This Sunday morning, we had a great conversation about courage, speaking out, following the video on atonement in the Saving Jesus series. The following summons up where we were heading.

Spiritual Courage

Courage is connected with taking risks. Jumping the Grand Canyon on a motorbike, coming over Niagara Falls in a barrel, or crossing the ocean in a rowboat are called courageous acts because people risk their lives by doing these things. But none of these daredevil acts comes from the centre of our being. They all come from the desire to test our physical limits and to become famous and popular.

Spiritual courage is something completely different. It is following the deepest desires of our hearts at the risk of losing fame and popularity. It asks of us the willingness to lose our temporal lives in order to gain eternal life.

Henri J.M. Nouwen'sBread for the Journey.


Handbook Part II

Do not compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

Invest your energy in the positive, present moment.

Do no over do, try to set or keep limits.

Do not take yourself seriously, no one else does.

Do not waste energy on gossiping.

Dream more when you are awake.

Envy is a waster of time. You already have all that you need.

Forget issues of the past or you will ruin your present happiness.

Life is too short for hating. Smile and laugh more.

Realize that life is a school and that you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like your algebra class, but the lessons learned will last a lifetime.

Agree to disagree.

Funeral Service for Manute Bol

Sudan Sunrise
June 23, 2010
The family of Manute Bol has announced that his funeral will be held on Tuesday, June 29, 2010, at 10:00 a.m. at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
The public is invited to join his family and friends in giving thanks to God for the life of this extraordinary man.
"Well done, good and faithful servant".
Tom Prichard
Executive Director
Sudan Sunrise


World Refugee Day

Today is observed worldwide as World Refugee Day. This day, strange
as it may seem, can be a cause for celebration if we reflect upon the
courage and resilience of the millions who have escaped oppression and
near annihilation to rebuild their lives. We can all look around us
and find evidence of the incredible spirit of those who, facing
seemingly formidable odds, started their lives anew and are now
offering their gifts to their adopted communities. At the same time,
this would be a good time to remind ourselves of the loss that even
those who appear to be successfully resettled experience as they
confront the pain of being separated from family and friends with
little prospect of being reunited with them. It is also a good time
to think of the struggles that continue in places such as Sudan and
recommit to preventing the tragedies which lead to displacement and
new refugee crises. Possibly, most tragic of all for whom we still
must plead are those internally displaced who cannot readily escape
oppression and await an uncertain future as armies and politicians
negotiate their fate. On this day, special prayers are requested for
refugees everywhere. For members and friends of AFRECS, we give
thanks for the many friendships that we enjoy because we have welcomed
our Sudanese sisters and brothers into our lives and thus been
enriched by their love and faithfulness. At the same time, fervent
prayers for the end of violence in Sudan and a peaceful and fair
referendum that will usher in a new era of peace are needed. World
Refugee Day is a good occasion for reminding ourselves that especially
for our Sudanese friends, the journey toward peace continues. We are
called to participate in that journey with our prayers and with our
advocacy for an end to the suffering which has been the plight of
millions of Sudanese.

Executive Director
American Friends of the Episcopal Church of Sudan


Danny's Prayer

The colors call, but who will interpret?
My neighbor talks and finds my ear.
Our enemies rail and find an echo
but not from us, God willing.

Photo of Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge
by Danny N. Schweers (www.photoprayer.com), photo copyright 2009, prayer 2010.

The Power of Witnessing

Everyday, except Sunday, the Rev. Jim Bimbi sends out a bible reading and reflection. Since I have just completed a nine month study of being a disciple, this spoke to me. Enjoy

Psalm 27:1

1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom then shall I fear? *

the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom then shall I be afraid?

Letter to the Hebrews 12:1-3, 12-14

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely,* and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, 2looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of* the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners,* so that you may not grow weary or lose heart. 4. .12Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed. 1Pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.


When Jesus sent the disciples out it was never alone, but always with at least one other companion. Our witness to Christ’s redeeming love is most joyful when we have others to encourage and guide us through those times when our human limitations of energy and emotion catch up with us. Ask yourself: “Who is making this journey of faith with me?” “How do we support each other?” “Is there someone who encourages me that I should pray for or personally thank today?”

Concluding Prayer (Of a Saint 3, BCP p. 250)

Almighty God, by your Holy Spirit you have made us one with your saints in heaven and on earth: Grant that in our earthly pilgrimage we may always be supported by this fellowship of love and prayer, and know ourselves to be surrounded by their witness to your power and mercy. We ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ, in whom all our intercessions are acceptable through the Spirit, and who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.


Question: What are your thoughts on Memorial Day, 2010?

"Today, I shall wince if I hear some orator say our fallen warriors “died to keep us free.” Why? Because, since WW II, I’ve not seen a single war fought for our freedom. “Freedom” is just another word to justify U.S. hegemony in the world. The dead—some of my friends—were tragically misguided, their courage exploited, their blood wasted. And they will have died in vain, if we refuse to study war no more." The Rev. James E. Lewis

I apologize for sharing my thoughts about Memorial Day late. I had the best of intentions to write yesterday, but life interrupted.

My friend Jim shared those thoughts on his blog, Fig Tree Notes.

Growing up, I marched in many parades as a Girl Scout or Brownie. Being part of the Color Guard was a tremendous honor. Then came the Vietnam War. I stopped going to parades, and I was not one of those that honored our fallen.

However, as I have aged I am able to separate a decision by our government from those asked to carry out that decision.

"Peace work means crossing boundaries to meet even with the so-called enemies of our nation. Furthermore, at the heart of all civil disobedience is a passion for justice that demands a disobedience to laws in pursuit of a higher imperative." The Rev. James E. Lewis.

I protest American involvement in "wars". Once I was struggling with possibility of civil disobedience involving Pacem en Terris. Jim counseled me about this decision. Instead, I was found myself standing on the side of streets carrying the sign It's the oil, stupid.

I have met many men and women who have served, when asked, and returned in some part changed forever, some damaged. I have a cousin who is a Marine stationed in harms way. I honor his and his comrades bravery.

Still, I do not attend parades. Like Jim, I do not link these wars with keeping us free.

However, for the past several years, each Memorial Day finds me riding through the Delaware Vets Memorial Cemetery off of Route 71 north of the Canal.

It is very sobering sight arriving to a sea of small American Flags, blowing in the wind. The setting is so tranquil.

Family members stop at the Administration Office and get a map to assist in locating a particular grave.
I took pictures to put on the blog, however, it was set to record and when played back showed only my walking feet. Francis Ford Copula I am not.

As I rode through, another car was keeping pace with me. Two women, one carrying an umbrella, parked, walked a little ways, spoke to an individual and returned to their car.

At my last stop, they approached me and handed me pamphlet about handling grief.

Not wanting to give them a false impression, I explained what I was doing. They belong to the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah Witnesses located on Route 71. Each Memorial Day, their congregation sends people to the cemetery to offer emotional support to those who are visiting.

What a wonderful ministry.

Next year, I am hoping to organize a group from SsAM's to do the same.