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Category: The Magazine

Uncovering Recovery: Yes!: The Spirituality of Surrender

“Those in recovery from addictions know that surrender is a choice of life or death (and of joy or suffering).  In admitting powerlessness over addiction and in surrendering to a Higher Power, addicts open the door of their lives to an immense, transformative power.  The catch is that, in order to enact this surrender, we have to become willing to turn our will and lives over to that Higher Power (God).”

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What If We Miss These Times?

“What if 2020 has afforded us all a retreat – a time to spend time with ourselves, to identify with what we hold to be important.  History will surely be both compassionate and judgmental in how many have approached this pandemic and in policies enacted and those not followed.  We will all have stories of this year to pass along to others but what if, perhaps in just a small way, once we return to “normal” we miss it just a little?  What if we look back and realize lost opportunity?”

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A Song Lyric of Fire

“I am Seraph. I am one of the Seraphim. My name comes from the Hebrew word “seraph” which means “to burn.” When we speak in the temple, it fills with smoke and its timbers shake in the midst of our fire, and our voice.
Our fire is part of all fire and all fire is part of us. 
We clean.
We prophesy. We destroy. We create fields ready for new growth. We are fanned by ecclesial arrogance and human greed.
We are not in Manhattan on 9/11, nor are we in California on 9/12.”

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Ministry in Higher Education in Pandemic Times

“Campus ministry is already a practice of ‘virtual’ church, in which networking replaces settled congregational life.  In a time when internet networking has replaced face-to-face connections some of the networking skills of the campus minister can be useful not only to new campus life, but also to new parish life. Having a vocation that is not bound to physical space can be helpful when physical space is not available or practical.”

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Uncovering Recovery: Control-Alt-Delete

“Praying for the faith to release our loved ones to God, opening ourselves to accepting their choices, and disciplining ourselves to give our opinions only when asked are all difficult practices but definitely worth the work.  And let’s add to our to-do list the removal of the subtle guilt trips, looks of disappointment, and easily readable body language that can also be powerful forms of control.”

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Peter, Satan and the Cross: the failings of good intentions…

“We can imagine Peter manhandling Jesus, pulling him aside with words of consternation. Suggesting an understanding of God’s plan, Peter asserts that heaven won’t allow Jesus to die. Why does Peter do it? What was Peter thinking when he rebukes Jesus? There are a number of possibilities.”

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On Disappointment

“John O’Donohue, my spiritual and writing hero, calls hurt and loss “dark gifts.” And I find that intriguing.  In order to metabolize disappointment, we need resilience and what psychologists tell us about resilience is that it is like a muscle.  It gets stronger as you use it – as you lift heavier and heavier things.  And what we know about muscles is that the lifting rips their fibers – and the ripped fibers are what, when healed, build more muscle.”

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Letter to a Young Priest

“Gather around you kind, honest parishioners. And one effective spiritual director – older, wise women work best.  They will keep you honest and humble.  They will apply bandages when you fight incompetent authority – for you will be wounded in those fights.  But you will also be blessed by the good, honest parishioners, clergy, and bishops whose goodness you will discern out of your spiritual disciplines and who will nurse you back to health.”

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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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