Monthly Archives: August 2011

Backpack Blessing this Sunday the 21st at all Three Services!

It’s that time of year again.  That’s right, the children are going back to school, and with that comes backpacks!  Come out Sunday August 21st to Ascension and Holy Trinity for our annual back to school backpack blessing.  We offer worship services at 8:00, 9:00 and 10:00.

Our Christian Formation committee is providing pocket crosses to be blessed and inserted into your child’s backpack to remind them that God is with them wherever they may find themselves, even in the middle of that AP Calculus exam!

Have a blessed rest of the week, and I look forward to sharing God’s blessings with you this Sunday!

God’s Grace,



Youth Cookout Sunday 21st at 6:00 pm!

Calling ALL 7th through 12th graders!  Ascension and Holy Trinity is having its annual fall youth cookout this Sunday August 21st at 6:00.  Please join Bonnie and Allan Mellish along with Fr. Eric and Rosemary out on the Gathering Place for hotdogs, hamburgers, and whatever side dishes you decide to bring.  Meat and drinks will be provided as will all the fixings to make s’mores later in the evening!

I want you to come and bring your friends.  Bring your soccer friends, your football friends, your cheerleader friends, your buddies from biology class, bring them all!  We’ll have a great time eating and playing together.  I also want you to be thinking about what you’d like A&HT’s youth group, our youth ministries, to look like this year.  I want our youth ministries program to be about what YOU, the youth of A&HT, want to do.

See you all Sunday night at 6:00 on the Gathering Place!

God’s Grace,


It’s My Birthday!

Today I turned 34 years young and am absolutely loving life!  My wife is working today, and so we celebrated my birthday yesterday.  Yes, Millers consider birthdays to be transferrable feast days!

My family and I did the usual birthday stuff.  We went out for dinner; ate at Bucca de Beppo and loved it.  Next we went looking for soccer shoes for both the boys–who knew little boys’ feet grow so quickly?!  Arriving home I was told it was my choice whether to have birthday cake or presents first.  Of course, I chose presents!

Everything was wonderful.  We had a marvelous day celebrating my birth.  My favorite part to the day though was near the end of the day.  After cake was eaten and presents opened, Rosemary gave our youngest a bath, and I took Nathaniel, our oldest son, for a walk with our dog.  We enjoyed looking at beautiful houses in our neighborhood, talking about how much daddy loves to exercise, excitement over the coming school year.

On our way home I decided to show Nathaniel and beautiful, special place to me, Ascension and Holy Trinity’s Memorial Garden.  The Memorial Garden is recessed back from Burns Ave. and is a beautiful little space for prayer and reflection.  The two of us sat on a bench with our dog, Petey, and talked about all that we’re grateful for.  We talked about the cross on the wall, the St. Francis statue in the corner, and said some prayers.  I asked Nathaniel if he wanted to say the Lord’s Prayer with me, and he warmed my heart by requesting the sung version he knows by heart.  Last night was a beautiful evening in many ways!

Tonight for my actual birthday we’re going to St. Simon’s in Lincoln Heights to help serve food as an outreach to that community.  Lincoln Heights is poorer in financial resources, but St. Simon’s is rich in spirit.  A&HT and St. Simon’s teamed up for our Community Dinner Outreach a few years ago and love sharing this ministry of physically and spiritually feeding children and adults.  What could be a better way to celebrate a birthday than serving God’s people?!    We’ll feed anywhere from 50 to 100 hungry people this evening–I can’t wait!

What are ways you like to celebrate special occasions?  How do you choose to give time to your family and community?  A&HT, what are some new ways of doing outreach you’d like to see happen?  Who else would like to join us tonight at St. Simon’s?  I’ll be the one with in the Ascension and Holy Trinity golf shirt with the energetic Miller boys all around me.  See you there!

God’s Grace,


Doing great! Keep going!

So, Monday evening I went for what I thought was an easy four-mile run, and truly, my run felt quite easy.  However, my face and posture may have indicated otherwise.  I encountered two other runners about two miles into my run as they were running the opposite direction.  These boys couldn’t have been more than sixteen-years-old.  As they approached, they smiled at me and said, “Doing great!  Keep going!!”

Now, I could have taken their words in a couple of different ways.  First, I could have thought, “Young whippersnappers!  I’d run like that too if I was sixteen!”  On the other hand, I could think, “Yes, that’s right!  I am doing great, and I only have two short miles left to go!  Thanks for the encouragement, guys!”

Last evening’s run reminds me of a couple of life truths.  I need to remember what I’m showing to the rest of the world.  My running pace was nice and easy for me, and I felt great.  Sadly, I don’t believe my face was displaying the true joy of my experience.

How often do we go about our lives with a sour look on our faces or an edge to our words, and we’re not even aware of living in this manner?  If we’re “happy and we know it,” if we’ve known God’s love in our lives, then our faces ought to show it.  We could and should be conduits of God’s life growing through us with every breath we take.  It can be too easy for us to struggle through the day, playing the victim game.  If you know God’s love and joy, make sure you remember to smile, to radiate with Christ’s likeness.

The other truth witnessed on my run is that it doesn’t take a great deal to lift someone’s spirits.  I was having a really good run before I encountered those younger runners.  I was doing excellent after there four short words of encouragement!  Words are very powerful.  We have the gift to lift another’s soul.  We can choose to be self-absorbed, that is, thinking solely of our needs and wants, or we can choose to lift and build others up.

The God of my understanding is one of infinite possibilities and hope.  So remember, as we say our prayers and acknowledge God’s presence in our lives may we both hear and call out to one another, “Doing great!  Keep going!”  I know that’s what I enjoy witnessing.

In God’s Grace,