Take a moment to listen to today’s meditation with the Rev. Michelle DeCoste.
Come share a moment of your time with Aoife as we navigate this new way of being together.
In just a few minutes we will begin broadcasting this week’s Word Working on channel 919. If you’d like to follow along here is the scripture we will use:
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
First Reading: Is there a word, phrase or image that stands out to you?
Second Reading: Where do you find the Good News in this passage?
Third Reading: How does this passage make a difference in your life?
Ending in Prayer:
“I ask God for…” “I thank God for…” ending in Lord’s Prayer
If you would like to be sent a copy of the week’s Word Working in the mail, email Lisa Graham at email@example.com, or send a message through this website.
Evening Prayer with the Rev. Hal Harrison will continue to be offered via channel 919 at a new time of 3 PM on Tuesdays.
For Heritage Heights residents and others who would still like to sing the Holden Evening Prayer service on their own, you can find the music with lyrics on this Youtube playlist:
Good morning! It’s around 9 AM on a Thursday that in normal times would have Heritage Heights residents gathering in the Bistro for a time of conversation about life and spirituality. And yet, here we are on the other side of COVID-19 precautions, trying to learn how might continue to connect in these meaningful ways while keep safe and following the precautionary guidelines.
We’re not set up for it quite yet, but I think next Morning Brew we’ll try doing through Zoom. Many in our community had never heard about Zoom. Quickly it’s becoming a part of more and more people’s vocabulary as groups begin taking advantage of the technology that can connect us despite our distancing. Take a minute to watch this video tutorial of how to “join a meeting.” It will be worth the time and momentary headache to learn new technologies as we enter into an extended time of distancing. We realize that some residents don’t have access to the internet, so one of the nice things about Zoom is that it’s an inclusive meeting, that some can join using a traditional telephone.
Our emotional and spiritual well being is so important for our overall health. We in the Spiritual Care and Education Department will continue to do our best to help provide resources to support residents and create spaces for connection and learning in this new time. Hanging on Michelle’s office door right now is something that I want to bring to this Morning Brew blog. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and take some time to read through the list and consider what resonates with you and what doesn’t. Take what inspires you and leave the rest. Make sure in all of this, to remember that you are loved and you are not alone. We’re all in this together and together will support one another through this time, even as we have in other hard times. I look forward to doing Morning Brew again but for now I hope this blog post can give you a little more hope and courage for this day.
Grace and peace to you.
Alexander Levering Kern‘s “Caring for Self and Others in Times of Trouble: Some Spiritual Tools and Tips”
- Breathe. Breathe. Breathe some more. Take time in your day, at any moment, to take ten deep even breaths. Carve out 5-10 minutes to meditate or practice mindfulness or contemplative prayer. Start here, now, wherever you are.
- Ground yourself in the present moment. Focus your awareness on something real, enduring, or beautiful in your surroundings. Look up often. Discover the wonder and awe that is already here.
- Acknowledge your fears, anxieties, concerns. Offer them up in prayer, if you pray. Write them in your journal. Share them with others. Feel what you feel, honor it, and know that it is not the final word.
- Remember you are not alone. Ever. You are surrounded by care and support. Reach out.
- Create and sustain community. Show up for one another. Listen compassionately. Practice empathy. Even while avoiding “close physical contact,” message the people you care about. Stand with those most vulnerable and those who suffer the brunt of prejudice and fear. Check in on folks. Call your mother, father, guardian, mentor, little sibling, long lost friend.
- Unplug, judiciously. While staying aware of developments, do not let the Corona-chaos govern you, but forgive yourself when and if it does.
- Practice kindness. There is a temptation in health scares to view others as potential threats. Remember we are in this together. While practicing health guidelines and appropriate caution, remember to engage one another. Smile when you can. Bring good deeds and good energy into our world.
- Stay healthy through sleep, diet, exercise. See healing and wellness holistically – mind, body, and spirit.
- Make art. Discover, imagine, engage your hopes and fears, the beauty and ugliness of our world. Write, paint, sing, dance, soar.
- Practice gratitude. In the face of crises, make note of the things for which you are grateful: your breath, the particular shade of the sky at dusk – or dawn. The color blue, the color green, the gifts and strengths you have, other people in your life, the ability to laugh. A pet.
- Connect with your spiritual, religious, humanist, cultural, or other communities. Find strength and solace and power in traditions, texts, rituals, practices, holy times and seasons.
- Pray as you are able, silently, through song, in readings, through ancestors. Remember the long view of history, the rhythms and cycles of nature, the invisible threads that connect us all.
- Practice hope. Trust in the future and our power to endure and persist, to live fully into the goodness that awaits.
With the new precautions in place the Spiritual Care Team is not able to gather residents together in the numbers we do normally. We are seeking to find creative ways to continue our care for the entire community while staying safe. This new website is part of this effort. Here we will update you with resources and reflections and eventually videos of services that you can access from the comfort and safety of your home.
We hope that you take advantage of our survival kit and the practices that are included.
And we also hope that you call us or email us any time you feel like you’d want to reach out for any reason. Part of surviving this time is keeping connected in the ways that we can. Remember that you are loved and we are all in this together. And stayed tuned to this website as we continue to bring updates.
Rev. Michelle, Rev. Kimberly, and Rev. Joel
Before precautions we had a more predictable schedule of when one of us would be on the Heritage Heights Campus and one of us would be on the Havenwood Campus. We are spending much more concentrated time in the Health Services Center on the Havenwood Campus during this indefinite time of the pandemic. If you need to reach Joel or Kimberly you can call us at the following phone numbers. And please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Stay Connected with Local Spiritual Communites
- St. Paul’s Episcopal will offer daily Morning Prayer via video at: https://stpaulsconcord.org/
- Grace Episcopal Church will have morning and evening prayer on their Facebook page at 9:30 AM and 5:30 PM daily.
- Tune in at 7:30 PM during the week via ZOOM to Evening Prayer with South Church and livestream Sunday services on their Facebook page.
- The Unitarian Universalist Church of Concord live streams their services and keeps a video of the latest service online.
- Christ the King Parish’s Saturday 4PM Mass airs on Concord TV (channel 22) on Sundays at 11AM. Or you can watch it on their YouTube channel.
- Grace Capital Church will broadcast their next Sunday service at 10 AM here and you can watch last Sunday’s message on their main website.
- We will update this list as we learn more.