Wind Chimes: 23 Apr 2013

“The spirit of Christ must be the soul of all real social reconstruction.”

Toyohiko Kagawa (1888 – 1960)

Since 2009 the Episcopal Church has been exploring a revised Liturgical Calendar titled Holy Women, Holy Men. Stories of women and men living exemplary lives are finding a wider audience. The stories call forth the best in us and pose questions for us who continue our journey on the Way. Today, April 23rd, the church remembers Toyohiko Kagawa a “Prophetic Witness in Japan.”

Toyohiko Kagawa was a

Image of Toyohiko Kagawa on Holy Women, Holy Men“Japanese Christian social reformer. He came of a wealthy family and received his early education in a Buddhist monastery. After conversion to Christianity and disinheritance by his family, he studied at the *Presbyterian seminary at Kobe from 1905 to 1908. Here he became acutely conscious of Christian responsibility in the face of existing social evils and spent several years among the poor in the bad slums of Shinkawa. In 1914 he went to Princeton, USA, to study modern social techniques, and after returning to Japan in 1917 devoted himself entirely to the improvement of social conditions.”

Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church

Within the political rhetoric of our country today, we who follow Christ, who follow the Way (of Love) can best love our neighbor if we can hold fast to that ancient truth discovered and lived by Toyohiko Kagawa: “The spirit of Christ must be the soul of all real social reconstruction.”

DivLine360x12There’s a peaceful rhythm to sounds in the chimes today. The melody is simple:
have the Spirit of Christ … have the Spirit of Christ …have the Spirit of Christ
What do you hear?

Wind Chimes: 9 Feb 2013

Jimmy Carter at Mercer University, November 2012

Grace is freely given. Grace sings of expansive love. Grace sings of inclusive love. The chimes are singing of Grace today. What do you hear?

Anne Hutchinson would have liked Jimmy Carter

We’ll walk one more day with Anne Hutchinson. See the Wind Chimes for February 7 and February 8, 2013. Anne was at odds with the male leaders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  She courageously was true to her heart. Though she spoke well and presented a well-reasoned description of what she believed, in 1638 Anne Hutchinson was both excommunicated and banished from the Colony. Nearly 400 years later, in 2000, Jimmy Carter parted ways with the Southern Baptist Convention. I believe Anne would have liked Jimmy Carter.

As the US Congress once again decides whether (and how) to renew the Violence Against Women Act Anne’s witness and Jimmy Carter’s words and witness are reminders of a foundational Christian belief (shared by other world religions as well): “God saw that [all of creation and every part of creation and all that was and would be created by God] was very good.”

The truth is that male religious leaders have had – and still have – an option to interpret holy teachings either to exalt or subjugate women. They have, for their own selfish ends, overwhelmingly chosen the latter. Their continuing choice provides the foundation or justification for much of the pervasive persecution and abuse of women throughout the world. This is in clear violation not just of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but also the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, Moses and the prophets, Muhammad, and founders of other great religions – all of whom have called for proper and equitable treatment of all the children of God. It is time we had the courage to challenge these views. —Jimmy Carter

Source: Losing my religion for equality, The Age, July 15, 2009.

Image: Woody Marshall for The Telegraph, November 2012

Wind Chimes: 8 Feb 2013

“Listen carefully to my instructions …
With the good gifts which are in us,
we must obey God.”

From the Prologue in the Rule of St. Benedict and quoted in The Monastery of the Heart:
An Invitation to a Meaningful Life
(p. 3) by Joan Chittister

The chimes invite us to listen today. Pause and listen. What do you hear?

Walking another day with Anne Hutchinson

As I do understand it, laws, commands, rules and edicts are for those who have not the light which makes plain the pathway. He who has God’s grace in his heart cannot go astray.

Anne Hutchinson as quoted in Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Reformers (1907) by Elbert Hubbard (“Anne Hutchinson” on Wikiquote)

Anne Hutchinson on TrialAs shared yesterday: on February 6, 2013, in the “Spiritual Day Hike” (which wanders far and wide in the world without actually leaving St. Margaret’s in Palm Desert, CA) we walked with Anne Hutchinson for a time. Anne is now remembered by The Episcopal Church annually on February 5th.

Born and raised in the faith of the Church of England Anne accepted the teachings of the Puritans and added her own touch.

As you read the excerpt from the Prologue in the Rule of St. Benedict you can easily understand that Anne would have been right at home in the Rule of St. Benedict. Her ‘touch’ added to her Puritan faith was to listen with the “ear of her heart” for the voice and the wisdom of God.

Confident that God was constantly in dialogue with her, confident that she could hear and understand God within her own heart, Anne chose to follow the One who called to her, spoke to her, and led her in Love. She continues to offer her witness to us—listen, listen carefully, trust what you hear in your heart: “You are my beloved child. Always. Everywhere. In every circumstance. Beloved.”

Anne has left quite a legacy. Allow yourself to be amazed by her courage and her confidence in God as you read her story:

Image: Wikimedia Commons and JSS Gallery

Wind Chimes: 7 Feb 2013

You must be holy in every aspect of your lives,
just as the one who called you is holy.
It is written, “You will be holy, because I am holy.”

1 Peter 1:15-16 which quotes Leviticus 19:2 CEB

The chimes seem to be sounding a song of joy and freedom. What do you hear?

The grace of God

As I do understand it, laws, commands, rules and edicts are for those who have not the light which makes plain the pathway. He who has God’s grace in his heart cannot go astray.

Anne Hutchinson as quoted in Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Reformers (1907) by Elbert Hubbard (“Anne Hutchinson” on Wikiquote)

Anne Hutchinson on TrialIn the “Spiritual Day Hike” (which wanders far and wide in the world without actually leaving St. Margaret’s in Palm Desert, CA) on February 6, 2013 we walked with Anne Hutchinson for a time. Anne is now remembered by The Episcopal Church annually on February 5th.

Some 450 years after her death she continues to have a profound impact on us as we listen for the Spirit within our hearts. Our group, as we walked with Anne, was affirmed in actively forming and following a conscience illumined by the light of Christ and emboldened by the Holy Spirit. Anne has left quite a legacy. Allow yourself to be amazed by her courage and her confidence in God as you read her story:

Image: Wikimedia Commons and JSS Gallery

Wind Chimes: 10 Jan 2013

Gracious Father, we pray for thy holy Catholic Church. Fill it with all truth, in all truth with all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in any thing it is amiss, reform it. Where it is right, strengthen it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of Jesus Christ thy Son our Savior. Amen.

A prayer (updated) of William Laud (see The Book of Common Prayer, p. 816)

The chimes produce a mixed sound today: sometimes a violent crashing sound, sometimes a soft peaceful sound. What do you hear?

William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury, d. 1645

Today (January 10th) the Episcopal Church remembers William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury (1633-1645). Laud’s short biography in Holy Women, Holy Men tells the truth, “Laud’s reputation has remained controversial to this day. [He is] [h]onored as a martyr and condemned as an intolerant bigot ….”

Given the current concern among some in England about “The Succession to the Crown Bill” it is informative to remember today that, “Laud believed the Church of England to be in direct continuity with the medieval Church, and he stressed the unity of Church and State, exalting the role of the king as the supreme governor.” (“William Laud” on Holy Women, Holy Men).

Wind Chimes: 03 Jan 2013

On that day: The deaf will hear the words of a scroll and, freed from dimness and darkness, the eyes of the blind will see. The poor will again find joy in the Lord, and the neediest of people will rejoice in the holy one of Israel.

Isaiah 29:18-19 CEB

Today, January 3rd, the Episcopal Church remembers William Passavant (October 9, 1821 – January 3, 1894).

William Passavant was a Pennsylvania Lutheran pastor who left an uncommonly rich legacy of service. He was driven by a desire to see the consequences of the Gospel worked out in practical ways in the lives of people in need. For Passavant, the church’s commitment to the Gospel must not be spiritual only. It must be visible. For him, it was essential that Gospel principles were worked out in clear missionary actions.

Learn more about William Passavant on Holy Women, Holy Men

In the Collect we ask God, the Compassionate, to “inspire us by his example, that we may be tireless to address the wants of all who are sick and friendless….”

One of the goals of the Sunday Morning Forum is to hear the Spirit calling us to such service and gracing us to serve to the welfare of others and the glory of God. The chimes sound, “you are called to serve.” What do you hear?

Additional information about William Passavant on Wikipedia

Wind Chimes: 27 Dec 2012

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
[…]

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

John 1:1, 14 NRSV

These words from the “Prologue of John” (John 1:1-18) will be proclaimed this Sunday (12/30/12) in our worship. Today, December 27th, is the day the Church remembers (St.) John the Evangelist, the ‘author’ of these familiar words. Perhaps, if he were to ‘write’ his Good News today, he might present it differently:

The wind moves the chimes mysteriously and the sounds constantly amaze and delight. What do you hear?

Video: Bryan Bilac on YouTube

Wind Chimes: 2 Nov 2012

A church cemetary

Brothers and sisters, we want you to know about people who have died so that you won’t mourn like others who don’t have any hope. Since we believe that Jesus died and rose, so we also believe that God will bring with him those who have died in Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 CEB

We continue to remember those ‘saints’ known mostly to us and to our families on this day. Though gone from this earth, who is it that continues to shape you because of their love? ~dan

The loveliness of the sounds from the chimes catches our attention today. What do you hear?

Commemoration of All Faithful Departed (Nov 2)

In the New Testament, the word “saints” is used to describe the entire membership of the Christian community, and in the Collect for All Saints’ Day the word “elect” is used in a similar sense. From very early times, however, the word “saint” came to be applied primarily to persons of heroic sanctity, whose deeds were recalled with gratitude by later generations.

Beginning in the tenth century, it became customary to set aside another day—as a sort of extension of All Saints—on which the Church remembered that vast body of the faithful who, though no less members of the company of the redeemed, are unknown in the wider fellowship of the Church. It was also a day for particular remembrance of family members and friends.

Though the observance of the day was abolished at the Reformation because of abuses connected with Masses for the dead, a renewed understanding of its meaning has led to a widespread acceptance of this commemoration among Anglicans, and to its inclusion as an optional observance in the calendar of the Episcopal Church.

Holy Women, Holy Men introduction for the “Commemoration of All Faithful Departed,”

Bishop Mathes encourages our helpful response in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy

“As we continue to absorb the news about Hurricane Sandy, I ask your prayers for all impacted by this powerful storm. We are the one body of Christ, which means we all suffer when one suffers. Let us reach out to those who have lost electricity, homes, businesses and loved ones. And let no one face the storm alone.” Read his statement

ERD: Healing a hurting worldGive to the Hurricane Sandy Response Fund
administered by Episcopal Relief and Development

The Collect for the Commemoration of All Faithful Departed

O God, the Maker and Redeemer of all believers: Grant to the faithful departed the unsearchable benefits of the passion of your Son; that on the day of his appearing they may be manifested as your children; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Holy Women, Holy Men, p. 665

Photo: The cemetery at Mission Santa Ysabel in San Diego County (CA) on Google Maps. ~dan

Wind Chimes: 4 Oct 2012

October 4th is the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi in both the Roman Catholic and Episcopal Liturgical Calendars. Here are three different Spirit-breaths through the Wind Chimes.
What do you hear?

St. Francis of Assisi
St. Francis of Assisi by Nancy Earle, SMIC via Daily Meditation from the Center for Action and Contemplation

Collect for commemorating St. Francis

Most high, omnipotent, good Lord, grant your people grace to renounce gladly the vanities of this world; that, following the way of blessed Francis, we may for love of you delight in your whole creation with perfectness of joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

From Francis of Assisi, Friar, 1226 on Holy Women, Holy Men

Franciscan Mysticism

On September 30th Richard Rohr began a series of daily meditations on Franciscan Mysticism. Here are links to his daily meditations so far. I encourage you to subscribe to his Daily Meditation (the music in those Wind Chimes is one of my delights).

A Franciscan Blessing

I do not know the original source of the “Franciscan Blessing.” I have seen this blessing in several different (almost-the-same) forms. Most recently I saw that Brian McLaren has been using it in his Everything Must Change gatherings (go to the post). Here is the form he uses:

May God bless us with discomfort
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships
So that we may live from deep within our hearts.

May God bless us with anger
At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of God’s creations
So that we may work for justice, freedom, and peace.

May God bless us with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger, and war,
So that we may reach out our hands to comfort them and
To turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless us with just enough foolishness
To believe that we can make a difference in the world,
So that we can do what others claim cannot be done:
To bring justice and kindness to all our children
and all our neighbors who are poor. Amen.

Remembering—a treasure trove of hope and inspiration

 Loving God, we bless your Name for the witness of Ini Kopuria, police officer and founder of the Melanesian Brotherhood, whose members saved many American pilots in a time of war, and who continue to minister courageously to the islanders of Melanesia. Open our eyes that we, with these Anglican brothers, may establish peace and hope in service to others, for the sake of Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. Collect for the Commemoration in Holy Women, Holy Men.

An image of Ini Kopuria in 1945
Ini Kopuria from Holy Women, Holy Men

From the time Jesus said “Do this in remembrance of me” (and even before) faithful men and women have remembered, not just the meal and words of Jesus, but, the stories of those who went before them and those contemporaries who inspired hope in them. We have followed Jesus’ command and we have added the stories of Holy Women and Holy Men to our (Eucharistic) meals.

The Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music of the Episcopal Church is revising our “Memory Book.” You may remember the book Lesser Feasts and Fasts. This book collected short stories of “saintly” forebearers, men and women, commemorated throughout the year (see the Book of Common Prayer, pp. 15-33). In 2009 the Commission was asked to expand the number and kinds of commemorations. The Commission will report to General Convention this summer. However, the “Trial Use” of the old and new commemorations, now called Holy Women, Holy Men, will continue.

All of that is said so that I can introduce Ini Kopuria, Founder of the Melanesian Brotherhood, 1945. You may read his story here: June 6: [Ini Kopuria, Founder of the Melanesian Brotherhood, 1945]. You can see from the Collect to be used in the commemoration that the work of the Melanesian Brotherhood continues to this day.

Do you have a saintly woman or man (women or men) whose memory inspires your best actions and gives you hope? Please share.

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