Wind Chimes: 19 Mar 2013

Earth image
“To protect creation, to protect every man and every woman, to look upon them with tenderness and love, is to open up a horizon of hope….” –Pope Francis

In his own words

being a protector … means protecting all creation, the beauty of the created world … It means respecting each of God’s creatures and respecting the environment in which we live. –Francis, Bishop of Rome

Today at a Mass celebrating the start of his ministry as Pope Francis I, the new pope addressed those gathered with words remembering St. Joseph as a ‘protector’ of Jesus and Mary (and in later centuries, a protector of the Church). These words especially give me hope:

The vocation of being a “protector”, however, is not just something involving us Christians alone; it also has a prior dimension which is simply human, involving everyone. It means protecting all creation, the beauty of the created world, as the Book of Genesis tells us and as Saint Francis of Assisi showed us. It means respecting each of God’s creatures and respecting the environment in which we live. It means protecting people, showing loving concern for each and every person, especially children, the elderly, those in need, who are often the last we think about. It means caring for one another in our families: husbands and wives first protect one another, and then, as parents, they care for their children, and children themselves, in time, protect their parents. It means building sincere friendships in which we protect one another in trust, respect, and goodness. In the end, everything has been entrusted to our protection, and all of us are responsible for it. Be protectors of God’s gifts!

The entire homily (translated) is here: The real power of the pope is to serve the most vulnerable in La Stampa (an Italian newspaper).

DivLine360x12 The chimes sound both tender and strong today.
What do you hear? Please leave a comment.

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

Feeding the hungry

Many of you will remember Margaret Watson who served as an Associate at St. Margaret’s (2003-2005). Her friend Maria L. Evans visited Margaret in South Dakota at the Cheyenne River Episcopal Mission and came away with an inspiration for her church and community Trinity Episcopal Church in Kirkesville, MO. The rest of the story (and a short video follows).

Maria posted this on Facebook (a note to Margaret, seen by many) and shared the video which follows. (You gotta love Facebook for its ability to share Good News and inspire the creation of more Good News.)

Hey, Margaret, I wanted to show this to you (if you haven’t seen it already) b/c I also wish to pass my thanks to the wonderful folks I met at Eagle Butte as part of the seed of where this came from. When I was there in the spring, between watching everyone make sure others were fed at funerals and comfort services, as well as the weekly food ministry at church, it was a huge part of what helped me come to believe that it was truly possible to fill a pickup truck full of food in Kirksville, MO (Adair County has 1/4 of the population at or below the poverty line) for the local food bank. Turns out the Holy Spirit saw fit to fill TWO pickup truck loads full of food.

I would not have believed if not for what I saw happening in Eagle Butte. The idea would not have come to me, I don’t think. It was part of what God called me there for, I believe, and I suspect God is not finished working with me on that one, yet…God bless the dedicated folks who feed others at Eagle Butte!  Shared on 16 August 2012

What is the Spirit saying to us? Keep the conversation going.

Infusing the sacred into daily life

“Today, Americans are cultivating spirituality by probing deeper dimensions of things they do each day, from prayer to exercise and volunteering.” (1)

One way to deepen spirituality being followed by many: volunteering. As part of the Sunday Morning Forum we seek to encourage each other to do what we can with who we are in the time we have, for the glory of God and the welfare of all God’s children and all of God’s creation. Consider:

Even volunteering is serving as a portal to higher things. Organizations that make up the Catholic Volunteer Network guide some 14,000 volunteers to reflect on vocation, suffering and poverty.

“It takes a little while to realize, ‘I might not cure AIDS, but I might be able comfort someone who’s dying, and it makes a world of difference to that one person,’ “ says Katie Mulembe, CVN’s membership and recruitment coordinator. “You realize, ‘That’s why I’m here. And that’s good enough.’ “ Read the entire post

In our Baptismal Covenant we have promised to seek and serve Christ and to strive for justice and peace in the world. Let us fulfill our promises to God and each other.

(1) “Americans search for ways to infuse daily life with the sacred” by G. Jeffrey MacDonald, USA Today at on 31 Jan 2011

A challenge to “step up”

In the Sunday Morning Forum we share different ways that we, singly and collectively, have become doers of the word. We recognize God is calling us to be better witnesses of God’s love as we serve. We look for encouragement and inspiration by sharing resources and stories. Here is an inspiring story and a challenging question for each of us who take seriously the Great Commandment and who seek to imitate Christ by serving others as Christ did.


A YouTube video prepared by Children’s Defense Fund

Let us know how you are “Steppin’ up,” leave a comment. Share how you are an advocate, for the love of God and neighbor, for those who are the most vulnerable.

For further reflection

  • Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?
  • Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?

And, we respond, “I will with God’s help.” (Baptismal Covenant used in the Episcopal Church)

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