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The Deepest Identity

Posted by Heather, June 17, 2015

A couple of news stories have me thinking about identity. To be honest, I haven’t delved deep into either story but it has been hard to avoid surface-level stories about Caitlyn (formerly Bruce) Jenner or Rachel Dolezal (the NAACP local branch executive whose racial background is white but who identifies as black). These are people who have changed their outward identity dramatically. Both would say, I think, that they have tried to make their inward self-identity match with what the world now sees externally. Their quest to do this is not unique – I’m guessing that each one of us has tried to do that at one point or another. 

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Why talk about race and reconciliation?

Posted by Heather, April 8, 2015

Some of you know that I led, along with Chris Hamby, a reading and discussion group this Lent on race and reconciliation. Our sessions were grounded in a small book by Archbishop Desmond Tutu called In God's Hands. This was the Archbishop of Canterbury's Lent book for 2015. In this book, Abp. Tutu wove some stories from the struggle against apartheid in South Africa with reflections on various passages from the  Bible which tell the story of God's love for us.

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An Awkward Conversation

Posted by Jason, March 13, 2015

I recently attended a house party as the guest of a friend. I didn’t know anyone at the party other than the friend who took me. At one point, my friend went to find the bathroom, and I was hovering around the edge of the room when a guy approached and introduced himself to me. Within no time, the standard Washington DC introductory question was asked, “What do you do?” Now, a good friend and colleague of mine once told me that he tells people that he’s an electrician when someone asks because it doesn’t usually involve any follow-up questions. That being said, I was honest and said that I was the musician for an Episcopal church.

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Sing your song! #MakeItHappen

Posted by Heather, March 11, 2015

What a wonderful celebration we had on Sunday for International Woman’s Day! There was powerful and challenging preaching by parishioner Pauline Muchina and the singing of familiar and new hymns written by women at the 10:00 a.m. worship service. At the international marketplace that followed, organized along with our partners at Empowered Women International, we were enriched, cheered, and challenged by the singing poetry of Anna Mwalago and the sharing of stories of the other women entrepreneurs. Across the day, we moved from strength to strength and from joy to joy.

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The Words of Dr. King

Posted by Heather, January 28, 2015

Just over a week ago, on the federal holiday for Martin Luther King, Jr’s birthday, Christ Church was open for a feast of words. We held a day of readings from the works of Dr. King. From noon until 7:00 p.m., sermons and speeches by Dr. King were read by a variety of people from the church and the community. Over fifty people, in addition to the 16 readers who had signed up in advance, came to listen, with some being moved to join in the readings and one gentleman offering song to enrich the day.

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Epiphany

Posted by John, January 14, 2015

‘Tis the time of Epiphany when we of the church are called to “show forth” or “demonstrate” the faith that is in us. The news of Jesus' birth has been revealed first to the shepherds "who proclaimed all that they had seen and heard" to those who would listen, and then to the Wise Ones who traveled such a great distance from the East to see this newborn King for themselves.

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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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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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Prayer for the New Day

Posted by Heather, September 4, 2014

It was back to school this week for my daughters. They continue their journey through elementary school with its own joys and struggles. We’ve been having a variety of pep talks in the past week – getting the brain ready to be back at school, staying on task, being open to friends old and new – as well as reminders to be kind, to care for others, to embody our family’s values, and to live out their lives as Christians even in the school environment.

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Make a note

Posted by Pierce, July 30, 2014

During most of the forty years of being a priest, I tried to make regular use of a local library. I know my congregations wanted fresh and insightful thinking and they could always tell when I was not reading what they were reading. Having so many publicly used books at my disposal made me aware that people have this tendency to make notes in the margins, underline in yellow marker or fold the corner of the page to mark where they left off till they opened the book again. Some complain that defacing a library book is a misdemeanor for other patrons. I can remember my teachers in elementary school scolded us for such practices since the textbooks were used by succeeding classes. Before summer vacation, teachers kept us captive until we had erased all of the marks from our books with the remaining stubs of our pink erasers. But what is reprehensible in one context can be beneficial in another.

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