Lord who calms the storm, we pray for those anxiously watching weather forecasts, preparing for wind and rain, wondering if destruction will come yet again. We feel so small in the face of nature’s powerful forces, but we know that you never leave us alone. Surround all of those bracing for the storm with your abiding peace. Equip leaders and first responders with wisdom and courage. Empower those of us with the luxury of watching from afar with a compassion that spurs action - immediate and sustained.
Envelop us all with your Spirit that grants discernment, gives vision, and motivates deeds of healing, wholeness, and love in response to the suffering of others. Amen.
Learning from a hurricane
With the end of El Nino, NOAA has increased the number of predicted named storms to 10-17, of which 5-9 will become hurricanes, including 2-4 major hurricanes. Those of us who live on the Atlantic coast are headed into the most active part of hurricane season which opens in June and closes in November.
Hurricanes with strong winds and rain have wreaked havoc on coastal and inland areas in the past years. Living through a hurricane is fraught with danger, anxiety, and the possibility of life-changing damage to hearth and home. Always though the storm circles around an eye of calm.
Sometimes the storms in our lives are not physical but are spiritual, psychological, or emotional. This little story talks about finding peace and calm. It is one of my favorites.
There once was a King who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. The King looked at all the pictures, but there were only two he really liked and he had to choose between them.
One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror, for peaceful towering mountains were all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. All who saw this picture thought that it was a perfect picture of peace.
The other picture had mountains, too. But these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky from which rain fell and in which lightening played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all. But when the King looked, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat the mother bird on her nest in perfect peace.
Which picture do you think won the prize? The King chose the second picture. Do you know why?
'Because' explained the King, 'peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace.'
How do you find calm in the midst of the storms of your life?
All Things Being Equal
On the two equinoxes every year the sun shines directly on the equator and the length of day and night is nearly equal. The September equinox marks the moment the sun crosses the celestial equator – the imaginary line in the sky above the earth’s equator – from north to south. This year the equinox occurs on Monday, September 23, 2019 at 3:50 am EDT and then, in the northern hemisphere, the days grow shorter.
Fall officially begins at the September equinox---so we are in the waning days of summer…
What can we learn from the rhythm of time? How will you take advantage of the remaining longer days of summer?
Gentle reminders as we approach Fall…
Join us as we remember our beloved departed and share in a tour of the Historic Oakwood Cemetery and the women of note who are buried there — Monday, October 28 at 10:30AM. Park alongside one of the main roads inside the cemetery property - then walk to the main office to meet us there.
December 10 at 7pm we will be at Sacred Heart Church on Hillsborough Street (the old cathedral) for Taizé Prayer in Advent. Plan to join us as we pray together in this season of preparation and waiting. Chants, prayers, candlelight - all combine beautifully for an evening of quiet prayer, contemplation, and reflection.
The core team has also been working on plans for 2020 - so let’s stay connected! We encourage you to invite your friends to do the same. Perhaps you know of someone who would enjoy hearing from us and learning about our upcoming opportunities. Encourage them to be in touch by writing to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with their request to be added to the mailing list…or send us their address. We will be sure to add them. We love making new friends!
And remember - you can follow us on Instagram and like us on FaceBook - additional ways of staying current. Simply search for bandofsistersraleigh on either social media platform - and stay connected.