The Seasons are changing
Rev. Peter Faass | 9/9/2011
Dear Christ Church parishioner,
Memorial Day and Labor Day are human contrivances that bookend the season we call summer. If we were to adhere to summer’s actual dates we would start later and end later. Yet this past Labor Day it was uncanny how the weather changed from brutally hot and humid summer to cool, windy and damp autumn in a matter of just hours. Clearly fall has arrived, although as always, I am hopeful that September and October hold the promise of sunny, warm days before we need to face the reality of another Cleveland winter.
With the change in dates and temperature comes a shift in our parish life as well as we embark on another program year.
Being spiritual, but not religious
Rev. Peter Faass | 9/2/2011
Dear Christ Church friends;
In the past I have preached on the topic of “spiritual but not religious” people. I pretty much feel that people who opt for this way of encountering God are taking the easy way out and therefore missing the real spiritual growth that comes only in the context of being in community. This short reflection by Lillian Daniel, a UCC pastor, was on Facebook recently. Lillian addresses her own encounter with a “spiritual but not religious” person. Her essay is a tongue in cheek look at these folks that is not only fun to read but may be useful in our own response when we encounter people who self-identify in this way. Enjoy it! Have a blessed Labor Day weekend and relax during these waning days of summer.
The Earth is Full--the beginning of a series
Rev. Peter Faass | 7/14/2011
On June 7th a thought-provoking article titled, “The Earth is Full” written by Thomas Friedman, appeared on the Op-Ed pages of The New York Times. In that article Friedman wrote the following passage: “You really do have to wonder whether a few years from now we’ll look back at the first decade of the 21st century — when food prices spiked, energy prices soared, world population surged, tornados plowed through cities, floods and droughts set records, populations were displaced and governments were threatened by the confluence of it all — and ask ourselves: What were we thinking? How did we not panic when the evidence was so obvious that we’d crossed some growth/climate/natural resource/population redlines all at once?”
How does the faith community respond to this growing, urgent crisis where “this fragile earth, our island home” can no longer sustain the exploitation we humans have wrought upon it?
To read more of the introduction to this summer discussion, click here.
To see the full list of articles, go to the Green Group ministry page.
Easter Has Just Begun!
Rev. Peter Faass | 5/6/2011
What an extraordinary Holy Week we experienced this year at Christ Church! The music, the preaching, the singing, the moments of intense spirituality, sensing the presence of Christ among us, the children at their Maundy Thursday service, being outside for our procession on Palm Sunday and again for the first fire of Easter at the Vigil, the moment of Resurrection on Saturday evening, the foot-washing, the record number of people at worship, glorious flowers, the beautiful children, the brass and timpani, organ, violin, cello and the bells! As I say every year, Holy Week doesn’t just fall from the sky and happen: It takes an enormous effort on the parts of numerous people. I am grateful to each and every one of you who gave of your time and talent to create a remarkable experience. I am clearly biased when I say this, but in my heart of hearts I do not believe that anyone in greater Cleveland had a better Holy Week and Easter than Christ Church, Shaker Heights! And my only response to that can be: Alleluia! Christ is risen! The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia! Read more...
Rev. Peter Faass | Lent 2011
For daily musings during Lent please visit the Christ Church Facebook page.
Read daily meditations by Peter from the Lent Online! series under the
When God's Messenger Appears!
Rev. Peter Faass | 12/16/2010
Even in this Advent season of slowing down and being quiet, I often find myself being busier than I plan (or want) to be. The reality is that with the demands of parish life combined with all the planning and preparation that go into the events and liturgies we offer this time of year, one can’t help but be very busy. This, of course, doesn’t even begin to take into account my personal activites and planning for Christmastide. All of this has the affect of leaving me feeling somewhat hypocritical as I preach about making time for quiet and reflection to the flock and then go and live into borderline chaos!... Read More...
Slowing to the Speed of Snow
Rev. Peter Faass | 12/8/2010
Five years of living in Cleveland and I still am surprised by the unpredictable lake effect snows! Today the forecast was for “light snow” yet I have just come from outside where I shoveled what has to be a foot of snow already on the ground and it is still falling. As I look out at the beauty of the newly fallen snow I am humming this lovely Christmas carol: In the bleak midwinter... Read More...
The Last Thing We Need Right Now is "A Little Christmas"
Rev. Peter Faass | 12/3/2010
We are in the season of Advent; a time in the liturgical calendar of quiet waiting and reflection. I am hard pressed to think of a more counter cultural time of the year as the sacred message of this season butts heads with the secular one! Many parishioners think we Episcopal clergy are really cranky at this time of year. We don’t schedule Christmas carols until, well, Christmas. Read More...
Put Down Your Shields!!
Rev. Peter Faass | 10/14/2010
Star Trek is one of my all time favorite television programs, especially The Next Generation. I love the sense that the possibilities of striving for a new world presents, as well as the ethos of the Prime Directive of which the forces of good in the program adhere. In many respects, the program models the Church on her better days. Read More...
An Energy Plan Needs Sacrifice
Rev. Peter Faass | 10/01/2010
This past Monday evening I heard the multi-billionaire oilman T. Boone Pickens speak at Cleveland State University's Town Hall series. (By the way, CSU's Town hall series is a great program and a wonderful way to stimulate your intellect by hearing speakers from the arts, sciences, political world and entertainment once a month from September through March.) Pickens is on a mission, "to save America" with his Pickens' Plan, which is a plan to transition our nation from foreign fossil fuel dependency and to becoming solely reliant on a combination of native natural gas, nuclear, and renewable wind and solar energy. Here is a link to his web page for more information. http://www.boonepickens.com/helping/default.asp Read More...
Rev. Peter Faass | 9/16/2010
I was walking by the Lomand School ball fields here in Shaker Heights recently. It was a lovely late afternoon and after a full day of busyness I was enjoying the exercise and the fresh air. Actually after my knee surgery this summer I was just enjoying walking for some length of time at all! Read More...
Rev. Peter Faass | 9/10/2010
As we approach the ninth anniversary of 9/11 this coming Saturday, the nation is inflamed over the issue of religion; specifically Islam. The two primary sources fueling this conflagration are the proposed building of an Islamic Center in lower Manhattan - a few blocks distant from Ground Zero - and a Florida pastor who is promoting, "Burn a Koran Day" this coming Saturday. Read More...
Outward and Visible Signs
Rev. Peter Faass | 6/24/2010
One of the blessings of my life is that the previous owners of my home loved to garden and they left me with small but prolific beds and a lovely yard. This has been a glorious spring for plants and trees and I have reveled in the glory of color, texture, form and fragrance in my little corner of the creation. Read More...
Rev. Peter Faass | 6/4/2010
The next time you come to church look up at our flag pole. No, no one is sitting up there; that American fad ended in 1929! (There is no need for a resurrection of it either!) But something new is fluttering in the breeze underneath the Stars and Stripes; a Rainbow flag. Read More...
The Waving Lady!
Rev. Peter Faass | 5/28/2010
During the school year there is a crossing guard who is stationed at the corner of Palmerston Rd. and Chagrin Blvd. If I leave for the office before 9 am I am sure to see her there helping youngsters on their way to the Lomond School, cross the road safely. Read More...
Rev. Peter Faass | 5/20/2010
"Come and seek the ways of Wisdom,
she who danced when earth was new.
Follow closely what she teaches,
for her words are right and true.
Wisdom clears the path of justice,
showing us what love must do." The lyrics above are from a lovely new hymn I learned at the recent clergy conference here in the Diocese of Ohio. In Christian theology Holy Wisdom is another expression for the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. Read More...
This fragile earth, our island home.
Rev. Peter Faass | 4/21/2010
April 22nd is officially designated as Earth Day this year. The website for Earth Day 2010 states that this day, "can be a turning point to advance climate policy, energy efficiency, renewable energy and green jobs. Earth Day Network is galvanizing millions who make personal commitments to sustainability." Read More...
Rev. Peter Faass | 4/17/2010
Today is April 15th, better known as the deadline day for our IRS tax returns, (that is, unless you have received an extension.) Taxes are a hot button topic in American culture – they always have been and as best as I can foresee, they always will be. Read More...
Rev. Peter Faass | 10/30/2009
On Wednesday President Obama signed into law the Matthew Shepard/James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. This act expands the federal hates crimes law of 1969 to include crimes motivated by a person's actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. Passing and signing into law the Shepard/Byrd act is a milestone in our nation's history. Read More...