Hildegard

Creator God, your whole creation, in all its varied and related parts, shows forth your verdant and life-giving power: Grant that we your people, illumined by the visions recorded by your servant Hildegard, may know, and make known, the joy and jubilation of being part of this cycle of creation, and may manifest your glory in all virtuous and godly living; through Jesus Christ whom you sent, and who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Collect for the Commemoration of Hildegard in Holy Women, Holy Men)

As you read the biographical note about Hildegard on Holy Women, Holy Men I draw your attention to 2 items and share a video meditation featuring Hildegard’s Spiritus Sanctus, the “second Antiphone (sic) and Psalm 110/111 from the vesper of Hildegard von Bingen.”

First, from the Collect, we hear how Hildegard clearly loved all of creation and rejoiced in its complex beauty and interrelatedness, praying that we would do the same: “Grant that we your people … may know, and make known, the joy and jubilation of being part of this cycle of creation ….”

Second, from the biographical notes, we hear how for Hildegard “music was essential to worship. Her liturgical compositions, unusual in structure and tonality, were described by contemporaries as ‘chant of surpassing sweet melody’ and ‘strange and unheard-of music.’”

Enjoy Spiritus Sanctus

Advent Calendar Day 3: Camp Stevens

Camp Stevens

Camp Stevens is in the mountains above San Diego in Julian, CA. It is an Episcopal Camp and Conference Center only 2 hours away. Members of St. Margaret’s regularly participate in Camp work days. Children and youth from the parish have had their “Summer Camp” experience their. Suzanne, from our Forum has served as a Summer Camp Nurse. Fr. Dan has served as the Chair of the Camp Stevens Board in years past and frequently served as Chaplain to various hiking and camping groups.

Camp Mission Statement
The Mission of Camp Stevens is to help individuals of all ages deepen their sense of reverence and respect for themselves, and their fellow human beings, the creation, and God. It also seeks to be a peaceful ‘place apart’ for nurturing, planning, reflection, exchange of ideas, and sharing in Christian community.

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. About Camp Stevens Mission

For the rest of the story: Home page for Camp Stevens

Advent Calendar 2011


For further reflection

The Mission of Camp Stevens is to help individuals of all ages deepen their sense of reverence and respect for themselves, and their fellow human beings, the creation, and God.

We invite you to join us in reclaiming an active stewardship of God’s Creation.

The Holy Spirit: Calling out a great cadence

“Will you strive for justice and peace in the world? I will, with God’s help.” –From our Baptismal Covenant

“Green isn’t a fad. We’re not drawn to it because it’s hip. We are called to advocate for the Earth out of a deep sense of love and respect. Love for the generations that we will never know. Respect for the soil that we came from. We are from dirt; and to dirt we will return. (You can quote us – and Genesis – on that.) –Ashley Graham-Wilcox, in Spreading the seeds of eco-justice a reflection on her learning in the Eco-Justice Immersion Experience sponsored by Episcopal Leadership Institute for Young Adults.

Wild Goose LogoThe title of the Sunday Morning Forum (and this blog) is chosen for a purpose: we intend to hear what the Spirit is saying. We intend to hear the Spirit in the readings appointed for Sunday and in the stories of our lives (individually and communally as parishioners and friends of St. Margaret’s in Palm Desert). We intend to hear the Spirit in the news we read or hear and as we listen to the stories of other men and women of faith interpreting the news by their words and actions.

I hear the Spirit leading me, leading us (the people of St. Margaret’s), further along the path of justice and peace in fulfillment of our Baptismal Covenant. Consider:

To respond to the needs of our constantly changing communities, as Jesus calls us, in ways that reflect our diversity and cultures as we seek, wonder and discover together.
To prepare for a sustainable future by calling the community to become guardians of God’s creation

  • Our Rector’s vision that “Justice is at the heart of what God expects us to do and be: “[God] has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8 from The Rector’s Desk, November 2011
  • The ongoing work of the St. Margaret’s Outreach Center feeding the hungry and offering the companionship and comfort of our faith to those who struggle

This month our Outreach Commission initiated a prayer service for healing at the Outreach Center and launched a PB&J Ministry to help feed the hungry The October 2011 View

  • In August 2011 young Episcopalians (like Ashley) gathered in Seattle to encourage each other to lead folks like you and me to a sustainable future—as a matter of faithful living in the Reign of God

Ashley’s reflection is straight forward and gives me great hope

  • In September 2011 our bishops asked that every Episcopalian

   … take steps in our individual lives, and in community, public policy, business, and other forms of corporate decision-making, to practice environmental stewardship and justice, including (1) a commitment to energy conservation and the use of clean, renewable sources of energy; and (2) efforts to reduce, reuse, and recycle, and whenever possible to buy products made from recycled materials  Read The Bishops’ Pastoral Teaching

  • This summer our Vestry decided to go forward with a solar energy project for the parish (and the community)

Hear what the Spirit is saying? IT SOUNDS LIKE THE SPIRIT IS SHOUTING.

Pay attention!Which leads me to remind you and encourage you to encourage our Forum member, Sherry, and our Deacon Cherry Remboldt, who are advocating for our parish-wide use of Fair Trade coffee and compostable cups in our fellowship. This is a small step, to be sure, “to practice environmental stewardship and justice” using the words of our bishops, but it’s a step in the right direction.

As I write, Cherry and Sherry are helping the Outreach Commission sort through the costs and logistics of this move which, of course, will put us in step with our Baptismal Covenant, our Charter for Lifelong Christian Formation, our Rector’s vision for our parish, the work of our Young Adult Leaders, our bishops’ recent Pastoral Teaching (and invitation), our ongoing work for justice and peace as we serve others (for the love of God) in our community, and our commitment to build a sustainable future (our vestry’s vision—right in line with the vision of our bishops—as we take up a solar energy project).


Let’s stay in step with the Spirit who is calling out a great cadence for us.

How long will the land mourn?

Today (10/4) our Church remembers that crazy saint (Francis of Assisi) who found sisters and brothers every place he turned. His great hymn of praise thanks God for Brother Sun and Sister Moon, Sister Water and Brother Fire. A favorite story of mine is how he brought peace to Gubbio through his conversation with Brother Wolf. In the spirit of Francis, with the insight of this holy man, the bishops of the Episcopal Church issued a “Pastoral Teaching” in September 2011:

We, your bishops, believe these words of Jeremiah describe these times and call us to repentance as we face the unfolding environmental crisis of the earth:
 How long will the land mourn, and the grass of every field wither? For the wickedness of those who live in it the animals and the birds are swept away, and because people said, “He is blind to our ways.” (Jeremiah 12:4)

The mounting urgency of our environmental crisis challenges us at this time to confess “our self-indulgent appetites and ways,” “our waste and pollution of God’s creation,” and “our lack of concern for those who come after us” (Ash Wednesday Liturgy, Book of Common Prayer, p. 268). It also challenges us to amend our lives and to work for environmental justice and for more environmentally sustainable practices.

They go on to outline their perceptions, offer their insights and commitment to work to heal creation, concluding:

…in order to honor the goodness and sacredness of God’s creation, we, as brothers and sisters in Christ, commit ourselves and urge every Episcopalian:

  • To acknowledge the urgency of the planetary crisis in which we find ourselves, and to repent of any and all acts of greed, overconsumption, and waste that have contributed to it;
  • To lift up prayers in personal and public worship for environmental justice, for sustainable development, and for help in restoring right relations both among humankind and between humankind and the rest of creation;
  • To take steps in our individual lives, and in community, public policy, business, and other forms of corporate decision-making, to practice environmental stewardship and justice, including (1) a commitment to energy conservation and the use of clean, renewable sources of energy; and (2) efforts to reduce, reuse, and recycle, and whenever possible to buy products made from recycled materials;
  • To seek to understand and uproot the political, social, and economic causes of environmental destruction and abuse; (iii) 
  • To advocate for a “fair, ambitious, and binding” climate treaty, and to work toward climate justice through reducing our own carbon footprint and advocating for those most negatively affected by climate change.

Read the Pastoral Teaching of the Bishops of the Episcopal Church

My question to Forum participants: how can we add our active commitment to the commitment made by our bishops? What kinds of things can we do at St. Margaret’s, RIGHT NOW, to walk with our bishops while following the footsteps of St. Francis? Leave a comment. Share your responses here or email me: Dan I think we can …