Saturday, October 22, 2011

Trust wall/shelf

I have this shelf in my office where I collect trinkets, photos and notes of encouragement. Many of the items are gifts from youth or adults that I've had the blessing of getting to know in ministry. Earlier today I looked up to the middle of the shelf to see the words - trust in God.

I don't know why it seemed different today, but the words seemed to be saying they were capable of caring for everything and everyone represented in my shelf/and wall collection.

I like that - very much. I really needed to be reminded that God can be trusted with the concerns on my own heart as well as all the lives that touch mine too.
Holding on to "trust" and G-d.

PS. When I posted this first picture, more youth/young adults from my church took notice of my shelf/wall and started adding to it as well. This is just one more way for me to pray for and entrust more of who and what I care for to G-d.

To be continued...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Dear Grandmother Rain

(Myrtle Susan Rain around twenty years of age.)

Dear Grandmother Rain,

You're son Gary gave me this photograph of you a few years ago and I keep it on my shelf in my office. I don't know very much about you except that you passed away after and illness, when my Dad was about three years old. Dad(Gary) has very strong feelings for you and to this day will get misty when he shares those early-childhood memories with me. Years ago, I'd meet some of the great Aunts or Uncles when we'd make a trip to Pittsburgh for a reunion - and they would comment on how I resembled you. Dad always says I looked a great deal like you and from the photograph, it's easy to see that we have a close physical resemblance.

But I wonder if we are similar in any other ways?

I've wondered if you liked to read or paint?
Did you like to talk as much as I do?
Were you a writer as well?

By the strong connection Dad has with you to this day, I know you were (and are) a greatly loved Mom. All his brothers and sister always said you were a lovely caring person. French, George and Elmer (Bud) have passed away as of now and I only have my Dad's and Aunt Charlene's memories to sift through in order to know you better, but they were so little when you passed away there are only bits and pieces to be known.

You wore a bob, and oddly - so do I. We have the same high cheekbones and both our kids love us. You were tall and sturdy - and I am too. I'm proud to know we have this and probably much more in common.

But I wish I knew even more.

Even though I never met you, I see you a little when I look in the mirror.
You are missed.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Spicy meatballs put the fun into fundraising

Two weeks ago, First Lutheran Church hosted a "Spaghetti and Meatball lunch" collaborative fundraiser for the 2012 ELCA Youth Gathering. The team of over twenty people helped to cook and serve five gallons of sauce, five-hundred meatballs, thirty pounds of pasta, and six cases of sliced Italian bread with the addition of raffling off 40 donated baskets to raise $1350.00 for the effort. The volunteers and donations came from people from St. Timothy's Lutheran, Bethel Lutheran, Holy Trinity Lutheran, Immanuel Lutheran and First Lutheran Churches.

In July 2012, twelve youth and five adults will be traveling to New Orleans for worship and mission and fundraisers like this will be our main resource in achieving the goal of making this trip.

Until November 10th, our team will also be selling coupon books for the Bon-Ton "Community Days" for $5.00 each. These coupon books are worth up to $200.00 in the Bon-Ton during their holiday kick off sale on November 11th and 12th. The $5.00 donation will fully go to our cause to raise funds for this upcoming summer mission trip. We currently need help selling coupon books in the store on Nov. 4th from 6-8pm, and Nov. 5th 10am-noon. If you would like to help volunteer on these days or assist in selling booklets, please call 664-4601 or 969-3950.

This spring we are planning a Mardi gras celebration fundraiser dinner as our third collaborative team event. More news of upcoming fundraisers will be on the way soon. If you would like to make donations to this fundraising effort, they can be sent under the description of "Jamestown Area Lutheran Youth Fundraiser 2012 Youth Gathering" to Bethel Lutheran Church at 904 West 3rd Street, Jamestown, NY 14701-4614. For questions concerning the 2012 New Orleans trip and future fundraising events, please contact Tara Eastman at 664-4601 or 969-3950.

Thank you for your support in our efforts to provide this life-changing ministry and mission experience for are Lutheran youth and their adult leaders. With your help, we will have the joy of learning more, growing in our faith and having this unique opportunity to serve the community of New Orleans in a hands on way.

Grace and peace,

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Prayer Colloquy

Image found at Conversation on blogs.
Do you think that God feels like the person pictured above? "Talk to me?"
The idea of prayer being more like a sit-down chat with God can sometimes be difficult to understand and practice.

I came across the definition of a prayerful "colloquy" earlier today while reading and praying with Sacred Space. This text below was found in the helpful prompts they place in each section of the daily prayer prompts. (Click on the "guide" tab to see it there.)

The picture of a colloquy painted by Ignatius, is a little warmer and color filled that what I found at a generic online dictionary...
1. a formal conversation or conference
2. a literary work in dialogue form
3. an informal conference on religious or theological matters

• Saint Ignatius calls this conversation a 'colloquy', and says:
• A colloquy is made, properly speaking, in the way one friend speaks to another, or a servant to one in authority - now begging a favour, now accusing oneself of some misdeed, now telling one's concerns and asking counsel about them. .... In the colloquies we ought to converse and beg according to the subject matter; that is, in accordance with whether I find myself tempted or consoled, desire to possess one virtue or another, or to dispose myself in one way or another, or to experience sorrow or joy over the matter I am contemplating. And finally I ought to ask for what I more earnestly desire in regard to some particular matters.
• The Spiritual Exercises nos 54, 199

Defining prayer as an open-honest-friendly-yet-respectful conversation draws my heart to that experience of prayer. The word Colloquy, itself reminds me of a term used to describe a movement of classical music. Where one instrument is featured for a measure, a second responds in the next measure and in the next two measures they play harmony and melody in perfect time and tone.

That kind of prayer and connection with G-d is what I crave to live. Prayer colloquy is music to my ears, mind, and spirit.

Come to think of it - this kind of conversational prayer is probably what G-d enjoys too.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Image found at Bizrealtionships blog.

Open space that needs to be filled,
with time,
with living,
with intention of will?

What makes it beautiful,
worthwhile, and great?

How can this moment be filled with the holy and grace?

I'm told whats needed are open eyes, heart, hands, mind and ears -
to listen, ponder, question, wrestle and drop tears.

Water that washes away the dirt,
clears way to see the image -
that's the spirit's search.

This space is open and already full
with time and living if we ask the question -
"What might be your will?"

T.L. Eastman Oct. 2011