Treasure Valley Prays

Reimagining Church Together
SHARING STORIES AND EXPLORING SPIRITUAL CONNECTION

Devotions

cross necklace in pinecone wreath

Restore Us, O God

Readings for the Fourth Sunday in AdventIsaiah 7:10-16; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; Romans 1:1-7; Matthew 1:18-25 The readings for the fourth Sunday of Advent help me put my feelings about Christmas in perspective. It’s almost a cliché to say that the “most wonderful time of the year” is anything but for some of us. Ho hum,

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sleeping panda

Staying Awake

A few years into my call at Trinity I took a day trip to Our Savior Lutheran in Twin Falls to do a presentation on stewardship. It was a great group of people, and I thought the event went well. But a day of presenting meant that by the end I was quite tired. Part

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night sky with starlight

A Holy, Silent Night

One of the activities I love this time of year is the chance to worship midweek, in the evening on Wednesdays. I greatly enjoy Advent worship whatever form it may take, but I do love Holden Evening Prayer often done in numerous Lutheran churches across the country. This is a service I had never participated

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York Minster interior

Church

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” (Acts 2:42) How I think about “church” has changed dramatically over the years. My earliest impression, formed at a Swedish Lutheran church in Portland, OR, was that church was an ‘activity’ one attended, like going to a movie

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man overlookng fog bank

Preparing and Waiting

What are we preparing for?What are we waiting for?Second Sunday of Advent – December 4, 2022Isaiah 11:1-10Matthew 3:1-12 Let’s start with Isaiah. The time of this writing is supposed to be about 740 BCE. A time when there were constant threats from neighboring Assyria. The Isaiah text speaks of a person who will come to

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angel doll

Angels on Earth

Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!(Luke 1:28 NLT) What would you do if an angel suddenly appeared before you with a message from God? (Luke 1:26-38) Then he disappears just as suddenly and you are left with your own imagination. Emotions flood over you – excitement, joy,

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Paper Art-Mary Braudrick

The Journey

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. (Luke 2:4-5) They

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little girl waiting at window

How Shall We Wait?

I’ve never been someone who is good at waiting. Actually, I’m a pretty impatient person and often prone to worry. That said, I grew up in Colorado in a family that enjoyed skiing. We skied as much as we could. My mom belonged to a ski club that went up to the mountains twice a week during ski season. She would leave early in the morning and usually return in the early evening and that’s what I expected.

I remember a time when I was in high school, on a ski day for mom, that snow started falling at home in Denver about mid-day. It was one of those storms where it seemed that the sky just opened up like a feather pillow had been ripped in a pillow fight. The snowflakes came down fast and furious.

It didn’t take long for the snow to begin piling up in the streets. Almost always when it was snowing in town it was snowing in the mountains – probably worse. So, already I was beginning to get a little worried. At 5:00 it was dark and the snow was still falling hard. At 6:00 there was no sign of the snow letting up and there was no sign of mom coming home.

The family room and my bedroom were in the basement of the house, but I stayed upstairs waiting – looking out the window – hoping mom would be home soon. 6:00 turned into 6:30 and then 7:00. Still no sign. There were no phone calls (we didn’t have cell phones then), no news to let me know if everything was alright. I was beginning to get frantic. I paced the floor. I sat in front of the window. With every set of headlights that came down the street I hoped it would be mom. I paced the floor some more. Finally, at 7:30 or 8:00 she arrived. Exhausted from a long day, but perfectly fine. I was relieved.

The experience of two or three hours of passive waiting was almost more than I could bear. In the meantime, my homework didn’t get done nor did dinner get prepared – which might have been a nice thing since mom was indeed a couple hours late and neither one of us had eaten. I learned that day, and still continue to learn, that passive waiting can be depressing, immobilizing, and anxiety producing – and it rarely accomplishes much.

As the Church, we have just entered into Advent, a season of waiting and preparing. We wait with Mary and Joseph for the birth of Emmanuel – God with us. At the behest of John the Baptist, we prepare for the arrival of the Messiah through our repentance – our change of heart, a change of direction so that we might become even more Christ-like for our neighbors in our community and the world. At the same time, we wait AND prepare. To me, it implies that our waiting is not passive – like my anxious waiting in front of a window for hours – but rather, active.

About Advent, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, “Our whole life is advent – that is waiting until the end. Waiting for the time when there will be a new heaven and a new earth, when all men will be brothers and will rejoice in the angels’ song, ‘peace on earth and good will to men.’ Learn how to wait! For he has promised that he will come: ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock’. And we call to him, ‘Yes, come soon, Lord Jesus. ”

“Learn how to wait.” How will we make our waiting active, faithful, fruitful, life changing in Jesus’ name for the sake of the world?

active waiting
passive waiting

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Grateful open hands

With a Grateful Heart

Tis the season to focus on gratitude and giving thanks. Much has been written about both and each are magnified in the month of November. I would be curious to see a study about how often the word gratitude is used in given year. I am sure its use is doubled, if not tripled, in

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stained glass of St Matthew

Getting Ready to Listen to Matthew’s Gospel…

A Four-part Study on Matthew Presented in two-2 hour Zoom sessions Advent begins November 27 and that means we’ll be hearing a new gospel read on Sundays in our worship services.  If your church uses the Revised Common Lectionary, 39 out of the next 52 Sundays will feature a reading from Matthew’s Gospel This is a four-part

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Communal Gratitude

Nov. 12, I attended a Boise Philharmonic concert at the Morrison Center for the first time in a long time. A friend of mine who teaches piano lessons and accompanies at a local church really wanted to attend the concert because of the guest pianist: Fei Fei. We ended up going early to hear the

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Christ the King Sunday

November 20, 2022 Jeremiah 23:1-6 Psalm 46 (10) Colossians 1:11-20 Luke 23:33-43 We are arriving at the end of the church liturgical year. What follows is the beginning of Advent and the start of the next year. I wish to look at the person we call Jesus and the people who call him king. In

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a diverse group taking a selfie

Working on Self-Acceptance

“What are humans that you are mindful of them,mortals that you care for them?Yet you have made them a little lower than Godand crowned them with glory and honor” (Psalm 8:4-5). Can we talk about . . . body image? One of my goals this year was to become more accepting of people who are

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Crowds in city

Belonging to Each Other

I enjoyed Halloween this year. I started the evening with a large supply of candy, and ended it with an empty bowl. I ran out of candy just before the trick-or-treaters stopped coming, and had to pass out small bags of chips to the last few children. It was actually exciting to run out of

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raised hands

A Look at All Saints

We are now late in the church year and are rapidly moving toward Advent. It seems that by late October and all of November we cannot fit in all the last of the special days, feast days and loose ends of the larger church calendar before we begin anew with Advent. We have two celebrations

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TV Cluster Connections Header

Treasure Valley Cluster Connections – February 2023

Welcome to our latest edition of Treasure Valley Cluster Connections. This issue includes information about several upcoming study series open to readers and friends. We are also previewing Ash Wednesday and midweek Lent worship opportunities around the cluster.

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red rose

What’s In a Name?

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet.” (Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, Scene 2)

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comforting man in hosptital bed

“…a soul on the cusp of the earth.”

“…a soul on the cusp of the earth.”                                                             Kirianne Weaver* Theologian and Pastor, Kirianne Weaver uses this phrase in a short but powerful reflection she

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Paraplegic lowered from the ceiling to Jesus

Lean On Me

After a few days, Jesus returned to Capernaum, and word got around that he was back home. A crowd gathered, jamming the entrance so no

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woman with head resting on arms

Guilt

Psalm 27, Triumphant Song of Confidence of David The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold

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intergenerational women

Blessing of the Ages

O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. So even to old age and gray hairs, O

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unlocked padlock

Boundless

“But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from

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ancestors, three sisters.

Thinking about Ancestors

Or The People Who Guide Us This is a photo of Ruth, Ethel, and Isabel, my grandmother and her two sisters, taken around 1910, in

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travel maps and camera

Road Trips

“In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem, asking, “where is the

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