May 2009


Well, today is my birthday.  And, because I am less than full time at St. George’s, I get an occassional Sunday off.  This was one of them — even though it’s Pentecost.  So we planned a trip (my birthday present) around getting in to worship at St. Gregory of Nyssa in San Francisco.  We’ve been talking about doing this for some time. (more…)

Came accross Rilke’s poem “The Apple Orchard” on the blog “Under the Palm Tree” (http://theshadeofthepalm.blogspot.com/).  It speaks to me about how we can choose to live our lives:
 
Come let us watch the sun go down
and walk in twilight through the orchard’s green.
Does it not seem as if we had for long
collected, saved and harbored within us
old memories? To find releases and seek
new hopes, remembering half-forgotten joys,
mingled with darkness coming from within,
as we randomly voice our thoughts aloud
wandering beneath these harvest-laden trees
reminiscent of Durer woodcuts, branches
which, bent under the fully ripened fruit,
wait patiently, trying to outlast, to
serve another season’s hundred days of toil,
straining, uncomplaining, by not breaking
but succeeding, even though the burden
should at times seem almost past endurance.
Not to falter! Not to be found wanting!
 
Thus must it be, when willingly you strive
throughout a long and uncomplaining life,
committed to one goal: to give yourself!
And silently to grow and to bear fruit.
 
 
 
~ Rainer Maria Rilke ~
 
 
(Rainer Maria Rilke: Selected Poems, trans. by Albert Ernest Flemming)

This won’t be eloquent.  It’s simply an expression of my sorrow, for all those who were told today that they aren’t people like other people:  they cannot marry the person they love.  It may be, as a matter of law, that the people of California have a right to change their constitution.  And I am relieved for those whose marriages, though threatened, were preserved by the ruling.  (I’m talking about the same sex couples people wanted to tear apart.)  But I am deeply saddened by a law, passed by a majority of our voting citizens, that takes basic human rights away from some of our citizens because they are different.  I can’t imagine God would approve.  I hope we change the law very soon.

Episcopal Café offers the following “weekly collection plate of some of the good things that Episcopalians and their congregations have done that made the news this past week.”  In many people’s minds, this may be mission and ministry.  And I guess I wouldn’t disagree.  But in my mind, this is also stewardship in its most basic fashion:  taking care of God’s creation.  In my mind, that’s what God called us to do (dating all the way back to the mythic garden, which sets up and defines our relationship with God).  I guess it’s a question of whether we start with baptism and gifts and ministry or we start with creation and our place in God’s creation.  Both are places I’ve been known to start.  Anyway, here’s the “collection:” (more…)

Here’s an interesting excerpt from an Easter sermon on inclusion given by “the sarcastic Lutheran.”

As many of you know, last week Seth and I attended the Rocky Mountain Synod assembly – the legislative body for this region of the Lutheran church.  For more than 10 years my denomination has been talking about human sexuality.  Much like the early church who were convinced that gentiles could only become Christians if they changed into being Jews first (which, for the record, involved a rather unpleasant process), (more…)

Roshi talks about why we pray and what we really expect when we pray.  He begins by saying:

The basement of St. Mark’s coffee house was filled with Holy Doubt tonight.

We were reading from Acts, 1 John and John.

But it was John 15:16 that set the Spirit free and the debate poured out and flooded the basement. Here’s the Scripture that set off the debate about prayer, whether it works and why we pray: “…the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name.”

This promise of God granting our prayers occurs again and again in the Gospels.

But he also says:

One woman spoke of her mother dying of cancer. One man spoke of runaway children not returning. One spoke of fear that doesn’t go away. And I could not help but think of my Mother’s suicide. All spoke of prayer and prayers not answered.

If you want to see the whole thing, click here.

Bishop Dan did a quick writeup on the most recent draft.  (This is a proposed document for defining the relationship between all member churchs of the Anglican Communion, including the Episcopal Church.)  I’d link you, but it’s all here:

I still haven’t digested the document. But it all seems to turn on section 4, the enforcement clause. And apparently the ACC has not approved that except as a discussion document. So the thing really isn’t even on the table yet for voting by anyone. It is more like a motion made so the subject can be discussed. We should therefore discuss — but as in the case of germ fears, don’t panic.

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