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Dear Friends in Christ,

Last Sunday we heard in the Old Testament lesson that well-known story of Jacob wrestling with God and demanding a blessing.  It is the story of Jacob’s transformation from the no-account swindler to the one called to bless the world.  This is the story where he is given a new name, Israel.  You may want to go back and re-read the story in Genesis (32: 22-31) if you want a refresher. The image of wrestling with God can call to mind for us all manner of struggles – with transition, loss, love, and even belief.  As I said earlier this week, St. John’s is no stranger to transition.  Each of us in our own right and all of us as a community have wrestled our way through loss, new beginnings, and change.  I love that Jacob wrestles through the night and ultimately does not let go without demanding a blessing.  Struggling through what seemed like an adversarial, an entirely dark experience, Jacob won’t let go without knowing what good, what new life, what blessing can be taken from his painful encounter.

I would be curious to hear, what are your stories of struggle?  Where have you wrestled with belief (or disbelief), loss, and injury?  Where have you been blessed?  A blessing out of struggle can only be accounted as grace.  The more we share these stories of where grace touched our life, where redemption was wrestled out of loss, the more we can begin to see how our lives can be a blessing to others.  I would love to hear from you.
Thanks to the many of you who shared your support for Barb Schaer-Mady as she prepares to transition from her work on the staff at St. John the Evangelist to a new job and a new parish community.  Thank you for your prayers as St. John’s undergoes more transition.  We will continue to share with the parish our plans for the transition and the process of covering Barb’s work as we look to the long term.

I look forward to seeing many of you in church this week as we look down the final stretch of summer.  Just a reminder that next Sunday (August 14th) the 10 o’clock service will not be at St. John’s.  Instead, we will be doing a combined service at Como Park pavilions with our sister parish Holy Apostles, St. Paul.  Look forward to seeing you there in a week!

Blessings,
Jered+

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