Monday, October 31, 2016

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Almighty has done great things for me

Canticle 15 The Song of Mary
Luke 1:46-55
Magnificat

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;*
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed: *
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him *
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,*
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,*
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,*
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel,*
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
The promise he made to our fathers,*
to Abraham and his children for ever.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

He has lifted up the lowly

Canticle 15 The Song of Mary
Luke 1:46-55
Magnificat

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;*
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed: *
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him *
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,*
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,*
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,*
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel,*
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
The promise he made to our fathers,*
to Abraham and his children for ever.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Guide the people of this land

 Almighty God, to whom we must account for all our powers and privileges:  
Guide the people of this land in the election of officials and representatives; that,
by faithful administration and wise laws, the rights of all may be protected
and our nation be enabled to fulfill your purposes;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. 
-- Book of Common Prayer, p. 822

On November 8 we will again be called upon to exercise our civic duty of voting for the leaders of our nation, our states, and our local communities. It is a great privilege and responsibility to vote; one not available to all people around the globe. We give thanks for all those in our country’s history who have fought for our democratic right to vote, and for those who continue to work today to ensure that such freedoms continue.

Sadly this election season has taken on a tone that is not worthy of our country’s great democratic ideals. The political rancor and mean-spiritedness shown in the campaigns has too often resulted in distorted relationships in our families, in our communities, in our church, and in our nation. We are thus reminded of the words of the Catechism in the Book of Common Prayer that speak of the sinfulness in our lives and in our world:

“Question: What is sin? Answer: Sin is the seeking of our own will instead of the will of God, thus distorting our relationship with God, with other people, and with all creation.”(BCP p. 848)

How often have the sins of racism, classism, and sexism been used by candidates to alienate sectors of the electorate from each other in vain attempts to win votes? How often have we, as communities and as individuals, been like the Pharisee in last Sunday’s Gospel (Luke 18:11) criticizing those who favor a candidate not of our liking with characterizations that are unthinking, wrong-headed, unpatriotic, and even worse? Such is not the way of our nation. Such is not the way of God. We all need to repent for the sinfulness in this election season, seeking amendment of life and a return to wholeness with God and with each other as American citizens.

And when we are on our knees seeking forgiveness for how sin has crept into our hearts this election season, let us also turn to God and pray that these remaining weeks of the election season will be marked by a return to the civility, respect, and unity that has historically characterized our American political processes. Let us pray that Election Day will be free from violence and that due process will prevail. Let us pray that there will be a peaceful transition of power following the election. And above all, let us pray that those who have been elected to lead our nation, our states, and our communities will dedicate themselves to healing the divisions and hurts that have crept into our public life. Pray that God will bring us together in justice and in peace.

Our colleague bishops in the Episcopal Dioceses of Massachusetts and Western Massachusetts, the Rt. Revs. Alan M. Gates, Gayle E. Harris and Douglas J Fisher, respectively, have called on all Episcopalians in Massachusetts to participate in a vigil of prayer for the election from noon on All Saints Sunday, Nov. 6 through noon on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8. We would like to do the same, calling all parishes and worshiping communities in the Episcopal Church in Connecticut to a similar vigil. Such vigils could be as simple as a special closing prayer or litany on Sunday, November 6;  saying Morning, Noonday, and Evening Prayer on Monday November 7; or a continuous period of prayer with individuals and/or groups praying in shifts. Resources for prayer can be found on the EpiscopaliansVote website at: http://advocacy.episcopalchurch.org/EpiscopaliansVote and at Forward Movement’s “Season of Prayer for an Election” website at:  http://news.forwardmovement.org/2016/09/a-season-of-prayer-for-an-election/

We invite you to connect and share your ideas with ECCT by using our diocesan hashtag #ECCT and by tagging our diocesan Twitter account @EpiscopalCT. We would love to see what you and your parish or worshiping community are doing to prepare prayerfully for the election.

Finally, we urge you to exercise your right to vote on Election Day, November 8. We have a civic duty to participate in the political processes of our nation, our states, and our local communities. Please vote prayerfully.

Faithfully:

The Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, Ph.D.                        The Rt. Rev. Laura J. Ahrens, D.Min.
Bishop Diocesan                                                      Bishop Suffragan       

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A contrite and humble spirit



Thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy, "I dwell in the high and holy place and also with the one who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite." 

Isaiah 57:15







Photo from Vermont State Parks facebook page

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Eyes of Awe



Enlightenment comes from looking at the wilderness, the creation, with eyes of awe. It is a change in perspective. Wilderness is not an enemy to be conquered, but a gift to be loved.
George Grinnell

Friday, October 07, 2016

Morning!






O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch.
~ Psalm 5:3

Morning!





O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch.
~ Psalm 5:3

Thursday, October 06, 2016

The Guest House, by Rumi for #NationalPoetryDay



The Guest House 

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

 ~ Rumi ~
  
(The Essential Rumi, version by Coleman Barks)

A Prayer Attributed to St. Francis




A Prayer Attributed to St. Francis
Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Morning has broken




Morning has broken like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird
Praise for the singing
Praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the world
Sweet the rain's new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass

Morning has broken




Morning has broken like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird
Praise for the singing
Praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the world
Sweet the rain's new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass