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Category: The Magazine

A COVID Morning at Church

“This is certainly not the priesthood that I sought. I really do like the outfits. But it is the priesthood to which I am currently called. Just because this time is lousy in many ways, doesn’t mean that I am not responsible for the care and support of my people. And so we Zoom church. And we bless cars. And we have logistically difficult, candlelit, masked, graveside visits. And we baptize outside. And we empty our outreach coffers to support the food pantries in our area. And we thank God for the blessings of this life, even as we watch too much news and pray for the sick and those who tend them. Apparently, we can’t help but be the church right now. Thanks be to God.”

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Prayers Unaware

“There are times when I am standing on God’s shoulders or he is sitting on mine and I am unaware. These stories are worth retelling.”

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Ballpark Church

“For me, ballpark church represents a mustard seed planted to nurture a return to communal worship, a reminder that now, more than ever, I can and must find God in the most unexpected places.”

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Uncovering Recovery: The Shifty Self, Part I

Each morning as my wife and I brushed our teeth, washed our faces, and fixed our hair, our minds already beginning to spin around the challenges and chances of the day, we were addressed by a small brick-red sticker taped to our bathroom mirror.  In bold white letters the sticker affirmed, “You are looking at the only problem you’ll have today.” 

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Justice, Compassion, and the African American Man

“The charges against Amy Cooper are about more than an unfortunate encounter between Amy Cooper and Christian Cooper in the Ramble. Her actions in Central Park echo behaviors that have become too-commonplace in our country: To accuse a Black man of committing an act of violence is to create in our culture a credible claim which too often automatically renders the Black man guilty and automatically exonerates other potential perpetrators.”

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Curious and Kind

“Your savings account is not everything.  Your health is not everything.  Your possessions and house are not everything.  Your resume and your offspring are not everything.  Your creeds and your rituals are not everything.  Indeed, nothing outside of you is everything.  Openness, patience, receptivity, solitude is everything and will get you through this.  But beware, for they are hard, internal work. Stop being right, and choose instead to be curious and kind.”

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“I remembered the words of Karl Barth, who claimed our faith is not our own but endowed by the Lord Himself. If that were true, then my question was also a product of God’s work and was worthy of being met with trust and love. I might never find a definite answer, and that was ok. It is the question itself and the rumination it afforded that justified its very existence. I knew that as long as I kept straddling the two worlds of science and faith, those questions were bound to come up.”

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My Oldest Home

“Whether I carried the oil-fueled candle or the cross with a circle looping around the intersection, I’d grip my sweaty hands around the polished wood terrified it would slip out and clatter to the ground. The thought of catching the church on fire with the weak flame was terrifying on its own, but who knew what kind of eternal consequence awaited you for dropping the cross.”

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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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