Life as an Acolyte

AcolyteRobesI’ve been an acolyte since I was sixteen-years-old. I wanted to become one sooner, but being a girl, I had to wait until a priest would allow anyone of the female persuasion to serve behind the altar rail, in the holy of holies. I was trained, and overly trained, as my mentor (who became a bishop) wanted to make sure I knew EVERYTHING so as not to give anyone an inch of an excuse to say a girl couldn’t perform this ministry. So I can tell you the difference between the gospel and epistle side, what candles are lit first (and in what order) and what candles get extinguished first. I know what a credence table is, the different between a flagon and a cruet, and the use (and meaning) of a lavabo bowl and towel.

I eventually ‘graduated’ to serving as a minister of communion, aka LEM (Lay Eucharistic Minister), but find my training as an acolyte has informed every ministry I have had on the altar – preacher, bishop’s chaplain, and LEM, including taking on the role of crucifer, torchbearer, or altar preparer. And now I and my husband are privileged to train a whole new generation of acolytes. Continue reading Life as an Acolyte

“Find a voice in a whisper”

MLK Memorial1 Samuel 3:1-20 ~ Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18                                       1 Corinthians 6:12-20 ~ John 1:43-51

“Find a voice in a whisper.”

When I was ten years old one of my best friends was a girl who was bused to my school from across town. I don’t remember much about how or why, I just knew there was a bus that brought kids to my elementary school that did not live in my neighborhood. Deborah and I enjoyed playing together at recess, but she didn’t come home to play with me, and I never went to her house after school. I didn’t know it, let alone understand it, and we didn’t talk about it – only perhaps in whispers. It was a time of desegregation in the cities in Connecticut, and all across our nation. It amazes me that it was fifty years ago. How times have changed – or maybe not.

How many of you have seen the recently released movie “Selma”? If you haven’t ­­– go. If you’ve got middle schoolers ­­– bring them along with you; give your high schooler the cash to go with their friends. Continue reading “Find a voice in a whisper”

Hope in the Midst of Crisis

Reclaiming the Gospel of Peace CoverNo matter where we live, events of the world reach us instantaneously. Whether we are personally effected by acts of violence, natural disasters, injustice, or tragedy, we are each touched by the ramifications of another occurrence of brokenness in our world.

As Christians we are called to be bridge builders of peace, voices for the voiceless, and agents of reconciliation. Our church communities respond instantaneously in times of crisis, and we are hungry to learn how to do more. Whether individually or corporately, by collaborating with each other we can make a difference.

There are two “resources” that will soon be available as new tools for our individual and corporate toolboxes for proclaiming peace, justice, and reconciliation – to be agents of hope.

Continue reading Hope in the Midst of Crisis

Resources for Advent & Christmas: Year B

adventThe season of Advent will soon be upon us (November 30, 2014) and our lectionary cycle will turn to Year B. This is the year of Mark, when our gospel focus turns to the first gospel written as well as Old Testament themes of the Davidic Covenant and Wisdom literature.

Download AdventChristmas2014 (my updated Advent & Christmas 2014 Ideas, Activities and Resources).

Planning Advent activities for home and church are many. Here are some resources that I recommend for tapping into:

Continue reading Resources for Advent & Christmas: Year B

Formation for Mission in a VUCA World

communityThe below sermon was preached at the 2014 diocesan convention for the Episcopal Church in Vermont on All Saints Day, November 1, 2014. The theme of convention was “Equipped for the Journey: Formation for Mission”

Readings: Revelation 7:9-17, Wendell Berry’s Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front and Matthew 5:1-12

Much of yesterday we were challenged to look at how we join in God’s mission of restoration and reconciliation. We live in changing times, and as Phyllis Tickle shares in her book, The Great Emergence, every five hundred years the Church has a rummage sale; we are again living in such a time of reformation. What do we need to keep? What do we need to get rid of? What do we need to re-imagine?

Continue reading Formation for Mission in a VUCA World