The bishop prepares to receive Kathy Bunker and Marty Cloran at his visit with us on January 2nd.

Saint Andrew's-in-the-Valley
Thursday MEMO
The Feast of the Epiphany
January 6, 2011

This coming Sunday, January 9th, we will have services at 8 and 10. Both services will be followed by a coffee hour. Childcare will be available the later service. We hope you will join us for worship.

Thank you to all who made the time with our bishop such a wonderful celebration last Sunday! The music was a joy! Thank you, Bernice, Val, and choir, and gratitude as well to our community singers for their special welcome and to Duane for organizing that contribution.
And thank you, once again, to Carol and our extraordinary hospitality team, including all of you who brought such delicious contributions to our food tables! And welcome, once again, to Kathy and Marty. We are so very glad to have you with us!
[Click on "2011 Blog" in the left-hand column for more photos and also audio clips from the liturgy.]

Epiphany greetings from Cambridge (Massachusetts)! As many of you know, I am writing this MEMO to you from five days of retreat and "professional development." I am taking a course in Spiritual Direction at Episcopal Divinity School taught by one of the brothers from the Society of Saint John the Evangelist, the Episcopal monastery on Memorial Drive in Cambridge. It is proving to be a welcome time to study, but also to reflect and rest, and I am grateful for the opportunity.

I expect that I am not alone in benefiting from some rest. It's easy for us to overlook the spiritual importance of rest. We think of prayer, worship, hospitality, study, and even work as aspects of a spiritually well-grounded life, but we forget if we don't have rest, the quality of everything else eventually suffers. We get distracted in our prayer and cranky in our work, not to mention unproductive!

When I go on retreat, it usually takes me a couple of days to rest into my pacing -- to believe I can turn the light out at 9 instead of 11, and indulge in naps if I'm so inclined. As my body slows down, I'm drawn to journal writing and deeper reflecting. Psalm verses jump out at me in new ways and I'm struck by the vitality God's presence and promise.

I know that many of you have been pushing very hard over these past five or six weeks. We have accomplished an extroardinary amount: refurbished kitchen and bathrooms, rich liturgies with lots of music, thought-provoking meetings, important pastoral care, a financially successful Boughs and Bonbons, and astonishing hospitality right and left -- all offered with generosity and love. If you identify with being part of that hard-working effort, or even if you haven't, but recognize your own fatigue please, carve out some time to rest deeply. Rest is not selfish! A community of rested people is more porous, more humorous, more generous...and has even more fun that an exhausted, worn out community. After all, even God rested on the seventh day, and Jesus himself went off into the mountains for restorative time where he could respond to God more deeply.

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany and (with the arrival of the Three Wise Ones with their gifts to the Christ Child) the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles. May the light that is Christ's light shining through each of us out into the world be a light that shines even more brightly for our having attended to our need for holy rest!

See you in church!
With deep affection,