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Posts by Pastor Michaele LaVigne

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An Advent Prayer for the Fearful

In Advent, we sing Come, Thou long expected Jesus Born to set thy people freeFrom our fears and sins release us, Let us find our rest in thee. But we confess, Lord, that we are very fearful people. We are afraid to fail; And we are afraid of the risks necessary to succeed. We are afraid we do not have enough power; And we are afraid when others have too much. We are a...

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Thanksgiving: Humility, Gratitude, & Joy

AllisGift

This week many of us will celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with a huge spread of traditional food eaten with friends or family, a football game, and an all-night shopping spree to ring in Black Friday. For some, these traditions perfectly capture the essence of what this holiday is about: giving thanks for the gifts of good food, fun with friends and family, and enjoying...

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Good Old Words

When Pastor Chris and I started working together toward the vision of a new church in Midtown, we knew we weren't really doing anything "new." In fact, we talked a lot about very old things and how we could reimagine them in a new place. This included "old" words that we wanted to reclaim so that they could provide language to guide a new, old church. Certain words have be...

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A Prayer for Mothering Sunday

Flowers

I've had a complicated relationship with the second Sunday in May. For most of my life it was a day to celebrate my own mom, who is everything I hope to be in a mother and the kind of mother I wish everyone had. But when I began to know others who received deep emotional wounds from their mothers, the day of celebration was tinged with the sadness of their pain. Over the ...

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The Drug of Busyness vs. The Practice of Obedient Action

palmsup

In this first tumultuous and devastating week of Lent, I've been reminded (again) thatI don't do well with sitting still. Especially in times of grief or chaos or pain I find myself with this urgent sense todosomething about it. Fix it. Help it. Prevent it from ever happening again. I want to call legislators, write articles, post and comment on social media, organize...

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Staying Awake: An Advent Reflection

As part of my slow-down-in-Advent practice, I've joined a group to practice Lectio Divina together once a week. Each Monday they gather at St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral, and one of their pastors leads us in reading and meditating on the lectionary text for the coming Sunday. As I spent time with the words of Jesus in Mark 13.24-37 last week, I was struck by this scen...

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Michaele's 8th Street Dreams

Easter is the season of God's dreams coming true, and we are dreaming with him. Throughout the next five weeks, we are sharing our 8th Street Dreams the dreams God has given us for the 8th Street building and our new neighborhood. Pastor Michaele LaVigne was the first to share her dreams with us on Sunday, April 23: Hi, my name is Michaele. I'm a part of the Day-LaVigne...

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My Story of Epiphany

Rev. Michaele LaVigne Today is Epiphany, the day when the Church remembers the Magi who worshiped toddler Jesus after a star signaled his birth. In the season of Epiphany we remember that God reveals himself to us in ways that we understand. It is the season of being astonished, and it is the season of responding in equally astonishing ways. When I found out I was preg...

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The Slow Work of Advent

Rev. Michaele LaVigne As I've read, prayed, and walked through Advent the last three weeks, the words of two saints have been keeping me company: "Come, Thou long expected Jesus Born to set Thy people free; From our fears and sins release us, Let us find our rest in Thee." Charles Wesley "Above all, trust in the slow work of God. We are quite naturally impatient ...

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Empathy in Opposition

Lately it's been hard for me to look at Facebook or read the news without feeling angry and overwhelmed. It seems everywhere I look I am confronted with injustice, fear, and division. I long for justice, for peace, and for unity. But unity does not come when the opposing view is silenced. Peace cannot be legislated, and justice doesn't come from oppressing the oppressor. ...

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>Where the Rubber Meets the Road

People regularly ask me what's been the best/ hardest/ most rewarding/ most surprising part about starting our church. And for every question the answer is the same: parish groups. Parish Group: n. a gathering of people living near one another who care for one another, and work together to care for others around them Before we started Midtown Church, I had this dream...

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Deep Roots

This summer we've been talking about our church's vision and mission. We say it every week in service: We will be a spiritual community of hope and transformation that lives the way of Jesus. This desire and identity permeates our activities and directs our decisions. It's why we are focused on being Good and Useful Neighbors, why we want to Create Connection and Community...

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Being Good and Useful Neighbors

We've been asking and praying this question: what does it look like to be a spiritual community of hope and transformation that lives the way of Jesus? (Need to catch up? Click here and here.) It's pretty clear to us that living the way of Jesus includes being good and useful neighbors. And we have many neighbors and most of them we don't know yet. But we believe firmly ...

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Lent: Learning to be Human

Last Wednesday, I sat with Sunni Mercer's artwork in the City Pres balcony for a while. The sculptures and words written with each one took to me to places I usually run away from. But that day I sat with them. I allowed myself to feel what I usually shut off, and I found myself in tears as I talked with Jesus about it. I realized then that I spend a lot of time and energ...

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God Loves Magicians (Or, What is Epiphany?)

Epiphany: 1 (capitalized): January 6; observed as a church festival in commemoration of the coming of the Magi 2: an appearance or manifestation especially of a divine being 3a (1): a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something (2): an intuitive grasp of reality through something (as an event) usually simple and striking (3): ...

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Far as the Curse is Found

Ezekiel 34.17-31, Isaiah 9.1-7; Philippians 4.4-9* Some of the best words in all Christmas music are ones we rarely get to sing. Most hymns have four verses, and Joy to the World is no exception. Usually we sing the first and fourth verses, and if we're feeling generous enough to sing three verses we'll throw in the second one. But not very often do we get to the third ve...

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Not Symptom Management

Isaiah 62, Luke 1.5-25, Matthew 3.1-12* By Rev. Michaele LaVigne Last Thursday, I was in a car accident. I was waiting to turn left into the parking lot near Cuppies and Joe on 23rd St, when a nice bearded guy slammed into me with his Volkswagen. Neither of us had passengers with us, and no one was seriously injured. But, by the time my car was being towed and the police...

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The Advent Song

Psalm 97, Isaiah 43.1-13, Luke 1.67-80* Fear is a big thing with God; have you noticed? Gongs of calamity ring out all over the place in scripture and today destruction, hopelessness, exile, oppression and injustice are seemingly everywhere. But a consistent, gentle refrain weaves its way through the clashing gongs and clanging cymbals: Fear not. Fear not. Fear not. ...

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