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Category: The Magazine

Unlocking lockdown in Sri Lanka

It’s human nature to only just seem to think only of ourselves in times of lockdown and difficulties, We are all  worried and concerned for our safety, our provisions, our family, food, and shelter, Our focus falls only on ourselves. We should, however, take a moment take a look around. There are people around us who require financial assistance, who do not have enough food for the next week if the lockdown continues. There is much  loneliness and frustration in being unable to communicate with their loved ones by phone, Facebook, email, or WhatsApp, as many of us are able. 

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Lifting up our Hearts: Communion and Springsteen at Ground Zero

Another man had a quote to offer from the gospel according to Bruce Springsteen: Badlands, you’ve got to live it every day. Let the broken heart stand as the price you’ve got to pay. Another guy followed with a piece of another verse from the same song: I believe in the love that you gave me. I believe in the faith that can save me. I believe in the hope that one day will raise me from these Badlands.

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Breadcrumbs on the Path by Terence Aditon

And now my prayer is, Oh God, please find me, follow my small patches of prayer like a trail of breadcrumbs through my day. At day’s end, even though thoughts and images fill our minds, we try to say a full prayer, Our Father, Glory Be to the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, we say the prayers we learned as children. Even then, it takes determination, so often, to concentrate on one prayer without the distractions of the day, of the world, invading the tiny space we try to make for holy time.

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Inverness by David Alexander

As the grey skies became darker with the threat of rain, I heard the bells nearby.  It was Sunday, after all, so I wasn’t surprised, but I was curious about the source. I crossed the street to a park I saw to find the bells. They continued to toll.  I walked through the park, hoping with each step that the skies wouldn’t baptize me with the expected downpour.  I had left my umbrella in Perth a week ago.

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The Courage to Be Nobody: Simone Biles and the Art of Renunciation

Few of us can even imagine the pressures of being the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) who is not allowed to fail, the face of the Olympics, America’s standard bearer, and the always dependable foundation of the team’s success. But her renunciation of these burdens, however temporary, may be her greatest achievement insofar as it helps athletes—and society as a whole—engage with issues of mental health and personal well-being as never before, without stigma or shame. 

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Baptism without the Church by Charlotte Dalwood

Some—perhaps even most—baptized Christians might find the sacrament’s irreversibility reassuring, a source of hope during the darkest hours of the night. Nothing they do, nothing done to them, will ever separate them from Christ, into whose death and resurrection they were baptized. Nor will anything separate them from Christ’s body—the Church universal—of which the baptized are individual members.

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A Shipwrecked Faith | 1 Timothy 1:18-19 by The Rev. Dr. Nicole Foster

Imagine surviving a shipwreck. Imagine yourself feeling the fear of seeing the waves break apart pieces of ship, along with the sensation of sinking, of panic, and of gasping for air. Imagine losing not only your belongings, but also watching other people fight for their lives. Imagine nearly drowning, being washed ashore, or being rescued with barely an ounce of strength left. You’re traumatized, weather-beaten, and exhausted to the point of semi-consciousness.

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Deacons and Social Ministry: advocating, preaching, teaching, nagging, nurturing

Few have had a closer view of the ministry’s evolution than Sister Pamela Clare Magers of the Community of St. Francis, who has worked at the School for Deacons in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1982 and started teaching a course on “contemporary social issues” in 1984. Prior to the introduction of that course, the curriculum for the school focused on the educational topics required of priests, and the liturgical role of deacons serving at the altar.

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 Connections in Travel

I love these lines from a Prayer for Travel: “Lord, as I set off on my travels, I pray that You would be with me and remain close to me as my travel companion as I go on this journey, just as You walked with Your two disciples along the road after Your glorious resurrection. Fill my heart with Your peace and joy, and remove any anxious thoughts, I pray. Guide me Father, and keep me safe throughout my travels, even when I am passing through rough and difficult terrain.” When I was 15 and unpacking mementos from a souvenir shop, I never expected such resonant and recurring spiritual relationship. As it turns out, they were never alone, nor was I.

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My Most Unpopular Homily: Personal Essay by Terence Aditon

But that is where the happiness over my homily came to an end, because I said that as Christians, perhaps we should add a ritual to Valentine’s Day. Perhaps we should celebrate Agape as much as Eros, and follow the words of Our Lord, to love our enemies, to pray for those who persecute us, to put aside anger and vengefulness in favor of the call Jesus made to us, who follow Him.

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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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