Want to spread Holiday Cheer, how about inviting a friend to your church activities.
Winnowing, AdventWord, December 7, 2022 You’re a newly harvested grain of wheat. Suddenly you’re lofted, soaring into the air with your neighbors. For one hallowed moment, the wind holds you, then winnows you free of the tight shell that held you. You settle to the threshing floor, now a seed, ready to be winnowed again because a new husk, or maybe the old one, forms, even as you await your sowing. Emmanuel stands with his fork and his broom, sending you up again into the wind’s embrace, then sweeping away that chaff which bound you. Always ready and waiting, with love, for you. Christine Havens is a writer whose work has appeared on Mockingbird Ministry's blog, mbird.com, and in The Living Church magazine.
Welcome, AdventWord, December 6, 2022 As we prepare our hearts and minds to welcome Christ in this season of Advent, we are called, in turn, to “Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you.” The deep truth of Welcome is seeing the other, and Jesus modeled this way of seeing for us. He paid attention to what was going on around him, especially those people he encountered daily. Jesus saw the other with a heart of love, compassion, and forgiveness, and he invites us to do the same. Deep holy hospitality requires intentionality, and we bear witness to God’s grace when we seek to welcome the stranger, the “other” among us, with the eyes and heart of Jesus. Mary Foster Parmer is the founder of Invite Welcome Connect, a transformational ministry of evangelism, hospitality, and belonging, and she is the author of the award-winning book, Invite Welcome Connect: Stories & Tools to Transform your Church.
Rain, AdventWord, December 5, 2022 We all relate to rain in a unique way—depending on the hour of the day, the season and our geographical region. The rain may burst on us unexpectedly, or she may arrive while we are gathered to pray for her coming. Whenever she arrives, we’re grateful for her gift. Occasionally she may destroy everything in her path, uncovering injustices and warning us about climate change. More often than not, though, she brings with her moments of peace. Deep within our souls, let us wait for the rain excitedly, knowing that her coming is a gift of divine love. A retired professor and a deacon in the Diocese of Massachusetts, the Rev. Ema Rosero-Nordalm has a passion for serving the Latino community, empowering women, and focusing on social and racial justice.
Delight, AdventWord, December 4, 2022 What makes delight different from joy or gratitude? For, me it’s the surprise of it. Delight sneaks up on me unawares, bringing a smile to my face before I even have a chance to realize why. Delight might arrive the first time I notice something beautiful—spring’s first crocus, my baby’s first smile—but it might also show up in a familiar sight or sound that I find myself delighting in all over again. Isaiah tells us that God’s promised child will delight in the fear of the Lord. What would it feel like to have God’s justice, God’s wisdom, fill me with delight? Margaret Ellsworth serves as marketing coordinator for Forward Movement; she lives with her family in Boise, Idaho.
Unity AdventWord, December 3, 2022 Jerusalem might have been built as a city that is at unity with itself, but you have to look pretty hard to see unity there these days. It’s almost always that way. We see unity as an aspiration rather than a reality. In our hope for unity, God gives us a gift. As we prepare for Christ’s return, we can look for a common hope and mission even amidst all our variety and diversity. Unity is not uniformity. Unity is, above all else, a shared hope in “one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all” (Ephesians 4:5-6). The Rev. Canon Scott Gunn is executive director of Forward Movement. He is author of several books, most recently Easter Triumph, Easter Joy: Meditations for the Fifty Days of Eastertide.
Ready, AdventWord, December 2, 2022 Ready? I holler up the stairs, hoping the kids will hear the urgency. But they’re kids so they drag their feet, one last TikTok to watch, a few more seconds under the warmth of a blanket. But then I think that they are not so unlike me—especially when it comes to Jesus’s call for us to be ready. In Matthew, Jesus tells his disciples “You must also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.” I’d prefer to know the exact time and date and until then, stay in my cozy corner. But in this season of preparing for Jesus’s birth, I need to get ready—to open my heart, share my gifts, and offer praise—all in God’s good time. Richelle Thompson is a wife, mother, writer, and lover of camping, cribbage, and clever puns. She is the managing editor of Forward Movement and makes her home in Fort Thomas, Kentucky.
Make, AdventWord, December 1, 2022 Make a plan, make a change, make a difference, make a promise. Make memories, make the most of it, make something of yourself. To make something is to act upon it, to bring it into being. It is intentional, purposeful. What are we being asked to make this Advent? Or is that the wrong question? Would it be better to consider what God is trying to make of us? What is the Maker making here, now? We can work so hard to develop ourselves, to get closer to the life we have imagined. Is it possible that in this busy-ness, we lose out on the opportunity to allow God to act upon us, to change us, to fulfill a promise to us, to make something us? If we set aside our own preconceptions this Advent, can we see what is being made in us and all around us? Rebecca Marek lives in Glasgow, Scotland with her partner and toddler son; she is a psychotherapist, gardener, and outdoor enthusiast who loves visiting America's national parks.
Mountains, AdventWord November 30 Humans have always been drawn to mountaintop experiences and for good reason—it often takes an effort to get there but the reward more than justifies it. From Abraham and Moses to the Transfiguration and Crucifixion, major events in the Bible are often centered atop mountains. And yet, a mountaintop experience is not how God chose to reveal the Messiah to the world. Instead, Jesus was born in a cave surrounded by domesticated animals, the miracle of our Savior’s birth revealed first to lowly shepherds so that all, especially the lost and the least, might be drawn to the light of Christ. Victoria Logue has been professed in the Third Order, Society of Saint Francis for 15 years, and is a published author and photographer.
Teach, November 29 Advent Word When I think about the ministry of Jesus, often the first thing that comes to mind is that he was a preacher and teacher. When I was an elementary school teacher, I always looked forward to my students having a “lightbulb moment”—the moment when a concept they had struggled with suddenly became clear. Jesus was an extremely patient teacher. I imagine he would delight in the “lightbulb moments” he helped facilitate through his teaching. When have you experienced a “lightbulb moment?” Kathryn Nishibayashi lives and works in the Diocese of Los Angeles and is a seminarian at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific..
The rectory garage wall at Christ Church in Lead, SD has been graced with a beautiful new mural which was completed this summer. The artists, Cary Thrall, a lifetime member of Christ Church, and Eric Jones received a grant to complete the work. We are very fortunate to have such creative minds in our community.
Advent Word of the Day, November 28, 2022 In pandemic times, one of the best ways to stay healthy is in isolation. But in every other circumstance, separating ourselves is a path toward unhealth—physically, mentally, and certainly spiritually. We need to be together. Binding ourselves to each other pushes away fear and despair, and together we discover more courage and hopefulness. In coming together, we unlock creativity and joy. In this season of preparation, we remember that God desires to be together with us, so much so that Christ came to walk alongside us and to live among us. The Rev. Katherine Bush is a poetry-evangelist and enjoys walking through the Old Forest in Overton Park in Memphis, Tennessee.
Advent Word of the Day November 27, 2022: The very first journey to the manger begins, not with passive waiting, but with a walk. Imagine the pure physicality of that walk: a heavily pregnant Mary and a weary Joseph place one sore, dusty foot in front of the other, mile after mile. Mary plants each foot carefully, lest she slip and harm her child. Like Mary and Joseph, we embark upon a journey today. Let us walk with God through Advent, mindfully and intentionally, with our hearts and minds open to all the possibilities this expectant season brings. Dr. Anita Philbrick attends St. Thomas á Becket Episcopal Church in Cassville, Missouri, where she serves as a lay preacher and catechist.
The Rev. Dr. Brad Hauff, Missioner for Indigenous Ministries, mother, Margaret Hauff, a long-time member of Emmanuel, passed away on Sunday, November 20, 2022. Margaret's husband, Sylvan, passed away on June 29, 2020. To celebrate the lives of Margaret & Sylvan, a funeral will be held at Emmanuel in the new year. Give rest, O Christ, to your servants with your saints, where sorrow and pain are no more, neither sighing, but life everlasting.
Join Election Day Prayers online Nov. 8, 8 p.m. to midnight ET Tune in via The Episcopal Public Policy Network Facebook page or The Episcopal Church Facebook page for a U.S. Election Day gathering hosted by the Office of Government Relations. Special guests from around the church will offer 10-15 minutes of reflection and prayer at the top of each hour.
A Prayer for Responsible Citizenship Before Election Day From our South Dakota Synod, ELCA Tomorrow is Election Day. Whether you have voted already or have a plan to vote early today or on Election Day tomorrow, we invite you to take a few moments to join us in praying the "Prayer for Responsible Citizenship:" Lord God, you call your people to honor those in authority. Help us elect trustworthy leaders, participate in wise decisions for our common life, and serve our neighbors in local communities. Bless the leaders of our land, that we may be at peace among ourselves and a blessing to other nations of the earth; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen. (ELW, p. 77) May you have a blessed Election Day!
We have a couple "webinar stars" among us; the Rev. Kurt and Ellen Huber from our very own, Cheyenne River Mission are part of this webinar. Please join this webinar on November 2 at 1p Eastern time – that is Noon fast time and 11 am slow time. The Webinar is titled "Becoming Beloved Community from an Indigenous Perspective". And will feature three grant recipients: the Rev. Bude VanDyke from Alabama, Robert Fox from North Dakota and the Rev Kurt Huber and the Rev. Ellen Huber from South Dakota. You can learn more about the webinar and register for it by going to your browser and adding: www.unitedthankoffering.org/webinar.
CANCELLED due to a death in the family. Dakota Experience East November 4-5, 2022 Starting 5:30, Friday evening with Supper Ending Saturday afternoon close to 3pm, lunch provided at Calvary Cathedral 500 S. Main Ave., Sioux Falls
It’s that time of year again! Make your decisions about your health insurance plan by Nov. 2! For more information, visit the Episcopal Diocese of South Dakota and look at the News article.
October Evangelism Newsletter This month we continue exploring our Episcopal Evangelism challenge for 2022: Creating authentic communities of friends within our churches to live out our baptismal promises and the church's mission—to restore and be restored in unity with God and each other, in Christ.