Wind Chimes: 6 Dec 2012

Detail from a Tiffany Window

Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful;
for beauty is God’s handwriting – a wayside sacrament.
Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky, in every fair flower,
and thank God for it as a cup of blessing.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Beauty is in the wind and in the chimes. What do you hear?

Faith shaping art shaping Faith

Louis C. Tiffany is perhaps best known for his intricate glass lamps, but a new exhibit at the Museum of Biblical Art reveals a spiritual side to the master designer and craftsman whose studio single-handedly shaped the image of American churches.

Louis C. Tiffany and the Art of Devotion,” which runs through Jan. 20, 2013, centers on the religious memorials and decorations that Tiffany and his firm created for American congregations for about a half century, beginning in the 1880s.

Read the entire article about the exhibit on Religion News Service: Exhibit highlights Tiffany’s lasting impact on American church design by Chris Herlinger (RNS, 12/5/12)

We have discussed the role of art in the formation of faith. We have discussed the inspiration of art found in the stories of faith. How is this dynamic working itself out today I wonder. It is a questioning sound I hear in the chimes today. What do you hear?

Links to online Advent Calendars

Each of these has a different approach. Find one that helps you “prepare the way.”

Trinity Wall Street Online Advent Calendar

Busted Halo Online Advent Calendar

CREDO Online Advent Calendar

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The work and joy of creation

God who wrestled with chaos to create matter, and overcame death to bring us to eternal life, give to writers, musicians, and artists a share in the work and joy of creation, that, like you, they may draw forth beauty out of nothingness, and reveal to us some glimpses of your eternity, where you are enthroned, Life-giver, Pain-bearer, Love-maker, alive for ever and ever. Amen.

Michael Counsell in
2000 Years of Prayer, (1999). p. 564

“Black Friday” began the “Shopping Season” and retailers are relentless in keeping us focused on buying often and buying more. “#GivingTuesday” (11/27/12) was an invitation to give and use our “buying power” in a way that benefits others for more than just a day.

I intend to keep that invitation in front of us throughout the “Shopping Season.” I believe  that It is always the right time to be generous. If you haven’t participated in “#GivingTuesday” how about today? ~dan

Today’s give-a-gift-to-help-others idea:

  • Idyllwild Arts Foundation — just up the hill from St. Margaret’s, “The Idyllwild Arts Foundation is committed to supporting and advancing education and cultural development by providing instruction and enrichment in the arts through the Idyllwild Arts Academy and Summer Program.” (IAF Mission Statement)

Looking for other give-a-gift-to-help-others ideas?
Go first to Charity Navigator for those ideas
and for an evaluation of how your dollars will be spent
The Idyllwild Arts Foundation has a 4-stary rating on Charity Navigator

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Image: Museum of Biblical Art. Tiffany Studios, New York. Frederick Wilson, designer. The Righteous Shall Receive a Crown of Glory (Brainard Memorial Window), ca. 1901. Leaded glass. Methodist Church, Waterville, NY. Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY.

Wind Chimes: 4 Dec 2012

Good morning

As a new day dawns the chimes sound in greeting and joy. What do you hear?

Preparing for a guest

In this Advent season we prepare outwardly for Christmas: we hang lights and put up decorations, we bake goodies and wrap gifts. How will you prepare inwardly? The coming of Christ means that God will be incarnate: embodied, lovingly present, in the flesh in your life. Christ is coming into your life, into your heart, in a new way. Advent is a time to prepare a way for that to happen. God enters our lives without our planning or arranging; yet there are ways we can open the doors, and as the carol says of Jesus, “prepare him room.”

Imagine that Jesus were actually coming to live with you. What would you want to do to prepare? READ the rest of the “Prepare the way” meditation on Unfolding Light

Links to online Advent Calendars

Each of these has a different approach. Find one that helps you “prepare the way.”

Trinity Wall Street Online Advent Calendar

Busted Halo Online Advent Calendar

CREDO Online Advent Calendar

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God help us to be …

God help us to be honest
so our children will learn honesty.
Help us to be kind
so our children will learn kindness.
Help us to be faithful
so our children will learn faith.
Help us to love
so our children will be loving.

Marian Wright Edelman in
Guide My Feet, (1995).

“Black Friday” began the “Shopping Season” and retailers are relentless in keeping us focused on buying often and buying more. “#GivingTuesday” (11/27/12) was an invitation to give and use our “buying power” in a way that benefits others for more than just a day.

I intend to keep that invitation in front of us throughout the “Shopping Season.” I believe  that It is always the right time to be generous. If you haven’t participated in “#GivingTuesday” how about today? ~dan

Today’s give-a-gift-to-help-others idea:

  • Children’s Defense Fund — “a non-profit child advocacy organization that has worked relentlessly for nearly 40 years to ensure a level playing field for all children.”

Looking for other give-a-gift-to-help-others ideas?
Go first to Charity Navigator for those ideas
and for an evaluation of how your dollars will be spent

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Photo: Nao Sakaki on Indian Country Today Media Network

Wind Chimes: 6 Nov 2012

Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.

Isaiah 41:10 NRSV

I have loved you with a love that lasts forever.
And so with unfailing love,
I have drawn you to myself.

Jeremiah 31:3 CEB

No matter who “wins” today, God’s faithful presence and love will neither be diminished nor enhanced; it will be the same at the end of the day as it is right now. Cast your vote and then rest in God’s love today—and tomorrow and always. ~dan

Cacophonous might best describe the sounds in the chimes today. What do you hear?

Vote in love

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

My prayer is that you will vote
in love, not in fear,

that those who govern
will act in love, not fear,

and that you will make every choice,
large or small,
every day, all your life,
not in fear, but in love,

for this alone can heal the world,

and I believe it shall.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

A post by Pastor Steve Garnaas-Holmes on his blog Unfolding Light

A prayer for today

Let nothing disturb you;
let nothing dismay you.
All things pass;
God never changes.
Patience attains all that it strives for.
They who have God find they lack nothing:
God alone suffices.

An oft quoted prayer (and favorite prayer of mine) from Teresa of Avila (1515-1582). Thank you Christin Coffee Rondeau for reminding me/us of this prayer on Election Day.

Image: Rice County, MN Election Information Page ~dan

Go deeper into the miracle of Pentecost

They were all filled with the Holy Spirit
and began to speak in other languages

as the Spirit enabled them to speak.
from Acts 2:1-11 (a reading appointed for Pentecost)

Other languages. Real languages. The disciples, who spoke Aramaic (and with an accent) suddenly were able to speak in other people’s languages. The true miracle and gift of Pentecost is not ecstatic prayer, but conveying love by bridging differences, by reaching out to the Other. Whatever separates us is the place where the miracle of Pentecost happens.

I encourage you to read the entire post: Loving the other

Again I encourage you to take a look at the meditation offered by Steve Garnaas-Holmes on his blog Unfolding Light. Read the meditation with your own experiences of the Holy Spirit (gift of your Baptism) and the prayers of the Church that the Spirit give you an “inquiring and discerning heart, the courage to will and to persevere, a spirit to know and to love you, and the gift of joy and wonder in all [God’s] works.” (Prayer for the (newly) baptized, adapted)

Let the miracle of Pentecost emerge from your daily comings and goings, your work and play, your busy-ness and rest.

Unless I see the marks « Unfolding Light

“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands,and put my finger in the mark of the nailsand my hand in his side, I will not believe.” —John 20.25

Just before we leave the Second Week of Easter let us take one more look at Thomas. Steve Garnaas-Holmes is a United Methodist minister who writes daily. I am grateful for his insights and his willingness to share.

Here, I have excerpted his meditation  “Unless I see the marks.” You will want to read the entire meditation (more than once). It has opened my eyes to see Thomas in a different light.

Oh, Thomas was no doubter.…

”Oh, more, not less than all the rest,
Thomas believed in love, and how it bled. …

He didn’t ask to see his smiling face,
[his] famous, radiant eyes;
he didn’t hope to see him break the bread
the way he always did.
No, he asked to see his wounds,
the marks of love, the wounds of one
who weeps with those who weep,
who has walked with us through the valley
of the shadow of death.

Oh, Thomas, I’m with you: …

Read the entire meditation: Unless I see the marks « Unfolding Light.