Sunday, June 29, 2014


Jesus said, "Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet's reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple-- truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward."Matthew 10:40-42

 Today we completed the final leg of our journey home from Sitka, Alaska to Cape May Point, New Jersey. We were able to visit with each of our children and now we will sojourn awhile with my Mother. The trip was familiar, but the sights and sounds said welcome home. We have been in Alaska for nearly two years and it became home for us. Now on the other side of the continent, on another ocean, we rejoice as we fall asleep tonight to the wind and waves, the crickets and birds, and the smells of home.

Jesus talked to his disciples about making people welcome. Making room and  home for others is a highly prized gift in the eyes of God. When we help carve out a place for those who have been homeless and untethered, we make room for the love of God. When we honor others by welcoming them and feeding them we honor God.

Tonight as the sun sets on this ocean, I ask God to help us welcome others at all times. May we remember how it was to be homeless and dislocated, and honor those who are by making room for them. May we honor God by sharing the love we have been given.

The Collect
Almighty God, you have built your Church upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone: Grant us so to be joined together in unity of spirit by their teaching, that we may be made a holy temple acceptable to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Tell the Daughter

When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, "Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, just say this, 'The Lord needs them.' And he will send them immediately." This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,
"Tell the daughter of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey."
The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,
"Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!"
When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, "Who is this?" The crowds were saying, "This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee." Matthew 21:1-11 

As we travel south to my Mom's house, we have been visiting our daughters. I have waited so long to see them all again. I wish I could gather them up as I did when they were small and take them everywhere with me. Their laughter thrills my heart, but I am even more impresses with their competence and compassion. Watching them living their lives with such love and joy thrills my heart. It brings me close to God in gratitude hoe blessed I am to have them as my daughters, to have them in my life.

Jesus getting ready for his final days. He would ride into Jerusalem with great honor and quickly be betrayed and put to death. How quickly tribute and adulation can turn to loathing and destruction. God reminds us of the frailty of humanity, how quickly we can tear into those we love. God invites us to give thanks for the steady and constant love we receive and those who draw us close to God in their love for us.

Today, as we move on down the road, may we be glad and thankful for every gift of love and family we receive. And may we all remember how fragile humans are, and live with tenderness and kindness with everyone today.

Friday, June 27, 2014


As they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. There were two blind men sitting by the roadside. When they heard that Jesus was passing by, they shouted, "Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!" The crowd sternly ordered them to be quiet; but they shouted even more loudly, "Have mercy on us, Lord, Son of David!" Jesus stood still and called them, saying, "What do you want me to do for you?" They said to him, "Lord, let our eyes be opened." Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes. Immediately they regained their sight and followed him. Matthew 20:29-34 

We left Sitka Wednesday morning, sent off with love by our wardens and one deacon. We landed in Boston late at night and spent yesterday recuperating and looking for housing. We will head out today for points south, visiting our daughters on the way. We have an idea what's next for us, but nothing is completely arranged. We cannot see the coming days well, and feel sometimes like we are stumbling in the dark. We pray for traveling mercies and God's compassion as we ache to see our way forward.

Jesus too is on the road. Two blind men were begging for healing, for God's mercy. Although the crowd wanted them silent, wanted to pass by their need, Jesus was moved with compassion. We are invited to hear God's call to us to ask for what we need, expecting God, the source of all compassion and healing, to respond to us. Even if the crowd and the world round us does not want us whole,  divine love surely does.

Today I ask God for traveling mercies and for simple sight for the days ahead. May we trust God with each new step or road we take, knowing that our lives are secure in the hands of the divine, who is the source of all love, healing and compassion.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


‘For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the market-place; and he said to them, “You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.” So they went. When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, “Why are you standing here idle all day?” They said to him, “Because no one has hired us.” He said to them, “You also go into the vineyard.” When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, “Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.” When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, saying, “These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.” But he replied to one of them, “Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?” So the last will be first, and the first will be last.’ Matthew 20:1-16

God's Generosity 

Rising up early flying home
uncertain future wobbly legs
weary from packing and goodbyes
we entrust our lives again to God.

Leaning into everlasting arms
we sleep the deep laborers sleep
and weep the tears of children
too soon leaving the playground.

Moving through the light and air
we let go of hopes and dreams
praying for new insight and vision
we seek the Creator's pleasure again.

Leaving love behind to new vistas
worry creeps in as we crawl forward
there is enough of everything for today
and tomorrow's in God's hands.

Looking up we see the air above clouds
close to heaven we remember the promises
I am with you all to the end of the age
I will bring you to a land of milk and honey.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Being Sent Ahead

After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he spent some time there with them and baptized. John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim because water was abundant there; and people kept coming and were being baptized - John, of course, had not yet been thrown into prison.
Now a discussion about purification arose between John's disciples and a Jew. They came to John and said to him, "Rabbi, the one who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you testified, here he is baptizing, and all are going to him." John answered, "No one can receive anything except what has been given from heaven. You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, 'I am not the Messiah, but I have been sent ahead of him.' He who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice. For this reason my joy has been fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease." John 3:22-30 

The house is nearly empty, the bags pretty much packed and things are being cleaned for the final time. I have had the great pleasure of being the interim at St. Peter's by the Sea in Sitka, Alaska. They have taught me so much and we have grown together, moving through the anxiety and grief of loss to new and abundant possibilities. They will move forward with grace and hope I know it. And I must step aside so they may thrive. Our next steps are still a bit unclear, but I do know that throughout the history of our faith, God has sent others on ahead to pave a trail, to make things ready. We will know in time the complete story, the complete picture.
John is trying to explain to his worried disciples about his role in relationship to Jesus. John had a particular role, readying the world for the Messiah. They wanted John to be the one, they loved him and followed him and were in relationship with him. But John understood God's timing, and delighted in his role of trail blazer. He trusted God's timing completely. We are invited today to trust God's timing. Our timing is not God's and we often fight against the roles we have been given in this time. But God promises to make a way for us, a place for us, a welcome home when the time is right.

Today I ask God to simply help me trust. May we all put worries aside and invite God's peace into our day. May we understand what we need to do for today and trust God with all our tomorrows.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Let the Children Come to Me

Then little children were being brought to Jesus in order that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples spoke sternly to those who brought them; but Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs." And he laid his hands on them and went on his way.
Then someone came to him and said, "Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?" And he said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments." He said to him, "Which ones?" And Jesus said, "You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother; also, You shall love your neighbor as yourself." The young man said to him, "I have kept all these; what do I still lack?" Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." When the young man heard this word, he went away grieving, for he had many possessions. Matthew 19:13-22 

Let Them Come

Ravens crying overhead
rain like slow tears abound
so many changes to pack away
like a child beginning school again.

There is fear in everything new
there is comfort in old familiar
I ache for comfort and home
and am being flung away again.

Arms open wide the teacher calls
home and comfort await you now
God is there with you little one
fear not, for you are loved.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

More Than Sparrows

Jesus said to the twelve disciples, "A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household!
"So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.
"Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.
"Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.
"For I have come to set a man against his father,
and a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;
and one's foes will be members of one's own household.

"Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Those who find their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it." Matthew 10:24-39

Today has been a hard day and a wonderful one. It was my last day at St. Peter's here in Sitka. It is amazing how quickly a place can seem like home and people become like family. The young men's chorus of the LA Children Choir joined us for my last service and sang beautifully. We had a fabulous potluck complete with reindeer redhots or hotdogs. It was a feast and a celebration and so hard to say goodbye. I want so much for this community of faithful people to thrive. And we must entrust one another to God's care.

The Gospel today invites us to venture forth, not holding on to the familiar but trusting that God will be with us when we step out in faith. We are not meant to put our comforts and familiar surroundings first, but rather put God's love as our primary task. And we will be cared for, so much more than the sparrows...God will seek us out and be with us in the hardest places on the most challenging journeys.

As this day comes to a close, I ask God to build up faith in all of us. May we move forward, out of the comfort and into the light. May we rejoice as we venture into the unknown, knowing we are cared for and loved beyond measure.

The Collect
O Lord, make us have perpetual love and reverence for your holy Name, for you never fail to help and govern those whom you have set upon the sure foundation of your loving­kindness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Number Our Days

 So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Return, O LORD! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
and for as many years as we have seen evil.
Let your work be shown to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands upon us;
yes, establish the work of our hands! Psalm 90:12-17

Our days here are numbered. They can be counted on one hand. There is so much to do, it still seems, and so many goodbyes to speak. We are anxious to go so that we might see family. And so many here have become family to us.

In the Psalm appointed for today, we are reminded of God's steadfast love and God's promise of a heart of wisdom. Despite our aches and pains, our losses and anxieties, God is with us every new morning, We have nothing to fear or be anxious about despite the changes and movement ahead. God is with us morning and night, in the packing up and saying goodbye as well as in the left behind. No one is left behind, truly, for God is present with us in these changing times.

I ask God for wisdom and peace in this time of leaving. May our hearts be open to all the love that surrounds us. May our hearts be grateful for the love we have received. May we know that God is with us in every changing moment, every coming and going, now and evermore.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Seventy-seven Times

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.

“Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” Matthew 18:21-35


It hurts when others reject us
turn us out for our difference
when old women refuse their daughters
and fathers turn away from sons.

When God offers us a way out
and we slam the door in anger
when our hurts keep us from turning
this is when we need forgiveness.

It is so hard when those who need love
turn away from love's embrace
those who would rather die than welcome
the stranger God has sent them.

Let it go, the Divine sings to us
offer it up and forgive them now
for they are torn apart inside
and for their shame the family suffers.

They are loved despite themselves
and you are loved beyond measure
let it go and forgive them now
they will fall into the arms of God.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Loosed in Heaven

Jesus said, "Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven. What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.
"If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them." Matthew 18:10-20
We leave Sitka in less than a week. It is time to let go and say goodbye. We had our last vestry together last night. It is so important for us to let each other go, to loose one another. It is important to forgive and be forgiven. We have done wonderful work together as the leadership of the church. Much of the work was very hard. Change and movement are always very challenging. We were able to free the parish from old expectations and live into the present and future of the church. Last night there was a sense of lovingly and prayerfully unbinding one another for the next step of the journey.
Jesus talks with his disciples about the importance of letting go and forgiving. We are invited to intentionally set one another free. We are asked to let go of the anger, resentment and expectations we cling to, in order for God to do new work among us. God promises to do mighty works for us, and to be in our midst. We need to make room for the Divine, by letting go of the old issues and resentments to make room for new love.
Today, I ask God to help me let go and make room for new love. May we all be moved to forgive others and unbind the resentments and frustrations we have been clinging to so tightly. May we open the doors and welcome in the Divine today.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Like A Child

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
"If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of stumbling blocks! Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to the one by whom the stumbling block comes!
"If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life maimed or lame than to have two hands or two feet and to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into the hell of fire." Matthew 18:1-9
This is what my sister Sherry wrote to me recently after she noticed I had been in Navajoland. "Second homeland for you, Carol. When you were 4 months old we visited for a short time at the Navajo school where you were passed around one student to the next as they remembered infant siblings left at home and wept, laughed and cooed over you. Wherever you were, student snuck away to catch a glimpse of you and asked to hold you. I have a picture etched into my mind of Mom sitting in a chair in the kitchen of Ganado Indian Residential School with you on her lap feeding you a bottle of juice and one by one children slipping out of breakfast to sit at her feet with utter amazement and joy on their faces as she sang hymns and said hello.  One girl turned to me as she went by me.  "She looks like my mother and baby sister," she whispered as she headed toward the ever widening circle and sat down. A teacher and cook tried to shoo them but Mom said "They're just homesick and not bothering me."  Such a tableau". My mother understood what it was to be a child apart from family, from their mothers and their siblings. She had spent time in the east without her mother and her family and it left her with a permanent compassion for lost children.
Jesus talked to his disciples, and to us today about being humble like children. That entails an honest vulnerability, a willingness to be open about our needs and our lacks as well as our simple joys. God invites us today to know the Divine by opening our hearts as children do. To trust and to hope again, and to reach out to those who remind us of home and the love we are missing. Our Creator, the most loving parent invites us to that place of honest need and deep compassion, where our longing for home becomes our motivation for love and care.
Today, I ask God to help me be always humble and child like in everything I do. May  we live each day with the vulnerability of a child, asking God for every need. And may we know our isolations and aches as our need for God today.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Finding Resources

As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, "The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised." And they were greatly distressed. When they reached Capernaum, the collectors of the temple tax came to Peter and said, "Does your teacher not pay the temple tax?" He said, "Yes, he does." And when he came home, Jesus spoke of it first, asking, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tribute? From their children or from others?" When Peter said, "From others," Jesus said to him, "Then the children are free. However, so that we do not give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook; take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a coin; take that and give it to them for you and me." Matthew 17:22-27
Finding Resources
We are often poor and frightened
often we go to bed with worry
too often we forget how loved we are
too often we think we are alone.
Sometimes our poverty is our gift
if we but know to ask for it all
if we but open our hearts to God
and call out for what we need.
We are children of the living God
the one who molded us by hand
who knows us each by name
and sings us to sleep in our worry.
We are offspring of love and sacrifice
born into a clan of healing and grace
dedicated to the needs of the people
and cared for daily by the Savior.
We are often poor and frightened
often too are scared and worried
and completely loved and cared for
and God will provide for every need.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Behold, the Lamb of God

The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.” And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.” John 1:29-34

I have had the great pleasure of spending time on the Navajo reservation this past few days. It has been a great delight to renew old friendships and to forge new ones. It was a time of celebration since there were two wonderful people being ordained deacons. The joy was overwhelming. We sang and prayer and danced together. It was a time of renewal and fellowship. Driving around, there were sheep everywhere and I thought back to last spring when I got to go to sheep camp and bottle feed a little lamb. So much love, so much vulnerability.

John identifies his relative, Jesus, as the lamb of God. Magnificent, love incarnate and so very vulnerable. The lamb is so essential to John's people as it is to the Navajo. Sheep are life and food and warmth. John is telling us that Jesus is love made real to us, fully vulnerable, offering his life for the good of all the people. We are so beloved of God that the Divine would offer one so perfect, rare and completely made for us.

Today, as I travel home, I ask God to strengthen me in the days to some. May I remember the awesome sacrifice of the Lamb of God, and all who have sacrificed for love. May we be ever grateful for that love made real in our lives today.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Trinity Sunday


The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
Matthew 28:16-20

Today we celebrate the Trinity, the understanding that God is one in three persons. We also celebrate Father's Day. Both remind us of relationships, our needs of them and their importance in our lives. I drove across Arizona from Window Rock this morning with several other travelers. We have been attending Convocation in Navajoland. We heard and saw, the importance of relationships among the people and the church. We were reminded that we are from the mud house, we were are created out of the same substance and are all relatives.

Jesus in his departure from his disciples reminds them that they are embedded with God, in a personal relationship with the Divine. All of the attributes and strengths of the Holy One are imprinted on us. We are never alone or abandoned. We are surrounded by the living presence of Christ. We are given all we need for the journey, both in substance and in partners in our work and mission.

Today I ask God to help me trust fully in the strength, love and spirit of the Divine within me. May I be grateful every moment for the companions and skills we have been given. And may we rejoice that we are people of the mud, born into a family of love, and touched by the gifts of God in all we do.

The Collect
Almighty and everlasting God, you have given to us your servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of your divine Majesty to worship the Unity: Keep us steadfast in this faith and worship, and bring us at last to see you in your one and

Friday, June 13, 2014

Take Up Your Cross

From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, "God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you." But he turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things."
Then Jesus told his disciples, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life?
"For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done. Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom." Matthew 16:21-28
Take Up Your Cross
We are on a journey sisters
we are on the road brothers
together we follow the way
that leads us to love.
We take up our crosses\
our burdens our shame
and they are shared with him
who bore all humanity for us.
We are on a journey sisters
we are on the road brothers
together we follow the way
that leads us to love.
We take upon ourselves this journey
we explore the hardness of our hearts
we walk along rough rock strewn trails
and find the way back home.
We are on a journey sisters
we are on the road brothers
together we follow the way
that leads us to love.
This journey we are on together
is a blessing way a righteous road
the work we have to do is plenty
and the joy we find is endless.
We are on a journey sisters
we are on the road brothers
together we follow the way
that leads us to love.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

On this Rock

Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah. Matthew 16:13-20

I flew all day yesterday to get from Sitka to Albuquerque and drove today to get to Window Rock. The beauty of this place is always astounding to me. The intense light and deep shadows, the outcropping and the brilliant sky, never fail to surprise me again, I am here for Navajoland Area Mission Convocation, where old friends and new will gather together to renew the mission and ministry of the Church here in this place. We will celebrate ordinations and the incredible projects that have been underway to revitalize the great ministry. This is a rocky place, in the high desert, this beautiful and sacred land, the church is being built again, anew.

Jesus is questioning his disciples on what they really understand. Some are cautious and measured in their answers. Peter just blurts out, as he often does. "You are the Messiah!" he exclaims.  And Jesus promises that whenever people open their hearts to God there the church will be and nothing can prevail against it. On the most unlikely, rocky and inconsistent people and places, God will build the church.

Today I ask God to help me renew my own vision of the church and be moved by God's spirit. May we all put aside the limitations we see, and know God is calling us to help God's love thrive in the hardscrabble place, the high desert and the lowlands, among all people, everywhere today.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Seven Baskets Full

After Jesus had left that place, he passed along the Sea of Galilee, and he went up the mountain, where he sat down. Great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the maimed, the blind, the mute, and many others. They put them at his feet, and he cured them, so that the crowd was amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.
Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, "I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way." The disciples said to him, "Where are we to get enough bread in the desert to feed so great a crowd?" Jesus asked them, "How many loaves have you?" They said, "Seven, and a few small fish." Then ordering the crowd to sit down on the ground, he took the seven loaves and the fish; and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all of them ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. Those who had eaten were four thousand men, besides women and children. After sending away the crowds, he got into the boat and went to the region of Magadan. Matthew 15:29-39
Seven Baskets Full
We were worn and weary inspired
by all we had seen and heard
ready to go home healed and stronger
facing the struggle down these mountains.
In our foolishness we didn't plan
swept up by the presence of him
we left all our worries behind
now the journey compounded by hunger.
Already we have received full measure
a sick little boy restored to health
love touched us in so many ways
we have only to make the long journey home.
We stayed for we heard there might be food
then shocked by the groaning baskets passed
we ate our fill sitting in the shade
marveling at God's love for the least of us.
Gathered up as we left, with our pockets full
seven baskets full for those who might need
Abundance and compassion the gifts we received
and we will never be the same forever.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Woman, Great is Your Faith!

Jesus left that place and went away to the district of Tyre and Sidon. Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon.” But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, “Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” He answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed instantly. Matthew 15:21-28
I have often been asked why I was a Christian when I had traditional ways to follow, and the negative behavior of some missionaries and such. I have always answered hat my people and my family have been Christian for so many generations that it is who I am. I embraced my faith not as an outsider, but as one who belongs, because of all the faithful people who have come before me. It does not mean that I stop being a Cherokee, but rather it means that my whole being reflects the love that God has given me in Jesus and through my family and people.
The disciples are quite irritated by an alien woman who wants Jesus' attention. She is shouting and they are to shush her. He himself does not answer her at first, and when he does, he tells her he has only come for his people, his tribe and his clan. But she knows different. She knows that God's love is bigger than any one tribe or people. And she has faith that God will give her the healing she needs. Jesus is moved by her faith and persistence. The son of God learned something that day from the Canaanite women. His vision expanded, as did all their hearts. God sent love incarnate into the world for the whole world.
Today I ask God to help us all claim the love that has been sent to our world. May we trust that their is no one and no group outside of love's embrace. May we reach out to others knowing that God's love and activity is including all, with no limits and no barriers..

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Take Heart, Daughter

While Jesus was saying these things to them, suddenly a leader of the synagogue came in and knelt before him, saying, "My daughter has just died; but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live." And Jesus got up and followed him, with his disciples. Then suddenly a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his cloak, for she said to herself, "If I only touch his cloak, I will be made well." Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, "Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well." And instantly the woman was made well. When Jesus came to the leader's house and saw the flute players and the crowd making a commotion, he said, "Go away; for the girl is not dead but sleeping." And they laughed at him. But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl got up. And the report of this spread throughout that district. Matthew 9:18-26
Take Heart, Daughter
Daughter take heart you are stronger
than you think and the strong waves
are nothing compared to your heart.
Take heart when the winds blow harsh
and the words that come hurt and sting
you are faithful beyond measure and loved.
Take heart dear one when this body
breaks and pain pulls you down deep
you can swim to the other shore beloved.
Daughter take heart for love is active
filling your being over and over
with light and promise and life.
Take heart for you are God's delight
perfect and beautiful as you weep
as you weave and stand again.

Friday, June 6, 2014


As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, "Follow me." And he got up and followed him.
And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" But when he heard this, he said, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners."
Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?" And Jesus said to them, "The wedding guests cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak, for the patch pulls away from the cloak, and a worse tear is made. Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; otherwise, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved." Matthew 9:9-17

We are in our last weeks here in Sitka. One of things we had been hoping to do while we were here finally happened yesterday - we went fishing for salmon. Lisa and Dave Moore took us out on their boat and within the first hour my husband had reeled in a king salmon. A little while later I reeled one in and then pretty soon after Lisa brought in another king. We were elated and thrilled! Then we went to their house for an amazing lunch of grilled salmon. Dave was an amazingly skilled teacher ad captain and Lisa demonstrated her filleting skills. There are trays of salmon smoking away today. When the sea provides such bounty how can you help it. You have to celebrate.

The religious leaders were expecting Jesus' followers to be pious, self-denying hermits. Instead Jesus and his followers were found with the worse sorts of folks, enjoying themselves and celebrating. Jesus pointed out to his critics that when God provides needs and the abundance to fill them, then we should celebrate and be filled with love. God invites us to see the abundance around us and share our good blessings with those around us.

Today I ask God to help me celebrate the many blessings we have by sharing from all that we have. May we all rejoice in the bounty we have received and delight in God's love for every one of us.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Casting Out

When Jesus came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs coming out of the tombs met him. They were so fierce that no one could pass that way. Suddenly they shouted, "What have you to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?" Now a large herd of swine was feeding at some distance from them. The demons begged him, "If you cast us out, send us into the herd of swine." And he said to them, "Go!" So they came out and entered the swine; and suddenly, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the water. The swineherds ran off, and on going into the town, they told the whole story about what had happened to the demoniacs. Then the whole town came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their neighborhood. Matthew 8:28-34

Healing and radical change are often desired but too often hard to live with. Those of us who have had successful surgery to correct a physical deformity can tell you how painful the aftermath can be. Nothing works like it did before. My mother has often referred to the folks in Physical Therapy, who helped her to wholeness after a knee replacement, as her torturers. We want to be better, but better always has a cost. And sometimes it is a cost which we initially react to with anger and denial.

Jesus takes pity on some men who have been ill for very long. They have struck fear in the people and terrorized the community. Theirs was a terrible illness, and their behavior was violent and unrelenting. When Jesus healed the men the demons took the pigs and threw them in the water. Despite the fact that he brought about what they had begged for, prayed for and desperately needed, they railed against Jesus and tossed him away. We are reminded today, that no matter how angry we are for the change that comes, God is in the midst of it and goodness is coming forth.

Today I ask God to help me embrace very change with joy. May we not fear those things which bring us healing and new life but embrace the love we have been given today.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Even the Winds and the Sea

Now when Jesus saw great crowds around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. A scribe then approached and said, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go." And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head." Another of his disciples said to him, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." But Jesus said to him, "Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead."
And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. A windstorm arose on the sea, so great that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him up, saying, "Lord, save us! We are perishing!" And he said to them, "Why are you afraid, you of little faith?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm. They were amazed, saying, "What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?" Matthew 8:18-27

Storms come up quickly when you live by the water. Here the day can be sunny and then stormy within minutes. Life is often like that. Good, calm days can turn ugly in a minute. I remember being out on the water in a little boat with my dad. A storm rolled in and we had to pull up our fishing lines and move fast. It took all of our effort and a lot of prayer to make in safely into the shelter of the calmer channel.

The disciples are learning to trust Jesus and to follow him. They are anxious about how their lives will be. They get out on the water and find themselves in yet another storm. Their lives have been stormy of late, hanging around with Jesus. He calms the storm and calms them. They are shocked. And little by little they realize they can really trust him, even in the midst of a storm.

Today I ask God to help me be trusting at all times. It seems that one storm rolls in after another. May we trust God with every anxious moment, trusting that our lives are held securely in the heart of God.

Monday, June 2, 2014


When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, appealing to him and saying, "Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible distress." And he said to him, "I will come and cure him." The centurion answered, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only speak the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes, and to another, 'Come,' and he comes, and to my slave, 'Do this,' and the slave does it."
When Jesus heard him, he was amazed and said to those who followed him, "Truly I tell you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and will eat with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the heirs of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." And to the centurion Jesus said, "Go; let it be done for you according to your faith." And the servant was healed in that hour.
When Jesus entered Peter's house, he saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever; he touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she got up and began to serve him. That evening they brought to him many who were possessed with demons; and he cast out the spirits with a word, and cured all who were sick. This was to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah, "He took our infirmities and bore our diseases." Matthew 8:5-17


Prayer begins with asking
acting and believing
a touch will change the course
love flowing across all time.

We would be perfect
our brokenness and need
is too often our hidden shame
and not an invitation to the Divine.

An open wound can invite infection
can invite the touch of God
if we but offer our most feared wounds
God will come to bind them up.

It begins with a posture of need
a holy place on the edge
a willingness to set pride aside
and see the hand of God.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Protect Them


Jesus looked up to heaven and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.
"I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. " John 17:1-11

When I was in fifth grade, we had a class trip to New York City. The first part of the day we spent at the New York City Library having a tour. Somehow, when we were gathered outside on the steps, I managed to trip and fall down all the stairs. I did not break anything but was mortified. My mother, who happened to be chaperoning, scooped me up and got me in a cab. She took me on ahead to Horn and Hardarks, the automat, and we sat and had something to drink. Her care and protection in that moment made me able to survive that day and even eventually enjoy it. She wrapped me up, calmed me down, dusted me off and made me able to face the day.
Jesus is having a very personal prayer with his father. Protect them, he requests, like all parents do. We know we cannot protect those we love from all the dangers of this world. We know all to well how accidents, temptations and pressure can make us stray and be broken. But God has been set over us to watch us, protection sent from the divine heart. We believe that we all belong to God, precious and desired by the Creator.
Today I ask God to protect those we love, and to give us all the courage to ask for what we need. Helpless and lost as we may be from time to time, may we remember that God is watching over us, caring for us, and renewing the strength and love we have been given every day.




O God, the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: Do not leave us comfortless, but send us your Holy Spirit to strengthen us, and exalt us to that place where our Savior Christ has gone before; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.