Saturday, February 28, 2009

Anglican churches of the Americas and the Caribbean: responsible, accountable, in mission, in communion

News of the demise of communion and the (Anglican) Communion is, as always, exaggerated.

More than this, there is good news coming out of the recent meeting in Costa Rica of the Anglican Churches of the Americas and the Caribbean.

Caminante and Padre Mickey have both posted the text of the communique from the meeting.

The Episcopal News Service story is here.

I am sure that we owe to the participants from the Global Center much of the credit for this heartfelt, outer-directed, and harmonious gathering.

¡Demos gracias a Dios!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday cat blogging: summer pose

Since everyone in the Northern Hemisphere seems to be struggling with the long winter, here is a late summer photo of +Maya Pavlova on her perch at the bedroom window.

Perhaps it was early fall. It was not long after our move to the new house.

She's snoozing, but not deeply: you can see her ears are alert. When she is in deep sleep she curls up on her side and goes limp.

Also, her eyes are open just a slit. This is her sphinx pose as opposed to one of her "aaaaawwww... sweet..." poses.

Click on the photo to enlarge it and see detail.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Reminder: "Journey of Reconciliation" commemorations

Just a reminder of this, since the commemorations are upon us.

Even if you can't attend, have a look at the links! A precious piece of memory.

Psychedelic fish

Baby Boomers, you'll love this one.

Other generations will enjoy it as well.

Long and interesting caption for the photo here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"Journeys into the Heart of Prayer"

Whew, I didn't mean to post quite so much today, especially on a day of prayer and fasting, but I don't want to wait to put this one up since I just got a copy of the pdf and the series starts Sunday.

Click here for information on a Sunday 5 p.m. series on prayer, every Sunday in March, facilitated by yours truly at All Saints Episcopal Church in Greensboro, North Carolina. All welcome.

I am giving up stress for Lent

I'm serious.

Not that we have entire control over stress, as I know all too well given the fall's two house intrusions and various job, church, financial, and other matters of recent preoccupation.

But I wonder what it will be like to be mindful of what I contribute to stress and how I respond to outside stress.

And yes, stress can get in the way of both our relationship to God and our relationship to other people. (The recent issue of Newsweek notwithstanding.)

Lent: a time to breathe more deeply.

Liturgical blogiversary

Ash Wednesday is, liturgically speaking, the anniversary of this blog. The calendar anniversary has already passed, but since I am a liturgical creature, today's the day. It's been two years. I started haunting other people's blogs sometime the year before I started my own.

Thanks to all who visit here!

Marcella Althaus-Reid, RIP

This just in from Mary Hunt at WATER. I had no idea Marcella was ill. I did not know her well, only met her once at an academic conference. She was still young. A great loss to the theological world.

IN MEMORY OF HER-- Marcella Althaus-Reid

Theology lost an original voice last Friday, February 20, 2009, when Professor Marcella Althaus-Reid died at Marie Curie Hospice in Edinburgh, Scotland. WATER offers sympathy to her husband, family members, and friends. Those who appreciate creative, bold theology are in her debt.

Marcella was Argentine by birth with a deep commitment to liberation theology. She studied at ISEDET, the Protestant theological faculty in Buenos Aires, and received her doctorate at the University of St. Andrews. She insisted that issues of body and sexuality need to be interwoven with other liberation concerns. Feminist and queer commitments informed her unique and important work.

She held the Chair of Contextual Theology in the School of Divinity, at the University of Edinburgh. See for a biographical sketch and bibliography. She was the author of the widely acclaimed Indecent Theology, among many other books.

Marcella Althaus-Reid’s work will echo for generations to come.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Daffodil report

A lone daffodil was working very hard to emerge from its green sheath this morning and to burst into yellow.

It is still working at it, but under the influence of the noon sun, has been joined by several of its siblings.

Daffodil solidarity!

+Maya Pavlova has been asleep all day. Doubtless she will emerge when the sun starts to go down. She has missed all the vacuum cleaner action so far. We're in Mardi Gras cleaning mode. Soon friends will pop in for crêpes. (More on my annual Shrove Tuesday event here.) The party is early this year, at tea-time, because I am teaching on Tuesday evenings this semester. We'll also have a little late crêpes-eating after I get home at 10:30 p.m. Crêpes in the morning, crêpes in the evening, crêpes till the midnight hour.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Journey of Reconciliation: the first "freedom ride" - in 1947! Commemorations in Chapel Hill.

I received this letter a few days ago from the Fellowship of Reconciliation:

Did you know that the first civil rights "freedom ride" took place in 1947, fourteen years before the 1961 riders captured the nation's attention by exposing the brutality of Jim Crow in the South? The Journey of Reconciliation was organized by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), which was born at FOR, and was led by FOR staff members Bayard Rustin and George Houser.

The interracial group of nine men on the Journey of Reconciliation set out from Washington, D.C. on April 9th, 1947. They met some resistance from passengers and drivers on buses in Virginia and North Carolina. But when they attempted to sit at the front of a bus in Chapel Hill on April 12th, the driver refused, and removed some of the riders by force. They were then attacked by angry cab drivers at the Chapel Hill bus station, and arrested by local police. Their subsequent time serving on a chain gang led Rustin to write about the experience. His serialized journal led to major reforms in the North Carolina prison system.

[Note from Jane: For a much earlier post on Bayard Rustin, see here.]

Next week, a state historic marker will be installed in Chapel Hill to commemorate the Journey of Reconciliation. The event will be an opportunity to remember the horrors of Jim Crow past, and to look forward at the racial justice challenges of our future. I hope you can join me at one or more of these events in Chapel Hill. If not, perhaps you can show your support by making a donation to FOR in honor of the first freedom ride . Click the titles below to learn more and RSVP for these events.

Thursday 2/26, 7 pm: Screening & discussion: "You Don't have to Ride Jim Crow." Watch the documentary and discuss Chapel Hill's civil rights history with filmmaker Robin Washington. Sponsored by FOR and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP.

Friday 2/27, time TBA: Nonviolent direct action organizing, then and now . A discussion of old tactics and new frontiers with Robin Washington. Sponsored by FOR.

Saturday 2/28, noon: Day of Commemoration and Re-dedication . Freedom Riders in Chapel Hill 1947-2009: The Struggle for Racial Justice Continues. Sponsored by the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP and the Community Church, with support from the Town of Chapel Hill.

I am helping to organize these events because I believe in the power of nonviolent direct action to bring about justice. I want others to remember this powerful legacy and to be inspired about the change we can continue to make happen today. I hope you will join me in Chapel Hill.


Ruby Sinreich
Communications Co-Director
Fellowship of Reconciliation
Chapel Hill, N.C.

Fellowship of Reconciliation • 521 N. Broadway • Nyack, New York 10960 • 845-358-4601 •

Cross-posted at Race, Justice, and Love.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Some notes on intercessory prayer, part I (keeping you guessing)

I gave a presentation to the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross in Hillsborough, NC this afternoon. The topic was intercessory prayer, which is one of the ministries of the Companions. They also have a strong concern for social justice.

More information on the Companions here.

Christian Socialist Vida Dutton Scudder (1861-1954), an Anglo-Catholic, was a member. There is a link to information on her at the bottom of the page to which I linked above. That's a picture of the young Vida above, from Smith College, 1884.

I brought a handout so people would have something on which to scribble. It had only a set of words which I had used as anchors for my talk and for our conversation. All of these words point to anchors for or entryways into intercessory prayer. Have fun guessing, and I will post a Part II at some point in the next few days to fill in the blanks for you.

Here's the handout:

Suggestions and Opportunities for the Practice of Intercessory Prayer

1. Faces

2. Hands

3. Hearts

4. Circles

5. Maps

6. Photos

7. News

Friday cat blogging on Saturday: FBE and CTE

As some of you have already seen in the comments on the post below, our friend Pseudopiskie, she of the lively spirit, outdoor cats, and love of music, breezed through town yesterday. She is on a road trip in her spiffy little hybrid automobile.

We had lunch together (at the very same restaurant where Doxy and I last dined) and of course Pseudopiskie paid her respects to +Maya Pavlova, Feline Bishop Extraordinaire. Below is the picture she also posted on her blog (per the aforementioned comment): as you see, I get hugging privileges because of my ministry as Canon to the Extraordinary.

Thank you for your lovely notes below. I am most grateful. +Maya sends love and says "Have a nap!"

P.S. That shirt is actually purple. (Since +Maya prefers not to wear the episcopal purple because she has perfectly gorgeous grey fur, I sometimes have to take up the slack.) The camera distorted the color and made it blue.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A note from +Maya Pavlova

Dear all,

It is I, The Right Reverend and Right Honorable Maya Pavlova, Feline Bishop Extraordinaire. My lovely white paws are on the laptop.

I want to apologize on Jane's behalf for her low blogging levels these days. She hasn't even posted her sermon from ten days ago, the one she only had seventy percent written down and on which she did such a fine job extemporizing the remaining thirty percent, if I may say so my episcopal self. I wasn't there, you understand, but I heard about it. There were two liturgies that weekend and word gets around.

My Jane is a little on the tired and discouraged side, so she's not being as creative as she might be. She's also working hard because she teaches in the early morning and all evening the first half of the week and then there are meetings and then she wants to sleep. What she really wants to do is sleep some more and also be a solitary writer. She's having trouble making sentences these days, though. Also she wants a vacation. I think she will get one, in a few months, but right now it's not there. I am compensating for this by taking extra naps. I am even more beautiful and soft than usual these days and Jane is noticing. So she's not completely in the Slough of Despond.

As you know, Jane is my Canon to the Extraordinary, and a fine one she is, though she was a little slow getting to my kitty litter maintenance this week. But in her discouragement she seems to think that this and one or two other things make her a bad Canon. Please tell her she is not. The canine and feline bishops think no one is a failure, especially one who loves well.

Now, does anyone have any kitty treats? While I am at it, I thought I'd ask.

Love and purrs,

+Maya Pavlova, FBE

Monday, February 16, 2009

Italian humor (animated) courtesy of Brother of Acts of Hope

This one has been around the internet for a while, but I am pretty sure I have not previously posted it. If I have, my apologies. Brother of Acts of Hope, who lives in Italy most of the time (when he is not in Turkey or one or two other places), just sent this again, and it is as funny the second time around as it was the first. No language knowledge necessary. Enjoy.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Speaking of the powers and principalities

How 'bout that Psalm at Morning Prayer today?!

Preach, Psalmist!



Praise the LORD, O my soul! *
I will praise the LORD as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

Put not your trust in rulers, nor in any child of earth, *

for there is no help in them.

When they breathe their last, they return to earth, *

and in that day their thoughts perish.

Happy are they who have the God of Jacob for their help! *

whose hope is in the LORD their God;

Who made heaven and earth, the seas, and all that is in them; *

who keeps his promise for ever;

Who gives justice to those who are oppressed, *

and food to those who hunger.

The LORD sets the prisoners free;

the LORD opens the eyes of the blind; *
the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down;

The LORD loves the righteous;

the LORD cares for the stranger; *
he sustains the orphan and widow,
but frustrates the way of the wicked.

The LORD shall reign for ever, *

your God, O Zion, throughout all generations.

Three crocuses

The crocuses and daffodils have been pushing through the earth for weeks now, even in the worst of the cold. I have worried about them but they keep going. In front of my house I am not sure whether we are dealing with the one or the other, since the landlady planted the bulbs, so I will have Surprise Flowers. For now, there are green shoots getting higher and higher. Nothing has bloomed yet. But I just went on a walk back in my old haunts, the paved road through the woods on campus, and stopped at a friend's house to say hi, and lo, there were three crocuses blooming at her doorstep.

Speaking of old haunts, the college has finally fixed my old house. So the insurance must have come through and the structural damage must have been less than severe. There is no longer a blue tarpaulin over half the roof and there is a new piece of roof. I don't know what's happened inside.

I am glad to be living off campus and much prefer the privacy I have here, but I miss the old house, the house itself.

Naturally, they will rent the place out at a higher rent than they were renting to me. I don't know this for sure, but it's the way of the world.

I am grumpy about the way of the world (and the bureaucracies and the powers and principalities). The crocuses, though, are beautiful.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

And the great sucking sound you hear... me, whirled into the Facebook vortex.

I have succumbed.

Yo, dude(tte)s, I'm okay, and thank you so much for the prayers

Special thanks to all who have been holding me in prayer. I am deeply, deeply grateful, and I believe that your prayers have made a difference in the past few days.

There are things many of us can't or don't talk about on blog -- matters related to employment, family, ecclesiastical politics, health, degree programs, unpublished writings, pastoral care, and other areas in which public discussion would be inappropriate, impolitic, unsafe, or a violation of someone's privacy or boundaries.

So, sometimes we just ask for prayer.

I'm doing all right, in fact, better than a week ago. (+Maya Pavlova just placed both front paws across my left wrist. A little hard to type. Okay, she's off and the paws are on the edge of the computer. But she's still up against my hand.) Thank you, from my heart, for praying me through the current mishegoss and tsuris. (Yeah, I mix my metaphors and lingos, but I am a hybrid creature. So sue me.)

Now back to our irregularly scheduled programming.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Update from post below

I can't say more in public, but would appreciate extra prayers. Thanks!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Short blog break - prayers welcome

Acts of Hope is on blog break for a few days and welcomes your prayers.

We're alive and reasonably well, all things considered, but needing to focus and be quiet and as we work toward completion of some writing projects.

Keep us in your prayers. Whatever you ask, we probably need it!

P.S. If you wish, discuss in the Comments section:

What are you doing to be good stewards of your time and energy? How is the issue of "balance" playing out in your life? Is the Rule of St. Benedict helpful? Do you engage in any kind of mindfulness practice (Buddhist or other)? How do you remain both disciplined and kind with yourself? What are you doing this winter to stay healthy and care for yourself? What role does community play in any or all of the above? What are your greatest challenges these days? (Assuming you can discuss them in this public forum, which not all of us can or want to.) How do you protect your boundaries, your time, your commitments to relationships, to sanity, to solitude, to silliness, to prayer? Any stories of hope? Where and how do you find and build solidarity? Where is Godde for you these days, in all this? May peace be with you.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Brigid and Candlemas

Yesterday, Padre Mickey de Panamá wrote:

I know Bride's feast was yesterday, but, technically, it is transferred to today, 'cuza dat Sunday thang. But then again, today is Candlemas, but, really, how many women do YOU know who need "cleansing?" That's what I thought.

He continues:

Today is the feast of St. Brigid, who is also called St. Bride. Next to St. Patrick, she is the most beloved of Irish saints.

Read on, a fine Brigid tale, here.

The image above is by Jan Richardson, who also has a post about Brigid here. This is from Jan's blog (one of several) The Painted Prayerbook.

The Bridge Building Images icon of Brigid, which has appeared on other blogs, is here with a little note on Brigid's connection to Brid, Celtic goddess of fire.

This is a St. Brigid cross.

Jan Richardson also has a post about Candlemas, a.k.a. the Feast of the Presentation, from which these candles come.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Xico on the World Social Forum

The ever thoughtful Francisco Silva, a.k.a. Francisco de Assis da Silva, a.k.a. Xico, at Kantinho do Rev (in Brazilian-accented English) has a post on the World Social Forum and why Anglicans should be there.

For those who don't know what the World Social Forum is, here is a website. (Not a sexy one, but an informative one.)

The Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil is at the World Social Forum. The rest of the Anglican Communion is not.

I hear from one of my students (from three years ago) who was there last time that many Forum participants tend not to have a positive view of religious organizations. Not surprising, but I'm curious to learn more. I do know religious activists who have attended and been involved, and the World Council of Churches is present.

And right before the World Social Forum, there was a World Forum on Theology and Liberation. Theme: water / earth / theology / for another possible world. The World Social Forum's motto is "Another world is possible."

Indigenous people at a march on the first day of the 2009 World Social Forum in Belem, Brazil. Photo by Reuters.