient. Any priest/pastor or lay ministers if they are honest will tell you frankly that God is definitely Not Convenient, any call to ministry is an interruption at the most and unexpected at the least. "If you want to make gos laugh, tell him your plans.", has far more truth to it than you can imagine. Putting God in a box is detrimental to our relationship with Him, he wants to dwell with us and in us. That scares us. We yearn for the Garden of Eden and are afraid of it. Afraid of not being perfect.

Sadly we put others in boxes too, pigeon-holing them into roles they are not meant for or keeping them "where they belong". I grieve for a woman who loved to balance the checkbook, pay the bills and kept track of the finances in her family, she did it for years and was a blessing to them in doing that task. After attending a conference on "Godly Women" where the key speaker insisted that the husband was to be in control of all finances, she forcibly turned over the checkbook to her husband. He hated it. He had trusted her with this task and she kept him apprised of what had was going on so for him there was not an issue. He did not like balancing the checkbook, paying the bills and keeping track of everything. When he died she felt guilty that she had forced him to do something that he had disliked and wearied him on a monthly basis. Giving people the tools and the basics they need to accomplish tasks in case of an emergency is one thing - forcing them to do what they are not called to do is entirely another.

Putting people in roles and boxes to fit our view of how things should be is for our comfort only and serves us, not others and certainly not God.

This week our church will be one of the churches that will have a table, attending PrideFest in our community and the organizer, GayNEPA, received a handwritten letter that focused them on what they are doing;
"Dear Friends of the NEPA Rainbow Fund, Have a healthy & safe PrideFest. May the communities and hearts of our area come together to celebrate the pride of a people being who they were meant to be. Let the outside witness and share in our love for family, friends and life."

God will not be on the outside, kept out by a box of our ideas of where God should be, he will also be inside, with the vendors, with the children, with the organizers, with the entertainment and most definitely with the attendees - celebrating a people being who they are, being With his creations

Putting God "in his place" is for our convenience - praise Him for not listening.

-Debra Kellerman

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

the Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant

A homily on the occasion of the Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant
For Matt and Tony by The Rev Daniel C. Gunn
May we seek Truth together in humility. Amen.
Wow, look at all these people. There must be 300 of you. Looks like anyone who has been to one of Tony and Matthew’s 12th Night Parties or been to WAC-ZIP at Stoddartsville over the last 8 years is all here.
They met online back before people would admit to using an online dating service. And of course Tony lied on his dating profile, I’m told, saying he suffered from “only-child syndrome” but it is “curable.” Matthew disagrees and is still waiting for a cure.
They did not have a very romantic first date. Matt had to drive from Williamsport. The date consisted of a grand tour of Tony’s apartment which was then cut short because Tony was also scheduled to give a walking tour of Hollenback Cemetery. Now that’s what I call romance.
On their third date, Tony invited Matthew to church (yet another romantic site) here at St. Stephen’s and they have been here ever since. In fact, I can’t imagine looking over and not seeing Tony in his Verger’s vestments, and Matt in his choir vestments.
The fourth date was the real test since Matthew and his miniature dachshund Sophie were a “package deal.” Tony had to pass the Sophie test, which he did, unfortunately, Tony’s Jack Russell Terrier, Abigail, never quite warmed up to Matthew (but Abigail certainly loved her new sister Sophie—oh how they loved.)
They modeled their courtship after Prince William and Kate Middleton – who also dated for 8 years before getting married, and you know they have a prominent portrait of the two in the apartment.
They shared much in common:
Everyone knows they love to throw parties – show hospitality in sharing their house and summer cabin – I’m sure they will be hosting 12th Night Parties for years to come
And they love the church. They sincerely believe the church brought them together and will keep them together. Matt has sung with the choir since 2005 and Tony is going on his 10th year as Verger of St. Stephen’s. I bought him his Verger’s gown because otherwise he looked like a lost choirboy.
They also share many other interests, but have one important difference:
First the common interests: they both love books, love to read, love history, love old movies and of course--the Oscars.
Yet they differ in politics, but here is where Washington could learn a thing or two from them; even though Tony is the Republican and Matthew is the Democrat they keep a truly bipartisan household.
Now that was the personal part, let’s talk a little theology.
I don’t usually entitle my sermons, because I still believe that the Spirit can move the preacher and change things. I preached part of this a few weeks ago, and the title I gave it for myself was “Wrestling with Triune God of love.” I still like that title because today—this evening—we’re wrestling with something new. I asked the sexton to check the roof because some believe it’s gonna cave in, but it hasn’t yet. Notice I said “YET.”
We are here today to wrestle with the concept of “Love.” Before I begin that let me show you an icon: it’s called “Christ and Abbot Mena.” He’s often called Abbot Minnow. This image was discovered on a monastery wall in Alexandria, Egypt. The iconographer who wrote the image preserved one important aspect: he left the fracture. He left the fact that the Abbot was broken. I think that sends an important message: We’re broken people. Yet sometimes someone comes along and places an arm around us and helps us feel whole. That’s what Christ does to all of us, and that’s what happened to Matt and Tony. They chanced upon each other online and Tony was lying on his profile (according to them). Nevertheless, they managed to put an arm around each other and feel whole.
O wait. We’re here to do something different: Let’s talk about the challenge of love. The Trinity teaches us that. In my decade and a half of ministry there is something that I keep forgetting, and of which God keeps trying to remind me: the central tenant of the Christian message is love—God so loved that he gave, our first responsibility is to love God, and the second is like unto it, to love each other as ourselves. (Perhaps like the image?)
It is insultingly simple: God loved us, we are to love God and each other. One horizontal action of love, and one vertical action of love. That’s it. Anything more that we add to or expect of another is adding to or taking away from the Gospel, and John the Revelator said that the one who does that is in danger of eternal death. In other words, the one who muddies the fundamental message of the Gospel of Christ to love is in danger of going to hell. Woe to us preachers! So if love originates in God, then shouldn’t we look to God as an example of how to love? But yes, we just did—an arm around a broken person.
When we speak of God in three persons, the Trinity, we often speak in terms of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We might even use our bodies to pray that (making the sign of the cross). We often make the mistake of thinking that our nomenclature of Father, Son, Holy Spirit connotes a hierarchy—an ordering of importance. In truth, it implies relationship. The titles Father, Son, Holy Spirit indicate the connection between the persons of the godhead NOT the pecking order. Our need to name the persons of the godhead belies their connectivity, and just what is that bond that unites them? Simply put, it is love.
Jurgen Moltmann, obviously a German theologian, once wrote, “It is only from the perspective of the Trinitarian God that we can claim that ‘God is Love,’ because love is never alone. Instead, it brings together those who are separate while maintaining their distinct characters.” Moltmann’s claim is that we can only understand the concept of love and how to love because God’s chief activity is to love.
Take careful note of what Moltmann said, “Love is never alone. It brings together those who are separate while maintaining their distinct characters.” I think this is why Rublev’s famous icon of the “Hospitality of Abraham” is so poignant. It depicts the longing relationship between those people.
So let’s look at what we have: two distinct individuals who long to be with each other but do not consume each other with their desire to be together. They love and respect each other.
Rather than attempting to explain the doctrine of marriage, it would be better for us to embody what the Trinity does: respect diversity and difference within a loving union. Let me say that again: Respect each other’s differences within a loving union. Kind of sounds like a good definition for marriage or a family, or perhaps a church. Marriage is meant to teach us to respect our differences in a loving union.
The roof has not caved. Yet. Now we are going to celebrate with two people who found each other—cracked images—both—neither of you are the Christ in this image. You’re both the broken monk. You throw great parties (and Matt makes the best bean dip, if you’ve gone to a party, you know). Nearly 300 of us came here today to hear the next few lines.
So Matt, Tony, or is it Tony and Matt (I can never tell) come here now and say to the world what I know you’ve said to each other in private.

In these thoughts may we find truth. Amen.

Monday, April 8, 2013

For whom should we pray? Acts 5.27-40

For whom should we pray? Acts 5.27-40

Low Sunday (7 April) 2013
Sermon by the Rev. Daniel Gunn
St. Stephen’s Pro-Cathedral, WB

May we seek Truth together in humility. Amen.

I’ve always been a “good boy,” generally speaking. I’ve always respected the authorities. I never got into protests or marches, but I always had the spirit of civil disobedience—at least I thought. (I literally have the t-shirt to prove the story I am about to share with you.) Shortly after I was ordained to the priesthood, living in the affluent and very white community of Bronxville, serving as assistant at Christ Church, I was driving back to the church from lunch. My route always took me past the local hospital. One day I noticed a number of people at the rear entrance to the hospital with picket signs and t-shirts marching in formation. I also noticed that most of the faces were brown. Bear in mind that few faces in Bronxville are brown. My curiosity was piqued. I drove on to the church, parked my car, and walked back to the hospital. Upon arrival, I inquired what the commotion was all about, to learn that these were food service and housekeeping employees. They were protesting for a livable wage and healthcare. (Remember they were working in a hospital and did not have healthcare coverage.) One woman told me how she fed her children macaroni and cheese every night because she couldn’t afford anything else. One of the leaders of the protesters explained that the state had disbursed funds to the hospital for a higher wage and healthcare, but the management had refused to negotiate with them.

Having worked as a hospital chaplain for two years prior to my arrival in Bronxville, I understood where they were coming from, and identified with their struggle. The organizer told me that I was the first person from the village to show support and the first clergy person to offer encouragement. They asked if I would say a prayer. I graciously accepted the invitation. I prayed for the hands of Christ that cooked and cleaned and touched the body of Christ in every person admitted to the hospital. A simple, innocuous prayer—or so I thought. I went back to the church and met the other assistant priest in the office hallway. I explained what I had done, the response I had received, and how satisfied I felt for my effort. Right in the middle of my story the rector flew out of his office and began to scream at me in front of everyone—the other priest, the office staff, parents coming to pick up their children. He ordered me into his office and continued yelling at me. He explained that we had parishioners—wealthy parishioners—on the board of the hospital and if they got wind of my activities they might pull out of the church, and he said as he pointed his finger at my chest, “If that happens, that’s your job buddy.” (I left out the expletive.)

Shocked, afraid, stunned, confused I retreated to my office. I quickly composed an email to Bishop Paul. I am very happy for electronic communication because I got a quick reply. I don’t remember everything he said, but I do remember him suggesting that I should ask the rector this: “For whom should I pray?” The next morning the rector came to my office first thing. He sort-of apologized while justifying his anger. When he was done I asked him that question: “For whom should I pray?” He had no response. Left my office and never mentioned it again.

I kind of feel like that’s what’s happening in today’s lesson from Acts. The disciples had been with Jesus and had received the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. They felt compelled to share freely what had so freely been given to them, but that spirit of generosity and love resulted in reprimand. They quickly learned that not everyone shared in their joy and spirit of egalitarianism. The “bosses” yelled at them and threatened them. They would not be dissuaded by threats, though. They boldly continued to proclaim the truth that had been revealed to them preferring to obey God’s authority rather than human authority. This is the very definition of civil disobedience. This is Christian activism.

Christ still calls us to action today. Jesus ate with tax collectors, prostitutes and sinners. I’m sure he would have eaten with the Pharisees and others had they invited him. He still calls us to follow his example of standing on the side of the poor, the outcast and the marginalized. Living the Gospel takes many forms, and often living the Gospel means going against the prevailing majority and pushing through threats and intimidation. We’ve seen it in our time. There was a time when scripture was used to justify slavery, and then later to justify keeping blacks separate from whites. None of us would stand for that today. There was a time when women were a lesser class of citizen, but I defy anyone to attempt to put women “in their place” today. Now our struggle has come to integrating gays and lesbians fully into our society. Let’s not stand on the wrong side of history proof texting scriptures to justify a bankrupt theology.

Too often scripture is proof texted to make a point, when in fact the scripture needs to be put into its context. By proof texting I mean taking a single scripture out of its scriptural and historical context. If I proof text scripture I can justify genocide, slavery, and prohibition of divorce, not to mention misogyny, and a host of other intolerant attitudes. But when I place scripture in its proper context and apply reason and tradition to scripture I can’t help but come to different conclusions.

One of my emerging heroes is the late William Sloane Coffin. In The Courage to Love he wrote, “It is a mistake to sharpen our minds by narrowing them. It is a mistake to look to the Bible to close a discussion; the Bible seeks to open one. Christians have to listen to the world as well as to the Word. And do not all of us learn more when we do not try to understand too soon?” (Courage, p. 7)

The opposite of Love is not hate, but fear. We cannot love what we do not know and understand, and we cannot understand and know what we are afraid of, and thus we come to hate it. Our response is either to fight it or flee from it. It becomes the other and we are “special,” but there is a problem with being special. When we think we are special then the paradigm is set for the other to be judged as wrong. And when we stand in judgment we become like those threatening the disciples. We would do much better to listen to the advice of Gamaliel and to take stock because “if this plan or this undertaking is of human origin, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them—in that case you may even be found fighting against God.”

Let us realize that “Do unto others . . .” applies to ALL others. May we come to view our brother’s holiness as a sacrament to us. A sacrament is a place where God shows up. Do you have the courage to follow God rather than man? Do you have the fortitude to heed God’s authority? Coffin reminds us of the danger of loving one another: The hand extended in love always returns covered with scars (if not nailed to a cross), (Courage, p. 13). For whom will you pray?

In these thoughts may we find truth. Amen.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love is...........

Love is Patient….
So begins the well known and so called Love chapter in I Corinthians, a chapter often used at weddings and maybe referred to at Valentines Day, a card company’s treasure trove. However the people to whom it is was written weren’t getting married, nor was there a Valentine’s day. Corinth, a city that was a crossroads for both land and sea trade, situated between two large bodies of water and two land areas, virtually surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea. Were it not for the isthmus on which Corinth was founded, the southern part of Greece would be an island in the Mediterranean Sea. Goods exchanged between the north and south would normally be shipped by land through Corinth. Much of the sea trade of the Mediterranean from east to west also passed through Corinth. Think more like NY Fleet week meets Los Vegas. Yet there was a group of people following The Way or, as we now call them and us, Christians. Paul wrote to them because he was informed of a case of gross immorality in the church, one with which the church had not dealt. Instead of feeling shame and sorrow over this sin, at least some of them were proud of their tolerance (chapter 5). He heard also the believers taking their fellow-believers to court, seeking to have pagans pass judgment on spiritual matters (chapter 6). Paul was also told of unbecoming conduct at the Lord’s Supper (chapter 11) and of doctrinal error concerning the resurrection (chapter 15). A three-man delegation also arrived from Corinth (16:17) bringing a letter which inquired of Paul about marriage (7:1), virgins (7:25), food sacrificed to idols (8:1), spiritual gifts (12:1), the collection for the saints (16:1), and Apollos (16:12) these reports were not the loving, caring acts of followers of Christ that should be exhibited. Nor did they set the followers apart from the surrounding culture, they were not revealing the love of Christ as they should be.
Paul is writing to a very troubled church, a church which exists in the midst of a very corrupt city and culture. In spite of this, Paul has a very confident mood, in spite of the weaknesses and willful sins of these believers, he affirms the present and future benefits of faith.

Love is Kind.
Paul wanted the Corinth church to stand apart from the culture of gluttony and excess that surrounded them and show the true meaning of Love.
We, in English, have one word for a myriad of feelings from hamburgers, sports teams, weather, and relationships to parents and spouses – Love
There are three in Greek (and none of them apply to non-human things like food, sports, or barometric events)
Eros – easy to remember, the flush of first attraction, the feel of your heart skipping a beat when someone you are deeply attracted to walks into a room.
Philia – a close brotherly love, related or not to you, the “bro-mance” idea of today, women who have very close girlfriends can relate to philia.
Agape – the deep, unselfish, nurturing, sacrificial love. This is what Corinth was missing and needed clarification on.

Love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude.
We can and do look back on this and believe we have conquered it – we know what love is. Do we? We come across people daily that have such a distorted view of love that funhouse mirrors would be envious. Reading a blog on sexuality and the church which is currently examining the book Torn by Justine Lee (an excellent book on rescuing the gospel from the gay vs. Christian debate, and a young evangelical man’s struggle with his homosexuality and trying to reconcile it with his traditions’ teaching) and than reading the comments (the moderator is vigilant in ensuring the comments are not inflammatory, dismissive or rude) and seeing peoples stories of love they encountered and used to justify heinous behavior. Beatings, rape, ridicule, bullying and it goes on.
We understand love? Even when Christians do understand love – all three facets of it – the people we encounter….. often do not. They have been harmed with the word, in the name of Christianity or its secular use and are, understandably, gun shy or dare we say love shy. They are not able to understand eros in it’s beautiful form and design, or philios in it’s camaraderie, and have completely lost the concept of unselfishness. Agape’.

It (love) does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.

So where do we go from here, what can we say to those who have heard phrases like; “If you love me you would _______,” (fill in the blank), “If you loved us you wouldn’t be gay”, “You don’t know how to love because you are ugly/stupid.” or “No one would love you, you are ugly/stupid” over and over and over again – even if not in those same words but in actions and silences. How do we tell them of the Agape’ love of Jesus?

It (love) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
If the word love is a trigger of fear like rape is to a survivor/victim, one that causes an immediate- rock in the pit of your stomach- feeling and a racing of the heart – can we use another word – one that can be understood as something that will transcend our human experience and yet has touched it, felt it and lived it. One commenter who had been repeatedly raped and was told it was done “in love” had that problem, she couldn’t hear the passage from 1 Corinthians and not flash to those images and feelings of pain and helplessness that were imbedded in her memory. Not only did that word give her those images but it also reminded her of what she did not experience and what she had lacked in (at that time) her life. Still healing she needed another word – she used God.

God is patient,
God is kind,
God is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude
He (God) does not insist on his own way; he is not irritable or resentful;
He (God) does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.
He (God) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
God never ends

And now faith, hope, and God abide, these three; and the greatest of these is God.

How different God's love is from ours.

Thomas Merton writes:
“He Who is infinitely great has given to His children a share in His own innocence. He alone is the gentlest of loves: whose pure flame respects all things. God, Who owns all things, leaves them all to themselves. He never takes them for His own, the way we take them for our own and destroy them. He leaves them to themselves. He keeps giving to them, giving them all that they are, asking no thanks of them save that they should receive from him and be loved and nurtured by him, and that they should increase and multiply, and so praise him. He saw that all things were good, and He did not enjoy them. He saw that all things were beautiful, and he did not want them. His love is not like ours. His love is non possessive. His love is pure because it needs nothing.”

1 Corinthians 13: 4-13 (NRSV)
“4 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. 9 For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; 10 but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. 13 And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love. “

Friday, January 11, 2013

Holy Stitchwits!!

Not an euphemistic exclamation, or an original Batman TV series dialog but a group of women (men are also welcome) that get together the second Sunday of each month to crochet, knit, or any type of needle work in the Kirkendall Room. They knit, stitch and chat - about patterns, life and "stuff". The results of their creativity is given away: either as a personal project; a blanket for the newest grandchild, or a scarf for a friend or given to the Christmas at Sea ministry in our Diocese, scarves and hats for mariners who cannot be home for Christmas. Prayer/Comfort shawls may also be made if that is the choice of the knitter/crocheter. All of these crafted stories are designed to wrap, enfold, comfort and cover some one loved, cared for and prayed over.

Knitting, crochet, needlework all are a form of ritual - choosing the colors and pattern, picking up the needles or hooks, creating stitches and rows, casting on or off, the click of needles. The pattern repeated until the work is done, the end of the row, binding it off and the piece is blessed and sent on its way to comfort, warm and embrace. Cradling the recipient in warmth and prayer.

If you wish to join this group of serene weavers or would just like to sit and join in the conversation the next time they meet is Sunday January 13th after the 10:30 AM service in the Kirkendall Room.