Thursday, December 14, 2006

5 things you don't know about me

Coming Soon......

Here they are. Not as interesting as I imagined they would be.

I had a High School graduating class of two.

I broke my sister’s nose.

I didn’t have electricity or an indoor bathroom when I lived with my parents.

I’d like to learn to fly small aircraft.

I’ve tried to learn Mandarin Chinese.

Friday, November 17, 2006

New Job

I haven't had time to post lately because I've started a new job. Those who read posts from 6 months ago or so know that I was job hunting for most of the spring and summer. I thought I would NEVER find a full time job. But, finally I got hired at the Episcopal Church Center. I am now the administrative assistant for the Office of Native American Ministries. I've just finished my first week of 9 to 5. I'm not terribly excited about working full-time, but I really like supporting the ministry with First Nations People. I think I'll learn a lot from this experiance.

For more info on my new office. Click here

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A joyous journey through difficult times

Please welcome a new traveling companion. My friend, Carol, is on a difficult journey right now. She is facing the challenge of cancer and despite the fear and difficulty that that entails, she continues to radiate joy and love to all those who come to "comfort" her. It is a reminder to me that when we are reduced to our core we show who we truly are.

Please keep Carol in your thoughts and prayers. Visit her blog if you'd like to know her better and tell her I sent you.

Monday, November 06, 2006

We welcome our new Presiding Bishop

This weekend I attended the Investiture of the Twenty-sixth Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. The ceremony was amazing. It started with drumming and smudging by First Nations drummers and dancers. It continued with the passing of the pastoral staff from one Presiding Bishop to another and finished with a Eucharistic table served to thousands. Katherine Jefferts Schori was calm and graceful throughout the pomp and pagantry. At certain points there were eruptions of applause and cheering that seemed out of place, yet completely appropriate.
Our new Presiding Bishop preached a challenging sermon about the importance of home and peace.
That homecoming of shalom is both destination and
journey. We cannot embark on the journey without some vision of where we are going, even though we may not reach it this side of the grave. We are really charged with seeing everyplace and all places as home, and living in a way that makes that true for every other creature on the planet. None of us can be fully at home, at rest, enjoying shalom, unless all the world is as well. Shalom is the fruit of living that dream. We live in a day where there is a concrete possibility of making that dream reality for the most destitute, forgotten, and ignored of our fellow travelers – for the castaways, for those in
peril or just barely afloat on life's restless sea.
Read more here.
I was challenged by her message of journey and peace.
Recently we've been rethinking our plans for the future. There are ideas that have been growing in us that just can't be denied anymore. I don't know exactly where these ideas are taking us, but I know that it's important to explore them. I want to explore how I can be part of bringing peace and homecoming to my community - even if that means staying in the city instead of finding my own peace in a quieter place.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A Collect for Knitters

All Saint's Day November 1

Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

As a knitter, this is one of my favorite collects. We are woven together and that means we are interdependent. You can't cut out a piece of knitting because it will unravel. The unity of the piece depends on every part of the thread being linked together. When a knitter makes a mistake, she must unravel all the knitting up to that point and fix the mistake. I know from experiance that's a painful event, but it's for the best. After the unraveling, the finished product is even more beautiful. This also happens in our communion, sometimes things that seem to cause us to unravel are actually opportunities to be reunited in an even stronger and more beautiful way.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Simple Living

"We mean our lives together to be our act of love for one another, and in love we are confident of redemption."

The women who live at Brewster Farm are engaged in an amazing project of life and regeneration. Going there is like a breath of fresh air for my soul. I love walking through their garden seeing the plants they are nurturing. They use practices of sustainability and interdependence to grow as much of their food as possible. They not only work hard to create this wonderful place, but they warmly open their arms and hearts to anyone who comes to the farm.

From the Bluestone Manifesto:

“We mean peacefully to weave our own strand into the web of life as it exists here and now in our neck of the woods. We repudiate the dualism—and the myriad forms of power-over that it spawned—which has pervaded our human culture for so long. Instead, we proclaim the interconnectedness of all beings and claim being for all manifestations of creation. We claim our authentic voice as self-reflective beings—we have something to say about how we shall live on the Earth.”

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The joys of Fall

We had a wonderful weekend out of the city. We picked three HUGE bags of delicious apples, drove through some beautiful fall scenery, and drummed with the nuns at Brewster Farm.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Happy Birthday

Today is the 28th birthday of my wonderful sweetie. I’m so happy to be here to celebrate this moment with him. Our tradition for the last few years has been to go apple-picking Upstate on or near his birthday. We’ll be doing that next weekend with a long time friend now living in Boston.

Earlier this year I finished my first sweater. I promised it to Luke for his birthday. Here it is – finished and wearable.

Many happy wishes to my dearest on his birthday. May God guide and protect him today and always.

I love you.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

As the grass withers: finding balance at the equinox

The autumnal equinox reminds us of the balance between light and dark. In much the same way, our lives are balanced between joy and pain. At the equinox we consider the inevitability of change in the seasons as well as in our lives.

Another blogger put it this way: Autumn announces that the world is always changing, always in flux. We tend to think of stasis as the norm, when in reality, if we are paying attention, our whole beings are in constant process. Our bodies and our souls. Change can feel threatening until we realize that tending to this constant unfolding process speaks to us of a God who is dynamic and creating newness at every moment, holding out possibility at every turn.

I just finished a busy weekend showing some relatives from the West Coast around my beautiful and chaotic city. It's fun to see the city through their eyes and realize what a treasure it is. It was their first time here so everything was new and exciting. We did the usual stuff: Chinatown, Staten Island Ferry, bagels, pizza, subway delays, etc. But the best, by far, was walking through my neighborhood - looking at the many kinds of architecture and front yard decor, getting coffee around the corner in the morning, climbing to the roof to look at the BQE, picnicking in Prospect Park, and watching my neighbor hanging out her laundry.

The last four years have been full challenges and unexpected adventures. I'm certainly not the same person, emotionally or spiritually, that I was when I arrived. Four years ago, I was so confident - sure of what we had chosen to do and what we could accomplish. There was some degree of trepidation to be sure, but mostly optimism and determination.

Four years later, I am no less optimistic or determined. Nonetheless, there is a pain in the center of my hear that brings me to tears more often than I care to admit. Something of the shine has worn off. I've been worn down by the constant struggle to push ahead, the constant need to make decision and try desperately to look into the future and see what we should be doing next.

And yet..... I have come to know some of the most amazing and wonderful friends. There are people in my life that, although I have not known them very long, I trust with my heart. These are certainly people brought into my life for a purpose and not because I went looking for companions.

I have come to know my life-partner more fully than ever before. We've found ourselves in some very dark places and walked patiently together until the sun came out again.

I have learned to stop now and again and release myself into the mercy of my Creator. Today I read Psalm 90:

Lord, you have been our refuge
from one generation to another.

Before the mountains were brought forth
or the land and the earth were born
from age to age you are God.

You turn us back to the dust and say,
"Go back, O child of the earth."

For a thousand years in your sight are like yesterday when it is past
and like a watch in the night.

Ironically, the idea of my temporality gives me comfort. It really doesn't matter what I do. At the end of the day - We fade away suddenly like the grass.

So my troubles are only opportunities to fall again on the mercies of God and cry for help to my Father/Mother/Creator/Friend.

Of course I hope things get better and more stable, but I'm not expecting it any time soon. In fact, I look forward to the long slow process because I know the journey will be it's own reward.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Small Revolutions = Big Change

It's important to remember that the people who seem farthest from the "halls of power" are still working hard to save the world.

Gardeners feed the hungry

A small (35 member) church in rural Arkansas is planting "Seeds of Change" They are using their small plot of land to feed and educate people in their community.

Pastor Terry Simmons says:

“Churches have land,” Simmons said. “Churches have people who love to garden, and churches have a responsibility and a challenging need they can help meet and a desire to reach out and share the love of Christ."

Rebels and Rednecks unite to free the road from fossil fuel

From today's Morning Edition on NPR

"Carl's Corner, Texas, is a truck stop between Dallas and Waco, Texas, where a little revolution has begun. Where truckers fill up on American fuel made from farm crops. BioWillie, they call it, because Willie Nelson is the driving force behind this biodiesel vision. His tour bus runs on it, (so do Bonnie Raitt's and Neil Young's) and a brigade of 18-wheelers barreling down the nation's highways; a growing fleet of semis whose exhaust smells like French fries. "

"Chris Powers, founder of Houston Biodiesel, produces fine-grade biodiesel. He advises, educates, assists, and "takes the mystery out of using biodiesel" by offering homebrew biodiesel classes for alternative-energy enthusiasts. You only need to spend a little time on the Web to find a host of like-minded people pursuing their desire to clean up our environment and lessen dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil. "

For lots of info on Biodiesel visit Willie Nelson's Biodiesel or

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Bags by Willow

A birthday gift for a friend has turned into a entrepreneurial endeavor. With her help, I've sold two and another one is in the works. It's fun to have my hobby spread beyond my work space into the wider world.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Moments of grace

Friday Foto Blogging:

These pictures say what I seem uncapable of understanding or saying myself. Everyday we are surrounded by moments of grace.

Basil helps me sort the bottons

My secret garden

A sign from god?

sweet feet

Friday, July 21, 2006

Summer is fun

We went to a great FREE OUTDOOR concert (those being the primary requirements for a good concert in my opinion) last night.

Josh Rouse is relatively new to our musical library. He was lots of fun and the crowd was pretty interactive. We rode our bikes home over the Brooklyn Bridge. The harbor was really beautiful. On nights like that I'm glad I live in this miserable city.

I haven't found much to be glad about lately. But as with all other dark moments - this too shall pass. I have only to turn on the radio and hear the news from Lebanon and Israel to realize how safe and protected my life is. There are so many places around the world where people don't even have the opportunity to worry about the kinds of things I worry about. Their primary concern is how to survive right now. I don't really know what my response to these terrible situations should be. It's out of my power to do something about them - at least physically. I know that I can pray. Yet, that seems like an inadequate response to such overwhelming suffering. I can give money. But it's hard to see how my small donation would effect anything. I wish I could leave my life here and go work somewhere. Do something. Something real. Something meaningful.

When I was younger, I was surrounded by stories of missionaries who gave up modern lives to live in third-world countries. I admired their strength and determination to work and live in such difficult circumstances. Whenever I met missionaries, I was amazed at their down-to-earth mentality and their 100% commitment to the mission. I was fairly confident that God had called me to live a missionary life. I didn't have any concert plans for college or a career. I knew I didn't want to stay in my small community and have babies. The obvious answer was to become a missionary. Lots of people encouraged me in this. So I went away to Bible College and - to cut a long story short - I didn't become a missionary. At least not the way I thought.

So all this biographical blabla to explain a bit of why I feel I'm not doing enough now. I'll be 29 in a couple months and I have no idea of where my life is going or where it should be going. It frightens me to think that I might have missed my chance to do something important. It's not that I've denied God's call - that's no longer an issue. But I do wonder what I should be doing. I suppose I've always had too high an opinion of my potential. I've always thought there was a special destiny for me. (My husband has always said I have an amazing ability to think I am better than everyone else.) Perhaps, now I realize I'm just like very one else. And perhaps I'm falling behind because I expected all the doors to magically open for me.

....Yet, through my cloudy thoughts the sun shines and I hear music in the evening under the big Manhattan sky....

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Trip Home

I’ve been in Washington State for two weeks visiting my parents.

They live on 50 acres of woods, without electricity or indoor plumbing. It’s wonderful to go there and hear the birds, watch the sunset, swim in the rivers, and breath the fresh air. I miss it so much when things get stressful here in the city. Of course, when I’m there I miss all the best things about the city. Being in the country reminds me of my favorite version of the Lord’s Prayer from the New Zealand Prayer Book. It emphasizes our connection to God, each other, and creation.

The Lord's Prayer

Eternal Spirit,Earth-maker, Pain bearer, Life-giver,Source of all that is and that shall be, Father and Mother of us all, Loving God, in whom is heaven:

The hallowing of your name echo through the universe! The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world! Your heavenly will be done by all created beings! Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth!

With the bread we need for today, feed us.In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us. In times of temptation and test, strengthen us. From trial too great to endure, spare us. From the grip of all that is evil, free us. For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and forever. Amen.

From A New Zealand Prayer Book (Harper Collins, 1997), 181.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Black Stars shine during World Cup games

I'm recovering from the drama of General Convention by watching the World Cup games. I'm not much of a sports fan, but I LOVE THE WORLD CUP. All the fans are so passionate, the teams are so good (and good-looking), there's so much drama and excitement. Today, the Black Stars of Ghana will challenge the ever victorious yellow shirts of Brazil. The first time World Cup players, sometimes called the "Brazilians of Africa" are representing both their country and their continent. Their very appearance in the Round of 16 foreshadows a strong showing from many African teams as the World Cup goes to South Africa in 2010.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Our new Presiding Bishop - The Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Bishop of Nevada

Well folks, its official - my church is still the best one in town!! From all the accounts I've been reading from GC 2006, it sounded pretty much like any other legislative meeting. But this year we made history.


Katharine Jefferts Schori, 51, was consecrated the ninth Bishop of Nevada on February 24, 2001. She serves a diocese of some 6,000 members in 35 congregations. Jefferts Schori is the first woman selected as a nominee for Presiding Bishop.

Her service to the wider church includes current membership on the Special Commission on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion; the Board of Trustees, Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, California; the CREDO Advisory Board; the House of Bishops peer coaching program; the General Board of Examining Chaplains; the Board for Church Deployment; the House of Bishops' Pastoral Development, Racism, and Planning Committees; the Court for Review of a Trial of a Bishop; the Episcopal visitor team for the Community of the Holy Spirit; and the Bishops of Small Dioceses group.

From 2001-2003 she was a member of the 20/20 Strategy Group, and served as secretary of the House of Bishops Ministry Committee at the 2003 General Convention.

She is the author of "When Conflict and Hope Abound," Vestry Papers (March-April 2005); "Building Bridges/Widening Circles" in Preaching Through Holy Days and Holidays: Sermons that Work XI, Roger Alling and David J. Schlafer, eds. Morehouse (2003); "Multicultural Issues in Preaching" in Preaching Through the Year of Matthew: Sermons That Work X, Roger Alling and David J. Schlafer, eds. Morehouse (2001); and "The Nag" in Preaching Through the Year of Luke: Sermons That Work IX, Roger Alling and David J. Schlafer, eds. Morehouse (2000). Her Maundy Thursday sermon was included in What Makes This Day Different? by David Schlafer, Cowley (1998).

She is an active, instrument-rated pilot with more than 500 hours logged.

At the time of her election as bishop of Nevada, Jefferts Schori was assistant rector at the Episcopal Church of the Good Samaritan in Corvallis, Oregon, where she also served as pastoral associate, dean of the Good Samaritan School of Theology, and priest-in-charge, El Buen Samaritano, Corvallis. She was ordained deacon and priest in 1994. Prior to ordination, she was a visiting assistant professor at Oregon State University's Department of Religious Studies, a visiting scientist at Oregon State University's Department of Oceanography, and an oceanographer with the National Marine Fisheries Service in Seattle.

She received a B.S. in biology from Stanford University, 1974; an M.S. in oceanography from Oregon State University, 1977; a Ph.D. from Oregon State University, 1983; an M.Div. from Church Divinity School of the Pacific, 1994; and a D.D. from Church Divinity School of the Pacific, 2001.

Jefferts Schori was born March 26, 1954, in Pensacola, Florida. She has been married to Richard Miles Schori, a retired theoretical mathematician (topologist), since 1979. They have one child, Katharine Johanna, 24, who is a second lieutenant and pilot in the US Air Force.

Perhaps the two things I personally like best about her are that she is a licensed fixed-wing pilot and - she grew up in Seattle!

The Witness published a great interview covering her ideas on subjects such as:

the moral dimensions of the federal budget

the Windsor Report and the challenge of remaining in communion

the future of the Episcopal church

multicultural and Total Ministry

There are some dioceses that will be shocked - let's be honest - shattered, by this election. But I am confident that the Holy Spirit was at work in this and this will be a new season in our church.

I attended the UNCSW meetings this year and the main focus was seeing that women must step up into positions at the head of the decision-making table in order to claim their full participation in social, environmental, and political change. This is a wonderful example of what can happen when a women takes the challenge and is recognized as the right leader for the times.

The next nine years will be full of obstacles. We are already straining the company of a Communion where gender and sexuality are used to keep people out of positions of power. This will further annoy those who are already upset at our decisions. But God has given us this time to stand up and use our voice for reconciliation and empowerment. I am so glad to be part of this church at this time.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Voices of Witness

Here's a wonderful video put out by Claiming the Blessing. One of my favorite quotes:

"Do I want to be part of a church that will bless my dog but not my relationship?"

The bloggers from convention keep reporting that the buzz word is "Clarity". I think a better word is "Honesty". As one blogger stated so well at the public hearing

To “repent” means we did something new.• We did not.• Gene Robinson is not the first gay bishop. He is the first honestly gay bishop. He won’t be the last.

To “repent” means that we have broken communion.• We did not.• Indeed, we have been in broken communion for more than thirty years over the ordination of women.• Our greater sin is that we won’t elect the one bishop as Presiding Bishop who is far and away the most qualified to be our next Presiding Bishop because she is a woman and that would “further impair” our already broken communion. So, we face a dilemma – The Windsor Report asks us to repent. All we can offer is regret.

We are dishonest if we say "We will not ordain gay bishops". We just shove them back into the closet. We are dishonest if we say "We will accept gays and women as priests, but not bishops." We are just shoving them into pidgen holes. As a women, I want to see more women bishops and of course Presiding Bishop. As a human, I want to see all God's creatures recognized and blessed.

Another quote:

"Jesus said, "If I am lifted up, I will draw ALL people into myself"

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

A prayer for the delegates

As many of you know my church is having its triannual convention. There are many issues on the table. My prayer is that the delegates will indeed remember it is a table to which we are called. It is the table of Incarnation and that those who sit beside us are the visible presence of our invisible God.

Give us, Lord, a humble, quiet, peaceable, patient, tender, and charitable mind, and in all our thoughts, words and deeds a taste of the Holy Spirit. Give us, Lord, a lively faith, a firm hope, a fervent charity, a love of you. Take from us all lukewarmness in meditation, dullness in prayer. Give us fervour and delight in thinking of you and your grace, your tender compassion towards us. The things we pray for, good Lord, give us grace to labour for; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

St. Thomas More

Monday, June 12, 2006

Dorothy Sayers

The feminist of the day is Dorothy Sayers. She was an amazing author of both detective fiction and feminist theology.

Almighty God, who gave to your servant Dorothy L Sayers special Gifts of grace to understand and teach the truth as it is in Christ Jesus: Grant that by this teaching we may know you, the one true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

I was introduced to Sayers at during my very conservative undergraduate education. She was a breath of fresh air in a very stuffy atmosphere. It was the first time I was able to see feminism and theology as two ideas that must go together. I realized that being a Christian did not exclude me from being a feminist.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Women of Strength

In honor of all the women who are teaching me about true beauty and strength (and especially one from Revgalblogpals)

Spiritual Strength of Women

A Strong Woman

A strong woman works out every dayto keep her body in shape...but a woman of strength kneels in prayer to keep her soul in shape...

A strong woman isn't afraid of anything ...but a woman of strength shows courage in the midst of her fear...

A strong woman won't let anyoneget the best of her ...but a woman of strength gives the best of herself to everyone...

A strong woman makes mistake sand avoids the same in the future...but a woman of strength realizes life's mistakes can also be God'sblessings and capitalizes on them...

A strong woman walks sure footedly...but a woman of strength knows God will catch her when she falls...

A strong woman wears the look of confidence on her face...but a woman of strength wears grace...

A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey...but a woman of strength has faith that it is in the journey that she will become strong...

Friday, June 09, 2006

Knitting Blog

Lest I wallow in self-pity indefinitely, I ought to remind myself of the better parts of my life. Three of which are being featured in this post. Here I present –


The intended recipient being my husband (he would be the best part of all) and hopefully he will enjoy wearing it as much as I have enjoyed making it. This is my first serious project. I can’t wait to finish it and see him wear it. I am fully conscious of the myths surrounding knitting for the special man/woman in your life (I assume it works equally on both genders). But since we’ve been together 10 years already, I’m confident that a sweater won’t break us up. And I secretly made it in colors I like so it will look great as a “she’s wearing his sweater” sweater. As I said it’s not finished yet but here are the major pieces:

Basil examines the pieces. “Which one should I chew on first?”

Now that looks more like it.

Working on the last piece.

“I would never chew your yarn!”

Wednesday, June 07, 2006



That’s me today. I’ve been skimming through my favorite blogs, but that seems to reinforce the idea that everyone is doing something useful, interesting, or at least fun. And I’m not! I’ve been job-hunting for about three months now and it’s beginning to feel like an exercise in self inflicted punishment. Okay, someone will remind me that a mere three months is a fraction of the time some folks have to look. The bravest ones will even suggest that since I am working currently AND we are a two-income family, there’s no need to go crazy. But, I’m just feeling so discouraged. Probably, like everything else in my life, it’s because I have incredibly unrealistic expectations for the whole thing. I want a super interesting job with a great salary and a fantastic work environment. I’ve been fortunate so far to have lots of freedom and flexibility in my work. Now I’m looking for the kind of job most people are trying to get out of – 9 to 5. Why, well I’m just tired of being alone. I go to work – which happens to be teaching – I teach a class or two then I go home, or I go to N.J. and teach there or Brooklyn or some other place. I want to work for someone – with someone. I want to feel like I am part of something bigger than today’s lesson. I want to change the world….That’s what I’ve always wanted, of course. That’s how I got here. But boy, this isn’t what I expected. So I’d better stop this whining and get back to Wish me luck and say a prayer. Thanks

Monday, May 22, 2006

Food For Thought

Do Rogation days have any importance in our modern world? In the past Rogation days were a time to bless the farmer and his work, including his tools, his field, and his seeds, as well as the fisherman and his boat, bait, and nets. The 21st centry finds many of us unable to identify the source of much of our food. We buy packaged and prepared food with ingredients we can't pronounce. Because we can buy tropical fruits and vegetables at anytime, we no longer follow the seasons by eating the fruits and vegetables that grow in our area. Now more than ever, we need to be aware of the food we eat and those who work to produce it.

More and more people are looking for ways to reconnect with nature and the source of our daily nutrience. Check out what the sisters at the Community of the Holy Spirit and other Episcopal communities are doing to bring rogation days closer to our daily lives.

A prayer for Rogation Days:

O merciful Creator, your hand is open wide to satisfy the needs of every living creature: Make us always thankful for your loving providence; and grant that we, remembering the account that we must one day give, may be faithful stewards of your good gifts; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Friday, May 19, 2006


In this week following Mother's Day, I’ve been reading lots of blogs about mothers and motherhood. As I get closer to thirty I spend more time considering what kind of mother I would like to be. It’s really gotten me thinking about the most important qualities of a mother.

At the same time I’ve been learning a lot about religious orders and visiting a few in my area. One of the strongest characteristics of these religious orders is a vow of hospitality. They live in such open communion with each other and the divine that they must extend that communion to the world. This means extending hospitality to everyone who comes to them, as well as those they have never met. I have had the privilege of experiencing this hospitality. It is an amazing and powerful experience.

I think hospitality is also the mark of motherhood. A mother is quite literally a vessel of hospitality as the embryo makes its home in and takes its sustenance from her very body. Whether your motherhood is biological or adoptive, it is the opportunity to open oneself to the endless possibilities of feeding, sheltering, and caring for those in our care.

Hospitality isn’t an easy virtue to develop. It requires sacrifice, commitment, and the desire to encounter the “other”, as children truly are. You can’t plan or train or manage them into being clones. They represent their own individual persons that you are simply host to for a time.

I hope to develop a hospitality that will enable me to encounter any situation with an attitude of love. Here’s a quote from Carter Heyward about love and I think this love is necessary for the development of hospitality.

Love, like truth and beauty, is concrete. Love is not fundamentally a sweet
feeling; not, at heart, a matter of sentiment, attachment, or being "drawn
toward." Love is active, effective, a matter of making reciprocal and mutually
beneficial relation with one's friends and enemies.

Love creates righteousness, or justice, here on earth. To make love is to make justice. As advocates and activists for justice know, loving involves struggle, resistance, risk. People working today on behalf of women, blacks, lesbians and gay men, the aging, the poor in this country and elsewhere know that making justice is not a warm, fuzzy experience. I think also that sexual lovers and good friends know
that the most compelling relationships demand hard work, patience, and a
willingness to endure tensions and anxiety in creating mutually empowering

For this reason loving involves commitment. We are not automatic
lovers of self, others, world, or God. Love does not just happen. We are not
love machines, puppets on the strings of a deity called "love." Love is a choice
-- not simply, or necessarily, a rational choice, but rather a willingness to be
present to others without pretense or guile. Love is a conversion to humanity --
a willingness to participate with others in the healing of a broken world and
broken lives. Love is the choice to experience life as a member of the human
family, a partner in the dance of life, rather than as an alien in the world or
as a deity above the world, aloof and apart from human flesh.

Passion for Justice

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Seeds of Life

We spent a wonderful day at Bluestone Farm in Brewster. The nuns practice organic gardening and sustainable living. In the evening, we had a thoughtful discussion on the topic of life, which touched on the beauty and potential of seeds, the beginning of the universe and the work of the Divine. Following the discussion we had a lively drum session. The drum circle was intense and energizing. In the morning we attended morning prayer with the sisters in their small chapel. After breakfast one of the sisters took us on a tour of their huge gardens.

It was such a peaceful experience. The sisters are very aware of the changes in the seasons, since their daily schedule of prayers and work centers around the sunrise/sunset cycles of the year. Their religious life is practiced in light of the beauty and majesty of creation and the interconnectedness of all beings.

I was delighted to experience the peace and
beauty there along side the litergy and devotion of the convent. I was challenged to find a way to connect more to the divine in every situation and everyone.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Women of Prayer

My decision to pray last Saturday instead of attend the protest wasn't really a choice since I had planned the retreat long before I found out about the protest. But it got me thinking about prayer and how much I believe in it and why.

During the retreat I had a long conversation with a new friend about prayer and faith. She was reluctant to believe in prayer, since she felt it was impossible to PROVE that prayer works. She also said that too often she sees people who don't have any evidence of faith in their lives suddenly turn to God when something terrible happens. She doesn't think this is a true faith or at least not one she wants to embrace. She said she only prays when there's some trouble in her life and that feels dishonest to her.

I often pray when I am upset or overwhelmed and when I am thankful or happy about something. But those are both extremes of emotion. What I have trouble with is praying consistently. Praying as a mode of existence. My spiritual director is gently urging me to explore prayer as listening to God not just reacting to an experience in my life.

It's so difficult. I don't have time. I don't have patience. I don't know what to do. I enjoy thinking about prayer, but it rarely translates into time spent praying.

In light of that, I found an interesting site on Women of Prayer and Justice.

The first women I read about was Hildegard of Bingen:

In Scivias, which took her ten years to complete, Hildegard records a series of visions describing the relationship between God, humanity, and the cosmos. Hildegard's visions reveal her views on the human person and the relationship between God and humans in creation. She had visions also about the incarnation and redemption, and the church. Central to her spirituality is her belief that human nature is good as is all of creation. She saw sin as a distortion of that goodness.

Hildegard's teachings give us an original and balanced view of the universe. She tells us that our own nature--the rhythms of our minds and bodies--are an echo of the greater rhythms of the natural world such as the rhythm of ocean waves beating against rocks on the shore. In her symbolic illuminations or mandalas which accompany her text, she shows all creation, including humans, emanating from God's love.

Throughout her life Hildegard was fascinated with beauty and light. She loved to reflect on the life principle of energy shining forth in living things. She originated the word “viriditas” or “greenness” to speak of this principle of vitality in all of nature. She lived all of her life surrounded by lush green scenery and flowing rivers. These experiences contributed to her love of the color green and her frequent use of this color to describe the good life.

Hildegard saw greening power at work in so many ways, especially in the actions of the Holy Spirit moving over the earth causing all things to flourish. What is dry and barren and lifeless can be restored by the return of greening power and moisture. Greenness brings freshness and life to what is stale and lifeless.

This photo shows the “greenness” of the ancient grounds of the Disibodenberg monastery where Hildegard spent the early years of her religious life. In the foreground we see the remains of the main entrance into the abbey church where she worshipped so faithfully.

What do you see when you look at this picture? How do you find "greenness" in your life? How can you be part of returning "greenness" to your family, your community or your world?

Pray with all creation Hildegard's Antiphon for the Holy Spirit:

The Holy Spirit is a life that gives life,
Moving all things.
It is the root in every creature
And purifies all things,
Wiping away sins,
Anointing wounds.
It is radiant life, worthy of praise,
Awakening and enlivening
All things.

Hildegard of Bingen: Mystical Writings, ed. Fiona Bowie and Oliver Davies (Crossroad, 1990), p. 118.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Did you pray or protest?

I had a wonderful day with 20 women from my church on a retreat. We spent time praying and learning from each other. I enjoyed getting to know the women as individuals. Many of the women told me they enjoyed the retreat and suggested we do it again.

Catherine of Siena:

“You eternal Trinity are the artist and I your handiwork have come to know that you are in love with the beauty you have made.”

Meanwhile, on Broadway.....

"300,000 protesters marched
Saturday 29 April through lower Manhattan to demand an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

"We've been lied to, and they're going to lie to us again to bring us a war in Iran," said Marjori Ramos, 43, of New York"

Friday, April 28, 2006

Make your voices heard

If you had pick one, which would you choose?



A retreat at
an Episcopal Convent to learn about prayer and spiritual community.

It's a difficult choice, but I have to chose prayer over protest. I believe prayer is stronger.

I'll pray for everyone marching on April 29th and for the soldiers and civilians dying in Iraq.

Sunday, April 23, 2006


China Wins Over Washington, but D.C. Proves a Bit Tougher

In Washington the state, Mr. Hu beamed as he hobnobbed with the capitalist kings of computers, coffee shops and airplanes, who are among those making a mint in China's markets.
In Washington the city, Mr. Hu got a rather frostier reception. A dissident heckler startled him on the White House lawn, a White House announcer called his country the Republic of China — did someone say Taiwan? — and a senator warned that China should open more of its markets to American products, or else.

Yet while the disparate receptions awarded Mr. Hu would appear to indicate a deep divide in the United States' approach to China, the breach, in fact, might not be so deep: never mind the talk, nobody really wants to rock the boat.

Read More
Americans are upset about Darfur, but find China an acceptable business partner. This is hypocritical since China is currently underwriting the genocide in Africa.

"Chinese oil purchases have financed Sudan's pillage of Darfur. Chinese-made AK-47"s have been the main weapons used to slaughter several hundred thousand people in Darfur so far, and China has protected Sudan in the U.N. Security Council."

Nicholas D. Kristof - OpEd New York Times Sunday April 23, 2006

Where are the voices of protest? It was the other Washington that provided a voice for those who protest the unlikely union of China and Washington.

WASHINGTON - The arrival ceremony for Hu Jintao was interrupted by a protester who appealed to President Bush to stop the Chinese president from "persecuting the Falun Gong."The woman began shouting from the top of a camera stand that had been positioned directly in front of the two leaders so that news photographers could record the arrival ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House.

Read More

Friday, April 21, 2006

Friday Photo Blog

Celebrate the beauty of every flower and the opportunities of every day!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Lenten Retreat

We spent a wonderful day and a half at a monastery outside the city. We read in the library, prayed with the monks, walked the labyrinth, played with the dog and cat that live there, and talked and talked.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Tom Fox - Why are We Here?

Written by Tom Fox the day before his abduction in Iraq.

I have read that the word in the Greek Bible that is translated as "love" is the word "agape." Again, I have read that this word is best expressed as a profound respect for all human beings simply for the fact that they are all God's children. I would state that idea in a somewhat different way, as "never thinking or doing anything that would dehumanize one of my fellow human beings."

It seems as if the first step down the road to violence is taken when I dehumanize a person. That violence might stay within my thoughts or find its way into the outer world and become expressed verbally, psychologically, structurally or physically. As soon as I rob a fellow human being of his or her humanity by sticking a dehumanizing label on them, I begin the process that can have, as an end result, torture, injury and death.

"Why are we here?" We are here to root out all aspects of dehumanization that exist within us. We are here to stand with those being dehumanized by oppressors and stand firm against that dehumanization. We are here to stop people, including ourselves, from dehumanizing any of God's children, no matter how much they dehumanize their own souls.

What would happen if Christians devoted the same discipline and self-sacrifice to nonviolent peacemaking that armies devote to war?

Christian Peacemaker Teams

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Go Global

I recently found a great sit for global blogging. It's full of international writers.

Global Voices Online

From there comes my belated contribution for International Women's Day:

¡Feliz Día de la Mujer!

You certainly don’t need to speak Spanish to feel the raised hairs on your neck as you watch this moving video, edited by Argentine blogger Malearg, which recounts the progress and achievements made by women across the globe.


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Blogging against Sexim Day

We've got a long way to go.

Phoebe Griswold's address at UNCSW forum-

"..... the Anglican Communion has four instruments of unity: that is the
Archbishop of Canterbury, the 38 primates, the 700 plus bishops and the ACC members. That adds up to over 800 people who sit at the decision-making tables of the Anglican Communion.
Of those 800 people, 30 are women."

For some interesting stories from international women see blog:

Thursday, March 02, 2006

When a cup of water becomes a crime

This week I have been attending side events which are part of the 50th Session of the UNCSW. It has been an educational and challenging experience. The Anglican Consultative Council has sponsored over 100 women from the US and around the world as delegates. I've listened to women from Africa talk about the trafficking of women and girls in Los Angeles, watched a documentary about women from Iran who are forced into prostitution due to poverty and then punished for their illegal "job", listened to panelists discuss the role of women in decision making processes and peace making missions, and met women from many countries. I'm privileged to live in NY and have the opportunity to attend an event like this.

Unrelated to the UNCSW, but in the same building was a meeting sponsored by Episcopal Migration Ministries. The director of Annunciation House spoke about the work they are doing on the US-Mexican boarder. He told powerful stories of immigrants who risk life and limb to cross the boarder. We often hear from popular sources that the boarder is a "national safety" concern with drug dealers and terrorists using it as a highway for criminal activity. What we don't hear about are the hard-working families who cannot survive on the extremely low wages they earn in Mexico and so attempt the life-threatening track into the US in hopes of starting a new life. Or the story of Shanti and Daniel, two volunteers with NO MORE DEATHS were arrested and prosecuted for helping migrants they found badly dehydrated in the Arizona desert.

In the US, it is a crime to help someone in need?!!!

As a faith community we have moral obligation to help those who in need. Make your voice heard if you are concerned with the plight of immigrants and the moral decline of our society if we continue to oppress the poor of God's world. Urge the U.S. Senate to Support Bipartisan Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Saturday, February 25, 2006

The trouble with power

March 2006 will mark yet another anniversary of the war in Iraq. Iraqis and Americans continue to die. Children continue to grow up in an atmosphere of violence and neglect. We watched "Turtles Can Fly" last night. It's a painful reminder of the children who suffer from the trauma of war and will never escape the consequences of actions of the powerful. My husband found this prayer by Stanley Hauerwas which he wrote after the US sent missiles into Iraqi because Iraq had allegedly tried to kill George Bush I.

Graceful Lord, we find ourselves living in the most powerful country in the world. The pride and self-righteousness such power breeds are beyond compare. No power exists that can humble us. We are tyrants of all we survey. We decide to bomb these people, send rockets against these people, kill those we call terrorists-all because we can. We are the most powerful people in the world. It is hard not to be caught up in such power. It is intoxicating. Save us from it. Sober us with the knowledge that you will judge this nation, you will humble this nation, you will destroy this nation for our pride. Send us a reminder that you are God, that you alone have the right of vengeance, and if it be your will, make those we bomb instruments of you judgment. At the very least, save us from the "normality of killing." AMEN.
To see some of the consequences of our abuse of power, check out....

America uses its might in the service of principles.
Bush, April 2003

How can you liberate people by killing them?
Sheik Serif Maskari

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

In the footsteps of St. Francis

How do I know when I have too much? St. Francis sent out his friars with "nothing but a harp" saying "If we had possessions we should need weapons and laws to defend them." St. Francis wanted his friars to engage with the world and to never feel tied down either by loyalties to rich patrons or by the accumulation of possessions. He wanted his friars to mix freely with anyone and everyone they came across and in so doing, to be open to every reflection of God on earth.

Is it possible for someone in the 21st C. to live this way? This year, Lent offers me the opportunity to investigate what this lifestyle might mean for me. I want the freedom follow my spiritual journey wherever it leads.

The life of a monk ought to be a continuous Lent.

St. Benedict

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Do I have too much?

The USA alone, with only 6%of the world's population, consumes 30% of its resources.

What causes global hunger is not a shortage of resources, but the unequal distribution of those resources in favour of the rich. No solution to world poverty can ignore this basic fact: putting an end to it will inevitably involve a fairer distribution of the world's food, resources and wealth. This is not compatible with the consumerist creed of ever-increasing consumption.

I've been reading from this website and We are Everywhere about anticonsumerism and anticapitalism. Also thinking about the central theme of Lent, which is sacrifice. I wonder how much we are willing to sacrifice. Not giving up soda or chocolate, but having the guts to revision our world in light of the huge disparity between Western consumption and the poverty of so many countries.

There are so many things we can do every day to return balance to the world. We are responsible for the decisions we make everyday - from owning too much to buying products that support the continued "slavery" of poor workers in other countries.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Life on a string

There are so many issues that I would like to write about. Right now I don't have the experiance or knowledge to speak intelligently about most of them. So I've spent a lot of time reading other people's ideas and trying to sort out my own ideas.

Still reading about St. Francis. G.K. writes that St. F. saw the world like a man standing on his head. He saw the world as hanging by a string - dependent on God for everything. From a human point-of-view I often worry that I am making mistakes - that whatever I'm doing is wrong. But in an upside-down view of life NOTHING I could do is right-so I can rejoice in my foolishness and see how God controls even my inability to make the right decision. Perhaps I should consider my total dependence on Him and my total inability to even make a decision. In this way I don't escape my situation, instead I find a way deeper into my situation. Only by going deeper can I find myself or rather lose myself in dependence to God.

The main reason to lose myself is so that I can be more aware of the needs of others. There are so many situations in the world that do not reflect a balance of power or even a recognition of the humanity of so many people. Political and social instituations keep women, children, and anyone without power from fulfilling their purpose.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Moving toward Lent

In the cycle of the church calendar we are traveling toward the wilderness of Lent. It is not a season that comes easily - like Advent or Easter. Instead of celebrations and feasts, we fast. Instead of candles and greenary we have the hard wood of the cross. Instead of lessons on love and peace, we have the desert temptation and the suffering of the cross.

I am trying to spend some time preparing for Lent. Having come from a tradition that didn't pay much attention to Lent, I have only recently come to see Easter in light of Lent. During Advent we wait with anticipation for the joy of Christmas, but during Lent we are drawn with increased tension into the Passion. Only after the suffering of Maunday Thurday and the darkenss of Good Friday are we finally able to celebrate the Resurrection Mass.

In preparation for Lent I am reading G. K. Chesterton's St. Francis. I'm looking for a saintly example to emulate during Lent. On a larger scale I want to live a sustainable lifestyle that reflects the tenents of self-renunction and spiritual ecomomy as taught by the Franciscans and other monastic orders. This presents a conflict considering my present location - NYC and my natural preoccupation with having things. In the words of Jennifer M. Phillips:

God, My wisdom,
When I begin to see how my choices
are part of a pattern of wanting and using
by which others are hurt,
I am overwhelmed and I look away.
Cast out my fear.
Give me a large imagination
to see the hidden connections of your world,
wider compassion
to know my kinship with all people,
and to live as you desire,
one choice at a time.

Prayer for Penitents