Category Archives: Prayer

All Saints Church Prayer Vigil – THIS WEEKEND

THIS WEEKNED from 8:30 a.m. on Saturday through 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, please join our church family in praying for the unity and mission of our church, our rector search process, the individual that the Spirit is leading to be our rector, and other needs of our church family. Sign up for one or more half-hour shifts. You can pray wherever you are, but the sanctuary will be open and available from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on October 20 for those who wish to pray there. Please sign up at the information table or online here. Contact Liz Harbaugh with questions.

How should we pray?

We have put together a prayer guide to unite our hearts and minds in prayer for our Church. Please consider signing up with the above link or simply using this prayer guide to pray for our church this weekend.

 All Saints Church Prayer Vigil

October 20-21, 2012

Some Scriptures and Specific Prayer Requests to Consider

Introduction

Please use the requests and scriptures below to guide your prayers, or pray as God leads. Above all, let’s unite our hearts together in humble, penitent, prayer, asking God to work His will, in His way, for His glory through All Saints Church in this season of transition and expectation.

Psalm 127:1 Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.

Luke 6:12-15 In these days [Jesus] went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot.

Romans 8:26   In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.

Pray that we would be rightly humbled and open before God.

2 Chronicles 7:14  If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Psalm 62:1-2  For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.

Psalm 46:10  Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

Matthew 6:9-16 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.  But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

This, then, is how you should pray:
” ‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’ For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

1 John 5:14-15  This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.

Pray that God’s name will lifted up and that he will be honored and glorified among us.

Philippians 2:10-11  That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Isaiah 57:15  For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.

Psalm 115: 1 Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!

1 Peter 2:9  But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

1 Timothy 1:17  Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever.  Amen.

Psalm 84

How lovely is your dwelling place,
O LORD Almighty!

My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.

Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
O LORD Almighty, my King and my God.

Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.
Selah

Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.

As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.

They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.

Hear my prayer, O LORD God Almighty;
listen to me, O God of Jacob.
Selah

Look upon our shield, O God;
look with favor on your anointed one.

Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.

For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
the LORD bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.

O LORD Almighty,
blessed is the man who trusts in you.

Revelation 21:1-4, 22-25  Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” …I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there.

Revelation 4:11 You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.

Revelation 5:12 In a loud voice they sang: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!”

We pray for unity and love among the All Saints Church Family.

Prayers for those who suffer or are in any trouble:

Jan Burks in the loss of her mother; Robin Dawson’s stepmother; Carrie Waffa’s sister, Cammie; Andrew Stillwell’s father; Denise Stillwell: For these and all who suffer, Lord Christ, we seek your mercies. Hold back those things which threaten to overwhelm them and protect them from the grip of despair. Heal their bodies and deliver them from all oppression, for the afflicted shall see and be glad, and those who cast their eyes upon you shall behold their salvation.

We pray for Steve Breedlove as he will be consecrated to the office of bishop in less than two weeks.  Prayer that God would meet him, affirm him and equip him with the gifts and graces needed to lead and serve His church.

We pray for Bishop Terrell Glenn and Teresa while they are on vacation. We pray for rest and rejuvenation and the blessing of their 25 years of marriage.

We pray for our 242 group leaders  that they would have the gifts and passion to lead well, to shepherd the people in their groups and to deepen that the discipleship of all Saints Church.  We pray for new 242 group leaders and for new groups that are just starting that the Holy Spirit would knit them together relationally and draw them into deep relationships.

We pray for our after school program Eagles Nest.  Especially for the director Laura Yost-Grande as she leads this important ministry.

Lord, in your mercy…hear our prayers.

1 Peter 1:22-23  Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

Psalm 133  Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes!  It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore.

Ephesians 4:1-5   I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,  eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Ephesians 4:11-16  And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,  until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,  so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.  Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

1 Peter 1:22-25  Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;  for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.”

1 Peter 4:8-11   Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.  Offer hospitality to one another, without grumbling.  Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.  If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God.  If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ….

Pray that, through the power and blessing of the Holy Spirit, we will remain faithful to our essential commitments as a Church and our mission to become and make disciples of Jesus.

Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

John 4:23-24 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.

Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

John 13:34-35  A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

Matthew 28:18-20  And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Micah 6:8  He has showed you, O man, what is good.  And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Pray for the Ministry Staff.

Pray that the Ministry Staff will individually and collectively rest in God’s peace in the midst of ongoing responsibilities and uncertainty. 

Pray for continued outpouring of the Holy Spirit for the staff and clergy as they lead, make decisions, discern, equip and care for the church. 

Pray for the protection of our staff and clergy as well as their families. May they lead lives deeply rooted in Christ and may their homes be an image of your kingdom.  

1 Timothy 1:5  The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 5:1-2  Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Pray for the Search Team and the Vestry.

  • Pray that the Search Team and Vestry will be faithful to their responsibilities and obedient to God’s call. Pray that they will listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit as they engage with candidates at this stage in the rector search.
  • Pray for patience – that every decision made will be in tune with God’s timing.
  • Pray that they will have the mind of Christ
  • Pray for wisdom and that their minds will be renewed in Scripture
  • Pray for discipline and stamina
  • Pray for unity

James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

Zechariah 4:6  So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.”

Philippians 2:1-4  So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy,  complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

James 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.

Pray that God will prepare us as a congregation for whomever He brings and that we will all grow in faith and trust in an ever present, all sufficient, loving God.

  • That as our congregation prepares for inevitable change we can say and mean it, “For all that has been, thanks; For all that will be, Yes!”
  • That we will remain united now and during the time of transition

Hebrews 13:20-21 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.

Romans 12:1-9  Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Pray for the next Rector of All Saints.

  • Pray that God would increase his passion for preaching the Word of God – that he will preach the Word in season and out of season, reproving, rebuking and exhorting with complete patience
  • Pray that he will equip the saints to do the work of ministry, building up the body of Christ at All Saints into unity and maturity.
  • Pray that when he comes to All Saints he will not shrink from declaring anything that is profitable, nor from proclaiming the whole counsel of God to our congregation
  • Pray that he would make decisions through earnest pray, godly counsel, and Scripture.
  • Pray for his relationship with the Ministry Staff, Vestry, and Ministry Leaders.
  • Pray that he will be confident and enthusiastic in his calling to shepherd All Saints
  • Pray that God would give him a love for All Saints Church and the strength to leave his current position.
  • Pray that the next Rector will begin relationships at All Saints Church in a God-honoring way.
  • Pray that our next Rector and his family will be sustained the midst of their call and transition.
  • That the next Rector will know his call to ASC and that the certainty of his call will be fueled by the persuasive and enabling power of the Holy Spirit.

2 Timothy 4:1-2 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:  preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

Colossians 1:28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.

Philippians 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 5:1-4  So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed:  shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly;  not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.  And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

Lord, we thank you for your guidance, for teaching us, for leading us, for providing for us.  We thank You for the opportunity to show others Your abiding light, Your infinite goodness, Your unlimited patience.  May all your creation rest easy this day and night, in the love and knowledge that peace and tranquility are Your blessings and they are all loved by You.  Uplift our hearts and fill us with love so we may shine out and draw others towards the way of truth and light.  In Jesus Name we pray.  Amen.

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Join the Prayer Vigil!

We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties.” ~ Oswald Chambers 

Dear Church,

I want to encourage you to sign up for the prayer vigil that is less than two weeks away. CLICK HERE  to sign up for a prayer shift or two. At this transition in the life of our church body it is essential that we lift our eyes to the author and perfecter of our faith and be in prayer together.

The search committee has been working diligently over these past four months, but they have a deep rooted conviction that they need the Holy Spirit’s direction and work in this process. One scripture that they have been holding onto thrughout this whole process comes from Psalm 127: Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.

We desire this prayer vigil to be a time that is set apart where we seek the Lord’s direction, protection, provision, and covering for our church family.

Will you participate in this essential gathering of prayer?

Here are the prayer vigil details again:

From 8:30 a.m. on October 20 through 8:30 a.m. on October 21, please join our church family in praying for the unity and mission of our church, our rector search process, the individual that the Spirit is leading to be our rector, and other needs of our church family. Sign up for one or more half-hour shifts. You can pray wherever you are, but the sanctuary will be open and available from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on October 20 for those who wish to pray there. Please sign up at the information table or online here. Contact Liz Harbaugh with questions 

Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfill now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting. Amen. 

May the peace of Jesus be with you,

thomas kortus

Link to Prayer Vigil Sign-up

 

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An Update from Thomas Kortus

I am writing hello from Whidbey Island in Washington state. I am with my family and my dad. My dad is dying from a rare and rapid degenerative brain disease called CJD.

I have missed All Saints (you) greatly over these past two weeks. It was very difficult missing June 10 and 17 and all the activities and celebrations these days held.  I hated that I missed Kent’s ordination and especially the celebration of Steve and Sally’s ministry at ASC.

I love you all and miss you, but I know I am where I need to be. Thank you for your prayers and for your support and permission to be here with my father and my family.

For the full story visit dad’s caring bridge website and read the story. Click here. 

Here is an update I just wrote this morning regarding how my dad is doing:

I am sitting next to my dad as I type. We are listening to Johnny Cash’s album: My Mother’s Hymnbook.  Dad loves this album! Cash said it was his favorite album he ever made. It is classic, but rare. I burned it for my dad about 4 years ago.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGNlQ88O5Kg&feature=relmfu

We are sitting next to dad day and night and his time is near. He very well may die today. We will sit, pray, and talk to him through the day.

Family comes and goes, grandkids eat meals and tell of the treasures found on the beach, and the tide comes in and out, but dad remains laying in his hospital bed in the middle of the living room facing Penn Cove. His breathing is fast and shallow and his body is motionless save his breath; the breath of life that remains. He is alive, but nothing about his presence testifies to this except the air he is inhaling and exhaling more than twenty times a minute. As I sit with him and pray I find myself clutching his arm or hand and being warmed by his body heat and I also get distracted from prayer by counting his breaths.

Dad has not eaten for over two weeks. His body looks less and less like his. The once vibrant, strong, healthy and lean physique has become shriveled, atrophied, and it is eerily motionless but still tanned by hours spent outdoors and still moving with his labored breath.

Hospice has been a blessing. The nurses, aids and whole system is an incredible gift to families and communities. We are so thankful to be home. Tomorrow we will have been here a week.

It is right to have dad in this place that he loved. When my parents were newlyweds they moved from Lincoln, Nebraska to Anacortes, Washington. Dad’s basketball coach at the University of Nebraska had a connection out here and dad starting teaching and coaching in Anacortes and mom and dad lived on Alexander Beach. A gem of beach – sandy and flat – these are not common to Washington state. They fell in love with the tall evergreen trees, the mountains, and the water. Dad loves the water. He walked the beach daily and he created hundreds of pieces of furniture, mobiles, wall hangings, and random creations using driftwood, rocks, and found items brought in my the tide. I have a cross in my office at All Saints Church made of dozens of pieces of drift wood nailed together. I will cherish that cross my whole life long just like I will cherish my dad and his love and his life. He loved sailing, kayaking and crabbing in the summers. I will cherish my memories of him. Especially last summer when he took Hudson (my son) and I out crabbing. Hudson loved the experience and loves eating fresh crabs. I know he will hold on to this memory as well.

I will miss dad terribly. I already miss him.

Death is incredibly hard, dark, and confusing. It is easy to end up in despair, but we hold onto the hope of the new resurrected  life that Jesus pioneered and offers to all who come to him in faith and repentance.

What an amazing experience to stand on this holy ground with dad and my family as dad is on the threshold between this earthly life and life eternal – new life – the glorious life in the presence of God bathed in perpetual light.

Dad’s life will not end, but change – and change gloriously for the better.

I have been clinging to this prayer in the Anglican liturgy for funerals. We come to the Holy Communion:

Through Jesus Christ our Lord; who rose victorious from the dead, and doth comfort us with the blessed hope of everlasting life; for to thy faithful people, O Lord, life is changed, not ended; and when our mortal body doth lie in death, there is prepared for us a dwelling place eternal in the heavens.

Lately death seems more and more like a mercy for dad. We have watched him become more and more trapped and limited by his diseased, immobile, and motionless body. We will miss him greatly, but he is no longer with us as he was – smiling, joking, hugging, working, creating, loving, laughing, modeling what it looks like to live well.

I already miss my dad and I long for him to be him and not the motionless and sleeping body in our living room laying in the hospital bed. I long for dad to be resurrected and restored and made new. I long to meet him on a day to come in presence of God and all his angels and to walk the beach with him in the new heaven and new earth.

Come Lord Jesus.
Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy.

Almighty God, our Father in heaven, before whom live all who die in the Lord: Receive our dad, brother, mentor, coach, husband, friend, mentor Joel. into the courts of your heavenly dwelling place.  Let his heart and soul soon ring out in joy to you, O Lord, the living God, and the God of those who live.  This we ask through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Thank you for your prayers, your love, and your support. We are feeling your prayers and your care and are incredibly humbled by the generosity we are experiencing daily.

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PASCHAL HOMILY OF ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM

The Paschal sermon of St John Chrysostom is read aloud in every Orthodox parish on the morning of the Great and Holy Pascha of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. According to the Tradition of the Church, no one sits during the reading of St John’s sermon, but all stand and listen with attentiveness.

If any man be devout and loveth God, let him enjoy this fair and radiant triumphal feast! If any man be a wise servant, let him rejoicing enter into the joy of his Lord.

If any have laboured long in fasting, let him how receive his recompense. If any have wrought from the first hour, let him today receive his just reward. If any have come at the third hour, let him with thankfulness keep the feast. If any have arrived at the sixth hour, let him have no misgivings; Because he shall in nowise be deprived therefore. If any have delayed until the ninth hour, let him draw near, fearing nothing. And if any have tarried even until the eleventh hour, let him, also, be not alarmed at his tardiness.

For the Lord, who is jealous of his honour, will accept the last even as the first. He giveth rest unto him who cometh at the eleventh hour, even as unto him who hath wrought from the first hour.

And He showeth mercy upon the last, and careth for the first; And to the one He giveth, and upon the other He bestoweth gifts. And He both accepteth the deeds, and welcometh the intention, and honoureth the acts and praises the offering.

Wherefore, enter ye all into the joy of your Lord; Receive your reward, both the first, and likewise the second. You rich and poor together, hold high festival! You sober and you heedless, honour the day! Rejoice today, both you who have fasted and you who have disregarded the fast. The table is full-laden; feast ye all sumptuously. The calf is fatted; let no one go hungry away. Enjoy ye all the feast of faith: receive ye all the riches of loving-kindness.

Let no one bewail his poverty, for the universal Kingdom has been revealed. Let no one weep for his iniquities, for pardon has shown forth from the grave. Let no one fear death, for the Saviour’s death has set us free. He that was held prisoner of it has annihilated it.

By descending into Hell, He made Hell captive. He embittered it when it tasted of His flesh. And Isaiah, foretelling this, did cry: Hell, said he, was embittered when it encountered Thee in the lower regions.

It was embittered, for it was abolished. It was embittered, for it was mocked. It was embittered, for it was slain. It was embittered, for it was overthrown. It was embittered, for it was fettered in chains. It took a body, and met God face to face. It took earth, and encountered Heaven. It took that which was seen, and fell upon the unseen.

O Death, where is thy sting? O Hell, where is thy victory?

Christ is risen, and thou art overthrown! Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen! Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice! Christ is risen, and life reigns! Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave. For Christ, being risen from the dead, is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

To Him be glory and dominion unto ages of ages.
Amen.

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Collect for Tuesday in Easter Week

O God, who by the glorious resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light: Grant that we, who have been raised with him, may abide in his presence and rejoice in the hope of eternal glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be dominion and praise for ever and ever. Amen.

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He is Alive!

He blesses every love which weeps and grieves

And now he blesses hers who stood and wept

And would not be consoled, or leave her love’s

Last touching place, but watched as low light crept

Up from the east. A sound behind her stirs

A scatter of bright birdsong through the air.

She turns, but cannot focus through her tears,

Or recognise the Gardener standing there.

She hardly hears his gentle question ‘Why,

Why are you weeping?’, or sees the play of light

That brightens as she chokes out her reply

‘They took my love away, my day is night’

And then she hears her name, she hears Love say

The Word that turns her night, and ours, to Day.

by Malcolm Guite

Almighty God, who for our redemption gave your only begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant us so to die daily to sin, that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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Collect for Holy Saturday

O God, Creator of heaven and earth: Grant that, as the crucified body of your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so we may await with him the coming of the third day, and rise with him to newness of life; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

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Collect for Good Friday

Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

You are invited to attend the All Saints Church Good Friday service at 7 pm tonight in the church sanctuary.

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An Invitation to Love and Support the Stillwell Family

Dear All Saints friends,

Denise Stillwell has been diagnosed with colon cancer and is having surgery on Friday. Please keep Denise and Andrew and their two son’s Liam and Aidan in your prayers this week and in the weeks to come.

The Stillwells will need some help with meals as well as a few other logistical aspects of daily life over the next few weeks.

Meals: They do have some dietary restrictions as follows:Only organic and whole grain where applicable and only fish or chicken.  No red meat, please.  Please sign up to bring a meal by accessing the The Care Calendar link that can be found below this message under the title “HELPER LOGIN”  Please contact Andrew at 919-291-5790 to schedule delivery of the meal.

They also have a request for help with carpooling: During Denise’s hospital stay, which should be 4-7 days, we will have family members staying, which will allow me to be at the hospital. However, carpooling will be a great help.  Liam gets picked up at dropped off at 8:00 am and picked up at 3:00pm from Five Oaks School, and Aidan gets dropped off at 8:45 am and picked up at 3:30 pm from WG Pearson. Our preference is that one person commit to this task, as we are trying to provide as much consistency for the boys as possible. However, we are flexible and, of course, immensely grateful for the help.

Please contact Andrew if you can help. Andrew’s email address: astillwell@nc.rr.com and cell number is 919 – 291 – 5790.

Another request is some assistance with finishing a home project: Last request. I am trying to finish the master bathroom. (A project I started before Denise’s diagnosis) and if there are any handy men out there to help for a couple hours. I have to install two lights, tile the shower, paint and put up crown molding.  Should be ready for next week, but I am cutting it close with other important responsibilities starting to demand attention.

Please contact Andrew if you can help. Andrew’s email address: astillwell@nc.rr.com and cell number is 919 – 291 – 5790.

===================================

HELPER LOGON

===================================

The HELPER logon is used by family and friends

that would like to sign-up to help a loved one.

To access Denise & Andrew Stillwell’s personal CareCalendar site,

visit http://www.carecalendar.org/logon/107392 and enter

the following information in the appropriate spaces:

CALENDAR ID      :  107392

SECURITY CODE :  2974

Thank you for your help! Please contact Thomas Kortus with any questions! (919) 619-5007.

Let us pray together for Denise 

Almighty God our heavenly Father, graciously comfort your servant Denise in her suffering, and bless the means made use of for her cure. Fill her heart with confidence that, though at times

she may be afraid, she yet may put her trust in you; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Jesus clothe Denise in your Spirit so powerfully that she would know your indwelling and all encompassing presence and love for her as your beloved daughter. In the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen

In Christ,

Thomas Kortus

 

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Do Not Resent, Do Not React, Keep Inner Stillness – Part 3 by Metropolitan Jonah

This is part 3 of 3 in an address written by Metropolitan Jonah who serves in the Orthodox Church in America. It is great reading for Lent! The season of Lent calls us to self-examination, penitence, humility, and renewal. It is a time to concentrate on fundamental spiritual values and priorities, not a time for self-punishment.  This address gives us some tangible ways to hold a mirror up to our souls and serves to reveal aspects of our lives that need to be transformed by the Holy Spirit. I encourage you to read this and the other 2 parts and allow the Spirit to lead you in thought,  prayer, reflection, healing, and transformation.

May the Spirit lead you into all truth and into the fullness of the gospel of Jesus this Lent –

thomas kortus

Repentance and Confession

Awareness of our sins and hypocrisy, our short comings and falls, leads us to repentance and the transformation of our life. Repentance, conversion, the transformation of our mind and our life, is the core of the Christian life. Repentance does not mean to beat ourselves up for our sins, or to dwell in a state of guilt and morose self condemnation. Rather, it means to confront our sins, and reject and renounce them, and confess them, trying not to do them again. What this does is, that to the extent we renounce and confess our sins, they no longer generate thoughts, which accuse us or spur passionate reactions.

Sometimes we have to confess things several times, because we only repent of, or are even conscious of, aspects of the sin. Things that make us feel guilty, provoke our conscience, or that we know are acts of disobedience all should be confessed. We have to train our conscience, not by memorizing lists of sins, but by becoming aware of what breaks our relationship with God and other people. We need to be conscious of God’s presence, and realize what distracts us from it. These things are sins. Of course, we are experts at deluding ourselves, when we really want to do something, and we know that it is not blessable.

Confession is not only Christ’s first gift to the Church, the authority to forgive sins in His Name; but is one of the most important means of healing our souls. Sins are not sins because they are listed in a book somewhere. They are sins because they break our relationship with God, other people, and distort our true self. Sins are sins because they hurt us and other people. We need to heal that hurt, and revealing the act or thought or attitude takes away the shame that keeps it concealed, and prevents healing.

We need to confess the things that we are the most ashamed of, the secret sins, which we know are betrayals of our true self. If we don’t confess them, they fester and generate all sorts of despondency, depression and guilt, shame and despair. The result of that is that we identify ourselves with our sins. For example, same-sex attraction becomes gay identity. Failure in some area becomes a general self-identification with being a failure.

What is critically important is that we are not our sins, thoughts or actions. These things happen, we sin, have bad thoughts and do wicked and evil things. But we are not our thoughts or actions. Repentance means to stop and renounce not only the actions, but to renounce the identity that goes with it. Thoughts are going to come. But we can learn, through practicing inner stillness, to let our thoughts go. They will still be there, but we can learn to not react to them, and eventually, simply to ignore them.

The process of purifying our self is hard and painful, at first; but becomes the source of great joy. The more we confess, honestly and nakedly, the more we open ourselves to God’s grace, and the lighter we feel. Truly the angels in heaven (and the priest standing before you bearing witness to the confession) rejoice immensely when a person truly repents and confesses their sins, no matter how dark and heinous. There is no sin so grievous that it cannot be forgiven. NOTHING! The only sin not forgiven is thinking that God cannot forgive our sin. He forgives. We have to forgive our self, and accept His forgiveness.

Preparing for confession is an important process. It means to take stock of our life, and to recognize where we have fallen, and that we need to repent. The following should help to prepare for confession, but it is not a laundry list. Rather, it should help to spur our memory, so that we can bring things to consciousness that we have forgotten. It is more of an examination of conscience.

The Passions

  • Gluttony,
  • Lust
  • Avarice
  • Anger
  • Envy
  • Despondency
  • Vainglory
  • Pride

The Commandments

  • Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind; and love your neighbor as yourself

Loving God

Do I love God?

Do I really believe in God, or just go through the motions?

Do I pray, and when I do, do I connect, or is it just mechanical?

Do I rush through prayers, Scripture readings, and spiritual literature?

Do I seek the will of God in all things?

Do I rebel against what I know to be God’s will, and the Christian life?

Do I try to be obedient, and constantly surrender my life to God?

Do I go to church, go to confession and communion regularly, keep the fasts?

Do I try to be conscious of God’s Presence, or not?

Do I try to sanctify my life? Or do I give in to temptation easily? Thoughtlessly?

Loving our Neighbor

How do I treat the people around me?

Do I allow myself to judge, criticize, gossip aboutor condemn my neighbor?

Do I put people down? Do I look for their faults?

Do I condescend and talk down to others?

Do I treat others with kindness, gentleness, patience? Or am I mean, rough and nasty?

Do I try to control others, manipulate others?

Do I regard others with love and compassion?

Do I bear anger or resentments against others? Hatred, bitterness, scorn?

Do I use and objectify others for my own pleasure or advantage? For sex, for profit, or for anything else which de-personalizes him/her?

Do I envy and bear jealousy towards my neighbor? Do I take pleasure in his misfortunes?

Do I act thoughtlessly, oblivious to the feelings or conscience of the other?

Do I lead myneighbor into temptation intentionally?

Do I mock him or make fun of him?

Do I honor the commitments I have made? Marriage vows? Monastic vows?

Do I honor my parents? Am I faithful in my relationships?

Do I have stability in my commitments?

Am I conscious of how my words and actions affect others?

Have I stolen anything, abused or hurt anyone?

Have I committed adultery?

Have I injured or killed someone?

Do I covet other people’s things? Do I lust after possessions or money? Does my life revolve around making money and buying things?

Loving Our Selves

How am I self-centered, egotistical, self-referenced?

Do I take care of myself, physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually? Am I obsessed about my self, my image, my appearance, my desires and agenda?

Do I indulge in laziness? Do I get despondent, depressed, despairing?

Do I beat myself up, indulge in self-hatred or self-pity?

Do I injure myself? Do I have low self-esteem, or think myself worthless?

Do I blame other people for my reactions? Do I feel myself a victim?

Do I take responsibility for my own reactions and behaviors?

Do I engage in addictive behaviors, abusing alcohol, food, drugs, sex, pornography, masturbation? How do I try to console myself when I’m feeling down?

Do I have anger and resentment, rage, and other strong emotions and passions suppressed within me? Do I act out on them? How do they affect my behavior? Can I control them or do I abuse other people?

Am I conscious of how my words affect people?

How am I a hypocrite? Can I face my own hypocrisy? Am I lying to and deluding myself?

Do I have a realistic idea of myself? Am I honest with myself and others? What kind of façade do I put up?

Have I done things that I don’t want to or am too ashamed to admit? Abuse of others or animals, incest, homosexual acts, perverse actions? Have I abused drugs, sex or other things that I don’t want to acknowledge? Am I afraid that I am those things—an alcoholic, drug addict, gay, child abuser? Am I afraid to confess them?

Can I forgive myself for these things? What do I feel guilty about? Does guilt control my life?

Am I being faithful to myself, to God, to others? Does my life have integrity?

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