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Dwelling Places

Posted by Jason, August 8, 2012

I have just returned from a wonderful week at the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) summer course in Newport, Rhode Island. Every year, the RSCM sponsors several camps in different locations around the country. It’s a week of intensive singing and preparation for services. The Newport course was amazingly successful. With over 100 participants (mostly children – treble voices), the sound was thrilling and finely polished. It was a delight to have some of our own choristers present and participating.

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Summertime and the music is easy: Not!

Posted by Ann, August 2, 2012

Have you ever had the feeling of complete stimulation, creative challenge, and deep exhaustion, all while operating at the edges of your comfort zone? That is how I spent the week last week. I have just returned from teaching and leading worship at the Mississippi Conference on Church Music and Liturgy. The Mississippi Conference, in its 37th year, is designed primarily to support church musicians in smaller parishes, to expose them to new music, to feed their souls and to charge them up for another year of parish ministry. Every year they invite a clergy person and two renowned musicians to be the faculty. Together we decided on a theme in January and planned the music. Our theme was looking at the sometimes fraught relationships between clergy and church musicians.

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Pay Attention to Signals

Posted by Pierce, July 26, 2012

You might have read the story of James E. Holmes appearing in court for the first time after the mass shootings in Aurora, CO. Everyone writing about it made it clear that the families of the victims were present. In a way, most of us were present through them too. We all want answers. We all want justice. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, as they say.

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Sabbath Time

Posted by Heather, July 25, 2012

A more reasonable person would have already written their blog post before going on vacation. But this still reasonable person was busy at full tilt before going away on vacation, and so this did not get done until on vacation. My husband and I have tried really hard to be fully on vacation and to not be working at work things. Like many of you, both of us have work that does not stay neatly in the 9 to 5 work world (or even in the 8 to 6 work world!). So, when we can really be away, it is good for all of us -- each of us as individuals, the two of us as a couple and as parents, and the four of us as a family.

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Opinions on our Church

Posted by Ann, July 23, 2012

Since General Convention, the Episcopal Church has been taking quite a beating on op-ed pages and in the blogosphere. I was particularly incensed by Ross Douthat’s (Washington Post, Sunday, July 15) suggestion that we are losing numbers because of our liberal tendencies and lack of theology.

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2012 Olympics

Posted by Pierce, July 18, 2012

Many of us are glued to the television watching the pre-trials for the Olympics in anticipation of the day when the torch reaches London. Contrary to its origin, the Olympic games have become rites of national pride vetting one country against another with the occasional excitement of a Cinderella country that produces an unexpected champion. Obsessive tabulation of each country’s medal count is a reminder that these games serve political purposes.

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The Advantages of a Regular Routine

Posted by Jason, July 11, 2012

I'll be honest -- I often have wondered if I didn't work for a church, would I go to church regularly? I'd like to think I would, but I can't really be certain. It doesn't mean I have doubts about my beliefs, rather, I'm just not sure how active I'd be on Sunday mornings.

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The Busy Trap

Posted by Ann, July 3, 2012

OK, I am completely convicted by the Sunday, July 1, NY Times op-ed piece by Time Kreider called The Busy Trap. Just that morning at church, I had twice responded to a parishioner’s question, How are you?, with not one but two of his “default responses:” I had answered, “Crazy busy,” to one and “exhausted,” to the other. Even now, as I reread the article, my mind is throwing up all kinds of excuses like: “ A priest’s work is never done.” Or the defense: “But it’s really true!”

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God’s eye is on the guinea pig, as well as the sparrow

Posted by Heather, June 29, 2012

We have had a fair amount of extra drama in our house this week. After about a year and a third of delay for various reasons, we adopted a dog on Sunday afternoon. Midnight is her name and she is about five years old. My husband and girls are really excited and I’m coming along. (I think I have a sense of the work that a dog requires and a healthy fear that I will become the primary caregiver for the dog. But I am excited too.) We have had a guinea pig, Bella, for six months now. She was our starter pet, in a way, to make sure that everyone would participate in the care for a pet, even the not so fun care such as cleaning a cage.

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Vocation

Posted by Pierce, June 20, 2012

I was at breakfast the other day with a friend who described how she was having a midlife crisis. She had discovered that she was probably in the wrong line of work, had chosen the wrong husband, and throughout most of her life, had let other people make decisions for her. This is not an unusual story. She wanted to make her next move with discernment and care, to make the most of what is left of her life, her gifts and energies. So we talked. We didn’t come up with any answers at breakfast, but I know she is laying the groundwork for her next steps.

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