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Rev. Beth FrankThe Rev. Beth Frank is a recent graduate of Bexley Hall Seminary in Columbus, Ohio.  She was ordained a (transitional) deacon in June, 2013, and was ordained to the sacred order of priests on December 6, 2013 - St. Nicholas Day.  She has been appointed by the bishop to serve New Life as Priest-in-Charge.



Play Ball!
Written by Rev. Beth Frank   
Friday, April 04 2014 07:31

keeping holy lentIn Why Time Begins on Opening Day, sportswriter Thomas Boswell offers a "preliminary" Ten Commandments of the Dugout:

  1. Judge slowly.
  2. Assume everyone is trying reasonably hard.
  3. Physical errors, even the most grotesque, should be forgiven.
  4. Conversely, mental errors are judged as harshly as physical errors are ignored.
  5. Pay more attention to the mundane than the spectacular.
  6. Pay more attention to the theory of the game than the outcome of the game. Don't let your evaluations be too swayed by the final score.
  7. Players always know best how they are playing.
  8. Stay ahead of the action, not behind it or even neck and neck with it.

During the 2014 major league baseball season (this includes the post season, even if the Indians do not make the playoffs), I will share some reflections on Boswell's commandments. Please share your comments and thoughts, as well as ideas on additional commandments that apply to baseball and our spiritual lives. Perhaps by the World Series we can fill up Boswell's tablets!

Today let's consider Boswell's first commandment:

Judge slowly. ... No, more slowly than that. You have to "see a player hot, cold, and in between before you can put the whole package together." Sometimes an entire season is not long enough.

There was a time when I half-expected that sometime after Easter I would be handed a report card evaluating my Lenten deportment and performance. In my mind, it would resemble an elementary school report card with two types of evaluation: one grade awarded for actual achievement and another for effort. Yes, the dreaded effort grade. No grading curve has ever saved a slacker from a low effort mark.

Whether God is evaluating one of my beloved Cleveland Indians or anyone's Lenten 2014 on base percentage, God judges slowly. God's "long haul" covers more seasons than we can even imagine. God judges in God's time: exponentially slower than we judge ourselves and others. While God may have created the curveball, God doesn't grade on the curve. God could care less about how we compare to others. Intention, the effort grade, is what grabs God's attention. Thus, I believe God applauds pop ups and dropped balls provided we are hustling as well as wild pitches and strike outs if we are doing the best we can with all the gifts God has given us. We may want to hide in the dugout, but God and the angels cheer relentlessly until we come back out on the field to try again.

As Lent draws to a close, help us merciful God to leave the judging to You so that we can focus with open hearts and minds on the next season, the next game, the next pitch. Amen.

Blessings,
Beth

 
The First Sniff of Spring
Written by Rev. Beth Frank   
Friday, March 28 2014 18:17

keeping holy lentA Prayer in Spring by Robert Frost

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfil.

We have had our first sniff of Spring and the Indians open their baseball season on Monday. This Sunday marks the halfway point of Lent. As we contemplate Holy Week, the completion of Lent Madness, and Easter, the Vestry and I are looking further ahead to late Spring and Summer.

On May 17th, we will be having an afternoon Family Festival featuring the two–woman, 12 instrument musical group Simple Gifts. (They appeared at New Life in 2011.) Simple Gifts plays everything from lively Irish jigs and down-home American reels to haunting Gypsy melodies and Scandinavian twin fiddling. Before their 2:30pm concert, the Simple Gifts duo will teach children of all ages to play the spoons. Then the new spoon-meisters will join Simple Gifts in performing the first song of their concert. From 12:30-2:30pm there will be activities with a family focus and healthy snacks.

Starting June 7th, we will add a family and dog friendly Saturday 5:30pm Eucharist. Whenever possible, the service will be held outdoors. On first Sundays (except for July), the service will be held at Uniontown Community Park. We have reserved the park's picnic pavilion which has grills. We hope that worshippers will bring something to put on the grill and we'll share in a picnic and games after worship.

Also, during June and July, New Life will rent out space at the Hartville Flea Market to provide a craft activity for children as well as an opportunity to build relationships and introduce children and adults to how God is working at New Life and in our lives. We will invite our new friends to come share their gifts with us by joining us for worship, Godly Play, the blessing of the animals, game afternoons, outreach projects and more.

New Life's Summer Camp returns this summer as a lock-in from July 25-27. Camp concludes with the annual parish picnic and worship on July 27th at Boettler Park.

Thanks be to God for all that is springing up around us and here at New Life.

Blessings,
Beth

 
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New Life Episcopal Church :: 13118 Church Avenue NW :: Uniontown, OH 44685
Rev. Elizabeth Frank, Priest-in-Charge
Rev. Josh Butler, Deacon