July 2017 Convocation Newsletter
Today is one of the great feasts of the Church, the feast of the Transfiguration. It is such a great feast that we celebrate it twice in the church year -- a second time in August. But the last Sunday in Epiphany is always the feast of the Transfiguration. It is about this extraordinary story that we have just read in Mark’s version of the Gospel. Jesus takes the three disciples who are closest to him and takes them up on a high mountain where something happens. Jesus ‘morphs’ in front of them. Rather, we use the word ‘transfiguration’ which is the Latin translation of the Greek word which is metamorphosis. And what does Jesus become?
Partnerships and investment, especially in supporting faith-based grassroots work, hold the key to lasting peace in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, a United States interfaith delegation heard repeatedly from religious leaders with whom they met during a Jan. 18-26 pilgrimage in the Holy Land. The 15-member delegation of Jews, Christians and Muslims from the U.S. found this prevailing message in all their conversations, whether with rabbis, kadis (Islamic judges), priests or bishops.
St. George's Cathedral Jerusalem. I am here as part of an interfaith pilgrimage, with a group from the U.S. composed of Jews, Muslims, and Episcopalians. We are here to meet God in one another and in the midst of the Abrahamic traditions we share. We have spent the last week in conversation with people who are working to build bridges and make peace. We have remembered that the work requires vulnerability, and a willingness to make space where God might enter and make peace in us and in the world around us. Listening deeply to the story another person tells is an essential and holy way of opening that space. What does that require of us?
La vidéo de l'attaque contre Charlie Hebdo montre l'image la plus choquante de cet abject attentat: l'exécution à bout portant du policier Ahmed Merabet. Le monde entier l'a visionnée. Touché par une balle, l'agent Merabet tombe par terre. Un des assaillants court vers lui, exprès. Merabet soulève un bras, on peut l'imaginer dire "non". Mais son meurtrier n'a aucune pitié et lui tire froidement une balle dans la tête. Et les deux lâches retournent à leur véhicule en se félicitant de leurs actes immondes.
[PARIS] 7 January 2015 - As spontaneous gatherings of solidarity with the victims are happening in dozens of cities across France even as I pen these words, it should be clear to all that this attempt to divide and intimidate people has failed. Certainly, the revue Charlie Hebdo is adept at satirizing religion, including my own. It also routinely makes fun of all sorts of other subjects and people. This is their right. Freedom of expression is the only guarantor of liberty, including the freedom of worship.
[Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Paris] Those of us who remember the old Latin Mass know that it always ended with the reading of the opening of John’s Gospel: In principio erat Verbum… The priest who could rattle it off the fastest and get us out was always the favorite. And yet, this text of all texts deserves to be taken slowly, like reciting a great poem by John Donne, savoring a 100-year-old cognac, gazing at a Cézanne. “In the beginning was the Word… and the Word dwelt among us…”
Christmas 2014, The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity. We get “joyous” from “joyeux.” The English say “happy” Christmas, Americans have kept that lovely word “merry” alive. “Noël” is a mysterious word, not Latin or Greek or even Hebrew in origin. Originally it was a cheer when the king visited or the queen gave birth or French arms won a victory. Hooray for the newborn Prince of Peace! Joyeux Noël is also the name of a film that came out nine years ago. It depicts an event that happened exactly one hundred years ago tonight. On Christmas in 1914, French, British and German troops declared a truce in order to celebrate Christmas together...
The ministry of Bishops Against Gun Violence in The Episcopal Church is not confined to America. Firearm use in murders is widespread, and we all must respond to it. The shocking murder of the sister of the Bishop of Honduras, Natalie Lloyd, among other cases, proves this. The popular image abroad of the United States is that we are the land of the cowboy gunslinger. The high rate of homicides and suicides by gun, the increasing incidents of school shootings since Columbine, the worldwide publicity surrounding the Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown cases, and news stories of American parents starting children as young as three with real firearms, all contribute to this unflattering stereotype.
Sunday we were blessed by the presence of Father Bernard Kinvi in our midst. He referred to the above Gospel text as God's formula for Love. Indeed, his words both during his sermon at our 10am service and during the later informal dialogue in the Parish Hall were an inspiration to enlighten “the eyes of our hearts”. Father Kinvi is a Roman Catholic priest of the Camillian Order. Immediately after his ordination in 2010, he was sent from his home country of Togo to direct the hospital at the Catholic Mission in Bossemptele, Central African Republic. He arrived there during a period of relative calm only to find himself by the end of last year in the midst of horrific violence...