Checking-in

We are accustomed to “checking-in”, a task we perform to get our boarding pass on the flight for which we have purchased a ticket. It’s an easy task to check in on my home computer and print my boarding pass for my departing flight. However, away from home, checking in and especially printing a boarding pass can be a bit more complicated. Airlines offer apps to check in on your smart phone. Never the less, you must check in at the security gate, a process that can be tedious. Signing your name, getting your packet at a seminar and name badge is another familiar activity. Arriving at a hotel, checking in at the registration desk or picking up a prepaid ticket at the admissions desk involves checking in. All check-in involve some form of identifying yourself.
checking-in
Nowadays, many of us check-in with our friends on Facebook. In fact, Facebook invites you to “Share how you’re feeling or what you’re doing.” Most support groups counselling groups begin with an invitation to share your feelings and what is happening with you In an individual counselling session the counselor or therapist may start the session asking you to share about your present circumstances.
Group session
A far deeper checking-in is a part of prayer, a going inward process. Though formal and public prayer could involve a checking-in with God, individual prayer by its very nature involves going deep into our innermost self. A prayer that begins with checking-in involves a humble request, “Search me, O God, and know my heart,” Psalm 139:23. Checking-in involves putting aside pride, ego and above an attitude of knowing our needs. Surely God knows are needs. More than we know ourselves.
Checking-in at the onset of prayer is identifying yourself, who are, where you, how are you feeling right now, what bothers you. Checking-in part of prayer is like going through customs at an international airport. Not only will your baggage be checked, but you will be asked questions about what you are brining into the country. Checking-in when you pray is like that, only you are the one going through you baggage asking yourself, what am I brining into prayer today? How do I feel? Is there anything I need to declare? Asking these questions is the invitation for God to search into our hidden places to illuminate the dark places in our hearts. “[T]ry me and know my thoughts try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me,” urges the Psalmist further in Psalm 139:24.
Prayer Prayer should not be a list of our requests but rather going into your inner room, closing the door and praying to our Father who is in secret, who sees our secrets. Jesus taught, “when you pray, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. “So do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. “Pray, then, in this way:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Matthew 6:7-13
Listen to The Prayer
Our busy lives can become a barrier to spending time in prayer. Like the airlines apps, prayer websites can help us check-in with our soul’s needs.
The Angel of the Hour is my favorite prayer website.Angel of the Hour
I love closing my day with Compline Compline

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Gabriella was born in Budapest Hungary. Some of her family still resides in Hungary. After escaping the Communist regime in the aftermath of the 1956 Revolution, Gabriella's family settled in Cleveland OH. She graduated from Cleveland Heights High School and attended college but did not earn a degree. She met her husband in Devon PA, and soon they were married and began family life in PA. Only a few years married, John and Gabriella moved to FL to be with Gabriella's aging parents. Two o their three children were born Florida. After the children began school, Gabriella volunteered in schools and libraries. Her love for swimming drew her into the world of aquatics. Part time coaching jobs evolved into career aquatic management. Her children out of the home, Gabriella worked full time as an aquatic manger, coach and swim instructor. In 2001, John and Gabriella's plans to ease into retirement in Tucson changed drastically when John suffered a heart attack in 2002. John’s amazing recovery after bypass surgery allowed Gabriella to seek a new career. It was a life changing experience for both of them. Gabriella returned to school at the University of AZ and John took over household responsibilities. A shift occurred in their lives. Gabriella felt called to become a spiritual care provider. Preparing for seminary, she chose interdisciplinary program, combining Psychology, Family and Religious Studies. She graduated with honors in 2006. Gabriella and John moved to Berkeley for her to begin seminary at the Pacific School of Religion. Gabriella was accepted on the ordination track in the Swedenborgian Church of North America. Her goal was to becoming a chaplain. John's health crisis necessitated a move from Berkeley back to Tucson in 2008. Gabriella transferred to Earlham School of Religion to complete the Master’s program. In her senior year, working in required Supervised Ministry, Gabriella created a dual ministry; Circle Community, a sharing, praying and studying support group and worked as a crisis advocate in Tucson area hospitals. Most of her family was present in Cincinnati OH when Gabriella was ordained in July 2012. In July of 2011 she was ordained in the Swedeborgian Church and accepted a call to be the pastor of the New Church of Southwest FL. Soon after her ordination Gabriella accepted a call to become the pastor to the New Church of Southwest FL in 2011. John, a VA patient needed comprehensive medical care unavailable in Fort Myers. For Gabriella ministry begins at home. Once again new a health crisis changed their life. They moved back to Tucson AZ. Back in Tucson, Gabriella found ministry opportunities with Circle Community, did workshops and conducted weekly Prayer Meditations at Rincon U.C.C. She completed a course in Spiritual Direction at the Hesychia School for Spiritual Direction. In mid October 2012, Gabriella began to work as a Chaplain for Harmony Hospice. The job all she had expected. She found great satisfaction working with patients and their families. Gabriella left the per diem position with Harmony for a full time job with Valor HospiceCare. Here too, she worked with grieving families, conducted grief support groups and lead Community Memorial services during the same time that her husband's health was spiraling downwards. Gabriella resigned her job to care for John in the last months of his life. John died in April 2014. Life became chaotic. An intense search a chaplain position in Tucson and other parts of the country was unsuccessful. Peers suggested Gabriella look into open churches with the Swedenborgian Church. She candidated in Kansas with two churches. She was called to pastor the Pretty Prairie and Pawnee Rock churches in July 2014. A new life began with the move to rural Kansas. In August 2014, Gabriella began to serve as the Pastor of the two churches.

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