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Author: Leslie Scoopmire

Dogged Faith

“In both of these stories, people of different backgrounds were eventually able to talk with each other and learn from each other, and they left these encounters feeling that they had received a blessing. The horizon where “self” meets “other” converges, and both parties are changed forever, by recognizing each other’s common humanity at a time when keeping the population at each other’s throats was a useful political strategy encouraged by the empire.”

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Recognizing the Hunger

“The miracle of this story is the generous heart. The generous heart that encourages and empowers the generosity of others. That’s the miracle. And it’s a miracle that can transform our own situation from one of want to one of agency. As those disciples helped encourage the crowd to share what they had, suddenly there was more than enough. In taking action rather than allowing the uncertainty to rule their perspective, they—and we—learn the power of bold, generous action to change lives.”

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Standing Firm in Witness

“This day may we too, especially, stand firm in witness to the love of Christ in the world. May we be emboldened ourselves, all of us, to live into our callings as witnesses and ministers of Jesus, as steadfast disciples even in the face of injustice and the attempts to silence the testimony of women in communities of faith throughout the ages.”

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Praying Without Words

“Jesus is not our accuser, but our advocate and intercessor. And within this reading, we see a description of the working of the Trinity: the Spirit helps us to pray when we are overcome; God the Creator is for us when all else seems to be arrayed against us and everything seems to be conspiring to break our spirits; the Son, Jesus Christ, has died for us and intercedes for us when we cannot intercede for ourselves.”

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God is the Place

“Especially now, in this time and place, many people are wondering where God is, as people have wondered throughout all great crises and tumults. Jacob’s prayer and encounter with God during the night reminds us that God is ever-present, even in the darkness, even when we are afraid or feel loneliness in our journey through life. God promises to be with us always.”

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Being Good Soil

“Walking out into the fields, we knelt down in the loamy soil and knew we were literally reaping the benefits of someone else’s sowing, weeding, watering, and tending throughout the previous months—and the flavor that burst from these fruits and vegetables when we would eat them was like biting into the accumulated sunshine of spring and summer. It starts with fertile soil, though.”

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Heart and Mind

“One of the things I have always wondered at in placing these two saints together on one feast day is the way that they often seem to be the yin and the yang of discipleship—where Peter is emotional and impulsive, Paul is analytical and holds himself rigidly in check. Peter is all heart and passion, whereas, much of the time, Paul is all mind and rhetorical prowess.”

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Lessons in Prayer

“As we face rising COVID-19 surges again, and as we face more deaths of people of color in their homes and in the streets, never have we needed to pray “as we ought”—prayer where we listen to God, prayer where we seek God’s wisdom, prayer where we admit our faults and refusals to see injustices, and resolve to set our feet upon a better path. Prayer that doesn’t focus on what we ourselves hope to get but on what we can offer to the world to the glory of God. Prayer that is led by the Holy Spirit, if only we are brave enough to set her free within our hearts and our lives. Prayer that leads us deeper into community with each other, and strengthens us for the holy work with which God blesses us: to love each other in word, and love each other in deed, and love each other even if that means giving way in our own desires so that another may flourish.”

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A Night Prayer

“This is the stuff of forgiveness, forgiveness that has counted the cost and benefit and erred on the side of grace, and we do not take it lightly. We cannot withhold the ebb and flow of compassion in our lives if we also remember the times it has welled up unbidden for us, as well.”

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Rolling Down Like Waters

“Let justice roll down like a freshening river
and righteousness rise within us
like an ever-flowing stream
that we may care for our neighbors in your Name.”

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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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