Wind Chimes: 13 Nov 2012

“… I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,
I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
I was naked and you gave me clothing,
I was sick and you took care of me,
I was in prison and you visited me.”

Matthew 25:35-36 NRSV

Sometimes, it seems, only one note sounds in the chimes, like a bell. What do you hear?

“Unseen” — the women who serve and have served in the military

“This year I want to salute and honor the most often unseen members of our service and veteran community: the women who serve and who have served in uniform.” With these words Bishop Jay Magness (Bishop Suffragan for Federal Ministries ) begins his Veterans Day Reflection for 2012.

On Thursday I’ll have more to share. In his statement I was shocked to hear that over 5000 women Veterans sleep where they can each night for they are homeless. The words of our President are haunting: “…let us reaffirm our promise that when our troops finish their tours of duty, they come home to an America that gives them the benefits they have earned, the care they deserve, and the fullest opportunity to keep their families strong ….” (Veterans Day Proclamation 2012)

More to the point for us who follow the Way, long ago Jesus shared a story about seeing and meeting the needs of others as we live our lives. The story has this punchline: “… I tell you, just as you did it [feed, clothe, visit, offer care] to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:31-46) ~dan

Too many women who once wore our uniform now go to sleep in our streets

In a 2011 Press Release, Labor Secretary, Hilda L. Solis informs those who will listen: “Too many women who once wore our uniform now go to sleep in our streets,” she added. “It breaks my heart to see that because many of them are sick [and] in need of help, and many are hungry. And it isn’t just them — some of them have children.” The Press Release announced a “Trauma Guide” to assist others in helping women veterans.

Also in the Press Release:

  • The female veteran population is estimated to grow from 1.8 million in 2010 to 2.1 million by 2036, according to Labor Department statistics, resulting in a greater likelihood that more women veterans will need physical and psychological services.
  • Today, service providers often treat women veterans using the same methods used for their male counterparts.
  • “This guide acknowledges the experiences and challenges facing women veterans,” Solis said, “and will result in better assistance and better outcomes for these deserving women.”

Online: Trauma-Informed Care for Women Veterans Experiencing Homelessness: A Guide for Service Providers (shortened to “Trauma Guide” by helpers). Executive Summary of the Trauma Guide (a PDF file)

Church leaders say returning Vets need time, attention

May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be blessed! He is the compassionate Father and God of all comfort. He’s the one who comforts us in all our trouble so that we can comfort other people who are in every kind of trouble. We offer the same comfort that we ourselves received from God.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 CEB

May we be inspired to action by the clarion call of the chimes. ~dan

Photo: Department of Veterans Affairs ~dan

Wind Chimes: 12 Nov 2012

A welcome home photo

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

It is a compassionate wind stirring the chimes today. What do you hear?

Extending Veterans Day

Yesterday I shared a prayer with you. I used the prayer in worship at St. Hugh’s Episcopal Church in Idyllwild, CA. In the Presidential Proclamation for Veterans Day, 2012, we were exhorted to a daily work of remembrance and gratitude. Today I share a note from “Church Leaders” about the needs of returning Veterans. The note is a plea and an invitation for people of faith to reach out with compassion to our returning Veterans. During the rest of the week I will find and share other voices: some highlighting the needs of our returning Vets, some asking for you and me to be involved, some reporting what is being done to care for Vets returning to civilian life, and some speaking to the needs of active duty personnel. A common thread in most Veterans Day celebrations: remember, thank, and care for Vets not only on one day a year, but every day of the year. ~dan

An every day commitment

Quote . . .On days like this, we are called to reflect on immeasurable burdens that have been borne by so few. We pay tribute to our wounded, our missing, our fallen, and their families—men and women who have known the true costs of conflict and deserve our deepest respect, now and forever. We also remember that our commitments to those who have served are commitments we must honor not only on Veterans Day, but every day. As we do so, let us reaffirm our promise that when our troops finish their tours of duty, they come home to an America that gives them the benefits they have earned, the care they deserve, and the fullest opportunity to keep their families strong and our country moving forward.

From the Presidential Proclamation to observe Veterans Day in 2012

Church leaders say returning Vets need time, attention

Quote . . .Statistics are few, but Scott McChrystal, a retired Army chaplain and the military/VA representative for the Assemblies of God, doubts that more than 5 percent of churches have an ongoing ministry for returning vets. He says churches can start small, with a coffee hour or other monthly gathering for veterans.

“The churches can make a huge contribution and most of what needs to be done, in my opinion, can be done by reasonably educated informed lay people, not experts,” said McChrystal, whose brother Stanley was the head of U.S. military forces in Afghanistan.

Read the entire article on Religion News Service (by Adelle M. Banks and dated 11/8/12)

Photo: U.S. Army photostream on Flickr ~dan

Wind Chimes: 8 Nov 2012

Sunrise in New Zealand

weeping may remain for a night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning

Psalm 30:5

There is a dynamism in the chimes, can you hear it? Stillness and silence giving way to movement and sound and …. What do you hear?

A brief reflection on Ruth

In the story of Ruth I find a marvelous, mysterious, messy and invigorating dynamic of scarcity and abundance, barenness and fecundity, death and life, playing-it-safe and taking-risks, self-giving and self-satisfaction, despair and hope, death and life. Read it with an eye to these dynamics, listen to the story for the truths it has to teach for living in 21st century America. Please share with me (and others) what you hear. ~dan

A report: Justin Welby to be the next Archbishop of Canterbury

“Justin Welby, the Bishop of Durham, has accepted the post of Archbishop of Canterbury, The Daily Telegraph has learnt.” The Telegraph article dated 7 Nov 2012

There has been no official announcement of this appointment (7am PST on 11/8/12), but follow up articles suggest The Telegraph is confident of their report. ~dan

Hope of the dawn

Hope of the dawn.
Joy of the day
Peace of the night
Renew us we pray.

Theresa Mary Grass in Pocket Prayers and shared in a Spirituality & Practice email dated 14 May 2012

Photo: Moriori on Wikimedia Commons ~dan