July 2017 Convocation Newsletter

June 2017 Convocation Newsletter

April 2017 Convocation Newsletter

March 2017 Convocation Newsletter

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.

Easter IV

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.

Most people know the story of the Road to Emmaus. Here in France there is a homeless ministry called Emmaus, and its founder, Abbé Pierre, was considered the most popular man in the country. So much for secular France…One of the attractions of today's gospel story is that Luke uses a favorite literary device of mystery novels and films. We know it’s Jesus walking with Cleopas and What’s-His-Name, but they don’t.

I didn't pay a lot of attention to St. Thomas, a.k.a., Didymus or the Twin, a.k.a., “doubting”, until I was ordained to the priesthood on his feast day, December 21, twenty-nine years ago. After my trip to Iraq just before the war, and later, as we helped to provide asylum for 1300 Iraqis threatened with death for reasons of their faith, I got to know a lot more about Thomas. The story goes that he went to the east, where he founded churches, including the Chaldean Church in what is now Iraq, and the Mar Thoma Church in India. Thomas is said to...

Eastertide often seems to get short shrift. This time of celebration for the new life granted through Jesus’ resurrection gets about a day of devotion. In many ways, Lent is an easier season to observe than Easter. For many of us, and particularly for clergy families, Holy Week is a marathon of services. As always, the time is amazing, experiencing the passion and resurrection, but come Monday, I’m exhausted. I wonder then, how I can take the joy from Easter Day and let it fuel me through the fifty days of Easter?

Easter 2014, The Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity. We have come to the culmination of what the Church calls “Holy Week,” which is actually the beginning of a second week, “Easter Week.” We have reenacted in real time the betrayal, death, and entombment of Jesus. Perhaps you were able to be with us as all of us helped strip the altar down to the bare wood on Thursday night, or Friday when we prayed in the shadow of death that Christ would put his cross between us and judgment. Or last night...

More and more Christians today, as well as Christian leaders and mystics throughout the last 2000 years, see Earth as one part of God's body. The Psalmist matter-of-factly reminds us that everything belongs to God, simply stating "The Earth is the Lord's” (Psalm 24:1). Put alternatively, none of what we have is ours; all of life is a gift. Author Walter Brueggemann has said that Jubilee justice is "finding out what belongs to whom and giving it back." Of course, to give it back we have to open our fists, release our grip on the gift.

Most of us move through Holy Week reflecting upon the final days of Jesus, his death, and incredible resurrection. But for the few, prayers also beseech toners to stay full, rollers to track the paper, and jams to stay the stuff of Smuckers. Church secretaries and volunteers have to prepare and copy about a gazillion extra bulletins this week. In addition, there are Easter lilies to order, Altar Guilds to organize, and priests to manage. For church staffs, Holy Week is tough.

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