From the Days of Deepening Friendship blog by Vanita Hampton Wright.
One of our new spring books this year is A Purposeful Path: How Far Can You Go with $30, a Bus Ticket, and a Dream? It’s the story of Casey Beaumier’s “begging” pilgrimage during his early formation as a Jesuit. Most Jesuits are required to do a pilgrimage of this sort, during which they must rely on God’s provision as supplied through others’ generosity. The pilgrimages differ in length and destination, but the purpose for each is the same: learn faith as you trust God to provide for your basic needs, and learn humility by depending on other people.
Casey and his pilgrimage partner begin on the Appalachian Trail, where they encounter changing weather, a variety of hiking companions, mouse invasions during the night, and good conversations around campfires.
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[Anglican Communion News Service] The Anglican Communion Office at the United Nations has honored Beth Adamson with its Award for Global Service for her dedicated work to strengthen Anglican women’s presence at the UN Commission on the Status of Women.
The award, created in 2003, honors volunteer service that furthers the work of the Anglican Communion through the vehicle of the UN Office.
“There is a person among us who has faithfully committed her time and considerable talents over eleven years to be sure that the representative participation of Anglican women from across the world in each [UNCSW] was as contributive and meaningful … as possible,” said ACOUN treasurer Marnie Dawson Carr at the award presentation in March in New York during the 59th UNCSW.
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By Lynette Wilson |
[Episcopal News Service] Flying over Los Angeles, the city’s vastness comes sharply into focus. Its low buildings and sun-bleached concrete stretch on forever, but look closer at the greater metropolitan area, in the communities, schools and churchyards, and you’ll see gardens.
The gardens are part of the Diocese of Los Angeles’ plan to address food security in the communities served by its parishes, and one of the ways it cares for the environment.
In one of the nation’s largest cities in the top-producing agricultural state, people don’t have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Through Seeds of Hope and The Abundant Table, the diocese is doing something about it.
Three years ago, Los Angeles Bishop J. Jon Bruno decided to get serious about addressing food insecurity in his diocese and created Seeds of Hope, which works with congregations, communities and schools to turn unused land into productive gardens and orchards to provide healthy, fresh food to local residents.
“In Los Angeles, access to nutritious food is a luxury,” said the Rev. Andrew K. Barnett, the bishop’s chair for environmental studies and food justice. “If you live in a low-income community, it’s much easier to get fast food.”
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[Episcopal News Service] As a child, the Rev. Sandra McCann dreamed of someday going to Africa. But she never imagined it would become her home, her ministry and her entire life for 12 years.
When Sandy and her husband Martin reached their mid-50s, they made the audacious decision to give up their successful medical careers in radiology and pathology, sell their home and move to Africa as Episcopal Church missionaries. Their move was delayed for three years and in that time Sandy graduated from Virginia Theological Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree and was ordained as an Episcopal priest.
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We have some wonderful icons at St. John's Lafayette and the incredible joy of having parishioners very familiar with the Orthodox church, so it was a pleasure to see this new title by which we can all learn more about our Christian Family....
There are other introductory books about Orthodoxy. This one comprehensively covers the history, theology, and practice without talking over your head. Mathewes- Green takes the original approach of bringing you into a typical church for a series of visits. That is how Christians learned the faith for most of history, by coming into a community and keeping their eyes and ears open. Designed primarily for newcomers to come to understand Orthodoxy and Orthodox Christians, this guide to the faith is also a non-threatening and accessible introduction to people already "in the pews.” Inviting rather than argumentative, this is a book Orthodox Christians will be giving to their friends.
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By Lynette Wilson
[Episcopal News Service – Newton Grove, North Carolina] On a rainy, humid mid-September morning five hours before the Sunday noon Eucharist at Sacred Family, the Rev. Tony Rojas got behind the wheel of a white van and began making the rounds to pick up men from the farmworker camps set back on highways and county roads among the single- and double-wide trailers and more stately brick homes of rural North Carolina.
He picked up men like Abraham Cruz, 47, of Tlaxcala state in east-central Mexico, who for the last seven years has traveled to the United States on a temporary agricultural worker visa to work eight- to 12-hour days in the fields planting and harvesting cucumbers, watermelons, tobacco and sweet potatoes. Cruz’s earnings go to support his family in Mexico, whom he sees two to three months a year.
Over the past 18 years, Rojas has built up the Episcopal Farmworker Ministry, a joint ministry of the dioceses of North and East Carolina, with a 16-acre campus on Easy Street in Newton Grove. The ministry serves farmworkers in 47 camps scattered across Sampson, Harnett and Johnston counties.
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By Scott Stoner from the Living Compass.
I recently returned from a two-week vacation in Gruene, Texas, a small, quaint town located in a beautiful part of Texas known as the Hill Country, halfway between Austin and San Antonio. There are many things that make Greune special, including the Gruene Dance Hall, one of the most iconic places I have ever had the pleasure of listening to live music. Also special is the Guadalupe River, which flows through Gruene and is listed as at one of the top trout fishing rivers in America. The opportunity to fly fish on the Guadalupe River, and the nearby San Marcos River, and then be able to go out to listen to live music were two of the main reasons we traveled to Gruene.
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“Death Letter: God, Sex, and War” (Tactical 16, 2014) by David W. Peters chronicles the dark days immediately following his return from the war in Iraq. Peters, an Episcopal priest and U.S. Army chaplain, offers this genre-defying book – part memoir, part comic lament – about his relationship with the three great subjects of our mythic imagination: God, sex and war.
As Peters explains in the “Author’s Note”: “‘Death Letter: God, Sex, and War’ is a nonfiction memoir of my experiences in war and my homecoming. ‘Death Letter’ is written for combat veterans and those who love them. My fractured narrative contains explicit (definition: fully and clearly expressed; leaving nothing implied) scenes of my shattered existence during and after my deployment.”
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The Rev. Dr. Scott Stoner
The Living Compass Faith & Wellness Ministry
Last week in this column (which can be foundhere) I wrote about a spiritual practice I refer to as "Receive, Release" and shared how I use it in my own life on a daily basis. I invited others to share their own spiritual practices with me and I was delighted to receive so many responses. As I reflected on the responses, I realized they fell into two categories. The first group of responses focused primarily on private and personal spiritual practices, while the second group focused primarily on action-oriented or "other- directed" practices. This week I would like to reflect a little on each of these types of spiritual practices.
Private, personal spiritual practices are perhaps the first thing we think of when we think about spiritual practices. These practices are undertaken to strengthen one's soul and one's spiritual wellness, similar to exercises one might do on a regular basis to strengthen one's physical wellness. The "Receive, Release" practice I described last week is one example of a private, personal practice, as are all forms of prayer and meditation. Many of the responses I received last week were examples of this kind of spiritual practice, and included practices such as keeping a gratitude journal by listing what one is thankful for each day, participating in a form of centering prayer or meditation using a repetitive phrase, going on a retreat, worshiping, singing, painting, writing, and doing spiritual reading.