Words from Cliff and Pastoral Notes
There is something quieting about a snowfall. It is Shrove Tuesday and we are preparing hotcakes for a snowy evening. Tomorrow begins Lent with Ash Wednesday. There is something quieting about Lent. (Continue Reading…) We settle into our common humanity. We are formed from the dust of the ground, says the story of creation. Paul adds, “Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we will also bear the image of the man from heaven.” The image of the man from heaven, Jesus, is quieter and steadier, with a forgiveness one can count on. Forgiveness is part of the glue that holds us together in community. It creates a safe, trustworthy space. Perhaps that is what Lent does in its quiet way.
Emmanuel, our Assistant Rector, and Rob, our Deacon, will be at the Chestnut Hill East train station for the morning commute on Ash Wednesday. Commuters who wish may receive ashes on the way. Saint Paul’s Church began its existence right there in an upper room of the Chestnut Hill East Train Station in 1855 for the purpose of building a Christian community. Now at 22 East Chestnut Hill Avenue, we are happy to return home to our beginning to offer Ashes on the Way as a sign of our mortality and penitence and God’s gracious gift of everlasting life.
When Amy and I first came to Saint Paul’s, anxiety centered around whether we would like the colors that parishioners had used to paint the first floor of the rectory. There were golds and dark green and peach. When parishioners got to the second floor, apparently they rebelled and painted all the rooms in a neutral white. (Continue Reading…) Amy and I have appreciated everyone’s hard work to make our home at Saint Paul’s so welcoming, then and now. In a way, the rectory is a metaphor for the parish. We have all worked hard to make our community a rainbow of colors, ages, and orientations. Our vision for the parish is The Peace where we all stand together in all our bright array within the peace of God. Over the years we have all worked hard to make Saint Paul’s a welcoming spiritual home for everyone.