Advent is coming...
Ho will it change your Christmas?
Monday, November 24, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
By AMANDA CUDA, Updated: 11/22/2008
The mission also a food pantry, stocked with items that staff members use to assemble packages for clients. Over time, Wilcox has seen a lot of people with a lot of needs and he's collected a lot of stories. There's the story of the married father with two kids, who works three jobs, yet still relies on the mission to help feed his family. There's the story of the 13-year-old boy who rode his bike to the mission from his home in Stratford, because his mother needed him to pick up food for dinner. But the most devastating story Wilcox has heard lately is a story told in numbers. A year ago, all of the mission's food programs combined served an average of 400 meals a day. Today, they serve anywhere from a thousand to 1,200 meals a day.
Read the rest here.
Visit the BRM website here.
Your word is near, O Lord our God, Your grace is near.
Come to us then, with mildness and power. Do not let us be deaf to you, but make us receptive and open to Jesus Christ your Son, who will come to look for us and save us. Today and every day, for ever and ever. Amen.
(by Huub Oosterhuis, SJ)
Almighty and gracious Father, we give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we pray, faithful stewards of your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Let us give thanks to God our Father for all his gifts so freely bestowed upon us.
For the beauty and wonder of your creation, in earth and sky and sea. We thank you, Lord.
For all that is gracious in the lives of men and women, revealing the image of Christ, We thank you, Lord.
For our daily food and drink, our homes and families, and our friends, We thank you, Lord.
For minds to think, and hearts to love, and hands to serve, We thank you, Lord.
For health and strength to work, and leisure to rest and play, We thank you, Lord.
For the brave and courageous, who are patient in suffering and faithful in adversity, We thank you, Lord.
For all valiant seekers after truth, liberty, and justice, We thank you, Lord.
For the communion of saints, in all times and places, We thank you, Lord.
Above all, we give you thanks for the great mercies and promises given to us in Christ Jesus our Lord; To him be praise and glory, with you, O Father, and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.
Matthew 25 - Episcopal Relief and Development's mandate.
What can we learn from this final parable of Jesus? The sheep have a job to do…
(1) Witnessed on a New York City street: A homeless man is sitting on the curb near St. Bart’s Church. He has set his hat out in front of him. A shabbily dressed homeless woman dragging a cart filled with garbage bags walks by. She pauses in front of the man. Deciding that he was worse off than she was, she takes out of her worn, ripped coat pocket two crumpled dollar bills and places them in his hat. It is a random act of charity that goes almost unnoticed by the world, a snapshot of compassion that both inspires the spirit and breaks the heart. That was reported in The New York Times, December 29, 2003.
The homeless woman in front of St. Bart’s manages to see beyond her own hardships to embrace Christ’s compassion in the homeless man she meets on the street…she saw a fellow human being…she saw Christ… Sometimes we don’t see Christ…
(2) In July 1995, the city of Chicago was wrapped in a deadly heat wave. For days the mercury hung in the three-digit-zone, the heat index reaching 120 degrees. During the heat wave, more than 700 Chicagoans died. Emergency teams reported finding inadequate or nonexistent ventilation in the residences of the dead, many had cardiac or pulmonary weaknesses. What major media accounts failed to report was another deadly killer: the absence of community. The majority of people who died in the heat wave died alone. They had no one checking in on their attic apartments or their windowless lives. No family, friend or neighbor showed up to discover the severity of his or her plight. Sixty-eight of these individuals died so anonymously that Cook County officials buried them in a mass grave.
The absence of community does not require a heat wave or cold spell, much less hundreds of deaths, to make its presence known. It surrounds us daily — in our neighborhoods, our work lives and the anguish of our own souls. We may not always be aware of this void. But the scarcity of a deep sense of community can wreak havoc below the surface of our outwardly busy lives, just as it occasionally makes the ultimate claim on an elderly individual living alone. [Adapted from "Breathing together" by Peter W. Marty, The Christian Century, August 23, 2005.]
Without community, we lose our connections, we fail to notice the needs of others, we can’t see Christ…
(3) Talia Leman, an eighth grader in Iowa who loves soccer and swimming, and whose favorite subject is science. When Talia was 10 years old, she saw television clips of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and decided to help. She galvanized other kids and started a movement to trick-or-treat at Halloween for coins for hurricane victims. The movement caught the public imagination, Talia made it on the “Today” show, and the campaign raised more than $10 million.
With that success behind her, Talia, now 13 years old, organized a program called RandomKid. At randomkid.org, young people can link up with others to participate in various philanthropic ventures. On the Web site, Talia has organized a campaign to build a school in rural Cambodia, backed by children in 48 states and 19 countries. [NY Times, Nov. 16, 2008]
Jesus calls us to the work of living community — community that is centered in the holiness of God that dwells within every man, woman and child. A community that sees Christ in all the members of the human family and responds to their needs. [Connections]
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Holiday Mail for Heroes
For the second year in a row, we’re collecting holiday cards to distribute to American service members, veterans and their families in the United States and around the world. Pitney Bowes is generously donating technology, resources and postage to make this holiday card program possible.
Our goal is to collect and distribute one million holiday cards to spread holiday cheer and facilitate thanks to these brave individuals and families. Please send cards to this address, following the guidelines listed below:
Holiday Mail for Heroes
PO Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456
More details, including guidelines, visit their website here.
Help our Troops Call Home
American Supports You
Our faith, what we believe in, is lived through what we say and what we do. As Martin Luther King Jr. put it: “Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase.” Taking those first steps of faith are important because they en-flesh what we believe but our next steps are just as important for they also speak of our faith
“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” - T.S. Eliot These words from T.S. Eliot remind me that our call to live out our faith, to take that first step and the next, and the next after that, is a risk, a risk that will lead us to where God calls us to go, further than we can imagine, even when we can’t see the staircase, or it is a risk we are unwilling to take. For that is the point of the parable in the gospel…the servants are rewarded not because of the results of the talents they earned (God is not a bookkeeper checking on results) but because they were faithful servants who used the talents given them; the faithless servant refused to use the talent given him and buried it away…that is not enough says the master…that is not enough says God. We can’t live in fear for our faith calls us to risk, for without faith, we are lost…
“For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.” How true it is that when we have talent, a gift, if we do not exercise it, if we don’t use it, we tend to lose it, as if it had been taken away… In college…I learned sign language and become somewhat proficient at it, but after college, I have used it less and less and now I barely can remember much of it, same could be said of my Spanish… I suspect we all have gifts, talents that remain unexplored, untried, or left to dust…
The Parable of the Talents is a stark reminder that we each have been entrusted with faith and we each have been entrusted with gifts, talents, charismas. God does not want us to sit on those gifts, does not want us to hide our faith under a bushel basket in fear but God wants us to use the gifts, to show our faith, for the good of others, to build up the Body of Christ, to help restore those who have fallen away & those in need.
I think of a story about the great composer Ludwig van Beethoven, who despite his artistry, was not known for his social grace, who was often uncomfortable around others and gruff with people. There is a story that when the son of a close friend died, Beethoven rushed to the home of his friend to express his grief. He had no words to offer, but for the next half hour, he sat at his friend's piano and expressed his emotions in the most eloquent way he could. When he had finished playing, the maestro quietly got up and left. His friend later said that no one else's visit meant as much to him and his family. [Philip Yancey]
Greatness in the kingdom of God is not defined by the talents and resources we possess but by what we are able to accomplish with what we have been given. Some of us possess great skills in medicine, in science, in literature, in the arts; some of us possess the ability to listen, to offer encouragement and care, to translate compassion into support and healing. Every one of us has some measure of talent, ability or skill — "talents" that have been entrusted to us by the "Master." Jesus teaches in today's Gospel that our place in the reign of God will depend on our stewardship of those talents: whether we "bury" them in fear or selfishness or use them readily to reveal the presence of God in our midst. [Connections]
And to use them to help others discover their God given talents too…
There is an organization called Five Talents’ International. Its mission is to fight poverty, create jobs and transform lives by empowering the poor in developing countries using innovative savings and microcredit programs, business training and spiritual development. It is based on the Parable from Matthew we have just heard (Matthew 25:14-30). They carry out this mission in partnership with the churches of the Anglican Communion.
Here’s one story from their ministry (and website):
After Joy’s husband died of malaria, she found herself alone, taking care of six children in the Kabale District of Uganda, near the Rwanda border. Instead of giving up in despair, she started a brick-making business. With a small loan of $150 and some savings she was able to purchase a small piece of land and employ eight people to make bricks. In just four months, she sold $150 worth of bricks with an inventory worth $400 available for sale. Since 2003, she has gotten several additional loans to enlarge her brick-making business. She also has expanded into growing potatoes and operating a small store. The profits from her business allow her to provide for her children's education and to hire 13 employees who now can support their families as well.
What is the impact of Five Talents?
• More than 20,000 people were helped in 2007.
• Thousands more since it began in 1999.
• Now supporting 13 programs in Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Dominican Republic, Tanzania and Peru.
• Currently providing technical assistance in Bolivia and Ghana.
• Repayment rates average more than 90%. (our banking industry would like to see such repayment rates!)
The ministry of FTI is to help people identify their gifts, train them with skills to nurture those gifts and then provide a community of support to sustain them in their use. Indeed its ministry is to help increase the talents and support them in their work!
Five Talents International is in a risky business. for the entrepreneur with the risks of starting one’s own business and there is risk for the giver, to “encourage…and build up” our brothers and sisters and release control of the gift into the hands of the recipient and trust them with it.
There is much God has given us, but we must be willing to take that first step, trust our God given talents and continue in faith to take our steps and help others take those first steps too… MLK, Jr. & T.S. Eliot were right, faith is taking that first step and understanding that those who will risk going too far by continuing to take steps are the ones who can find out how far one can go in life. Only by using our talents, by trusting our faith in our God who is faithful, can we risk going too far…
So let us learn from Scripture, let us number our days and apply our hearts to wisdom, let us in humility and faith live our lives, taking steps, taking risks, using our talents so that God’s glory may be made manifest through what we do. Then at the last may we hear… “Well done, good and faithful servant of God; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.” Amen.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Please pray for the monks (order of the Holy Cross) and all those affected by those wild fires.
You can read the NY Times article here: Monks Turn to Reflection With Monastery in Ruins.
Monday, November 10, 2008
we give you thanks for the devotion and courage
of all those who have offered military service for this country:
For those who have fought for freedom;
for those who laid down their lives for others;
for those who have borne suffering of mind or of body;
for those who have brought their best gifts to times of need.
On our behalf they have entered into danger,
endured separation from those they love,
labored long hours, and borne hardship in war and in peacetime.
Lift up by your mighty Presence those who are now at war;
encourage and heal those in hospitals or mending their wounds at home;
guard those in any need or trouble;
hold safely in your hands all military families;
and bring the returning troops to joyful reunion and tranquil life at home;
Give to us, your people, grateful hearts
and a united will to honor these men and women
and hold them always in our love and our prayers;
until your world is perfected in peace through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.
(Compiled by the Rev. Jennifer Phillips)
O judge of the nations, we remember before you with grateful hearts the men and women of our country who in the day of decision ventured much for the liberties we now enjoy. Grant that we may not rest until all people of this land share the benefits of true freedom and gladly accept it disciplines. This we ask in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN. (BCP)
Sunday, November 9, 2008
“I call on all Americans, as I have often in this campaign, to not despair of our present difficulties but to believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here. Americans never quit. ” ~ John McCain
“So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it's that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers. In this country, we rise or fall as one nation — as one people.” ~ Barack Obama
These words from the speeches by John McCain and Barack Obama on that historic Tuesday night are all about hope and working together in the midst of these difficult days. We have entered a new era with an African-American as President elect at the same time we live in the midst of the worst unemployment in 14 years, too many mortgages in foreclosure, an October that retailers would like to forget, the auto industry on the ropes and we watch Congo descend into chaos and warfare with a world in financial trouble. We have our work cut out for us to live into that hope and to pray and work for better days ahead.
There will be the naysayers and there will be people who say the end is at hand. Many of these are same types who also say that while everything is going to hell in a handbasket, so is everybody else, going to hell that is… [2 pictures shown – the end is at hand]
In the midst of all of this, we have the parable of the ten maidens that Jesus gives us today. And at first glance, this parable of judgment might seem to give us little reason to hope and more to fear, but it really is a story about living that hope in our lives right now and in every moment we have breath in us.
As Jesus tells it, 10 bridesmaids were given the honor to meet the bridegroom 5 were wise and prepared (extra oil) 5 were foolish and had only oil in their lamp The Bridegroom was delayed and all 10 slept When he finally arrived the foolish ran to get more oil because their lamps grew dim but were not welcomed back when they returned…
It would be as if you had cleared security and gotten in the crowd to see John McCain or Barack Obama on Tuesday night, waiting all day with your camera and when the candidate arrives you realize your battery is dead and you did not bring a spare, you run out to get a battery but by the time you return, you cannot get back in…
Now Jesus tells us that this parable is how the Kingdom of Heaven will be like, so Keep awake says Jesus, be prepared, for you know neither the day nor the hour when the kingdom will come, for the bridegroom in the story is Jesus. And he is looking at our lives, and seeing how unprepared we are to live, how we don’t have that hope oozing through us, we don’t have that extra oil to be ready for what may come.
In the Jewish tradition having oil was often connected to good deeds or the torah. To live a life prepared is, as I said last week, to live according to the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes.
“Readiness in the Gospel of Matthew is all about living the quality of life described in the Sermon on the Mount. Many can do this for a short while; but when the kingdom is delayed, the problems arise. Being a peacemaker for a day is not as demanding as being a peacemaker year after year when the hostility breaks out again and again, and the bridegroom is delayed…” (New Interpreters Bible)
Let me illustrate this with a story from the new comedy Ghost Town, Bertram Pincus is a curmudgeon of a dentist. He is unmarried, friendless, a loner, meticulous even obtuse at times. After a failed romance, Bertram has shut himself off from others. “I don’t mind crowds,” Bertram says, “only the people in them.” Then, during a routine colonoscopy, something goes wrong with the anesthesia. Bertram is clinically dead for seven minutes. He recovers to find himself a medium between the living and the dead.
On leaving the hospital, Bertram is besieged by anxious ghosts only he can see and hear. The ghosts trail him around Manhattan, pleading with Bertram to take care of the unfinished business they have left behind; only when these unresolved things are settled will they be able to rest in peace for eternity. Now Bertram is really annoyed. He wants nothing to do with these spirits and their problems. The ghosts make Bertram confront the incompleteness of his own life. So Bertram begins to help the ghosts, one by one: for one ghost, he heals the breach between her two warring daughters and so on.
Bertram discovers that generosity can be more fulfilling than cruelty; that being mean and cold is not all the fun its cracked up to be. In helping these souls find peace, Bertram Pincus fills the emptiness of his own soul with a new tenderness and sense of compassion and empathy toward others and himself.
“Ghost Town is an offbeat take on today’s parable of the ten bridesmaids and the gift of time in our lives. There is so much we want to do with our lives — but the many demands on our time to make a living derail us from making a life, a life that is centered in the love of family and friends, in an awareness of God’s living presence and a yearning for contributing to the greater good of all.” (Connections by Jay Cormier)
It is Jesus who warns us not to fall into the trap of the five foolish bridesmaids or Bertram Pincus or those souls who left unfinished business, all who squander their time before the Bridegroom’s arrival, but to embrace the wisdom of the five “wise” bridesmaids, trimming our “lamps” with the “oil” – which is the stuff of our relationships, the love, compassion, generosity and forgiveness, to live out those Beatitudes in our lives until his coming again. Then we will be ready.
As was said on Tuesday night, “This is our moment. This is our time — to reaffirm that fundamental truth that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope…” (Barack Obama)
And in that hope is our life and what we will do with it each and every moment that we have, as a former US treasury secretary put it: “Infinitely more important than sharing one's material wealth is sharing the wealth of ourselves—our time and energy, our passion and commitment, and, above all, our love.” ~ William E. Simon
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
His 'Call to Renewal' Keynote Address (June 28, 2006)
And that night, before I went to bed I said a prayer of my own. It's a prayer I think I share with a lot of Americans. A hope that we can live with one another in a way that reconciles the beliefs of each with the good of all. It's a prayer worth praying, and a conversation worth having in this country in the months and years to come. ~ Barack Obama
Faith Has Role in Politics, Obama Tells Church Small Excerpt:
“My faith teaches me that I can sit in church and pray all I want, but I won’t be fulfilling God’s will unless I go out and do the Lord’s work.” ~ Barack Obama
Under your law we live, great God, and by your will we govern ourselves. Help us as good citizens to respect neighbors whose views differ from ours, so that without partisan anger, we may work out issues that divide us, and support those elected candidates to serve the common welfare; through Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen. (PCUSA, p. 732, adapted)
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
America the Beautiful
by Katharine Lee Bates (1859–1929)
O BEAUTIFUL for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Those stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!
O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!
May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness,
And every gain divine.
O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
Sunday, November 2, 2008
O Lord our Governor, bless the leaders of our land, that we may be a people at peace among ourselves and a blessing to other nations of the earth.
Lord, keep this nation under your care.
To the President and members of the Cabinet, to Governors of States, Mayors of Cities, and to all in administrative authority, grant wisdom and grace in the exercise of their duties.
Give grace to your servants, O Lord.
To Senators and Representatives, and those who make our laws in States, Cities, and Towns, give courage, wisdom, and foresight to provide for the needs of all our people, and to fulfill our obligations in the community of nations.
Give grace to your servants, O Lord.
To the Judges and officers of our Courts give understanding and integrity, that human rights may be safeguarded and justice served.
Give grace to your servants, O Lord.
And finally, teach our people to rely on your strength and to accept their responsibilities to their fellow citizens, that they may elect trustworthy leaders and make wise decisions for the well-being of our society; that we may serve you faithfully in our generation and honor your holy Name.
For yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Amen.
The priest smiled and then said to the visitor, “All the people who ever lived on this island since it received the gospel message are still here. Just think of what we say in the sacred liturgy: ‘Therefore with all the angels and the saints and the whole company of the faithful we praise your glory forever.’
“Don’t you realize,” he added, “that when we sing the Trisagion [Holy, Holy, Holy] we are joining with all the holy ones who have ever worshiped in this church?”
A wonderful story that reminds us that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses that join us every time we come to worship together here in this sacred place. And on All Saints Sunday, we turn our attention to those who are with us in Spirit. “Let us now sing the praises of famous men and women, our ancestors in their generations.” Words from the book Ecclesiasticus, calling us to remember the saints.
Every year, we do just that. It began this year on Friday Night with the carnival celebrations of Halloween (All Hallows Eve). “Halloween is the time of year when we see that Christ has so triumphed over Evil that even little children can mock the Devil with impunity.” With children dressing up in freakish costumes, similar to the way “our ancestors had used the most powerful weapon in the human arsenal, the power of humor and ridicule, to confront the power of death.”
For in each case, we remember that Christ has brought us out of death into life, out of darkness into light. The saints live in that light.
On All Saints Day, we remember the saints from long ago and not so long ago…asking God to help us follow them in all virtuous and godly living… “In the New Testament, the word “saints” is used to describe the entire membership of the Christian community, and in the Collect for All Saints’ Day the word “elect” is used in a similar sense. From very early times, however, the word “saint” came to be applied primarily to persons of heroic sanctity, whose deeds were recalled with gratitude by later generations.” (Lesser Feasts & Fasts, 2000)
And so we remember the saints who lived the godly life…Today is also November 2. Traditionally the day set aside to remember All Souls, or (as our BCP puts it) the Commemoration of all the faithful departed. We remember our loved ones, family members, friends, even those whose name has become silent, no lips to speak their names. Even they are commemorated on this day. They are no less members of the community of the faithful in heaven then the saints we think of, but they are not recognized except by those who remember and love them.
“But of others…there is no memory…they have perished as though they have never existed…but these also were godly persons, whose righteous deeds have not been forgotten, their offspring will continue forever, and the glory will never be blotted out.”
We remember them, we think of them because God remembers them, they are at home with God, they are counted among that countless throng in heaven we call the communion of saints, both known and unknown.
Today, though is not just about remembering our departed loved ones or thinking of the saints of past years and their lives. We need to consider the saints of today and the saints yet unborn… For we are also counted among the saints…why? heroic deeds? a devout faith? a pious spirit? No. We are numbered among them because through our baptism, we are part of the household of God, members of Christ’s body, and part of that faithful tribe who call themselves Christians. It is baptism that links us with the communion of saints.
Today is really a feast day for all of us as we understand our place among the communion of saints. To use James Joyce’s words in thinking about the Church, that it’s “here comes everybody.” Everybody belongs, no matter how saintly they think of themselves or not.
Today, John Decker Sikes joins the communion of saints as he his baptized in just a few moments (at the next service). He will take his place among the body of Christ and as full members in Christ. It is Christ who is, in a sense, given to us in Baptism, is ritually remembered and taken in again at communion (taking in bread and wine as Christ said, “do this in remembrance of me.”) It is this same Christ who is our friend, throughout our life and in our death welcomes us with the saints home. It is Christ who remembers us and holds us in our death. For this is the hope of the saints, this is the hope that our ancestors in their generations lived with, it is our hope today. “See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are,” the First Epistle of John tell us.
This hope is grounded in our lives. How we follow Christ, living our lives as witnesses to this faith… How we live in faith is the Gospel message for today, consider that the Beatitudes were given to the disciples and the crowds gathered on a mountain; where Jesus taught…
Blessed are the poor in spirit, those who mourn, who are meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, those who are merciful, those who are pure in heart, the peacemakers, those who are persecuted for righteousness sake…
We are called to live out of these: Have we been merciful? Or meek & humble? Have we tried to bring peace to our world? I think of those Pilgrims for Peace who stayed here on Friday…
In a society that lives on wealth and prestige, on aggressiveness and displays of power, the Beatitudes are a very different way of living our lives. They challenge us to see that the saints and the faithful departed were committed to their faith, their community and their God. They lived these Beatitudes in their lives. We account them faithful and numbered in heaven. Let us commit ourselves to the faith of Christ, and let us in hope, remember the saints, our faithful departed, knowing that one day we will join them.
For as that (first) hymn put it: “But lo! There breaks a yet more glorious day; the saints triumphant rise in bright array; the King of Glory passes on his way…”
or as another song has put it: “O Lord, I want to be in that number, when the saints go marching in…” Amen.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
This is a small excerpt but says why I think we should vote:
We are citizens of our communities—many of us leaders, and we take advantage of much that our communities offer. We can’t just refuse to help set the direction of our towns and counties and nation!
Besides, if we believe that God instituted government for the good of people, and we live in a democracy where we are the government, isn’t it our duty to help our government do the things God instituted it to do? We Christians can do a lot, through the government as well as outside it, to improve the condition of our fellowman, to promote Christian order and justice and the reign of peace. Goodness, with all the drunkenness in our land, we certainly can vote to promote more Christian behavior.
-Anna Landis Funk (from two letters written by her in 1880 in Indiana)
You can read the whole thing here.
Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.