29 July 2019

How shall we pray?

The Lord’s Prayer
(One possible translation from Aramaic)
O Birther! Father-Mother of the Cosmos,
Focus your Light within us—make it useful:
Create your reign of unity now—
Your one desire then acts with ours,
As in all light, so in all forms.
Grant what we need each day in bread and insight.
Loose the cords of mistakes binding us,
As we release the strands we hold of others’ guilt.
Don’t let surface things delude us.
But free us from what holds us back.
From you is born all shaping will,
the power and the life to do,
the song that beautifies all,
from age to age it renews.
Truly—power to these statements–
May they be the ground from which all
My actions grow: Amen.
-Neil Douglas-Klotz, Prayers of the Cosmos

27 July 2019

Willing to thank God

“In the same way that I am willing to thank my husband for a gift even before I have opened it—because I trust his love of me—I am willing to thank God for my life even before I know how it turns out. This is brave talk, I know, while I can still pay the bills, walk without assistance, and talk someone into going to the movies with me. My hope is that if I can practice saying thank you now, when I still approve of most of what is happening to me, then perhaps that practice will have become habit by the time I do not like much of anything that is happening to me. The plan is to replace approval with gratitude.”
-Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World

26 July 2019

Lord, calm me

O Lord,
calm me into a quietness
that heals
and listens,
and molds my longings
and passions,
my wounds
and wonderings
into a more holy
and human
-Ted Loder in his book of prayers, Guerillas of Grace

22 July 2019

Turning to God

“Without unambiguous times in the week and day when we are free to just appreciate the giftedness of life, to recognize ourselves as intrinsically loved creations of God’s joy, we will likely smother our capacity to simply appreciate life in God as an art and narrow ourselves to life in God as a task. Even during our tasks, wherever possible, we need to leave spaces to turn to God and simply appreciate the life in and around us. Our work and service at its best will grow out of this appreciation.”
-Tilden Edwards, Living in the Presence

19 July 2019

2019 Diocesan Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania

2019 Diocesan Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania

My dear brothers and sisters,
The theme of this year's Diocesan Convention is what I am calling the mustard seed revolution: "For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you." Matthew 17:20

In my last three years, I have seen that truly nothing is impossible. There is so much creativity, innovation, and faith among us. Together, we are stronger. Together, we are growing.
The 236th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania will begin on Friday, November 1, with Eucharist followed by dinner and continue on Saturday, November 2. (Specific times will be sent out next month.) Both dates will be held at The Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral.
We will also hold a special program on Thursday, October 31, for the diocese and community at the new Diocesan House located at 23 E. Airy St. in Norristown.
Specific times for the all the programming and how to register will be shared via email and on social media next month.
I also write to remind you that according to our canons, the following items are due from each parish vestry no later than the opening of Convention if they have not already been submitted:
* The Annual Parochial Report for the Calendar year 2018
* An audit of parish finances for the Calendar year 2018
* Your commitment of Sacred Gifts (formerly "canonical" assessment and a voluntary pledge)
If your vestry is unable to submit these items prior to Convention, a written explanation is requested so that the Convention may have a greater understanding for its consideration regarding seat, voice and vote for the parish delegation to Convention. 

As I begin my fourth year of ministry with you, I am constantly amazed at the level of service and devotion in this community. 

Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do.
Your brother in Christ,
The Rt. Rev. Daniel G. P. GutiƩrrez
XVI Bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania

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16 July 2019

This fall, the Offices of the Diocese will move to 23 E. Airy Street, next to St. John’s Episcopal Church in Norristown.

This fall, the Offices of the Diocese will move to 23 E. Airy Street, next to St. John’s Episcopal Church in Norristown. We are looking forward to sharing a campus with St. John’s, which reopened in 2017 and has a thriving soup kitchen and hospitality program that ministers to the poor and homeless living in this rapidly changing and diverse community. 

We wanted to give a quick update on the move and changes to the building that will increase access and utility for everyone.

  • Offices for St. John’s parish staff were created in the back of the current parish hall. This places the staff closer to the church itself, allowing for easy coordination and outreach. Renovations have also been made to house The Church Foundation in an area near the current parish hall. The hall will continue to be a place of gathering for both the church and the diocese, allowing for groups of 125 people to meet.

  • In addition to the 20 parking spots in the back of the church, the parish also owns two nearby street parking lots. The Church Street lot has 35 parking spots and the Marshall Street lot has 25 parking spots. Plans are being developed to install fencing and automated gates for staff and guest access.

  • Air conditioning was installed in the basement cafeteria where the soup kitchen operates. Each week, 600 people come through these doors for food. There are plans to add air conditioning to the church itself in the fall. 

  • Bathrooms in the parish hall were updated and there will be an ADA compliant restroom for visitors in the diocesan office space. In addition, a new ADA compliant ramp will be constructed for the office entrance along with multiple handicap parking spots with appropriate signage directing guests.

  • We removed old fixtures and radiators in the rectory, where diocesan staff will reside, and are currently upgrading the electric to standard requirements. In the process of renovating this space we uncovered the original stairway handrail and banister behind paneling. Unbelievably, everything was in good condition. (See above photo.)

On October 31, we will host a Halloween Open House for all in the diocese and surrounding community. (Details will be released before September.) We expect all diocesan staff to be in the new space by 11/1, barring any unforeseen issues.

As we work towards the move we do not anticipate any disruption in serving our churches or parishioners. We are working with experts in construction and office relocation to help ease any inconveniences. In addition to our main space in Norristown, we are updating an office space inside St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Philadelphia where we will also maintain a consistent staff presence.

Know Jesus. Change the World.
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09 July 2019


“We must distinguish prayer from prayers. Saying prayers is one activity among others. But prayer is an attitude of the heart that can transform every activity… That means we ought to keep our heart open for the meaning of life. Gratefulness does this, moment by moment. Gratefulness is, therefore, prayerfulness.”
–David Steindl-Rast, Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer