Goats and Chickens

A boy with a goat in Kenya, thanks to ERD

Early in October the folks at Episcopal Relief and Development invited those who would listen to make a Gift for Life as a good way to remember and honor “The Poor Man” of Assisi (St. Francis):

Today [October 4th] a very peculiar saint will be honored throughout the Christian world. Although he was from a wealthy family, he chose to live in poverty. He preached to a Sultan in Egypt, a flock of birds in the trees, and a ferocious wolf. He founded orders for men and women, and in 2013 a Pope took his name for the first time. Each year, he is honored far and wide with blessings of animals. He is St. Francis, the gentle man from 13th century Assisi, Italy. We invite you to honor him by increasing opportunities for others with the gift of a cow, a chicken, a pig, or my favorite, a goat!
—Sean McConnell, Engagement Director for ERD in a Facebook Post

On two Sundays our Sunday Morning Forum group gathered up just under $100 and with a little help beyond the Forum we made a donation to purchase and send a goat and some chickens to help feed brothers and sisters far from the Coachella Valley and St. Margaret’s.

2013-1015 ERD Donation

To make this gift go even further, generous donors to ERD have pledged to match gifts made to ERD between now and December 6th. So, we’re able to send out 2 goats and twice as many chickens as our small part of the global efforts of ERD.

To all who have this possible: Thank you. Keep it going: make your own gift to ERD as a way of doing good today, and tomorrow!

Photo: Episcopal Relief & Development

Recreated by Christ’s love

The cross in the church of San DamianoWhere did Francis’s journey to Christ begin? It began with the gaze of the crucified Jesus. With letting Jesus look at us at the very moment that he gives his life for us and draws us to himself. Francis experienced this in a special way in the Church of San Damiano, as he prayed before the cross …

Today, October 4th, the Church remembers Francis of Assisi. Pope Francis traveled to Assisi and celebrated the Eucharist with thousands. His homily, at least the prepared text ( we know he often ad libs), is available for our consideration.

The Pope asks, “What does Saint Francis’s witness tell us today? What does he have to say to us, not merely with words – that is easy enough – but by his life?” He sets before us three answers beginning with:

His first and most essential witness is this: that being a Christian means having a living relationship with the person of Jesus; it means putting on Christ, being conformed to him. […]

On that cross, Jesus is depicted not as dead, but alive! Blood is flowing from his wounded hands, feet and side, but that blood speaks of life. Jesus’ eyes are not closed but open, wide open: he looks at us in a way that touches our hearts. The cross does not speak to us about defeat and failure; paradoxically, it speaks to us about a death which is life, a death which gives life, for it speaks to us of love, the love of God incarnate, a love which does not die, but triumphs over evil and death.

He proceeds to offer two other answers:

… the second witness that Francis gives us: that everyone who follows Christ receives true peace, the peace that Christ alone can give, a peace which the world cannot give.

… [third] Saint Francis of Assisi bears witness to the need to respect all that God has created, and that men and women are called to safeguard and protect, but above all he bears witness to respect and love for every human being.

Read the text of his homily. Understand the Pope’s prayers for us. I also encourage you to be attentive to reports of his ad lib comments and find trusted commentators (like Fr. James Martin, SJ, or the writers on Religion News Service or the folks at America Magazine) who have access to even more information and anecdotal material.

Wind Chimes: 3 September 2013

candle001

Lord, make us instruments of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is discord, union;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

I light my prayer candle today for those who seek to ‘wage peace.’ Join me in helping the peacemakers in this and every nation, especially in Syria, have the “courage to will and persevere” in their efforts and be acclaimed “blessed” by God and by their neighbors (you and me). ~daniel rondeau

DivLine360x12“Blessed are the peacemakers,” “they are children of God,”
this is the song of the chimes today.
What do you hear?

The prayer, “Attributed to St. Francis,” may be found in the (Episcopal) Book of Common Prayer on page 833.

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)

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.

B Epiphany 4, Art for Readings for January 29, 2012

GIOTTO di Bondone
(b. 1267, Vespignano, d. 1337, Firenze)
Click to open Web Gallery of Art Artist Biography and to explore other works by this artist.

Legend of St Francis: 10. Exorcism of the Demons at Arezzo
1297-99
Fresco, 270 x 230 cm
Upper Church, San Francesco, Assisi
Click to open Web Gallery of Art display page. Click on their image to enlarge/fit page etc.