19360906_FDR_On_The_Drought_And_The_Dust_Bowl-FDRLast summer, Katie and I spent a week in the Hudson Valley.  While there we took an afternoon to visit FDR’s house and the museum that’s there on the property.  When you walk into the museum there are several walls and partitions that are covered with correspondences he had received over his time in office.  Some were letters from people who singing his praises, others were letters disagreeing with him, his politics, actions, and all the rest.  However, there was one that stuck out both for content, but also visually–it was an almost blank piece of paper, amid hundreds of pieces of paper that were covered with words.  This one was also the most straightforward of them all.  The letter was on a company’s letterhead, it’s president and CEO the author.  Written in response to one of FDR’s “Fireside Chats,” it contained only the following words:

“Mr. President,

Atta boy.”


During my interviews with folks at St. Alban’s back in June of 2011 John Lawrence, the Interim Rector, had mentioned that I would need to contribute an article once a week to the church’s blog.  At that moment the prospect of writing a weekly blog post on just about anything I wanted, but that “probably should relate, in some way, to the ‘Good News’ of the Gospel,” seemed like no big deal.  However, the first time I sat down to a blank screen to write what perhaps hundreds of readers would digest, the task became much more challenging, much more monumental.  What would I have to say about Jesus, the Good News, our faith and all the rest that ANYONE would want to read, much less glean some sort of insight into their own faith lives?

I will admit that writing for the Daily Cup has been one of the most challenging and rewarding theological exercises of my life.  Some weeks have been struggles, some weeks the post just flowed out.  But isn’t that just the way with our faith, with our relationship with God?  Sometimes we feel like we are walking side by side with the divine…other times we may feel like we’re in the valley of dry bones.  But each week–this being the 237th week of our walk together with “The Daily Cup”–I’ve put into words, matured, struggled, shared joy, challenged, been challenged and grown a little in my faith.  That action and discipline has been a wonderful exercise for me and my faith formation.  Thank you for sharing in that with me.

What I would ask of you all–you readers of “The Cup”–is to continue to read what we write….but even more importantly, if something moves you:  let us know.  Post a comment, zip us an email, catch us in the Narthex on Sunday morning.   If you disagree with what we’ve written, let us know that too.  Each of the authors puts a good amount of time and thought into our posts, often never knowing if what we’ve written has had any impact at all on those who have read them.

Writing for The Daily Cup has been one of the many, many joys of my ministry at St. Alban’s and something for which I give such thanks to God.


With Easter Blessings,






P.S. I understand that Rev. Emily Griffin will be taking over my Friday spot going forward…so you are in EXCELLENT hands.

About matthewhanisian

Associate Rector at St. Alban's Episcopal Church, Washington, D.C.
This entry was posted in The Rev. Matthew R. Hanisian. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to #237

  1. Anton Vanterpool II says:

    Matthew, Thank you for keeping us engaged, entertained and bringing “things that matter most” to our thoughts and prayers. Blessings in your new ministry.

  2. Atta boy, Matthew. So glad I asked you to do this 237 weeks ago. Well done indeed!

  3. Gaye Pappas says:

    From Fernandina beach, FL I send a big thank you for the moments of reflection, moments which have stirred and made me smile or have warmed my heart. Blessings and keep on keeping on for Him+

  4. Kathy Morgan says:

    Your “cups” have been loving and thought-provoking, Matthew. You have done so much for St. Alban’s, and this is just one of your wonderful contributions.

  5. Ellen Schou says:

    Thank you Matthew for your thoughtful Daily Cups. I zap all of my Emails daily and then settle down to enjoy reading and often printing a hard copy of the essays. I often carry one in my handbag to whip out when I am waiting in line at the grocery store. I have stayed connected with St. Albans for the past year by reading the Daily Cups.

  6. Matthew, Your daily cups have been thoughtful, well presented, and inspiring. We are REALLY going to miss YOU! Best of luck.

  7. John Daniel says:

    ‘Atta boy’

  8. jgfarr says:

    Dear Matthew,

    Thank you for “#237” as well as those that preceded it. The all reflect an admirable fusion of intelligence, honesty, common sense, good-humor, faith, annd spiritual insight—qualities that have informed your larger ministry at St. Alban’s.

    We will miss you but never forget you.

    George and Judith Farr

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