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Rector's Message

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.

Yesterday Leo and I attended Puppy School for the first time. As we left class, I’m not sure who was in more of a daze. I’ll let you guess who the teacher pointed out was an example of a two-year old child having a temper tantrum.

A challenge of Puppy School proved to be the distractions: all those other dogs and their persons. Someone just couldn’t wait until socialization time to meet everyone. Then there was the noise. I had been warned about the decibels, but not that my favorite puppy might be the source of most of it. This is no exaggeration. As we left someone in another class said to me: “He’s so cute. Was he the one making all that noise?”

Another less obvious distraction proved to be my hope that Leo will become a stellar Puppy-in-Charge and a wonderful pastoral care visitor. Humans hear throughout their schooling that there is a “personal record” of one’s deportment that follows one from school to school. I found myself wondering if there is something similar for canines and whether we had just destroyed my hopes for Leo's future.

Noise, commotion, interruptions, and disruptions fill all of our lives. They often sidetrack us and keep us from pursuing our passions and our hearts’ desires. Steven Covey, author of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, looks at work considering two factors: urgency and importance. Covey theorizes that matters falling into the “important but not urgent” category tend to receive little or no attention, especially when compared to the mountain of things labeled as “urgent but not important.” Similarly, since many of those "unimportant and not urgent” items are easy to accomplish and take off our “to do” lists, we focus on them instead of our “important but not urgent” concerns.

Prayer feeds and nourishes our relationships with God, each other, and the world. Our distractions, many of which fall into that “not important” category, seek to sabotage our prayer lives. The Good News is two-fold: (1) God does not keep a “personal record” of our prayer life lapses; and (2) God is always pleased when we turn down the noise and escape the commotion to pray to God and, in turn, listen to God.