Wikio - Top Blogs - Religion and belief

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Windows on the world (364)


London, 2016

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sufjan Stephens - Should Have Known Better.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Foyer Display: Jon Sandford



St Martin-in-the-Fields is home to several commissions and permanent installations by contemporary artists.

We also have an exciting programme of temporary exhibitions, as well as a group of artists and craftspeople from the St Martin’s community who show artwork and organise art projects on a temporary basis.

One of the initiatives from this group is a changing display of work by the group members. Each month a different member of the group will show an example of their work, so, if you are able, do return to see the changing display.

This month Jon Sandford is showing work inspired by the natural world. His two paintings are: ‘At Close of Day’ (Watercolour & pastel on paper) and ‘Aspects of nature during Winter’ (Acrylic on canvas). 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Innocence Mission - Lakes Of Canada.

Discover & explore: Paul in Rome




The new group of Choral Scholars of St Martin-in-the-Fields sang for the first time at St Stephen Walbrook last Monday in the first of our new series of Discover & explore services. They sang 'May the grace of Christ our Saviour' – Caesar, 'I know that my redeemer liveth' – Jeffrey-Gray, How lovely are the messengers from ‘St Paul’ – Mendelssohn and Amen from ‘Lo, the full final sacrifice’ – Finzi.

The theme for this series of Discover & explore services is 'Rome, London & Christianity'. The series features as part of the 'Londinium' season organised by the City of London. At this opening service in the series Revd Sally Muggeridge spoke about the experiences and martyrdom of St Paul in Rome.

On Monday 1st October at 1.10pm the series continues with 'St Peter in Rome' when the Choral Scholars will sing 'Tu es Petrus' – Maurice Durufle, 'James and Andrew, Peter and John' – arr. Stephen Jackson, 'Will you come and follow me' – arr. James Whitbourn and 'A Prayer of St Patrick' – Rutter.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Gerald Finzi - Lo, The Final Sacrifice.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

plus+ presentations: adding value to the City


As part of further developing the relationships St Stephen Walbrook has with the business community in the City of London, we have begun a new series of events to explore the place of faith in the world of business.

This new ongoing series of events is entitled ‘plus+ presentations’, as the series is one part of the way in which St Stephen seeks to add value to the City.

The inaugural plus+ presentation was given by Douglas Board, founder of Maslow’s Attic, on 21 September. Douglas, who is a senior visiting fellow at Cass and also writes on management, faith, society and humour, as well as careers, share practical, intellectual and spiritual reflections on flourishing at work in a presentation entitled ‘In an open plan office, can anyone hear you scream?’

Douglas began by referencing a sense of loneliness versus connectivity as characteristic of digital age and workplaces. Managers have become attuned to giving pseudo-recognition but there are not often "authentic" connections between people as work. There is a sense of "investing in people" but the reality is usually different. This is often due to leaders lacking emotional intelligence. Loneliness in the workplace is a poverty of recognition. Genuine/authentic connections are needed, not the round-robin "well done" one-liner emails etc. Is there a role for church here? Listening, supporting? Outside of the politics of workplace and away from familiarity at home? He suggested the example of authentic listening as developed by Samaritans, as pioneered at St stephen Walbrook. Douglas talked about our "real" hierarchy of needs, not with individual/self at the peak - but relationships with each other: (Peak) Recognition (Mid Tier) Respect (Foundation Tier) Unconditional Love. What can we do to overcome the issues he addressed? More face to face contact, less reliance on email. More time to get to know people. Create space to talk.
The format for ‘plus+ presentations’ is:

  • 6.15pm: Evening Prayer (optional)
  • 6.30pm: plus+ presentation
  • 7.00pm: Drinks reception & networking
  • 7.30pm: Close

Going forward, we plan to run the plus+ presentations on the third Thursday of each month, although the remaining 2017 dates will be 19th October; 9th November:


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Peteris Vasks - Lord, Open Our Eyes.

Actions speak louder than words

Here is my sermon from yesterday's Choral Eucharist at St Martin-in-the-Fields:

How do we react when the most significant person in our life isn’t around? Teenagers sometimes throw a party and trash the house when their parents are away. Workers might put their feet up and relax when their boss has gone away to a conference or training course. In the parables of Jesus that precede the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats (Matthew 25. 31 - 46) we hear of a servant who got drunk and beat his fellow servants when his master was away while another buried the money he’d been given in the ground and did nothing with it for fear of what the master would do to him if he lost it.

Jesus told this parable and those that precede it, to prepare his disciples for his death, resurrection and ascension. He was going to leave them but he was entrusting them with the responsibility of continuing his mission and ministry in his physical absence.

He wanted them to be like the servant that kept the household running efficiently and well while the master was away. To be like the young women who prepared well for the bridegroom’s absence so that they had enough supplies to welcome him when he did return. And to be like the servants who used the resources their master gave them before he left to increase and develop his property. Through these stories Jesus was telling his disciples at the time and his disciples through the ages to be prepared and ready to continue and to develop his work after his ascension.

So what was and is the work that they are to be prepared to continue and develop? Well, the answer comes in this parable, which is the last in the sequence.

Each of the preceding stories has included a moment of crisis or judgement in which the most significant person in the story – the master or the bridegroom – returns and it becomes clear whether those who were left behind have responded well or badly to his absence. This story is no different, only this time the central figure who returns is Jesus. Previous judgements were on whether the master’s work had been continued, whether the women had been prepared, and whether the master’s resources had been used or developed. But what is the master’s work, what are we to be prepared to do, what is it that we are to use our resources to develop? The answer comes loud and clear in this parable because Jesus’ judgement is on our compassion.

The measure of judgement used is how we have responded to those who are hungry or thirsty or strangers or naked or sick or in prison. Have we fed the hungry, given drink to the thirsty, welcomed strangers, clothed the naked and visited the sick or those in prison? When we do, we do these things to Jesus, when we refuse, we are refusing Jesus.

Actions speak louder than words, they say. In this Parable, Jesus emphasises that it is actions, not words, that will count in the final judgement, when he says: ‘‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’

Jesus said, in this Parable, that God’s judgement on us will be based on our actions; giving food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, welcoming the stranger, clothing the naked and visiting those in prison. These actions are to be the end result of our faith. St Francis of Assisi summed up this aspect of Jesus’ teaching well, when he said: ‘Preach the gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.’

Vincent de Paul was influenced by the Franciscans through his education. He was born in 1581 at Ranquine in Gascony and was ordained at the age of nineteen. He was something of a token priest until his conversion in 1609, when he resolved to devote himself and all he owned to works of charity. He founded communities for men and, with Louise de Marillac, helped to begin the Sisters of Charity, the first community of women not to be enclosed and which was devoted to caring for the poor and sick. Vincent worked for the relief of galley slaves, victims of war, convicts and many other groups of needy people. He became a legend in his own lifetime and died on this day in the year 1660.

If we need a role model in order to give food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, welcome to the stranger, clothes to the naked and visits for those in prison, then Vincent provides an excellent of devotion to those who are in need. We would do well to follow in his footsteps.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

M Ward - Epistemology.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

John Hayward: St Michael Paternoster Royal and Sherborne Abbey








 

John Hayward "was a stained-glass artist, who designed and made nearly 200 windows that irradiate churches and cathedrals throughout Britain and abroad."

I've recently more of his work through visits to St Michael Paternoster Royal and Sherborne Abbey

The glass by John Hayward at St Michael Paternoster Royal dates from 1968 and is considered to be among the "best post-war glass in the City". The scheme depicts the angels of Genesis and the Apocalypse - and, in the south-west corner, "a flat-capped Dick Whittington and his wily cat". The central window in Hayward's scheme is of "the church’s patron saint beating down the devil, of which the rich hues and thick textures in the glass work with the subject towards an explosive Armageddon of colour and light."

The Great West Window at Sherborne Abbey was designed and made by John Hayward and installed in 1997. The theme of the window is The Incarnation. Its subject matter contains elements which though drawn from a sequence of events are intended to operate as one image seen at a single moment.The window is treated as a triptych with centre and flanking lights divided by the heavy mullions allowing for a change of scale.

Hayward's design for the Millennium window commemorates two important events in the life of Sherborne Abbey separated by a thousand years. First, the year of the Millennium celebrations marking the arrival of the Benedictines at Sherborne Abbey in AD998 and, second, the highlight of 1998 with the visit on 8 May of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and HRH Prince Philip for the dedication of the new glass to the Great West window.

Other art work to be found at Sherborne Abbey include a sculpture of St Aldhelm by Marzia Colonna and icons by John Coleman.

For more on the art of John Hayward click here and here. Hayward's work features in 'The Art of Faith', an art trail in the City of London.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Keith Green - Stained Glass. 

Windows on the world (363)


Brussels, 2016

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ed Kowalczyk - All That I Wanted.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Alexander de Cadenet: Creations



St. Stephen Walbrook presents “Creations” from October 3 until November 3.

Launching on Tuesday October 3, 2017 (PV on Monday 2 October), British artist Alexander de Cadenet presents for the first time at St. Stephen Walbrook a series of bronze and silver sculptures featuring ‘consumables’ that contain deeper spiritual messages. The works include a selection of his ‘Life-Burger’ hamburger sculptures and 'Creation' – a larger scale shiny bronze apple with three bites taken from it – two
adult bites and baby bite in between.

'Creation' explores the mysterious process of creativity – of how both a human being and an artwork come into existence.

The artist states, “In Genesis, we were told by God not to take a bite from the apple, yet it was by taking a bite that we became ‘self-conscious’ and self-consciousness is what is necessary for making art”.

The 'Creation' sculpture is a large scale bronze based on the original 'Creation' life size sculpture made in 2015 from extra-terrestrial meteorite metal.

The 'Life-Burger' sculptures explore the relationship between the spiritual dimension of art and consumerism and, at their root, are an exploration of what gives life meaning.

Art historian Edward Lucie-Smith has written, “The Life-Burgers offer a sharp critique of the society we live in and yet simultaneously they are luxury objects in their own right”.

L.A. art critic Peter Frank writes, "We're at a moment in modern history where the excess has gotten staggeringly wretched. Oligarchs worldwide shock us and shame themselves with their conspicuous consumption -- a consumption that extends to the rest of us, as consumed no less than as consumers. Alexander de Cadenet encapsulates this emerging neo-feudal order in his gilded and multi-decked burgers.
For the meta-rich, the world is their fast food joint, and their appetite insatiable. Over 3.6 billion sold!"

L.A. art critic Shana Nys Dambrot has written that the ‘Life-Burgers’ are an “illustration of how the initial appeal of beauty might give way to a darker meaning over time”.

A selection of de Cadenet’s previous projects and participations include, Victoria & Albert Museum (1998), Museum of Modern Art Ostende (2001), Courtauld Institute of Art (2003), Beijing Olympics (2008), Museum of Torrance (2012).

Revd Jonathan Evens, Priest-in-charge of St Stephen Walbrook, says: ‘The Christian scriptures and tradition raise important questions regarding what and how much we consume. Alexander de Cadenet’s sculptures draw on the spiritual dimension in life to explore similar questions. This exhibition therefore provides a space in which reflection and review can occur.’

To read my interview with Alexander de Cadenet for Artlyst click here.





During the exhibition, a conference entitled ‘Art awakening humanity’, organised by St Stephen Walbrook in partnership with Alexander de Cadenet and Watkins Mind Body Spirit Magazine, will explore further the relationship between art and the spiritual dimension. Those wishing to register for this conference on Wednesday 25 October at St Stephen Walbrook can do so at https://ssw.churchsuite.co.uk/events/standzg2.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah.




Just As I Am: A weekend of events on Disability and Church


Just As I Am
Saturday 14 October – Sunday 15 October 2017


A weekend of events to mark our 6th annual conference on Disability and Church, a partnership between St Martin-in-the-Fields and Inclusive Church.


Just As I Am: Living Theology
Saturday 14 October, 10.30am – 4.30pm
St Martin’s Hall


What does it mean to be disabled, and what might that say about God? Do our stories tell us something of God’s story? Are we living theology?

Through plenary talks and working in small groups, with a silent space and a marketplace, we explore the ideas arising from our experience and consider how we can resource each other and the Church. Organised by and for disabled people, supporters and those with an interest in disability. Speakers to be announced.

Cost: £20/£10 concessions
Registration: www.inclusive-church.org/disability-conference. Spaces are limited.


Just As I Am: Eucharist and Healing Service
Sunday 15 October, 10.00am – 11.30am


A special liturgy for St Luke’s Day which reflects the weekend’s themes, written by members of St Martin’s Disability Advisory Group and Healing Team. The service includes the laying on of hands and anointing with oil, accompanied by prayers for healing – for yourself, someone else or the wider world. All are welcome.



Just As I Am: Summer in the Forest
Sunday 15 October, 2.00pm – 4.30pm
St Martin’s Hall


A special screening of this feature-length documentary film. Summer in the Forest follows the life of the L’Arche community in Trosly, France, where people with learning difficulties and those who support them have found what it truly means to be human. We are delighted to be joined by filmmakers and others to share their experience, and invite us to consider the ideas raised.

Registration: https://justasiam-summerintheforest.eventbrite.co.uk

Tickets are free with a retiring collection to cover costs – suggested donation £5.

www.summerintheforest.com

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Monday, 25 September 2017

Discover & explore: Rome, London & Christianity


Today we have the first service in the exciting new series of Discover & explore services at St Stephen Walbrook.

The autumn Discover & explore series is part of the ‘Londinium’ programme organised by the City of London and will explore Rome, London & Christianity through music, prayers, readings and reflections.

Highlights of this series, which features music from the Choral Scholars of St Martin-in-the-Fields includes: 'St Paul in Rome', 'Constantine' and 'The Temple of Mithras & St Stephen Walbrook':
  • 25th September - St Paul in Rome
  • 2 October - St Peter in Rome
  • 9 October - The Early Church in Rome
  • 16 October – St Alban
  • 23 October – Constantine
  • 30 October – Christianity in Roman London
  • 6 November – The Temple of Mithras & St Stephen Walbrook
  • 13 November – St Augustine
  • 20 November – St Mellitus
  • 27 November – St Erkenwald & St Ethelburga
Discover & explore has been described as "A really wonderful series of services; intelligent, thought provoking and hopeful - the perfect way to start your working week!"

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Felix Mendelssohn - How Lovely Are The Messengers.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Start:Stop - Take us to the mountain-top and sustain us in the valleys


Bible reading

Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” When the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and in those days told no one any of the things they had seen. (Luke 9. 28 – 36)

Meditation

As they looked back on their experiences with Jesus the disciples were able to see that the sight of Jesus transfigured had been an important assurance for them that Jesus was God’s Son and that the path he followed, even though it led to his death, was the path that God had mapped out for him. Jesus was seen in glory speaking with the great patriarch and the great prophet of the Israelites, Moses and Elijah, and then God spoke to confirm Jesus as his Son. Everything about this experience spoke of Jesus as God. Moses and Elijah spoke to Jesus about his plan to fulfil God’s purpose by dying in Jerusalem and God confirmed to them that everything Jesus said came directly from God himself. This experience should have been a confirmation for the disciples of everything that Jesus is and was about to do but, at the time, it seemed to be too much for them to comprehend. They were afraid, confused and kept the experience to themselves. It was only later, looking back, that they could see the confirmation that this experience provided.

I wonder if we have had experiences of events and plans coming together in ways that confirmed to us that we were on the right path. It may be that we need that kind of confirmation in our lives and should be asking God for his confirmation about our direction in life. What God wants to do for us, as he did for the disciples, is to give us a greater vision of Jesus as he really is. That will not answer all of our questions but can strengthen our ability to trust and follow him through our questions and uncertainties.

Like the disciples, we, too, will have mountain-top experiences in our lives; times of great blessing and revelation when all seems well with the world and when we know without any uncertainty that we are God’s children. What, I wonder, have your mountain-top experiences been? Whatever they were and however wonderful they were, we inevitably, as did Jesus, came down from the mountain-top to experience suffering or failure. We cannot live on the mountain-tops but those experiences sustain us when we are in the valleys. Such experiences are one of the means God uses to go with us through the valleys, even the valley of the shadow of death.

The disciples only recognised the full significance of their mountain-top experience as they looked back. At the time, they felt afraid and confused. Are you able to look back on events that may not have been clear at the time but which have been significant, sustaining experiences for you in your life? Have there been times of joy, wonder or blessing which you have now lost sight of in your life and need to rekindle and relive? The disciples relived their experiences by telling them to others and by having them written down so that their stories could be passed on to others including us. It may be that you also need to relive your experiences of refreshment, blessing and revelation by telling others about them or by writing them down to share with others.

Prayer

Lord God, give us your guidance over the direction in life through the experience of events and plans coming together in ways that confirm to us that we are on the right path. Give us a greater vision of Jesus as he really is and, through that greater vision, strengthen our ability to trust and follow Jesus through our questions and uncertainties.

Take us to the mountain-top and sustain us in the valleys.

Lord God, give us mountain-top experiences; times of great blessing and revelation when all seems well with the world and when we know without any uncertainty that we are God’s children. We know that we cannot live on the mountain-tops but those experiences sustain us when we are in the valleys. Go with us through the valleys, even the valley of the shadow of death, and sustain us in part through the legacy of our mountain-top experiences.

Take us to the mountain-top and sustain us in the valleys.

Often we only recognise the full significance of our experience as we look back. Encourage us to look back on events that may not have been clear to us at the time but which can become significant, sustaining experiences for us in our lives. Remind us of times of joy, wonder or blessing which we have now lost sight of and need to rekindle and relive. Enable us to relive our experiences of refreshment, blessing and revelation by telling others about them or by writing them down to share with others.

Take us to the mountain-top and sustain us in the valleys.
Blessing

Mountain-top experiences, times of great blessing and revelation, recognising the full significance of our experiences, confirmation that we are on the right path, and a greater vision of Jesus; may those blessings of Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, rest upon you and remain with you always. Amen.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Brilliance - Does Your Heart Break?

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

plus+ presentations: adding value to the City of London




As part of further developing the relationships St Stephen Walbrook has with the business community in the City of London, we plan to begin a new series of events in the autumn to explore the place of faith in the world of business.

This new ongoing series of events is entitled ‘plus+ presentations’, as the series is one part of the way in which St Stephen seeks to add value to the City.

The inaugural plus+ presentation will be given by Douglas Board, founder of Maslow’s Attic, on 21 September (6.30pm). Douglas is a senior visiting fellow at Cass and also writes on management, faith, society and humour, as well as careers. Previously, he was consultant, director and then deputy chairman of Saxton Bampfylde, a top 10 UK search firm.

Douglas will share practical, intellectual and spiritual reflections on flourishing at work in a presentation entitled ‘In an open plan office, can anyone hear you scream?’

The format for ‘plus+ presentations’ is:
  • 6.15pm: Evening Prayer (optional) 
  • 6.30pm: plus+ presentation 
  • 7.00pm: Drinks reception & networking 
  • 7.30pm: Close 
Going forward, we plan to run the plus+ presentations on the third Thursday of each month, although the remaining 2017 dates will be 19th October; 9th November.

On 19th October Revd Sally Muggeridge, Curate at St Stephen Walbrook, will speak from personal experience about campaigns to increase the numbers of women on Boards.

On 9th November Barbara Ridpath, Director of St Paul's Institute, will speak on Transitions: how to make life-changing career changes by choice or necessity.

On 18 January 2018, our presenter will be Professor Richard Higginson (Director of Faith in Business, Ridley Hall Cambridge) speaking about Christian entrepreneurs living out their faith.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Deacon Blue - Wages Day.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Sabbatical Art Pilgrimage: Latest ArtWay Report

My latest Church of the Month report for ArtWay focuses on Notre-Dame des Alpes, Le Fayet:

'The church has rightly been described as an essential stage in understanding the revival of sacred art in the twentieth century but is overshadowed by the fame and significance of Notre-Dame de Toute Grâce du Plateau d’Assy ... There are at least two reasons for the significance of Notre-Dame des Alpes. First, the architecture of the church was the inspiration for the church of Assy, Novarina being the architect for both. Second, the decoration of the Le Fayet church represents the first stage in the revival of sacred art that Fr. Marie-Alain Couturier sought to move beyond at the church of Assy.'

This Church of the Month report follows on from others about Aylesford Priory, Canterbury Cathedral, Chapel of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, Hem, Chelmsford Cathedral, Chichester Cathedral, Coventry Cathedral, Église de Saint-Paul à Grange-Canal, Lumen, Metz Cathedral, Notre Dame du Léman, Notre-Dame de Toute Grâce, Plateau d’Assy,Romont, Sint Martinuskerk Latem, St Aidan of Lindisfarne, St Alban Romford, St. Andrew Bobola Polish RC Church, St Margaret's Ditchling and St Mary the Virgin, Downe, and St Paul's Goodmayes, as well as earlier reports of visits to sites associated with Marian Bohusz-Szyszko, Marc Chagall, Jean Cocteau, Antoni Gaudi and Henri Matisse.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bruce Cockburn - Jesus Train.

Windows on the world (362)


Brussels, 2016

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Gillian Welch - Black Star.

Friday, 15 September 2017

The shaping of space and time by music, instruments and architecture

Rehearsal-Photo Malene Skaerved

Peter Sheppard-Skaerved reflects on the first event of ‘Preludes & Vollenteries’, which took place last night at St Stephen Walbrook:

"An inspiring start to this exploration of 17th Century music, architecture and instruments. There’s so much to discover, but what strikes me most of all, the morning after the event, is the shaping of space and time, that the music, the instruments and the building, in combination demands; and, perhaps most of all, how that develops, deepens, when the space is a listening space-when we (performer and audience) listen to each other, listening to each other, listening to the space. Even in the very centre of London, there’s no limit to how quiet this listening can take the music. For me, a revelation."

‘Preludes & Vollenteries’ is a series of salons inspired by the architecture of the Square Mile, the astonishing churches built and restored in the years after the Great Fire of 1666. Yesterday’s concert brought together music by musicians whose careers flowered in London and works by composer/violinists published in the ‘Square Mile’ at the end of the 17th Century.

Listen to last night's concert by clicking here. The next concert will be 6pm on the 29th September at St Margaret Lothbury.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Peter Sheppard-Skaerved - Voil Qe'm Digaz Cals Mais Vos Plaz.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Exploring history at St Stephen Walbrook



At St Stephen Walbrook this week, the sound of the Walbrook, Street vendors’ cries and conversations at the Stocks market, Tavern conversations and a Merchant dictating a letter can all be heard as part of the House of Sound. This Sonic Trail sees ‘Mythophones’ – sculptural speakers – placed around Cheapside for listeners to connect to the locations and their previous incarnations.

The river Walbrook played an important role in the Roman settlement of Londinium. Starting in what is now Finsbury, it flowed through the centre of the walled city, bringing a supply of fresh water whilst carrying waste away to the Thames, and dividing Roman London into its eastern and western halves. When St Margaret Lothbury was rebuilt in 1440, the Lord Mayor paid for the lower Walbrook to be covered over. John Stow, the historian of London, wrote in 1598 that the watercourse, having several bridges, was afterwards vaulted over with brick and paved level with the streets and lanes where it passed, and that houses had been built so that the stream was hidden as it is now.

A temple of Mithras dating to the third century AD lay a short distance from St Stephen Walbrook. The remains were found in 1954 during the construction of the Bucklersbury House office block and will be displayed within the new Bloomberg London building.

Prior to the construction of the Mansion House in 1739, the Stocks market lay on the same site, dating to 1282, taking its name from a set of stocks used for punishment. A 1322 decree stipulated that the Stocks market was one of five places where fish and meat were allowed to be sold in London. After Stow's time its character changed, and towards its end was used mostly for selling herbs.



Then, tomorrow at 6.00pm, Peter Sheppard Skærved begins his exploration of the 17th Century violin, inspired by the astonishing churches of the Square Mile. This series of salons will explores the dialogue between the great architecture of Wren, Hawksmoor and Hooke, and the work of the violin makers and composers whose instruments and music flooded in the London in the years after the Restoration.

St Stephen Walbrook is one of the most unashamedly Italianate of Wren’s astonishing City churches. It is the perfect space to hear one of the great early 17th Century Cremonese violins, by Girolamo Amati, in a salon programme focussing on the Northern Italian violin style of the 1600s.

This concert features works for solo violin including:

Heinrich Biber – Passacaglia (Mystery Sonata XVI) ‘Guardian Angel, companion of Mankind’ and others by Tomasso Vitali, Giuseppe Torelli, Nicola Matteis, Biagio Marini. Played on a violin by Girolamo Amati (1628)

Plus world premiere: Peter Sheppard Skærved – ‘voil qe’m digaz cals mais vos plaz’ (Lombarda of Toulouse).

Tickets (limited number) available on Eventbrite and on the door, or reservations from ptrshpprdskrvd@aol.com .


Finally, the autumn Discover & explore series at St Stephen Walbrook will be part of the Londinium season of events organised by the City of London and will explore Rome, London & Christianity through music, prayers, readings and reflections.

Highlights include St Paul in Rome, Constantine, and The Temple of Mithras & St Stephen Walbrook:

25th September - St Paul in Rome
2 October - St Peter in Rome
9 October - The Early Church in Rome
16 October – St Alban
23 October – Constantine
30 October – Christianity in Roman London
6 November – The Temple of Mithras & St Stephen Walbrook
13 November – St Augustine
20 November – St Mellitus
27 November – St Erkenwald & St Ethelburga

Discover & explore has been described as "A really wonderful series of services; intelligent, thought provoking and hopeful - the perfect way to start your working week!"

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Peter Sheppard Skærved - Violin Concerto - III. Fantasia.

Bread for the World: Christian Education


Tonight, at St Martin-in-the-Fields, we hosted a Churches Together in Westminster Reformation 500 event, with St Anne’s Lutheran Church London and Revd Eliza Zikmane, focusing on Martin Luther’s legacy to Christian Education through the Small Catechism.

In our Bread for the World service we sang two of Martin Luther's hymns (A mighty fortress is our God and Now thank we all our God) and a setting of Our Father (Lord's Prayer), while St Martin's Voices sang: Jesu, meine Freude (Chorale); Aber die Herzen forschet (from Motet ‘Der Geist hilft’) - J.S. Bach; and Jesu joy of man’s desiring - Bach. The service ended with Organ Chorale Prelude ‘Wir glauben all ‘ an einen Gott (from ‘Clavierubung’).

Our readings were extracts from Luther's Small Catechism:

Table of Duties

Certain passages of Scripture for various holy orders and positions, admonishing them about their duties and responsibilities

To Bishops, Pastors, and Preachers

…..

He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it. Titus 1:9
……..

To Parents

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Eph. 6:4


3) The Creed

The Second Article: Redemption

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Plate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

What does this mean? I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary, is my Lord. Who has redeemed me, a lost and condemned person, purchased and won me from all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death, that I may be His own and live under Him in His kingdom and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, just as He is risen from the dead, lives and reigns to all eternity. This is most certainly true.


Eliza Zikmane spoke about Luther's use of cutting-edge technology and the wide range of mediums he used through which to teach. In our discussions after the service we explored the following questions:

1) What was the basic Christian education you had and by whom? Did it have a lasting impact, and in what way?

2) I wonder what kind of sections would we choose and why, if we were to write a Small Catechism (a short outline of our/our church's faith). What kind of questions and answers would we write? Would they still be relevant in several hundreds of years’ time?

3) Luther used cutting-edge technology and a wide range of mediums to teach. How are we embracing the cutting edge technology of our time and with what results? What are the challenges for Christian/religious education in London in 21st century?

We began and ended our discussions with the following prayers from Small Catechism:

Behold, Lord, an empty vessel that needs to be filled. My Lord, fill it. I am weak in the faith; strengthen me. I am cold in love; warm me and make me fervent that my love may go out to my neighbour. I do not have a strong and firm faith; at times I doubt and am unable to trust you altogether. O Lord, help me. Strengthen my faith and trust in you. In you I have sealed the treasure of all I have. I am poor; you are rich and came to be merciful to the poor. I am a sinner; you are upright. With me, there is an abundance of sin; in you is the fullness of righteousness. Therefore, I will remain with you, of whom I can receive but to whom I may not give. Amen.

I thank You, my heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have graciously kept me this day; and I pray that You would forgive me all my sins where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Start:Stop - We need each other


Bible reading

Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.” And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. They were astounded beyond measure, saying, “He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.” (Mark 7:31-37)

Meditation

‘In the early 1980s, after decades of steady deterioration, writer and academic John Hull lost his sight.’ As he adjusted to his new condition, he ‘came to think of blindness as one of the great natural human conditions.’ It is, he wrote, ‘just the way that some people are, and the world which blindness creates is one of the many human worlds, which must all be put together if the human experience is to become entire.’ In fact, ‘to believe in the God of all being who is Lord of all life’ means ‘we have to put the worlds together’ because ‘we need each other.’

In today’s reading, we see Jesus enter into the world of a deaf man who also had an impediment in his speech. Jesus understands this man’s communication issues and responds to him in ways which aim to minimise his distress and maximise their ability to communicate. Jesus realises that being in a crowd would have been disorientating for this man, so takes him away from the crowd in order that they can communicate one-to-one. Then, he uses the heightened senses that this man possesses - sight and touch – in order to communicate with him. As a hearing person with speech, Jesus could have stayed in his world and sought to use words to communicate. Instead, he uses touch primarily and sight secondarily to mark the places to be unblocked and opened.

Jesus sometimes asks those he heals, ‘Do you want to get well?’ This may seem a surprising question, yet if disabilities, such as blindness or deafness, do create their own worlds, then there is a choice to be made about which world to inhabit. John Hull discovered great insights through entering the world of blindness, so it may be that when Jesus takes this man aside that he asks him which world he wishes to inhabit. On many occasions when Jesus heals, the result of his healing is that the person healed is re-included into society generally and the local community. In Jesus’ time, many disabled people were excluded from the Temple and forced to exist on the edge of society. Following many of his healings, Jesus sends the healed person to the priest in order that the person can be re-integrated into society. Today, we realise that instead of needing to change the person in order to be inclusive, rather we need to change society, both attitudinally and physically.

The Church has at times been effective in offering healing and care, but frequently fails disabled people in terms of inclusion, hearing echoes of an understanding that links sickness with sinfulness, mental health issues with possession, and disability as being in need of cure. Inclusion was the overall aim of Jesus’ healing ministry, so we need to do more, as the Church, to put our different worlds together and, as Jesus did, to enter the world of disabled people and then receive the gifts found in those worlds. As John Hull stated, ‘We have to put the worlds together’ because ‘we need each other.’

Prayers

Loving Father, we pray that throughout the world, disabled people may experience dignity, acceptance of equality and self-sufficiency in their lives. We ask both that they be empowered to serve God, and also be at liberty to pursue their faith, and participate fully in worship, free from prejudice, persecution or discrimination of any kind. Help us all, by your Holy Spirit, to work together to do whatever we can to achieve this. Enable us to enter the worlds of disabled people and receive the gifts found therein. (https://www.bristol.anglican.org/news/2015/05/11/ecumenical-prayer-of-disabled-people/)

Creator God, we are your people. We look to the future with optimism and with faith in You, as we pursue our call to provide justice and fullness of life for all disabled people. We pray that every man, woman and child may develop their potential and meet You in themselves and in one another. May we enjoy a totally welcoming community, with You as our centre, joined hand in hand with our sisters and brothers. Enable us to enter the worlds of disabled people and receive the gifts found therein. (http://thecatholiccatalogue.com/prayers-for-persons-with-disabilities/)

Father, you have given all peoples one common origin. It is your will that they be gathered together as one family in yourself. Fill the hearts of humankind with the fire of your love and with the desire to ensure justice for all. By sharing the good things you give us, may we secure an equality for all our brothers and sisters throughout the world. May there be an end to division, strife and war. May there be a dawning of a truly human society built on love and peace. Enable us to enter the worlds of disabled people and receive the gifts found therein. (http://www.catholic.org/prayers/prayer.php?p=722)

Blessing

May the Father from whom every family in earth and heaven receives its name strengthen you with his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Linda Perhacs - River Of God.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Windows on the world (361)


Brussels, 2016

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kate Rusby - Only Desire What You Have.

Friday, 8 September 2017

In an open plan office, can anyone hear you when you scream?


As part of further developing the relationships St Stephen Walbrook has with the business community in the City of London, we plan to begin a new series of events in the autumn to explore the place of faith in the world of business.

We are already marketing St Stephen Walbrook, and some specific business-related offers, using ‘plus+’ to talk about St Stephen Walbrook adding value to the City. As a result, this new ongoing series of events will be titled ‘plus+ presentations’.

The inaugural presentation in our new series of plus+ presentations will be given by Douglas Board, founder of Maslow’s Attic, on 21 September, 6.30pm, at St Stephen Walbrook

Douglas Board is a senior visiting fellow at Cass and also writes on management, faith, society and humour, as well as careers. Previously, he was consultant, director and then deputy chairman of Saxton Bampfylde, a top 10 UK search firm. Douglas will share practical, intellectual and spiritual reflections on flourishing at work in a presentation entitled ‘In an open plan office, can anyone hear you scream?’

The format for ‘plus+ presentations’ is: 
  • 6.15pm: Evening Prayer (optional); 
  • 6.30pm: plus+ Presentation; 
  • 7.00pm: Drinks reception & networking; 
  • 7.30pm: Close. 
There is no charge for the presentation/reception and no need to book. All are welcome – just come on the day.

Going forward, we plan to run the plus+ presentations on the third Thursday of each month, although the remaining 2017 dates will be 19th October; 9th November. On 18 January 2018, our presenter will be Professor Richard Higginson speaking about Christian entrepreneurs living out their faith.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Arvo Pärt - Da Pacem.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

The House of Sound


House of Sound

16-17 September 2017 | FREE
Saturday 12noon-5pm
Sunday 11am-4pm

Guildhall Yard
London, EC2V 5AE

Travel back in time to experience London as heard by Chaucer, Dickens and Shakespeare in a ground-breaking work that puts back the sounds the City has lost.

As part of Open House weekend, time-travel from medieval to present day London through an immersive sound experience that captures the changing sounds of the City. Composed by Iain Chambers, live performances from 7 musicians played through 22 loudspeakers will tell the story of the Square Mile, revealing the impact of its changing built and social environment.

Performances take place on the hour on Saturday 16 Setepmber from 12noon - 5pm and 11am - 4pm on Sunday 17 September.

Sonic Trail

11-17 September 2017 | FREE

Part of the House of Sound, the Sonic Trail will see ‘Mythophones’ – sculptural speakers – placed around Cheapside for listeners to connect to the locations and their previous incarnations.

One of the Mythophones will be located at St Stephen Walbrook. The river Walbrook played an important role in the Roman settlement of Londinium. Starting in what is now Finsbury, it flowed through the centre of the walled city, bringing a supply of fresh water whilst carrying waste away to the Thames, and dividing Roman London into its eastern and western halves. When St Margaret Lothbury was rebuilt in 1440, the Lord Mayor paid for the lower Walbrook to be covered over. John Stow, the historian of London, wrote in 1598 that the watercourse, having several bridges, was afterwards vaulted over with brick and paved level with the streets and lanes where it passed, and that houses had been built so that the stream was hidden as it is now.

A temple of Mithras dating to the third century AD lay a short distance from St Stephen Walbrook. The remains were found in 1954 during the construction of the Bucklersbury House office block and will be displayed within the new Bloomberg London building.

Prior to the construction of the Mansion House in 1739, the Stocks market lay on the same site, dating to 1282, taking its name from a set of stocks used for punishment. A 1322 decree stipulated that the Stocks market was one of five places where fish and meat were allowed to be sold in London. After Stow's time its character changed, and towards its end was used mostly for selling herbs.

Running time: 4’16"

Running order:
  • The Walbrook
  • Street vendors’ cries and conversations at the Stocks market
  • Tavern conversations
  • Merchant dictating a letter
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thirty Seconds to Mars ft. Travis Scott - Walk On Water.

Disability and inclusion

Here is the sermon I preached at today's lunchtime Eucharist at St Stephen Walbrook:

‘In the early 1980s, after decades of steady deterioration, writer and academic John Hull lost his sight.’ As he adjusted to his new condition, he ‘came to think of blindness as one of the great natural human conditions.’ It is, he wrote, ‘just the way that some people are, and the world which blindness creates is one of the many human worlds, which must all be put together if the human experience is to become entire.’ In fact, ‘to believe in the God of all being who is Lord of all life’ means ‘we have to put the worlds together’ because ‘we need each other.’

In today’s Gospel reading (Mark 7. 31 - 37), we see Jesus enter into the world of a deaf man who also had an impediment in his speech. Jesus understands this man’s communication issues and responds to him in ways which aim to minimise his distress and maximise their ability to communicate. Jesus realises that being in a crowd would have been disorientating for this man, so takes him away from the crowd in order that they can communicate one-to-one. Then, he uses the heightened senses that this man possesses - sight and touch – in order to communicate with him. As a hearing person with speech, Jesus could have stayed in his world and sought to use words to communicate. Instead, he uses touch primarily and sight secondarily to mark the places to be unblocked and opened.

Jesus sometimes asks those he heals, ‘Do you want to get well?’ This may seem a surprising question, yet if disabilities, such as blindness or deafness, do create their own worlds, then there is a choice to be made about which world to inhabit. John Hull discovered great insights through entering the world of blindness, so it may be that when Jesus takes this man aside that he asks him which world he wishes to inhabit. On many occasions when Jesus heals, the result of his healing is that the person healed is re-included into society generally and the local community. In Jesus’ time, many disabled people were excluded from the Temple and forced to exist on the edge of society. Following many of his healings, Jesus sends the healed person to the priest in order that the person can be re-integrated into society. Today, we realise that instead of needing to change the person in order to be inclusive, rather we need to change society, both attitudinally and physically.

Fiona MacMillan chairs the Disability Advisory Group at St Martin-in-the-Fields. She says: ‘Historically the church has been amazing at caring for people on the edge of society. For hundreds of years the church challenged, led and changed society through its valuing of those who are powerless. It practiced faith in action by feeding, housing and caring for people who otherwise would have suffered or died through poverty or sickness.

But since the 1960s the disability rights movement has campaigned for greater autonomy, and the Church has been slower than society to respond to what is a significant sector of the population. In the UK today there are about 11 million people with living with a disabling physical, sensory, cognitive or mental health condition, of whom 80% were born healthy and have had to learn to adjust. All of us spend our lives somewhere on a spectrum between the super-fit athlete and the profoundly impaired person, moving and changing as a result of accident, illness or ageing. Disabled people may be an uncomfortable presence in a society lauding strength, but in the Church which professes a paradox of vulnerability we're often objects for pastoral attention rather than agents of change.

The Church of the 21st century frequently fails disabled people, hearing echoes of an understanding that links sickness with sinfulness, mental health issues with possession, and disability as being in need of cure. Pounced on by street pastors, spoken about rather than listened to, regarded as difficult or demanding, costly or time-consuming, it's not surprising that many disabled people are put off going to church – even if we can get in. Access is often focused on getting in rather than joining in – ramps and lifts, hearing loops and loos – with participation seen as a step too far. We are more likely to be known by our needs than celebrated for our gifts.’

Fiona is arguing that, while the Church has at times been effective in offering healing and care, it hasn’t been anywhere near as effective in terms of inclusion, which was the overall aim of Jesus’ healing ministry. We need to do more, as the Church, to put our different worlds together and, as Jesus did, to enter the world of disabled people and then receive the gifts found in those worlds. As John Hull stated, ‘We have to put the worlds together’ because ‘we need each other.’

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Edward Elgar - Lux Aeterna.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Ministry and withdrawal, ministry and moving out

Here is my reflection from today's Choral Eucharist at St Martin-in-the-Fields:

There are two patterns to the ministry of Jesus in these verses (Luke 4. 38 - 44) and we will do well to take note of them in relation to our own lives and ministries.

The first pattern that we see in this story is the balance been ministry and spirituality. The first few verses of the story describe an intense period of ministry. Jesus returns from the synagogue where he has just healed a man to find that Simon’s mother-in-law is unwell. He heals her and then spends the evening healing and delivering many others. We know how busy and exhausted we can often feel through the ministry we do in our workplaces, homes, community and here at St Martin’s. We can imagine how Jesus would have felt following his day of ministry.

In the morning, everyone is again looking for Jesus but he is nowhere to be found. Long before daylight he had got up, left the town and gone to a lonely place where he could pray. In order to pray effectively and well to needed to get away from the demands of ministry and away from his disciples. He needed to be alone with God in order to recharge his batteries for further ministry and that was Jesus’ pattern throughout his ministry; active mission combined with withdrawal for prayer and recuperation.

This needs to be our pattern too. The busyness of ministry here at St Martin’s and in our weekday lives cannot be sustained if it is not fed by regular times of withdrawal for prayer and recuperation. The two are clearly separated in Jesus’ live and ministry and he is prepared to disappoint people, as in this story, in order to ensure that he has the times of prayer and recuperation that he needs in our to sustain his active ministry. This is why we prioritise prayer and spirituality here at St Martin’s, with our range of services, times of contemplative prayer, opportunities for compassionate action, and annual retreats. It is why we have introduced a time of prayer ministry after the 10.00am service on Sundays. It is also one of the reasons why those of us in the staff team may not always be around in the building, because we too need that time and space for prayer and recuperation.

The second pattern that we find in this story is that of ministry and moving on. Jesus has this time of active ministry in Capernaum and then he moves on to preach in the other villages around this town and indeed across the whole of Galilee. The people don’t want him to go. The disciples tell Jesus that everyone is looking for him. They want more of what he has already given them. But he refuses them and moves on to preach to others.

There are two aspects to the pattern of Jesus’ ministry here. First, is his concern for all to hear. That is why he has come, he says, that he should bring God’s message to all. We need that same motivation. The message of salvation cannot stay wrapped up inside this building or our congregation but must go out from here. That is the why St Martin’s has always been a place that has created new initiatives. These initiatives show that Christians have something to say and something to contribute to the concerns that people have and, ultimately, that what we have to say and show is the love of God for all. It is vital that the message and the love of God does not stay cooped up in here but is expressed out there in our community.

That also needs to happen for our own growth and development. We grow as Christians not by staying where we are and being ministered to but by getting up and following in Jesus’ footsteps ourselves; by becoming active ministers of the Gospel ourselves. That is why Jesus constantly challenges his hearers to take up their cross and follow him. William Temple famously said, “The Church is the only society that exists for the benefit of those who are not its members.” What he meant is that the Church is not about us members getting our needs and wants satisfied; it is instead about equipping and motivating us, the members, to bless others in the love of Christ. That is what Jesus sought to achieve by moving from town to town, village to village and challenging his disciples to travel with him.

We need to mirror these patterns of ministry and withdrawal, ministry and moving out in our lives and our Church. That is why St Martin’s seeks to be a society that exists for the benefit of those who are not its members. As we follow Christ, we cannot simply be about getting our needs and wants satisfied but need to be about being equipped by God through times of prayer and recuperation to be signs of Christ outside of this building, outside of our congregation, out where it makes a difference, out in our community and workplaces.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Taize - Wait For The Lord.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Start:Stop - The butterfly & multiplier effects


Bible reading

‘He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”’ (Matthew 13: 31 & 32)

Meditation

Brother Lawrence said that ‘We ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed.'

The Parable of the Mustard Seed is an illustration of this truth. In this brief parable a small action, the sowing of a small seed, leads to the growth of a large plant. Jesus says that, in a similar way, the kingdom of God has small beginnings but grows to become something much larger. As a result, we should, like Brother Lawrence says, in no wise despise small actions.

We see this illustrated in Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. Here is a man who was born in an obscure village in an obscure part of the Roman Empire, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against him. He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves. That should have been the end of the story. Yet, long centuries have come and gone but all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that were ever built; all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings and queens that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of human beings upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life. This is an illustration of the butterfly effect where small changes in one place lead to significant change in another.

We could respond to this by thinking what small thing can I do today that will have a big effect but the reality is that we are rarely able to accurately predict future effects. Instead, we can learn, like Brother Lawrence, to value small, mundane actions in the knowledge that, if well done for the love of God, these actions can have significantly larger impacts.

Prayer

Lord God, enable us not to be weary of doing little things for love of You, recognising that you regard not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed. Please take and use the little that we offer and multiply it to your praise and glory.

As we do small things for love of you multiply the impact of our actions.

Enable us to sow small seeds of Your love through our actions in those we know and in our communities and workplaces. Bring those seeds to fruition and make their growth be greater than the seed which was sown.

As we do small things for love of you multiply the impact of our actions.

Teach us to value the doing of small, mundane actions recognising that You are equally present in the small things of life as in the great. Give us the eyes of faith to discern You as You come to us at each moment of our daily routine - truly present, truly living, truly attentive to the needs of each person.

As we do small things for love of you multiply the impact of our actions.

Blessing

Giving us eyes of faith, being present in the small things of life, bring seeds sown to fruition, multiplying the impact of our actions. May those blessings of almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, rest upon us and remain with us always. Amen.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Eric Whitacre - Alleluia.