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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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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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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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The Word is Near You

Posted by Ann, August 13, 2014

While you all were worshipping at Christ Church in Alexandria on Sunday, I was celebrating the Eucharist at Christ Church in Bethel, Vermont. This is the church my parents attend in the summer, and my dad, a retired Episcopal priest, often helps them out by taking the Sunday services. Once a summer, they get the Gillespie tag-team – I am invited to celebrate while my dad preaches.

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Women in the News

Posted by Ann, July 16, 2014

Finally, some good news about women! On Monday, the Church of England finally voted to ordain women as bishops. 25 years after the Episcopal Church ordained Barbara Harris as the first female bishop in the US, history was made in England today. England appoints their bishops, whereas we elect them, but some women may be appointed as soon as 2015.

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The hands of a priest

Posted by Ann, June 11, 2014

At 10:20 this morning, my hands touched the tender, porcelain skin of a 2-week-old girl as I held her and blessed her and nibbled on her impossibly perfect toes. At 11:20, my hands held the fine, chalky yet granular ashes of a 93-year-old man as I sprinkled them into the hole in the ground in the churchyard. The tell-tale sign of white finger prints grace the cover of my Book of Common Prayer. 

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The Voice You've Been Waiting For

Posted by Ann, May 14, 2014

One of the goals in our Strategic Plan is personal accountability. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but a high percentage of my recent sermons have ended with the question, “What are you going to do about it?” So, this morning I’m telling you the ending right up front. And you can be listening, all the way through, for exactly what I am going to ask you to do.

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Navigating Change

Posted by Ann, May 7, 2014

Yes, change can be hard. But what if each of us adopted the attitude that change is in our best interest? Because change is coming whether we like it or not. We have the choice to embrace it or fight it. 

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Not Your Sunday School Noah

Posted by Ann, April 2, 2014

I saw the new movie Noah yesterday. And all it did was make me want to run and read my bible. I had seen the previews and knew that I was not about to see a literalist interpretation of the flood story in Genesis, but I think I was expecting to see more of God in it. Among the several artistic license additions to the story were some wild rock creatures that looked like ancient transformers who were fallen angels trapped in encrusted earth. They ultimately became Noah’s defenders (and they were mighty helpful building the ark), but ultimately they were destroyed and the angels were returned to God. These visual effects were wonderful, but did they enhance the story? Only for international sales perhaps. Once on the ark, Noah tells the story of creation to his family and there again, the evolutionary visuals are stunning. Likewise the flood is pretty impressive, but it is a relatively small part of the film. Noah is too busy being superhero, fighting off the wicked humans he encounters.

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Ash Wednesday 2014

Posted by Ann, March 7, 2014

One of the greatest gifts to me as a priest is the privilege to spend time with people as they are dying. To listen to their final thoughts and prayers, sometimes coherent, sometimes not. To match my own breathing with theirs. To hold hands with family and friends around the bed, to anoint with oil the forehead of someone right on the edge, to kiss the cheek of someone who has just passed over. It is as if I have one foot in this world and another in the next. And it always feels hallowed and beautiful.

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