Seeing the Beatitudes

There is a classic dynamic in storytelling where villains can be considered more interesting than heroes. Evil is interesting, flashy, complicated. Goodness is simple, bland, boring. This framing is superficial but can often feel true. Understandably, we can’t relate...

Love Never Fails

In Children’s Chapel a few weeks ago, I asked the students how they see God in their lives. We talked about laughter, birthday parties, the beach, trees, animals – all sorts of things. Then, one child piped in, “When I help my mom around the house.” I was surprised...

Where Have the Missionaries Gone?

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” Isaiah 6:8 The passage from Isaiah above (part of this Sunday’s Old Testament reading) has often been used to talk about World Missions — God’s...

Orthodoxy

In a recent interview, music legend Quincy Jones spoke candidly about a wide-range of topics, including what he sees as “the problem with modern pop.” When asked why he thinks songs are not as good as they used to be, Jones replied, “Producers now are ignoring all the...

Refugee Network

Thank you to all who participated in the Advent Drive supporting the Episcopal Refugee Network! We collected several boxes of toothpaste, shampoo, and body wash to support the efforts of this ministry. Hear from RefugeeNet board members about the good work they’re...

The Joys of Teaching Sunday School

I have been teaching Sunday School at St. Michael’s for over twenty years! I can’t remember when I started, but I know it was a calling from Lord. Once I started teaching I was hooked! Through the years I’ve taught...

Star of Wonder

O star of wonder, star of night, Star with royal beauty bright;Westward leading, Still proceeding, Guide us to thy perfect light! So begins one of my favorite Epiphany hymns, setting to music the feelings inspired by the awe-inspiring Star of Bethlehem. This hymn,...

Christ Has Come and A New Year Is Ushered In

A New Year’s PlanMary Fairchild I tried to think of a clever new phrase –A slogan to inspire the next 365 days,A motto to live by this coming New Year,But the catchy words fell flat to my ear. And then I heard His still small voiceSaying, “Consider this simple, daily...

Why Shepherds?

As the annual St. Michael’s by-the-Sea Christmas Pageant draws ever nearer, I’ve been thinking a lot about the characters in the Nativity story – in particular, the shepherds. They fascinate me because in many ways, we are just like them. They’re average people,...

Height and Depth of Liturgical Prayer

My father was a pastor in a very non-liturgical church. In fact, I would call it anti-liturgical in many ways. We would stand to pray, not kneel. Communion was grape juice, not wine. And sermons were long and pedantic, not pithy and pointed. There was a choir, but the...