With new ears

This came to me from a co-worker as we make use of the new Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints.  This major revision to the Book of Lesser Feasts and Fasts was approved by the 2009 General Convention.  It is a remarkable work and a significant addition to the life of our church.

Bishop Wayne Wright says "In the new book’s Foreword, former Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold writes: ”Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints seeks to expand the worshiping communities awareness of the communion of the saints, and to give increased expression to the many and diverse ways in which Christ, through the agency of the Holy Spirit, has been present in the lives of men and women through the ages, just as Christ continues to be present in our own day.

Holy Women, Holy Men greatly expands upon the witness to the Holy Spirit’s working.  The example of these holy lives is inspiring and impressive.  The book will be a valuable addition to worship.  It will also be a great aid to teaching."

My co-worker is passing along some thoughts by a priest about the abundance of women that seem to be honored this week.  Here is what she wrote:

This past week I have been meditating on the witness of women in our faith.  On Sunday, we reflected on Martha and Mary—two women who remind us of the importance of hospitality, discipleship, and our intentional focus on God in all that we do.  At the Wednesday Eucharist, we celebrated the lives of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Amelia Bloomer, Sojourner Truth, and Harriet Ross Tubman.  All four of these women lived in the 1800s, at a time when women did not have many rights and slavery was still ever present.  Yet, these women teach us about how anyone can be a witness against injustice and oppression.  Finally, today is the feast day of Mary Magdalene.  Mary Magdalene was a faithful disciple of Christ, and is regarded as the first witness to the risen Lord—or as I like to say, the first preacher of the Good News.  Mary Magdalene, who was a faithful pastor to Christ, became a faithful witness of the power and meaning of Christ’s resurrection.
As a female leader in the Church, I am very aware of how little “face time” women get in Scripture and Tradition.  Some feminist theologians would argue that women expose us to a different experience of God and should therefore receive more attention and meditation.  In many ways, I agree with that perspective.  As a people whose Scripture is dominated by males, I am always eager to see what and how I will learn differently through women in our Scripture and Tradition.
What I have been contemplating this week, however, is how much the message of Christ touches me regardless of gender differences.  Martha and Mary, Elizabeth, Amelia, Sojourner, Harriet, and Mary Magdalene teach us how to be faithful disciples of Christ.  They teach us to be Christ-centered in our work, to take time to listen to God, to be bold in our struggle for justice and in fighting against oppression, and to witness to the risen Lord in the world.  These lessons have nothing to do with the gender of the teachers.  Many men in our tradition have taught us the same lessons.  My hope is that hearing the message from a feminine voice might allow us to hear that message with fresh ears.  How might a different voice renew your energy to “seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?”


A Special Pentecost Sunday

This past Pentecost, the Episcopal Church of Sts. Andrew and Matthew had the opportunity to hear some wonderful preaching from the Rev. Jennifer Baskerville Burrows for the Celebration of  New Ministry welcoming The Rev. David Andrews.  Here is the link.



What the????????

OK, here are two headlines making news yesterday.

1.  Church of England advances plans for women bishops

 2.  The Vatican issued revisions to its internal laws on Thursday making it easier to discipline sex-abuser priests, but caused confusion by also stating that ordaining women as priests was as grave an offense as pedophilia.

Now, I understand that being a woman causes some concern among non-women.  Therefore, I can with love, accept those Church of England priests being upset.  After all, it has happened here.

HOWEVER, to be a woman priest in the Roman Catholic Church is as GRAVE a sin as pedophilia?

OK, I am speechless.

Ok, maybe not speechless as dumbfounded.

What the heck is the correlation between a sexual predator and a woman giving the sacraments?

The fact that the Roman Catholic church can make such a connection is in fact what is wrong with the CHURCH.

As written about earlier, it now comes really clear to me.

I am a follower of Jesus, which has no real connection to the CHURCH.

I think a new bumper sticker is in order.




Good Intentions

Last week I had decided to utilize my lunch time to write.  There is so much that is happening around me that I felt the need to "share."  It would be my prayer time.  However, good intentions or not, it did not happen.

Everyday some task or some one would present itself to me and my need to set aside the time evaporated.  Taking time away from the office to write is not possible.  I could of course lug my laptop with me and type away in my car.  However, any one residing on the east coast of the U.S. knows that with triple digit temperatures, sitting in a car and typing away was not a logical step.

I could defer writing until the evening, but once I set foot in the house my steps take me to the garden and the pool.  No laptop in sight.

So, I have decided to write early in the morning when I get in.

I have already opened the mail, posted deposits, answered email queries and prepared for my first meeting at 9:30 AM.

What is on my mind this am?  Well, it is the onerous question posed by our news media last week about the building of houses of worship.  OK, a mosque.  Can you believe that Diane Sawyer actually asked people to call in and state whether or not a worshiping Muslim community should be able to build near your neighborhood?

OK, I get the 911 thing.  I get fear.  It was said that "people" are afraid of what people learn in mosques.  "War mongering".

Well, if that is the criteria of whether or not a house of worship stands, than prepare the dozers because a lot of Christian Churches are going to tumble down.

We Christians are big on going to war with "God on our side". 

How many of our pulpits ring out with the exclamation that war is not what Jesus was and is about?

How many times do Christians learn to distrust and hate in the name of Jesus?

BUT, and this is a big BUT, as a follower of Jesus, we are taught that LOVE is to be behind, within, and guiding all of our actions.

How is this negative reaction governed by LOVE?

This past Sunday, in our Adult Forum gathering the question was "Is Jesus worth saving?"


But, is it possible that Jesus and his teachings need to be saved from the Christian Church?