Monday, September 28, 2009

Justice with Professor Michael Sandel

Justice is one of the most popular courses in Harvard’s history. Nearly one thousand students pack Harvard’s historic Sanders Theatre to hear Professor Sandel talk about justice, equality, democracy, and citizenship. Now it’s your turn to take the same journey in moral reflection that has captivated more than 14,000 students, as Harvard opens its classroom to the world.

This course aims to help viewers become more critically minded thinkers about the moral decisions we all face in our everyday lives. In this 12-part series, Sandel challenges us with difficult moral dilemmas and asks our opinion about the right thing to do.

He then asks us to examine our answers in the light of new scenarios. The result is often surprising, revealing that important moral questions are never black and white. Sorting out these contradictions sharpens our own moral convictions and gives us the moral clarity to better understand the opposing views we confront in a democracy.

Learn more here (and participate!).

Justice, ethics, and moral decisions need our religious viewpoint too!

The moral arc of the universe bends at the elbow of justice. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? ~
Micah 6:8

Blessing (words by Brian McLaren)

I said this Blessing following the 10:15 AM service on Sunday...

Christ has no body here but ours
Ours are the hands through which he works
Ours are the feet on which he moves
Ours are the voices through which he speaks
To this world with Kindness

Through our touch, our smile, our listening ear
Embodied in us, Jesus is living here

Let us go now filled with the Spirit
Into this world with Kindness

And the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen.

Sermon: September 27

So you are a priest, you work for God?

That was the question posed to me a few weeks back when I wore my collar to one of my son’s sporting events. Yep, I replied and after a minute conversationthe person was satisfied and off they went. But as I sat with that answer, I wasn't satisfied.

Yes. I am a priest and yes I work for the Church But, don’t we all work for God?

When we think of the ministers of the church, do we only think of the clergy? The BCP reminds us that the ministers of the Church are both the clergy (Bishops, Priests and Deacons) and the Laity (the Baptized). Think of what we say after baptism when we welcome the newly baptized.

We say together: "We receive you into the household of God. Confess the faith of Christ crucified, proclaim his resurrection and share with us in his eternal priesthood." Baptism is the root of all ministry, not ordination. Think of those words: "We receive you..." - that's all of us together welcoming the newly baptized into the Body of Christ.

"Confess the faith of Christ crucified, proclaim his resurrection." We may not be Billy Graham or Mother Theresa, but each in our own way, we are to confess and proclaim our faith through our words and actions. "Share with us in his eternal priesthood." Jesus' eternal priesthood, is something we share because of our baptism. It is from his priesthood that we are called to follow where Jesus had led us and to minister to others in his name.

I would say we all work for God.

But don’t we sometimes wonder about others, are they doing what Christ has called? Are they being led by the Spirit? It is this question that Jesus confronts with his disciples. Someone was casting out demons in Jesus' name, but they were not part of his followers. The disciples wanted to stop him.

Jesus replies, "do not stop them.. .whoever is not against us is for us. Whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose their reward." Jesus opens up the boundaries of who are his followers. He refuses to limit it to those who follow the disciples, his inner circle. "No one who does a deed of power in my name will be soon able to speak evil of me," says Jesus.

Jesus opens up discipleship to all who follow his name, not merely those among the disciples. Are the others led by the Spirit? I suspect Jesus would say yes, if they are doing it in my name. Jesus goes on to talk about self-discipline, about the stumbling blocks of ministry... those who set stumbling blocks against the children of faith, a great millstone around your neck! Or against ourselves when we stumble... our eyes, hands, cut it off! If we followed this command literally, I suspect we all would be stumps, no limbs, no eyes...

But I hear it as a challenge about judgment.. .we so want to judge others, that they do not follow Jesus like we do, that we overlook our own faults and sins and we stumble by focusing on others’ sins and not our own. Jesus said, "For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another."

Salt was a precious commodity during the time of Jesus. It was used for food, medicine, and some Roman Soldiers actually got paid “salt rations.” But here, Jesus looks at us, and talks about the salt in us, and that we are to be at peace with each other. It is a reminder of the claim that God has on us, that we need not look beyond, we do not need something else, God is with us, within us, who provides the salt for our lives so we should be at peace with each other.

It is out of that salt, that we are called to go and do by God at our baptism. We are not called to be perfect. We are called to minister to others, to share that love of God with others so that all may feel God's presence in their lives, even with a cup of water that Jesus speaks of. And that ministry for all of us is…
To confess the cross
To proclaim the resurrection
To love God and love our neighbors as ourselves in the ministry we do in this world (at home, at work, at play, wherever we may be)
It reminds me of the words of a great lay leader in our church, Verna Dozier:
"The call to ministry is the call to be a citizen of the kingdom of God, in a new way, the daring, free, accepting, compassionate way Jesus modeled. It means being bound by no yesterday, fearing no tomorrow, drawing no lines between friend and foe, the acceptable ones and the outcasts. Ministry is the commitment to the dream of God."

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Meet the candidates for our next Diocesan Bishop...

Meet and greet events at a location near you!

The time has arrived to meet our four bishop nominees in person! Events have been planned for three locations across the Diocese. All are welcome!

Look here for more info: or about the upcoming election.

Here are the closest two to Monroe:

Town Hall Meeting
Friday October 2 at 7 pm
Central Connecticut State University
1615 Stanley Street, New Britain
Torp Auditorium (the building with the Clock Tower)
***Parking available in Welte Parking Garage***

From the West (Danbury/Waterbury):
Take I-84 East to Exit 39A, to Rte. 9 South. Take Exit 29; turn right at end of exit ramp
onto Ella T. Grasso Boulevard. At 3rd traffic light, turn left into Student Center Parking Lot; take immediate right into Welte Parking Garage.

Traditional Walk-About
Saturday October 3 at 2 pm
Trinity Episcopal Church
651 Pequot Avenue, Southport
***Parking in lot across from Church***
Additional parking for Trinity Church may be found in the lot of the Congregational Church, to the left and down the street (toward Fairfield) on Pequot Avenue.

I-95 South to Exit 19 (Southport, CT) - Go straight to the light and straight across Post Rd. Turn left at 2nd stop sign onto Center St. (before I-95 entrance ramp). Followuntil you see Trinity Church directly in front of you.


Loving God, we thank you for the privilege of working with you to discern who will be the 15th Bishop of the Diocese of Connecticut...

The Right Way to Pray?

An interesting article...

The Right Way to Pray?
By ZEV CHAFETS, September 20, 2009 ~ NY Times

The Brooklyn Tabernacle, a 3,500-seat evangelical prayer palace in downtown Brooklyn, was built in 1918 as one of the largest and grandest vaudeville houses in North America. It is still a hot ticket. Its youngish, racially diverse congregation packs the pews each week to praise God and bask in the sounds of a Grammy-winning 250-voice gospel choir. But the tabernacle is more than just a popular church. It is also a destination for evangelicals from all around the United States and beyond, laymen and ministers alike, who come as acolytes to study prayer.

“Prayer is like other activities,” the Rev. Daniel Henderson told me when we met at the tabernacle the week before Easter. He was visiting Brooklyn with a group of seminary students from Virginia. “You learn from people who are already good at it,” he went on. “The people who pray at the Brooklyn Tabernacle are committed. Praying with them is an education.”

You can read the whole article here.

"Prayer is as essential to the soul and spirit of man as respiration is to the body." ~ the Rev. A. J. Worlledge

Sermon: September 20

Who is wise and understanding among you?

This question from the letter of James, stands at the heart of his letter about our works and our faith. The last couple of weeks the letter of James has been talking about practical Christianity, living the Word of God in our lives. We are called not to be just armchair Christians, who watch from our seats, for James tells us that our faith if it has no works, no life, is dead; instead we are called to be in the game, living our faith through our lives… It is Practical Christianity 101.

Who is wise and understanding among you?

James talks about such wisdom shown by our good life born out of gentleness, the wisdom that gives us peace, mercy, good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. The true wisdom that connects our faith & our lives to the world around us. He challenges Christians then and now who are filled with envy and who get into quarrels:
Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures....
James wants us to focus on those in need instead of ourselves and our petty conflicts, to remember our God, who yearns jealously for the spirit that he has made to dwell in each and every one of us. Our God wants to be with us, and James wants us to put away those desires and disputes in ourselves that get in the way of our connection. These do not matter – it is our connection with God that does - Submit yourselves therefore to God, says James. And then he says… Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

We have witnessed just the opposite in our society the last few years, where we have not resisted the devil, in fact the cravings, pettiness, and the focus on our own pleasures has caused greed, corruption and debt to run rampant. And we have paid the price for such excess, for such envy and selfish ambition has lead to disorder and wickedness and our current recession. As one author put it,
“Those who are wise and understanding exhibit a good life filled with works done out of gentleness. However, those who have bitterness and selfish ambition in their hearts cannot exhibit such works. To this second group James commands, "Do not be boastful and false to the truth." Speaking out of bitterness and selfish ambition denies the truth of the gospel and James wants none of it.” (Rev. Dr. LeAnn Snow Flesher)
Such bitterness and ambition leads to a life that is full of me and forgets about the we. It loses all sense of balance and hope, and thinks only of the now. Who is wise and understanding among you? The answer, according to James, is the one who gives him or herself to selfless service and honor, reaching out to those in need.

As someone who loves football, there are plenty of stories every year of players who are arrogant, prideful, who do horrible things, or can’t seem to retire, whose antics on and off the field make me wonder why I love the game. But there are stories too, when I hear Good News…

This past week, St. Paul’s Christian Academy in TN had their "Dear Dads Breakfast" and Steve McNair’s two youngest children, Trenton & Tyler, were wondering what was going to happen with them. Their father, Steve McNair, a retired All Pro QB, was murdered in July. Vince Young, a QB for the Tennessee Titans, someone who has had his own troubles but who continues to try to improve his life, surprised the children when he showed up at their house and took them to the breakfast. The kids were thrilled. When asked why he had done it, Vince Young said, “it was just out of love. Steve would do it for me. He pretty much did it for me when I was growing up. I have a history with the boys and I want to do anything I can. I am their big brother.” (You can read about it here.)

It was a wonderful gesture and reminds me of what Jesus asks of us… Then Jesus took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, "Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me."

And just like Vince Young did with Trenton & Tyler, when we act out of love, out of those good fruits, it is then that we find that we are welcoming not only children and neighbors, but we are also welcoming God. The key to being a Christian is how we live that love and wisdom out in service to others…

In our first reading from Proverbs, using the image of a capable wife, Proverbs praises her, for She opens her hand to the poor, and reaches out her hands to the needy. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. And we are called to do likewise, to open our hands and our hearts, to speak with kindness and generosity, for it is then wisdom and understanding flows. “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” Jesus said.

Christ calls us to embrace our faith as we seek to teach our children and live our lives: to love God and one another with honesty and faithfulness, without condition or expectation, putting aside our disputes, our cravings, our envy and selfish ambitions. For when we open our hearts to Jesus' Gospel of love and service, kindness and compassion, generosity and forgiveness, we can help our sons and daughters become authentic followers of the Jesus of selflessness and compassion. And that is both wise and understanding. Amen.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Houses Of Worship Open Doors To Swine Flu?

There is a story on NPR by Barbara Bradley Hagerty that begins to explore the effect of the H1N1 virus on our worship.

You can read it or listen to it here.

I think such news is a bit overblown, and I would like to think that some common sense can help us:
  • If you are sick, stay home (I can bring communion during the week, give the office a call!).
  • We have a hand sanitizer in the back of the church, please use. There are tissues available too.
  • I advise communicants not to intinct if they have any infection or are getting over an illness (beyond the contagious stage).
  • Same with shaking other people's hands.
  • For those at special risk, the use of the bread (wafer) alone is safest.
Any questions or concerns? Speak to me.

Click here for good information on the flu: Early flu season — what you need to know

or here at the CDC.

Church on the Cheap

I just finished reading Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture by Ellen Ruppel Shell. It is a very good book and it got me thinking about how the discount culture has also invaded the Church.

I am not talking about those who give of their time, talent and treasure, or their blood, sweat and tears to their Church and parish family.

I am talking about those who see the Church as a place to baptize a child but not a place to partake of community. Those who give little or nothing of themselves to the Church. Those who see it as a place for weddings and funerals, giving a pittance for such rituals, and expecting the Church to bend over backward for them.

They have no sense of mission, no sense of ministry. The Church that has been built by parishioners over many generations is forgotten except for what it can do for me right now.

Of course, Churches do it to, when we cut from budgets our mission and ministry priorities, when we forget to be evangelists, all to save our buildings and institutions. Church on the cheap is when we are focused on maintenance and not on our ministry.

It is Church on the cheap and it cannot last.

Contrast that to Jesus, who says, "I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."

Abundant Life, Joy made Complete, Grace beyond measure, that is not Church on the Cheap, for that is the Gospel and it is what we must proclaim!

Can you pass the quiz?


1. Name the Four Gospels. List as many as you can.

2. Name a sacred text of Hinduism.

3. Name the holy book of Islam.

4. Where, according to the Bible, was Jesus born?

5. George Bush spoke in his first inaugural of the Jericho road. What Bible story was he invoking?

6. What are the first five books of the Hebrew Bible or the Christian Old Testament?

7. What is the Golden Rule?

8. “God helps those who help themselves.” Is this in the Bible? If so, where?

9. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of God.” Does this appear in the Bible? If so, where?

10. Name the Ten Commandments. List as many as you can.

11. Name the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism.

12. What are the seven sacraments of Catholicism? List as many as you can.

13. The First Amendment says two things about religion, each in its own “clause.” What are the two religion clauses of the First Amendment?

14. What is Ramadan? In what religion is it celebrated?

15. Match the Bible characters with the stories in which they appear. (Draw a line from one to the other; some characters may be matched with more than one story or vice versa.)
  • Adam and Eve
  • Exodus
  • Paul
  • Binding of Isaac
  • Moses
  • Olive Branch
  • Noah
  • Garden of Eden
  • Jesus
  • Parting of the Red Sea
  • Abraham
  • Road to Damascus
  • Serpent
  • Garden of Gethsemane
You can find the answer here.

Learn more about the Religious Literacy project here.

Sermon: Apple Festival (Sept. 13)

Gracious Lord, bless us this morning with a gift, a word, an insight. Don't allow us to be bored or to go through the motions! Take us deeper into the substance of your love and glory! In Christ’s name. Amen.

Weather – Good Weather – I get 1 more year…

Communication ~ How long did it take to get 50 Million Users?

· Radio: 38 years
· TV: 13 Years
· Internet: 4 years
· IPod: 3 years
· Facebook: 9 months (100 million)
Communication is changing…

And yet, we are not at times any better in communicating, in knowing what is right and true. I think of all those who denounced the President for a speech he hadn’t give yet to school kids; things he was going to say. Boy were they wrong. It was much to do about nothing. With all the communication tools we have at our disposal, we don’t always get it right.

In Jesus day, it was an oral culture. They relied on what was said and passed that on to others. "Who do people say that I am?" And they answered him, "John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets." Some had seen, others heard what Jesus did and they tried to figure out who Jesus is, but they didn’t have it quite right…

"But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered him, "You are the Messiah." And for the disciples, they got it, and that made all the difference. Of course, it didn’t mean they fully understood, as Peter is rebuked for not understanding the mission of Jesus. And it is there that Jesus tells all who follow him: If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

As disciples of Jesus, how we communicate, how we take up our cross, shows how we understand what is right and true. How Jesus has shown us the way. Or as that old hymn put it:
On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand
Our challenge remains the same as Christians have lived these 2000 years, how we in our lives, by word and deed, show that we stand on Christ the solid rock, how we believe that Jesus is the Messiah.

No matter what the tools we use in this digital age, we are called to communicate that love we have felt in Jesus by sharing that love through our lives. And that is to know what is right and true. As the Wisdom of Solomon reminds us: for God loves nothing so much as the person who lives with wisdom. May we apply our hearts to wisdom, to sharing the love we have felt, and know that God is with us every step of the way. Amen.

Friday, September 11, 2009

9/11 Anniversary Prayer

God the compassionate one, whose loving care extends to all the world, we remember this day your children of many nations and many faiths whose lives were cut short by the fierce flames of anger and hatred. Console those who continue to suffer and grieve, and give them comfort and hope as they look to the future. Out of what we have endured, give us the grace to examine our relationships with those who perceive us as the enemy, and show our leaders the way to use our power to serve the good of all for the healing of the nations. This we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord who, in reconciling love, was lifted up from the earth that he might draw all things to himself. Amen.

--Prepared by The Most Reverend Frank T. Griswold, former Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, USA.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pilgrimage for Peace

On Saturday, September 12, pilgrims for peace will once again be staying with us as we offer them the hospitality of our parish (a place to sleep and an evening meal).These pilgrims will be walking 1,000 miles through 6 New England states from September 6 to October 25.

They are people who are concerned about the direction of our world. They want to help create a world of peace, justice and the care of creation. They walk not only for themselves but for their children and their children’s children and for all of us. They will be walking from Fairfield to Trumbull on Friday, from Trumbull through Shelton to us on Saturday, from us to SandyHook and Danbury on Sunday. You are welcome to join them on the walk or on Saturday night for conversation.
I give you my hand! I give you my love, more precious than money, I give you myself, before preaching or law; Will you give me yourself? Will you come travel with me? Shall we stick by each other as long as we live? ~ Walt Whitman “Song of the Open Road”
O God, the King eternal, whose light divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning: Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to keep your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that, having done your will with cheerfulness while it was day, we may, when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP, p. 99)

You can learn more about their pilgrimage and follow their route here.

An interesting article by Episcopal priest, Donald Schell, on his journey in Basque and a peace walk there. Read all about it: Walking a peace witness in Bilbao

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Episcopal Church

How true!

Social Media Revolution

The question is, how do we best use these tools for our parish?

An interesting video.

Here is one person's take on it, read here.

Mother Jones –– more than a magazine (article)

By Bishop Paul V. Marshall, September 2009

[This is Bishop Paul Marshall's September 2009 column for secular newspapers throughout our 14 counties. It is published by The Morning Call, Allentown, on the first Saturday of every month. It usually appears also in ten additional papers. The combined circulation of papers that publish the column regularly is more than 400,000. Some 140 columns have been published over the past 13 years. If your paper does not publish the column and you would consider bringing it to the attention of the editor, please email Bill Lewellis,]

A monument to Mother Jones stands at the corner of Route 209 and First Street in Coaldale, Schuylkill County. Politicians dubbed her the “most dangerous woman in America” – when she was 83. In the coal regions she is remembered somewhat differently.

The Coaldale monument (one of those blue highway markers) recalls Mother Jones leading a march of 2,000 wives and mothers from McAdoo to Coaldale in support of striking miners. This unsuccessful strike of 1900 led to the great strike in 1902.

Mother Jones worked for better conditions for miners and their families for 50 years. President Theodore Roosevelt had reasons not to care for her: she led a march of children from Philadelphia to his Oyster Bay home protesting child labor. Their placards – “We want to go to school, not to the mines” – suitably embarrassed the president, but he would not meet with the marchers.

They went back to their miserable existence leading mules, operating doors, and sorting coal in the breakers. Mother Jones kept on working for children. Her subsequent children’s marches prompted the U. S. Senate to investigate child labor.

Up and down the Appalachians, Mary Harris Jones spoke for, was jailed for, and worked for miners seeking improvements in their working conditions that you and I would consider minimal at best.

Read the rest here.

Sermon: September 7

“The most dangerous woman in America”

A century ago - The most dangerous woman in America, as dubbed by some politicians, was an 83 year old woman who fought for the betterment of her fellow citizens. Her name was Mary Harris Jones, she was also known as Mother Jones, and for 50 years she fought to improve the conditions of the miners in Appalachia and their families. She fought against child labor even leading a march of children to the Oyster Bay home of President Teddy Roosevelt protesting child labor. Her most famous quote:
"Pray for the dead, and fight like hell for the living" -- Mother Jones
And she did just that…it is said that after meeting John D. Rockefeller in 1914, he visited the mines he owned in Colorado. When he did, he was shocked at what he saw and made changes for better conditions. On this Labor Day weekend, we look back at the work of Mother Jones and others and see the work they did, how they opened the eyes of our society to the injustices of child labor and the poor conditions of miners.

The society in which Jesus lived is vastly different than our own when he encountered the Syrophoneician woman by the Mediterranean Sea , and healed a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech near the Decapolis. And yet even in these encounters we can find our own struggles there…

Today’s Gospel has Jesus traveling outside of Israel, and encountering Gentiles, those outside the Jewish faith. Even as he tries to remain unnoticed in these Gentile lands, even there people have heard about him. They bring a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech to be healed. They had faith that Jesus could do this. He takes the man away from the crowd and there with touch and sound, Jesus says be opened and the man is healed. And they couldn’t stop telling people what happened! They were amazed!

But in the first story, it is Jesus who is opened up, by the faith of the Syrophoneician woman. In a house, trying to stay unnoticed, she finds him, and there she kneels at the feet of Jesus & begs that the demon tormenting her daughter be cast out. But Jesus response seems most unkind, even rude… “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs.”

You can get a sense of tension between Jew & Gentile. But that woman will not stop fighting for her child. She answered him, "Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs." Right back at Jesus! It took guts for her to approach Jesus in the first place and even more so to respond to him and Jesus knows this. Jesus said to her, "For saying that, you may go-- the demon has left your daughter." So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

It was faith that led her to Jesus but it was the fight for her child, her response, that brought the healing. Pray for the dead, and fight like hell for the living! She did and Jesus opened up to see the need before him and her daughter was healed.

How about us? Are we open?

Two friends were walking down a crowded city sidewalk in the midst of a busy, noisy rush hour - people bustling, horns honking, engines roaring, vehicles rumbling by. Amid all this noise, one friend suddenly turned to the other and said, "Listen! A cricket!"

"Come on!" the second friend shot back. "How can you possibly hear a cricket in the middle of all of this noise? Are there even crickets in the city?"

"But I did hear a cricket." She stopped to listen again, then, with her cynical friend in tow, crossed the busy street to a big cement planter. Gently pushing aside the petunias and impatients, she revealed a little brown cricket.

"That's amazing!" said her friend. "How could you have possibly heard it?" "There's no secret," she explained. "Watch." She then reached into her pocket and pulled out some loose change and dropped a quarter on the sidewalk. Despite the deafening noise around them, everyone within thirty feet turned their head to see where the sound of the money was coming from.

The woman turned to her doubting friend and said, "See, it's all a matter of what you're listening for."

In the midst of all the noise in our lives, we can become "deaf" to our needs and the needs of those around us. We fail to hear the cries from our souls and from those around us. The letter of James reminds us that if a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and we say to them, "Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill," and do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.
“Often while sewing for the lords and barons who lived in magnificent houses on the Lake Shore Drive, I would look out of the plate glass windows and see the poor, shivering wretches, jobless and hungry, walking alongside the frozen lake front. The contrast of their condition with that of the tropical comfort of the people for whom I sewed was painful to me." - Mother Jones
And that pain led her to fight for those in need. The pain of her child led the Syrophonician woman to seek out Jesus. Our faith is shown by what we do as Proverbs reminds us that those who are generous are blessed, for they share their bread with the poor. Maybe Mother Jones words should become our own: Pray for the dead, and fight like hell for the living. And then maybe we would be open to what Jesus would have us do today. Amen.

A Q&A with the Presiding Bishop

York Daily Record, PA: Q & A with Episcopal bishop

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, will visit the 24-county Diocese of Central Pennsylvania from Friday through Sunday. She spoke by phone Sunday about her upcoming visit and the larger church.

Q: What are you hoping to see and learn while you're touring the diocese?

A: Part of my role is to visit each of the 110 dioceses of the Episcopal Church, and when I come I hope to see something of the mission and ministry in the local diocese, ways in which I can connect with the church locally and connect the church locally with the broader church.

Read the whole thing here.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Prayer

Almighty God, you have so linked our lives one with another that all we do affects, for good or ill, all other lives: So guide us in the work we do, that we may do it not for self alone, but for the common good; and, as we seek a proper return for our own labor, make us mindful of the rightful aspirations of other workers, and arouse our concern for those who are out of work; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (BCP, page 261)