So, a few nods to 9/11:

First, a sermon (video) by Dean Brian Baker of Trinity Cathedral in Sacramento that you can access here.

Next, a poem/prayer by Maya Angelou on Jim Richardson’s Fiat Lux which you can find here (as well as an earlier sermon, if you are interested, further down in the blog, by the Rev. Dr. Michael Suarez).

There is a sermon on the Sarcastic Lutheran site you can find here.

Finally, a prayer I wrote (but did not use) for the day:

A Prayer on the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11 (more…)

James Richardson wrote a thoughtful piece on this in his blog.  You can find the article here.  I think it’s worth reading.

Jim Richardson (in his blog, Fiat Lux) lists a blog by his friend, Alana DeBare, (Midlife Bat Mitzvah) as one of his favorites, and I can see why.  She’s an atheist in the middle of a changing life who’s attending shul (temple) and studying to be Bat Mitzvahed.  And she has good reasons.  I’m quoting a bit of her third post, I think, on what she does or does not believe, to give you a flavor of her thinking.

Oh God – Part 3 (An atheist in shul)

November 19, 2009 by Ilana DeBare

My friend Melissa in Sacramento has a knack for getting to the heart of things. She wrote after one of my recent posts: 

Since I don’t believe in God, I don’t go to synagogue because I am alienated by a service full of prayers to a God in whom I don’t believe. And I don’t envision a Bat Mitzvah, because it surely would involve worship of same. I wait with great anticipation to see how you reconcile these seemingly conflicting beliefs (non-beliefs?) Carry on! (more…)

Jim Richardson posted this poem by Stephen Dunn (by way of his friend Karen).  We spent some time in the marsh this past summer near Brigantine, looking at the birds, and this brings back those memories for me: (more…)

The Saints of Summer: Thomas Gallaudet and Henry Winter Syle

Thomas Gallaudet (1822-1902) and Henry Winter Syle (1846-1890) were pioneers in the education and inclusion of the deaf in the life of The Episcopal Church. Galladet, born in Connecticut, followed in his father’s footsteps as an educator of the hearing impaired.

Thomas (in the color image) was not deaf, but his wife, Elizabeth was deaf. He was ordained in The Episcopal Church, and established St. Ann’s Church in New York with worship services primarily in sign language.

One of Gallaudet’s students, Henry Winter Syle (black and white photograph) became the first deaf person ordained an Episcopal priest. Syle, born in China, educated in Gallaudet’s school, was encouraged by Gallaudet to seek ordination. Syle went on to establish his own congregation for the deaf.
The work and witness of Gallaudet and Syle are great reminders that our church has long sought to include all of God’s children at the Holy Table. We follow giant footsteps as we continue their work.
POSTED BY THE REV. JAMES RICHARDSON AT 12:01 AM

Jim Richardson talks about making a place for different kinds of people in his blog fiat lux.  Among other things he says:

Both can exist together if our values include hospitality — welcoming all people.  To practice hospitality, we need to find ways to live in the tension of accommodating, as best we can, the many reasons people come to church, the theological ideas they bring (or the lack thereof), and the tastes they have in worship and music. It may help to know that much of what we think of as tradition is sometimes not that old; traditions can grow up in a hurry in a church. The wording of the  “traditional” Lord’s Prayer dates from the 1880s (check out the Middle-English version sometime). Many beloved hymns began as beer hall tunes in the Reformation. Meanwhile, a number of supposedly “contemporary” church songs are now more than 30 years old.

If you are interested in more, you can read the whole article here.

Jim (in Fiat Lux) also gave a link to the blog of Bishop Dan Thomas Edwards (of Nevada).  Dan asks what it means when his posting on sex generated twelve responses while his posting on salvation generated one response.  You can see this here.  This is where Jim found the poem on salvation quoted in my prior post.