December 2009


From Dean Baker’s blog:

Here’s what I wrote for this week’s enewsletter:

On Tuesday night the vestry concluded its discussion of Stephanie Speller’s Radical Welcome.   I chose this book because it focused on a core value of Trinity Cathedral – openness.   (more…)

That’s the title of a piece on Bishop Dan’s blog about new church directions and the emergent church.  I have to say that what he writes about doesn’t seem to reflect a lot of what I’ve seen and heard of the emergent church.  But here’s the start of what he said:

I was having dinner with a group of Episcopal Church leaders discussing “the emergent church” and a bold new proposal to ordain priests for the emergent church with minimal preparation, trusting they would pick up priesthood OJT. I said nothing, but it gave me pause to hear this idea, knowing we tried it in Nevada and other Total Ministry dioceses, sometimes with unfortunate results. (more…)

This past weekend I was able to spend on a Benedictine Weekend Retreat at the Bishop’s Ranch outside of Healdsburg, California.  Those of you who have been at similar events know that the bulk of my time was spent in prayer (mostly the daily offices).  The bulk of the time was also spent in silence.  By the end of the weekend, as we debriefed (one at a time) I felt like I could still hear an underlying silence even as each person spoke.  It was kind of nice. (more…)

My friend Mary wrote this piece (one draft, unedited) in the writer’s group last month.  It’s the third part of Descended from the Dead:

He descended to the dead….  I have felt at times as if I were on a descent to the dead: no life in me, no passion, no joy, no purpose… Maybe even felt like I wanted to go to that place of quiet oblivion, but only envisioning it as: divorce, abortion, adopting out my children, then running away: end of life as I knew it. (more…)

Ok.  At this point, I’m pretty clear that I misunderstood what Scott Cairns was saying about sin. (more…)

Well, Advent got off to the best start for me I’ve ever had.  And yet as I round the corner into the third week of Advent, I find myself humbled. (more…)

The proposed Ugandan laws opposing homosesuality (and support of homosexual persons) has also been addressed by our Presiding Bishop.  The report in Episcopal Life Online begins:

[Episcopal News Service] Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said Dec. 4 that the church believes “the public scapegoating of any category of persons, in any context, is anathema” and thus is “deeply concerned” about a proposed Ugandan law that would introduce the death penalty for people who violate that country’s anti-homosexuality laws.Jefferts Schori also noted in her statement that “much of the current climate of fear, rejection, and antagonism toward gay and lesbian persons in African nations has been stirred by members and former members of our own church.”

“We note further that attempts to export the culture wars of North America to another context represent the very worst of colonial behavior,” she said. “We deeply lament this reality, and repent of any way in which we have participated in this sin.”

You can see the whole article here.

This is taken from Episcopal Life Online:

The mornings are dark, pitch black until after most of us have begun our days. The hints of dawn in the eastern sky, those streaks of rose and pink that promise more and brighter light, bring hope even in the dark mid-winter. Where do you look for that kind of hope borne on slim rays of light?

Jesus is already abroad, even in the darkness. The hungry one fed, the street people who have their feet cared for, the humble and honored guest at your dinner table — each one offers a glimpse of that dawn, if you look closely enough.

What we have waited long for, ages and eons for, has been born among us. He comes among us quietly, almost stealthily, in an obscure barn, long ago. This child holds all our hope for light. This tiny frame seems too frail to bear our yearning. Yet the nations come streaming to this light even before he is weaned. The divine has come to dwell in our midst, and God’s eternal promise of peace, restoration, and home is made flesh.

Where and how will you seek out this light of the world? In what other frail frames will light expunge darkness? The light grows with our own eager searching, light reaching out to light, divine reflection yearning for its source. May the light of Christ light your way in the darkness, may his light spread through nations besieged by war and hunger, may we continue to search out his light in the dark places of our own hearts.

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop
The Episcopal Church