Thursday, February 22, 2007

"All My Stirring Becomes Quiet"

I go among trees and sit still.
All my stirring becomes quiet
around me like circles on water.
My tasks lie in their places
where I left them, asleep like cattle.

Then what is afraid of me comes
and lives a while in my sight.
What it fears in me leaves me,
and the fear of me leaves it.
It sings, and I hear its song.

Then what I am afraid of comes.
I live for a while in its sight.
What I fear in it leaves it,
and the fear of it leaves me.
It sings, and I hear its song.

After days of labor,
mute in my consternations,
I hear my song at last,
and I sing it. As we sing,
the day turns, the trees move.

Wendell Berry [1934 - ] was born in Kentucky following 5 generations of Berrys who raised tobacco. In 1987 after an extensive education [his classmates were Larry McMurtry, Edward Abbey and Ken Kesey at one point] and writing career, he returned to the English Department at the University of Kentucky to teach and write. He is a prolific writer of novels, short stories, poetry and essays. He has won numerous literary awards and prizes, and continues to write to this day.
First two photos courtesy of Google Images
Last photo courtesy of Webshots

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ok, maybe NOT the Great Litany....

Well, give me a break's not like we DO Ash Wednesday every Wednesday. Instead of page 149, its 267. HOWEVER, I think The Great Litany is appropriate for the angst-filled times our Church is in, so it would not be a bad idea to pray it a few times if not more through out Lent.

Ok. All done.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A Season of Fasting: ++Katharine Reflects

Episcopal News Service
February 20, 2007

[ENS]Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori offered the following reflections following the February 15-19 meeting of Anglican Primates near Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Hear her spoken remarks via streaming audio here.

A Season of Fasting: Reflections on the Primates Meeting

The recent meeting of the Primates in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, was a challenging one. Fourteen new primates joined the group; three longer-serving primates were unable to be present. It was a great joy to meet and begin to know a number of the primates, and to renew friendships with others. While much of our time and energy was focused on the Episcopal Church, several other agenda items were of considerable interest to many of those who gathered.

The Design Group for an Anglican Covenant submitted an initial draft for consideration by the Primates' Meeting, which in turn commended it to the Communion for consideration, debate, and revision before the Lambeth Conference next year. This covenant is a further step in the Windsor process, engaged in the understanding that all human communities need boundaries in order to function. Anglicanism has always valued a rather wide set of boundaries, and boundaries are a central issue in the current debate - where are they, and how wide a space can they contain?

The Covenant in its current draft attempts to define what the essentials and non-negotiable elements of Anglicanism might be, and how the Communion might live together in diversity.

Read the rest here.

This will be a very different Lenten season than most of us have experienced, for left, right and center. Let us all take The Great Litany to our very hearts and souls on Wednesday.

Kneeling, let us pray:

O God the Father, Creator of heaven and earth,
Have mercy upon us.

O God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy upon us.

O God the Holy Ghost, Sanctifier of the faithful,
Have mercy upon us.

O holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity, one God,
Have mercy upon us.

Remember not, Lord Christ, our offenses, nor the offenses of our forefathers; neither reward us according to our sins. Spare us, good Lord, spare thy people, whom thou hast redeemed with thy most precious blood, and by thy mercy preserve us for ever.
Spare us, good Lord.

From all evil and wickedness; from sin; from the crafts and assaults of the devil; and from everlasting damnation,
Good Lord, deliver us.

From all blindness of heart; from pride, vainglory, and hypocrisy; from envy, hatred, and malice; and from all want of charity,
Good Lord, deliver us.

From all inordinate and sinful affections; and from all the deceits of the world, the flesh, and the devil,
Good Lord, deliver us.

From all false doctrine, heresy, and schism; from hardness of heart, and contempt of thy Word and commandment,
Good Lord, deliver us.

Pray the rest from page 149 of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. And maybe we need to pray it more than once this season.

February 25th declared ONE Sunday by ++Katharine

Mission: Jefferts Schori calls for marking of ONE Sunday near beginning of Lent.

[ERD] Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori is calling congregations to commemorate "ONE Sunday" on February 25, the First Sunday in Lent.

"ONE Sunday" is an effort to join congregations in prayer and reflection for people living in extreme poverty worldwide. Episcopalians are also encouraged to advocate for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)( and rally with others who are members of ONE Episcopalian (, a grassroots partnership between the Episcopal Church and the ONE Campaign.

"As Christians around the world begin their Lenten journeys with commitments to acts of personal devotion, prayer, and almsgiving, congregational celebration of 'ONE Sunday' provides an opportunity to deepen our commitment to actively participate in God's mission of healing the world," said Jefferts Schori.

Through Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD), "ONE Sunday" is an opportunity to make a contribution to a special offering that will help people suffering from chronic hunger, disease and poverty around the world.

Full story:

This announcement is courtesy of ENS [Episcopal News Service] February 20, 2007.

Besides, we need to channel our energy and disappointment in the Primates and their questionable decision-making into something meaningful and positive...this is part of that effort.


Monday, February 19, 2007

Our Kate Elected to Primates' Standing Committee

This story is courtesy of the ENS [Episcopal News Service] February 19, 2007. All photos are courtesy of Scott Gunn from

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori was elected February 19 to represent the Americas on the Primates' Standing Committee.

Each region -- Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania, Europe, and the Middle East -- elects its own representative to the Standing Committee, which operates as the governing board of the Primates.

Other members elected to serve on the Committee are Archbishops Phillip Aspinall of Australia; Mouneer Anis of Jerusalem and the Middle East; Henry Orombi of Uganda; and Barry Morgan of Wales. Five alternates were also elected and would serve on the Committee in the absence of their region's counterpart.

It seems that Our Kate is moving up in the Primate world [well, we knew she was special anyway...] and for such a heavily touted outcast, she is doing well for herself and the Communion. The Global South is losing steam and face.

This is +Peter Akinola: I would hide my face too if I was the only Primate who didn't go to Eucharist in the Cathedral in Zanzibar...

Keep everyone in your prayers and thoughts as we all muddle through this abomniable kerfuffle we as a Communion find ourselves in.


Saturday, February 17, 2007

Of "Lint", Buzz and Doing...

What's the buzz in the blogosphere? For Episcopalians and Anglicans, it's Tanzania...all the time for now. And as interesting as Tanzania and the Primates' meetings are, thankfully, the rest of the world as we know it does not revolve around that one event. For some, it certainly does, but for most of us, Episcopalian or not, there are more important and life-changing events going on in the wider world. I suspect Our Kate would not want us to be focusing solely on our Episcopal selves but reaching into the world as Christ asked us and extending our hands...
This is Our Kate, courtesy of USA Today...

Some of us are thinking of the Lenten season fast approaching on Wednesday the 21st to be more specific. Some of us are thinking about our neighbors and how they are managing on a fixed income with all the recent cold weather and consequent heating bills. Others of us are contemplating our spring garden preparations, drawing colored planning diagrams to figure out where all the plant stuff will be going in the small scheme of things. While others are wondering what job is coming up that they might apply to, either for financial reasons or career change reasons. Volunteer opportunities abound here at home and abroad. Whether it's volunteering for CASA, working on saving the county libraries, making time for the local Red Cross or training with them to help victims of domestic or foreign disasters, these and thousands of other ways are all over the place, calling us to help, or serve in some capacity.

As we have learned over the weeks of Epiphany, everyone has one talent or another, a skill or a gift, that we can offer or give to the wider world, beginning with the world right outside of our front door to the front door of a grass hut in Africa or the doorstep found in an urban setting of concrete and asphalt. We all have something to give to someone, as much as they have to give to us.

As I consider the approach of Lent, I realize that the world will not slow down for those who observe it, this time of waiting and contemplation. We don't wait easily nor do we whip out our Blackberries to input time for contemplation. But I think that's the beauty of each action: waiting with Christ and considering Him in our everyday life should not be something we have to schudule like a meeting or class, or evening a manicure. It should simply BE part of our intangible life that comes automatically to us but in itself is not automated or performed by rote.

Ideally we should be able to slide into time with Christ and slide back into our human existence as if it were first-nature. Some people have accomplished this, but not many. It is something I strive for but not with any great physical exertion. That's not what its about. It's a state of mind, a state of heart...a state of soul. And often times we do it and we are completely unaware that it has happened. Others may wonder where we have drifted off to, and sometimes we don't know either but that's how time with Christ should simple and easy.
As some people volunteer time to help others, they also unknowingly or knowingly, configure this time in such a way as to be in a moment of waiting with Christ, helping the poor, the sick, the less fortunate, and the act itself becomes their contemplation.

The waiting and the contemplating do not have to be static; it can be active as it occurs. That's the beauty of it.

So, as we come to the last Sunday in Epiphany, let's take but a moment to consider how we can be active in our waiting and contemplation with sharing our gifts and skills, regardless of what they may be. I believe in so doing we will know great quiet joy.

quietly preparing to slowly live Lent in the fast lane of this life...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

"As We Set Our Faces Toward Tanzania: Of Hot Air and Archbishops

Two noblemen in England, Roderick and Cedric, who had grown up together and gone to school together, pooled resources and did a week long adventure each year.

Some years it was off to Africa, others to climb mountains in Switzerland, and so on and so forth. In this particular year, they decided to rent a hot air balloon and float around for a week.

As fate would have it, they launched off and were immediately socked into a nasty fog. Even worse, they dropped and broke their compass, so they lost all sense of direction. After drifting aimlessly for hours, a break came in the fog. They saw a field below them with no identifiable landmarks, but a person was walking through the field.

Roderick yelled down, "Sir, where are we?"

The person yelled back, "You're in a balloon."

Then the fog socked back in and they were again adrift.

Says Cedric, "Well, a lot of good that did us."

Says Roderick, "Oh, that was very useful, we are just outside Canterbury."

"How do you know that?" says Cedric.

"Well, that was obviously the Abp. of Canterbury out for walk. I know that because everything he said was the absolute truth, but of no earthly value whatsoever."

As told by the Rev'd Donald Lowery,
former clergy from Upper SC but how now lives in NC.

This anecdote is brought to us courtesy of MadPriest via Telling Secrets by Elizabeth K+.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Construction Zone...

As you can see, I am updating my blog, bending to the will of to appreciate all the new little tweaks and widgets they are so mystifyingly providing...

Some things are missing now but will return soon. It's 10:16pm PST and I am a tired little blogger. I will return tomorrow and work on getting my flickr,, and search buzz cloud up and running, as well as resorting my list of blogs which are now lumped under one title [which does NOT fit all...].

I will also reinstall my Abe Lincoln profile though some friends think that I ought not to consider myself a well-meaning unfortunate assassination victim, but I am a chaplain at heart and I like resolving disputes and bringing comfort.
So bear with me as I delve into the mysterious world of HTML and wend my way through its labyrinthine formulas and obscure abbreviations to hopefully come to the well-baked blog I have come to know and love.

Feel free to comment on the elements as they appear and give HELPFUL suggestions...could there be any other kind from you, dear readers?

They say there are only two real constants in the universe: God and change. I am doing some of the changing parts and not only with my wee blog. I am changing too. For the better is the goal here. I am learning to let go of inconsequential stuff, stuff that I can no more change than I could possibly change the weather, and both are intemperate.

So with that little bit of philosophizing, I will bid you a temporary adieu and a fortuitous "See you in the blogosphere, soonly, and hardhats are recommended."

Monday, February 12, 2007

Another installment OF: The Blog Travel Channel [big cheesy TV announcer grin here...]

Women and the Church...women IN the Church and churches...yeah, we are here and we will NOT go away...that said....

Here are some more blogs I have unearthed lately by churchy women, women ministers, women seminarians and outspoken women [sometimes and usually found in the women ministers corner but not always...].

Some women ministers are like Preacher Mom who say what they mean and mean what they say with that wonderful mommyness cuddled in there, or they are like Songbird at Set Free in all of her sweet, strong glory. And then you have the outspoken women minister mom on the glory road but with lots of strong love, like the ineffable Elizabeth Kaeton+ at Telling Secrets, and no, she will not go anywhere quietly! And I say, more power to her! I have also developed a good dose of appreciation for Tangled Up in Blue and the way she can paint us a picture from her neck of the churchy woods.

I also enjoy intellectually and spiritually the blog home of The Reverend Mother and all the wisdom she manages to impart. And then there's the power House of Toast by toastmaster Paula. And let me caution you, it is a beautiful and reflective place but can also pack a wallop, especially when you mention the Westboro Baptist Church of infamously mislead Fred Phelps and We Hate Everyone Gang...let me just say, wear a crash helmet, ok? Get my drift-a-roni? She's a Formula One blogger, people.

Now, if you are looking for a calm, cool but outstandingly British view of women in the Church, then I direct you to maggi dawn, priest, writer, singer, coordinator of God's iPod, and moderator of the Temperate Zone in the C of E. You cannot go outside of the zone when in Maggi's chapel.

And if you want to sample the life of a real, live anchoress in the modern world, then I point you to dear, wonderful Julia Bolton Holloway in Italy. Her scholarship is beyond the pale and her wit is a true delight as she shares her latest research and discoveries.

Stay tuned to this very blog for more outstanding sites as they become known to me, and I encourage you to view the blogrolls on these sites as well to discover undiscovered countries in the ever expanding blogosphere. Happy Trails!

"God became human in order that we may become divine. That's the task."

++Katharine Jefferts Schori

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Can't Get Enough of Debra Farrington? Here's THE DOOR interview!

The Wittenburg Door interview with pics of her
kitty and puppy! The Wittenburg Door is an online magazine as well as a printed publication available for subscription in either format. Those of us who attended her all day workshop on spiritual discernment at First Presbyterian Church, Ashland, Oregon will know exactly what I mean.


And drive carefully on your way. Don't let your karma drive over your dogma... [yes, indeed, C+, very, very bad chaplain girl! tsk!]

"God became human in order that we may become divine. That's the task."

++Katharine Jefferts Schori

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A reflection from ++Katharine: One of more to come

This blogger's personal reflection...
When I read this and let it sink into my very heart, I wept inwardly for the sweet wind of godly change in our Church that has come to us by way of the Wisdom of Sophia, the Holy Spirit, born on that June day last year when the bishops of our Church prayerfully selected ++Katharine as our new Presiding Bishop. For how much more clearly is Christ's message than this, to heal a broken world; not to make it more broken as those with such arrogant pride would do in this Communion. Instead of power, control and possessiveness, ++Katharine speaks to the humility and continuous birth of giving that should reside in each of our very souls as an offering to God. Read and inwardly digest the words of the Holy Spirit though Her servant, ++Katharine:

Courtesy of the Episcopal News Service
February 7, 2007

In this season: 'Christ in the stranger's guise'

A reflection from the Presiding Bishop

For the People of the Episcopal Church

As the primates of the Anglican Communion prepare to gather next week in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, I ask your prayers for all of us, and for our time together. I especially ask you to remember the mission that is our reason for being as the Anglican Communion -- God's mission to heal this broken world. The primates gather for fellowship, study, and conversation at these meetings, begun less than thirty years ago. The ability to know each other and understand our various contexts is the foundation of shared mission. We cannot easily be partners with strangers.

That meeting ends just as Lent begins, and as we approach this season, I would suggest three particularly appropriate attitudes. Traditionally the season has been one in which candidates prepared for baptism through prayer, fasting, and acts of mercy. This year, we might all constructively pray for greater awareness and understanding of the strangers around us, particularly those strangers whom we are not yet ready or able to call friends. That awareness can only come with our own greater investment in discovering the image of God in those strangers. It will require an attitude of humility, recognizing that we can not possibly know the fullness of God if we are unable to recognize his hand at work in unlikely persons or contexts. We might constructively fast from a desire to make assumptions about the motives of those strangers not yet become friends. And finally, we might constructively focus our passions on those in whom Christ is most evident -- the suffering, those on the margins, the forgotten, ignored, and overlooked of our world. And as we seek to serve that suffering servant made evident in our midst, we might reflect on what Jesus himself called us -- friends (John 15:15).

Celtic Rune of Hospitality

I saw a stranger yesterday;

I put food in the eating place,

drink in the drinking place,

music in the listening place;

and in the sacred name of the Triune God

he blessed myself and my house,

my cattle and my dear ones,

and the lark said in her song:

Oft, Oft, Oft,

goes Christ in the stranger's guise.



-- The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church.

[ENS] Note to readers: With this posting, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori continues a series of occasional reflections for the people of the Episcopal Church. The reflections are also available on the Presiding Bishop's web pages at

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

++Katharine Interviewed by USA TODAY: A MUST Read!

What can I say? Read all about it! An in-depth interview with our humble yet blessed Presiding Bishop. The bringer of "a new dawn" not only for the Episcopal Church USA and the Anglican Communion but a refreshing new hope for all Christendom [last bit mine...ever so slightly prejudicial in a very positive way!]. Read it all here, the USA TODAY interview with ++Katharine.

This is most likely the best biographical interview of our Presiding Bishop to date. I am so thankful that our Presiding Bishop owns a pair of wings!

"God became human in order that we may become divine. That's our task."
~~The Most Rev Katharine Jefferts Schori~~

Monday, February 05, 2007

Another Episode OF...Sites and Blogs of Episcopal Interest and News [sans words from said sponsor...ahem...]

Once again I have come across some truly thought-provoking blogs by some very astute and occasionally humorous Episcopalian/Anglicans in the Communion Realm of the blogosphere. I am sure there are a few billion more out there that are like those undiscovered countries that explorers of times past and present seek with such relish [dill, not sweet; adds more pucker and interest...].

I suggest checking in with the Admiral at The Admiral of
to see how ship shape things really are in the fleet known as the Anglican Communion. And I am sure that Dan Morehead at America's Young Theologian can give you not only reflections from Scotland but now from France where he finds himself studying theology and writing reviews of movies, books and music. The wonderful Big Bulky Anglican provides us with reflections on blessings as well as other practical spiritual insight as the Anglican Communion turns and spins. If anything will help you get your gyroscopes balanced, his writing certainly will.

For the news that is news and news you can certainly use, I highly recommend The Daily Episcopalian. Jim Naughton brings us the latest developments in the Communion and ECUSA [that's US...], and a very new blog, EpiScope brings us every news story on the Web that mentions the Episcopal Church...a sort of compendium of information: if the Episcopal Church is involved, you'll know about it here.

Knowledge is power, my even-Christians, and Jesus doesn't expect us to be ostriches with our lovely little heads in the sand, now, does He? No, we thought not. To know how we are truly doing, we need to take the pulse of the larger Church. As my own priest said this Sunday, we are all called in some way to serve God and His Church...being informed is part of the discernment to that calling.



Nothing we do changes the past. Everything we do changes the future. ~~
Joan Chittister

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Preparing for the journey as Lent draws near...

O Lord my God
teach my heart
where and how to seek you,
where and how to find you.
O Lord you are my God
and you are my Lord
and I have never seen you.
You have made me and remade me,
and you have bestowed on me all the good things I possess
and still I do not know you.

I have not yet done that for which I was made.

Teach me to seek you
for I cannot seek you unless you teach me
or find you unless you show yourself to me.
Let me seek you in my desire,
let me desire you in my seeking.
Let me find you by loving you,
let me love you when I find you.

~~St Anselm~~