The answer came to me a decade ago. I was sitting in a circle of very young Episcopalians, listening to them explore a dark patch of felt in the parable of the Good Shepherd. They were so interested in the “places of danger” on the story-telling fabric. They kept looking at it, some carefully, out of the corners of their eyes...Many circles later, I came to hold a deep respect for the spiritual lives of children, and long to hand-over to them the language of the church.
An Episcopal priest who worked as a volunteer in Sudan says that recent fighting, while tragic, does not cause him to lose hope in the church’s peace ministry there. "When I hear news reports of an alleged coup attempt that sparked weeks of fighting in South Sudan, " says Ross Kane, "I think back to when I was a young volunteer with the Episcopal Church working with the New Sudan Council of Churches (NSCC). an ecumenical body representing Southern Sudanese churches -- responded by initiating grass-roots peace dialogues. These dialogues brought together Dinka and Nuer chiefs, politicians and religious leaders in order to name past atrocities and to seek..."
Traditionally the church has talked about two kinds of martyrs – white martyrs and red ones. Red martyrs shed blood for claiming their faith, like Perpetua and Paul, or because of the challenge that they’ve offered to the principalities and powers of this world – like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Oscar Romero. White martyrs are remarkable witnesses to the way of Jesus, who give their lives sacrificially, but more often die in their beds – people like Dorothy Day...