Friday, September 18, 2009

It's an Easy Thing to Fall into Worry...

....given all of the roiling of the waters - The Episcopal Church and our own diocesan stuff, tremendous anxiety about our care of the physical creation, the struggle over universal health care efforts, changes in strategy about the defense of our country and our allies, and our own smaller- but none the less important to us - concerns. Here are some words that I find genuinely comforting. May they bless you too.

"We must overcome our fear of the future. But we will not be able to overcome it completely unless we do so together. The 'answer' to that fear is neither coercion nor repression, nor the imposition of one social 'model' on the entire world. The answer to the fear which darkens human existence at the end of the 20th century is the common effort to build the civilization of love, founded on the universal values of peace, solidarity, justice, and liberty. And the 'soul' of the civilization of love is the culture of freedom: the freedom of individuals and the freedom of nations, lived in self-giving solidarity and responsibility.

"We must not be afraid of the future. We must not be afraid of man. It is no accident that we are here. Each and every human person has been created in the 'image and likeness' of the One who is the origin of all that is. We have within us the capacities for wisdom and virtue. With these gifts, and with the help of God's grace, we can build in the next century and the next millennium a civilization worthy of the human person, a true culture of freedom. We can and must do so! And in doing so, we shall see that the tears of this century have prepared the ground for a new springtime of the human spirit."

--Pope John Paul II during his remarkable address to the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York City on Oct. 5, 1995

(Thanks to T1:9)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The E100 at St. James Santee!

This past Sunday, September 13th, we began the E100 Challenge. This is an exciting program which helps congregations and individuals increase their biblical literacy and understanding of the broad themes of the bible - something that is difficult to do with many individual reading programs.
There are a number of ways to approach the program, and we will be preaching sequentially through the Essential 100 Bible Stories. The first 50 stories are from the Old Testament, and the second 50 are from the New Testament. Congregations and individuals who have particpated in the program report very positive experiences.
It will take us quite a while to get through all 100 stories because we will be pausing during Advent, Christmas, Lent, Holy Week, Easter Day, and the Second Sunday of Easter. Please see the link to the reading schedule at the right.
For more information about the E100 Challenge, check out this link