Bishop Anthony Poggo of Kajo Kejiwill visit around the Diocese of Bethlehem next week. Bishop Poggo's public events: Tuesday, March 2, 6:30-8:00 p.m., at St. Stephen's Pro-Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre; Thursday, March 4, 6:30-8:00 p.m., at Christ Church Reading; Friday, March 5, 7:00-9:00 p.m., Meeting especially (but not entirely) with youth 6th to 12th grades, at Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem; Sunday, March 7, 10:30, Preaching at Church of the Redeemer, Sayre, followed by reception and conversation at noon. During these public events, Bishop Anthony will show updated pictures of the progress in building in Kajo Keji resulting from the New Hope Campaign and invite conversation. Additionally, he will meet privately with clergy groups, the World Mission Committee of the diocese and diocesan staff. Read more here.
Kajo Keji newsletter,January-March 2010. Download it here.
Regional Discernment Teams... [From the COM] The Commission on Ministry once again seeks talented and committed people to volunteer for consideration as members of another diocesan regional discernment team. It is the task of the group to meet no less than six times with an aspirant to assist in this critical step of discerning an aspirant’s call to ministry. We ae looking for people to meet in the general vicinity of the Lehigh Valley. Training will be held soon by teleconference. We would like to get as many prospective members trained as possible so that regional groups will be ready as aspirants come into the process for discernment. If you are or have been part of regional discernment and would like a refresher, you are more than welcome. If you feel you have the gifts and time for this important ministry and/or would like more information, please contact Monica Lewellis, email@example.com, as soon as possible.
Not kidding. It may have happened in church or elsewhere.
It happens from within. In-sight. Not from external manipulation. You may not perceive what you’ve experienced as religious. Nothing outside of you changed. Your reality is the same. Somewhere in time, however, eternity opened, a significantly different outlook on life or relationships or responsibility, even religion.
It may have been a sudden inner appropriation of something you already knew in some way but whose energy and intensity had not until the moment shouted out from within, "Aha!" and became entwined with everything that identifies you as you.
Having had an insight experience – religious or not – you can never be as you were before. You may contradict it by how you live – that's essentially what sin is, inauthenticity – but you can't ignore it. You have taken a step out of hiding into the light. The next step is conversion.
You may think of it simply as experiencing greater integrity. Transformation, however, ought not be reduced to “simply.” Our experiences of integrity are part of the process of God’s self-communication. That’s how I see it. You may not. That’s ok. Makes no difference. What makes a difference is that, in the process, you have become a more authentic you. You may have experienced that many times. The path to integrity or authenticity is lifelong. Many conversions, many transformations.
We church people often use words that conceal rather than reveal reality. Revelation, for example. We put God in a box and let God out only when our preconceptions are not threatened. We may limit revelation, for example, to truths handed down, to facts rather than acts, rather than opening the concept to insights that bring us out of hiding.
During the mid-1980s, a Jesuit professor at Holy Cross College (Worcester, MA) suggested that revelation might more fittingly be seen as "our coming out of hiding into the light created by the holy mystery of God."
"God's self-communication," William Reiser wrote in Drawn to the Divine, "continues to take place … in the desires of the human heart, in the questioning and wondering of the human mind, in our thirst for true freedom, in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, in the experience of having been loved and forgiven, in the conviction that we have been personally called to know and follow Jesus, in countless circumstances of daily life, and in the deep-down sense that we are meant to carry the divine presence within us." So with religious experience … or whatever you might prefer to call it.
If you have had such an experience, you may be wrestling with God. When you wrestle with God about what you have been resisting, one of two things eventually happens. Winning isn't one. You walk away from the relationship or you wrestle until you lose. When God wins, you have reason to celebrate. When you allow God to find you and bring you out of hiding, you are on the verge of a religious experience.
[Canon Bill Lewellis, firstname.lastname@example.org, a recently retired Episcopal priest, served on the Bishop’s staff of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem for the past 24 years and on the Bishop’s staff of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Allentown for 13 years.]
The Episcopal Café appears in a ranking of "nearly 100 of the most
influential blogs that contribute to an online discussion about
religion in the public sphere and the academy." (The proprietor of
Spiritual Politics, Mark Silk, wryly notes, "OK, you're asking, how
many non-influential such blogs are there? Now now, the number, no
doubt, is legion." )
The report by the Social Science Research Council
is intended to "spark discussion among religion bloggers that will take
their work further, while also inviting new voices from outside
existing networks to join in and take part."
What is the significance of blogs like the Cafe? The report says:
In old-guard organizations like the Catholic Church and mainline
Protestant denominations, blogging has created space for discourse that
leans against prevailing trends. At sites like Progressive Revival,
Episcopal Cafe, and the Christian Century’s Theolog, mainliners
maintain a rich public conversation about the present and future of
their communities. They do so, meanwhile, often outside the auspices of
traditional ecclesial bodies (whose populations are in a state of
decline), possibly pointing toward a shift in the locus of intellectual
The Diocese of Bethlehem has two connections with The Episcopal Cafe. The first is that one of the
people who cooked up the idea of an internet magazine for and about the
Episcopal Church was Fr. Nick Knisely, who was rector of Trinity in
Bethlehem and is now dean of Trinity Cathedral in Phoenix. It was Nick
who came to me and asked to me a contributor and part of the news team when my own blog is one of the "legion" of less influential religion blogs out there. Come to think of it, we should count a third connection: Jim Naughton, until recently the Canon for Communications in the Diocese of Washington and circus master and lion tamer of this diverse group grew up in Scranton.
Southern Sudanese bishop to visit Diocese of Bethlehem
[Bishop Anthony Poggo and Bethlehem Bishop Paul V. Marshall will be available for a conversation with the media on Saturday, March 6, at 11:00 a.m. at Diocesan House, 333 Wyandotte Street, Bethlehem. Please email Canon Bill Lewellis, email@example.com, by March 3 if you intend to be there.]
Bishop Anthony Poggo of the Diocese of Kajo Keji in Southern Sudan, on the Ugandan border, will be the guest of Bishop Paul Marshall and the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem from March 1 to 8.
Bishop Poggo's public events:
Tuesday, March 2: 6:30-8:00 p.m. –– St. Stephen's Pro-Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre Thursday, March 4: 6:30-8:00 p.m. –– Christ Episcopal Church, Reading Friday, March 5: 7:00-9:00 p.m. –– Meeting especially (but not entirely) with youth 6th to 12th grades, Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem Sunday, March 7: 10:30 a.m. –– Preaching at Church of the Redeemer, Sayre, followed by reception and conversation at noon
During these public events, Bishop Poggo will show updated pictures of the progress in building in Kajo Keji, resulting from the New Hope Campaign (see below) and invite conversation. Additionally, Bishop Poggo will meet privately with clergy groups, the World Mission Committee of the diocese and diocesan staff.
The two dioceses have developed a close partnership relationship which began in 2001, a deliberate policy of reciprocal enrichment. Nearly 20 lay persons and clergy of the Diocese of Bethlehem, as well as Bishop and Mrs. Diana Marshall, two to four at a times, have travelled to Southern Sudan on some 15 mission trips. A few have gone several times. All have been deeply affected by their visits. The former Bishop of Kajo Keji visited the Diocese of Bethlehem in 2002. This will be the current bishop's second trip to the 14-county northeastern Pennsylvania diocese. Bishop Marshall visited in Africa in 2000 and 2005.
Bishop Marshall joined members of the World Mission Committee and other interested people from the diocese on an advocacy trip to Washington, DC, to meet with key senators and representatives and members of the State Department to make the case for alleviating the suffering of the Sudanese people.
"Since 2000, I and others from our diocese have gone to Africa several times to seek a vision for Bethlehem among the suffering and those who care for them, in a place where the Holy Spirit can work," said Marshall.
In July 2004, some 157,000 expatriate Sudanese had come back across the southern border of Sudan after a series of terrorist incidents, including rapes and refugee camp lootings, by the Lord’s Resistance Army, a Ugandan rebel group backed by the government of Sudan. The people had fled to Uganda in the first place after being displaced by the ongoing Sudanese civil war, which had been raging in Africa’s largest nation since independence was granted in 1955. Because of a local drought and other inhospitable conditions, as well as the overwhelming volume of need, the Diocese of Kajo Keji had no food, shelter, clothing, medicines, or agricultural tools to give them.
“We must act now to prevent people in Kajo Keji from starving to death,” Bishop Paul wrote late in July on the diocesan internet list. By mid September, more than $70,000 was received. Funds were wired to the Diocese of Kajo Keji by way of an account in Kampala, Uganda, the closest large city. Because of conditions in Sudan, the diocese decided to buy food and rent the trucks to haul it from Kampala to the refugee enclaves in Kajo Keji. Within days, trucks loaded with staples were on their way over rutted roads into the Kajo Keji area.
“Even if you don’t see it on the national news, “ Bishop Paul said then, “it really happened. This summer we learned again that when followers of Jesus work together, great good comes of it. We best know who we are when we care for others ... The first shipments of food reached Kajo Keji in time to prevent mass starvation, and the funds we provided will continue to feed the refugees for the immediate future.” A correspondent in Sudan wrote: “What the Diocese of Bethlehem has done will enter the history books of Kajo Keji… Their actions have given our people hope that they are not alone...”
“In the last five years,” Bishop Paul said in his address to the 2006 Convention of the Diocese of Bethlehem, “our relatively tiny diocese has given over $800,000 to relief for Africa (to fund scholarships, buy agricultural tools and oxen, adopt schools and stave off starvation in Kajo Keji), for tsunami victims, and for hurricane relief. And that is just the money we know about because it flowed through us to Episcopal Relief and Development. Certainly there has been more. No one can doubt that the love of God lives among us, and I thank you on behalf of the many who have no other way to address you.”
"It is one of the paradoxes of the modern world," onetime ABC News Nightline correspondent Dave Marash has said, "that we can and are made aware of far more serious problems than we can solve. Measuring up to this challenge, finding room in our hearts and our wallets for simultaneous catastrophes … is the challenge of the 21st century."
In 2007, the Diocese of Bethlehem launched the New Hope Campaign, to raise $3.6 million ($2.7 to provide "holistic support for our Sudanese brothers and sisters in areas where they have specifically asked for our support" and $900,000 for programs to support the needy in northeastern Pennsylvania). Contributions and pledges surpassed the goal within a year. To date, the total approaches $4.1 million.
Upon returning from his 2005 mission trip to southern Sudan, Bishop Marshall told a story about the impetus for the New Hope Campaign. “At the end of a week in that bomb-torn country, Diana and I baked in a bus for 14 hours in the Ugandan sun. Finally you give up wiping your face. As we became increasingly caked with red dirt and the overcrowded bus grew hotter and hotter, I found myself baking in a creative and holy sense: I knew God wanted my attention. Genesis says humans began our existence as kind of mud pies, and the red dust of the earth baking into my pores helped me have a new beginning of insight: Here were sisters and brothers with almost nothing to their names trying to build a life and a country — how could I go on as usual? In addition to altering how I live personally, I had to abandon some of my bricks-and-mortar dreams for our own diocese, particularly regarding a conference center, in order to see what God would have us do for others. The question that intrigued me was, Could we dare to have a capital fund drive where we didn’t get the money?”
In 2002, Bishop Marshall had asked Charlie Barebo to help spearhead a capital campaign to develop a camp and conference center for the diocese. "A funny thing happened on the way," said Barebo. "I woke up one morning in the Sudan." It was a "life-changing event that has deepened my faith and forever altered my outlook on this world and the next," said Barebo, a global traveler as CEO of Otterbine Barebo, a lake and pond water quality management firm in Upper MilfordTownship.
Barebo has served as chair of the New Hope Campaign and is volunteer missioner for development on Bishop Marshall's staff.
Born 1964 in Kajo Keji, Bishop Anthony Dangasuk Poggo became Bishop of Kajo Keji in 2007. Ordained a priest in 1996, he has worked with ACROSS, a Christian aid and relief organization in Sudan, Kenya and Uganda, in several capacities, including coordinator, communication and publishing director, and executive director. He has ministered also as attached clergy to St. Luke’s in Kenyatta (part of All Saints Cathedral in Nairobi, Kenya). He has a bachelor’s degree in public administration and management, a master’s degree in biblical studies, and an MBA. He is fluent in spoken and written English and Bari, fair in spoken Arabic and Kishwahili, and has a working knowledge of biblical Hebrew and Greek. He is married to Jane Basa Namurye. They have three children: Grace, Faith and Joy.
Bishop Paul Marshall has been bishop of the Diocese of Bethlehem since 1996. He had been a professor at Yale University Divinity School and director of the Yale Instiute of Sacred Music. His ministry as bishop has been broad and deep: teacher, pastor, preacher, administrator, author, advocate and participant in ministry with people in the developing world, children and youth, the poor and the marginalized, advocate and reconciler with those within the church who consider themselves progressive as well as those who consider themselves traditionalists, interpreter of family systems theory, communicator within and beyond the diocesan community, a leader who consults with colleagues, and a person whose ministry as bishop proceeds from prayer and a contemplative vision of God's kingdom.
Many people beyond the Episcopal Church know him through a monthly column he wrote for the secular press for 13 years. Born 1947 in New York City and raised in Lancaster County (PA) he has also written some ten books and more than 60 articles and reviews for periodicals.
He and Diana, a registered nurse and attorney, have two grown children.
DOK Lenten Retreat
... The Daughters of the King are sponsoring a Lenten retreat, Feb.
26-28 at St. Francis Retreat House in Easton, led by Archdeacon Howard
Stringfellow and open to all the women of the diocese. Cost of $175
($25 nonprefundable deposit by Feb. 20) includew private room, private
bathroom, all meals on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday. Optional
pizza/salad dinner on Friday evening, $8.00. There will also be a
social on Saturday evening with talents from many of the women that
will be there. Registration: 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 26.
Questions: SuzyKaminski@gmail.com or 570-868-3738.
Facts about the Diocese of Haitiand the aftermath of the earthquake. Read here.Check the Haiti page of The Episcopal Church
for news, updates, resources, videos and important information, as well as the Episcopal Relief and Development website. In the Episcopal News Service Weekly bulletin inserts for February 28, Bonnie Anderson, president of the Episcopal Church's House of Deputies, outlines the immediate and possible long-term needs faced by the nation and the diocese of Haiti. Inserts available in English and Spanish here.
St. Brigid's, Nazareth, will be having a youth service on March 14, 2010 at 10:00 A.M. for Episcopal Relief and Development and the MDG. All youth are invited to come and participate. If you would like to be a part of this service, please contact Alvia Reifkohl at firstname.lastname@example.org. The music will be provided by the youth and is more contemporary. Thank you!
Pray for our young men and women who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, and for their families … Jacob H. Turbett, 21; Jason H. Estopinal, 21; Noah M. Pier, 25; Sean L. Caughman, 43 ; John A. Reiners, 24; Jeremiah T. Wittman, 26; Bobby J. Pagan, 23; Alejandro J. Yazzie, 23; Eric D. Currier, 21; Charles A. Williams, 29; Kyle J. Coutu, 20; Larry M. Johnson, 19; Kielin T. Dunn, 19; Jeremy R. McQueary, 27; ... for the fallen heroes also of our coalition partners, and for the citizens of Iraq and Afghanistan who have died, unnamed and unknown to us, and for those who mourn ... and for an end to this endless war.
Father Daniel Gunn hears criticism as applause at St. Stephen's Wilkes-Barre. Read three stories from Wilkes-Barre newspapers. A model by Gunn and REACH Executive Director Stefanie Wolownikfor turning potentially bad news into good.
Lenten meditations by Anne Kitch ... Read the Ash Wednesday meditation here. Subscribe to Wilderness Yearning for Lent via our "Get Connected" box on the Diobeth website.
A stunning video reflection for Ash Wednesday fromTrinity Cathedral Media, Phoenix, AZ (where Nick Knisely is dean) may be seen here.
Anyone interested in Christian Formation –– doesn't that mean you? –– will find this 3'30" videofrom The National Association for Episcopal Christian Education Directors, fondly known as NAECED, enjoyable viewing and worth passing on. Membersip in NAECED comes with many benefits. Contact Canon Anne Kitch if you'd like more info.
Reflection on the gospel for Lent 1by Archdeacon Stringfellow. The First Sunday in Lent may very well be called “Temptation
Sunday” for the same reason that the Last Sunday after the Epiphany may very
well be called “Transfiguration Sunday.” The Gospel on Lent 1 always is Jesus’
temptation by the devil or Satan in the Synoptic Gospel associated with the
particular year in the three-year cycle.Find it here.
From the Lectionaries By Archdeacon Howard Stringfellow Lent 1 in Year C Luke 4:1-3 21 February 2010
The First Sunday in Lent may very well be called “Temptation
Sunday” for the same reason that the Last Sunday after the Epiphany may very
well be called “Transfiguration Sunday.” The Gospel on Lent 1 always is Jesus’
temptation by the devil or Satan in the Synoptic Gospel associated with the
particular year in the three-year cycle.
In Mk, a source for Mt and Lk, the temptations are not specific.
Just after John the Baptist baptizes Jesus, we read, “And the Spirit
immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty
days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited
on him” (1:12-13).
In Mt (4:1-11), as in Lk, the temptations are specific. And they
are in Mt:
1. The devil asks Jesus, famished, “If you are the Son of God,
command these stones to become loaves of bread” (4:3).
2. The devil takes Jesus to the holy city and places him on the
pinnacle of the temple and says, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself
3. The devil takes Jesus to a high mountain, showing him all the
kingdoms of the world, and says, “All these I will give you, if you will fall
down and worship me” (4:9).
In Lk, the temptations are those of Mt, but the order is different.
“Stones to bread” is first in both lists. The remaining two are reversed in
1. After Jesus fasts forty days and is famished, the devil asks
him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread”
2. The devil shows Jesus all the kingdoms of the world and says
to him, “To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been
given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. If you, then, will worship
me, it will all be yours” (4:6-7).
3. The devil takes Jesus to Jerusalem and places him on the
pinnacle of the temple, and says to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw
yourself down from here” (4:9).
When Mt and Lk agree substantially and disagree with Mk, as they do
in their versions of Jesus’ temptation by the devil, their similarity is
ascribed to a second source (Mk is the first) whose name is unknown but is
referred to as “Q” for Quelle or source.
The specifics of the temptation Mt and Lk independently take from Q as they
are absent in Mk.
It is worth noting, too, that in Mk “Satan” tempts Jesus and that
in Mt and Lk “the devil” tempts Jesus.
The reversal of temptations two and three in Mt and Lk, I believe,
has to do with the centrality of Jerusalem in Lk’s conception of the direction
and growth of the kingdom of God, of “the way.” In the Gospel, the direction
of movement is toward Jerusalem, and so it is in the temptations. The location
of the third temptation is Jerusalem, and so the movement of the temptations
has been toward Jerusalem. Mt, incidentally, does not name Jerusalem but
refers to it reverentially and wistfully as “the holy city.” In Acts, the
sequel of Lk, by the way, the direction of movement is away from Jerusalem.
The temptations have an applicability, a generality, that we were
best not to miss. If one can turn stone into bread, one can transmute lead
into gold, mold into penicillin, fossils into fuel, and those ancient bones
into incalculable power in the world. The desire for that power could just be
enough to make war an acceptable risk or worse, an acceptable payment,
depending, of course, on who is doing the paying. A stone becoming bread
figures most profitable transactions. How do we put bread on the table without
such transactions? Do they mean that we have succumbed to the devil?
In Lk’s order, Jesus’ love of pleasure, love of possessions, and
love of power are tested. Will any one of them come between him and God? This
understanding suggests that Jesus leads us in our Lenten disciplines, that he
leads us on our way as we refuse pleasure, possessions, and power. The
suggestion also is that we should
likewise be able to refuse the temptations in Lent and thereafter: a sinless
one to Communion came. This path is rocky and austere. Who can travel it
without several pairs of shoes? I have found that it leads along the road to
guilt and self-reproach, and certainly to a failed Lent. When I look in
another direction, I think I am doing more than just avoiding them.
That other way hangs from the phrase “if you are the Son of God.”
We cannot turn a stone into bread even if we can turn fossils into fuel.
Turning a stone into bread is a temptation of Jesus’ divinity not his humanity.
“If you are the Son of God” appears in Lk’s third temptation, the temptation
that puts Jesus’ special relationship to God to the test: “He will command his
angels concerning you, to protect you” (4:10 following Psalm 91:11). By
putting that special relationship to the test, this temptation also is a
temptation of Jesus’ divinity.
Lk’s second temptation does not include “if you are the Son of
God.” It’s the temptation, however, of switching sides, of trading worshiping
God for worshiping the devil who in Lk, particularly, commands a kind of counter-kingdom
of demons and unclean spirits. This is a temptation at which we in our
humanity can easily fall. But the consequences would be far more devastating
if the Son of God falls to it.
By refusing temptations to his divinity and his humanity, Jesus does
for us what we cannot do for ourselves as he also does on the cross and in the
resurrection. God sends Jesus for this reason precisely because we cannot save
ourselves or even conclude Lent successfully without God’s help.
Father Dan Gunn, rector of of St. Stephen's Wilkes-Barre, wrote the following note today to parishioners and others on his mailing list. It is a model for turning potentially bad news into good or, as he states at the end, hearing criticism as applause.
A Blessed Ash Wednesday, to you.
I hope you have seen the stories in the local papers the past three days. Here, here and here. I think this is good news for us. The reporters have been balanced and reasonably accurate. For the record, I went down to Reach this morning and was greeted with a chorus of “Good morning, Father!” and even inquiries of when the Ash Wednesday Services were scheduled. (Jokingly, I asked them to go out to the street and assault someone so we could be in the paper again on Thursday. They all declined.)
I have spent a great deal of my time in the past few years trying to make certain that Reach is operated in an appropriate manner. If you read the articles in recent days you will hear a great deal of innuendo and speculations. In four years I have only found one needle, 3 drug packets (I have them in my desk), and a couple dozen beer cans. I would love to say that there had been none of these items, but I live in reality. Downtown Wilkes-Barre is an inner-city, and that comes with all the problems of such a place.
For those of you who read the local papers on-line as I do, please scroll to the end of the articles and read the posted comments. The overwhelming majority of the feedback is POSITIVE toward St. Stephen’s and Reach. One person even said that we are the one church that “practices what we preach.” Another said that we are the only church open and active during the week while others are locked and guarded except on Sundays.
One of my mentors tells me that this sort of press is good press, and better than any advertisement we could buy. I tend to agree. Please if you or any of your neighbors have questions direct them to me. I will be happy to respond as I am able.
It is times like these when I think about our brothers and sisters in Kajo-Keji (maybe because I was there this time last year) and wonder where would our critics want to send them? They’re uneducated, poorly clothed, poor and black, suffering from years of mistreatment. Our mission, though at times needing critique, is true and good and right, whether in Downtown Wilkes-Barre or in Africa. We are truly an International Parish: we need to tell others about our good works. Just as we welcome Bishop Anthony in a few days, we welcome Kevin whom I met in the basement of Boscov’s today who asked me to bless the cross he was wearing around his neck and say a prayer for him, too. We are known by our deeds, whether they be acts of charity or music or liturgy. We are a dynamic church and God bless those who think and say otherwise.
Finally, Rabbi Ed Friedman, whom you have heard me speak of often, said that “You know you have reached a new level of maturity when you can hear criticism as affirmation.” He went on to say that “criticism is an act of pursuit.” This is true for individuals and parishes. In the past few days I have heard an abundance of affirmation. I have also felt pursued. Can you feel it? Can you hear it with me?
A visual Lenten exhibition and meditation by the Episcopal Church and the Visual Arts is available on line at the ECVA website and on the Art Blog on the Episcopal Cafe. A new visual work accompanied by a meditation written by the Rev. Ann Fontaine of the Diocese of Wyoming will be available every day.
You may download a PDF booklet of the exhibition or follow it daily on the Art Blog.
ECVA Exhibition Recognition & Return
Christ bids us follow. Those who try to save their lives will lose it, but those who lose their life… who follow after me, will find it.
Having traced the shape of our mortality, fallibilities, and fumblings—of both our failed attempts at self-sufficiency and ego-mind habits which alienate and drain, we recognize the truth of Christ’s summons. And so we dare enter the journey, humbly putting on his story as our own as we did at our baptisms.
The words above, from our Curator, The Rev. Catherine Quehl-Engel (Chaplain of Cornell College & Assoc. Priest, Trinity Episcopal—Iowa City, Iowa), open ECVA's newest Exhibition: "Recognition & Return."
This exhibition launches on Ash Wednesday with spiritually and artistically mature offerings from ECVA artists. To enter the exhibition, click on the lead image seen above (The Humble Servant, by Roger M. Beattie). There is also a link to the exhibition on our homepage at www.ecva.org. Or you may simply click HERE.
A small PDF booklet of Lenten meditations (Lent @ ECVA) anchored by the exhibition art accompanies this exhibition. Click on the following graphic to access the booklet. (The booklet is in two parts; Part One is available now and Part Two will be available later during Lent.)
The Religious Sports Fan The Boundaries Blur; The Boundaries Clarify The Day Pitchers and Catchers Report / The First Day of Lent 17 February 2010
Indeed it is possible to hear “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” and
Allegri’s Miserere on the Same Day and
in the Same Life, just as it is possible to take oneself too seriously and not
seriously enough on the Same Day and in the Same Life. The golden mean may be,
we can hope, not so elusive as the perfectly pitched game and perfect pitch.
The Baseball Fan observes with great devotion the days of
the Baseball Season, both the lengthening and the shortening of days, and it
became the custom to prepare for Opening Day by a season of reflection and
prediction starting today as pitchers and catchers officially report for Spring
Training. This season provided a time for fresh Converts and seasoned Fans
alike to share with each other their allegiances and analyses so that
conversations and correspondence, whether appointed or joyously unexpected,
could begin with mutual understanding and awareness and end with keen and cool
understanding of the boundless outcomes of a round bat meeting with varying
force and direction a round ball.
Pray for our young men
and women who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, and for their families
… Adam J. Ray, 23; Adriana Alvarez, 20 ... for the fallen heroes also
of our coalition partners, and for the citizens of Iraq and Afghanistan
who have died, unnamed and unknown to us, and for those who mourn ...
and for an end to this endless war.
Finding information ... The Diobeth website and newSpin blog work hand in hand. If you can't find the info you seek at the website, please search at the newSpin blog. Thanks.
Fraudulent emails circulating concerning Haiti relief... Someone purporting to be Bishop Jean Zaché Duracin of Haiti is sending out fraudulent emails in his name, asking for financial donations. Please do not respond with funds unless you are absolutely certain that the sender is who he or she claims to be. At this time, the far safer way to support the people of Haiti is through Episcopal Relief & Development. It is sad that such times of great need often provide opportunities for deceitful persons to attempt to gain. [The Rev. Canon C. K. Robertson, Canon to the Presiding Bishop] Check the Haiti page of The Episcopal Church
for news, updates, resources, videos and important information as well as the Episcopal Relief and Development website.
The talented Gary Jones ... You may not have heard of Lower Saucon Township resident Gary Jones but if you've seen ''The Trip to Bountiful,'' ''The Talented Mr. Ripley'' or ''The Princess Diaries,'' you know his work. The Oscar-nominated costume designer has clothed everyone from Katharine Hepburn and Frank Sinatra to Sandra Bullock and Seth Rogen -- 60 movies over more than three decades. Read Saturday's Morning Call feature on Gary Jones, Hollywood costume designer and member of Grace Allentown.
Bountiful Blessings, representing the communities of faith in Montrose, has announced its annual program to provide a full Easter dinner for those in need in Susquehanna County.
Working with Interfaith and other area agencies, those individuals and families listed with the agencies will be eligible for a dinner basket that includes a 3 or 5-pound ham, vegetables, potatoes/macaroni and cheese, canned fruit, bread and dessert. The baskets will be distributed on Wednesday, March 31. This year there are plans for at least 700 dinner baskets. In order to better serve our neighbors, three distribution sites will be available: St. Paul’s Montrose, St. Mark’s, New Milford, and Christ Church, Forest City.
From the Lectionaries By Archdeacon Howard Stringfellow Year C, Last Epiphany Luke 9:28-36 (37-43a) 14 February 2010
The Lectionary (formerly known as the Revised Common Lectionary)
calls for the transfiguration Gospel on the Last Sunday after Epiphany from the
Synoptic Gospel associated with each of the years in the three-year cycle.
Year C has the Lucan version of the Transfiguration; Year A has the Matthean
version (Mt 17:1-9); and Year B has the Markan version (Mk 9:2-9).
The question that inevitably arises in my mind is whether or not
Jesus’ transfiguration predicts a transfiguration in us as we journey through
Lent toward Easter and the resurrection of Jesus? Does the transfiguration of
Jesus anticipate what happens to us in Lent, the “season of penitence and
fasting” that we observe “by self-examination and repentance; by prayer,
fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word” (The
Book of Common Prayer, page 265)?
The answer, I think, is yes, but the road of that transfiguration
is difficult and can require unusual steadiness along the way. And, looking
back, rather than forward, in the liturgical year, we can easily see how the
transfiguration of Jesus (a great theophany, perhaps the greatest except for
the resurrection) ends the Season of Epiphany, the season of manifestations of
Jesus and his identity of prophet, priest, king, healer, and savior.