Andrew's Net

 

Catching your attention and connecting the world

a space for prayers, stories, poems, and offerings that forge community.  Submissions welcome.

gallery/andrews net

 

Lockdown

Yes there is fear.

Yes there is isolation.

Yes there is panic buying.

Yes there is sickness.

Yes there is even death.

But,

They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise

You can hear the birds again.

They say that after just a few weeks of quiet

The sky is no longer thick with fumes

But blue and grey and clear.

They say that in the streets of Assisi

People are singing to each other

across the empty squares,

keeping their windows open

so that those who are alone

may hear the sounds of family around them.

They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland

Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.

Today a young woman I know

is busy spreading fliers with her number

through the neighbourhood

So that the elders may have someone to call on.

Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples

are preparing to welcome

and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary

All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting

All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way

All over the world people are waking up to a new reality

To how big we really are.

To how little control we really have.

To what really matters.

To Love.

So we pray and we remember that

Yes there is fear.

But there does not have to be hate.

Yes there is isolation.

But there does not have to be loneliness.

Yes there is panic buying.

But there does not have to be meanness.

Yes there is sickness.

But there does not have to be disease of the soul

Yes there is even death.

But there can always be a rebirth of love.

Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.

Today, breathe.

Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic

The birds are singing again

The sky is clearing,

Spring is coming,

And we are always encompassed by Love.

Open the windows of your soul

And though you may not be able

to touch across the empty square,

Sing.

– Fr. Richard Hendrick, OFM March 13th 2020

March 30, 2020

 

Wise words from Mary Oliver: Don't Hesitate

 

If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy,

don't hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty

of lives and whole towns destroyed or about

to be. We are not wise, and not very often

kind. And much can never be redeemed.

Still, life has some possibility left. Perhaps this

is its way of fighting back, that sometimes

something happens better than all the riches

or power in the world. It could be anything,

but very likely you notice it in the instant

when love begins. Anyway, that's often the

case. Anyway, whatever it is, don't be afraid

of its plenty. Joy is not made to be a crumb.

 

found in Devotions (Penguin Random House, 2017, p. 61)

 

March 28, 2020

 

Here's a sunrise from Eastern Point Retreat Center, one of my favorite places, on the ocean in Gloucester, Massachusetts, courtesy of Robert VerEecke. He has some videos outdoors, without the window, but somehow watching through the window captures the way I feel these days, looking out, unable to touch. (Click on the blue words).

March 27, 2020

 

Put your ear to the ground
and listen,
hurried, worried footsteps,
bitterness, rebellion.
Hope
hasn't yet begun.
Listen again.
Put out feelers.
The Lord is there.
God is far less likely
to abandon us
in hardship
than in times of ease.

--Dom Helder Camara, Hoping Against All Hope

 

March 26, 2020

Can we just sit, or stand, or be, for a moment, at peace with what is, grief or gladness, and open to what may be?  

i am a little church(no great cathedral) 

far from the splendor and squalor of hurrying cities

i do not worry if briefer days grow briefest,
i am not sorry when sun and rain make April

my life is the life of the reaper and the sower;
my prayers are prayers of earth’s own clumsily striving

(finding and losing and laughing and crying)children

whose any sadness or joy is my grief or my gladness

around me surges a miracle of unceasing
birth and glory and death and resurrection:
over my sleeping self float flaming symbols
of hope, and i wake to a perfect patience of mountains

i am a little church(far from the frantic
world with its rapture and anguish)at peace with nature

– i do not worry if longer nights grow longest;
i am not sorry when silence becomes singing

winter by spring, i lift my diminutive spire to
merciful Him Whose only now is forever:
standing erect in the deathless truth of His presence

(welcoming humbly His light and proudly His darkness)

e.e. cummings

 

 

March 25, 2020

Feast of the Annunciation, when Mary, overwhelmed with the news from the angel Gabriel, ran to visit her cousin Elizabeth.  Both found comfort and strength--Mary was able to move from "Let it be according to your word" to "My soul magnifies the Lord, and rejoices in God my Savior."  Sharing hopes and fears can keep things in perspective and reveal new insights.

 

March 24, 2020

Click here for delight:  "Colorado Symphony Orchestra Ode to Joy" 

 

March 21, 2020

What are you missing most about this time in general, and about church attendance in particular? 

What does your felt loss say about what’s important to you?

Is there anything you can learn about yourself, church, world from enduring this loss?

 I’m thinking of the Romans reading from last week:  “we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.”   (Romans 5:3-5).  “Boast” can be to name clearly. 

I find the theology that says “God sends suffering to teach us something” hard to bear, adding a layer of divine judgment and punishment on top of whatever hurts.  Since humans are mortal and sinful, suffering happens.  And yet, I have learned lots from suffering, some things I wouldn’t have known any other way.  In that sense, I suspect there are many insights we can gain from the losses and suffering we are experiencing now.  What do you think?

--Allison

March 19, 2020 first day of Spring

Forsythia is opening, daffodils are up, ENJOY!

Here is wisdom from the St. Andrew's Sacristy--a prayer on the wall.
I find it helpful because I am too often anxious in the midst of all the uncertainty these days.

Slow me down, Lord.
Ease the pounding of my heart by the quieting of my mind.
Steady my hurried pace with a vision of the eternal reach of time.
Give me, amid the confusion of the day, the calmness of the     everlasting hills.
Break the tensions of my nerves and muscles with the soothing   music of the singing streams tht live in my memory.
Help me to know the magical, restoring power of sleep.
Teach me the art of taking minute vacations--of slowing down to look   at a flower, to chat with a friend, to pat a dog, to read a few lines   from a good book.
Slow me down, Lord, and inspire me [and all communities/nations/organizations] to send my roots deep into the soil of life's enduring values, that I [we] may grow toward the stars of my [our] greater destiny.
Amen.

 

--Allison

March 18, 2020

A N N O U N C E M E N T
We've been seeing lots of things closed, or cancelled, or postponed, or moved online . . . here are some things that endure.
NOT CANCELLED: Family
NOT CANCELLED: Music
NOT CANCELLED: Prayer
NOT CANCELLED: Laughing
NOT CANCELLED: Recovering from Insufficient Sleep
NOT CANCELLED: Exploring the Bible
NOT CANCELLED: Getting Outdoors
NOT CANCELLED: Singing
NOT CANCELLED: Exploring the Prayer Book 
NOT CANCELLED: Re-connecting with Someone after “too long”
NOT CANCELLED: Listening without interrupting
NOT CANCELLED: Reading
NOT CANCELLED: Helping Others
NOT CANCELLED: Exercise
NOT CANCELLED: Love
NOT CANCELLED: Hope
Let's give thanks for what we had lost and now have found!
 

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