July 2017 Convocation Newsletter
In the reading from Corinthians we heard, Paul sums up life in holy community as restoring order and living in peace – do this, he says, and you will find the holy one in your midst. The Diné call that ho’zho’, walking in beauty – the holy balance of right and fitting relationship, being at one with all of creation. The feast of Trinity we mark this weekend is about divine ho’zho’, the unity of God and the relational reality of God’s own being. For human beings, ho’zho’ is becoming part of that divine and creative balance. Throughout human history, communities have designated some of their members to encourage others to live in ways of peace, order, harmony, truth, and beauty.
[TEDxLSE] Writer and pilgrim Adam Weymouth reflects on the remarkable hospitality he encountered during an eight month walk taken from his home in Wiltshire, England to Istanbul. In the Bible, he says, 'the word often translated as "hospitality" is the Greek philoxenia, a love of strangers. And this goes both ways, for in a hospitable relationship each is a stranger unto the other – it is about recognising both the other within oneself, and oneself in the other.' 'We can never know where the act of hospitality will lead us. We would do well to open our doors more often.'
Yesterday I went for an afternoon run. Not only is the exercise good for my body and mind, but it is also a chance to connect to the unique features of the city. My “go-to” run usually involves a jog down Via Nazionale which then puts me at the edge of the architectural relics of Rome. Trajan’s column gives way to Piazza Venezia, and its dominating Vittoriano monument. A quick stair sprint up the steps of the Campidoglio has me thinking of Marcus Aurelius and Michelangelo...
It is a great pleasure and privilege to be here today at the Church of the Ascension in Munich, one of the crown jewels of the Episcopal Churches in Europe. It wonderful thing, in particular, to confirm these six excellent young people and to watch them as they make their profession of faith, accepting their vows of baptism on their own behalf, and sending them forth in the power of the Holy Spirit to love and to serve God, and people for the rest of their lives.
The invisibility of wind - the ordinary insubstantiality of air - is contrasted to its ability to affect and change the environment. It bends trees, shapes landscape and casts the water up into waves. Jesus used the image once to good effect with Nicodemus. The wind has its own origins. It rises unbidden. It changes direction. It blows where it will.
A group of about fifteen pilgrims visited several sites of particular interest concerning the lives of Francis and Clare and reflected daily on the theme of Franciscan spirituality. The group was drawn from several churches of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe as well as Episcopal dioceses in the United States and the Church of England. “Pilgrimage is as much about the inner journey as it is the outer one,” commented Fr Mark Barwick...
[Christ Church, Greenwich, CT] "And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and fellowship, the breaking of bread, and the prayers." Anyone who has attended an Episcopal Church, whether here or in Italy or in Taiwan, recognizes this quote from the Book of Acts. In the liturgy for Baptism, it appears right after the Apostles' Creed in what is called "the Baptismal Covenant." This Covenant is practically unique to our Church — though the Church of England added it as an option in their new rite of Baptism found in Common Worship. We repeat it at every Baptism and Confirmation, as well.
The imagery of sheep and shepherds would not have been lost on those who first heard these words of Jesus. Not only was it a common figure of speech in the Hebrew scriptures - there were also a lot of sheep around. The way that sheep and shepherds relate to one another is indeed an appropriate comparison to make with the relationship that Christ has with his people. There is, in fact, a close bond that is shared between sheep and their human caretakers. You may know that in many parts of the world, where sheep are an important part…
As more abductions of schoolgirls occurred today in Nigeria, I call upon our congregations in Europe and all people of good faith to pray for the recovery safe and sound of all these children, for their families who are suffering terribly, and for the leaders of Nigeria and the world to act swiftly and effectively to secure their rapid return home.