Formation Resources: Gratitude and Miracles

Bob Scott, Kathryn Carroll, Dr. Kathy Bozzuti-Jones

Contemplative photo by Dr. Kathy Bozzuti-Jones

Let’s share some good news. It’s time. It’s past time. I don’t know about you, but my limbic system is all but shot from worrying. Carrie Newcomer’s poem “Three Gratitudes” always makes me smile, putting me in touch with a larger truth than those I am tempted to fixate upon. It reminds me that naming and listing the good news we take for granted can get me “on a roll” and can lead me from anxiety … to wonder. What’s on your small-gratitude-during-a-global-pandemic list? Name something that “lightens and softens” your life, as the poet suggests — a surprise blessing of this complex time. It could be something you have heard about or experienced for yourself. Feel free to jot down a few gratitudes — no matter how insignificant they seem — and share with someone near you or whisper it in the silence of your heart.

Dr. Kathy Bozzuti-Jones
Associate Director
Faith Formation and Education



This Sunday

To prepare for Sunday, see this week’s readings.


Adult Learning 

It’s Crucial to Complete the Census

Our partners from Hour Children were about to visit Whole Community Learning to raise awareness of the census, and then the pandemic hit. Now, they’ve made a wonderful video explaining the importance of filling out the census. Since the census deadline is coming right up, we invite you to view and share broadly. If you are or know someone who is formerly incarcerated, undocumented, unemployed, or a non-citizen, it’s vital to be represented. Share this video with anyone who needs to know that it is safe — and crucial — to complete the census.


Adult Practice

Pray with the imagery of today’s Gospel Reading using this guided visualization.

Try this gentle meditation for opening up to difficult feelings by Rhonda Magee.

Trinity has partnered with art therapist Jessica E. Heller of PSI for Connecting through Art. Here’s a sample art response to the visual prompt: What does community mean to you?

Community is energy — and messy — and transformative!


Children and Families

Contemplative photo by Dr. Kathy Bozzuti-Jones

Befriending Fear

Kathryn Carroll

It’s the season of miracles in our gospel readings from Matthew. Last week we revisited the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000, which then set the stage for him calming the storm and walking on water. In all of these stories, the thing that seems to prompt the miracle is people’s fear. On the mountain the fear was of scarcity, not having enough to go around. In the water, it was the clear and present danger of a storm, something they couldn’t control, and then fear of an unknown person walking on the surface of water. In this story, Jesus is explicit about Peter’s fear literally and figuratively threatening to sink him.

Humanity seems to be in a season of fear again today: the most obvious is the fear of COVID-19, which feels like a storm with an unknown end or outcome, which exacerbates already-present fears of scarcity. This fear of scarcity itself has perpetuated so much of humanity’s individual and systemic racism, xenophobia, sexism, homophobia, environmental abuse, and class warfare. It plays out in all of our personal lives as well, even within families. After all, isn’t a fear of not enough at the heart of a lot of sibling rivalries? And isn’t it the fear of not enough affection, or consideration, or time and other resources the baseline of most familial conflict?

So, we say we might need a miracle to solve all of these problems. What would that miracle look like? Who was the miracle on the mountain, in the boat, and on the water? Was it Jesus himself, or was it his suggestion that our faith in love and in each other is enough for us to become the miracle?

I doubt that John Lewis would call himself a miracle. He was quite young, unknown, and small of stature when he began to extend himself beyond his very legitimate fears. And he continued throughout his life in “the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence.” In his final missive to the younger generations he loved so much, Lewis also suggests that there is no scarcity in our capacity to become the miracles we so desperately need. Sound familiar?

Summer Sundays

After Sunday’s Family Worship Watch Party, please join us at 10am for our final Summer Sundays with Roger Hutchison. We will review all the practices we learned about and shared in The Very Best Day: The Way of Love for ChildrenRSVP to Kathryn Carroll.

Family Worship: Home Edition

See Family Worship: Home Edition to see this week’s activity for children and families.


Song of the Week

Each week, we’re sharing a song of the week to help you go deeper with each Sunday’s theme. The playlist will be updated weekly, and the song of the week will sit on top.