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Category: The Magazine

Fragments on Fragments #35: Being Human in a Pandemic

The problem comes when there’s no process: when it’s impossible to get beyond denial. The death of a loved one is too obvious a loss to be denied forever. When a threat is more diffuse, less graspable, it’s possible just to keep on denying it’s there, especially when the consequences of doing otherwise just feel too great to deal with.

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Fragments on Fragments #34: Being Human in a Pandemic

President Obama often used a phrase of Martin Luther King, Jr.: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice”. But it appears that King was paraphrasing a portion of a sermon delivered in 1853 by the abolitionist minister Theodore Parker. Parker said: “I do not pretend to understand the moral universe. The arc is a long one. My eye reaches but little ways. I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by experience of sight. I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends toward justice.”

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Fragments on Fragments #33: Being Human in a Pandemic

‘Sophronein’, ‘thinking well’, comes up a lot in Heraclitus. It’s that Greek word which sums up what it means to live a good, balanced life. It’s not just about ‘thinking’ as we might define it; it’s about a way of living. This saying pushes the point a bit further, and makes it clear that this sort of thinking is not just something inside our heads. 

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Dan Ennis – One month In: Character Still Counts

On January 21, 2021, President Joe Biden continued an American tradition by attending a prayer service at the Washington National Cathedral. The event included a closing prayer from Presiding Bishop Curry.  Since 1933, the National Inaugural Prayer Service has been a familiar part of the inaugural ceremonies, but even before the was a National Cathedral, The Episcopal Church prayed for—and with—Presidents. That tradition began with George Washington and the first inauguration in 1789.

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The Daily Sip: The Fall into Grace

As a person who writes, I get a lot of mail.  About 25 emails or letters a week, given eight thousand on the Dailysip.org registration list and the thousands on my Facebook friends list. They sometimes rail at me.  But usually, they write in dulcet, quiet, frightened tones as if we might be overheard by someone.  “Is it true?” they say.  “Is this all a mystery?” they ask.  “What will happen to me if I do not subscribe to the dogma but just enjoy the community and the music – will I be cast out?”

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Fragments on Fragments #32: Being Human in a Pandemic

Losses over the last few months have been of different kinds, but few of us have escaped without any sense of losing something. Living with loss is one of the hardest pieces of work for the human psyche. The loss of bereavement is the greatest, but at every level work needs to be done, not to ‘get over’ our loss, but to find out how we can continue to live with it and through it. Let us not underestimate how much there is to do, for ourselves and for our communities.

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That day my prayer was answered

I think a lot about my friend in the camp and how he appreciated the sandwich but really wanted the prayer. I want to build a ministry that brings both, that meets folks in the middle of their struggles and offers both practical resources and spiritual resources. I think the church has a lot to offer on both fronts. I hope to be brave in trying new things, and in being open to that Spirit I had thought for a moment had abandoned me. Meeting the needs of my friends on the streets is where I’m most likely to run into Jesus, with his crazy requests for prayer on the side of the road.

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The Daily Sip: Formation is in our hands

It is so easy to confuse equanimity with indifference. With indifference, one simply does not notice when bad things happen or, worse still, we anesthetize the pain with substances or experiences. With equanimity, on the other hand, one welcomes the abuses and betrayals that happen in our lives as teachers sent from a cosmos in whose kiln-of-life you rest for a time, becoming something. The longer and hotter the fire, the more beautiful and durable is the pot.

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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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