Wind Chimes: 6 Oct 2012

Straw Flower by Pat Bailey
Straw Flower. Photo: Pat Bailey on ‘I Miss Me Too’

Here is today’s sampling of the music made by the Spirit in the Wind Chimes.
What do you hear?

A visual delight, and more

I encourage you to visit the blog I Miss Me Too (renamed A New Day on 9/29/12) by Patricia C. Bailey. Pat lives with the pain of Fibromyalgia and the every day challenges of ‘Chronic Illness.’ Here is (part of) what she said about a rose pictured in her post Floral Friday: Finding Myself

I think this rose best portrays who I am. It is open, showing the complexity of the inner. The inner seems to have a cross, as my faith is very central to who I am but I don’t proclaim it loudly. It is rather private. The outer is loose and gentle and freely unfurling. Even though I am in my late 60′s there is still some unfurling to do. I am still in the process. I can also be a bit prickly if people try to hold on too tightly or are careless around me. It helps people remember to play nice.

A short prayer for those living with chronic illness

Support and encourage those who live with chronic illness; strengthen those who endure continual pain, and give them hope; grant the refreshment of peaceful sleep to all who suffer—we pray to you, O God…
from A Litany of Healing in Enriching Our Worship 2 (a prayer book of the Episcopal Church), pp. 30-32

William Tyndale remembered today, October 6th

Preparations to burn the body of William Tyndale. John Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, 1563. Image: Wikimedia Commons

At the risk of his own life William Tyndale translated the Bible into English from the Hebrew and Greek texts available in his day. What he began in the 16th century has blossomed in the 21st century.

“in whom we live and move and have our being” was first penned by William Tyndale. You may be surprised by the legacy on the English Language left by this man. Join others in giving thanks today for his scholarship, his courage, his faith, his desire to make the Word of God known.

Wind Chimes: 5 Oct 2012

Composting at Camp Stevens
Learning about composting. An extensive recycling program saves precious resources while composting food waste provides soil enrichment for the Camp’s 2-acre organic garden. Photo: Camp Stevens

Here is today’s sampling of the music made by the Spirit in the Wind Chimes.
What do you hear?

Camp Stevens: Living in the spirit of St. Francis

Camp Stevens is our Episcopal Camp and Conference Center in Julian, CA. This is their Environmental Mission Statement:

As a peaceful place apart in a beautiful natural setting, Camp Stevens serves as a point of contact between human beings and the natural world. Today we are faced with enormous environmental challenges, having failed in many respects to appreciate and protect the earth. We invite you to join us in reclaiming an active stewardship of God’s Creation.

Not so ecumenical in San Francisco

The Religion News Service headline reads Episcopal bishop says he was denied entrance to Catholic archbishop’s installation Mass. The Episcopal bishop of California (San Francisco), Marc Andrus, was invited to witness the installation Mass of the Roman Catholic Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone. Bishop Andrus says he arrived 30 minutes early. The Roman Catholic Archdiocese claims he arrived late and they were attempting to seat him without disrupting the service. Read the article on the RNS website to discover other dimensions to this ecumenical moment.

A ‘prayer for mission’

A morning “prayer for mission” from the Daily Office. On Friday I often am put in mind of ‘Good Friday.’ I remind myself to stretch out my arms in love and reach forth my hands in love. ~dan

Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. Amen.
BCP 101 (Morning Prayer II)

Advent Calendar Day 24: charity: water

charity: water

If you have ever hiked or camped in the wilderness you KNOW how precious water is to your survival. Drink contaminated water and you become sick. Go without water, become dehydrated, and you are in peril within 48 hours. A person can survive without food for days or weeks, a person deprived of water will likely be dead within days, not lasting even a week.  ~dan rondeau

Mission statement

charity: water is a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. Source: About charity: water

A 3-minute look at how water changes everything from the page: WHY WATER?

Advent Calendar in one place
About the Online Advent Calendar


For further reflection

The Founder’s story

In 2004, I left the streets of New York City for the shores of West Africa. I’d made my living for years in the big Apple promoting top nightclubs and fashion events, for the most part living selfishly and arrogantly. Desperately unhappy, I needed to change. Faced with spiritual bankruptcy, I wanted desperately to revive a lost Christian faith with action and asked the question: What would the opposite of my life look like?

I signed up for volunteer service aboard a floating hospital with a group called Mercy Ships, a humanitarian organization which offered free medical care in the world’s poorest nations. Operating on surgery ships, they’d built a 25-year track record of astonishing results yet I’d never heard of them.

Top doctors and surgeons from all over the world left their practices and fancy lives to operate for free on thousands who had no access to medical care. I soon found the organization to be full of remarkable people. The chief medical officer was a surgeon who left Los Angeles to volunteer for two weeks – 23 years ago. He never looked or went back. I took the position of ship photojournalist, and immediately traveled to Africa. At first, being the Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s court felt strange. I traded my spacious midtown loft for a 150-square-foot cabin with bunk beds, roommates and cockroaches. Fancy restaurants were replaced by a mess hall feeding 400+ Army style. A prince in New York, now I was living in close community with 350 others. I felt like a pauper.

But once off the ship, I realized how good I really had it. In new surroundings, I was utterly astonished at the poverty that came into focus through my camera lens. Often through tears, I documented life and human suffering I’d thought unimaginable. In West Africa, I was a prince again. A king, in fact. A man with a bed and clean running water and food in my stomach.

I fell in love with Liberia – a country with no public electricity, running water or sewage – Spending time in a leper colony and many remote villages, I put a face to the world’s 1.2 billion living in poverty. Those living on less than $365 a year – money I used to blow on a bottle of Grey Goose vodka at a fancy club. Before tip.

Our medical staff would hold patient intake “screenings” and thousands would wait in line to be seen, many afflicted with deformities even Clive Barker hadn’t thought of. Enormous, suffocating tumors – cleft lips, faces eaten by bacteria from water-borne diseases. I learned many of these medical conditions also existed here in the west, but were taken care of – never allowed to progress. The amount of blind people without access to the 20-minute cataract surgery that could restore their sight astonished me – all part of this new world.

Over the next eight months, I met patients who taught me the meaning of courage. Many of them had been slowly suffocating to death for years and yet pressing on. Praying, hoping, surviving. It was an honor to photograph them. It was an honor to know them.

Charity.

For me, charity is practical. It’s sometimes easy, more often inconvenient, but always necessary. It’s the ability to use one’s position of influence, relative wealth and power to affect lives for the better. charity is singular and achievable.

There’s a biblical parable about a man beaten near death by robbers. He’s stripped naked and lying roadside. Most people pass him by, but one man stops. He picks him up and bandages his wounds. He puts him on his horse and walks alongside until they reach an inn. He checks him in and throws down his Amex. “Whatever he needs until he gets better.”

Because he could.

The dictionary defines charity as simply the act of giving voluntarily to those in need. It’s taken from the word “caritas,” or simply, love. In Colossians 3, the Bible instructs readers to “put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.”

Although I’m still not sure what that means, I love the idea. To wear charity.

-Scott Harrison

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Images and text: from the website charitywater.org


Advent Calendar Day 10: Anglican Communion Environmental Network

Anglican Communion Environmental Network (ACEN)

Episcopalians are members of the Worldwide Anglican Communion. We are Anglicans. We are present in every part of the world. We are most definitely in the world (for better or worse).

Quote . . .Anglicans have long been concerned with environmental issues. [In 1984 the Anglican Consultative Council] stated that the fifth mark of mission was,

To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the earth.

In many parts of the world local Anglican Churches have given leadership:

  • by being advocates for responsible environmental stewardship
  • by providing support and leadership to local initiatives to protect the environment
  • by seeking to educate Anglicans as individuals and as communities to become better stewards of creation.

In 1998 the bishops gathered at Lambeth expressed their concern that efforts to address such issues be given greater visibility and be better coordinated across the Anglican Communion. The Network is an attempt to do just that. (from the ACEN website)

Mission Statement of the Anglican Communion Environmental Network

Our Aims:

  • To encourage Anglicans to support sustainable environmental practices as individuals and in the life of their communities.
  • To provide information about policies embraced by synods, councils and commissions, and especially by the instruments of Unity (Statements by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Resolutions and Reports of the Lambeth Conference and the Anglican Consultative Council)
  • To support local initiatives by providing information about ideas and best practices developed around the communion.
  • To share information about resources and initiatives that may be of value to Anglicans everywhere.
  • To provide an opportunity for interested Anglicans to meet both as a formal network, and informally via electronic media.

For the rest of the story: Anglican Communion Environmental Network.

Read more about the The Five Marks of Mission

How long will the land mourn? A Forum post giving voice to the Pastoral Teaching of the bishops of The Episcopal Church. Hear what the Spirit is saying.

Advent Calendar in one place
About the Online Advent Calendar


For further reflection

“Creation is in crisis.” A Report from the ACEN meeting in Lima, Peru (Aug. 2011)

Creation is in crisis. This is the conclusion of the Anglican Communion Environmental Network meeting in Lima, Peru, August 2011. Each participant from around the Communion reported accelerating impacts from human-induced climate change and environmental degradation in their regions. Many participants also reported extensive ignorance and, in some cases, unwillingness to take action.

We were appropriately reminded by our host, the Bishop of Peru, the Rt Revd Bill Godfrey of the need to teach our people in terms they understand. We begin with the discovery in Jesus Christ of the Good News of the Kingdom which draws us together – moving us from a world that divides to a Gospel that gathers.

Together we discerned an urgent calling to seek environmental justice and to encourage Anglicans everywhere to challenge and transform individuals and systems that spoil the earth, affect local communities adversely, and refuse to imagine a different kind of global community.

Among those systems most in need of transformation is an economic system that knows no alternative to continual growth. Rather than having an economy that serves the well-being of communities, our communities (human and other-than-human) serve the well-being of the economy.

In order to motivate Anglicans, both at the individual and at the structural level of the church, we have committed ourselves and commend to all Provinces of the Communion, the following Issues with associated actions: Read the Lima Report on Crisis and Commitment

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Image: ACEN Logo from its website


How long will the land mourn?

Today (10/4) our Church remembers that crazy saint (Francis of Assisi) who found sisters and brothers every place he turned. His great hymn of praise thanks God for Brother Sun and Sister Moon, Sister Water and Brother Fire. A favorite story of mine is how he brought peace to Gubbio through his conversation with Brother Wolf. In the spirit of Francis, with the insight of this holy man, the bishops of the Episcopal Church issued a “Pastoral Teaching” in September 2011:

We, your bishops, believe these words of Jeremiah describe these times and call us to repentance as we face the unfolding environmental crisis of the earth:
 How long will the land mourn, and the grass of every field wither? For the wickedness of those who live in it the animals and the birds are swept away, and because people said, “He is blind to our ways.” (Jeremiah 12:4)

The mounting urgency of our environmental crisis challenges us at this time to confess “our self-indulgent appetites and ways,” “our waste and pollution of God’s creation,” and “our lack of concern for those who come after us” (Ash Wednesday Liturgy, Book of Common Prayer, p. 268). It also challenges us to amend our lives and to work for environmental justice and for more environmentally sustainable practices.

They go on to outline their perceptions, offer their insights and commitment to work to heal creation, concluding:

…in order to honor the goodness and sacredness of God’s creation, we, as brothers and sisters in Christ, commit ourselves and urge every Episcopalian:

  • To acknowledge the urgency of the planetary crisis in which we find ourselves, and to repent of any and all acts of greed, overconsumption, and waste that have contributed to it;
  • To lift up prayers in personal and public worship for environmental justice, for sustainable development, and for help in restoring right relations both among humankind and between humankind and the rest of creation;
  • To take steps in our individual lives, and in community, public policy, business, and other forms of corporate decision-making, to practice environmental stewardship and justice, including (1) a commitment to energy conservation and the use of clean, renewable sources of energy; and (2) efforts to reduce, reuse, and recycle, and whenever possible to buy products made from recycled materials;
  • To seek to understand and uproot the political, social, and economic causes of environmental destruction and abuse; (iii) 
  • To advocate for a “fair, ambitious, and binding” climate treaty, and to work toward climate justice through reducing our own carbon footprint and advocating for those most negatively affected by climate change.

Read the Pastoral Teaching of the Bishops of the Episcopal Church

My question to Forum participants: how can we add our active commitment to the commitment made by our bishops? What kinds of things can we do at St. Margaret’s, RIGHT NOW, to walk with our bishops while following the footsteps of St. Francis? Leave a comment. Share your responses here or email me: Dan I think we can …