Season of Creation Week Three

Today's theme for the Season of Creation at my church, The Episcopal Church of Sts. Andrew and Matthew, was The Human Family. The guest speaker was The Rev. Canon Mark Harris, one of my three Wise Men who helped me get to Sudan. His remarks began with....

I take refuge in God, and so should you!!!!!

Mark cautioned us, Episcopalians, to be careful about speaking for the Whole Human Family. Why?

There are roughly 7 Billion of us in the Human Family.

There are roughly 2 Billion "Christians."

There are roughly 70 Million Anglicans, and 3% of them are Episcopalians.

Do the math.

Mark had requested that an excerpt from the play Paradise Now, performed in the 1960's at The Living Theatre in NYC.

Founded in 1947 as an imaginative alternative to the commercial theater by Judith Malina, the German-born student of Erwin Piscator, and Julian Beck, an abstract expressionist painter of the New York School, The Living Theatre has staged nearly a hundred productions performed in eight languages in 28 countries on five continents - a unique body of work that has influenced theater the world over. Find more information about the Living Theatre at www.livingtheatre.org Here is a picture of their production of Frankenstein.

In Paradise Now, there are numerous actors on the stage one of which has the part of a pole, around which all the other actors revolve, similar to a solar system, each actor representing a part of the human family. Each actor does not memorize text but responds to questions or stimuli. At times members of the audience become entwined in the action.

So here is the question: What do you want? Simple, right?

Here are some of the responses:

To make the world glow with creation. To make life irresistible.
To feed all the people. To change the demonic forces into the celestial.
To remove the causes of violence. To do useful work.
To work for the love of it and not for the money. To live without the police.
To change myself. To get rid of the class system.
To re-invent love. To make each moment creative.
To be free of the force of the State. To be free to create.
To get rid of a life of material greed.
To free all the energy wasted in financial transactions.
To cut all the bureaucratic wasted time out of life.
To free humanity from armies.
To stop distorting the mind of the people.
To stop crippling the human body with frustration.
To learn how to breathe. To live longer than we do.
To supply what we need. To seek what we desire.
To stop wasting the planet. To stop dying of competition.
To break down the walls that alienate.
To get to know God in all of God's madness.
To make the destination clear.

At this point the pole asks... What is the destination?

The actors spell out ANARCHISM. The pole asks... What is anarchism?

The actors respond.. PARADISE, and then continue chanting Now, Now, Now...


Season of Creation

Every year beginning in October, my church the Episcopal Church of Sts. Andrew and Matthew in Wilmington DE, celebrates the Season of Creation for seven Sundays. Each week the theme is different, the music is different and the readings are different.

This past Sunday the theme was The Planet Earth and second reading was from the 1854 Treaty Oration of Chief Seattle. The next paragraph is from the Home page of the website devoted to Chief Seattle , www.chiefseattle.com.
Although we call him “Chief” Seattle, there were no hereditary chiefs among the Puget Sound Indians. Strong leaders arose in each village from time to time who, distinguishing themselves by the actions or particular skills, were respected and followed. For instance, there were fishing leaders, peacetime leaders, and leaders in times of crisis. Chief Seattle was one of those. In addition to his leadership skills and his ability to understand what the white settler's intentions were, he was also a noted orator in his native language. At the presentation of the treaty proposals in 1854, Chief Seattle delivered a magnificent speech, which is widely remembered today. It is the speech of a man who has seen his world turned upside down in his own lifetime: as a boy, he had seen Vancouver’s ships, and when he died the treaty protests were still going on.
Here is an excerpt from his oration:

Every part of this earth is sacred to my people.

Every shiny pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every meadow, every humming insect

All are holy in the memory and experience of my people.

We know the sap which courses through the trees as we know the blood the courses through our veins. We are a part of the earth and it is part of us.

The perfumed flowers are our sisters. The bear, the deer, the great eagle, these are our brothers.

The rocky crests, the juices in the meadow, the body heat of the pony, and humanity, all belong to the same family.

The rivers are our brothers. They quench our thirst. They carry our canoes and feed our children.
So you must give to the rivers the kindness you would give to any brother.

The air is very precious to us, the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports. The wind that gave our grandfather his firs breath, also receives his last sigh. The wind also gives our children the spirit of life.

Will you teach your children what we have taught our children?

That the earth is our mother?

The earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth

All things are connected like the blood that unites us all.

Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it.

Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

We ended with this prayer.

O Loving Creator, you have nourished us from the grain and from the vine, the bread and cup of Christ: Now send us forth prompted by your Spirit to listen for the Earth's many cries for justice, and to stand with you in the world as instruments for the healing of our planet: we pray in Christ's most sacred name.



A message from Major Saif

First, I love the fact that this gentleman who I met my first day in Sudan, still connects with me.

Second, I love having a connection with Islam through this man.

Third, I love seeing the arab language written. I wish that I could do so.

So, here is what he sent me.

Assakamualaikum. (May Peace be upon you)

I came across this beautiful succinct advice of the great companion of the
Messenger (sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam) and the third Caliph of Islam, 'Ali
(Radiallahu 'anh). Let us spend some moments extracting the underlying
wisdom this statement offers:

*لا تخف إلا ذنبك ، ولا ترج إلا ربك ، ولا يستحي الذي لا يعلم أن يسأل حتى يعلم
، ولا يستحي من يسأل عما لا يعلم أن يقول : لا أعلم.*
*"Don't fear (anything) except your sin, and don't desire (anything) except
your Lord (Rabb). Let not the one, who doesn't know, feel shy to ask (about
it) till he comes to know it. And let not the one, who is asked about
something he doesn't know, feel shy to say : I don't know." *

[Narrated by Ibn 'Abdul-Barr in his work "Jamiu' Bayan Al-'Ilmi waFadlihi"
2/55. Excerpted from "Risalatul-Mustarshidin" of Abu al-Harith al-Muhasibi]

May Allah bless us all.

And from me, Peace, Shalom, Salam.


A Closing Prayer

The cross. We shall take it.

The bread. We shall break it.

The pain. We shall bear it.

The joy. We shall share it.

The Gospel. We shall live it.

The love. We shall give it.

The light. We shall cherish it.

The darkness. God shall perish it.



I am watching the Yankees in their second game of the American League playoffs.

It is very cold in Delaware and further north it is colder still. Watching TV and seeing baseball players in earmuff hats and head warmers is really strange. Keith Olberman's blog at www.mlb.com comments on the effect this has on the players.

Are mittens far behind?

A little over a week ago, I was elected to the Board of AFRECS, the American Friends of the Episcopal Church of Sudan. You can now link to their website from my blog. I think you will be amazed at the connections Episcopalians have with their sisters and brothers in Sudan.

(Yankees up by one.)

I cannot begin to describe what an honor this is for me. What God has given me by introducing me to Sudan is unexplainable.

The American Friends of the Episcopal Church of Sudan, founded in 2005, is a network of individuals, churches, dioceses, and other organizations that seeks to focus attention on the needs and priorities of the Episcopal Church of Sudan (ECS) and enable American friends to assist the ECS in meeting the needs of the Sudanese people.

For those of you reading in the States, you will recognize someone in the following picture. Now our lives are connected in another way. I believe that this might be taken at his church in old Alexandria, VA.

In fact, the photo is labeled "Oran" photo.

Well done friend.



Depending upon your perspective, those three letters could stand for a title conveyed upon someone you has passed their Certified Public Accountant exam. Until Sudan, that is what it meant to me. Imagine reading the papers, and see CPA in articles.

Why was everyone speaking about accounting?

Reference Check!

CPA= Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in 2005.

Different meaning.

I have added the link to the website of the Episcopal Church in the Sudan.

If you link or copy this site, you will find the text of a statement issued this week by Juba-based Church leaders, including Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul, on the state of Sudan at present and especially on the current implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA): The Archbishop urges those of you involved in advocacy work for Sudanese peace on behalf of the ECS to use this statement to its utmost effect in your efforts.


Bishop Wright received this email from Mitch Edmunds, a physician and member of Christ Church, Milford ...raising his concern about the national debate over health care reform. He/I am sharing it today with his permission. The Bishop's response is below the letter.

Dear Bishop Wright:

For the past few months, we all have watched the debate over health care reform unfold. While many of our leaders have recognized the urgent need for high quality, affordable healthcare, the discussion on how to fulfill this need has turned acrimonious. Partisans have not merely staked out their positions, but have deliberately distorted the views and efforts of others who do not share their opinions. Lawmakers have erred, both by fanning the flames of anger in their need to “Be right”, and by shirking their duty to confront fear and irrational behavior with reasoned discourse and compromise. The result is a stalemate that threatens to undermine the reform that our nation so sorely needs.

In moments like these, we need to turn to God to help us to find our way. I am asking that you consider declaring October 18, the Feast of St. Luke the Healer, a day of prayer for health care reform. Just as I, as a physician, cannot heal without God’s help, so do our politicians need the hand of God to help them see beyond their differences to achieve the greater good. The faith of the country is being put to the test, and it is time to ask for God’s grace and love to help see our nation through this battle.

Thank you for your attention.

Faithfully yours,
Mitch Edmondson, M.D.

The coming Feast of St. Luke the Healer is a special opportunity for each of us to teach, preach, and pray for God’s grace and guiding as the national debate over health care reform continues. As citizens and as a church this is an important contribution each of us can make. I hope that you will join me in doing this.

Below are two prayers that I believe are especially appropriate.

Collect for St. Luke’s Day (October 18) - Book of Common Prayer, page 244

Almighty God, who inspired your servant Luke the physician to set forth in the Gospel the love and healing power of your Son: Graciously continue in your Church this love and power to heal, to the praise and glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.


In Times of Conflict - Book of Common Prayer, page 824

O God, you have bound us together in a common life. Help us, in the midst of our struggles for justice and truth, to confront one another without hatred or bitterness, and to work together with mutual forebearance and respect; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Wayne Wright
Bishop of Delaware

Rickshaw Slide Show

Well most of you know that my main means of travel in Sudan was by rickshaw. Imagine my surprise at seeing a BBC article on line featuring these "cabs" and their operators. Enjoy.

< http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/2/hi/in_pictures/8272511.stm