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THE RECTOR'S DESK - The Rev. William D. Oldland
||Matthew 10:28-31 - 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.
As I have listened to the news reports and talked with people on the street, I have witnessed a sense of uncertainty, a sense of fear. Many people are afraid of reprisals from the followers of Osama Bin Laden. They are afraid of another singular devastating attack and they are afraid of the use of anthrax or other biological weapons. They are afraid of the random acts of terrorism. However, I also believe this fear has another source. We are afraid of death itself. Death is seen as the great unknown. After all, no one has returned, at least not recently, to tell us what is on the other side. For this reason, some people wonder if there is anything beyond death.
As I have sensed these fears in those around me, I have drawn comfort from two things. First, I have drawn comfort from these words from Matthew. Second, I have drawn comfort in watching the changing of the season around me. In these words from Matthew, Jesus tells the disciples to take comfort in God. God knows what happens in this world even to the smallest birds in creation. God also knows our hearts, our souls and our spirits. We are in God's hand. I find comfort in knowing I can trust a God who knows me so well that he even knows how many hairs are on my head. Even though these days I don't believe God has to count as many. I find comfort in knowing that no matter what may befall us in this world, God loves us and cares for us.
These words of Matthew are not the only place where I have drawn comfort. I have also drawn comfort in watching the changing of the season. I have been watching the leaves turn various colors on the trees. The colors are vivid and alive. Even though I know these leaves are falling and winter is coming I cannot help but feel the wonder and glory of a loving God in the beautiful colors. Ultimately, the Fall gives me a sense of hope. Even when the leaves are falling and I know winter is on the way, I can sense the coming Spring. The falling and dying leaves of this season make way for the buds, the flowers, and the leaves of the Spring. The circle of renewal and life continues beyond the falling of the leaves. New life and new growth will occur in the Spring time. The anticipation of new life and new growth give me hope for the world and they help me when I feel afraid.
Fear traps me in the moment. I believe hope frees me from my moments of fear to look beyond. I look beyond the events of today. I look beyond the fears and cares of the day. I look toward the glory, the love and the wonder of God. In the falling of the beautiful and colorful leaves I imagine I hear the voice of Jesus say, "So, do not be afraid...".
|Income: May 2001||Expense: May 2001|
Please try to keep your pledge payments caught up. Thank you.
*A complete financial statement is displayed on the bulletin board next to the Vestry Meeting room.
HEALING SERVICE with Anointing and the Laying on of Hands and the Holy Communion, every Wednesday at noon in the chapel.
On Wednesdays beginning September 12 at 6:30 p.m. in the Church, an additional service will be added.
Everyone is welcome!
Thoughts on Stewardship
"Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost."
from Luke 15:6
. About five months ago we had a stray cat (one of the many) to take up with us. It was an orange, long-haired male. He was shy and rather skittish initially and because he was so thin, he looked as if he had been "on the road" for some time. But being so hungry, he quickly overcame his anxieties and was quick to line up with the other cats when it came to mealtime. We knew he must have belonged to someone because he was so well mannered and it seemed that he had been well cared for. Martha said he was such an "humble cat" and he was not at all greedy or pushy like some at our house. In time though, he finally became a family member and we named him 'Mac" after Cardinal slugger, Mark McGwire.
Then, three weeks ago, our doorbell rang just as I walked into the house from work. It was Sandra Strader, one of our church members. She had been walking with her friend, Diane, and had noticed Mac in the driveway. Diane had lost her cat and wondered if this one was hers. To make a long story short, Mac had run away shortly after Diane moved into the neighborhood. She had him for thirteen years and was so happy to be reunited with him. Although we miss Mac, we were more than glad to see him returned to his home. We just imagined how we would have felt if we were in the same situation.
In the fifteenth chapter of Luke's gospel, we find a series of consecutive "lost" parables that give emphasis to the joy that comes with finding an object of personal value. We read about the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son and realize that Jesus was not just talking about recovering a lost item, but was giving us examples of his grace, compassion, and generosity in our everyday lives. We are able to identify with this teaching because of the delight we have discovered from locating something as minor as a misplaced car key to experiencing the indescribable happiness that comes with being reconciled with someone from whom we have been apart for some time.
I know there have been times in all of our lives when we have been lost from a spiritual standpoint. We feel that we are not anchored and, in some ways, not connected. It is at those times that we search for life's meaning and yearn for a right relationship with God and our fellow man. On the other hand, when we are spiritually nourished we are able to feel God's presence and discern his will for our lives.
Finding that good and proper union with God is more valuable than any earthly riches we might accumulate. When God is no longer the center of our being, we will eventually feel pretty empty. In these parables God is telling us that we have great worth to him. He is saying to us, "You are my treasure."
November 14 Jeanne Horsley & Mavis Simon
St. Mary & St. Teresa of Avila
The Vestry meets on Monday November 19 at 6:30 p.m. in the Vestry Room.
7: Everett Neville
11: Tim Ham
12: Victoria Grace Campbell
13: Grove Cummings
14: Geoff Haigler
15: Mary Cummings
17: Tymesia Forbes
18: Penny Reilly
19: Julie Redding
20: Jordan Young
21: Bernhard Melchert
22: Rachel Smith
26: Mavis Simon
28: Ginny Campbell
30: John Garrett III
Ger Montaigne, IV
Food Donations for the Reidsville Outreach Center
Fourth Sunday Each Month! - November 25 - Mustard, Ketchup & Salad Dressing
Tiny Saints will be meeting every Sunday of each month in the Parish House. Children ages 2-6 are invited to participate in this 45 minute session on Episcopalian traditions. The children sing songs, have a child's version of the day's lesson and a litany. There is also craft time and a snack. The children are returned to their families during the Peace for communion. Questions? Call Leslie Phipps.
The Reidsville Soup Kitchen, Inc. would like to take this opportunity to express their sincere appreciation for your recent expression of goodwill in the amount of $181.00. Support such as yours ensures the continuation of this much needed community project.
This money really comes in handy!
To everyone at St. Thomas,
With gratitude from the bottom of my heart. I wish to thank you all for your concern and prayers. To Mavis, your gentle touch and kind words came at a time most needed and thanks you so much. To Bill Oldland, your steady strength and unwavering faith helped me when I most needed it. Thanks so much to all of you. I hope to be back with you soon. May God bless and keep you all.
Beginning in September, newsletter articles need to be in our office by the 20th of each month. Thanking you in advance for your cooperation.
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