As the collection of small children and adults walked up to the Ninth Station, the children wailed, “Jesus fell again!” Their concern for Jesus was palpable. Over a dozen parishioners, young and old, were touring the outdoor Stations of the Cross under the guidance of Director of Family Ministries Happy Wilson. For two consecutive Sundays as part of St. George Church’s C 3:16 Family Ministry, Wilson had led families through the fourteen stations, discussing the colorful tiles depicting Jesus’s progression to crucifixion. She had concealed a plastic egg near each station which contained a symbol of the event on the tile. The children were immediately focused on finding the egg and identifying how it related to the tile. My granddaughters Corgan and Parker Bankey can still describe the things that were in the eggs, especially the ones they found.
Until their tour of the Stations of the Cross, most children’s perceptions of Easter revolved around new spring outfits, Easter egg hunts, and school holidays. Happy and positive, right? Although many of the children knew intellectually that Easter was about the resurrection of Christ, most had not absorbed the concept of the horrific suffering required to prepare Jesus for resurrection. On the second tour day as the children reviewed the Stations they had seen previously, their comments showed that they had gained a more profound understanding of the Easter reality.
Have we refrained from telling our children of the heinous nature of Jesus’s suffering because we thought they were too young to understand it or have we just assumed that they would “get it” with little explanation? Or have we waited for their spiritual studies teachers to impart the knowledge? Those of us adults who accompanied the children on the tour and heard their comments felt their compassion and empathy for Christ grow with their knowledge. Our children, even the littlest ones, can grasp and value the resurrection story.
I walked the Stations with the children and another time with a group of adults led by Father Ram. I wondered how many of us, including myself, think about the cross in terms of a nice piece of James Avery jewelry or the now-ubiquitous crucifix wall seen in many homes and work places. Have we sanitized our perception of the cross to be a wardrobe accessory instead a symbol of our Lord’s pain?
I would encourage everyone to take advantage of the lovely setting of the St. George courtyard to walk prayerfully through the Stations of the Cross and examine your own perceptions of Jesus’s pain. I know it has made me examine my own.
Once a child is conceived, mothers become selfless and worrisome. The commitment to herself vanishes and is replaced with concern for the child, both in terms of the immediate moment and the future, simultaneously. Jesus must have been aware of the struggles parents face in raising a family. The power of love and sorrow, felt in moments of pride and shame, brought on by children can never be severed. The finality is always an unconditional love for them.
Acts of terrorism in schools affect me deeply. Being a mother and teacher reinforces daily feelings of an unknown outcome. Watching the news, reading the horrific instances in an article, or watching videos during lock-down trainings stir up feelings of compassion for all involved. The most innocent of human beings, children, are often the target of individuals who are lost or broken. Everyday I pray and entrust all five of my children’s safety to the Lord. My faith gives me peace in this often times tumultuous world.
Personally, to weep means finally letting go of all the built up emotion whether it is sadness, anger, or happiness. So as I reflect on Jesus telling the women to weep for themselves and their children, it means to let go of the worry and to trust. Trust he can handle the situation. Trust it’s all in his plan for life here on earth.
This Lenten season the youth of the St. George Youth Group challenged themselves to go into the wilderness as Jesus did. Their video, “Tacos Just Aren’t That Important” tells the story of how our St. George Youth are typically tempted- by tacos. As satisfying as tacos are, it’s always important to realize that things of this world pale in comparison to the love, grace, and mercy of Jesus.” Click here and enjoy.
Are you called to serve by providing health care at Camp Capers this summer? Meredith Rogers, Program Director at Camp Capers asks us to share the following:
We are seeking weekly Health Care Providers at Camp Capers.
The Health Care Provider is responsible for:
- overseeing the health and safety of campers and staff by providing health care
- maintaining accurate and detailed medical records according to state and American Camp Association Standards
- providing minor First Aid and overseeing First Aid procedures and supplies
- helping train summer staff on their role for providing health care
- screening all campers and staff who are arriving to camp
- supervise campers and staff who need to stay in the health care center overnight for reasons of illness
- oversee sanitary conditions throughout camp.
Weeks in question are: June 19-25, July 17-23, July 25-29, July 31-August 6, and August 7-13. There is no limit to how many weeks an applicant can serve. Compensation, private room, and board all offered.
Desire to work with children and young adults a must. Current licensure in the following health care disciplines are all acceptable for consideration: LVN, EMT, RN, CNP, Nursing or Medical Students, et al.
To submit a letter of interest and resume or to inquire about the job description and more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, Camp Capers Program Director.
I wonder if you have ever suffered a devastating blow in your life – lost a child, lost a sibling, a parent or your spouse? Have you suffered from a debilitating illness which left you uncertain whether it was better to live or to die? Have you ever suffered from depression? These are just a few situations where our Faith can be put to the test.
Many years ago, I was in charge of a very important and stressful operation running a major crude oil pipeline in Alaska with 500 people working for me and a multi-million-dollar budget. All was going well and I was on top of the world. Then one day, out of the blue, I was told I was fired. Yes, fired for no other reason than my bosses did not like that I had disagreed with an order that I felt was neither best nor safe for the organization – therefore I was the wrong person for that job. My first reaction was not anger, but disbelief and concern for my future and the future of my family.
I gathered up my things and rushed downtown to where my wife was working. She too was shocked but she comforted me and assured me of her love, and the certainty that God was with us. Very soon we found ourselves in our church at prayer.
Over time with support from family and friends and with the deeply felt presence of God, things recovered and we survived the ordeal. I found a new job which led to even better opportunities and brought me new hope and deeper faith. Looking back, I realize that I was very depressed for many months and actually annoyed that the company thought they had softened the blow by offering financial and psychological help that was really worthless. My faith in the Lord was what carried me those days and nights.
This station, number 7, is traditionally where Jesus falls for the second time. It does not appear in the Gospels but has traditionally been observed as a mark of the despair and desolation that humans can experience and demonstrates the heavy weight, sometimes almost unbearable, that we can feel upon our shoulders at such a time. Even surrounded by family and friends, as Jesus was, this weight is more than we can bear. How much more so must it have been for Him knowing that He was to suffer crucifixion and carry on His shoulders the weight of all the sin of mankind. He had probably been flogged. He had been stripped of clothing and humiliated, then forcibly dressed again and forced to march to His death carrying His own cross. This was physical agony on top of mental anguish of a degree that we cannot begin to imagine.
Let us pray:
We adore you O Christ and we bless you, because by your death and resurrection you have redeemed this world. We love you for you compassion and your faithfulness to us sinners. We pray in your name – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Pancake Supper was a great success! Fun, fellowship (and lots of pancakes) were had by all! We raised over $650 at the Pancake Supper that will be used for camp scholarships. The open plate offering on Camp Sunday was for the Diocese to use for camp scholarships, and $1141.00 was raised. Thank you all for your generosity!
At the Lenten Lunches, often there is soup left over. Marilynne Herbster coordinates using these left-overs to provide meals for some of our shut-in members. Peggy and Paul Foerster are pleased to have been able to transport soups to Harvey Cox on two Sundays. Harvey is a member of our Coffee and Conversation class that meets each Sunday between services. Harvey has participated in the class for several years although he is almost totally blind. In the past few months he as been unable to come to church even if there is someone to drive him because his inability to see subjects him to motion sickness when riding in a car. Harvey greatly appreciates the contact with fellow parishioners, through the soup ministry, the eSpear, and the weekly emails from Coffee and Conversation. He is able to read these on his computer using his document camera and enhanced view screen. Although Harvey is well into his 90s, he is still alert and communicative. He is a role model for us as we grow older. In addition, LaRue Acosta has also been part of this ministry, and noted that this act of service fit so well with Fr. Nate’s sermon on February 21st about physical and spiritual nourishment. Please contact Marilynne if you are interested in taking part in this ministry.
Station 6 – Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus – Matthew 25:40
I did not want him to go. I wanted him to stay with me and ignore the rest of the world. The “him” in question was my husband Sam. It was the spring of 1998 and I was seven months pregnant with our daughter. In the space of four hours we had learned that Sam’s father in Ohio was seriously ill, and I had been in a car accident with a San Antonio police officer.
My husband did his best to remain calm, and handle two very bad situations. As he dealt with the hospital staff caring for our daughter and I, he was on the phone, talking to his sister and cousin, trying to find out how bad his father’s condition was. The answer was: very bad. Sam’s dad might not pull through. The critical time was in the next twenty-four hours. Sam was torn.
After I was let out of the hospital the next morning, I made arrangements for Sam to fly to Ohio. He had to fly out of Austin to catch the next available flight, but his dad was hanging on, still stable though in critical condition. I remember driving Sam to the Austin airport, and crying all the way home. I felt so alone, so scared, but I knew that this was the right thing to do, that God would take care of me.
The next day I tried to go to work, but I did not feel “right” and went home. Day progressed into late evening and I knew that something was not as it should be. As things came to a head in a very dramatic fashion, I found myself back at the hospital, being hooked up to all manner of medical equipment and monitors, trying to keep myself calm for my unborn daughter’s sake.
I reached out to a friend of mine, a sister in Christ. I called her, hoping for prayer over the phone, some encouraging words. She immediately came to the hospital. She sat with me while they stabilized me, and the labor contractions were stopped for the second time. She prayed with me over and over. She talked to Sam to let him know that I was not alone, and that our seven year old son was taken care of as well. I later found out that her house had been flooded that day, and she had left a whole team of workers who were ripping up her carpets and drying things out to come and sit with me. I was not a close friend of hers, more of a casual acquaintance. Yet she heeded God’s nudging and came when I most needed it.
Sam’s father pulled through. I was released from the hospital after a few days, still pregnant with a healthy baby. Our life continued on. However I will always be touched by the Godly love my friend showed me. As I had heeded God’s voice and sent Sam to be with his father in his time of need, so God sent me a reminder of His Love when I needed it. God is Good!