Wednesday, April 30, 2008

...saved by hope, faith, and love....


"Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope. Nothing true or beautiful makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore, we are saved by love."

~Reinhold Niebuhr






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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Pastor in Trouble for Dropping "S-Bomb" in Sermon (satire)

29 April, 2008

from Tominthebox News

Pastor in Trouble for Dropping "S-Bomb" in Sermon

AKRON, OHIO - Life was good for Reverend Frank Grant, pastor of Abundant Life United Methodist Church. He and his family had recently relocated from Wheeling, WV in order for him to pastor at Abundant Life. The first five months went very well, with seventeen new people joining the church. The church family seemed to be united, they were reaching out to the community, and even the youth at least looked excited to be in church. Everyone was happy.

Then Rev. Grant shocked everyone, including his wife. During his sermon last Sunday morning, Grant dropped the "S-bomb."

Unlike most pastors, Grant has the habit of preaching through books. He loves the book of Romans. This past Sunday, Grant was preaching out of Romans 9 when he reached the section on Jacob and Esau. That's when it happened. Grant said to his church, "As difficult as it is for us to understand and admit, it sure seems like God is sovereign over this situation."

The audience reportedly just sat there in stunned silence for a few seconds. They tried to take it in. They tried to comprehend what they had just heard from the pulpit. A few were heard to say, "Did he just say what I think he said?" A few mothers quickly ushered their young children back to the nursery. The rumbling in the congregation gradually grew from a whisper to a discussion to a dull roar.

Needless to say, both the sermon and the service came to a quick end. Several of the leaders of the church approached Rev. Grant in confusion and disgust. Sunday School Director Ed Thomas said to Grant, "How could you do that? How could you use the 'S-word' in our church? Just as things were going so well for us, you had to go and ruin everything. I feel so bad for you and us."

Grant did not quite comprehend the gravity of the situation. At least not at first.

Then Philip Simms, a long-time member of Abundant Life, approached Grant, shouting, "I don't ever want to hear that kind of language from this pulpit again. You know better than that - you attended Asbury Seminary. How dare you try to take away my free will?!"

Now Grant understood. He slowly walked back to his office and started packing up his books.

from Tominthebox News

St. Albans School (DC) defeats West Genesee in Lacrosse!

My friend and former coaching colleague, Malcolm Lester, and his team defeated national powerhouse West Genesee (NY) in boys' lacrosse this weekend.

Congrats go out to the coaches and the players!

Rev. Peter M. Carey

STA Defeats West Genesee

April 29, 2008

west-genesee-huddle.jpgSt. Albans traveled to upstate New York on Saturday, April 26 and returned with a 6-4 victory over national power West Genesee, which has been ranked Number 1 in the country by Inside Lacrosse for much of the season and is ranked 8th this week. The following game recap is provided courtesy of the West Genesee Wildcat website: View Game Photos
Bulldogs Take a Bite Out of Cats 6 - 4
The West Genesee Wildcats hosted the St. Alban’s Bulldogs, a prep school out of Washington D.C., on the carpet at West Genesee stadium on a brilliant Saturday morning and it was the guest Bulldog’s making the most of their visit with a 6-4 victory over the Cats. St. Alban’s struck early in the game 1-0 at 11:06 when senior midfielder Matt Miller backed in his defender and snuck a low shot past junior Wildcat goalie Steve Mahle. Less than a minute later at 10:15 it was sophomore midfielder Pat Dougherty wrapping around the right post adding an unassisted goal for a 2-0 lead.

Genny used a mini run of their own with 6:51 to go when senior attackman Matt Lebduska took a feed from junior midfielder Matt McCabe who was behind the St. Alban’s goal and redirected it past senior goalie Guy Van Syckle’s stick side.

Senior captain midfielder Luke Cometti knotted the score 2-2 with 6:29 remaining when he barreled toward the Bulldog’s net, withstood several hits, then used a one-handed backhand shot that eluded Van Syckle.The Bulldogs would waste little time with 6:18 to go regaining the lead when junior long-stick midfielder Roger Ferguson scooped up the ball off the ensuing face-off, ran unabated into the Cat’s end and fired a shot past Mahle for a 3-2 lead. Genny had several late opportunities for the tying goal but Van Syckle made two point blank stops to keep the Cats in check to end the first quarter.

The Wildcats opened the second quarter with a flurry of opportunities, the first when senior midfielder Tim Besio sped in uncovered from the sideline, took a pass in front while wide open, but lost the ball out of his stick in the act of shooting. At 10:19 Lebduska followed with a laser that beat Van Syckle but ricocheted off the left post. Lebduska followed with another near miss at 9:03, then it was junior midfielder Ryan McConnell who took a Lebduska pass with 6:30 to go and ripped it wide.

St. Alban’s returned the favor after the half with an offensive burst of their own but Mahle bailed the Cats out making three stops right on the doorstep to keep the Cats in the game. Genny did get an extra-man opportunity with 6:34 to go while St. Albans served a 30 second technical but couldn’t convert. The Bulldogs dodged the Cat’s man up attempt, then used a shot by senior midfielder Nick Dugan, whose shot dodged past Mahle on his stick side with 4:29 to go for a 4-2 lead. With only 2:58 to go in the half the Cats had another man-up advantage compliments of a 30 second push call and wasted little time converting at 2:42 as Cometti took a feed from senior attackman Ryan Garrett who was behind and ripped a shot past Van Syckle to cut the score to 4-3.

The Cats carried the momentum into the final quarter and tied the game at 4-4 with 9:21 to go ...

Read the entire article HERE.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Dorothy Day


Dorothy Day

From the blog:

"A Guy in the Pew" : "Dorothy Day

May 1 will be the 7th anniversary of the Catholic Worker's movement, and Marquette University Press has published 'The Duty of Delight,' a collection of Day's diaries, as well as a 2006 documentary, 'Don't Call Me a Saint,' is out on DVD. The Dallas Morning NewsReligion blog has further details:

Dorothy Day, the founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, was a pacifist, a champion of the poor, a Communist (for a time), a writer, and a hell-raiser who took part in countless demonstrations in support of workers, women, the poor and the disenfranchised.


She spoke her mind. Before embracing Catholicism, she led what was once colorfully called a 'bohemian' lifestyle. She had affairs, a common-law marriage, and a back-alley abortion, about which she wrote in a novel, 'The Eleventh Virgin.'


She died in 1980 at age 83.


On May 1, the Catholic Worker Movement celebrates its 75th anniversary. Today, there are more than 185 Catholic Worker houses around the world, promoting 'nonviolence, voluntary poverty, prayer, and hospitality for the homeless, exiled, hungry, and foresaken.'





Read it all here.



Here is a preview of the video:

Little Boxes, sung by Pete Seeger

Check out Pete Seeger sining "Little Boxes" (and the lyrics below)

I do believe that God has more in mind for us than just Little Boxes ... I wonder sometimes whether my pastoral work, my preaching, my ministry helps to break us out of boxes, or whether it merely makes us more comfortable being constrained in our little boxes...

I pray we have the courage to dismantle the little boxes, or at least break open a hole in them!

Rev. Peter Carey



Little Boxes, sung by Pete Seeger

Little boxes on the hillside
Little boxes made of ticky tacky
Little boxes, little boxes
Little boxes all the same

There's a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same

And the people in the houses all go to the university
And they all get put in boxes, little boxes all the same
And there's doctors and there's lawyers and business executives
And they're all made out of ticky tacky and they all look just the same

And they all play on the golf course and drink their martini dry
And they all have pretty children and the children go to school
And the children go to summer camp and then to the university
And they all get put in boxes, and they all come out the same

And the boys go into business and marry and raise a family
And they all get put in boxes, little boxes all the same
There's a green one, and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same




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Desmond Tutu on Apartheid, Perpetrators, Forgiveness - Bill Moyers Interview

Desmond Tutu introduced and interviewed by Bill Moyers. Well worth 10 minutes to see this clip from an amazing program about an amazing person.

~Rev. Peter M. Carey

Apartheid, Perpetrators, Forgiveness: Desmond Tutu's views







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Building an Ark

It's been raining like crazy today here in Richmond...

...so, it's a great time to listen to some classic Bill Cosby on "NOAH"....




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Wright Ex-Factor (by Diana Butler Bass)

Wright Ex-Factor (by Diana Butler Bass)

Over the last several days, I watched Rev. Jeremiah Wright in discussions of faith, theology, history, and culture on television. The three-plus hours I devoted to PBS and CNN amounted to some of the most sophisticated and thoughtful programming on American culture and racial issues that any news station has offered in recent years. And, for those who really listened to Rev. Wright, he moved from being a political liability in the current presidential campaign to demonstrating why he is one of the nation's most compelling spokespersons of the African-American community and of progressive Christianity.

On Friday, Bill Moyers interviewed Wright in an hour-long conversation. (Watch it here.) On Sunday, Wright preached at an NAACP fundraiser in Detroit that attracted 10,000 people. (Watch parts 1 [intro], 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.) Finally, on Monday morning, Wright addressed a packed National Press Club in Washington, D.C. However different the venues, a surprisingly common thread wound through all three speeches -- that a realistic understanding of history forms the spiritual basis of hope and healing.

In the Moyers interview, Wright admitted that one of the major influences on his ministry was the august historian Martin E. Marty of the University of Chicago (a white Lutheran and a true gentleman scholar), who challenged his students to relate the "faith preached in our churches" to the "world in which our church members leave at the benediction." He then quoted African-American historian Carter G. Woodson, saying that black Americans had been—and one can argue, by inference, Anglo-Americans as well—"miseducated."

I suspect that both Woodson and Marty share the perception that Americans suffer from "miseducation" regarding history. This "miseducation" means looking to the glorious parts of history and not to its despair, of having an incomplete picture—only a "piece of the story"—regarding the past. Bad history leaves out the bits that make us cringe, doubt ourselves, or question our morality. Leaving out the uncomfortable parts may reinforce cherished views, but it lacks the power of internal critique or self-correction.

Realistic history includes the good and the amoral, the profound and the profane. It gives us the ability to understand the fullness of human experience and learn from mistakes and sin. A robust vision of the past, Wright stated, enables Christians "not to leave that world and pretend that we are now in some sort of fantasy land, as Martin Marty called it, but to serve a God who comes into history on the side of the oppressed."

The God of history is also, as Wright reminded his audience on Sunday, "a God of diversity." ...

Read the rest HERE.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Join up with "The Episcopal Church" on "Ning"


View my page on The Episcopal Church

Pray for Zimbabwe! from the Archbishop of Canterbury

Pray for Zimbabwe! from the Archbishop of Canterbury

Rev. Peter M. Carey


"Against Capital Punishment" by Rev. George Clifford

I found this article to be thought-provoking and so helpful, do also read the comments after Rev. George Clifford's article. ~ Rev. Peter M. Carey

Against Capital Punishment

By George Clifford

The Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, John Roberts, in his majority opinion in Baze v. Rees, No. 07-5439, the recent Kentucky death penalty case challenging the constitutionality of execution by lethal injustice, wrote:

Simply because an execution method may result in pain, either by accident or as an inescapable consequence of death, does not establish the sort of ‘objectively intolerable risk of harm’ that qualifies as cruel and unusual [under the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment].

A premise underlying Roberts’ comment – that the death penalty is not a kind, gentle act – seems commonsensical to me. Unfortunately, modern culture often lacks an adequate supply of the precious commodity we call commonsense. Why would anyone think that capital punishment, however administered, is not painful?

Societies impose the death penalty on convicted criminals for three reasons. First, a society may intend the death penalty to deter people from committing crime. Deterrence obviously proved ineffective with respect to the criminal justly convicted of a crime. Both death penalty proponents and opponents point to research that supposedly supports their argument that the death penalty deters, or does not deter, crime. From my ethical perspective, the research is irrelevant. My ethical problem with justifying the execution of one individual to deter other persons from committing crimes is that this reduces the one executed to a means to an end, thereby denying that person’s inherent dignity and worth as a child of God. Christians should never view a person as simply an instrument for achieving a goal, no matter how laudable the goal. The Gospel of Luke’s account of the crucifixion portrays Jesus assuring one of the criminals crucified with Jesus that the two of them, that very day, will be together in Paradise (23:39-43). Jesus clearly regarded the criminals crucified with him, who both acknowledged their guilt, as persons worthy of dignity and respect in spite of their crimes. In Luke’s narrative, one criminal experiences transformation, the other does not.

Admittedly, Scripture’s witness on the issue of deterrence, like the research on deterrence, is inconsistent. Some Biblical passages recognize the value of deterrence:

• “Stone them to death for trying to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. Then all Israel shall hear and be afraid, and never again do any such wickedness.” - Deuteronomy 13:10-11 • “All the people will hear and be afraid, and will not act presumptuously again.” - Deuteronomy 17:13 • “The rest shall hear and be afraid, and a crime such as this shall never again be committed among you.” - Deuteronomy 19:20

Other passages suggest that retribution belongs to God, undercutting the rationale for deterrence:

• “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people…” - Leviticus 19:18 • “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’” - Romans 12:19 • For we know the one who said, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay.’ And again, ‘The Lord will judge his people.’” - Hebrews 10:30

I discuss retribution, the third rationale for the death penalty, below. Suffice it to say, the Deuteronomic passages supporting deterrence reflect a more rigid legalism and less robust understanding of personhood than I find in Leviticus and the New Testament. These latter passages point to a developing awareness of the demands of loving as God loves. Not surprisingly, the Baylor Institute of Religion survey, American Piety in the 21st Century, published in September 2006, confirmed that individuals who have an authoritarian image of God are more likely to support the death penalty than individuals who have a benevolent image of God.

Second, society may impose the death penalty intending to prevent a person convicted of a serious crime from further harming anyone else. As a Christian, I have two ethical problems with this rationale. Capital punishment is a final solution that allows no second chance. What if new evidence becomes available that the person executed was, in fact, innocent? Worse yet, what if the executed person is innocent but nobody ever finds the exculpatory evidence? At least in the first instance, society can release and compensate the convicted person discovered to be innocent. No evidentiary standard, no matter how high it is set, can guarantee that absolutely everyone given the death penalty is in fact guilty.

Even more morally troubling to me, the death penalty makes a large number of people – legislators, police, judges, lawyers, jurors, prison officials – complicit in the death of each person executed....

read the rest HERE.

God in the interactions of compassion

The Rev. Peter M. Carey
Chapel Address
23 April 2008

Gospel of Luke, chapter 10 verses 25-37.

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" "What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?" He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live." But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"

In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn in Jericho and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'

"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"

The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise." New International Version

Jesus answers the question, “who is my neighbor” by telling a story of an extremely unlikely neighbor helping a man who was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho. The unlikely neighbor was from a nationality and race that did not usually interact with Jesus’ culture, religion, and race. The unlikely neighbor was enemy, was foreigner, and was “other.” But, in the story, when the man was attacked, it was this unlikely Samaritan who offered compassion and help.

You may have heard the story before, but I want to ask something a bit different about it. Where is God in the story? Where is God’s love and compassion in the story?

I would argue that God is exhibited in the “in between” in this story. In my reading, God is in the actions of the Samaritan as he offered compassion and help. The man needed this unlikely neighbor to help him, and through this unlikely neighbor, God’s love and compassion comes through.

Sometimes, oftentimes in the Biblical narrative, God uses unlikely events and interactions to cause transformation. Here, God uses an unlikely neighbor to illustrate how tightly we are related to one another. We are related one to another in a deep deep way. We are related one to another.

We are sister,
we are daughter,
we are mother,
we are father,
we are son,
we are brother,
we are friend,
we are neighbor.

Our own selves are tied up with one another, and we need one another.

It is in the coming together in closeness with others that we are each transformed. Put another way, when we have to encounter someone who is not us, who is perhaps not very much like us, that is when we are transformed down to our heart, soul and mind. In encountering others, we begin to become who we were meant to be. Through our interactions with the “other” appreciate and respect the other without obliterating the differences. In coming here to St. Catherine’s, and then when you move on to college and beyond, the world needs you to be who you are. I would like to think that this is a place where each of us can be safe as we affirm our identity, because we need each of us to be wholly who we are.

The transformation that happens when we encounter one another is a transformation from having hearts that are small to what Dietrich Bonhoeffer called, “large-heartedness.” In loving thy neighbor as thyself not only do the others experience that love but it transforms us as well.

So, we turn to the Day of Silence this Friday when we affirm that harassment will not be tolerated, and that respect for each person will be affirmed.

Around the issue of homosexuality, there are a variety of perspectives along a long spectrum. I don’t know where you fall on this spectrum. However, wherever you may be, we all can affirm respect for every person, and we can agree that harassment will not be tolerated. Jesus was adamant that we are to love our neighbors, that our neighbors might end up being those very people that have long been seen as strange, as enemy, or as the “other.” Every one of us is a child of God, and that we are to be respectful and tolerant of every one of us, but that we will not tolerate harassment or intolerance.

Jesus answers the question, “who is my neighbor” by telling a story of an extremely unlikely neighbor helping a man who was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho. The unlikely neighbor was from a nationality and race that did not usually interact with Jesus’ culture, religion, and race. The unlikely neighbor had been seen as “other,” but had become neighbor and friend. We should also practice this “large-heartedness” to all those in our community.

Human Rights Campaign 2008

Seminary distress (Op-Ed Piece from the Christian Century)

I wonder what kinds of new forms of ministry training may come if and when the "traditional" residential seminary curriculum is more a rarity than the norm.



May 06, 2008
Print This Article
Seminary distress


Jesus taught his disciples in the outdoors, without a prescribed curriculum. His lessons were passed on by way of oral tradition before being written down.

The way things are going, mainline seminaries may be returning to such informal models of theological training. At the very least, this is a time of great uncertainty in theological education, a time when students are more diverse, religious identities are in flux, financial support from denominations is down and education expenses continue to go up.

As was reported in these pages April 8, a number of seminaries have taken dramatic steps to keep their programs alive, often by making alliances with other institutions. Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, an Episcopal school in Evanston, Illinois, discontinued its M.Div. program and is considering how to offer the degree "in another format."

A New York Times article (April 5) by Richard Higgins points to the large gap between the haves and the have-nots in theological education. Schools that are attached to major universities (like Duke, Vanderbilt, University of Chicago) or that have significant endowments (Princeton, Virginia Theological Seminary) are secure, but many others scramble to survive in the new environment. Higgins quotes Daniel Aleshire, head of the Association of Theological Schools, saying that 30 of the nation's 165 seminaries are in financial distress. Higgins also notes that 39 percent of all seminarians can be found at just 20 schools.

What does all this mean? Sadness for alumni and anxiety for students, faculty and staff at the precarious institutions. But Louis Weeks, retired president of Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia, argues that mainline seminaries should be looking for ways to expand their offerings, not shrink them. More and more people are hungry for theological education. Weeks points to the success of his school's extension campus in Charlotte.

Some hard questions need to be asked about the future of seminaries. For example: Do the United Methodists really need two schools in Ohio? Do the ELCA Lutherans need two in Pennsylvania? Those who love such schools will naturally flinch at the questions, but any serious look at the future will have to address them, along with questions like: Is a residential education still essential for seminaries? How much education can take place online? (One seminary professor said, "I refuse to teach embodied theology in a disembodied way!") Does the future of theological education lie in moving back to the apprenticeship model, by which young pastors learn about ministry not at a school but by apprenticing themselves to established pastors?

Jesus taught without an endowment, classrooms or a faculty, so we know that many kinds of ministerial training can work. The question is what model will work for the 21st century.

Father Matthew Presents: The Archives!

Father Matthew Presents: The Archives!



Very interesting...Father Matthew's church used to have its services televised on NBC in the 1950s!

You've to check it out!

(Stay tuned, I have a new one coming soon...!)

Earth Day: Top Green Websites & Blogs


Check out the Time.com (Time Magazine) article HERE.


The top 15 Green Websites are:

  1. Grist
  2. TreeHugger
  3. Dot Earth
  4. Climate Change
  5. RealClimate
  6. Environmental Capital
  7. No Impact Man
  8. EcoGeek
  9. Ecorazzi
  10. Switchboard
  11. Mongabay
  12. Climate Ethics
  13. Climate Progress
  14. World Changing
  15. Planet Ark


Hat tip to "No Impact Man" and congrats to him on his #7 spot on the list!!!

Rowan Williams reflects on the upcoming Lambeth Conference

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

VTS Welcomes Rev. Two Bulls as Leader in Residence

Rev. Robert Two Bulls is a "leader in residence" at VTS for the next two weeks. I have met him a couple of times and he is a wonderful priest and leader in our church. In addition, he and his wife were members of the Cathedral Volunteer Service Community a few years before I was. The CVSC was the Internship Community about which I wrote an article for The Episcopal Cafe recently. I am glad that VTS has asked Rev. Two Bulls to campus, and I am sure that those who take the time to meet him will learn from him.






VTS Welcomes Rev. Two Bulls as Leader in Residence
4.18.08
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Susan Shillinglaw
Tel: 703-461-1764
Email: sshillinglaw@vts.edu

ALEXANDRIA, VA - Virginia Theological Seminary (VTS) welcomes to campus today the Rev. Robert W. Two Bulls as a 2008 Leader in Residence fellow. Two Bulls, an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota Oyate and resident of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, currently serves as Vicar of All Saints Indian Mission and Director of Indian Work for the Diocese of Minnesota.

After receiving his M.Div. in 2000 from General Theological Seminary, Two Bulls served as the curate—then Assistant Rector following ordination in 2001—at The Episcopal Church of St. George in Los Angeles, California. In addition to his work at St. George’s, Two Bulls was named the Missioner for Native Americans in the Diocese of Los Angeles, home to the largest urban Native American Indian population in the United States. In 2003, Two Bulls accepted a call to join the staff of the Rt. Rev. Jon Bruno, bishop of the Diocese of Los Angeles, to begin a full-time ministry as the Program Officer for Native American Ministries.

Two Bulls has served on numerous local, diocesan and national committees within the Episcopal Church and currently sits on the boards of the Executive Council Committee for Indigenous Ministries, the Episcopal Peace Fellowship, the Episcopal Evangelical Society and The Phelps Stokes Foundation. He is also the founder of The Red Shirt Project which promotes cross cultural relationships and understanding between different communities in the Christian context. For the past seven summers, Two Bulls has led journeys with young adults to the Pine Ridge Reservation and is planning an eighth visit this summer.

In addition to being an artist, avid reader and music lover, Two Bulls is married to Ritchie Robertson and has two children, a son (11) and a daughter (8). He will be on campus for the next two weeks.

The Leader in Residence Program is a two-week fellowship offered to clergy and lay leaders of color who reside in the United States and are involved in active ministry. The purpose of the fellowship is to provide a leader, who may not otherwise have an opportunity for a sabbatical or time away from his or her ministries, with a time for rest and reflection.

The Leader in Residence program is made possible through the Racial and Ethnic Diversity Initiative and a grant from the Carpenter Foundation. Virginia Theological Seminary will offer two, two-week fellowships in 2008. For more information, contact the Rev. Joseph M. Constant, director of Ethnic Ministries and Community Life, at (703) 461-1765 or by email at jconstant@vts.edu.

Virginia Theological Seminary, founded in 1823, is the largest of the 11 accredited seminaries of the Episcopal Church. The school prepares men and women, representing all eight of the domestic provinces of the Episcopal Church, as well as students from several different provinces and countries within the Anglican Communion, for service in the Church, both as ordained and lay ministers, and offers a number of professional degree programs and diplomas.

Good Samaritan Story


I am preaching on the Good Samaritan Story tomorrow and and wrestling with it a bit; trying to find some way of approaching it that hasn't been heard time and time again...let's see...

Good Samaritan Story

Gospel of Luke, chapter 10 verses 25-37.

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" "What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?" He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" "You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live." But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"

In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn in Jericho and took care of him. The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'

"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"

The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him." Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise." New International Version

Monday, April 21, 2008

Wherever you may look




Wherever you may look


Wisdom is
so kind and wise
that wherever you may look
you can learn something
about God.


Why
would not
the omnipresent
teach that
way?
from Catherine of Siena

from Love Poems From God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West, translated by Daniel Ladinsky

Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, April 21st




A PRAYER OF ANSELM


My God,
I pray that I may so know you and love you
that I may rejoice in you.
And if I may not do so fully in this life
let me go steadily on
to the day when I come to that fullness ...
Let me receive
That which you promised through your truth,
that my joy may be full




ANSELM OF CANTERBURY

MONK, ARCHBISHOP, THEOLOGIAN (21 APR 1109)


St. AnselmAnselm is the most important Christian theologian in the West between Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. His two great accomplishments are his Proslogium (in which he undertakes to show that Reason requires that men should believe in God), and his Cur Deus Homo? (in which he undertakes to show that Divine Love responding to human rebelliousness requires that God should become a man).

He was born in Italy about 1033, and in 1060 he entered the monastery of Bec in Normandy to study under Stephen Lanfranc, whom he succeeded in office, first as prior of Bec, and later as Archbishop of Canterbury.

In 1078 he was elected abbot of Bec. The previous year, he completed a work called the Monologium, in which he argues for the existence of God from the existence of degrees of perfection (Aquinas's Fourth Way is a variation of this argument).

In 1087, while still at Bec, he produced his Proslogium, an outline of his "ontological argument" for the existence of God. Taking as his text the opening of Psalm 14 ("The fool hath said in his heart: There is no God."), Anselm undertakes to show that the fool is contradicting himself -- that the concept of God is unique in that anyone who understands what is meant by the question, "Does God exist?" will see that the answer must be "Yes." The argument has received mixed reviews from the start. Almost at once another theologian, Gaunilon, wrote, "A Reply on Behalf of the Fool." Thomas Aquinas rejected Anselm's argument as inconclusive (and is followed in this by most Roman Catholic writers today). Kant practically made his reputation as a philosopher by explaining in detail what he thought was wrong with Anselm's argument. On the other hand, Leibniz and others have thought it valid.

King William II of England had no fondness for the Church, and at the death of Lanfranc he kept the See of Canterbury vacant until he was gravely ill, whereon he promised to let Anselm be made Archbishop. Anselm was made Archbishop (4 December 1093), the King recovered, and the two began to dispute the extent of the King's right to intervene in Church matters. Anselm went into exile in 1097 and remained in Italy for three years until the King died in 1100.

Read more here from the "satucket" site...and writing by James Kiefer




Sunday, April 20, 2008

God calls human persons to union with Himself and with one another, Thomas Merton



"Whatever I may have written, I think it all can be reduced in the end to this one root truth: that God calls human persons to union with Himself and with one another in Christ, in the Church which is His Mystical Body. It is also a witness to the fact that there is and must be, in the church, a contemplative life which has no other function than to realize these mysterious things, and return to God all the thanks and praise that human hearts can give Him. It is certainly true that I have written about more than just the contemplative life. I have articulately resisted attempts to have myself classified as an "inspirational writer." But I have written about interracial justice, or thermonuclear weapons, it is because these issues are terribly relevant to one great truth: that man is called to live as a child of God. Man must respond to this call to live in peace with all his brothers and sisters in the One Christ."

~Thomas Merton

Discipleship and the church...



I went into church and sat on the velvet pew. I watched as the sun came shining through the stained glass windows. The minister dressed in a velvet robe opened the golden gilded Bible, marked it with a silk bookmark and said, "If any man will be my disciple, said Jesus, let him deny himself, take up his cross, sell what he has, give it to the poor, and follow me."
Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)



hat-tip to Rev. Frank Logue at Irenic Thoughts blog

Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, April 21st




A PRAYER OF ANSELM

My God,
I pray that I may so know you and love you
that I may rejoice in you.
And if I may not do so fully in this life
let me go steadily on
to the day when I come to that fullness ...
Let me receive
That which you promised through your truth,
that my joy may be full




ANSELM OF CANTERBURY

MONK, ARCHBISHOP, THEOLOGIAN (21 APR 1109)


St. AnselmAnselm is the most important Christian theologian in the West between Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. His two great accomplishments are his Proslogium (in which he undertakes to show that Reason requires that men should believe in God), and his Cur Deus Homo? (in which he undertakes to show that Divine Love responding to human rebelliousness requires that God should become a man).

He was born in Italy about 1033, and in 1060 he entered the monastery of Bec in Normandy to study under Stephen Lanfranc, whom he succeeded in office, first as prior of Bec, and later as Archbishop of Canterbury.

In 1078 he was elected abbot of Bec. The previous year, he completed a work called the Monologium, in which he argues for the existence of God from the existence of degrees of perfection (Aquinas's Fourth Way is a variation of this argument).

In 1087, while still at Bec, he produced his Proslogium, an outline of his "ontological argument" for the existence of God. Taking as his text the opening of Psalm 14 ("The fool hath said in his heart: There is no God."), Anselm undertakes to show that the fool is contradicting himself -- that the concept of God is unique in that anyone who understands what is meant by the question, "Does God exist?" will see that the answer must be "Yes." The argument has received mixed reviews from the start. Almost at once another theologian, Gaunilon, wrote, "A Reply on Behalf of the Fool." Thomas Aquinas rejected Anselm's argument as inconclusive (and is followed in this by most Roman Catholic writers today). Kant practically made his reputation as a philosopher by explaining in detail what he thought was wrong with Anselm's argument. On the other hand, Leibniz and others have thought it valid.

King William II of England had no fondness for the Church, and at the death of Lanfranc he kept the See of Canterbury vacant until he was gravely ill, whereon he promised to let Anselm be made Archbishop. Anselm was made Archbishop (4 December 1093), the King recovered, and the two began to dispute the extent of the King's right to intervene in Church matters. Anselm went into exile in 1097 and remained in Italy for three years until the King died in 1100.

Read more here from the "satucket" site...and writing by James Kiefer




Peeping the Pope, from the "rough draft" blog



My friend Sammy, at the "rough draft" blog, wrote this amazing piece about when his wife was working to get the kids out the door to see Pope Benedict....this is a must read!

Peeping the Pope

Renee' sent around an email last night w/ the details of her bundling off our kids to see the Pope's motorcade yesterday. Pretty much made my week. Here 'tis:

My kids' perspective on the Pope's visit to DC 4/16/08

Me: Get your coats.
Ellie (Age 5): Where are we going?
Me: We're going to the Pope's parade.
Patrick (Age 3): The Poke?
Me: The Pope.
Patrick: The Pote.
Me: The Pope, with a P.
Ellie: The Pope has to pee!

giggles

Ellie: Mom
Me: Yes.
Ellie: Who is the Pope?
Me: He's the head of the Roman Catholic Church.

Silence

Ellie: He doesn't have a body?
Me: Of course he does honey.
Patrick: I'm going to catch some candy!
Me: It's not that type of parade, Buddy. The Pope doesn't throw candy.
Patrick: Because he doesn't have any arms?
Me: He has arms.
Ellie: Why are we going to see the Poke?
Me: Because the Pope is a very holy man.
Patrick: Oh, I'm a holy man!

Silence

Me: It'll be fun. The Pope rides in a funny car called the popemobile.
Patrick: The poopmobile!

more giggles

Me: The popemobile has an open seat in the back so we can see the Pope when he passes by.
Patrick: Mom?
Me: Yes
Patrick: The Pote has to ride in a car seat?
Me: Sort of. It's surrounded by a special glass that protects him.
Ellie: That's why he doesn't throw candy, Patrick. Because it would hit the glass!

You can't make this stuff up.

The Call to Discipleship, Dr. Kathy Staudt


One of my mentors, Dr. Kathleen Henderson Staudt, has a wonderful piece posted a few days ago over at the Episcopal Cafe about the Call to Discipleship and discernment and trying to figure out what we're supposed to be and do in our lives. I think the questions she poses about vocation and its relation to "making a living" and "ordained ministry" are very helpful, and the route she takes through some possible approaches is really helpful and leaves me wanting more (she does say she will be posting more on these subjects - which is great!)


If you've ever wondered "what you should do when you grow up," you should check out her post (excerpt below, the rest HERE at the Episcopal Cafe)....

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Call to Discipleship

By Kathleen Henderson Staudt

I have been trying to create ways to talk about vocation WITHOUT moving immediately to questions about “how am I supposed to make my living,” and especially without moving immediately to the question: “Is God calling me to the ordained ministry?”

It is almost impossible to disentangle these questions these days in our culture, where identity and worth are so tied to our role in the consumer economy, let alone in the Church, where vocation and discernment so strongly tied in people’s minds to questions about ordained ministry. But I insist on disentangling them. I believe it is essential for us as a church to be focusing, not so much on roles and résumés as on the original call of each of us to “follow” Jesus , to practice ever more faithful and intentional discipleship....

Read the rest HERE.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Cum Laude at St. Catherine's Inducts Junior Members



Cum Laude Society Inductes Junior Members

4/18/2008
Twelve St. Catherine's juniors were recognized for their academic success and inducted into the school's Cum Laude Society.


Twelve juniors were inducted into the St. Catherine’s Chapter of the Cum Laude Society, a high school honor society modeled after Phi Beta Kappa, during the organization’s annual program on April 8, 2008. Members are chosen each year based on their commitment to scholarship and their outstanding academic records.


Friday, April 18, 2008

Three to Receive Honorary Doctorates at Virginia Theological Seminary

Three to Receive Honorary Doctorates at Virginia Seminary
4.17.08
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Susan Shillinglaw
Tel: 703-461-1764
Email: sshillinglaw@vts.edu

Alexandria, VA - At the 185th Commencement of the Virginia Theological Seminary on May 22, 2008, honorary doctorates will be conferred upon three distinguished recipients that include two primates and a Seminary professor and church historian. The Doctor in Divinity, honoris causa degree will be awarded to the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop and primate of The Episcopal Church, the Rt. Rev. Daniel Deng Bul Yak, archbishop-elect of the Episcopal Church in the Sudan and bishop of the Diocese of Renk, and Dr. Fredrica Harris Thompsett, the Mary Wolfe Professor of Historical Theology at Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, the 26th presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, serves as the head of the 2.4 million Episcopal members in 16 countries and 110 dioceses, and meets and consults regularly with the bishops of the 38 member Provinces of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Elected Presiding Bishop in June of 2006 at General Convention in Columbus, Ohio, Bishop Jefferts Schori is the first woman ever to be elected to the position. She is a tireless advocate for the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals. She holds a B.S. degree in biology from Stanford University (1974), an M.S. (1977) and Ph.D. (1983) in oceanography from Oregon State University, an M.Div. from Church Divinity School of the Pacific (1994), and an honorary D.D. (2001) also from CDSP. Photo courtesy of Episcopal News Service.

The Rt. Rev. Daniel Deng Bul Yak,
archbishop-elect of the Episcopal Church of Sudan (ECS) and current Bishop of the Diocese of Renk. Since becoming a priest in 1978, Bishop Deng Bul has worked tirelessly for peace, justice, and reconciliation among the people (and tribes) of Sudan. After earning a theological degree in 1977, he worked for 10 years in the Sudan, teaching, preaching, and building up several parishes. He was consecrated Bishop of the Diocese of Renk in 1988 and build the first Episcopal Church in town. After earning a Post-Graduate Diploma in Theology from Virginia Theological Seminary in 1997, he returned to Renk and opened several schools including the Renk Bible School (now Renk Theological Seminary), planted 12 parish churches and built the Cathedral of St. Matthew. In 2004 he became Secretary of the House of Bishops in the ECS. Bishop Deng Bul’s enthronement will be held at All Saints Cathedral in Juba on April 20, 2008. Photo courtesy of Episcopal News Service.

Fredrica Harris Thompsett, the Mary Wolfe Professor of Historical Theology at Episcopal Divinity School (EDS) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a well-known historian, theologian, author and speaker. She has taught at Episcopal seminaries for over 35 years and, from 1986-1999, served as EDS’ Academic Dean. In addition to serving as a Senior Faculty Consultant for EDS’ Lilly Endowment Pastoral Excellence Project, Dr. Thompsett is President of the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church, the organization which is co-founder and partner with VTS of the African American Episcopal Historical Collection (housed at Virginia Seminary); a member of the Presiding Bishop’s National Committee, Proclaiming Education for All (PEALL), and has worked as an anti-racism trainer in the Episcopal Church. Dr. Thompsett counts among her degrees a B.A. from Denison University; an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago; and honorary degrees including a D.D. from General Theological Seminary; a D.D. from the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest; a D.C.L. from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary; and a D.C.L. from Hamilton College. Photo courtesy of Episcopal News Service.

Founded in 1823, Virginia Theological Seminary is the largest of the 11 accredited seminaries of the Episcopal Church. The school prepares men and women for service in the Church worldwide, both as ordained and lay ministers, and offers a number of professional degree programs and diplomas. Currently, the Seminary represents more than 55 different dioceses and 7 different countries, for service in the Church.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hope amidst the mess - Episcopal Cafe Article

The Daily Episcopalian, at The Episcopal Cafe,has posted my most recent article today, check out the entire article HERE.





By Peter Carey

In the midst of Episcopal Church news that includes court decisions in Virginia, inhibition of bishops, and disagreements in many congregations one might be forgiven for thinking that our church is rapidly swirling down the toilet bowl.

News Flash: It ain’t!


We don’t have too look far to see the bright spots in our church. Check out the growing network of Episcopal Internship Communities across the United States. For several decades, churches and dioceses have sponsored small groups (4-8) of young adults (18-30 years old or so) who live in community and each member works at a social service agency. There are slightly different guidelines and practices between these groups, but together they are sending thoughtful, prayerful, and dedicated young people into the Church and the world.

In 1992-1993, I had the good luck to join a community that was administered by the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. At the time, the “Cathedral Volunteer Service Community” was made up of six young adults from around the country. We hailed from Texas, North Carolina, Connecticut, Ohio and Vermont and came to the community from a variety of religious and political perspectives. We were lucky enough to have as our leader and mentor the Rev. Carole Crumley, who was then a canon of the National Cathedral (and is now a leader at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation). The CVSC was grounded in a Rule of Life that had echoes of Benedictine Spirituality. We pledged to live in intentional Christian Community, praying together daily, sharing in the work of the household, meeting once a week for theological reflection with Canon Crumley, and also pledged to live a life of simplicity. In this case, simplicity meant (in part) that we each only received $100 a month for food (which we pooled
to shop for the six of us) and $100 for other expenses. That was simple living!


We were challenged to feed and entertain six people on $600 a month. We were also challenged find ways to build community across our various theological and political differences, and it was not always easy...


Read the rest HERE.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Jackie Robinson Day - 60 Years ago he Debuted in the Majors

Sacred No. 42 on display around Majors
Players and coaches around the Major Leagues celebrated the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's historic debut on Sunday by donning the Hall of Famer's No. 42 for one day only after the number was retired throughout baseball in 1997. Full story >




Cliff Floyd and Ken Griffey Jr. line up Sunday before the Reds-Cubs game at Wrigley. (Nam Y. Huh/AP)

Dodgers celebrate Robinson's legacy
Jackie Robinson was remembered at Dodger Stadium on the 60th anniversary of the day he changed the world. Full story >

Honoring "Miss Jennie" - Virginia Randolph Ellett


St. Catherine's Students Honor School Founder

4/14/2008
Middle School student leaders continued the tradition of visiting the gravesite of the school’s founder and first headmistress, Virginia Randolph Ellett.


Middle School student leaders continued the tradition of visiting the gravesite of the school’s founder and first headmistress, Virginia Randolph Ellett (1857-1939), with Head of School Laura Erickson, Chaplain Peter Carey and other school faculty and staff. In a intimate ceremony honoring Miss Jennie’s life, service and vision, Director of Library Services Howard Pugh told the girls, "You are, essentially, Miss Jennie's 'daughters': the students and alumnae of St. Catherine's School." The girls learned about the history of the burial site in Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery and placed flowers at Miss Jennie’s gravestone.

The Richmond Alumnae Board maintains the site, making one or more group visits each year to clean up, spread mulch and plant flowers. Members take turns throughout the year watering and tending to the site.



Krister Stendahl, April 15, 2008

From Episcopal Cafe's, The Lead:

Krister Stendahl, April 15, 2008

From Harvard Divinity School:

To the HDS community--

It is with immense sadness, but also with immense thankfulness for a singular life wonderfully well-lived, that I write to inform you that Krister Stendahl, our beloved friend, teacher, colleague, and former Dean, died this morning. A funeral service is planned for Friday morning at University Lutheran Church, and a memorial service to be held at Harvard's Memorial Church is being planned for sometime in May. Details on that University event and on other chances to recall, celebrate, and honor Krister will be communicated as soon as we know them, by email as well as on the HDS website. Please keep all of the Stendahl family in your thoughts and prayers.

Sincerely,
William A. Graham,
Dean

Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER) mourns the death of Krister Stendahl, a leader in support for women in religion and ministry, bishop of the Lutheran Church of Sweden and former Dean of Harvard Divinity School.

Harvard Divinity School reports ... the death of its beloved former Dean Krister Stendahl... Many on this list knew him personally and others read his work. His contributions were many, especially his support for women in religion and ministry. He was a WATER supporter over the years and encouraging of our work. May his spirit inspire others to follow his example. With gratitude for this good man.

Last year Stendahl published Why I Love the Bible - read it here

Monday, April 14, 2008

Barth’s “Rules for Older People in Relation to Younger”

from "Der Evangelische Theologe blog


I, for one, know quite a few parents and teachers that would quibble with much of this advice, but the tendency to meddle probably leads to these quibbles...I need to give all of this some thought...

Rev. Peter Carey

Barth’s “Rules for Older People in Relation to Younger”

A Late Friendship: The Letters of Karl Barth and Carl Zuckmayer (Translated by Geoffrey W. Bromiley; Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1982), 45.

  1. Realize that younger people of both sexes, whether relatives or close in other ways, have a right to go their own ways according to their own (and not your) principles, ideas, and desires, to gain their own experiences, and to find happiness in their own (and not your) fashion.

  2. Do not force upon them, then, your own example or wisdom or inclinations or favors.

  3. Do not bind them in any way to yourself or put them under any obligation.

  4. Do not be surprised or annoyed or upset if you necessarily find that they have no time, or little time, for you, that no matter how well-intentioned you may be toward them, or sure of your cause, you sometimes inconvenience and bore them, and they casually ignore you and your counsel.

  5. When they act in this way, remember penitently that in your own youth you, too, perhaps (or probably) acted in the same way toward the older authorities of the time.

  6. Be grateful for every proof of genuine notice and serious confidence they show you, but do not expect or demand such proofs.

  7. Never in any circumstances give them up, but even as you let them go their own way, go with them in a relaxed and cheerful manner, trusting that God will do what is best for them, and always supporting and praying for them.

Will Ferrell as George Bush on Global Warmings

So funny! This has been out for awhile, but its worth another click...

Some quotes to warm you up....(so to speak)

"Think back to Biblical times ... it was hot back then, too, why do you think Adam and Eve were naked?"

"Adam and Eve drove an Excursion"

"let's talk about something that really matters, like keeping steroids out of T-Ball"

"I think the Polar Ice Caps suck; Who cares about a place where a bunch of penguins can have an orgy"


Anything behind the Benedict/White House Dinner Story?

From Reuters

Anything behind the Benedict/White House Dinner Story


Posted by: Tom Heneghan
Tags: FaithWorld, , , ,

President Bush at a White House dinner for U.S. governors, 25 Feb 2008/Jonathan ErnstJust before leaving for Washington to cover Pope Benedict’s U.S. visit, I got an interesting comment from a FaithWorld reader on another post about the trip:

Pope Benedict will skip White House dinner (in his honor!) with Bush. This is the incredibly significant detail of Pope’s visit. Why Mr. Henegan (sic) is so shy on this significance? Finally, the highest clerical authorities started behave like adults and demonstrate true feeling to the monster in the White House. The Christian communities around the world condemn the anti-Christian American president, though the American evangelicals are still behind and still cannot see the anti-Christ monstrosities emanating from the current administration.

I thought this was quite imaginative and said so. Pope Benedict does not like big fancy dinners and usually spends quiet evenings on his trips dining and conversing with the local cardinal, archbishop or nuncio. There was never any question of him changing this routine. There’s not much use scrutinising his agenda to see if he has time after all to pop over to the White House.

On arriving here, I’ve now heard or seen the”pope-no-show” story on the radio, on television and in today’s Washington Post (”Guess who’s not coming to dinner?“). These reports simply noted the facts, without the imaginative slant of the above comment or the explanation in response.

Is there another story behind this that political reporters are overlooking? What is the purpose of throwing a big party at the White House if the guest of honour can’t make it? It must be to please the people who attend. And who’s attending? White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said they would be “leaders from the Catholic community from all over the country who are in town for that visit.”

Is there some election year/Catholic vote angle in this?

Pope John Paul II serves homeless people at the Vatican, 4 Jan 1987/VaticanP.S. I don’t know how long it’s been since the Vatican has held a big state dinner worthy of the many opulent rooms it has where it could hold one. They must have done it a lot centuries ago, but recently? I searched through our photo database looking for a shot of a pope proposing a toast for a visiting king or showing a president his seat at a long table groaning with golden cutlery and fine china. All I found, though, was a black-and-white shot from 1987 when the late Pope John Paul invited homeless people in for a meal and served some himself.

"The beginning of love," Thomas Merton





"The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them."

- Thomas Merton

hat tip to the Dallas Morning News Religion Blog

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Time for a Third Vatican Council, John Dominic Crossan


Time for Third Vatican Council

The Pope should convene the Third Vatican Council so that the hierarchy can solemnly return the gift of infallibility, and beg instead for the gift of accuracy, and maybe also for the gifts of transparency, honesty, and integrity?

The Roman Catholic Church is a hierarchy, a tradition, and a community==these three but the greatest of these is community. And that is the root of the problem. The hierarchy has first separated itself from and then equated itself with not only the tradition in its ongoing development but even the community in its living reality. That is why one often hears that “the Church teaches” something when it only means that “the hierarchy teaches” it.

The hierarchy often replies that the church is not a democracy, But, then, neither is it an tyranny. It is the People of God in its triadic interaction of—in this order—community, tradition, and hierarchy. To understand the hierarchy’s abuse of power within God’s people, we start with the New Testament from which the hierarchy claims its authority, ...


Read the rest HERE.

Loving the Liminal from Inward/Outward Blog

Loving the Liminal from "Inward/Outward" Blog:

By Kayla McClurg


The older I get the more I appreciate “liminal” spaces. Impossible to describe with crisp labels, these are the times marked by both grief and joy, despair and celebration. They are times of horrifying loss and isolation as well as tender surprise and intimacy. A tornado sweeps through, drawing a small town close together; a dearly loved one succumbs to addiction and we begin our own journey toward healing; a friend who has loved more freely and fully than any human one has loved before is publicly crucified and now is reported to be alive. It’s all so surreal; it’s all so normal—in liminal space.


Whenever we walk through a passage in-between, we know the liminal....


Read the rest HERE.