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Living the Life of the Overwhelmed

Dear St. Stephen’s Family and Friends,

The book is called THE SHAPE OF LIVING:  Spiritual Directions for Everyday Life by David Ford.  His premise is simple; we live in an age in which the experience of being overwhelmed occurs more and more.  Some of that has to do with the constant onslaught of information through various social media outlets and tools of the trade as in cell phones, laptops, television and more.  Yes, we can all hit the off button.  But, frankly, most of us don’t.

But being overwhelmed isn’t just about input.  Other ingredients can include work demands, family demands, personal struggles, financial pressure, health concerns, political anxiety, and the list goes on and on.  Increasingly we see more and more of what we do or don’t have any control or power over in our lives.  Ford’s belief is that the measure or sense of being overwhelmed isn’t going to go away and because of that reality we are called to develop a different way of living spiritually that takes this reality into account.  I’ll come back to this topic and this book over time but for today simple the question:  Have you ever been overwhelmed?

A friend asked me this past week if I was Ok?  She said I looked frazzled.  I said I was fine and by the time I got back to my apartment realized that her perception was accurate.  I’m overwhelmed.  Many of you will have advice for me once you read on, but I’m not looking for advice.  I’m fully aware that taking on too much and needing to let go are two spiritual practices in constant need of attention if I’m to find a creative and spiritual way to live the life of the overwhelmed.  Unpopular practices like discipline become, nonetheless, critical if you or me plan to find the necessary balance for the full life that Jesus promises us (full not meaning a full calendar of activities).  Jesus seeks us in order to help us find the balance.  More on David Ford’s thoughts on living the life of the overwhelmed after Easter!  Until then, bring your whole self to Church on Sunday and bask in the love of Jesus for you.

Love and blessings,


Holy Week Schedule

Palm Sunday ~ April 9

8:00 AM         Holy Eucharist

10:00 AM       Family-Friendly Holy Eucharist

Maundy Thursday ~ April 13

4:30 PM         Child-Friendly Service with Foot Washing & Last Supper

7:00 PM         Foot Washing & Holy Eucharist

Good Friday ~ April 14

4:30 PM         Child-Friendly: Stations of the Cross

7:00 PM         Solemn Prayers and Veneration of the Cross

Holy Saturday ~ April 15

8:02 PM         The Great Vigil of Easter

at the Cathedral of St. Paul (134 W. 7th Street, Erie, PA) 

Easter Sunday ~ April 16

8:00 AM         Holy Eucharist with Traditional Hymns

10:00 AM       Alleluia Service: Family-Friendly Holy Eucharist with Festival Music

  •  Easter Egg Hunt follows 10:00 AM service  –  * * Please bring your own Easter Basket! * *


Vicar’s Voice – 1/5/17

Dear St. Stephen’s Family and Friends,

Happy New Year!  Here is a prayer that I offer to you.  It’s called the “More Prayer” and is based on a meditation for January 1 found in a book called, “Christian Meditations for Recovering Persons” by A.Philip Parham.

“God, you are the more that is ahead.  Like the prow of a ship cutting through unchartered waters, you in Christ are in front.  You are in my future and in all my new beginnings.  Thou I fear what lies ahead I need not be full of dread.  For you are there already and everything the future will bring me will have to reach you first before it reaches me.  Whatever is in store for me, Jesus Christ will be my constant companion and ever present friend and savior.  He is my More and He is never finished with me.  May I begin and finish each day with Him.  May every day be his this year.  AMEN. “

Copy the prayer.  Place it somewhere that invites you to offer this prayer every day of 2017.  Know that we’ll be praying this prayer together; the “More Prayer”.

Happy New Year!

Love and blessings,


1070 Dutch Road, Fairview, PA 16415 * 814.474.5490