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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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A Feast in Lent

Posted by Heather, March 26, 2014

Today is the Feast of the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary. It is one of those feast days that often falls in the midst of Lent. The contrast between the Annunciation, which is a story we hear annually in Advent as we prepare to celebrate Jesus’ birth, and the season of Lent, when we prepare for Jesus’ crucifixion, might seem odd. Yet it is only in the light of the mystery of the Incarnation that we can understand the mystery of Jesus’ death on the cross – that God became fully human to live the life we live, to share our sorrows and joys, and to pour out Love upon Love for us. The Easter mystery of the Jesus’ Resurrection deepens the Christmas story and moves us beyond the cute, little baby Jesus to see the Savior of the World.

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Bounty of Hunger

Posted by Pierce, March 19, 2014

This year we are focusing on hunger. Inspired by our youth, each of us has been invited to take responsibility for alleviating hunger and malnutrition. One practice offered was to live on a food stamp budget for a period of time. Fasting from food can be a grace of identification with so many in the world who have little choice about when and what to eat. When I eat on a food stamp allocation, I am brought into greater solidarity with those who have little to eat and I am more passionate about its injustice. Other benefits of fasting let us experience other spiritual yearnings such as longing, thirsting and desiring.

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Turning down the radio

Posted by Jason, March 12, 2014

I usually spend most of my Lent trying to decide what my Lenten discipline is going to be. Often I will arrive at Easter still undecided. This comes as no surprise to most people who know me – I only recently decided what my New Year’s resolution would be for 2012.

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Before and After: Sermon from March 9

Posted by Pierce, March 11, 2014

One of the enduring methods of advertising is to show pictures and watch testimonials, the before and after, of people whose lives have been dramatically improved using their remarkable products or services. Most are temptations for a makeover—to lure you into some cosmetic alteration so you will be more attractive, influential or commanding. Whether by suction on the one hand, or enhancement on the other, you are guaranteed to improve your beauty or success. Take this supplement or attend our training and you can be transfigured into a marvel of irresistible good looks and stature. Before and after.

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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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Eat that Frog

Posted by Mary Beth, March 5, 2014

Saturday marked 6 months since Chris and I got married. It’s common knowledge that after any newlywed couple gets home from their honeymoon they are faced with writing thank you notes for all the generous wedding gifts they received.

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The Ashes To Go Experience

Posted by Heather, February 15, 2013

My first interest in Ashes to Go was because I knew the priest, the Rev. Emily Mellot, who was developing the program. She was from the Diocese of Chicago and was a student at Church Divinity School of the Pacific when David was on faculty there. I figured that if Emily was doing it, it was worth a second look. Then while we were attending St. George’s in Arlington, before I came on staff here at Christ Church, I suggested it to the rector there. St. George’s is one very short block away from the Virginia stop on the Orange line. They did not do it that year, but in 2012 St. George’s had a team at their metro stop. Their experience was great and some who encountered the Ashes to Go team at the metro joined them for the full Ash Wednesday worship experience that evening. Based on their experience and our interest at Christ Church to be more visible out in the community (beyond our fence banners!), it seemed that 2013 was the year for us to offer Ashes to Go.

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Reality in Psalms

Posted by Jason, May 17, 2012

During Lent, I found myself noticing particular phrases in the Psalms that I had not previously seen. Then, as we went through Holy Week, the Psalms again seemed to be standing out to me. I was struck at how real, and human, the Psalms are. It is as if all of the emotions of the human condition can be found in the Psalms. And, they’re real emotions that I can easily relate to – not only joy, hope, and praise, but despair, hurt, and disappointment. 

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Lenten Blog: Christian Practices

Posted by Pierce, March 2, 2012

Last week, I had coffee with a neighbor of mine who is a devout Muslim. He was asking me questions about the faith of an Episcopalian. Mind you, I was talking to someone who practices his faith. He, just like most Muslims, prays five times a day at certain hours, he reads his sacred scripture frequently, attends services weekly, and gives away 20 percent of his income to charitable causes. I remember an Islamic (Christian) scholar once telling me, “everything you think about Muslim life is inaccurate.” My neighbor reminded me of these misconceptions in our conversation about his faith. When he asked about Episcopalians’ prayer life and what I knew about it, I told him most people tell me they pray when they are in the car or during a crisis, sometimes grace at meals and I know a few who actually get down on their knees before bed at night. When I finished my outline describing the practices of Episcopalians, I felt a dagger enter my heart when he observed: “Episcopalians seem to live like atheists.” 

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