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Carousel

Posted By Lori Geres, Thursday, July 2, 2015

June 23, 2015

 

There is a beautiful carousel in the courtyard of the Hotel Baer at the Zermatt resort.  Magical animals are frozen in mid leap waiting for the next rider.  

 

As I paused by the carousel enshrouded in the cool morning shade, I couldn’t help but think about how life sometimes feels like a carousel.  Life can catch you riding up and down in slow circles; round and round in health concerns, family issues, anger or sadness.  “God, when will this ever end?” we cry to the heavens.. “When does this stop? When can I get off?”

 

For a brief few days, I got to experience time off the carousel.  Here in Utah, I got the chance to stop that slow circle of life and take a breath. A slow breath bringing God into my center.

 

Taking a step from the carousel of fear, to be enveloped by so many beating hearts and healing arms.  Leaving behind the frenzied pace of a busy life for a few hours of stillness, of peace.

 

Don’t get me wrong, the Triennial gathering was busy, the schedule was packed with meetings, sessions and meals; but the days were colored with renewal.  Just as Jesus took time away from the crowds who clamored after him, we Daughters took a brief time away to be with each other and our Lord.

 

As I get older, I am learning that it is absolutely essential to take time to rest and breathe.  Here at Triennial I also learned that it is absolutely essential to take time to be in community with other believers.  Community looks different to each person, and it renews each person differently as well. While I like to be with others, I also crave time alone in order to sort my thoughts and recharge in silence.

 

As this Triennial experience winds down for me, I will take a piece of it with me in my heart.  I will remember how many times I had the chance to meet “God with the skin on” (Thanks to Anne Lamott for this wonderful description of the God in all of us.)

 

I will be settled by the belief that I will be held up in prayer and that all will be well.

 

Soon I will climb back up on my carousel animal, and as the circles begin their languid circles, I will continue to praise God for the opportunity to slow, stop and bask in His love through His Daughters.

 

It has been a true blessing to write for you this last week.  I have come away changed.  For this, I thank God.

 

Take risks for Jesus, dear Daughters .. take risks and be joyful!   Lori

  

* Administrative note: Please know that Lori submitted her posts in a timely manner.  Unrelated circumstances delayed the posting of her submissions to the website.  We endeavor to improve this for the future.  Thank you for your understanding.

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...you haven't lost Jesus

Posted By Lori Geres, Monday, June 22, 2015
When you’ve lost everything you have, you haven't lost Jesus

 

Canon Andrew White, the special guest speaker at the Triennial gathering reminded all of us, that when it looks the bleakest, remember that you always have Jesus – he’s everything.

 

Canon White spoke twice on Saturday and delivered the sermon during the Sunday Eucharist.  He was called by God to be peace-maker in the Middle East and was appointed by the Anglican church to be the Vicar of St. George's Parish in Baghdad, Iraq.

 

A charming man, with an engaging spirit, Canon White kept us all spellbound recounting the lives of his parishioners in Iraq, and the terrible violence they have had to endure.

 

He kept us in stitches with the sweet story of his youngest son’s unexpected friendship with the late Yassir Arafat, the leader of Palestine.   He shared his deep love for the children of Iraq having adopted 6 Iraqi orphans whose parents had been killed in the war and subsequent uprising.

 

What touched my heart deeply was his undeniable happiness and joy.  Here is a man who has lived among his enemies, and yet, he shouts that we MUST love our enemies. We MUST show them our love of Jesus.  We must be reconcilers where  ever we are.  We MUST take risks for Jesus.

 

The 2nd lesson for today includes this verse: “We have spoken frankly to you Corinthians; our heart is wide open to you. There is no restriction in our affections, but only in yours. In return – I speak as to children – open wide your hearts also. (2 Corinthians 6:13)

 

I hear the Lord saying to me again and again, Open your arms, Open your heart to what I have for you.  Open your arms and hearts to all people, to friends and enemies alike. 

 

The greatest commandment is to Love our neighbor as our selves.  Love them no matter the circumstances.  Extend love before judgment.

 

Canon Andrew talked of inviting leaders of Hamas to have dinner in his home. And after that, slowly, their hearts were changed.  Ruefully he told us that he had also invited ISIS leaders to dinner, but they said they might lop off his head.  He has thought better of offering another invitation to this group.

 

Being with Canon Andrew and listening to his words of peace, reconciliation and love has moved me deeply.  God is moving me into a different level of service For His Sake. He is moving me into a different relationship with him.  

 

Never more have the words of the DOK motto rung more truly than now .. “I am one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something.”

 

The one something is to open our arms, open wide our hearts and

 love For His Sake.

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

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Arms Wide Open!

Posted By Lori Geres, Saturday, June 20, 2015

June 19, 2015

 

Unbelievable! It’s really the only word I can use to describe my experiences today at Triennial. 

 

I have made so many new friends.  A casual conversation in the lobby of the hotel carries into a deep connection, bound together by the thread of sisterhood.  How can two strangers sit together and end up having the most profound conversation?

 

I met Mother Sherman, a dignified lady, originally from Liberia now living in Brooklyn, New York.  Her lyrical voice, ringing with truth, spoke of her love of God and her hopes for the Daughters of the King.  She reminded me that not only should we sing out praise to our God with our voices, but most importantly, with our hearts.

 

The Daughters of the King stands at a pivotal time.  Now more than ever we should raise our voices for peace, for justice, for love.  As Daughters we must take our vows of prayer, service and evangelism out into the world.  Even though Mother Sherman is unsteady in her gait, her spirit is strong and her faith unwavering. 

 

What an inspiration she is to me! And how I wished to live just a little closer so I could have the opportunity to routinely sit beside her. She is surely Shining the Light of Christ!

 

Another friend I made today comes from another part of the world torn by violence and mistrust. Mahmad Ghazal, a vendor who owns Ghazal’s Antiques in Samaria is a frequent guest at Episcopal Gatherings. I first had the chance to meet him in Colorado at the General Diocesan Convention.  This time I had a chance to really talk with him about the issues dividing Palestine and Israel.  Mahmad is an American citizen living in Palestine, and holds a thoughtful regard to what is happening in his country.  He speaks with the voice of hope, believing that all faithful people can live in partnership for the common good. 

 

For me, Mahmad has become the face of this polarizing issue. I see him as a friend, as another traveler on the journey.  God has put us together at a Triennial Gathering in Midway, Utah for reasons known only to God.  How fortunate am I to have had the chance to become his friend.

 

For you see, the lesson I’m learning at Triennial is that we must go through life with our arms wide open!  As you open your arms to another in a hug, you meet heart to heart. You connect on a very real level.  So often I have gone through life with my arms close to my sides, unmoving, not letting anyone in.  However, when opening my arms in invitation, I invite in love, laughter and compassion.  Truly I am safer with my arms wide open than by having them locked at my side.

 

What amazing lessons I am learning at Triennial (and it hasn’t even formally started! That’s tomorrows’ story...

 

 

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Everywhere you go you see a smiling face!

Posted By Lori Geres, Saturday, June 20, 2015

Can you tell what his necklace says?

 

 

FHS!

Tags:  frog  Homestead  Jr Cross  Triennial 

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Triennial or bust!

Posted By Lori Geres, Friday, June 19, 2015

June 18, 2015

 

Triennial or bust!

 

We made it! Our 8 hour travel from Colorado, across Wyoming to Midway, Utah was filled with laughter and stories.

 

As we stopped at the Zermatt Hotel, the host hotel for the Senior Daughters of the King, it was evident that something big was going on.  There was a lot of activity at the main doors with bellmen taking luggage in from buses and cars. 

 

Groups of women stood talking with each other, hugging and laughing.   A wonderful spirit of welcome and spontaneous joy!  I am thrilled to be here!

 

The Zermatt Resort and their sister site, The Homestead will welcome more than 525 women from all Provinces across the United States, and 24 International Daughters.  The Homestead resort will also house all Junior Daughters who will be joining in the Triennial gathering.

 

I’m excited to dive deep into this sisterhood of women, committed to “Shining the Light of Christ” throughout the world!  It is an overwhelming feeling to know that our hearts are united in this common mission. 

 

While the Triennial starts in earnest on Saturday morning, each Province will gather for dinner on Friday.  I’m looking forward to meeting Daughters from Province VIII, my new home province.

 

I’d like to share a favorite poem by Alden Solovy, a Jewish poet and liturgist who has written a profound book Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.  

 

Let G-d

 

Let G-d

Hold majesty before your eyes,

And mystery before your heart.

 

Let G-d

Place strength in your hands

And radiance in your soul.

 

Let G-d

Lead you to awe and wonder

And redeem you from fear and shame.

 

You are cloud and horizon,

A bird in solo flight,

Seeking your flock,

Seeking your journey,

Seeking your place.

 

Let G-d

Put healing in your hours

And rejoicing in all of your days.

 

Let G-d

Find you in the open sky

And lift you in joy and grace.

 

© 2015 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

 

For His Sake,

Lori

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