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Dear Pierce

Posted by Jason, November 12, 2014

Dear Pierce,

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Beware of the manipulation of fear!

Posted by Ann, November 5, 2014

Someone posted a funny picture on Facebook last week of a sincere man looking at the camera. The caption says: “I just need to see a few more political ads before I can make my decision.” And then underneath it says: “This never happened.” No matter what side you’re on, I feel it safe to say that we are all grateful that election day brings an end to the political ads which are voluminous, misleading, and often a gross manipulation of fear.

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Of casseroles and care

Posted by Heather, October 29, 2014

My family and especially my mother-in-law have been the recipients of care in these past few weeks. With my father-in-law’s rapid decline across this month and his death last week, she and we have received representations of care and love in the form of cards, calls, casseroles and soups, flowers, plants, and hugs. For a church community, these are expressions of care for another member of the congregational family, as well as a way of living out biblical calls to care for the orphan and the widow. The person or people receiving the care are invited to be vulnerable in a good way – to be open to receiving the offered care.

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What's your path?

Posted by Pierce, October 22, 2014

I recently read an interview with English filmmaker and actor David Suchet. He spoke about growing up without religion but, to his surprise, became a Christian in 1986 at the age of 40 after reading Romans 8 in a hotel Bible. He later produced a documentary on St. Paul for the BBC. This is what he had to say about his conversion: “I‘ve always felt there must be something better than what we have here. And that certainly, for me, has never been found in a humanistic philosophy. I’m not impressed with us as human beings, with what we’re doing to the planet and each other.  We’re a pretty cruel animal.”

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Sing to the Lord a new song!

Posted by Jason, October 15, 2014

This past Sunday, we sang two hymns by Richard Dirksen who for many years served as Canon Precentor at Washington National Cathedral. Even though the hymns are in The Hymnal 1982 and have been around for nearly 40 years, I suspect most people would still consider them to be “new.” Although, I’m 40 and people long ago stopped referring to me as “new.”

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Leap of Faith

Posted by Ann, October 8, 2014

I am sitting on a plane returning from a trip to Los Angeles. The occasion for the trip was the wedding of the oldest daughter of some of our closest friends. My husband and I met them 30 years ago when they were pregnant with the child who just got married. We were married the following year. As couple friends, we have walked together through the birth of five children - their three, our two - a miscarriage for each of us, periods of unemployment and career changes, and serious challenges to each of our marriages. Both marriages have somehow remained intact and seem stronger now than ever. Both couples have relocated to the east coast in the last ten years and this weekend we all reconvened on the west coast for the marriage of their daughter.

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On death, dying, and gratitude

Posted by Heather, October 1, 2014

I write this from my in-laws home as we wait for my father-in-law to pass away. After a long life well lived and a fairly slow-moving illness, he is ready to die and have the feeling of peace he has be made complete. Bob is a man of deep faith -- he grew up the son of a Lutheran pastor and God and his relationship with God has been central to his life. He left the corporate track after a couple of decades in order to teach business at a Christian college and shape students who would live lives of faith and ethics, not just seeking profit at any cost. He called those students Christian Tigers -- business leaders who would still seek to achieve many things but do it with a sense of the greater good and living in Christ-like ways.

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Look up from your phone

Posted by Pierce, September 23, 2014

As social media becomes epidemic, one concern I hear repeatedly is the fear that we are abandoning an essential piece of our humanity as everyday experience becomes ever more virtual. I actually overheard someone say, “Why bother talking to anyone when you can text them a message!” Reliance on digital devices is accelerating and one wonders about the implications of a virtual world overwhelming our contact and learning from the actual physical universe. We have been “created from dust” but unto digital devices shall we return? As we lose touch with each other and diminish our presence to God’s glorious creation, aside from what we can squeeze out of it while on vacation, do we risk the hazards of artificial relationships that seem to have no limits of forever demanding us to be online?

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Death do us part

Posted by Jason, September 17, 2014

Over the past several months, I’ve played for a number of non-Episcopal funerals at off-site locations. I’m always willing to play for these extra services, and my student loan debt appreciates the help. At the most recent one, I seemed to have been the only one involved with the service who had any concern for order and planning. At times, I wanted to just yell out, “Let’s just get out the Book of Common Prayer and go with it!”

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Art Inspiring Friends Inspiring Art

Posted by Ann, September 10, 2014

A few weeks ago, I gave myself the visual treat of taking in the Mary Cassatt/ Edgar Degas exhibit at the National Gallery, there through October 5. The paintings are gorgeous and to see the way these artists speak to one another, fostered by their artistic friendship was fascinating. I highly recommend the $5 audio tour.

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