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Alleluia

Posted by Ann, October 2, 2013

Since I am so depressed about the US Government shutdown and outraged at the stubbornness and selfishness of our elected leaders, I am trying to think of other things that make me happy or that reassure me that things are going to be OK. Here are four of them:

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Freedom from Fear

Posted by Heather, September 25, 2013

As I was preparing to preach at our Wednesday Eucharist on September 11th, I kept being drawn back to memories from high school history classes about President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s State of the Union address from January 6, 1941. This speech, given before the United States had been attacked at Pearl Harbor but after we had heard the stories of atrocities against Jews and seen the fighting that was happening in Europe, was preparing the country for the possibility and necessity of engaging in the war. At the end of the speech, President Roosevelt refers to four essential human freedoms – this is the part that sticks in the back of my mind. He wrote this:

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Friend or foe?

Posted by Pierce, September 18, 2013

Is this something everybody knows and I’m just beginning to notice? We hear a lot about the United States’ political gridlock, and when I get close enough to our legislators to have more than a thirty second sound bite, all of them agree that what distinguishes the current political climate from the recent past is the total breakdown of friendships across the aisle. Moreover, together they are becoming rigid about their ideologies on both the left and the right.

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Reflections on the March on Washington

Posted by Ann, August 9, 2013

The August I turned six, my parents walked in the March on Washington. I didn’t understand why it was so important that my parents go to Washington to be part of the March, but I sensed the heightened anxiety around it. Theirs and mine. They were concerned enough about their safety that new wills were drawn up so that if anything happened to them, we would be raised by my Aunt Alice. That was a scary prospect. While they were gone, my brother and I stayed with her. She was cool and aloof, not particularly mother-y even though she had several children of her own.

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Conversation and Listening

Posted by Heather, July 31, 2013

I have been thinking about a pair of youth, brothers, who were in the first congregation where I served. That church had a bit of racial and ethnic diversity, similar to Christ Church, but was fairly white. These teenage boys were born in the US with parents from Nigeria. At that time, there was a lot of concern about racial profiling in the northern suburbs of Chicago where the congregation was. The elder of the brothers, and the more talkative of the two, had some surgery and so I had a chance to have some longer conversations with him while I and one of the youth group leaders visited him in the hospital.

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Consumer or Servant?

Posted by Pierce, July 24, 2013

We have all been reading in national journals about the waning fortunes of mainline churches. These articles describe, it seems, with pundit glee how Episcopalians and their Presbyterian, Methodist, United Church of Christ, Catholic and now even Baptist peers are losing their potency on the American scene. Evangelical journals suggest that it is the adoption of progressive political views that have caused the decline.

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Spiritual Writing

Posted by Ann, July 11, 2013

I am getting on a plane in a few hours to attend a workshop on spiritual writing. The workshop is called Deepening Words. Twelve of us were accepted after submitting 3500 words of writing. Some of you know I have long desired to write the book of my story from Hollywood to priesthood and haven’t been sure how to get started. Or maybe even how to claim it. Or frame it. I have always been a writer of sorts.

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Legacies

Posted by Ann, June 12, 2013

Next weekend, my husband, Jeff, and I will fly to Maine for a family celebration of my Uncle Stuart’s 100th birthday. He is the second of my dad’s brothers to reach the century mark. We celebrated my Uncle Hazard’s 100th birthday three summers ago in New York City. Hazard died about six months later. He had trouble seeing, but he was still spending a few hours in his office on Wall St. every day until two weeks before he died.

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Take a Pause

Posted by Heather, June 5, 2013

We’ve had a dog, Midnight, for nearly a year now. While I can’t say that I always enjoy taking her for a walk, lately it has been a delight. For me, these dog walks are a chance to just be and to pay attention. We walk the same path most of the time. I don’t listen to music and I try to not talk on the phone. Earlier this week I saw my first lightning bug (firefly) of the season – exclaiming “Oooh, a lightning bug!” out loud for no one except Midnight to hear. There are small moments of seeing God’s love and wonder in creation on those walks, as long as I remember to pause and be present where I am.

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Just Ask ...

Posted by Heather, May 9, 2013

I have been away for the past few days at Shrine Mont, the camp and conference center for the Diocese of Virginia. Twice a year the bishops of the Diocese of Virginia invite the clergy to pause from day to day life and take time together. The spring conference is always open to lay staff at churches, as well as spouses, partners, and (preschool) children of clergy and lay staff. Five of us from Christ Church went to the spring conference, which is part conference and part R&R.

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