Rector’s Notes & Office News

On Team Llama

Dear Ones,

Seventeen Sundays ago, on Palm Sunday, April 5th, we introduced you to Llama. I brought Llama to help us make a festive procession. He technically belongs to my son, Jack. However, since that Sunday, Llama has become a member of our team – Team Llama. Almost an icon of this particular time for our community, Llama truly makes us smile and provides a reminder of our journey. Every Sunday morning, Hannah moves Llama to a different location, giving the congregation a chance to play “Where’s Llama?” There is a backstory to Llama, a story that began in August 2016 when James and I took an adventure to Machu Picchu in Peru. Stay tuned next week for the next installment of Llama’s story.

Sacred Circles

St. Michael’s and the Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice (IMIrJ) invite you into new ways of being, loving, and acting together by engaging in immigrant justice and anti-racism work. Many people at St Michael’s have expressed a desire for a space where they can talk about immigration injustice, racism and white supremacy, and engage in the work of dismantling these personally, in our communities and in the world.

Sacred Circles will provide accountability, direction and support for people of faith and fierce love as we collectively learn and live our way into courageous action for racial and immigrant justice. Small groups of 7-15 people will join together to provide each other with spiritual practice and grounding, relationship-building, education and shared action as we are called to walk together in the remarkable times in which we find ourselves. If this sounds like something you may be interested in, please click here for more details about the process.

IMIrJ will be offering trainings for co-hosts, who will connect individual Sacred Circles with IMIrJ. You do not have to have committed to be a co-host to attend the training. One training has passed, but the following time is available:

Individuals in each Sacred Circle will need to register their participation with IMIrJ using this form. This will help them better accompany your Circle, streamline communications, and facilitate cross-Circle collaboration within regions or denominations. 

The IMIrJ email address is info@imirj.org.  You can find them on Facebook here.

Invitation to Write

An Invitation from Mary C. Myers, St. Michael’s parishioner, Spiritual Director/Companion &
Legacy Writing Facilitator

Dear Friends,

I would like to invite you to pause, read and reflect on the following poem by Michelle Riddell and sit with the thoughts that it generates in you about your experience of this time of chaos and crisis we are living in. We are all experiencing it differently, uniquely, and we are learning, gaining wisdom, coping, changing and being changed.

It is important that we remember this time for ourselves, but it is also very important that we remember this experience for our families and loved ones, for future generations who will be asking the question, What was it like during the 2020 Pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement and all the other crises that came together to create this time of total upheaval in our lives and the unfolding consequences that we are only beginning to grasp? Therefore, I am inviting you to begin to write about your life as you are living it in 2020 and as you write, perhaps, come to greater awareness and understanding of yourself and these times and also create a legacy for your family and loved ones.

Therefore, I will be offering several writing prompts each week for you to choose from and then respond to, perhaps in a journal that will be a container for your writings. Don’t worry about perfection, simply write from your heart and write as much or as little as feels right for you.  In the future we may be able to come together on Zoom or in small groups to share our reflections, maybe the day will come when we can come together in small groups!  In the weeks ahead, we can talk about collecting our writings to create a record of how we individually and as a community have lived and been transformed during this time.

QUESTIONS FOR WEEK I:

What do you miss about your life BEFORE the COVID-19 pandemic?

What are the gifts you have discovered about THIS time that you hope will remain a part of your life going forward?

QUESTIONS FOR WEEK 2:

 What are you learning about yourself?

 What are you finding most challenging about this time?

QUESTIONS FOR WEEK 3:

List at least three new insights/awarenesses that have come to you over the last five months from your reading, prayer, conversations with others, the news or participating in a small group discussions. Rather than being judgmental or defensive, reflect on each insight/awareness with a real sense of CURIOSITY.  Ask yourself:

     I wonder what influenced or helped form what I believed before this new insight/awareness.

     I wonder why this insight/awareness is coming to me now, at this moment.

     I wonder in what ways this new insight/awareness will be a blessing and/or a challenge to me in the days ahead.

Be gentle with yourself as you sit with these questions and write your response. 

WRITING PROMPT FOR WEEK 4:

 This week, I find that there are many things I WONDER about this time, what it means, what will be our future, what my response needs to be in light of all that is happening.  I find nature has much to teach me besides offering me opportunities to be in wonder and awe.  So, I am inviting us to WONDER together. I share part of a reflection I wrote as I spent time in nature and wondered…

  I wonder…

… as I glide my kayak through the blanket of yellow, cup-like water lilies and the dazzling white star-burst water lilies floating above the carpet of flat, shiny green leaves,

I wonder…

… how such sublime beauty grows and blossoms out of the muck and decay at the bottom of the lake to grace me with such awe and joy.

I wonder…

… what will be the beauty and the gifts that will come out of the pain, suffering, chaos and death of this time as we are being called to draw on our better selves and manifest a better world.

As I stroll along the beach, watching the rhythm of the ocean as it repeatedly erupts into high-crested waves edged in foam over swirls of blue and green water rushing to the shore that become ever more gentle and peaceful as they flow over the waiting sand.

I wonder…

… who and what will create the new waves of harmony, justice peace and love we long to have wash over our country and our world transforming it with healing and hope.

I wonder…

… can we be open to see with the eyes of our heart and catch glimpses of the new reality already forming, like waves, and beginning to wash over us with refreshment and new life.

WHAT ARE YOU WONDERING?

If you have questions each week or would like to share your writings, please email Mary. She will continue to explore possibilities for sharing these with each other and with the community.

You Will Want to Remember This
by Michelle Riddell

You will want to remember this.

Maybe not next year or the year after, but someday, when the shock and horror wear off, when we are sitting next to each other at say, a baby shower or a band concert, so close that my sleeve brushes yours, and we exchange a look that recalls these strange days – you will want to remember.

You will want to remember how it felt to wake up in the morning, how it took a moment for the

cloud of sleep to lift, and then another for the cloud of day to settle, and how you would ask yourself What did I do yesterday?  Did I shower?  Did it rain?

You will want to remember how you passed the time, how you became mesmerized by colorful cardboard shapes and lettered tiles and playing cards.  How you drifted off in thought, mid-turn, worrying about the kids from school.

You will want to remember how at last, when you had all the time in the world to read, you couldn’t tame your mind beyond a sentence.

Maybe like me, you lost yourself in a closet or a drawer, emerging hours later, aimlessly clutching saved baby clothes and keychains bought on vacation.

Maybe, like me, you felt guilt and relief about being healthy, safe, spared.

Maybe, like me you cried watching a music video someone shared on Facebook, a dreamy, haunting rendition Of A Day in the Life, so harrowingly beautiful it hurt.

You will want to remember how in this time, some people turned inward, some to nature, some to humor, some to God.

How, when we all felt helpless, some made bread, others art.  Some made masks.  Others wore them.

How phrases like “virus shedding” and “social distancing: became part of our vernacular, how we ran out of ways to say “unprecedented.”

How we kept running tallies of our infected and our dead.

How you stopped caring, or started caring, or wished you’d been a better daughter.

You will want to remember how you changed, how you went from the rigid enforcer to letting your kids to eat cake in their bedrooms.  How you learned to wait. How you learned what mattered.

Maybe you made a schedule.

Maybe you upheld bedtime routine.

Maybe you called your Mom at midnight just to hear her sigh and tell you to get some sleep.

You need to remember this.  I want to remember this, because years from now, a lifetime from now, when we’re leaving somewhere, saying goodbye, when I’m hugging you tight and tighter still, and we both laugh, and yet I don’t let go – you will know why.

As we adjust to this new normal, please know that we’re doing everything we can to stay connected with all of you.

  • The church office is closed at least through April. With very few exceptions, only staff is allowed to enter the building.
  • We will monitor the office voice mails as much as possible, so please leave us a message if that’s the best way for you to communicate: 503/284-7141. You may continue to email Gloria with general information or to ask a question.
  • The clergy are available through texts or calls on their personal cell phones. If it’s not an urgent matter, please email them: ChrisJames and Matthew DavidBeto is temporarily out of the country for an urgent family situation but will return as soon as possible.
  • If you wish to mail in a donation or communicate with a staff member by note or letter, we are picking up the mail on a regular basis. Our bookkeeper continues to count all donations and make deposits weekly. 
  • The home page of the website (which is where you probably found this page) is the best place to see the calendar of what’s happening now, to watch live-streams and to check the video archive.

Our Calendar
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Mon 03

Evensong with James

August 3 @ 6:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Tue 04

James Devotional / FBL

August 4 @ 9:00 am - 9:45 am
Tue 04

Evensong with James

August 4 @ 6:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Where and When

1704 NE 43rd Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97213
503.284.7141

Sunday Services:
7:30 - Rite I
9:00 & 11:00 - Rite II
1:00 pm - Misa en Español

© 2017 St. Michael & All Angels