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Author: Laurie Gudim

Spiritual Transformation and Feeding Five Thousand

“This is a spiritual transformation.  It’s a reorienting of life that places the welfare of our neighbors and of the planet as our foremost, our primary concerns,  But more than that, it’s a complete change in where we look for the meeting of our needs.  We count on God’s provision rather than our own.  We are not fed by ‘Caesar,’ we are fed by Christ.”

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The Yeast of Heaven in the Ordinary Moment

“I find myself taking the free moments in the midst of my activities to listen for what the Holy might be saying to me.  While I am waiting for Rosean to walk down the hall on her walker, I let my senses drift out the window, embracing a soft breeze and the songs of many birds.  When I am cooking dinner, I let my mind drift, listening for what meaningful current will carry my heart.  Christ reaches out for me in the dancing of a leaf, the flash of a blue flower, the ringing of our neighbor’s wind chimes, the memory of a favorite hymn, or the whisper of an imagined conversation.  The Holy One is always right there.”

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That Parable Again

“Parables are like onions, replete with layer upon layer of meaning.  Was Matthew wrong, or is there some other way of understanding?  Human judgment is itself the devil’s child, the strangling weed that wraps around all our good grain.  How will it happen that we slip out of either-or thinking into a new reality?  When we do that, what gets burned away?  The “end of the age” may be a time of accounting that has nothing to do with space and time in the natural world, and it may not happen for everybody at the same point and in the same way.”

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God’s Abundance of Seed

“There is time to learn God’s hopes and dreams and to be the hands and hearts that carry them out.  There is time to nurture tender seeds, not knowing what they will become but loving them for their strange, brightly colored stems and their ability to carry your heart into wonder.  There is time to make a greenhouse for God’s new life.”

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The Lesson of Rebekka

“I don’t remember another major life-shift after that until the Covid 19 epidemic came along and changed all of our lives so radically.  I still can’t believe we went from worshiping together in relative safety (though we were worried about the common cup and sanitizing our hands) to worshiping remotely via Zoom in about 48 hours.  But we did.”

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Systemic Racism

“For people of color, especially for black African Americans, the terror of the hate crime is built into the very fabric of one’s days. It’s not a new thing; it’s ongoing, a constant awareness — a fact of life over which one has little control.”

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Receive Holy Spirit

“Jesus breathed on them and said, “receive Holy Spirit.”  Breath quickens blood, quickens soul, moves our spirits in exaltation and our bodies in dance.  Wind moves the clouds in patterns across the sky:  Ruach, Creator’s companion — breath of God, Word of God.”

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Pray Tenderly

“We are all beloved servants of God, heirs to the kin-dom of divine love. But we are in a world that does not see this. We ourselves are apt to put belief in societal constructs, family affiliations, and clan-like organizations ahead of neighbor to neighbor caring. Unlearning all that can be dangerous and intimidating.”

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The Spirit of Truth

“The essence of the Eucharist is the celebration of Christ’s willingness to commune with us. We focus on that awareness and allow it to inform us. We learn through the lens of love that Christ is in God and we are in Christ and Christ is in us.”

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Into Your Hands

“I light a candle and chant a favorite hymn.  The sadness and anxiety that has lodged itself in my soul shakes loose and flows out of me with the music.  I go for a walk, breathing deeply, acknowledging the springtime that is spreading through the world.  In this moment I remember that I am not in charge; I am only your helper.  The sticky pull of the world’s suffering eases a little.  Living or dying, I give you my heart and my complete trust, O God.”

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The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

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