Newsletters

Sunday, July 19, 2020

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Dear St. Luke Community,

I trust you are all well. While we can’t be together in the sanctuary, we are still very much connected. Most of you I see on Zoom worship. Many I see in our different classes on Zoom, and a few I’ve seen in your backyards. I’d love to continue to connect one-on-one, whether by phone, on Zoom, or at a distance outdoors.

Not too long ago, I was on a Zoom call with my old college friends. As we talked through the different challenges facing our country, the topic of shamecame up. Some on the call expressed that they believe shame is an integral tool in achieving social justice. And others did not. I wasn’t sure, but I had a gut feeling on the issue. So I began reading and searching the topic. I’ve mentioned shame as a side note in a few sermons, but this Sunday I’d like to explore it more deeply. Shame is not unique to one kind of Christianity, one facet of society or politics. It’s used by all kind of people in all kinds of ways.

In this Sunday’s scripture (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43) Jesus puts before his disciples another parable about weeds and good seed. Jesus describes a scene of division, pitting good against evil, and a final judgement as an act that ultimately belongs to God. 

This will prove to be one of the more challenging texts I’ve ever chosen to preach on, mostly because there’s so much about it I don’t like. 

This Sunday we welcome guests from Sausalito Presbyterian to our Zoom worship. Rev. Paul Mowry is on vacation, and his congregation has been invited to join us for our worship. I trust we’ll welcome them with the same warmth St. Luke welcomes all visitors.

See you Sunday on Zoom,
Nicole

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Sunday, July 12, 2020

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Dear St Luke Community,

When repeated themes show up in life I usually sit up straight and listen with perked up ears because God is speaking, for better or worse. These past few weeks, it seems everywhere I look, I’m hearing about seeds and souls.

Meister Eckhart (Theologian, philosopher and mystic 1260-1328)  called the true seed within us as the living presence of God’s image implanted in the soul. “There is something in the soul which is only God.” he wrote. if that’s true, and I believe it is, then there’s also a collective soul that lives in our country, and it’s in dire need of tending.

This Sunday we’ll hear Jesus tell the parable of the sower ( Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23). We tend to think of God as the one who scatters seeds and ourselves as the soil. But what if we’re the ones who carry seeds and cultivate soil. What kinds of seeds do we lay if the seeds we carry within us are our reflection of the God within? Are the seeds we lay the things we say or the things we do? Do they have an impact on the world? If we can’t even raise our own children to be and do exactly what we’d like, then what control do we have over the kind of world we live in, or the people around us?

I have more questions then I do answers at this moment, but one thing is for sure; we are called to both lay seeds and to cultivate the ones that are gifted to us by God.

Which is easier said than done.

See you Sunday on Zoom,
Nicole

Posted by Nicole Trotter with

Sunday, July 5, 2020

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Dear St Luke Community,

With the recent increases in Covid cases - county, state and countrywide - I imagine we are all feeling weary: weary for others and for ourselves. I’m reminded of one of my favorite pieces of writing from John O’Donahue in his Blessing for the The Interim Time, part of which says:

You are in this time of interim
Where everything seems withheld.
The path you took to get here was washed out;
The way forward is still concealed from you.
“The old is not old enough to have died away;
The new is still too young to be born.”
You cannot lay claim to anything;

I might suggest that we actually can lay claim to one (or three) things: God, Christ and Spirit. As people of faith, when we feel groundless, weary, angry, or in need, we look to God to carry us. 

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

This interim time is not a time to look back and desire things the way they used to be, nor is it a time to start planning for a future that’s entirely unknown. This is a time to renew our faith, and to find strength so that we might affect change both within our own lives but also for the lives of those around us in need. 

The blessing by O’Donahue ends with the promise of a new dawn, suggesting that the longer we can endure the interim time, the more refined our hearts will be when that dawn arrives.

May it be so.

See you Sunday on Zoom,
Nicole

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