COTA BLOG2018-08-04T22:26:24+00:00

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Advent Resources

December 4th, 2018|Categories: COTA Blog|

By Rebecca Taylor We have compiled the following resources to help guide you through the season of Advent. We pray they will be a blessing as you seek to hear the voice calling in the wilderness, proclaiming the coming Savior.   Prayers and Poems Christmas Prayer by Mother Teresa Advent Calendar by Rowan Williams Christmas Prayer by Henri Nowen O Sapientia by Malcolm Guite Prepare by Jan Richardson  Drawing Near by Jan Richardson An Advent poem by Walter Bruggemann A Celtic prayer leading up to Christmas: Watch and pray: the Lord shall come. Those who [...]

Advent 2018

December 1st, 2018|Categories: COTA Blog|

By Rebecca Taylor This Sunday marks the beginning of the new year in the Church calendar as we celebrate the First Sunday of Advent. It seems an odd time for the Church to begin its new year, because as people, we’re in the middle of one of our busiest seasons. All around us we’re in the process of finishing. Finishing the shopping, the wrapping, the baking, the Christmas cards, and in a few weeks, the calendar year. But this week, in the midst of all the finishing, the liturgical year is beginning.  Endings are strange things - they call us to the future. [...]

Rule of Life Series: Keeping Sabbath

November 7th, 2018|Categories: COTA Blog|

By The Rev. Cynthia Brust Keeping Sabbath Growing up between the Episcopal and Presbyterian Churches, my concept of “Sabbath” was vague at best. I knew the Ten Commandments included a mandate to keep the seventh day holy, but I don’t remember anyone’s really explaining how that should look. I had a minimal understanding about the Old Testament practice of abstaining from all labor on Saturday and that we Christians moved our holy day to Sunday to honor and celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. I assumed, therefore, that “keeping the Sabbath holy” could be fulfilled simply by going [...]

All Saints and All Souls Day

October 31st, 2018|Categories: COTA Blog|

By The Rev. Porter Taylor Memory and thanksgiving. They are part and parcel of the Christian life, friends. One could sum up the whole of Israel’s life in the Old Testament and the life of the early church with these two words. We are a people of memory and a people who give thanks to God for what he has given us. Is this not why we gather on Sunday mornings? This is heightened or brought into sharper focus during the two-day celebration of All Saints (Nov 1) and All Souls (Nov 2). All Saints [...]

Rule of Life Series: The Spirit of Generosity

October 31st, 2018|Categories: COTA Blog|

By The Rev. Ellis Brust The Spirit of Generosity Witnessing the spiritual transformation in the lives of others is one of the great joys of pastoral ministry. Our formation as disciples and witnesses of Jesus is usually a gradual process by which the Holy Spirit changes our focus, decisions, and actions in small ways throughout our whole lives. As water carves rivers out of hard rock, so the Holy Spirit etches the image of our Savior into our lives each new day. One of the ways we see this image being formed is in giving [...]

Rule of Life Series: Service

October 24th, 2018|Categories: COTA Blog|

By Jeremy Riley Service Growing up in church, I often had an issue figuring out the dividing line between the secular and the sacred. There were the good things - the God things - and then there was the chaff. The chaff, as it was so brusquely called, was everything else. I never quite got if chaff included the mundane, if it covered the oil changes and flossing of the teeth, but it certainly covered any art form outside of the Christian realm and covered everything that did not directly impact saving souls. I grew [...]

Rule of Life Series: Study

October 17th, 2018|Categories: COTA Blog|

By The Rev. Kirsten Gardner Study The word stirs memories of sunny afternoons spent indoors trapped by homework assignments asking me to describe the great outdoors. The irony. When I was invited to say something on the topic of study as pertaining to a rule of life, I thought it a great cosmic reckoning for all the times I had chosen the adventure outdoors over the writing assignment. See, I have a complicated relationship with the practice of study. I love to study, and I can get so distracted by it that I forget to [...]

In The Spotlight: Barbara Jones

October 3rd, 2018|Categories: COTA Blog|Tags: |

By Rebecca Taylor It's time for another COTA Spotlight, and this time it's another COTA Original: Barbara Jones. Barbara attended COTA's very first gathering at Ellis and Cynthia's home, even before the other COTA Originals came around. Here's another fun fact about Barbara: she has known Ellis longer than any other COTA member (Cynthia included!) except his parents and sister. She was one of the leaders of his high school church youth group. She has been known and loved by generations of the Brust family. Where were you born? I was born in St. Louis, Missouri [...]

Where Are They Now?

September 17th, 2018|Categories: COTA Blog|

By Rebecca Taylor In June we said, "See you later" to Justin and Melia Colwell and sent them off to the far away land of Michigan. The truth is it's not actually that far, but it sure felt that way! I recently asked them to send us a life update - a sort of celebrity "Where Are They Now" article, COTA style. Here's what they had to say! This summer has been full of adventure and transition for the Sneden Colwells! After packing up our apartment at the end of June, we made the long U-Haul [...]

Holy Cross Day

September 14th, 2018|Categories: COTA Blog|Tags: |

By The Rev. Porter Taylor The Collect: Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ was lifted high upon the cross that He might draw the whole world to Himself: Mercifully grant that we, who glory in the mystery of our redemption, may have grace to take up our cross and follow Him; who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen. “Christ is enthroned upon the Cross.” - N. T. Wright   The cross has long been an emblem or symbol. We see crosses every day: on necklaces, [...]