30 June 2020

The spirit of the Lord

Isaiah 61:1–3

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me;

he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,
to bind up the brokenhearted,

to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and release to the prisoners;

to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;

to provide for those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a garland instead of ashes,

the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit.

They will be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, to display his glory.

25 June 2020

Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy;  

O Divine Master,
Grant that I 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.  


24 June 2020

Baptismal Covenant - Wednesdays at Noon

Baptismal Covenant - Wednesdays at Noon

Join our Rector, the Rev. Peter Carey in saying the Baptismal Covenant together at noon today, and each Wednesday at noon.

Click HERE to say the Baptismal Covenant with Peter via YouTube 

The Baptismal Covenant

CelebrantDo you believe in God the Father?
PeopleI believe in God, the Father almighty,
    creator of heaven and earth.
CelebrantDo you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?
PeopleI believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
    He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
        and born of the Virgin Mary.
    He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
        was crucified, died, and was buried.
    He descended to the dead.
    On the third day he rose again.
    He ascended into heaven,
        and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
    He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
CelebrantDo you believe in God the Holy Spirit?
PeopleI believe in the Holy Spirit,
    the holy catholic Church,
    the communion of saints,
    the forgiveness of sins,
    the resurrection of the body,
    and the life everlasting.
CelebrantWill you continue in the apostles' teaching and
fellowship, in the breaking of the bread, and in the
PeopleI will, with God's help.
CelebrantWill you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever
you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?
PeopleI will, with God's help

CelebrantWill you proclaim by word and example the Good
News of God in Christ?
PeopleI will, with God's help.
CelebrantWill you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving
your neighbor as yourself?
PeopleI will, with God's help.
CelebrantWill you strive for justice and peace among all
people, and respect the dignity of every human
PeopleI will, with God's help.

Loves righteousness and justice

19 June 2020

Letter from Bishop Daniel Gutierrez on "Our Sacred Pilgrimage" ~ 19 June 2020

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. (Deut 4:9)

June 19, 2020

Our Sacred Pilgrimage
I write this letter on Juneteenth to share information on two critical steps in our sacred pilgrimage together. I will be issuing a pastoral letter in the next few weeks as to our call as disciples in southeastern Pennsylvania regarding the sin of racism, white supremacy, violence, and hate. More importantly, I will address our prayerful and deliberate presence in our call to transformation.

Our transformation, as individuals or as a Church, must not be superficial, programmatic nor dogmatic. Conversion must be our fundamental identity as followers of Jesus Christ. Our prayers must have action. A faith community moving throughout our neighborhoods so that all people will not only hear our words; they will encounter our lives and faith in the flesh.  Jesus on the move in Pennsylvania. It is fundamentally a revolution of the heart. It requires not only individual conversion, but also institutional and systemic transformation. As your Bishop and fellow sojourner, you have my commitment that I will give my life to this cause.

Over the past weeks, we have gathered a dedicated group of clergy who are in covenantal relationship with one another and are prayerfully listening and discerning the next sacred steps. We will then share this ministry with the diocese, and begin the long journey of transforming our hopes, dreams, and prayers into reality. They are discerning short, medium, and long-term destination points. In the coming weeks, they will expand this ministry to include the laity as well as their stories, voices and our shared history. 

I am also meeting with officials on all levels and working with our interfaith siblings. The ministry in which we are engaging cannot be a program, a short-term fix. It requires the conversion of our lives into Jesus Christ. As mentioned, I will send a letter describing the beginning of our long journey. I ask that you hold one another in prayer as we present ourselves as a living offering unto the Lord.  

Our Phased Re-Entry
The other reason for this letter is to update you concerning our phased re-entry into worship and life together. For some counties in our diocese, the move to Green Phase or Phase III is coming sooner than expected. I want to clarify what you can expect.

Until we have widespread testing, tracing, treatment, and the vaccine, the safest option is always not to gather. That is why I have always stressed that a church should not move to resume in-person activity until the vestry and clergy have prayerfully discerned that they are both called and fully prepared to do so per the protocols we have laid out. 

In Pennsylvania, Phase III is not the lifting of all restrictions. Instead, it is the next step of recovery, which keeps many of the previous precautions in place. This is critical to understand both in terms of regulating our own behavior and in terms of where this phase falls in relation to our Diocesan Plan. In that sense, what our Commonwealth is calling Phase III is equivalent to the "Phase II Plus" in our protocols (see page 9). We will be releasing more details on what may be possible for our churches in this next phase by early July.

As your Bishop, I am called to be your shepherd, which is why I have also said that although our counties may move into Green, our churches will not do so until I believe it is actually possible to do so responsibly. Therefore, our diocese will continue to operate under Phase II guidelines until the middle of July.

We will continue to carefully study all available public health data and keep you informed when that date is established. But, as we look ahead, it is also critical to understand that if cases of the virus begin to increase, counties could go backward and have no choice but to re-impose restrictions. We already see this in Florida, where businesses that were recently re-opened are having to close down again due to an outbreak of cases. For the common good, as well as for the sake of our own parishioners, we all must proceed with the utmost caution.

We have waited for so long, and now we see people thronging together outside at parks and at restaurants. We long to be together again, to worship, to pray, to sing. It is important to remember that secular businesses are transactional for a product. As a church, we are sacredly incarnational for one another. We give our lives for one another. Whereby the secular economy goals are profit, the Body of Christ walks together as we seek the Kingdom of God.

We are called to reject the notion of self and the worldly clamor to normalize indifference to others' needs. Our God, whose holiness requires faithfulness, and whose compassion requires total compassion to others, calls us to a sacred standard that transcends the world. When one person suffers, as Christians - we all suffer. We lift one another up, no matter the personal consequence, and always proclaim the hope of Jesus Christ.

At no time have our churches been closed. We are praying throughout the day. We are tending to one another, we are feeding those in our communities, and working hand in hand to tend to the sick. We are reaching out to the lonely and stepping forward to encounter the evil forces in the world. The Church, at its best, is an indestructible force. We must journey together with a unity of purpose and no fear of failure. But it is essential that we love one another. It is our faith where we have hope, and not despair. Courage, and not fear. Love, and not hate. 

Let us remember God is with us. God is with us in our homes, our daily offices, our outreach ministries, outside in the sunshine and rain. Yes, God is with us in the violent storms of nature and society. God is with us during the night and the day, in our waking and in our dreams, in our living and in our dying. Let us not fear. Let us live one sacred moment until the next holy moment. Our faith is about living and breathing and walking in that light that is upon us. 

We have a long and arduous journey for the next 18 months. Yet, we have hope, love, and Jesus Christ risen and present among us. 

Your brother in Christ,
Bishop Daniel

Do justice

a human being

18 June 2020

Bends toward justice

We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long, 
but it bends toward justice."
Martin Luther King,  Jr.
Washington National Cathedral
March 31,  1968


17 June 2020

Fred Rogers and François Clemmons

In August, 1968, the country was still reeling from the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. four months earlier, and the race riots that followed on its heels. Nightly news showed burning cities, radicals and reactionaries snarling at each other across the cultural divide.

A brand new children’s show out of Pittsburgh, which had gone national the previous year, took a different approach. Fred Rogers had met François Clemmons at a church service after hearing him sing, and asked him to join the show. Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood introduced Officer Clemmons, a black police officer who was a kindly, responsible authority figure, kept his neighborhood safe, and was Mr. Roger’s equal, colleague and neighbor.

A year later in 1969 when black Americans were still prevented from swimming alongside whites, Mr. Rogers invited Officer Clemmons to join him and cool his feet in a plastic wading pool, breaking a well-known color barrier. And there they were, brown feet and white feet, side by side in the water, silently, contemplatively, without comment. The episode culminated with Rogers drying off Clemmons’ feet. Most young kids were probably unaware of the real weight the episode carried, its scriptural overtones, but the image of a white man tending to the needs of a black man was seared in their minds nonetheless.

25 years later, when François Clemmons retired, his last scene on the show revisited that same wading pool, this time reminiscing. Officer Clemmons asked Mr. Rogers what he’d been thinking during their silent interlude a quarter century before. Fred Rogers’ answer was that he’d been thinking of the many ways people say “I love you.”

In a world screaming out for tolerance, acceptance, kindness, and love - choose to be a Fred Rogers - because if more people could find a way to love others the way he did, without barriers, this world would be a much better place...

* Fred Rogers was an ordained Presbyterian Minister

God in all

14 June 2020

God's work

“In a very real sense not one of us is qualified, but it seems that God continually chooses the most unqualified to do [God’s] work, to bear [God’s] glory. If we are qualified, we tend to think that we have done the job ourselves. If we are forced to accept our evident lack of qualification, then there’s no danger that we will confuse God’s work with our own, or God’s glory with our own.”

―Madeleine L’Engle, 

Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art