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Environmental Stewardship Commission

Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota

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Shield of Episcopal Church

Upcoming Activities:

Next Meeting:

We meet quarterly close to the solstice and equinox.

Annual Special Projects


Resolution on the Spirituality of Food Production

Resolution on Church Buildings and Grounds

Resolution on Creation Season

Lectionary Reflection

Year C, Proper 5 Revised Common Lectionary New Testament Lesson

Philemon 1-21

Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,

To Philemon our dear friend and co-worker, to Apphia our sister, to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

When I remember you in my prayers, I always thank my God because I hear of your love for all the saints and your faith toward the Lord Jesus. I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective when you perceive all the good that we may do for Christ. I have indeed received much joy and encouragement from your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, my brother.

For this reason, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do your duty, yet I would rather appeal to you on the basis of love-- and I, Paul, do this as an old man, and now also as a prisoner of Christ Jesus. I am appealing to you for my child, Onesimus, whose father I have become during my imprisonment. Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful both to you and to me. I am sending him, that is, my own heart, back to you. I wanted to keep him with me, so that he might be of service to me in your place during my imprisonment for the gospel; but I preferred to do nothing without your consent, in order that your good deed might be voluntary and not something forced. Perhaps this is the reason he was separated from you for a while, so that you might have him back forever, no longer as a slave but more than a slave, a beloved brother-- especially to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.

So if you consider me your partner, welcome him as you would welcome me. If he has wronged you in any way, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand: I will repay it. I say nothing about your owing me even your own self. Yes, brother, let me have this benefit from you in the Lord! Refresh my heart in Christ. Confident of your obedience, I am writing to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say.

Reflection on Philemon 1-21 by Charles Morello, Jr.

Paul, in his letter to Philemon reminds us that we are not doing our work in isolation. As individuals concerned about the environment and environmental spirituality, we work better together in our committees and commissions and task forces than we can individually.

One of the great spiritually empowering experiences among the members of the Minnesota Episcopal Environmental Stewardship Commission is that we come together to share our faith and our hope and our love for each other and creation. We give each other joy and encouragement to remain active in our local congregations and communities.

Each of us concerned about working to "save" or "fix" or "change" the environment in some way can find joy and encouragement and love from members of our committee/commission/task force members. Paul is calling all of us to community in our actions to refresh our hearts. Take time this day to find a group to work with and from which to receive joy, encouragement, and refreshment.

As we travel, in our 'modern' times, on this very same Earth, with the very same Revelation offered to us, we also can look out on the places and people we encounter, and see the beautiful array of lifestyle, and topology and know that we are All called to respect, commitment and Love with one another.

Copyright Statement

To Reflections on other RCL Readings for Year C, Proper 18:

Reflections available at the active links Semi-Continuous Track Gospel Theme Track
Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Lesson: Jeremiah 18:1-11 Deuteronomy 30:15-20
Psalm Psalm 139:1-5, 13-17 Psalm 1
New Testament Lesson
Philemon 1-21
Luke 14:25-33

To Reflections on other Standard (Episcopal) Lectionary Readings for Year C, Proper 18:

Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Deuteronomy 30:15-20
Psalm 1
no reflection available

New Testament Philemon 1-21

this page
Gospel Luke 14:25-33
no reflection available

Charles "Chuck" Morello, Jr. was the Webverger for this website and member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Virginia, MN, when he wrote this reflection in 2007. Chuckt and we welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to Chuck Morello or any MEESC member, or mail them to:

MEESC c/o C. Morello 4451 Lakeside Drive Eveleth, MN 55743-4400 USA

The MEESC assumes that all correspondence received is for publication on this web site. If your comments are not for publication, please so note on your correspondence. The MEESC reserves the right to decide which items are included on the website.

This page last updated 2007-01-15.

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