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Showing posts from August, 2010

Valuable in God's Eyes

A reflection on the readings for Proper 17C: Psalm 81:1, 10-16, Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16, Luke 14:1, 7-14, St. James the Less, Northfield, IL

Some 27 years ago, when I was working in dance and theater, I had my first experience with sushi. During that time I worked for a small non-profit dance theater company in Chicago. I had colleagues from New York City who came to the theater several times a year for performances. Of course it was also common for us to go out after the show for a meal. On one of those trips we went to a local Sushi restaurant on Clark Street called, Happi Sushi. Now, I had never had sushi before, it was after all the early 1980’s and sushi was relatively new for this area, but I was willing to try it. I let my colleagues order the fish and then, with great enthusiasm, dove in.
As you know the required side dishes for proper sushi eating include: soy sauce for dipping the sushi, marinated ginger root for cleansing the palate between pieces of sushi, and this green gar…

Reading a book so I can write a book review...and other things on my schedule

Monday the RevGalsBlog posted this from which I offered to read the book "Reframing Hope" by Carol Howard Merritt and write a review.

Also, I am holding a number of follow-up conversations on the Words Matter conference in order to help organize what comes next.

This Sunday will be my final Sunday supplying at St. James the Less. I've enjoyed this congregation. I have one more supply gig in September but otherwise, except for one supply job in September, I have  a wide open calendar at this point...not something I like. (sigh)

So, a book to read and review, some conversations to have, and a sermon to write. That's my week. What about yours?

That Which Limits Us Is....

A reflection on the readings for Proper 16C: Hebrews 12:18-29 and Luke 13:10-17 (revised per comments below)...

Perhaps you heard the story on the news this week about Jane Lang, who with her Seeing Eye dog Clipper leading the way, walked to the Morris Plains, NJ train station Tuesday to travel to the Bronx for a Yankees game. Although she’s taken this route before, Tuesday was different, because members of the Yankees baseball team joined her.


Manager Joe Girardi, pitchers Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson, Chad Gaudin and former Yankee Tino Martinez met the 67-year-old Lang at her home as part of the team's HOPE Week. HOPE Week (Helping Others Persevere & Excel) is a unique week-long community program aimed at bringing to light five remarkable stories intended to inspire individuals into action in their own communities. Initiated in 2009, HOPE Week is rooted in the fundamental belief that acts of goodwill provide hope and encouragement to more than just the recipient of the …

Words Matter: NCC conversation in Chicago August 9-11 considered how we speak about each other and God

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Words Matter: by The Rev. Terri C. Pilarski


“For slightly less than half my life I was an intentionally de-churched person. Although the faith of my childhood had been a source of great comfort to me I also found that church to hold a very narrow view of God. My own prayer life suggested to me that God was much more expansive than the church was teaching me. And so while I left the institutional church when I was 15, not to return until I was 31, I never left my relationship with God, or at least I never left my pursuit of a life of faith. “

“A few years after I became de-churched, sometime around the year 1975, I found myself, and my college roommates on a pursuit for enlightenment. By the early 1980’s I’d wandered through a variety of new age pursuits, crystals and yoga, and meditation. One day, while meditating it occurred to me that I still celebrated Christmas and Easter. And not just in a social way, for the gifts and the parties, but in a sacred way. Christmas and Easter were,…

Love at Twenty Five

As I remember it was an oppressively hot day, with large puffy clouds, a pale blue sky and a steamy white sun. The train ride into Chicago early that morning for make up and hair and nails was filled with the excited laughter of a bride and her bridesmaids. Later that afternoon I walked, with one of my closest friends, to the church, a few blocks away. I think I carried my wedding dress. So many details lost to time and over ridden by other memories of excitement. I do remember dressing in the church and laughing a lot with my friends. We were having so much fun. I wore my mothers dress, a 1950's tea length, strapless lace dress with a lace jacket. What I loved most was the sleeves of the jacket ending in a point with a pearl tip, just past my wrist. It was beautiful. The women were dressed in coral colored dresses and the men in grey tuxes. I carried a bouquet of calla lilies. We had poetry and scripture and prayers and vows. A vow to love, honor, and cherish through sickness and…

Love at Twenty Five

Not Only Live In, But......

A reflection the readings for Proper15C: Hebrews 11:29-12:2 and Luke 12:49-56 – St. James the Less, Northfield, IL

This summer I have found a number of, perhaps “unusual” connecting points between the readings and ordinary life. For some reason the Gospel of Luke, along with a few other New Testament readings and a couple of Old Testament prophets have led me to think about things like making bread and baking pie. Now, you may wonder what bread making and pie baking have to do with faith and God, Jesus and discipleship? So, I suggest that at the very least we can consider the idea that God expresses God’s self in and through the ordinary events of daily life. We who have faith in God and follow Jesus, particularly as Episcopalians, understand this as “Incarnational.” The author, Kathleen Norris describes it as Quotidian, God and Jesus in the ordinary events and lives of human beings.


So, I’ve been thinking about God, Jesus, faith, and discipleship in bread making and pie baking. Take …

Things Uknown

A reflection on Proper 14C Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16 and Luke 12:32-40, St. John the Divine, Burlington, WI


Many of you have probably heard this old joke:

A scientist figured out how to clone humans out of cells and began to tell people that now there was no need for God. One day God spoke to the scientist and convinced the scientist to enter a contest with God. The idea was that each of them would create a human being from the dirt of the earth, just like we read about in scripture. Ah said the scientist no problem. The scientist then reached down to the ground and picked up a pile of dirt. Just then God intervened and said, But first you have to make your own dirt.”

Our reading today from Hebrews reminds us that faith is intangible,” faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”.. Faith is not something solid that we can put our hands on. Our faith in God, in Jesus, in the Holy Spirit, is founded on prayer and trust, on scripture and the teachings of the…