Support the Café

Search our Site

‘Why offer anything at all?’

‘Why offer anything at all?’

The New York Times has the moving story behind a musical offering that was made today at St. Bartholomew’s in midtown Manhattan.

It’s the story of Dr. Robert Marion, an uncommitted atheist whose life makes a sharp turn toward faith when he hears Rev. William Tully preach on questions of doubt and faith.

The rector readily admits that belief can seem like foolishness. But he also quotes from Paul: “God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.”

Over the years, Marion becomes interested in the poetry of Franz Wright. Wright’s poem “The Hawk” seem particularly penetrating, spiritually apt.

In the years to come, he gets the rights to the poem from Mr. Wright, a Catholic; he meets a composer named Evan Solot, a Jew who blows the shofar for his temple; he mentions his improbable dream to a patient, an elderly woman who had studied music at Juilliard. A fervent atheist herself, she promises on the spot to commission the composition in Dr. Marion’s name….

“Humans make all kinds of offerings,” Dr. Marion says. “We burn offerings. We give money. We write checks. This felt to me both less tangible and more concrete. To me, it captures the mystery of why we offer anything at all.”

It’s a busy Sunday at All Saints, Pasadena, CA, as well, Susan Russell writes, with plans to “baptize eleven adults and welcome 21 other new members.”

THIRTY-TWO new members of All Saints Church … folks who have decided after our 8-week new member class that they want to (as the rector puts it) make All Saints their spiritual headquarters and be part of the adventure of putting their faith into action as we work together to turn the human race into the human family.

Don’t tell me there aren’t people out there in the market for what the Episcopal Church has to offer! And it isn’t just where I hang out ….

I’m filing it all under Matthew 5:15 in hopes that the light shining out from St. Bart’s in the New York Times and from All Saints in Pasadena tomorrow as we welcome these new folks into the household God and invite them to share with us in Christ’s eternal priesthood will spread a little light unto everyone in the house.


Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

1 Comment
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

The story of Dr Marion left me hungry to learn more!

As for All Saints Pasadena, what can one say? They’re obviously doing something very right! 🙂 Blessings, blessings…

JC Fisher

Support the Café
Past Posts

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.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café