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Dear St. Luke’s Community,

It’s great to be back from my several sojourns over the last month! Between retreat, vacation and surgery it feels as though I’ve run the gamut of experiences and they’ve all been valuable and instructive. I have to say that slowing down on retreat is always a chore. It is hard, sometimes, to shift gears from doing to simply being. By that I mean that even in getting ready to intentionally spend time listening to God, I found myself making lists of just how I was going to do that as if just sitting and listening in the context of the monastery weren’t enough.

The good news is that grace abounds in excess of anxiety and I was able to get to a state of being in fairly short order. I read, I prayed, I slept, I walked, I read some more, I ate wonderful Trappist Preserves with reckless abandon! At the end of a couple of days I was really getting the hang of this retreat thing! That’s when the thoughts of what had to be done upon my return started to seep into my reading, my prayer, my walking and the like. I guess the point I want to make is that we need to guard our being every bit as diligently as we plan our doing. I have hear athletes, artists, writers and musicians talk about how things slow down when they’re really in ‘the groove’, ‘the zone’, ‘the creative place’. I suspect that holds true for the art and discipline of prayer and discernment as well.

I am trying very hard (with dubious success) to really believe that simply showing up and paying attention is all that God requires of me in the daunting task of aligning my life and work to God’s will and plan. Sometimes I want to complicate the simple (don’t think that I mean ‘easy’) instead of just allowing God’s grace to act upon me as an open channel of possibility.

In the rest of the week ahead, I invite you to look at the passage from Jeremiah that we will read in Church this Sunday where the LORD talks with Jeremiah as the clay and God as the potter. It is up to God to form us lumps into the images that reflect the Glory of God that is meant to be ours as God’s children. In order for clay to be shaped, it mostly needs to just be clay. God is working on forming us, you and me, into vessels of His Grace. Wait upon God’s work and expect truth, goodness and beauty to be the product of His forming us all, over and over.

It’s great to be back!! See you all around!

Peace and Good,

The Rev. Warren Earl Hicks, Rector
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
921 Pleasant St.
Worcester, MA 01602
508-756-1990 (Office)
508-756-8277 (Fax)

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August 2007

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