News

4/22 – This Week

Easter invites us to see with new eyes the things around us that we often overlook or take for granted.  Easter invites us into relationships which transform us by what we find ourselves giving to those we love rather than what we look to take.  Easter is about a way of life that requires commitment and perseverance as we live into a new possibility for our life together.  Whether you begin this Easter week with clarity of vision or by uncertain and unsteady steps the Easter message is life and life with one another.  May you have the courage and wisdom to find your eyes opened to a new way of life and find the life Jesus offers as close as the friend you share it with.

–Thomas

Tuesday at 6 pm is pasta night, and according to our Instagram poll, you have spoken; we’ll be having ramen noodles.  If you’re ready for ramen as a change of pace then join us!

On Campus This Week

Tuesday we continue to be with you on the campus of BSC; I’ll be around the front of the Caf around 9am so stop by to share what’s going on with you.  And come join us in Yeilding Chapel at 11:45 to hear the message of Easter and find hope so that you may find new life to get you through the semester.

Wednesday we continue to be with you on the campus at Samford; I won’t be at my usual spot in the University Center this week as I’ll be giving a talk to Dr. Roxburgh’s Spirituality class on Anglican spirituality. But you can still come join us in Reid Chapel at Noon to hear the message of Easter and find hope so that you may find new life to get you through the semester.

Thursday: Our time in the Hill Center is over for another school year.  For those of you still with exams and papers before you, I wish you luck.  You can do this so just relax and remember it’s only an exam; life awaits you.

Easter Sunday: “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?”

Now on that same day, the first day of the week, two of the disciples were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. Luke 24:13-14

On the evening following Jesus’ resurrection, there are lots of questions to be asked. The disciples have certainly been on a roller coaster of emotions since the arrival at Jerusalem—celebration, love, grief, and hopelessness at the crucifixion. But on this morning, a seed of hope—an idle tale that the tomb is empty. It seems quite natural that by the time evening comes, folks have questions.

In our journeys of faith this Easter, we may find ourselves in a time of celebration or grief, faith or doubt, hope or despair. Where ever we are, Easter still comes. The Risen Jesus does not bring to an end our questions and discussion, but instead, Jesus meets us again and again on our way.

We gather on Easter to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, to celebrate as a community that continues to engage our faith through discussion and worship. We celebrate the tale told long ago: “The Lord is risen indeed.”

Join us this Sunday at 6 pm. Bring your faith, your doubts, and your questions, and meet the risen Jesus through song, scripture, bread and wine. Stay following the service for a wonderful feast prepared by our own Kenny Lewis! We hope to see you there!

–Kelley

4/15 – This Week

We began the journey of Holy Week with our observance of Palm Sunday and Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. The observance of Holy Week, which includes special worship services that mark Jesus’ final days with his disciples, is a practice that comes from the early Church. Holy Week is not a time for us to become fixated on our sinfulness and the betrayal of Jesus’ followers (and our own). We wear crosses made of palm fronds, wash each other’s feet, and hear the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday not as a way to role play the last days of Jesus, but as a way of remembering.

In the Church, we have a rather fancy and technical word for the type of remembering we are called on to do in the Eucharist and in our observances of Holy Week –anamnesis. Marion Hatchett describes it like this: “The concept of anamnesis is basic to Jewish-Christian tradition. Anamnesis is the antithesis of amnesia. A person with amnesia has lost identity and purpose. To know who you are, to whom you belong, and where you are headed, you must remember.”

You are invited to join us for worship this week, on campus and at our special services at Trinity Commons. Join us to remember who you are and to whom you belong. Join us to remember that in triumphant and betrayal, God remains faithful and forgiving.

–Kelley

Tuesday 6 pm is pasta night, on the menu is a deceptively simple comfort pasta: Pasta with Ricotta.  It’s like an Italian macaroni and cheese but much richer and so good.  Join us at 6pm for the cooking and the eating.

Thursday, 6 pm, is our Maundy Thursday Service. Join us for a service that remembers Jesus’ final night with his disciples. This service will include a footwashing (for those that wish to), Eucharist, and stripping of the altar.

Friday, 6 pm, is our Good Friday Service. We will hear the Passion of Jesus and remember his suffering and death. We will also offer special prayers for ourselves, the Church, and the World, and share Holy Communion from the reserved Sacrament.

On Campus This Week

Tuesday we’ll be on campus at BSC.  Thomas will be around the front of the Caf around 9am until around 11am, so stop by to say hey, share how the semester is going, or ask for a prayer to get through the day.  Then come join us for our short Holy Week Eucharist and prayer in Yeilding Chapel at 11:45am.  We’ll be in the Caf for lunch after that and you’re welcome to join us then too.

Wednesday we’ll be on campus at Samford.  Thomas will be around in the Univ. Center (by the O. Henry’s) around 9am until around 11:30am, so stop by to say hey, share how the semester is going, or ask for a prayer to get through the day.  Then come join us for our short Holy Week Eucharist and prayer in Reid Chapel at Noon. We’ll be in the Caf for lunch after that and you’re welcome to join us then too.

Thursday is our last time together for the school year.  It’s almost over my friends, one more week of classes, then exams, then summer.  You can do this so don’t let it overwhelm you.  As always, Thomas will be in the Hill Center around 10am until 3pm.  Come by and have lunch, coffee, share what’s on your mind, or ask for a prayer for exam prep. We hope to see you one more time before the end of classes.

Palm Sunday: “Are you the king of the Jews?”

“Are you the king of the Jews?” He answered, “You say so.”
Luke 23:3

We begin the season of Holy Week with Palm Sunday. It is a day of contrasts and a lot of scripture. We begin with a reading from the Gospel of Luke of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, when the crowds welcomed him and praised God joyfully with a loud voice saying, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” Then we will move swiftly to the story of trials and the word king takes on an accusatory tone. It can be a service that is discomforting, and maybe that is what we need as we start Holy Week. Maybe we need a Sunday where the range of human response to God’s action in the world is laid out—from joy, faith, and hope to anger, doubt, and despair.

Where do you see yourself in this story? How does this story speak to us 2000 years later? And while we see a vacillating human response, how does this story show us God’s constant love, mercy, and grace.

Join us this Sunday at 6 pm as we begin our journey through Holy Week, and stay for supper following the service.

–Kelley

4/8 – This Week

Jesus said, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

This week we will conclude our series on relationships and faith. Through our time together we have explored our identity as sexual beings created in the image of God and how our faith can shape our friendships and romantic relationships. We have explored how we can consider our faith in making decisions about these relationships so that we seek and serve Christ in all persons and respect the dignity of every human being. We will finish up our time together discussing the abundant life that Jesus was talking about, and specifically what that abundant life looks like when we talk about being faithful to ourselves, each other, and to God.

So, join us this Thursday, April 11 at 4 p.m. as we take up the topic of Fidelity: God, Self, Others. We hope to see you there.

-Kelley

Tuesday at 6 pm is our Pasta Night. We’ll start the fun at 6pm and enjoy Penne Primavera in a Creamy Tomato Sauce.

On Campus This Week

Tuesday we’ll be at BSC; join us in Yeilding Chapel at 11:45 for our short Eucharist.

Wednesday we’ll be at Samford and around the O. Henry’s around 9am; join us in Reid Chapel at Noon for our short Eucharist.

Thursday we’ll be back in the Hill Center at UAB from 10am until 3pm.  Come join us for coffee, lunch, and conversation.

Lent 5 – “You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”

Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”

–John 12.3-8

  • What in your life, in your relationships with others, do you take for granted right now?
  • Are you open to change in yourself or your life? What would that change look like?
  • Do you tend to think of God as someone who interrupts your plans or as someone who frees you to live more fully?
  • When are you most attentive to Jesus?

We’re getting closer to that important time, not the end of school (though that is important), but the moment when Jesus enters Jerusalem to cheers and shouts of expectation which quickly turn into a meal where Jesus calls his small group of disciples friends, then gets betrayed by one of them, is arrested, tried and killed. Things are beginning to change and it’s a story meant to change us too; join us Sunday night as we get ready for the journey towards Jerusalem and towards those important days.  Our service is at 6pm and we’ll enjoy a delicious supper after the service.  I hope to see you on Sunday.

4/1 – This Week

One of the first songs in the musical Fiddler on the Roof is “Matchmaker, Matchmaker.” After seeing the village matchmaker leaving their house, the sisters sing about their wishes for a husband. The musical explores a rapidly changing and dangerous world of the characters in 1905, and the struggle between tradition and a new way of doing things. By the end of this song, the sisters realize that “finding a match” may not work out the way they hoped, and they change their tune:

Matchmaker, Matchmaker,
Plan me no plans

I’m in no rush

Maybe I’ve learned

Playing with matches

A girl can get burned

The world in 2019 is certainly different than 1905, but we are again in a culture that is rapidly changing. Americans are staying single longer. The marriage rate is declining, while the divorce rate is increasing. Cohabitation is becoming more common. Every day there is romance, loneliness, and heartbreak.

As we navigate our romantic relationships, whether we are single, coupled, or ending a relationship, what does our faith offer us? Join us this Thursday at 4 pm as we continue our discussion by taking a look at Romance: Singleness, Coupled, Endings. Come join us!

–Kelley

Tuesday at 6 pm is our Pasta Night, and we’ll take a break from the usual Italian pasta to enjoy Coconut Rice Noodles with Chicken (or Tofu). 

On Campus This Week

Tuesday at BSC: We’re back on campus after a break, so come join Thomas in the front of the Caf around 9am and tell him about your week.  Then you can join us in Yeilding Chapel at 11:45 for our short Eucharist.

Wednesday at Samford: Thomas will be in the University Center (near the O Henry’s) around 9 am, feel free to drop by to chat, share what’s on your mind, or ask for prayer. Our short Eucharist takes place in Reid Chapel at Noon.

Thursday at UAB: Thomas will be hanging out in the Hill Center from 10am-3pm.  Feel free to stop by for a chat, to have coffee, lunch, or just take a break to share what’s on your mind.

Lent 4 – The Prodigal Son

All the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to Jesus. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

So Jesus told them this parable:

“There was a man who had two sons….”

Luke 15:1-3, 11

These words serve as the beginning of one of the most popular parables of Jesus. Throughout his life, the artist Rembrandt drew or painted various scenes from this parable. Shortly before he died, Rembrandt returned to the parable for inspiration and painted The Return of the Prodigal Son. In the painting the returning son kneels before his father. The son’s clothes are ragged. The father embraces them, and Rembrandt bathes them in a light that then renders all other figures in the painting in darkness. To the right of the father, partially in shadow, is the elder brother watching the scene unfold. Rembrandt’s painting, completed within two years of his death, is considered the height of his art.

Some two hundred years later, Henri Nouwen, a Dutch priest, would view Rembrandt’s painting and would spend hours contemplating the painting. Nouwen described this experience in his book The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming (1992):

Rembrandt is as much the elder son of the parable as he is the younger. When, during the last years of his life, he painted both sons in Return of the Prodigal Son, he had lived a life in which neither the lostness of the younger son nor the lostness of the elder son was alien to him. Both needed healing and forgiveness. Both needed to come home. Both needed the embrace of a forgiving father.

  • Are there times that you feel lost? And how are you found in those moments?
  • Which person do you most relate to in this parable? The father? The older brother? The younger brother?

Come join us as we explore our relationships and gather for worship on Sunday at 6 pm with supper following.

–Kelley

3/25 – This Week

It is the session that we have all been waiting for! This week our topic is Sex: Holiness, Agency, Justice. Our discussion will be grounded in our first two sessions, but don’t worry if you didn’t make those, we will get you caught up. From our origin story, we learn that we are created in the image of God and that God’s first gift or blessing to us was sex. We also know from our scripture and tradition that we are called to live in relationship with each other – friends, strangers, and enemies. We describe our faithful response in these relationships in different ways: “do to others as you would have them do to you” (Lk. 6:31); “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mk. 12:31); “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt. 5:44); “do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it” (Heb. 13:2). In our Book of Common Prayer, we sum all that up with the promise to “seek and serve Christ in all persons” and to “respect the dignity of every human being.” (BCP 305)

So, with all that in mind, this week we will ask the questions of what does it look like for Christians to have a healthy sex life?  And how should Christians act in sexual relationships?

Join us this Thursday, 3/28 at 4 pm for snacks and the next conversation in our Lenten program.

–Kelley

Tuesday at 6 pm is our Pasta Night, and on the menu is Peas, Peppers, and Prosciutto Sauce with Cream.

Thursday, 4-5 pm, at Trinity Commons, is our third session in the With Love Series – “Sex: Holiness, Agency, Justice.” Bring yourself, your questions, and invite a friend! (Hey have you taken the survey yet? Let us know where you are coming from by taking a few minutes to answer some questions.

On Campus This Week

BSC is on Spring Break this week. If you are town, come join us at Pasta Night or our Lenten Program.

Wednesday at Samford: Thomas will be in the University Center (near the O Henry’s) around 9 am, feel free to drop by to chat, share what’s on your mind, or ask for prayer. Our short Eucharist takes place in Reid Chapel at Noon.

Thursday at UAB: Thomas will be hanging around the usual table close to the Univ. Blvd exit of the Hill center around 10am until 3pm.  Come by to chat, share what’s on your mind, ask for a prayer, or join him for lunch or coffee.

Lent 3 – Parable of the Fig Tree

Then Jesus told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. So he said to the gardener, ‘See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?’ He replied, ‘Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it. If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'”

–Luke 13.6-9

  • Have you ever been told you have trouble paying attention?
  • How attentive are you to your closest friends? Your family?
  • Do you ever feel like God demands perfection from you?
  • Do you think God gives you permission to share your doubts, confusion, and fears with God and others? Do you?

I don’t think we’re called to be perfect, only faithful; and being faithful is harder than trying to be perfect.  But being faithful can always start right where you are today; it can always be begun again.  We gather on Sundays to be reminded of what faithfulness looks like and why it matters; if you’ve been looking to be more faithful to God, and looking for God to be more faithful to you, I hope you’ll join us at Trinity Commons on Sunday at 6pm to hear just how attentive God is to you.  We’ll enjoy a delicious, free supper thanks to our friends Dawn Pilleteri and Melissa Hooker.  I hope to see you Sunday.

–Thomas