A Hope-full Meeting

Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury meets Pope Francis in Rome

On June 14, 2013 the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, met the new Pope, Francis I, in Rome. The two men began their “new” ministries within days of each other. Their conversation, their shared prayers, their time together fill me with hope.

Each man desires to lead his church to be more attuned to the ‘least among us.’ Each man desires the relationship between the Anglican Church and the Roman Catholic Church to deepen and strengthen as they minister to the poor over the years of their leadership. It is a hope-filled beginning for both our churches.

Read the summary of the meeting provided by the Archbishop of Canterbury here.

Read the summary of the meeting provided by Vatican Radio here.

Image source: Getty on the page of the Archbishop of Canterbury

Wind Chimes: 8 Mar 2013

March 8th is International Women's Day

March 8th is International Women’s Day

Here is a prayer—a prayer I am using today—for all woman on International Women’s Day. This prayer offered by the Sisters of St. Francis to you and me and all who will work for the safety and equality of women.

Lord, make me an instrument of peace:

Bless all women who daily strive to bring peace to their communities, their homes and their hearts. Give them strength to continue to turn swords into plowshares.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love:

We pray for all women who face prejudice, inequality and gender disparities. Help us see and to face the discrimination against women in all the many forms it may take.

Where there is injury, pardon:

Comfort all women who suffer from the pain of war, violence, and abuse. Help them to become instruments of their own reconciliation and peace.

Where there is division, unity:

Forgive all women and men who let differences breed hate and discrimination. Let your example of valuing all of creation help us to see that we are equal partners in the stewardship of your world.

Where there is darkness, light; where there is untruth, truth:

Comfort all women who struggle in the darkness of abuse, poverty, and loneliness. May we stand with them in light to acknowledge their suffering and strive to remove the burdens of shame or embarrassment.

Where there is doubt, true faith:

We pray for all women who live in fear of their husbands, fathers, and forces that control their lives. Help them to be empowered to be their true selves through your everlasting love and faith.

Where there is despair, hope:

We pray for all women who live in the despair of poverty, violence, trafficking, slavery, and abuse. May the light of your love bring them hope.

Where there is sadness, new joy:

Help us to see the strength and goodness in all women and men. Transform our hears to celebrate the love and grace of all people.

And may we be blessed with the courage of St. Clare of Assisi to follow our own path of love for you and all sisters and brothers. Amen.

By Deborah Hirt, Intern at Franciscans International

What do you hear in the chimes?
As the wind blows through the chimes today it sounds like praise and hope for women. What do you hear?

Logo: 2013 International Women’s Day – The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum

Resources (print and video) for International Women’s Day past and present

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

7/20/12—Maturing in wisdom and age

Jesus matured in wisdom and years, and in favor with God and with people. Luke 2:52 CEB

The wisdom of a Lutheran Pastor …

Note: The House for All Sinners and Saints is in Denver, CO.

As far as we know, all the House for all Sinners and Saints folks are safe, but many of us had friends and loved ones who were at that theater last night who are quite shaken. Kyrie. Let us pray for all those involved including the shooter. It’s one of the less pleasant elements of the Christian faith, but loving the enemy was not a suggestion.
–(The Rev.) Nadia Bolz-Weber (on Facebook)

After the killing in Aurora, CO our bishop wrote …

The horrific tragedy in Aurora, Colorado rightly brings us to our knees in prayer. Our emotions are myriad: shock, sorrow, anger, and disbelief. While we pray for those who have died, their families, and indeed the perpetrator and his family, we should pause to question the culture of violence that is pervasive in our country.

Guns, violent films and video games did not commit murder yesterday night; a very disturbed individual did. However, it is not a remarkable supposition to think that a contributing factor to this senseless massacre is the lethal combination of available guns and the relentless presentation of violent acts. The latter makes violence seem incidental and inconsequential.

As followers of the prince of peace, we must redouble our efforts to stop senseless violence before it happens. We can go a long way as a society by having sensible gun control and by saying no to entertainment through violence. This will not bring back the victims of this dark moment, but perhaps it will prevent others.
—The Rt. Rev. James R. Mathes Bishop