We strive to know Christ more deeply and bring others to his redeeming grace.
By The Rev'd Marlene Mutchler, Vicar
From the Becoming Beloved Stewards Yearly Focus:
The Stewardship of Teaching
“The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I
may know how to sustain the weary with a word.”
- Isaiah 50 4-9a (from the Lectionary for September 12)
I am blessed to have had some amazing teachers who sustained my weary heart with a word. Though, like me, they were imperfect people – what made them amazing was not so much the facts they taught me, but what they taught with their presence. Their physical presence and actions spoke as much or more than their words, about caring for others and resilience, about compassion – even for myself. Those I most respect taught me to put God first in my life, not that I have perfectly accomplished this prioritizing, but I see it as a continuous journey and challenge, to trust more in the power of the Gospel than the powers of this world. I am so thankful for my teachers’ kindness, firmness, steadfastness and for their exemplary lives. Many teachers have shared their faith in Christ with me, and the faith of other teachers I never really knew. I do believe God was present with them in their lives as well however. Goodness always flows from the heart of God.
For many years in a previous vocation I had the privilege of serving at Legal Aid of Central Michigan where I worked with people suffering from poverty. At Trinity, I often sat with the guests and talked with them over lunch during the Wednesday free lunches. Currently, it is my responsibility to administer St. Bede's discretionary fund. As a result, I have met many of God’s beautiful people who have struggled on the margins. I have heard many stories and tried to be a catalyst for good in their lives if only for a short time. Though we may look different, speak different languages, and have different bank accounts, there is something that I believe we hold in common. We all are created in God’s image. To me, carrying the divine image means that we were created, as
Desmond Tutu would say, “For goodness.” We were created to know goodness for ourselves and to bring goodness. I believe that is the goodness our Creator wishes for all creation. I wonder if one of the important differences between the suffering people I have met is that they have not been blessed as much by amazing teachers.
In this season when we welcome children and teachers back to engagement, especially to more in-person education, it is important more than ever to hold them in prayer. What they are about is nothing less than a sacred encounter, to know the goodness that flows from the heart of God, even if they never talk about God. More and more I am convinced that teaching and education have the capacity to create profound impacts on this world for good, including upending systemic oppression and poverty. I am so thankful that St. Bede’s takes this seriously. Here are some ways that you might consider becoming involved in the stewardship of teaching and learning.
• Donate to our back-to-school supply drive for Cornelius Elementary School
• Participate in the school grounds cleanup day Sunday, October 3 at 3 p.m. at Cornelius Elementary School
• Join us beginning Sundays, September 12, at 9 a.m. via Zoom or in person to discuss the Sunday lectionary
• Come to our Bible Study on the Book of Genesis beginning Tuesday, September 14, also in a Zoom format.
• Worshipping and learning together
o 8:00 Zoom/In person hybrid Rite I Morning Prayer/Eucharist using the Sunday Lectionary
o 10:00 In person Rite II Eucharist with music
I look forward to learning and growing with you this year in whatever format helps. We come to this world with different bodies and comfort levels, so please know you are welcome, in any way you can join us, whether via zoom or in person. Whatever happens let's keep loving one another through this challenging time. That I believe is the way our good Teacher would want us to live.
MESSAGE FROM OUR VICAR
ST. BEDE EPISCOPAL CHURCH
1609 Elm St. Forest Grove, OR