A Note from The Rev. Dr. Bill Hardwick…
In his sermon on Pentecost Sunday, our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry quoted one of the greatest statements that St. Paul ever wrote (we will also read it this Sunday as part of our second reading):
”…we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us” (Romans 4:3-5).
In this section of Romans, Paul is reflecting on the fruits of Faith in the risen Christ, including God’s Grace which strengthens us in times of suffering. If we are able to endure our suffering, we will eventually be able to move beyond it and develop the ability to hope for something better, something life-giving. This hope is not like wishful thinking, but rather it is grounded in our experience of God’s love and compassion.
The Greek word which we translate as ”hope” can also mean expectation. We can thus define hope as the ability to wait for what we fully anticipate, what we are confident will happen. If we have faith in God’s love and compassion, we can live in hope of God’s actions on our behalf.
These encouraging words are particularly apt during this time of pandemic, political turmoil, and economic distress. After all that we have experienced in the last few months, we may be asking ourselves, ”where is God in the midst of our chaos? Has God abandoned us?” We would not be the first people of faith to ask these questions. Throughout their pilgrimage in the desert, the Israelites who had been led by God out of Egypt frequently wondered if God had forgotten about them. The Psalmist also enquired about God’s seeming absence (”Oh God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”— Psalm 22:1)
I assure you that God is still with us in the midst of these trying times, giving us the strength and courage to endure and to wait in hope for better times. If you remember the quote from Romans with which we began, you’ll recall that there is a connecting piece between endurance and hope—character. Perhaps that is what we must be most conscious of now. We have to focus on the character of a true disciple of Christ, a learner in the Faith. We will never have all the answers to our questions about the ways of God, so we have to accept our questions and remain steadfast in our faith.
I’ll end this reflection with a quote from the great Austrian poet Josef M. Rilke that has always helped me in times of questioning:
”Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves…. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”
Study Group – Exploring Mysticism
The new Friday class on Mysticism will begin with an introduction to mysticism itself and to one of the earliest mystics, Hildegard of Bingham.
CS Lewis, the Man, His message and Virtual Tour Events – Register now
While we find ourselves at home and unable to travel, St. Paul’s parishioner and CS Lewis scholar Kim Gilnett extends the invitation to join him on the following virtual pilgrimages:
- CS Lewis, the Man and His Message – June 14th 3:00pm
This first class will focus on Lewis’ life and how his conversion changed his view of human beings. Click here to register.
- CS Lewis’ Oxford, a Virtual Tour – June 28th 3:00pm
This second class will be a virtual tour of CS Lewis Oxford with over 160 photographs. Click here to register.
Space is limited, so register today! Note that each date has a separate registration link.
Foreseeable Future – Weekly Parish Calendar
Access to Worship, Bulletin, Coffee Hour Made Easy
For all weekly events you can find the Zoom links and additional information by visiting this link:
- Sunday worship can be viewed on the website along with the bulletin. Visit the homepage at www.stmaryslw.org.
- Coffee Hour – Each Sunday at noon you can join in the fun with online Coffee Hour. Smile and wave to everyone and say hello your friends and neighbors. Bring your own coffee and goodies!
- Tuesdays – Bible Study The Rev. Dr. Bill Hardwick will lead this study group for men and women beginning at 10 am via Zoom. Readings the weeks following Easter are available via the Lectionary Page.
- Zoom Contemplative Prayer Chapel. Tuesday evenings, 7:00 – 7:30 pm. “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10. To sign up for this new prayer group please contact Paul Rietmann at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Wednesdays – Finding Faith in the Midst of Pandemic continues Wednesday at 10 am via Zoom.
- Contemplative Prayer continues Thursday at 11 am via Zoom.
- Book of Common Prayer Class Friday at 10 am via Zoom.
- *New* Topic: Exploring Mysticism. The new Friday class on Mysticism will begin with an introduction to mysticism itself and to one of the earliest mystics, Hildegard of Bingham.
- Book Group
- The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd
Visit the Foreseeable Future – Weekly Parish Calendar for more information!
Online GIVE Works
Now it’s easier than ever to manage your pledge payments without writing a check. GIVE is our new online giving platform that is available on the church website. Visit www.stmaryslw.org at the top left of the home page you’ll see a large green button. There is a 3% processing fee for each transaction.
Graduates – St. Mary’s Celebrates You!
Graduation Season is here but so is Covid19! Graduations are such an important milestone and life experience for our young people and their proud families.
St. Mary’s has 5 kids graduating from high school and/or college and two brand new Lieutenants that have lost their typical graduation and commissioning ceremonies. Let’s work together and come up with a SAFE and meaningful alternative.
Please join us THIS Saturday, June 13th at 4pm at St. Mary’s for our first ever Graduation Parade celebrating our 2020 grads! Bring your chair, some noisemakers if you want, and your cheers, prayers and smiles and help us celebrate them.
We will make a few aisles in the front parking lot for the kids to parade through. Although we are in Phase 2, we recognize that some people will be more comfortable sitting in their own car. If that is you, please arrive earlier and we will have you back in to the last row of parking spots (closest to Lake Ave SW).
Otherwise, park in the back lot (not on the street until the back lot is full) and walk around and we will show you where to sit.
Please feel free to bring labeled cards and we will collect them and hand them out. We only have 3 graduates that can attend so it should go pretty quickly. Please note those names on the right. Please join us! Questions? Contact Beth Bowen at 253-223-8611 or email@example.com
Congratulations Graduates and Newly Commissioned Officers
Rachel Bocchi Lakes High School 2nd Lt. Jack Bowen University of Washington *2nd Lt. Maddy Gonzalez Brown University Maia Willebrand Emerald Ridge High School *Sam Klingbeil Steilacoom High School *Unable to participate
Honoring our High School Grads – With the Bishop
It’s been gratifying to see all the different ways you are honoring the seniors in your midst! These are such challenging and unpredictable times, it feels like the more we can remind our graduates that they are cherished by their extended church family, the better.
In that vein, Bishop Rickel is looking forward to honoring your High School Seniors at “Launch,” Saturday, June 20 at 11:00 a.m. This is a virtual event that will include words of wisdom and insight, live music, a customized slideshow, and a family activity. We will keep it light and fast-moving and involve the seniors in all facets of the service.
Please forward this invitation to participate to the H.S. seniors in your congregation and add it to your e-news/bulletin; we will let you know when someone from your church registers. If you and others would like to join the ceremony — whether or not you have a senior participating — you are very welcome! Register here with a “general admission” ticket. Thank you for your all of your support
For more information contact Valerie Reinke, Canon Missioner for Faith Formation: 35 & UnderEpiscopal Diocese of Olympia, 206-325-4200 x3504 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Get Off the Couch – Exercising with Mary Jean!
Get off the couch, get out and walk, click on the videos and workout with our own Mary Jean Fischer. As a Fitness Director for GenCare Lifestyle at Point Ruston. Mary Jean works with people post-surgery recovering from joint replacement, those with arthritis and other conditions that require one on one personal training. Let’s join the fun and live Happy, Healthy and Holistic.
- Featured video:
- Workout Video 1: https://www.facebook.com/329473857819122/videos/673262030184015/
- Workout Video 2: https://www.facebook.com/329473857819122/videos/600930607217331/
- Workout Video 3: https://www.facebook.com/329473857819122/videos/228817571900446/
- Workout Video 4: https://www.facebook.com/329473857819122/videos/522161225330731/
Virtual Prayer & Share – Save the Date!
We are missing you all! We still can’t meet in person and may not be able to do so for a while. We decided it was time to try something different so we are looking at virtual options. In the meantime – Save the Date!
- Date: Saturday, June 27th
- Social Zoom: 9:30am, Begin P&S: 10:00am.
- We expect to break out into separate “rooms” for Grouping. Details to follow!
Wit and Wisdom
Do small things in a big way.
Starve your ego, feed your soul.
Godthefather: an offer you can’t refuse.
Remembrances & Celebrations
June 16 – Tom & Suzanne Brown in celebration of their wedding anniversary
Help Desk Remains Open
We have the cure for this condition called IT Frustration…
If you are having connectivity problems, need technical help or have questions forward to email@example.com.
We’ll have one of our help desk volunteers contact you.