holy spirit

Reflections on renewed life breathed into our being as Holy Spirit (from last Sunday’s post-resurrection text)

Themes of Spirit as breath, wind, air: source of renewed, reconnected, restored life

Breath means new life — and new life means new growth, change, and ongoing development. The Spirit protects and connects, but also challenges, provoking and pushing us along. — SALT Project

You are called to be truly human, but it is nothing short of the life of God within you that enables you to be so, to be remade in God’s image. ― N.T. Wright


Blessing of Breathing
— Jan Richardson (link to her full body of work at Painted Prayerbook: https://paintedprayerbook.com/)

That the first breath
will come without fear.

That the second breath
will come without pain.

The third breath:
that it will come without despair.

And the fourth,
without anxiety.

That the fifth breath
will come with no bitterness.

That the sixth breath
will come for joy.

Breath seven:
that it will come for love.

May the eighth breath
come for freedom.

And the ninth,
for delight.

When the tenth breath comes,
may it be for us
to breathe together,
and the next,
and the next,

until our breathing
is as one,
until our breathing
is no more.

Where Breathing Is Prayer — Wendell Berry
Sit and be still
until in the time
of no rain you hear
beneath the dry wind’s
commotion in the trees
the sound of flowing
water among the rocks,
a stream unheard before,
and you are where
breathing is prayer.

Feather on the breath of God
— Sarah Rossiter

“The feather flew, not because of anything
  in itself but because the air bore it along.”
—Hildegard of Bingen

It could have landed anywhere,
swamp or forest; instead, floating
on the quiet air, the tiny feather
down drifted, weightless, from
the open sky, into my cupped and
waiting hands. Cream-colored,
fragile, soft as milkweed,
a wordless message from beyond,
reminding me, how like the feather,
we’re carried on the breath of God. 

BLESSING — John O’Donohue

In the name of the air,
The breeze
And the wind,
May our souls
Stay in rhythm
With eternal Breath.

POEM by Rumi

The minute I heard
my first love story,
I started looking for you,
not knowing
how blind that was.
Lovers don’t finally
meet somewhere.
They’re in each other
all along.

POEM by Rumi

You’re water.
We’re the millstone.
You’re wind.
We’re dust blown up into shapes.
You’re spirit.
We’re the opening and closing
of our hands.

You’re the clarity.
We’re the language that tries to say it.
You’re joy.
We’re all the different kinds of laughing.

Note: In Rumi’s poetry, Love and references to lovers or forms of drunkenness or passion or intoxification of any kind are all references to the spiritual journey of seeking connection and oneness with Allah, even for a moment. This is reflective of the Sufi movement.


Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive. — Howard Thurman

… view the work of the Holy Spirit differently. The Spirit doesn’t solve our problems, but invites us to see possibilities we would not have seen otherwise. Rather than remove our fear, the Spirit grants us courage to move forward. Rather than promise safety, the Spirit promises God’s presence. Rather than remove us from a turbulent world, or even settle the turbulence, the Spirit enables us to keep our footing amid the tremors. — David Lose

Those in whom the Spirit comes to live are God’s new Temple. They are, individually and corporately, places where heaven and earth meet. — N.T. Wright

Dreams grow holy put in action. — Adelaide Anne Procter

It has seemed to me sometimes as though the Lord breathes on this poor gray ember of Creation and it turns to radiance – for a moment or a year or the span of a life. And then it sinks back into itself again, and to look at it no one would know it had anything to do with fire, or light. … But the Lord is more constant and far more extravagant than it seems to imply. Wherever you turn your eyes the world can shine like transfiguration. You don’t have to bring a thing to it except a little willingness to see. Only, who could have the courage to see it?” — Marilynne Robinson

Have You Ever Tried to Enter the Long Black Branches?
— Mary Oliver

Have you ever tried to enter
the long black branches of other lives —
tried to imagine what the crisp fringes, full of honey, hanging from the branches of the young locust trees, in early morning, feel like?

Do you think this world was only
an entertainment for you?
Never to enter the sea and notice how the water divides with perfect courtesy, to let you in!
Never to lie down on the grass, as though you were the grass!
Never to leap to the air as you open your wings over
the dark acorn of your heart!

No wonder we hear, in your mournful voice, the complaint that something is missing from your life!
Who can open the door who does not reach for the latch? 
Who can travel the miles who does not put one foot in front of the other, all attentive to what presents itself  continually?
Who will behold the inner chamber who has not observed  with admiration, even with rapture,
the outer stone?

Well, there is time left —
fields everywhere invite you into them.
And who will care, who will chide you if you wander away from wherever you are, to look for your soul?
Quickly, then, get up, put on your coat,
leave your desk!
To put one’s foot into the door of the grass, which is
the mystery, which is death as well as life, and
not be afraid!

To set one’s foot in the door of death, and be overcome  with amazement!
To sit down in front of the weeds,
and imagine god the ten-fingered,
sailing out of his house of straw, 
nodding this way and that way,
to the flowers of the present hour,
to the song falling out of
the mockingbird’s pink mouth,
to the tippets of the honeysuckle,
that have opened in the night

To sit down, like a weed among weeds,
and rustle in the wind! 
Listen, are you breathing just a little,
and calling it a life?

While the soul, after all, is only a window,
 and the opening of the window no more difficult
than the wakening from a little sleep. 
 Only last week I went out among the thorns and said  to the wild roses:  deny me not,
but suffer my devotion.
Then, all afternoon, I sat among them. Maybe

I even heard a curl or tow of music, damp and rouge red,  hurrying from their stubby buds, from their delicate watery bodies.
For how long will you continue to listen to those dark shouters,  caution and prudence?
Fall in! Fall in! 

A woman standing in the weeds.
A small boat flounders in the deep waves, and what’s coming next is coming with its own heave and grace. Meanwhile, once in a while, I have chanced, among the quick things, upon the immutable.
What more could one ask?

And I would touch the faces of the daisies,
and I would bow down to think about it.
That was then, which hasn’t ended yet.
 Now the sun begins to swing down. Under the peach-light,
I cross the fields and the dunes, I follow the ocean’s edge.
I climb, I backtrack.
I float.
I ramble my way home.

Fri, April 23 @ 5pm


  • Zoom link and password required.



John 20:19-23
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Judeans, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’
       After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.21 Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’
       When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’

Hebrews 1: 1-3
Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son,  whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. 3 He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word.



Genesis 1: 1-2
1 When God began to create the heavens and the earth, 2 the earth was complete chaos, and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.

Genesis 2: 4, 7

In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, 7 then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground[c] and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Ezekiel 37:1-10 The Valley of Dry Bones

The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. 3 He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” 4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. 5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath[a] to enter you, and you shall live. 6 I will lay sinews on you and will cause flesh to come upon you and cover you with skin and put breath[b] in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.”
      7 So I prophesied as I had been commanded, and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. 8 I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them, but there was no breath in them. 9 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath:[c] Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath,[d] and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” 10 I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.

Job 12:9-11
9 Who among all these does not know
    that the hand of the Lord has done this?
10 In his hand is the life of every living thing
    and the breath of every human being.

Job 32:7-97 
I said, ‘Let days speak
    and many years teach wisdom.’
8 But truly it is the spirit in a mortal,
    the breath of the Almighty[a] that makes for understanding.

Ecclesiastes 11:5
Just as you do not know how the breath comes to the bones in the mother’s womb, so you do not know the work of God, who makes everything.

Psalm 33: 6-9
By the word of the Lord the heavens were made
    and all their host by the breath of his mouth.
7 He gathered the waters of the sea as in a bottle;
    he put the deeps in storehouses.
8 Let all the earth fear the Lord;
    let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him,
9 for he spoke, and it came to be;
    he commanded, and it stood firm.

Isaiah 40:28
By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
their starry host by the breath of his mouth.

Isaiah 42:5
Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it:

Weekend of June 4-5 @ JCC and around town

SAT, June 4

  • Community Event: CRAFTING for CHILDREN: Sailboats
    10am • Tin Mountain Conservation Ctr, Albany
    Spring is here and it’s time to get outside and create! Children’s craft maven Kathy Bowie will help children construct cedar sailboats complete with hardwood peg sailors and oilcloth sails. After the sailboats are completed, we will test their seaworthiness! Designed for participants age 6-10. Limited space; registration required. Program Fee: $10/member, $20/non-member. Click here to register online.
    1-3pm • Location communicated upon registration
    Come view the early summer wildflowers in Pinkham Notch on this afternoon walk. Species we expect to see include pink lady slippers, trout lily, star flower and more. Join us on this kick off to our North Country Nature Programs and explore the wildlife offers north of the notch!. Program fee of $15/person or $25/household for non-members; members are free. Click here to register online.
  • Community Resource: LIBRARIES
    • Shannon Door: Rafe Matregrano • 7-10pm
    • Wildcat Tavern: Jeremy Dean • 6-9pm
    • Red Parka Pub: Riley Parkhurst Project • 8-11pm

SUN, June 5

    8am • Pavilion behind Whitney Community Center (and zoom)
    • in-person & zoom
    • Gather for poetry, conversation and prayer
    10:30am • JCC (in-person & zoom)
    • Special bluegrass music: Dellavalla Family
    • Guest Pianist: Maisie Brown
    • Wear RED!
    • Message: Rev Gail Doktor
    11:30am • JCC & Zoom
    • Meeting to vote on revised budget for exterior work on church. Recommended by building committee: have rear church annex painted when also doing painting and repairs to historic part of church. Allocate additional funds for work (up to $7,000). Requires church meeting and vote of those who attend it. Recommended by council and building committee.
    • Shannon Door: Mike & Becca • 6-9pm
    • Red Parka Pub: Mitch Alden  • 4-7pm
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