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Promises, Law and Faith

“I do have faith that God is present and as close as my next breath. That’s the best reason I can think of for continuing to breathe.  I don’t obey civil law because it suits me; it’s more about making things safer for others and myself.”

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Books, Willow Trees, and Heaven

“God, if wishes count, could my willow tree be there too? And maybe the pine tree overlooking my river where You and I met so often when I was an adolescent? Oh, and could there be a village like Three Pines with warm and friendly people, a sense of history, and a little Anglican church, for meditation and occasional concerts? By the way, I’d love to have about half the town I grew up in as neighbors as well?”

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Prayer – Conscious and Subconscious

“How do you pray? What do you get from it? How do you feel when you pray? Does just sitting and meditating feel prayerful? When you do or make something for another person, do you also offer it to God as a prayer?”

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“The words Barber chose for the vocal parts were an ancient part of the Latin mass.  The Agnus Dei is a supplication that has used through many centuries since being added to the Latin mass by Pope Sergius (687-701). He imported it from Orthodox Christianity. In the Eucharist service, it is placed between the Lord’s Prayer and the Eucharistic prayer that precedes the consecration of the Eucharistic Elements. It can also be used as a prayer of meditation, much like the repetition of the Hail, Mary when saying a rosary.”

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Prayer and study

We shouldn’t give up learning just because we’ve completed high school or college or any kind of formal or informal schooling. If we stop learning, we stop growing. We pray to communicate with God, but we study to understand what God has to tell us through the words of the Bible and prayer.  

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Curiosity

“I’m pretty sure curiosity about Jesus was one of the main reasons people journeyed, sometimes long distances, to find out who this person was that they had heard about through word of mouth from others.  Perhaps they heard someone quote one of Jesus’s teachings, or maybe it was the recounting of a miracle he had performed that caused them to want to hear and see more.”

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Thinking ahead to Harvest

The story of Jesus going through the cornfield reminded me of September, even though I’m a few miles from the nearest cornfield, which will soon be a Halloween maze.  Corn is always a welcome food, boiled, grilled, creamed, or used in succotash or cottage pie. It’s best when it’s fresh, and people in the store rummage through the bins of unshucked corn, checking for readiness. The disciples must have found ripe corn or even corn beginning to dry on the stalk because they rubbed the ears in their hands to loosen the corn for eating. 

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Family Cemeteries

“This sentence especially touches me: “When Jacob ended his charge to his sons, he drew up his feet into the bed, breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.” The image of drawing up his feet and peacefully dying has such a poignancy about it. It represents a death many of us would hope for, yet, denied to so many, especially in the time of the continuing pandemic, war, and violence.”

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The Gift of Tears

“Where do you experience the gift of tears in your life? Do you share tears with loved ones at family events?  Do disasters causing significant loss of life affect you? Do beautiful things make tears well up in your eyes?  What about when you think about your sins or guilt? Does the thought of the sacrifice of Jesus for those sins and guilt bring you closer to tears? “

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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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