From the Rector
Easter Sunday - #guidemyfeet
The women got up early on the first day of the week, just before dawn, they probably did not know what to do next, their friend was dead, their community was shattered, their journey was at an end and I am sure they felt numb.
A good friend, and recovering alcoholic recently told me that: "when uncertain or confused about the next step to take we pause and ask God for the next right thought, or next right action. We will inevitably then be guided in the right way."
The women who got up that morning did not know what to do I am sure, but perhaps they paused and asked God for the next right thought or action. Their decision, to go and embalm Jesus, to be kind and loving. I am not surprised, they had been following him for years and his ministry and example had impacted them. Their choice for the next right thing to do was to be loving, kind and generous.
When we are facing difficulties and darkness, or our journey is ending in apparent hopelessness, do the same thing. Pause and ask God for the next right thought or right action. You will inevitably find that, when you open yourself up to the guidance of God in this way, the next right thought or action will be to be kind, generous or loving to yourself or another human being or to the world that God has made. You may then also encounter what these women encountered that morning... something completely unexpected.
Early most mornings I get up and go for a walk on Bair Island, a recently restored wetland on the edge of the bay very near to my house. In the early 20th Century this wetland area had levees constructed and was drained. I have watched as it was restored and I have loved seeing every moment of that restoration.
I get there at about the same time each day, so I encounter the tide at different stages each time I go back. Sometimes high, covering over what is going on beneath, sometimes low so that I can see the birds feeding by the edge of the water as life teems in the fertile sand. It reminds me of the energy of God returning over and over again to us. It reminds me that we must be open to the life of God washing over us, bringing disruption, bringing chaos sometimes, but always bringing life.
Dawn on Easter day is a very special time for me. It is the core of my own faith experience. I am moved every time I consider the resurrection, the fact that the divine does not abandon us, even though we might cause God pain. God comes back, not just once on the first Easter morning, but over and over again, like the tide, washing over us.
I went through a painful experience about 8 years ago now. It happened late in the winter, and the process of recovery took until spring the next year. I remember vividly standing up to preach the sermon I had prepared for the dawn service on Easter day. I found myself experience the energy of God's life restoring me as I preached to others. I began to cry during the sermon. I recognized in that moment that no terrible thing could ever prevent God from returning to me with life and grace.
There I was, standing in the tomb that morning, and I had to learn that I should not be looking for Jesus in the place of the dead, but I should turn around and look out of the tomb and see his life coursing through the world. Then I should catch up with it, because he was ahead of me, in Galilee, or Pimlico, or San Mateo bringing life to those who were dead.
Alcoholics who have entered recovery, grieving parishioners in need of comfort, broken family systems that are restored, infidelities confessed and repaired, seemingly irreconcilable differences that dissolve into harmony. I have seen all of these things take place in churches where I have had the privilege to minister, and I believe that every one of them is a manifestation of the energy of resurrection.
News & Announcements
Refreshments on Easter Sunday
Please note that we will be offering an Easter Brunch and Coffee Hour in the hospitality entrance, adjacent to the Memorial Quiet Garden on Easter Sunday at 10am. This is for everyone in the community and will start just before the Easter Egg Hunt. That wonderful event, beloved by so many of our children, will start at 10:15am. Please make sure you stay after the Joyful Noise Eucharist of Easter, or come early for the Musical Eucharist of Easter to take part in brunch and the Easter Egg Hunt.
Good Friday Offering for the Diocese of Jerusalem
During Lent each year we make a symbolic journey to Jerusalem, remembering the events in our Lord's life and especially those which took place during Holy Week. Every Good Friday since 1922, all Episcopalians have been asked to make offerings to support the work of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem and the Middle East as a way of uniting ourselves with those who live there today. The Diocese encompasses 37 parishes and 33 schools, medical facilities and vocational training schools throughout Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. The doors of it's facilities are open to all regardless of faith tradition. Several members of our congregation have visited many of these schools and parishes and Matthew will do so when he visits the Land of the Holy One next month. Indeed, he will be carrying our gifts with him when he travels there. Envelopes designated for this special offering have been available throughout Holy Week and are still available in the narthex TODAY. Please make checks payable to Transfiguration, with Good Friday Offering noted in memo line. If you would like to know more about the work of the Diocese of Jerusalem, please see this website: www.afedj.org.
Rector and Assistant Rector schedules in coming weeks
Matthew will be here throughout the next week until April 6th when he flies to Israel in the late evening. Monica will be away to preside at her grandson Benjamin's Baptism during the first week of Easter and returns on April 6th.
March 28th - April 6th - For pastoral emergencies, call Matthew.
April 6th and onwards -For pastoral emergencies, call Monica.
Sunday, March 27
6:30am Dawn Vigil, Lighting of the Easter Fire and First Eucharist of Easter
9:00am Joyful Noise Easter Eucharist
10:15am Easter Egg Hunt and Coffee Hour
11:00am Festival Musical Eucharist of Easter
Monday, March 28
3:15pm Snake Dragon Club storytime(classrooms)
7pm FA Meeting (Parish Hall)
Tuesday, March 29
9am Morning Prayer(Good Shepherd, Belmont)
6:30pm New Millennium Chamber Orchestra rehearsal (Church)
7pm AA Meeting (Parish Hall)
Wednesday, March 30
9am Morning Prayer (Chapel)
10:30am Gospel Preview (Parish Hall)
7pm Zen Meditation Group (in Chapel)
Thursday, March 31
9am Morning Prayer (Chapel)
10-noon Transfig Fireflies (Parish Hall)
2pm Staff Meeting (Parish Hall)
7:15pm Penin. Young People's AA (classrooms)
Friday, April 1
3:30pm Girl Scout Brownie Troop (Parish Hall)
Saturday, April 2
Sunday, April 3
The Second Sunday of Easter (the first Sunday of the Month, two services only.)
8:00am The Traditional Eucharist
10:00am The Community Eucharist (
combined Joyful Noise and Musical Eucharist)
6-9pm Sine Nomine Rehearsal (Parish Hall)
Sunday, April 10
The Third Sunday of Easter (back to the pattern of three services today.)
8:00am The Traditional Eucharist
9:30am The Joyful Noise Eucharist
10:30am The Musical Eucharist