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The Christ in Christ Church

Posted by Ann, December 19, 2012

Is there anything else to be said about the unspeakable tragedy of Newtown last Friday? I continue to be surprised by my own emotions of fear and anger and deep, heavy sadness. One minute I am fine.

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One Glorious Ratatouille

Posted by Ann, November 21, 2012

In Last Sunday’s NY Times Review section, there was a wry piece by Anne Lamott. She has always been one of my favorite nonfiction writers. Her humility and humor as she searches for meaning and faith have always been an irresistible combination for me. (She currently has a new book out on prayer called Help. Thanks. Wow.)

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Two priests went into a bar...

Posted by Ann, October 24, 2012

Recently, I spent a week in Ireland to celebrate my husband’s 60th birthday. One night we found ourselves in a postage stamp of a pub in a tiny town in county Limerick.

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Re-Leaf

Posted by Ann, September 26, 2012

These glorious, cooler first days of fall always feel like such a relief. A re-leaf! I always feel energized as the season begins. It’s wonderful to sleep with the windows open again and have the crisp air filling your lungs as you awaken.

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Winnie Varghese’s Article, Take Two

Posted by Ann, August 29, 2012

At the end of July, I wrote a blog that featured an essay about the Episcopal Church written by the Rev. Winnie Varghese. In the barrage of disparaging opinion pieces that proliferated following General Convention, I found Varghese’s words to articulate an accurate and affirming picture of the Episcopal Church that I know and love. In one paragraph however, she quotes Bobby Castle who says in essence the ones who disagree with the direction the church is moving and have left “are the ones that should go.”

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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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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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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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The God of the Old Testament

Posted by Ann, June 3, 2012

Day nine of the Bible Challenge. I keep worrying that people are freaking out when they actually read Genesis. Several times I have heard good church-going Episcopalians say, “I don’t like the God of the Old Testament.” And it’s easy to see why. Asking Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Bargaining with Abraham about how many people of Sodom he will allow to live. Then there are the people of the Old Testament. How can such a holy book contain so many morally questionable and reprehensible stories as Abram telling Pharoah’s people that Sarai is his sister, so Pharoah can sleep with her and then deal kindly with Abram. Or Sarai suggesting that Abram sleep with Hagar to produce an heir, but then after Sarah bears her own son, casts out Hagar and Ishmael to the outer darkness. What about Lot’s daughters getting their father drunk to sleep with him so there will be descendants? Yuck! Or circumcising adult males for that matter? Ouch! I cringe as I read that and we’re not even half way through Genesis. I have to remind myself that this holy book has shaped faith communities for centuries, that humans have always been well… corruptible and troubled. That the God of the Old Testament loves us anyway, craves to stay in our lives when we go wandering and philandering. The God of the Old Testament creates a covenant with us and doesn’t give up on us even when we break the covenant. That sounds like a holy book.

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Just Talk!

Posted by Ann, February 11, 2012

Just finished reading the in-depth and very disturbing piece in the February 6 New Yorker, The Story of a Suicide by Ian Parker. It provides much background to the suicide of Tyler Clementi, the young Rutgers freshman who jumped off the George Washington Bridge in October of 2010, after his roommate posted images online of a romantic encounter with another man. Of course it reveals much more nuance than Clementi was outed and was the victim of a hate crime. But the most astonishing thing we learn is that the two roommates barely spoke to one another.

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