About Matthew Martin Nickoloff

If there are a "chosen few" then I am not one of them, if an "elect" well then I have not been elected. I am one who is knocking at the door. I am one whose foot is on the bottom rung. But I know that Heaven's bottom rung is Heaven though the ladder is standing where I work by day and at night sleep with my head on a stone. -Wendell Berry No one ever told us we had to study our lives, make of our lives a study, as if learning natural history music, that we should begin with the simple exercises first and slowly go on trying the hard ones, practicing till strength and accuracy became one with the daring to leap into transcendence, take the chance of breaking down the wild arpeggio or faulting the full sentence of the fugue. And in fact we can’t live like that: we take on everything at once before we’ve even begun to read or mark time, we’re forced to begin in the midst of the hard movement, the one already sounding as we are born. Everything else seems beyond us, we aren’t ready for it, nothing that was said is true for us, caught naked in the argument, the counterpoint, trying to sightread what our fingers can’t keep up with, learn by heart what we can’t even read. And yet it is this we were born to. We aren’t virtuosi or child prodigies, there are no prodigies in this realm, only a half-blind, stubborn cleaving to the timbre, the tones of what we are, even when all the texts describe it differently. And we’re not performers, like Liszt, competing against the world for speed and brilliance (the 79-year-old pianist said, when I asked her What makes a virtuoso?—Competitiveness.) The longer I live the more I mistrust theatricality, the false glamour cast by performance, the more I know its poverty beside the truths we are salvaging from the splitting-open of our lives The woman who sits watching, listening, eyes moving in the darkness is reheasing in her body, hearing-out in her blood a score touched off in her perhaps by some words, a few chords, from the stage, a tale only she can tell. -Adrienne Rich

Holy Week 2015 @ SWM – 3/29-4/4


Holy Week 2015 – Schedule of Services

Holy Week is the time each liturgical year when the Church remembers the last days of Jesus’ life.  Beginning with his triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, continuing with the celebration of his Last Supper on Maundy Thursday, walking with him to the cross on Good Friday, and then waiting at the tomb for the resurrection at the Easter Vigil, Holy Week is more than just a series of worship services – it’s our chance to “walk the walk” with Jesus, immersing ourselves into the story of cross and resurrection, the “Paschal Mystery,” that lies at the heart of Christian discipleship.

Whether you can join us for one service or for them all, come and hear the story.  Come live the story.  Come walk the walk.  And be transformed.

+PALM SUNDAY – Sunday March 29th, 5pm
procession of palms and chanting of the Great Litany

+MAUNDY THURSDAY – Thursday, April 2nd, 6pm
Foot-washing and supper liturgy

+GOOD FRIDAY – Friday, April 3rd, 7pm
Veneration of the Holy Cross

+EASTER VIGIL – Saturday, April 4th, 7pm
the most ancient service in Christianity, with lighting of the fire, service of storytelling, and celebration of the Eucharist 

Lent 2015 at SWM


Lent at SWM this year is a time of the “great inhale” – a time to breathe in the promises of God, and also, to train our hearts in living out of these promises.  As we cultivate Gospel mindfulness, training with Jesus in the Shadowlands between the glory of Transfiguration and the death of the Cross, we hope to exercise our hearts, making us more capable of breathing in the love and grace of God – and so, able to “exhale” peace and joy into the world in the season of the Resurrection to follow!

In the images below, find a Schedule of Lent Dates, as well as a suggested list of ideas for keeping a Holy Lent.  In addition, here’s some links for ways to get involved:

Wednesday Night Group Meditations – 8-8:45p – Every Wednesday during Lent, we’ll gather in community to hear a short teaching on meditation, and to practice sitting in silent mindfulness together

South Wedge Abbey Project (SWAP) – train in community with a daily disciplines journal focused on working out the three parts of our hearts – mind, strength and soul

Being Christian: Baptism, Bible, Eucharist, Prayer by Rowan Williams – pick up a copy of this brief yet powerful introduction to the basics of Christian faith and practice.

the Social Media Catechism – receive daily reflections designed to be simple, multifaceted engagements with the foundational beliefs and practices of Christian existence

Lent 2015 Save the Dates

SWM Lent Check List