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Category: The Magazine

Psalm Reader Part I: Confidence in God in the COVID Chaos, A word from Sri Lanka

When disaster hits, how can one remain fearless? The Psalmist’s faith is focused solely on God’s near presence and support, not on something remarkable in himself, his nation’s rulers, or the superpowers of his time. The entire Psalm has the same theme of trusting in God’s presence, support, and security for God is their refuge. It also emphasizes God’s existence and friendship with His people, and the Psalmist reveals the secret of his unwavering certainty and faith in God’s presence. The Psalm’s second section (vv. 4-8) starts by proclaiming the blessings of being in God’s presence (v. 4). The river that runs through Jerusalem brings joy to the city of God. In its metaphorical sense, the river denotes blessing, regeneration, harmony, and prosperity, with the river serving as a source of life.

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Holy Trinity is Holy Relationship (A Redistribution of Good Faith!)

If we believe that God sits high above us, on some judgment seat, pulling strings and ordering angels around, and acting impulsively and capriciously – well, the chances are that we ourselves will act like that. If we think that God just sits around getting angry and upset all the time – well, the chances are that we will act like that.
 
But, if we believe that God actually loves people – well, the chances are that we ourselves will love people, too. And, if we believe that God lives in holy and healthy relationship – well, the chances are that we ourselves will try to live in holy and healthy relationship.

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Peace in Jerusalem – Commentary by Steven Woolley

Deadly violence in Israel has erupted once again.  It’s captured the world’s attention, and with it aspersions are cast in angry self righteousness.  The Levant has been a whirlpool of contending peoples visiting war, famine and death on each another since the beginning of recorded history, so the current outbreak should not surprise anyone. 

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Humility in Power: The Ethiopian Eunuch

What is striking about the story in Acts, is that this powerful man, in a chariot, reading Isaiah, humbly said he could not understand, and needed someone to guide him. This was humility in its most pure and modest form.  Think how willing people are today to acknowledge what they don’t know. Think how often people resent someone who tries to teach something, however gently. A powerful man is assumed to be someone who knows the secrets to power, and is not assumed to be in need of a teacher. That is what makes the Ethiopian Eunuch a model for us all: true humility means we live the truth of who we really are, without pretension or deceit or false modesty. We acknowledge that there is wisdom greater than ours, and much to learn.

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Triple Dog-Dare

Today I continue to engage in childhood rites. Throughout my life, I have dared God to love me when I stray. I double-dare him to love me when I do not listen to him. I triple-dog dare him to again show his love in a direct and immediate way. So far, God has accepted all my dares. For me, the salvation story resonates like a dare that ends in victory. A girl charged with a nearly impossible mission could get close to God. All along, it was within reach.

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The Prayer Book in the Pandemic

In the last year, we have been presented with the opportunity to know the Prayer Book more intimately as friend and companion. While we have been, to varying degrees, separated from the Eucharist, the Prayer Book has been there for us offering community in isolation. In a time of great absence, it has served as a sacramental presence, an outward and visible sign of the presence of grace among us. In so doing, it has embodied for us the potential to realize that, despite distance, we are all connected and sustained by the mysterious yet abiding depth of a divine incarnational love.

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Ageism in the Ordained Ministry #3: Antidotes to Ageism

Inter-generational Collaboration Building requires new thinking and creativity at a time when longer and healthier lives already are upending our notions about what it means to grow old. The skills that older adults can offer are well-suited to the needs of youth. Inter-generational engagement benefits the participants their faith communities.

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As Low Sunday looms…

Every once in a while, I sit and think about one of my first ever challenging youth group kids, who, instead of sitting down with and having a hard conversation without relationship, I just continually loved on, showed respect to, and got to watch Jesus change her life instead. We can preach and teach and lecture and “pull aside,” but if we don’t have love, our clanging cymbals will drive someone away from truth. Love draws in.

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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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