Dear Friends,

Yesterday’s Eucharist narrated the story of Jesus calling Peter and Andrew and James and John to come and follow and be fishers of people.

This prompted us to reflect on the ‘nets’

that each of us might need to ‘cast aside’ in order to more fully respond to the call to follow Jesus... nets either capture or hold people or things in place...Jesus while inviting the disciples to do similar ‘work’...e.g., be ‘fishers’, is suggesting that this work requires different ‘tools’....the kindom of God is not about ‘capturing’ and ‘containing’ rather it is about inviting and nourishing. Our reflections expanded to consider the distinctions between work and job and/or vocation. In her poem Messenger, Mary Oliver states that her work is “loving the world.” Later she describes her work as “standing still and being astonished.” (is this ‘work’ or ‘vocation’?) Still later, she identifies her mission as reminding everything “how it is that we live forever.”  We invite you to share in reflecting on Mary’s thoughts:

Messenger Mary Oliver

My work is loving the world.

Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird—equal seekers of sweetness.

Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.

Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?

Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me

keep my mind on what matters,

which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be


The phoebe, the delphinium.

The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.

Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,

Which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart and these body-clothes,

a mouth with which to give shouts of joy

to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,

telling them all, over and over, how it is

that we live forever.

What is your work?

Peter, Andrew, James and John were master fishermen and Jesus was calling them to be apprentice preachers of the word., builders of community. Is God or your heart calling you to something new? We’ve discovered some further thoughts from Wendell Berry for you to consider on this question:

The Real Work

It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work,

and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.

The mind that is not baffled is not employed.

The impeded stream is the one that sings.

~ Wendell Berry ~

(Collected Poems)

At The Spirit of Life, we are “ordinary” people at work to discover and to accomplish the “extraordinary” message of God’s love and call in each of our lives. We invite you to come and experience life in our community as we contemplate in prayer and move with justice at The Spirit of Life. Through our time of prayer and sharing together, we work together to grow in our self-understanding and in our relationships with God and with God’s people. We celebrate the gift of our faith and the responsibility that is ours as followers of Jesus Christ.  It is our prayer that what we as a community experience in our praying together will overflow into the rest of our lives, making us more fully human and more ‘whole’….holy!  We invite you to join us in this endeavor and journey with us as we seek to grow in our love of God and to grow in our capacity to be living expressions of God’s loving peace and justice in our world.

May you be blessed with the gift of finding the extraordinary love of Christ in the work of your lives.

Ron & Jean