My Dear Friends,

Alleluia!  Our liturgical readings through the fifty days of the Easter Season continue stories of the post-resurrection experiences of the first disciples.  They invite us to consider our own resurrection experiences.  Personal notes along the walls of our church remind us of our baptisms into the risen life of Christ.  To mature as Christians, we must look for the face of Christ in our everyday lives.  We must recognize his Spirit guiding us through the joys and the troubles of each day.  And, we must continue the habit of prayer that we practiced throughout Lent.

The holy women went from the foot of the cross to the empty tomb, and then announced the message of the angel that Christ had risen.  Carm and Kelly Yero, together with Kitty Chelemen, are organizing a monthly program of Saturday morning reflections for women focusing on spirituality in times of unprecedented change.  It is a vital and timely inquiry that will begin at St. Michael on May 20.  There is still room.

Just as Peter had to abandon the locked room to convert the crowds in Jerusalem, we too must leave our own comfort zone to spread the good word.  If we are redeemed by Christ, then we must be inspired to invite others to his redemption.  But, speaking in tongues is not the only way to spread the Christian message.  Can we smile at a stranger, show disapproval of insulting and discriminatory behavior, speak the love of Christ to the lonely and despairing?  Our community outreach certainly speaks volumes.  Through your Lenten sacrifices, St. Michael donated five goats and a flock of chickens to the Episcopal Relief and Development Program, a pod of gently used, clean clothing to the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store, and a hefty pile of paper products to the American Indian Services.

The disciples carried the gospels into foreign lands, often with delayed success – the Gentiles and Rome weren’t converted in a day.  Our effort to add a Sunday Mass in Spanish for the growing Hispanic population of Lincoln Park is off to a slow start, but the commitment of the leaders, Rev. Marcia Ledford, Sylvia Booth, Claudia Horne and myself, remains solid.  Lincoln Park’s Cinco de Mayo celebration on Saturday, May 6, will give St. Michael yet another opportunity to be seen and to connect face to face.  Thereafter, we hope to offer a workshop to promote discussion of common needs and concerns.

Readings from the Acts of the Apostles remind us of the councils of the early church that helped build community.  By coming together, we grow our understanding of Christ’s church.  On May 19, we will share a SMADG at Logan’s - laughter over a casual meal can be a valuable community experience.  In another endeavor, our men, captained by Rick Kittle, are working together to construct a shed to replace the one destroyed by the hit-and-run driver.  Soon we will again have storage for our yard gear, our grill and our other outdoor equipment.

Christ touches our lives in ways that often surprise us.  Magdalene saw him as a gardener; Thomas touched him as a scarred and wounded man; Cleopas walked the road and shared a meal with a fellow traveler.  Perhaps during this Easter Season, you will recognize the risen Christ in our midst?

Alleluia Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed, Alleluia!

Your priest,

Paula+

Connect with me at pmillerphd@gmail.com or 313-443-7931