Social Justice and Spirituality Library Launch

The Social Justice Working Group and Spiritual Life Committee have created a Social Justice and Spirituality Lending Library, located in the book shelf at the back of the sanctuary.  Folks are invited to borrow books on racism and white privilege, income equality and poverty, equity and climate change, faith and spirituality.

You can view our full Online Book Catalog with just a click but to highlight a sample of the stimulating books available:

Between the World and MeA memoir and Pulitzer Prize finalist, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, who is described by the New York Observer as “the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States.”

In the Company of the Poor:  Conversations with Dr Paul Farmer and Fr Gustavo Gutierrez.  Dr. Farmer is award-winning Harvard professor of Global Health and Social Medicine, author of many books on high-quality health care in resource-poor settings in the U.S. and other countries.  Rev Gutierrez is a philosopher, theologian, and Dominican priest, professor of Theology at University of Notre Dame, and one of the founders of liberation theology.

Speaking of Faith:  Why Religion Matters—and How to Talk About it, by journalist and winner of the National Humanities Medal Krista Tippett, creator and host of the public radio program On Being.

 

To borrow a book:

  1. Fill out an orange card with the book title, your name, and date borrowed.

  2. Slip the orange card in the shelf where the book was located. 

  3. When returning a book, return it to its location on the shelf, remove the orange card, and write the date returned.

  4. Return the orange card to the box of cards.

To donate a book, see Ann Collins or Sharlene Cochrane or anyone on the Social Justice Committee.

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Faith @ Home - Spiritual Practice in the Midst of Life

Are you in the present moment? Right now, this is where God calls you to be.

We live busy lives full with things we ought to do, want to do and might do, if there is time.  Our actions reflect what is important to us. Family, friends, work/school, put demands on us – and bring us much joy.  How can we nurture our faith in the midst of busy lives? First, we need to realize that faith practice does not take us outside of our lives but brings us more deeply into our living.  We pray in the midst of our chaos. We live out our faith through actual practices because we seek a way of life that touches and changes us and those around us.

Your spiritual practices may vary depending on what stage of life you are in.  Young families can make “sacred” the ordinary activities of their lives: preparing meals, playing with the kids, changing diapers, giving baths, reading books at story-time.  Are you in the present moment? Right now, this is where God calls you to be. How can you find God in the experiences of home life? Families with school age children who spend significant parts of the day chauffeuring the kids to activities can do so in a “mindful” way.  Night time can be times to connect and share about the day. Where were you kind, loving, patient as God is with us?

One of my favorite, simple prayers that can easily be said anytime throughout a day is “Be still and know that I am God”.  I need to be reminded to slow down and just be. This prayer can be said very slowly… and drop off different words as you say the prayer slowly.  “Be still and know that I am… Be still and know… Be still… Be.” Just be with your God, with your life, with yourself.

What a wonderful gift we can give ourselves is to live simply and just be grateful.

Each month, there will be this column of reflection on how we can nurture our faith.  In the future, we will look at concrete ways that will help us grow in our relationship with God that honors the busy lives we all lead.


Spotlight On: Libby Gatti

Spotlight: Parishioners Living Out Their Faith

Hello I am Libby Gatti and I am entering my fifth year of working on the pastoral care team with the MANNA Community and my second year in a Master's in Divinity program at Boston University. MANNA stands for "Many Angels Needed Now and Always," and is a ministry of and with the homeless community of Downtown Boston. We are a ministry of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul. Through MANNA, we seek not only to welcome folks across differences of class, wealth, culture, race and mental/physical ability, but also to empower all people to claim their place as essential members of the community. Often folks out on the street are considered for what they lack, and often there is much lacking: housing, healthcare, money, stability, the list goes on. We at MANNA try to consider not only what we each may lack, but what gifts we have to offer. Someone may be a great writer, and contribute to our quarterly magazine The Pilgrim. Someone may love to sing, and thus join our choir. Someone might be particularly patient, and so sit with a person who is having a rough day during our weekly meal. One of the many blessings of being a community mostly of homeless people is that it is hard to forget the depths of our need for each other - and for Jesus most of all!

This is one of the deep learnings I have received from the community and something foundational to my understanding of social justice: it can be tempting to believe (and try to make manifest in my life!) the idea that I am self-sufficient, that I am “put together,” or that, though I may appreciate company, I do not need anyone. Our community reminds me that, in fact, each one of us is essential to the body of Christ. We are not, any one of us, simply placed into categories of the “helpers” and the “helped," but rather: we all have gifts to give and to receive. We need each other. And this is why we gather each week to serve, to pray, and to create together. I hope you will consider joining us sometime!

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New Zealand Cathedral's broken rose window a giant jigsaw puzzle

The shattered rose window of the Christ Church Cathedral is like a giant jigsaw puzzle for stonemason Mark Whyte.

Whyte is carefully sorting through the rubble from the collapsed western end of the cathedral in preparation for the building's eventual restoration.

Workers are being lowered in a bucket suspended from a crane to recover the rubble, which has been lying on the roof of the portico since the rose window collapsed in the June 2011 earthquake…

Read more about the efforts at Christ Church Cathedral in New Zealand!

Stonemason Mark Whyte from Goldfield Stone has sorted through about 300 pieces of rubble from the front of the Christ Church Cathedral.  Compliments of stuff.co.nz

Stonemason Mark Whyte from Goldfield Stone has sorted through about 300 pieces of rubble from the front of the Christ Church Cathedral. Compliments of stuff.co.nz

Tis So Sweet...

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His word;
Just to rest upon His promise;
Just to know, Thus saith the Lord. Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him,
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er,
Jesus, Jesus, Precious Jesus!
  O for grace to trust Him more.

O how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood;
Just in simple faith to plunge me,
’Neath the healing, cleansing flood.
Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life, and rest, and joy, and peace.
I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.

A Message from our Bishop

We are committed to the principle of full and equal access to, and inclusion in, the sacraments for all of the baptized children of God, including our LGBTQ siblings. For as St. Paul reminds us in Galatians 3, “in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.”

Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry

Read the full statement from Presiding Bishop Curry on Bishop William Love’s November 10 Pastoral Letter and Directive here.

The Episcopal Public Policy Network

You can follow The Episcopal Public Policy Network on Facebook for loads of great advocacy information.

But what about the separation of church and state?

This is a different concept than what we do with advocacy. The separation of church and state is about the government not prohibiting a particular religion or requiring participation in one. 
What we're doing as a Church & what we're encouraging folks to do is to use their constitutional right to petition the government.

In fact, the Episcopal Church advocates to protect the separation of church and state, just like in our work with Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty on preserving the Johnson Amendment. #EpiscopalAdvocacy

While you’re on Facebook, do you follow us? Like our page and stay connected with us on social media!

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Sign up for Action Alerts from Episcopal City Mission

MISSION

ECM builds relationships and collective power across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for racial and economic justice as the expression of God’s transforming love. We do this by developing, convening, mobilizing, and funding prophetic leaders in Episcopal communities, grassroots organizations and faith-rooted organizations.  

STRATEGIC ROLES:

Develop: Form prophetic leaders with the understanding and skills needed to do justice.

Convene: Foster right relationship by catalyzing communities of faith-rooted and grassroots leaders.

Mobilize: Organize faith-rooted individuals and communities to act towards a more whole, just, and equitable Massachusetts.

Fund: Strategically invest financial resources in Episcopal communities, grassroots and faith-rooted leaders and organizations who are doing justice work aligned with our overall strategy.

Sign up for action alerts on their website!

79th General Convention in Order

The presiding officers of the Episcopal Church delivered a rousing welcome July 4 to the hundreds of bishops and deputies who have gathered in Texas' capital city this week for the 79th General Convention.

The remarks by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, president of the House of Deputies, each lasted about 20 minutes and set the stage for an active 10 days at the Austin Convention Center and surrounding hotels. Committees began holding hearings earlier in the day on some resolutions, though the legislative session doesn't officially convene until July 5.

Read More at Episcopal News Service

Join General Convention from wherever you are from their online hub!

Joint Statement from the Bishops of the Episcopal Church in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

The bishops of the Episcopal dioceses of Massachusetts and Western Massachusetts jointly issued the following statement, "Make Room at the Inn for U.S. Citizens Impacted by Disaster," in which they urge federal action to activate the Disaster Housing Assistance Program (DHAP) for Puerto Rican families displaced by Hurricane Maria in 2017. Those families will be homeless on June 30 if FEMA fails to activate DHAP. Find advocacy action steps, prepared by the Pioneer Valley Project and made available by the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts, here.
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Make room at the Inn for U.S. Citizens Impacted by Disaster

Joint Statement from the Bishops of the Episcopal Church in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts


June 6, 2018

Today one hundred displaced American citizens from Puerto Rico are heading to Capitol Hill. These families have been living in local hotels since the devastation of Hurricane Maria in 2017. FEMA has refused to activate DHAP – the Disaster Housing Assistance Program – for the Puerto Rican victims of this natural disaster. As citizens of the United States, those who have fled the island of Puerto Rico should have the same assistance as a citizen of the 50 states. Instead, these families are getting phone calls from FEMA encouraging them to return to Puerto Rico. They will lose their hotel housing on June 30, 2018. Without the activation of DHAP from FEMA, these families will be homeless in 25 days. With concerned citizens and people of faith, we ask, “why?” Why are these citizens receiving a different level of care and support?

We have learned that Massachusetts has the second highest number of displaced Puerto Rican families – Florida is number one. In fact Hampden County is ranked 7th in U.S. counties serving the needs of Puerto Rican families impacted by the storm. These are our neighbors. They worship in our congregations. These children attend our schools. With FEMA’s refusal to activate DHAP, they have no recourse but to turn to our legislators for help before their hotel housing runs out.

Tomorrow one hundred Puerto Rican Americans will stand for all those who found shelter here after the storm. They will meet with senators and members of Congress who have sponsored two bills which would activate DHAP immediately. These bills, if passed, will give them a long-term housing pathway from hotel to apartment. Housing is the key to recovery for these families - to having the ability to get a driver’s license and get a stable job. DHAP is the means by which these families might return to economic independence.

On June 30 thousands of people will become homeless because of FEMA’s inaction. More importantly, U.S. citizens have the right to self-determination, to live where they wish, to begin again after disaster and devastation. The governor of Puerto Rico has advocated that DHAP be activated immediately, but FEMA has refused. It is our hope that concerned citizens will use their voices, phones and social media to stand with Puerto Rican citizens. It is only by standing with one another that we can bear the weight of life’s tragedies and be witnesses for the new life that will emerge from the dust.

No American family should become homeless because of a hurricane, a wildfire or a tornado. These Puerto Rican families are our sisters and brothers, our fellow Americans. May we extend to them the hospitality and care we would have given to another homeless family two thousand years ago. As these one hundred citizens knock on the doors of power, may they be given hope and the commitment of our resources. And may we, as Episcopalians, bring their concerns to our prayer and advocacy. May we embody the love Presiding Bishop Curry preaches – the love of Jesus Christ.

The Rt. Rev. Douglas J. Fisher, Bishop Diocesan of Western Massachusetts

The Rt. Rev. Alan M. Gates, Bishop Diocesan of Massachusetts

The Rt. Rev. Gayle E. Harris, Bishop Suffragan of Massachusetts

# # #

https://www.diomass.org/…/ma-bishops-urge-activation-housin…
#PuertoRico #HurricaneMaria #Massachusetts #FEMA

When Words Fail

When Words Fail

Not long ago I sent my wife, Cari, a text message using only voice prompts. I was on my way out the door to give her a ride home from work and intended to send the words, “Where would you like me to pick you up, old gal?”

Cari doesn’t mind my calling her “old gal”—it’s one of the affectionate nicknames we use around the house. But my cell phone didn’t “understand” the phrase, and sent the words “old cow” instead...

Read more at Our Daily Bread.