Friday, April 26, 2019

News from the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania

The Offices of the Diocese are moving to Norristown
For the last eight months, a sub-committee composed of members from Standing Committee, Diocesan Council, the Finance Committee and the Property Committee had investigated other options, receiving final approval from the Standing Committee to move to St. John’s. Read the article here.

Caminos is Out!
The diocesan magazine was sent to all churches last week. In it, there are resources for churches, stories of faith and revival and more. If you did not get a copy, please contact us. You can also read it here.

Sacred Conversations, Town-Hall Style (5/9, 5/21)
In the last two months, we held three “fair share” conversations in churches across the diocese. They focused on the commitment of our churches to live into our call as the body of Christ in Southeast Pennsylvania as the Episcopal Church. At these sessions we will share some of our ideas for adjusting the budget and ask for your critical feedback. These are sacred conversations in our life as a diocese.  More details.

Special Needs Playgroup for Children Forming
5/11, Church of St. Alban, Roxborough
If you'd like to make meaningful connections with other special needs parents while giving your young children the chance to make new friends, please join parents for a fun new gathering. Future playgroups will have more structured themes such as "music and movement", "Disney Dance Party", and "Pete the Cat."More details.

Paradise Lost...and Restored
5/11, Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields 
The Climate Action Team hosts this concert to raise funds for Episcopal Relief & Development's California fire relief fund. The tragedy of Paradise calls our attention to the increasing frequency of “natural” disasters associated with climate change, whether in California, Houston, Puerto Rico, or right here in Philadelphia.  More details.
More Events
Anti-Racism Training
5/11, St. Asaph's, Bala Cynwyd

Join us for the second in a four-part series. Lailah Dunbar-Keeys from the Community College of Philadelphia, leads the second of four trainings presented this year by the
Anti-Racism Commission. More details.
Overbrook Gun Violence Awareness Day
5/5, The African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas

Faith communities in Overbrook coming together for a day of raising awareness about gun violence. The African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas is one of the main participants and will be hosting the Memorial to the Lost. More details.
Please subscribe to this newsletter and other diocesan mailings here. Have an event that you want us to promote? Please fill this out.

Know Jesus. Change the World.
Connect with us on social media

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

The Daffodils

William Wordsworth (1770–1850)
The Daffodils
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A Poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed — and gazed — but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

the old questions

R.S. Thomas
The Answer
Not darkness but twilight
In which even the best
of minds must make its way
now. And slowly the questions
occur, vague but formidable
for all that. We pass our hands
over their surface like blind
men feeling for the mechanism
that will swing them aside. They
yield, but only to reform
as new problems; and one
does not even do that
but towers immovable
before us
Is there no way
of other thought of answering
its challenge? There is an anticipation
of it to the point of
dying. There have been times
when, after long on my knees
in a cold chancel, a stone has rolled
from my mind, and I have looked
in and seen the old questions lie
folded and in a place
by themselves, like the piled
graveclothes of love’s risen body.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Alleluia! Christ is Risen! The Lord is Risen, Indeed, Alleluia!

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!

The Lord is Risen, Indeed, Alleluia!

The Presiding Bishop's Easter Message

The Presiding Bishop's Easter Message
The video is available here

Easter 2019 Message
The Rt. Reverend Barbara Harris was the first woman ordained and consecrated a bishop in The Episcopal Church and in the Anglican Communion. In her memoir, entitled Hallelujah, Anyhow! [she] quotes an old Gospel hymn that says it this way:
Hallelujah anyhow
Never let your troubles get you down
When your troubles come your way
Hold your hands up high and say
Hallelujah anyhow!

When I get to Heaven, I want to meet one person, and her name is Mary Magdalene. Because if ever there was another Hallelujah, Anyhow sister, it was Mary Magdalene. And her life, and her example, tells us what it means to follow in the way of Jesus, in the Way of Love.
Mary Magdalene showed up when others would not. Mary Magdalene spoke up when others remained silent. Mary Magdalene stood up when others sat down.
John’s Gospel tells us that when many of the disciples fled and abandoned Jesus, Mary Magdalene stood by him at the cross. Hallelujah, Anyhow.
Against the odds, swimming against the current, Mary Magdalene was there.
John’s Gospel says in the 20th chapter, early in the morning, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene and some of the other women went to the tomb. Hallelujah, Anyhow.
They went to the tomb when it didn’t make any sense. They went to the tomb when the evidence was against them. Jesus was dead. They knew that. The power of the Empire had crushed the hope of love. They knew that. And they got up in the morning and went to the tomb anyhow. Hallelujah, Anyhow.
But more than that, John’s Gospel says it was dark. It was dark. That’s not just the time of day in John’s Gospel. The darkness in John is the domain of evil. In John’s Gospel when Judas leaves the Last Supper to betray Jesus, John inserts a parenthetical remark. When Judas leaves to betray him, John says, “And it was night.” The darkness is the domain of wrong, of hatred, of bigotry, of violence, the domain of sin and death and horror.
And early in the morning while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb, Hallelujah, Anyhow.
The truth is, she didn’t know that Jesus was alive. She was just doing what love does. Caring for her beloved, her Savior, her friend, in his time of death, to give him the last rites of burial. And when she got to the tomb, and the other women with them, they eventually discovered that Jesus was alive, and in the silence of the night, in the moments of despair, in the moments of the worst darkness, God had done something incredible. God had raised Jesus from the dead
The truth is, nobody saw Jesus rise from the dead, because God had done it secretly and quietly, when nobody was looking.
When I was in high school, I learned a poem composed by James Russell Lowell. He wrote it in the 19th century, in one of the darkest periods in American history, when this country was torn asunder by the existence of chattel slavery in our midst. In this great land of freedom, there were slaves being held in bondage. And this nation literally went to war, tearing itself apart, trying to find the way to do what was right. And James Russell Lowell wrote, in the midst of this darkness, in this dark hour:
Though the cause of evil prosper, yet ‘tis truth alone and strong . . .
Though her portion be a scaffold, and upon the throne be wrong
Yet that scaffold sways the future, and behind the dim unknown
Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own

Hallelujah, Anyhow.
Christ is risen
The Lord is risen, indeed.
God love you, God bless you, and may God hold us all in those almighty hands of love.


O God, who made this most holy night to shine with the glory of the Lord's resurrection: Stir up in your Church that Spirit of adoption which is given to us in Baptism, that we, being renewed both in body and mind, may worship you in sincerity and truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God,  now and for ever. Amen.

Christ has no body

 Christ Has No Body

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

Teresa of Avila (1515–1582)

Holy Saturday

O God, Creator of heaven and earth: Grant that, as the crucified body of your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so we may await with him the coming of the third day, and rise with him to newness of life; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Behold this your family

Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Maundy Thursday Service tonight at 7:30 at St. Mary's - Cathedral Road

Maundy Thursday Service tonight at 7:30 at St. Mary's - Cathedral Road

Receive it thankfully

Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may receive it thankfully in remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord, who in these holy mysteries gives us a pledge of eternal life; and who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.