Friday, December 03, 2021

This is true

Advent Credo

It is not true that creation and the human family are doomed to destruction and loss—
This is true: For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life;

It is not true that we must accept inhumanity and discrimination, hunger and poverty, death and destruction—
This is true: I have come that they may have life, and that abundantly.

It is not true that violence and hatred should have the last word, and that war and destruction rule forever—
This is true: Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder, his name shall be called wonderful councilor, mighty God, the Everlasting, the Prince of peace.

It is not true that we are simply victims of the powers of evil who seek to rule the world—
This is true: To me is given authority in heaven and on earth, and lo I am with you, even until the end of the world.

It is not true that we have to wait for those who are specially gifted, who are the prophets of the Church before we can be peacemakers—
This is true: I will pour out my spirit on all flesh and your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions and your old men shall have dreams.

It is not true that our hopes for liberation of humankind, of justice, of human dignity of peace are not meant for this earth and for this history—
This is true: The hour comes, and it is now, that the true worshipers shall worship God in spirit and in truth.

So let us enter Advent in hope, even hope against hope. Let us see visions of love and peace and justice. Let us affirm with humility, with joy, with faith, with courage: Jesus Christ—the life of the world.

From Walking on Thorns, by Allan Boesak, Eerdmans, 2004.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

O Lord, Let Advent begin again

Adult Advent Announcement

O Lord,
Let Advent begin again
In us,
Not merely in commercials;
For that first Christmas was not
Simply for children,
But for the
Wise and the strong.
It was
Crowded around that cradle,
With kings kneeling.
Speak to us
Who seek an adult seat this year.
Help us to realize,
As we fill stockings,
Christmas is mainly
For the old folks —
Bent backs
And tired eyes
Need relief and light
A little more.
No wonder
It was grown-ups
Who were the first
To notice
Such a star.

David A. Redding, from If I Could Pray Again (1965)

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Diocese of Vermont ~ Diocesan Convention ~ Fall 2021


November 10, 2021
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"Constant Change is a Part of Our Tradition"
Diocesan Convention Wrap-Up
If participants in the Diocese of Vermont’s 2021 convention did not know the diocese was entering a period of turbulent change before the online sessions last Thursday and Saturday, they certainly knew it afterwards.

The convention—conducted over Zoom—was the first since Bishop Shannon MacVean-Brown announced that a recent financial analysis indicated that the diocese would run out of money at some point in 2023.

Presentations by the bishop, Bishop Sean Rowe of Northwestern Pennsylvania and Western New York, the Rev. Scott Neal of the recently-established task force to help chart the diocese’s future and Dr. Catherine Meeks of the Absalom Jones Center of Racial Healing in Atlanta, focused primarily on how the diocese might move into a new future while deepening its commitment to racial healing.

“The church as an institution is bound by tradition and we have lived for generations thinking that part of our mission is to protect the church from change,” Bishop Shannon said, in a sermon during a service of morning prayer on Saturday, November 6. “However, we must no longer deny that constant change is part of our tradition.”

Later, in her bishop’s address, she said the diocese’s future might include closer relationships, although not a merger, with the dioceses of New Hampshire and Maine. “We are looking for ways to collaborate across dioceses so that our ministries will be strengthened, and to achieve greater efficiency and increased stewardship of our financial resources,” she said.

Convention Videos Now Available
Ordinations on November 13
Melanie Combs and Linda Moore to be ordained deacons
By the Grace of God and with the consent of the people, Bishop Shannon will ordain Melanie Combs and Linda Moore to the Sacred Order of Deacons on Saturday, November 13 at 11 a.m. at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Burlington.

The service will be live streamed on the cathedral's YouTube channel.
Celtic Advent Weekly Meditation Starting November 15
Monday through Friday at 8:30 a.m.
Anam Cara Sojourners, a group that explores Celtic spirituality and is directed by the Rev. Kim Hardy of St. James, Essex Junction, is hosting a weekday Celtic-themed online gathering during Advent. The series will provide quiet time for reflection to prepare for Christmas and a group to pray with during this season.

The group will meet online at 8:30 a.m. Monday through Friday beginning November 15. The book "Lean Towards the Light this Advent and Christmaswill be used, but purchasing the book is not required.

Email Kim Hardy to let her know you would like to participate, and she will provide a Zoom link.
The Very Rev. Greta Getlein Installed as Dean and Rector
View photos online
On October 23, the Very Rev. Greta Getlein was installed as the dean and rector of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Burlington.

Watch a recording of the service on YouTube and view a photo album from photographer Paul Van de Graaf.
Province 1 Offers Monthly Formation Conversations
The Province 1 Christian Formation Network is hosting a series of free online monthly conversations on the third Thursday of each month.

Upcoming conversations:

November 18 at 7 p.m. 
Hannah Graham, “Hybrid Formation: Forming disciples without limits" Register.

December 16 at 7 p.m.
Kelly Demo and Barbara McCall, “The Micah Paradigm: Building a Culture of Justice, Mercy, and Solidarity in Your Church’s Children and Youth Programs" Register.
Rock Point Eucharist on November 19
The next Rock Point Intentional Community Eucharist will take place Friday, November 19 at noon.

The next Eucharists are scheduled for December 17 and January 14.

Attendees may join in person or using the following Zoom link: 

Email the Rev. Lisette Baxter, a member of the Rock Point Intentional Community planning team, with questions or to be added to the Rock Point Intentional Community mailing list.
Diocesan Sacred Ground Program Begins in January
In partnership with the Diocese of Alabama
Members of the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont are invited to participate in the Episcopal Church's Sacred Ground program via Zoom with members of the Diocese of Alabama. The program, part of the Episcopal Church's Becoming Beloved Community initiative, invites participants to learn about the history of race and racism in the United States in the context of family stories, economic class, and political and regional identity.

To sign up or learn more about joining this Sacred Ground circle, email Amy Hastings or call her at 802-989-0647.

Image: Bishop Glenda S. Curry of the Diocese of Alabama with Bishop Shannon.
Green Mountain Online Abbey Schedule
The Green Mountain Online Abbey meets on Zoom Monday through Saturday at 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 8:00 p.m.

Learn more on the diocesan website.
Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine and Booster Shot
All Vermont residents age 5 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Learn more, and schedule an appointment, or get a free vaccine at a walk-in clinic. Booster shots are also available for many people and are especially encouraged for people with certain medical conditions, who work in a high-risk setting, who are Black, Indigenous or a person of color (BIPOC), or are age 18 or older and live with someone who is BIPOC.

Learn more and read a letter from the clergy of the diocese celebrating and encouraging vaccines.
Online Giving Continues
Give to congregations or diocesan institutions
Though many congregations are now meeting in person, the Diocese of Vermont will continue to process online gifts for all congregations and absorb all payment processing fees.

November 14: Ministries of lay leaders and their families throughout the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont

November 21: Ministries of the ordained and their families throughout the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont

(See the Diocesan Calendar for details.)

Daily online prayer with the Green Mountain Online Abbey.

November 19 at 12 p.m.: Rock Point Eucharist
The Mountain is published every other Wednesday. Please send submission to by 5:00 p.m. the Monday before publication.
Tel: (802) 863-3431 | In Vermont (800) 286-3437
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