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November 3 Post


“Purity of Heart is to will one thing.” -- Soren Kierkegaard

It’s started already, thoughts of the holidays: Thanksgiving arrives in just three weeks, preceded by an Interfaith Service of worship. The first glittering tinsel lights already hang from live oaks down the block, chasing goblins and ghosts back into their boxes for another year.

Four Sundays from now the season of Advent will begin, preparing our hearts and minds to remember the Prince of Peace who will unite all humankind. Then we’ll gather at Christmas to celebrate this God-with-us, who births God’s own self into the center of our lives and takes up residence there. Like every other household, we will put up a tree, bake cookies and send greetings to family and friends throughout the world.

And then we’ll do that thing we’ve always done that means Christmas is near. For us, that thing we always do, begins with the creche figures drawn up and out of their carefully wrapped tissue. The Bible verses will be read, candles lit, and prayers prayed. Yet Christ will come regardless of what we do, whether we remember or not, celebrate or not, look up and see the star, or not.

Our celebrating rituals center us. They remind us to embrace that which is essential, and let go of the merely important. As the clamor and crush of this frenzied season begins, what is that thing you always do, as you’ve always done, and will do again soon that returns your attention to essential things.

Kierkegaard was right, purity of heart of heart is to will one thing. If all we manage to pull off this Christmas is to love God a little more, and love that cranky neighbor as much as we love ourselves, that will be sufficient.

Prayer: O God, grant me an undivided heart to love and serve you today with all my heart, mind, strength and soul. Open my eyes to see you and serve you in the ordinary events of this day. May Love radiate through me. Amen

God’s grace, mercy and peace,
Rev. Dr. Anna V. Copeland
Interim Senior Minister
Community Church of Vero Beach

Posted by Rev. Dr. Anna. V. Copeland

The Rev. Dr. Anna V. Copeland comes to us from three large churches where she served as Senior Minister for nearly three decades: in Colorado, the Chicago area, just north of Boston in York, Maine, and most recently as Pastor in Residence in San Miguel, Mexico. Dr. Copeland graduated with a Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Nebraska, a Master of Divinity from Yale University Divinity School, and a Doctor of Ministry from Chicago Theological Seminary. Through worship, teaching and writing, she seeks to equip people of faith to think theologically about the world in which we live, to follow the Way of Jesus, and to share God's grace, mercy and peace with all God's people.

Together with her husband Dr. Ellis Copeland, Anna Copeland founded The Copeland Institute of northwest Boulder County in Colorado, a retreat center for deep faith work. She also has served as Trustee for The Chicago Theological Seminary, adjunct faculty for the Chicago School of Professional Psychology and as a Trustee for The Fund for Theological Education out of Atlanta.

Dr. Copeland has led international mission trips to Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Cuba, and faith journeys to Israel, Turkey and Greece. Avocations for Anna Copeland include wilderness adventures such as a women's' trek in the Arctic Circle, mountain climbing, skiing and kayaking. And she enjoys experiencing exceptional food and conversation that celebrate the feast of friendship and the feast of life.

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