Linda Ryan

A Good Kind of Exhaustion

A Good Kind of Exhaustion

“It always happens to me. I start slowly, but as the end of the training gets closer, I try to absorb more and more like a dry sponge while striving to be a cat herder for my own thoughts and questions. More and more, all of us realized that what we had was a ministry that didn’t require three years of seminary and an ordination to do.  I, like the others in the training group, feel we have been called by God to do this ministry of helping others learn what they believe, where that belief came from, and how what they learn can strengthen their faith and commitment.”

Cornelius Hill, Priest and Chief

Cornelius Hill, Priest and Chief

“For many years, Hill served as both an organist and an interpreter for Episcopal services on the reservation. He believed that his serving as the sachem (chief) of his tribe and a member of church councils gave him a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between the tribe and the white community.  He also considered that by becoming a deacon, that bridge might become even stronger between the two cultures. He was ordained to the diaconate in 1895 (July 27), and in 1903 he was made a priest, the first of his people to be so consecrated.  Hill spoke his ordination vows in his native Oneida language.”

Searching for Joy

Searching for Joy

“Proverbs is one book of the Bible that has something for just about every occasion. In looking up the word “joy,” I found, “A glad heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is broken.  The mind of one who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouths of fools feed on folly.  All the days of the poor are hard, but a cheerful heart has a continual feast” (15:13-15).”

Time

Time

“We have times of day when God reminds us to stop, breathe, look for the blessings, and enjoy what God is given us at that time. The whole thing was God’s plan from the beginning, so shouldn’t we be kind enough and observant enough to stop, take advantage of it, and add a little thank you from time to time during the day? It’s so easy to take a deep breath and send up a mental “Thank you,” all at the same time.”

Seeing Not Pretty Things

Seeing Not Pretty Things

“What has bothered me a lot this week is the incident the other evening at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington DC.  Clergy and members of the congregation had been peacefully handing out water and snacks to the peaceful protesters who stopped by. Some protesters asked for prayers or just to talk to someone about their concerns. St. John’s has been serving the community since colonial times and was continuing its mission using the hands of those who took their ministry of Christian service to others very seriously.”

Hearing Different Voices

Hearing Different Voices

“The thing that speaks to me about Aguayo’s poem is that it speaks from a perspective of a deeply empathetic person, one who sees life differently through the lenses of his own mental illness and who has a sincere faith. I especially love the last two lines, “Joan wants no beauty in her,/but in the people for whom for whom she fought.” For Joan, it was not about fame or glory, but for her country and country’s folk. Her voices told her what needed to be done and trusted her to pass on the message. She believed them in turn as genuine messengers from God, and, as such, she obeyed them.”

Making Changes

Making Changes

“That led me to ponder how things, even sacred things like scripture, may need to be changed to fit a situation, ceremony, event, or artist’s concept. Painters and sculptors have taken Bible stories and, through their culture, imagination, and wishes of the patron commissioning the work, have dressed characters in period costume rather than in clothing of the Biblical time.  Poets and writers described people and actions to convey how they perceived the characters and situations to have been at the time, although often throwing in emotions, activities, and thoughts of the current time.”

Gates, False Prophets, and Trees

Gates, False Prophets, and Trees

“To be a follower of Jesus, we should look for the narrow gate, the harder route. Jesus keeps reminding us that following him was, is, and always will be hard. The world generally takes the easy way, but Christians who practice their faith as Jesus showed them, will look to the promise of heaven in the future, not the simple, easy way here on earth.”

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