Spiritual vitality can be pretty dangerous. It makes life so open and unpredictable! For instance, you should keep these cautions in mind when you choose to forgive someone who wronged you.
1. Even if you are gracious and forgiving, the person you forgive can still choose to be mean, resentful, defensive, and gossipy. Sometimes an act of grace and forgiveness opens the way for mutual grace, but this is not guaranteed. This is why you have to consider forgiveness your business and yours only. You have no control over the other person’s response.
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[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society has posted information to help congregations and dioceses understand the demographics of their areas, an important tool for growth and vision processes. The information, Studying Your Congregation and Community, is available for no fee here.
Studying Your Congregation and Community allows users to easily download customized MissionInsite demographic profiles based on a 3-mile radius around their congregations. These community profiles include 2010 Census data, demographic estimates through 2014, and projections through 2019.
“This free feature has proven helpful for congregations and dioceses of all sizes in strategic planning and development,” explained C. Kirk Hadaway, Ph.D., Officer for Congregational Research for the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society “The uses include such applications as stewardship, short- and long-term planning, and strategic development.”
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Women, it's time to register for YOUR Fall Retreat running September 25-27 at Waycross. The Registration Flyer may be downloaded here. EARLY BIRD SAVINGS if you register by August 19.
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“The Book of Common Prayer: A Spiritual Treasure Chest” (SkyLight Paths, 2013) by C. K. Robertson offers a unique presentation of selections with facing-page commentary. Organized by themes such as “Blessings in Times of Joy and Pain,” “Called to Serve” and “Praise and Petition,” this volume in the SkyLight Illuminations series provides spiritual riches for all who are interested in deepening their life of prayer, building stronger relationships and making a difference in the world.
“The Book of Common Prayer: A Spiritual Treasure Chest” can be ordered here.
“A gift to the larger ecumenical community. The Book of Common Prayer … continues to offer spiritual formation to Christians of many traditions … this remarkable guide will enrich our pursuit.” — Kathryn Mary Lohre, president, National Council of the Churches of Christ USA
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Determine to practice forgiveness and move toward freedom.
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From Days of Deepening Friendship
09/17/2014 by Vinita Hampton Wright
In Monday’s post, I stated that it’s possible to be overly sensitive, that sometimes when I am offended, the problem is more with me than with the other person. This brings us to the topic of emotional triggers. When am I most likely to take offense unnecessarily? A trained psychologist or therapist could give us a lot of information on this topic, but for now, let’s work with a few simple ideas.
Generally, I will be more sensitive to traits that I despise about myself. This is the classic law of projection. The typical example is the person who is so worried about everyone else’s sex life because she has her own secret obsessions. So if I like to feel in control of everything, even meetings with colleagues, I will become offended quickly when another person exerts any kind of controlling influence. I may call it something else: “Well, she hijacked that discussion, didn’t she?” But really, I’m angry because I feel that control was taken from me. A person too concerned about her physical appearance will become hyper-attuned to other fashion-conscious people not responding appropriately to her choice of shoes or hair style.
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From Days of Deepening Friendship...
10/13/2014 by Vinita Hampton Wright
This post’s title alone should begin a discussion! How many of us have adult children who have left the faith, or at least left the traditional practices of it? And how do we respond to that?
And even those of us whose adult children have not left the faith in any discernable way—we wonder if the years of prayer and training will keep them steady as their own lives unfold “out there” where we no longer exert control or protection.
A good parent wants her child to become independent. A healthy parent lets go when the time is right, rather than clinging to the former dynamic of parent caring for the child and giving direct guidance. We have seen and known parents who tried to exert their control long past when it was helpful—some of us have been that parent.
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The 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church is June 25 – July 3, in Salt Lake City, UT (Diocese of Utah). The Episcopal Church’s General Convention is held every three years, and is the bicameral governing body of the Church. It comprises the House of Bishops, with upwards of 200 active and retired bishops, and the House of Deputies, with more than 800 clergy and lay deputies elected from the 108 dioceses and three regional areas of the Church.
At General Convention this year, the church will elect the 27th Presiding Bishop. The candidates are:
- The Rt. Rev. Thomas Breidenthal, 64, Diocese of Southern Ohio
- The Rt. Rev. Michael Curry, 62, Diocese of North Carolina
- The Rt. Rev. Ian Douglas, 56, Diocese of Connecticut
- The Rt. Rev. Dabney Smith, 61, Diocese of Southwest Florida
The election will take place on Saturday, June 27 at the Cathedral Church of St. Mark. All bishops with seat, voice, and vote will vote in the election. Once the election has taken place, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will refer the name to the House of Deputies for confirmation.
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“Bible Women: All Their Words and Why They Matter” (Forward Movement, 2014) by Lindsay Hardin Freeman presents fascinating and unexpected insights into the 93 women whose words are recorded in scripture. Women of the Bible have been trapped in dry, dusty literary caskets for centuries – but no more.
Freeman, an Episcopal priest and award-winning author, identifies every woman who speaks in the Bible, providing their words, context, historical background and lessons for modern readers. Published by Forward Movement in partnership with Episcopal Church Women, the book also explores the pivotal roles of biblical women who changed the course of history, from Mary, the mother of Jesus, to Mary Magdalene, the first to see and proclaim the risen Lord.
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From Days of Deeping Friendship
09/24/2014 by Vinita Hampton Wright
Sometimes we hesitate to forgive because we think it must automatically include reconciliation. These are two separate processes, and one does not always lead to the other.
1. One person can forgive; it takes two to reconcile.
With God’s help, I have the power to forgive anything. That doesn’t mean that I’m willing to forgive anything or that it will be easy. And sometimes a wrong is so heinous that it can take the rest of my life to forgive completely. But the possibility is there. My capacity to forgive does not depend on anyone else’s behavior or permission. The person I forgive can continue to be cruel, thoughtless, and relentlessly set against me.But he or she cannot command my spirit to offer or withhold forgiveness.Forgiveness is a spiritual act, which means that, ultimately, I rely on God’s grace to accomplish it. In fact, my own faults and weaknesses will get in the way of my ability to forgive, especially in some situations. But whatever I’m lacking, God can supply. At times my need for God’s assistance is acute, but when I choose to forgive, my effort does not rely on any other person.
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The Facilitator’s Guide to assist in group discussions and better understanding is available for downloading here.
In addition, a 30-minute video featuring a panel of journalists discussing Civil Discourse in a 30 minute panel is available here. David Crabtree WRAL; Kevin Eckstrom Religion News Service; Chris Satullo WHYY; Mary Frances Schjonberg Episcopal News Service; Neva Rae Fox is the moderator.