Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Hillary Clinton: Human Rights are Equal Rights

Go here to hear Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton deliver an amazing and inspiring speech on LBGT rights as human rights: http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/2011/12/06/lgbt-rights-human-rights/

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Clearer, Less Divisive Anglican Covenant?

by Savi Hensman, November 15, 2001 on Ekklesia.

Attempts to bring in an Anglican Covenant which can be used to define Anglicanism and discipline member churches have run into difficulties.
Many are uneasy with this development. In November 2011, it became apparent that the province of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia would reject it.
In the words of a diocesan resolution, one of its clauses contains ‘provisions which are contrary to our understanding of Anglican ecclesiology, to our understanding of the way of Christ, and to justice’.
Perhaps it is time to abandon such efforts and build on the foundations laid six years ago by the Anglican Consultative Council, when it agreed a very different Covenant for Communion in Mission.
A confusing and divisive Covenant
The Anglican Communion is an international family of churches, in which there is considerable theological diversity and no central authority. However there are periodic gatherings and other connections. In recent years some Anglican leaders – including Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury – have urged member churches throughout the world to adopt a Covenant. This is supposed to strengthen unity in the face of divisions, especially over human sexuality, but has proved highly controversial.
In an attempt to win wide support, earlier drafts have been revised, to the point that some feel it is too weak. In 2010 the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) primates declared that “the current text is fatally flawed and so support for this initiative is no longer appropriate”. However, many other Anglicans still see it as too punitive, damaging the autonomy of member churches and likely to result in a divided Communion, with an inner circle made up of provinces which have signed up, while others are marginalised.
There is now widespread confusion about what the Covenant means and how it will be used, even among its supporters.
According to a Pentecost letter from Williams in 2010, “the Covenant is nothing if not a tool for mission. I want to stress yet again that the Covenant is not envisaged as an instrument of control.”
Likewise Gregory Cameron, Bishop of St Asaph in Wales and formerly Deputy Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, claimed in early 2011 that “A view has been expressed in some quarters that the covenant has been designed with narrow purposes: to squash any consideration of the place of gay and lesbian persons in the life of the Church, and to punish The Episcopal Church with expulsion from the Communion because they had made moves in that direction... that was not what the Lambeth Commission had in mind when they proposed the idea of a Covenant in the Windsor Report, and, I believe, such an understanding of the covenant is deeply flawed... the covenant itself is quite clear: it is about processes and not exclusion”.
Yet in May 2011, the Province of Southeast Asia signed up to the Covenant for the very reason that it was about control and exclusion. To quote the Preamble to this province’s Letter of Accession:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Clergy, laity support nonviolent protests at Occupy Wall Street

By Sharon Sheridan, October 25, 2011

Episcopal News Service] In the early stages of the Occupy Wall Street protests, the Rev. Michael Sniffen and some clergy colleagues from the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island traveled to Manhattan's Zuccotti Park to observe what was happening. He's returned regularly since, talking to protestors and offering pastoral care.

"I see myself as part of the movement," said Sniffen, 31, priest-in-charge of theEpiscopal Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew in Brooklyn, New York. "I really feel like this is my generation's plea for a just society. I think the Gospels make it quite clear in Jesus' teachings that there can be no justice without economic justice."

Sniffen is among a number of Episcopal clergy and laity who are visiting and lending support to protesters at the birthplace of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) campaign. Begun Sept. 17 and inspired by the Arab Spring movement, OWS protests against greed and economic inequality have spread to more than 2,100 locations across the country and around the world, including other major cities such as Denver, Miami, Berlin, London and Tokyo.

On Oct. 23, the Episcopal Church's Executive Council issued a resolution affirming "that the growing movement of peaceful protests in public spaces in the United States and throughout the world in resistance to the exploitation of people for profit or power bears faithful witness in the tradition of Jesus to the sinful inequities in society" and calling upon "Episcopalians to witness in the tradition of Jesus to inequities in society."

Read the rest here.

Protesting greed
The Rev. Elizabeth Kaeton of Delaware said she heard a distinct message when she spent the 25th anniversary of her ordination to the priesthood at Zuccotti Park on Oct. 18.

"Everybody is really, really clear that what they're protesting is greed. It's not about luxury, it's not about capitalism," said Kaeton, who is canonically resident in the Episcopal Diocese of Newark. "People are really angry about greed, and I think that's absolutely right. … That's what made Jesus turn over a few tables in the temple, was greed and corruption. That's the moral problem that I think the church needs to speak to."

Read the rest here.  You can also click on Elizabeth's name above and go directly to the story also on her blog.

-- Sharon Sheridan is an ENS correspondent. ENS editor/reporter Lynette Wilson contributed to this article.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Accidental Anniversary

A year.  A year in the life.  One year ago, October 12th.  Has it really been that long?  Yes.  Yes it has.

I am much better than right after, of course.  Car accidents take time.  Any kind of accident or incident that is traumatic to the body and soul takes time.  I was so improved that, though still and always recovering, I was deemed able to return to full time work as of yesterday, the 17th by my physician.  However, my employer had other ideas.

On Friday the 14th I was informed that I was being laid off with some compensation for my devoted years of service and expertise.  So I worked the day as always, doing my usual duties and then packing up 30 minutes before my part time day was over.  The relief of being out of the most stressful working conditions I have ever experienced were over.  I knew income was my first priority, or should have been, but instead my well-being jumped to the head of the line.

I experienced a calmness, a peace, that was momentarily unexplainable.  None of the usual anxiety and speculation about tomorrow or the next day.  And when I described this to some fellow parishioners at Trinity, they all said "That's God's grace working in you and around you".  Yes.  Yes indeed.

And so, I have been running errands, on the phone making calls, canceling some appointments [my insurance stopped that day as well as my job] but it was United Health Care.  How great a loss could THAT be...no much if any.  Worst insurance ever and the cheapest my company could find.  So I was then making other different appointments for unemployment contingencies and so on.

So I have been making some fun time for myself too as other things fall into place.  Walking in this wonderful weather we are having right now, watching the leaves turn, reading outside on the patio in the sun, watering [yes, still], domestic things and also plans to visit the Growers' and Crafters' Market on Thursday mornings and then head to Trinity for the mid-week Eucharist and Healing service.  Add to that visiting a friend on hospice and walking the labyrinth at Rogue Valley Medical Center one day a week.

Keeping a routine when out of work is essential.  Doing something for others also lets you know that though not being paid for volunteering, there are other ways of getting "paid" for doing for others and at the same time, doing it for yourself too.  So I am going to become a hospice volunteer.  Class starts at the end of the month and throughout November up until Thanksgiving.  I am so looking forward to that.

And so it is.  One year in the life that was constantly changing daily and not always for the better.  Refiner's fire, and it continues.  Let it be.  I have become closer to our courteous Lord as a result, even when I felt I was withdrawing.  Pain distorts the real world, and it did so for me.  But the focus is returning and things are reaching a new clarity.

This is part of the peace which surpasses all understanding...

Monday, October 03, 2011

Bishop Katharine visits Diocese of Quincy, once a break away diocese...

Presiding bishop urges sharing fruitfulness during Diocese of Quincy visitation

[Episcopal News Service] Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori urged members of the Episcopal Diocese of Quincy to keep their focus on sharing the harvest with those outside their congregations.
The Presiding Bishop met and shared her vision with several groups during her Oct. 1-2 visit. She told clergy during an early morning breakfast meeting about the scope and needs of the wider church. In an address prior to the convening of the diocese's annual synod, she reminded deputies that growth and abundance in their congregations comes when the focus is turned toward the needs of those beyond their own doors.

Diocesan youth from age eight through college age spent time with the presiding bishop during the Synod's business meeting.

In her homily during the synod's Eucharist, she told the congregants not to lose sight of keeping the walk of Jesus central even while the diocese may continue to struggle with legal issues, property concerns and the future path of the diocese.

In November 2008, a majority of the diocesan synod voted to leave the Episcopal Church and to realign with the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, forming the Southern Cone Diocese of Quincy.
"Whatever decisions you make about the structures and future of this community, living like Jesus is the most central -- that is worth all you have and all you are, nothing less," said the presiding bishop. 

Sunday, October 02, 2011

New Rector Named for Trinity Ashland

October 2, 2011

Dear People of Trinity,
it is with great pleasure that I announce the call of The Reverend Anthony A. Hutchinson to be the next Rector of Trinity Episcopal Church, Ashland. Fr. Tony will be coming to us from Beijing, China where he is the Senior Cultural Affairs Officer at the U. S. Embassy. He also serves as the Assisting Pastor and Minister of Music at the Congregation of the Good Shepherd in Beijing and is on the staff of St. John's Cathedral, Hong Kong where he serves as chaplain. For several years he taught Biblical languages and literature at Minghua Theological Seminary in Hong Kong.
The Search Team found Fr. Tony to be a priest of extraordinary capacity, experience, spirituality and energy. From his outstanding career as a Senior U.S. Diplomat, he brings strong leadership, organizational and inter-personal skills. Fr. Tony and his wife, Elena, have deep ties to the northwest. He was raised in Moses Lake, Washington and two of their four grown children live in the Seattle area. While visiting relatives in Sister's this summer, Fr. Tony read our Parish Profile and immediately felt a calling to Trinity which was confirmed by his visit here. It will be a joy to get to know him as we begin our journey together as Parish and Priest.
Fr. Tony submitted his papers for retirement from the State Department this week. As you can imagine, he will need some time to unwind from his diplomatic work and get back to the States. He will join us for his first service on January 1, 2012. In the meantime we will be ably served by our deacons and assisting clergy. I cannot believe how incredibly lucky we are to have them. Also, during this period, a Transition Team will be formed with the goal of helping Fr. Tony and Elena enter into life in Ashland and at Trinity.
It is not possible to quantify the hours and spiritual energy that the Search Team put into the task of seeking our new Rector. They have worked efficiently and tirelessly to keep to a very tight schedule without compromising the process. I am so thankful for them and feel blessed that we have such dedicated and loving people as part of our Parish.
We have only three months left now on this crazy ride we started in September of 2010. These months will be filled with quiet waiting and planning as we start to get to know Fr. Tony. Although he is in China, a very long way from us, I am sure we will have a lot of communication back and forth. But probably most important now, you have a real person to pray for as our next Rector. Thank you all for being so supportive and caring throughout this time.
Peace in Christ,
Mindy Ferris, Senior Warden

Saturday, October 01, 2011

I've really got to get back to writing...

...it's either that or lose my mind, although some people I know think that happened years ago...kidding.

So as I wait for some cinnamon toast and a cup of tea, I've been thinking.  Writing is one of my passions and I have not been doing nearly enough of it to fill a thimble.  I haven't blogged since July and people are quickly going all Facebook to post their thoughts and ideas rather than what started it all...blogging.

A blog is something you can call your own.  You conceive of the idea, decide on what you wish to convey visually and verbally and then you put it all together with a blogging wizard [the rest of the 99.9% that cannot write in HTML or XML, or whatever the code is] and wallah!  I am a bit proud of my little blog as it did save my mind and heart back in March of 2006 when it was born.  It was a blog about me at first, then about my opinions, then my reflections and editorials on what other people or entities were thinking or spouting, as the case may be...then it became about the Episcopal Church, about convention that year, about electing the first woman bishop, about narrow-minded members of the Church breaking off from progress and inclusion of all the baptized and the not-so-baptized.  That's because Christ's love supersedes ritual or sacraments that we create to maintain an ancient  yet living memory and distinction.

Don't get me wrong.  I love the liturgy and the rituals of our denomination cement the earthly concepts we have of honoring one who sacrificed self for us.  Our history and that of the world contains numerous accounts of self-sacrificing individuals who have given their life for others or country.  But these things--are not necessary for salvation--however one interprets it.

I have written about love and loss, human and animal, about depression, about my shortcomings as well as those I perceive in others.  When you are a blogger you can write about anything or anyone, almost.

Because I am a writer, a seeker and communicator, I write about stuff that means something to me or is reflective of who I am.  Many people say "Oh, be careful what you write!  You could lose your job!" I'm not worried, not in the least.  And maybe this is why I will take up blogging again, and do it more often.

Facebook is ok most of the time, when you can figure out what the programmers are trying to do, and even when you aren't trying to figure it out, it keeps people in touch immediately.  So the posts here will be more  in the way of opinion, editorial, and spiritual.  Occasionally maybe it will only be a photograph that posts, being a commentary unto itself.  At least I'll try to keep the focus there.  And to do so requires some discipline and focus.  As for me, I hope to return to full time work soon.  All the therapies I have been engaged in since the accident have almost run their course.  There's some permanent damage that denotes a new normal which I have been trying to adjust to all year long, sometimes succeeding, other times just wanting to give up.  But there are people, thank goodness, who won't let me do the latter.

I thank Rev. Tom and his wonderful Huberta for being there in prayer for me, as well as Shirley, Vicki, Denise and David, Morgan+, Meredith+, Carol+ and countless others who have befriended me with prayers across the country and overseas, bloggers, Facebookers, and Tweeters.

So let this be a new beginning for Come to the Table and for me.

Thank you,

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Time Does Not Stand Still...

...in fact it is moving so quickly, the weeks are like days and the days, like hours...but it cannot move fast enough for my physical healing...it will be a year come October, and that's not far from now...I know, my school teacher friends are telling me to hush because our summer only arrived at the end of June, an entire "month" late, as our warm weather almost always begins early or mid-May.

Two steps forward, three back...that seems to be my progress toward the "new normal".  I know I will never be the same as before the accident.  Everything has changed and continues.  Some would say, well change has always been happening...and it has but not to the extent it has for me individually, but it's like jumping to lightspeed in Star Wars...only with the effects of gravity big time.  And not only physically healing but emotionally, and spiritually.  None of it is easy or can be put on a schedule or timeline for "completion".

With our friend Kirstin going to be with God on July 1st, a lot was put into perspective for many of us.  Time should be our ally and not our enemy.  Sometimes easier said than done.  Most people find it easy to fill their days with people, activity and desired alone time.  The rest of us struggle with one or more of these aspects, and that is what makes time hard to deal with.  I'm one of those people and I am not ashamed to say so.  Friends see the outside me, but don't look deep enough to see me on the inside.  True,  I do hide the inside me from them most of the time, because it is socially unacceptable to let people really see what disagrees with you about them, and their behavior toward you.  I'm as authentic as I can be but something just flips and we hide our true selves from others.

I want to take this time right now to thank Deacon Meredith+ at  Trinity Episcopal, Ashland, for keeping an eye on me, for bringing me Eucharist, for sharing about her life, allowing me to bear her burdens for a little while, as she bears mine.  For letting me be useful to my sister in Christ, as faithfully as she has been to me.  Thanks M+.  Love you.

So there is a little update.  I am still grounded from flying for now; hopefully that will change in time for me to use my flight credit from last year before it expires on the anniversary of my accident.  My physical therapist has suggested that I go on a retreat for a weekend to the Buddhist monastery in northern California or the Redwoods monastery in the same general area.  I may consider something closer...we'll see...nothing like a little renewal to help things along.

I've decided to keep the blog for now...and I am hoping I will have more energy to write in the future.  That will make most of you happy I am sure, judging from comments I received when I expressed that I might close it down...but I think it will keep.

Peace and love to you all...be happy and enjoy life.  Time does not stand still.


Friday, June 03, 2011

"Shalom and the Wholeness of God" by Christine Sine

"In the last few years economic turmoil, natural disasters and an ongoing wave of war, conflict and uncertainty have shattered our confidence in the future.  Many of us laughed at the end times gurus who thought that the world would end on May 21st but if we are honest, deep within us was an uncertainty about the future that made us wonder if they could be right.
What we believe about the future toward which God is leading us will greatly impact our ability to both prepare for the future here on earth and participate in God’s redeeming activity.  For most of us the future we dream of is shaped, consciously or unconsciously, by a culture that tells us success and prosperity will follow us all the days of our lives.
Tough economic times and natural disasters have brought that dream into question but have not replaced it with a compelling and gratifying new vision.  Proverbs 29:18 tells us that without a vision the people perish, and I think it is true.  Not only are we in danger of perishing, but many others in our world are already perishing because of our limited understanding of the future and particularly of a vision of world made new in which all are provided for that God wants us to be a part of..."

Read the rest here...good words for hard times:  http://godspace.wordpress.com/2011/06/04/turbulent-times-are-here-to-stay-believe-in-the-future/
You will need to cut and paste the link as Blogger won't let me paste the link into the phrase "good words for hard times"...eye roll.


Friday, May 27, 2011

Valters-Paintner: spiritual discomfort can be a good thing...

My friend Jan Hilton, sent me the link to Christine Valters-Paintner's rich article on "The Spiritual Practice of Being Uncomfortable", and I am so thankful.  I have already passed it onto a friend in emotional and physical grief over the finality of relationship.  I am going through a similar disconnection with someone I cared for deeply and thought the feeling was mutual.  Nothing hurts more than when someone breaks up with you with an email from another state, deciding that YOU are not the right person for them but they want to be friends.  Nothing quite so devastating as losing a loved one who is still very much alive.  Did I want to be in love?  Yes, at some point but not yet.  It goes to show you that we are all fallible human beings, that two people contribute to misunderstandings that lead to more difficult situations.  No perfect world here.  We all just stumble along and maybe the dice will fall into a favorable set where things work out and the building of relationship can start anew.  That has been my hope, but even in hope we must be careful, as I have come to find out.  I still hope that at some point in time, when the storms of hurt and anger settle themselves, we can find our way back to discussing Buddhism, what it is to be an Episcopalian, an eco-conscious person, mindful of our world, large of small, here in America or the outer reaches of Nepal or the vastness of the Sahara, or mountains of  South American.  Mindfulness of just how fragile we are, and that even in our most caring moments, we can wound without intention or unknowing with gestures, tones of voice [or tones of email messages], and silences.  And silence becomes distance where once the well-worn path with its fine earthen dust used to be delightfully disturbed but has since become overgrown with slender grass, and the path is barely perceptible, yet you know it's there just waiting for one of us to take the first step and cross over.

I find that I am a very forgiving person; perhaps too much so for my own good.  Yes, yes, I know what Christ says  about forgiveness and grace, but when the pain is raw and the edges of the wounds are jagged and torn, in need of tending.  I'm in health care so I know how to patch myself up in most cases but when it comes to wounds of the heart, I'm not so good. Sure, I can make some progress; there are balms that help alleviate the emotional, mental and physical toll such grief and pain can take, but the real healing comes when there is someone who has been in that "place".  Maybe they have been "there" 3 or 4 times, or even more.  And those of us that do, we manage and limp along, knowing in our hearts that the healing another brings is another way of seeing, and revealing us in ways we had never seen ourselves before.  And kindly with deliberate care, they--being the ones who brought the grief to us--can be instrumental in our return to wholeness if they are the kindly souls we have always hoped they would be: caring, compassionate, in a helping profession, some who has walked our journey, struggled on our path, and though we may not have cared about their advice at the time, we eventually see some wisdom in what they have been trying to say all along.

I am at the place where I can acknowledge that...now.  I wasn't there a  week ago, but I am newly arrived at the possibilities where I find my heart and mind and spirit open to new ideas and ways of being and doing.  We have this ideal or idea of what God is regardless of our faith life, past or present.  A benevolent, strong but gentle "father" or "mother" or "sister" image.  But the author of this article I bring to your attention courtesy of my Texas friend Jan Hilton who sent it to me as a love offering, which I enfolded to my being because it spoke and whispered and occasionally shouted the wisdom it offers.

In the suffering of physical pain we experience a lot mental and emotional pain; they go hand in hand.  It is easy to dwell on the physical because it is tangible and made manifest in our physical selves.  Our physical well-being is strongly linked to our emotions and how we think and perceive our grief, this current pain that affects everything.

So I offer to you, you of all faiths and backgrounds and beliefs, this group of words of wisdom.  Simple and easy to comprehend. From a spiritual seeker writer and creator of marvelous spirit art and though I give you the benefits of spiritual discomfort:

So much of what passes for spirituality these days is about making us happy and having positive experiences. But sometimes, I would argue, we need to be uncomfortable.

By Christine Valters Paintner, May 24, 2011


Love wants to reach out and manhandle us,

Break all our teacup talk of God.
If you had the courage and
Could give the Beloved His choice, some nights,
He would just drag you around the room
By your hair,
Ripping from your grip all those toys in the world
That bring you no joy.
Love sometimes gets tired of speaking sweetly
And wants to rip to shreds
All your erroneous notions of truth . . .
The Beloved sometimes wants
To do us a great favor:
Hold us upside down
And shake all the nonsense out. ~ 
Read the rest of this enlightening article here.  You will be glad you did...


This is my offering to you because it was an offering to me in my time of relational grief.  May you glean from it ways of coping and doing and moving forward; we all have so much life to live, let's not grief here too long.  Raise a cairn to it's memory but dwell not upon it forever, or you will lose yourself to what you cannot have or hope to attain.  Gradually set it aside, so it will not get into your way as you go along your journey to joy and peace where serenity awaits us all, even me.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Posting my truth...

...and I don't give a flying fig if the opposing side in this lawsuit has checked out my blog or Facebook page.  It is what it is and I make no apology for any of it.  So there...have a nice day, you all over on the other side of the deposition table.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wendell Berry: From another blogger's post...

....which blogger, I can't remember, but it suits where I am and possibly where I am going...so here it is...

No, no, there is no going back.
Less and less you are
that possibility you were.
More and more you have become
those lives and deaths
that have belonged to you.
You have become a sort of grave
containing much that was
and is no more in time, beloved
then, now, and always.
And so you have become a sort of tree
standing over the grave.
Now more than ever you can be
generous toward each day
that comes, young, to disappear
forever, and yet remain
unaging in the mind.
Every day you have less reason
not to give yourself away.
~ Wendell Berry ~

Friday, March 25, 2011

Hard journey...

The last year has been very eventful and not in what I would call a positive way.  It has been hard and tiring, wearing me down at times to a point where I don't think I can recover, but somehow I manage with God's grace.  It has not been a particularly happy year, more of a year of resignation to whatever comes along and remain moving forward almost automatically.  Time has been drawn out but the days have sped by, blurring from one to the other.

At this time, right now, everything that should be a positive thing, isn't, and it presses down hard on the soul and grinds the body and mind, seemingly crushing any will that might be left to keep going.  Admittedly I am in a very difficult part of my life.  Work is oppressive and my only bit of joy is in the patients themselves.  I still don't have a car or truck to call my own.  I am in the debt of people I once felt close to because they are allowing me to borrow a family member's car, but the pressure is on to return it and I feel that acutely.  Physical pain is daily, sometimes better, sometimes worse, but physical therapy continues every week.  My personal life is in reverse...being friends after being something more is difficult but I will stay the course because we can't seem to not be an integral part of each other's lives now.  That's ok...it will somehow be ok, though at times it is hard to see forward, this person is a good person; it's just the way life goes.  Mentally and emotionally I am drained and very, very tired.  Sleep does not come easily but it eventually comes for a little while.

Walking apart from my parish church is necessary but devastating in many ways.  I don't have that fellowship of spirit or community, and will embark on visiting for the next several months the UCC in Ashland and also the First Methodist Church there, alternating between them and visiting Trinity at least once a month to reconnect with people there.  The dissolution of what I used to know as a ministry that brought joy and purpose is painful.  The way decisions are being made there now is not how it used to be, fair and involved all concerned.  Instead arbitrary decisions are made by a few and applied to all in the ministry I was involved in, that of the Lay Eucharistic Ministers, those who served the altar and carried the Gospel...that's gone now.  I cannot abide such covert, destructive change.  It is so very unnecessary and has driven me to seek new community and solace elsewhere.

So that is the state of this blogger...I find little to inspire me these days with all the unrest and natural devastation...yes there are those who have it worse off, or so it seems but this is my reality, and my pain is no less than anyone else's who is in a difficult place.  No pity party here, just the facts as they are, and this explains why I have not written or posted.  I don't know the future of this blog...I'm still thinking about whether it is time to be over, having served it's purpose of a kind of outreach to my larger community.  And since I am no longer really active in that community, perhaps it is time to leave this endeavor and begin a different one.  Time will tell...thank you all for your past and current support and care.


Sunday, February 06, 2011

Presiding Bishop in Dublin, Ireland

Episcopal News Service report on the Presiding Bishop's visit to the Primates' meeting in Dublin, Ireland.

"We're challenged in this very body to 'show up,' to present ourselves ready, willing, and able to help heal this broken world," Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said on Jan. 30 during her sermon at the 9 a.m. Sung Eucharist service at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland.

Highlighting sobering statistics of child mortality rates in some parts of the world – like Angola, where nearly 20 percent of children die before their first birthday – Jefferts Schori said the healing of the world "needs the participation and leadership of all parts of the body of Christ. It starts with urgent voices, and changed hearts, our own conversion, and our challenge to systems that perpetuate all kinds of sickness and death around the world."

Jefferts Schori noted the brutal murder of Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato, who was bludgeoned to death in his home community on Jan. 26.

Kato "has been a strong voice for the basic human rights of gay and lesbian people," Jefferts Schori said. "His voice has been silenced. We can pray that others will continue that work, or be challenged by the brutality of his death into some conversion of heart. Will we challenge the world to respect the dignity of every single human being?"

Jefferts Schori is attending the Jan. 25-30 meeting of Anglican primates at the Emmaus Retreat Centre near Dublin. Seven primates have chosen to stay away from the meeting because of Jefferts Schori's presence and recent developments supporting the full inclusion of gay and lesbian people in the Episcopal Church.

Read the rest here.

-- Matthew Davies is editor and international correspondent of the Episcopal News Service.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

"the road not taken"

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost
Mountain Journal