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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.

Be There With Bells On
Written by Rev. Beth Frank   
Friday, April 18 2014 16:18

Come to New Life on Easter Day with your bells on, or at least in hand. We'll engage in joyous bell ringing during the Easter Day recessional, Hail Thee Festival Day. Better yet, bring 2 or 3!

Where did the phrase with "bells on" originate? I had thought a quick web search would provide the answer. Alas, the expression's origin has many explanations. The one that caught my eye is at http://www.goodlingos.com/sayings/meanings.html:

To be somewhere with "bells on" refers to a practice peddlers had when they roamed the area west of the Appalachians selling wares. To avoid Indians, they traveled as silently as possible until they reached a settled area. Then they unmuffled bells hung around their horses necks to announce their arrival to outlying cabins. Hence, "I'll be there with bells on." The peddlers' arrival was a much anticipated major event in the mostly tedious and hard lives of settlers, not only for the goods they sold, but also for the news, letters, and messages they carried from the outside world.

The Feast of the Resurrection is one of the most anticipated events in our liturgical calendar. Many of us eagerly await the reappearance of flowers in the church and the return of Alleluias to our songs and prayers. I look forward to celebrating with you the Good News of the resurrection of Jesus. See you at 10am Sunday with bells on.


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.


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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