Archives

Advent 2019

Posted by on December 1, 2019 in News | 0 comments

Advent 2019

Advent is a time of “getting ready” for the Season of Christmas.  Christmas celebrates the Birth of the Messiah: Jesus.  Yes that involves, for some of us, shopping for special foods and gifts for family and friends that are often given during the 12 days of Christmas.    For the early Church Advent was a time of preparation with such tasks as making small gifts for friends and family as part of the celebration.  It was honoring the gifts that the Wise Men brought to the infant Jesus in the manger.  Advent reminds us that the true gift is preparing for the Christmas: The birth of our Lord!  It is not so much about the “stuff.”  It is about the giving of ourselves and our time and talents.  It is about our being with others and seeing in one another the Image of the Divine: “Imago Dei.” Take time this Advent Season to pray, to get ready for the gift from God during this Christmas Season.  Take time for quiet.  Take time for prayer, worship and remembering those who have no place to lay their heads.  Remember that when Advent ends we celebrate the most holy gift given to us: Jesus, God’s own Son. May God bless us and keep us in His Grace. +Bishop...

read more

Book Study and Discussion

Posted by on September 2, 2019 in Meditations, News, TEC_News | Comments Off on Book Study and Discussion

Book Study and Discussion

August 26, 2019 Dear Sisters,St. Benedict taught that Christ is as near as our neighbor. If we can not love the Christ we can see next to us, how can we love the Christ we can not see? Living in Community thus becomes “a school for the Lord’s service” (Prologue 45). Part of building that community of love is the common worship and prayer—the Opus Dei.As we approach our tenth year as a community, I invite you to join us in a common daily devotional reading of The Rule of Benedict. Benedict recommended that each new monk read The Rule three times before taking final vows. Joan Chittister has divided The Rule into small segments for daily reading that lead the reader through The Rule three times in one year (beginning September 1, January 2, and May 2). Each short daily reading is followed by an insightful commentary that reflects on how The Rule speaks to our lives in today’s world.The book was originally published with the title The Rule of Benedict: Insights for the Ages, but was later republished with the title The Rule of Benedict: A Spirituality for the 21st Century. You may find the older title on your bookshelf or in a used book store. The newer title is available through Amazon or other sellers.Click here to order the book from Amazon.We will offer a forum for discussion through Facebook, Constant Contact, and/or telephone/video conference during the coming months. Please join us!In Christ’s...

read more

2019 Annual Meeting

Posted by on September 2, 2019 in Featured, News, TEC_News | Comments Off on 2019 Annual Meeting

2019 Annual Meeting

The Episcopal Community September 24, 2019 6PM CST Please join the Circle of Leadership and other members of The Episcopal Community for our 2019 Annual Meeting via Conference Call on September 24, 2019. We will share about the activities The Episcopal Community is undertaking, report on financial matters and how we are serving the church today.Additional information with call in numbers will be sent a week before the Annual Meeting.If you find you are not able to be on the call, please click on this link to download the Proxy, fill it in and return in to the National Office by September 16th.  The Episcopal Community PO Box 242 Sewanee, TN...

read more

Installation of Barbara Willis

Posted by on August 1, 2019 in Featured, News, TEC_News | Comments Off on Installation of Barbara Willis

Installation of Barbara Willis

Episcopal Women answering God’s call to live out our Baptismal Covenant Barbara Willis attended the Diocesan Episcopal Church Women annual meeting last November where she learned about “The Rule of St. Benedict.” The workshop was facilitated by Patti Joy Posan, National Vice Pres­ident and Nancy Young, National President, both of the Episcopal Community. The purpose of the workshop was to learn how a Benedictine focus can change how we think about ourselves, how we treat one another and how we spend our time. Basically, a Benedictine focus can help us to live into our Baptismal Covenant -to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom and to respond to human need by love and service. This workshop piqued her interest and of course she became very interested in the idea of the “reaffirmation” of our Baptismal ·covenant. This led to an extensive journey of study and discernment of membership which in­cludes two stages: (1) Inquirer for the first three months; and (2) Novitiate for the remainder of the discernment study period. One may ask why engage in such a pursuit. It gives a unique opportunity for personal spiritu­al growth as we serve our church and all of God’s people. We support our clergy parishes and diocese with our prayers and service. Each Novitiate is assigned a mentor to help with their spiritual disciplines and aid their spiritual growth and transformation. Resources and study guides are The Benedict’s Toolbox, 10th Anniversary Edi­tion by Jane Tomaine, the Bible, and The Book of Common Prayer. Barbara’s installation was held at St. Mark’s on Sunday, August 10, followed by a reception in Gray Hall her story is below. “Living into our Baptismal covenant with the Rule of St. Benedict!” Patti Joy Posan, Barbara Willis and Becky Taylor Scott I have been a member of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Venice over 20 years and served on various boards: Vestry, for three years; very active Lay Eucharist minister and lay reader, serving communicants not only at Church but also while visiting   members at home. My ministries have included Diocesan Coordinator for UTO for 3 yrs. in South West Florida, Delegate to the National Convention in 2008 in California, and President of ECW (local)   for many years. I have been on mission trips to Dominican Republic– painting buildings or whatever is needed as well. I coordinate a team that makes sun dresses form pillowcases for needy children. I also coordinated a shoe drive where over 400 pair of shoes were collected for the needy.  Some of our fund raisers include a fashion show, dinner dance, and co-manager for our gift shop.   It is good to be able to give back as much as possible. Yes, we are our brothers’ keepers.Since I’ve become a part of the Episcopal Community, it is without a doubt, I’ve made the right decision.   This is new in our area, but I hope to continue to also encourage others to be a part of this Community.I was born and raised in Jamaica, West Indies. My husband Hubert and I reside in South Venice, FL. We are both retirees. Our daughter Lisa and her husband live in South Venice, and our son and his family live in Gainesville,...

read more

10th Anniversary Celebration

Posted by on July 22, 2019 in News, TEC_News | Comments Off on 10th Anniversary Celebration

10th Anniversary Celebration

The joy and honor of your presence is requested at the National Gathering and Celebration of the 10 Year Anniversary of the founding and incorporation of The Episcopal Community June 20, 2020 Cathedral of St. Philip, Atlanta, Georgia The Episcopal Community was incorporated February 17, 2010, at St. Philip’s Cathedral, by a group of women seeking the accountability and support of other Episcopal women as they pursue a deeper commitment in living out the Baptismal Covenant while also strengthening their connection to their parish, their diocese, and the national church. Using the Rule of Benedict as a guide, members develop and follow a personal Rule of Life while nurturing and supporting each other’s spiritual journey. Members wear a cross medallion engraved “Marked As Christ’s Own For Ever.” The Episcopal Community has been blessed to sponsor the Prayer Chapel and the Daily Office at General Convention for the last three conventions. National President, Nancy Young (Diocese of Colorado)National Vice President, Patti Joy Posan (Diocese of Tennessee)National Treasurer, Chris Butterworth ((Diocese of Western North Carolina)National Secretary, Becky Taylor Scott (Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast)National Chaplain, The Right Reverend Philip Duncan (Retired)The Episcopal Community . PO Box 242 . Sewanee . TN . 37375 Email: covenant@theepiscopalcommunity.org  Web: www.theepiscopalcommunity.org Hotel accommodations may be made by clicking on the following link: https://groups.reservations.com/eh/3a38j-1zvm Fairfield Inn at Buckhead 3092 Piedmon Rd Northeast Atlanta, GA 30305+1...

read more

Trinity Sunday (C) June 16, 2019

Posted by on June 18, 2019 in Meditations | Comments Off on Trinity Sunday (C) June 16, 2019

Trinity Sunday (C)  June 16, 2019

[RCL] Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31; Psalm 8 or Canticle 13 (or Canticle 2); Romans 5:1-5; John 16:12-15 Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31 The book of Proverbs is a collection of traditional cultural lessons—propositional statements, observational sayings, analogies, and ethics—structured as the teachings of a father to a son. This kind of “instructional literature” is one of the ways a family nurtures how a child is socialized into a certain world. These proverbs were passed on in the oral tradition and are therefore used extremely contextually: they use references and assumptions housed in a particular time, place, and culture. This particular passage comes from the Proverbs of Solomon (David’s son, King of Israel.) Wisdom is one of the major themes here. The Proverbs illustrate wisdom as an agent of Yahweh, present and active even in determining the shape of creation. Wisdom (anthropomorphized throughout Proverbs as a lady or goddess) was involved in the creation of the world, and so forms a bridge between the Creator and the created. This offers an alternative way to see the relationship between God and the universe— instead of blind obedience, here we have collaboration and co-creation. This kind of relationship teaches that by acquiring wisdom, human beings can also share in the wisdom of God and can flourish and receive a sense of purpose and meaning. As Walter Brueggemann says, “This is indeed literature for ‘grown-ups.’” What kind of sayings, analogies, and proverbs have socialized you in your context? Think about the aphorisms, nursery rhymes, songs, family tales, etc. that have influenced you.How does or can wisdom help grow your relationship with God? Psalm 8 This psalm praises God’s majesty in awe and wonder. According to the poet of this psalm, just as the heavenly beings are given dominion in the heavenly world, earthly beings reign over the sky, earth, and sea. Despite our limitations, the Creator has given humanity great honor and responsibility. The psalm reminds us that everything we have is an unwarranted gift from a God of abundance. However, when we look at how humanity has received and then used, abused, and neglected the gift of creation, it is hard to hold our heads high to thank God for it. Have we risen to the responsibility God has given us to be a responsible part of the community of creation, or have we accepted the gift selfishly without looking at the repercussions of our actions? God gives out of abundance, and we are called to respond with awe and wonder— not selfishness and short-sightedness. How are you in relationship with the sky, earth, and sea?How can you respond to creation with awe and wonder instead of selfishness? Romans 5:1-5“Suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint”— I think I saw this on a classroom poster one time! Paul’s letter to the Romans attempts to make meaning from the suffering of Jesus’ followers. His death and suffering— and the early Church’s grief and oppression— is not in vain. Jesus having been crucified as a martyr in political execution puts the God of Israel no longer at the top of the pyramid of power. Instead, as Dewey writes, “This God has entered into solidarity with the nobodies of the empire. Such a vision of God upsets the first-century...

read more

Blessings to you this Pentecost

Posted by on June 11, 2019 in Chaplain, News | Comments Off on Blessings to you this Pentecost

Blessings to you this Pentecost

PENTCOST 2019 Sisters in Christ,     We come into the Season of Pentecost full speed ahead. The Easter Season is behind us and we now move into what some refer to as “ordinary time” which will guide us all the way to the Season of Advent. It is a rich time of listening and hearing the Gospel proclamation with and from “regular people” and how they are transformed by their faith in the Risen Christ. These Gospels are to help us, to assist us with how the early Church understood “The Salvation Story.” They help us as community to go deeper into what this meant to and for them. It also assists us with taking the time to understand where God may be calling each one of us individually (and the Episcopal Community corporately). As we all know it is about our being and our doing; about our faith and our practice. May each of us find in our lives the calm and the excitement of growing and going deeper in our faith. Blessing to each of you. The poem that follows is an offering on what we are all called to do in the name of Jesus.  I am, + Bishop Duncan THE PRAYER(Philip M. Duncan, II)Our souls are of the Universe,Our minds are bound to Earth,The heavens our playground;Our God gave us our birth.We do care that mortals standand look across the seas,For how our lives go by isn’t sad,and our loves are eternities.So listen to that voice my friendsand be you of good cheer;For He who gave is life for us,will soon again be here.Go forth and spread His Word to all,And form your life by His Grace;Go forth and live as He did live,Jesus died to give us that...

read more

Day of Pentecost (C) – June 9, 2019

Posted by on June 8, 2019 in Meditations, News | Comments Off on Day of Pentecost (C) – June 9, 2019

Day of Pentecost (C) – June 9, 2019

[RCL] Genesis 11:1-9; Psalm 104:25-35, 37; Romans 8:14-17 or Acts 2:1-21; John 14:8-17, (25-27) Genesis 11:1–9 This passage in Genesis describes a time when all of humanity resided in one place and spoke one language, a vision of unity that sounds awfully appealing today. Imagine how our perception of the world’s economic and environmental challenges would change if we saw ourselves as part of one global community, with loyalties that reached beyond our particular region, state, or nation. And think of how delightful it would be to freely communicate our hopes and dreams, our joys and sorrows, to anyone in the world in words they could fully understand! Sadly, in the story of the Tower of Babel, the fruit of unity is not recognition of our interdependence, but an overweening ambition tinged with fear. Rather than tend to one another’s deeper needs, humanity seeks to build a monument to itself, one that will reach the highest heavens and, presumably, place all people on an equal footing with God. Indeed, God observes that nothing they propose to do going forward will be impossible for them.We might think that in a world where nothing is impossible for us, everything would be better. If so, then God’s decision to confuse our language is, well, confusing! But if the truth be told, the rush to satisfy our own desires might once again result in displays of foolish pride rather than mutual progress. After all, we still seek to glorify ourselves through the pursuit of wealth and material possessions, the twin towers of our own making. On the other hand, acknowledging our reliance on God tempers our pride and fosters a sense of humility. Humility is a great gift, for in recognizing our own shortcomings, we sow the seeds of compassion for others. Solidarity rooted in compassion, rather than vanity, is the form of unity that God wishes for us. How has your own pride affected your relationship with God? With others? What would be a humbler and more productive and way of engaging in dialogue with those who don’t “speak our language,” whether we encounter them in church or elsewhere? Psalm 104:25–35, 37 We read today’s psalm in robust praise of the God who has created “all that is, seen and unseen,” as the words of the Nicene Creed attest. However, the psalm also reminds us that all of creation, including us, still depends on God. God sends forth his Spirit, the psalmist tells us, and the world is not only formed but continuously renewed. We should rejoice not only in the fact of creation but in the gift of the Spirit that works to renew God’s world with each and every day. Can you recall a time when you were especially dependent upon God’s grace? What events brought you to that realization? Looking back, how did the Holy Spirit sustain and renew you? Romans 8:14–17Paul testifies that when we allow ourselves to be led by the Spirit of God, we show ourselves to be children of God. Having been adopted by God, we nevertheless still share with Christ as heirs to God’s promise of new life. Paul suggests that when we suffer, we should recall that Christ suffered, yet ultimately was glorified. May we one day share in Christ’s glory. What would...

read more

Easter 7 (C) June 2, 2019

Posted by on June 1, 2019 in Meditations | Comments Off on Easter 7 (C) June 2, 2019

Easter 7 (C) June 2, 2019

[RCL] Acts 16:16–34; Psalm 97; Revelation 22:12–14,16–17, 20–21; John 17:20–26 Acts 16:16–34 It is only after the apostles are thrown in jail that God rescues them with a dramatic earthquake. Why does God wait to free them until after they are beaten and persecuted? Why not save them before the trouble? Sometimes God doesn’t intervene on our timeline or in the way that we think would be best for us. But instead of being frustrated or afraid, Paul and Silas continue to trust in God’s faithfulness. This passage is hugely dramatic. The apostles are flogged and then put in the innermost cell with their feet bound. Their prospects look bleak. Yet despite their wounds, even at midnight they are still praying and singing to God. Their faith is evident to all those around them. Because they’re together, they’re able to support each other until God makes a way. The jailer and his entire family converting in the face of God’s power is an example of all things working together for good for those who love God (Romans 8:28). God transforms even this enormous hardship into something beautiful. When has God’s timeline been different than what you might have chosen for yourself, and what was the result? Who can you rely on to support you when things look bleak? Why is it important that not only the jailer but his entire household becomes believers? Psalm 97 All the world recognizes God’s greatness: the clouds and the darkness, the lightning and the fire, the mountains and the heavens. What response could we have to such immense scale other than wonder? The psalmist draws on our senses to convey something incomprehensible to our limited understanding: God’s greatness. To us, mountains seem immense and permanent, but even they melt in God’s presence. The throne represents the awe of God’s power, but it could also make us believe there is distance between creation and its all-powerful creator. This authority can seem overwhelming, so the psalm reminds us of God’s love for the righteous. How can we appreciate God’s greatness while also seeking closeness with God? Revelation 22:12–14, 16–17, 20–21 These are the final words of Revelation – and the Bible. John reminds us that God is the Alpha and the Omega. This teaches us something about the story of the created world, but it also teaches us about ourselves personally. We, too, begin and end our earthly lives in God. We have individual identities, of course, but our deepest identity is that we are children of God. When we get lost on the way, remembering our end can reorient us. Even if God doesn’t always give us a roadmap, we know in which direction to point. The book concludes with a promise: Jesus, the descendant of David and the root of the tree, will return to open the city gates for us. Those who are ready “will have the right to the tree of life” (22:14). Just as the tree of life was the site of our downfall in Genesis, here it is a feature of our new life with God. What kind of experiences can make us forget that our identities are based in God? Why does the “tree of life” reappear here at the end of the Bible? John 17:20–26 Frequently in...

read more

Easter 6 (C) May 26, 2019

Posted by on May 25, 2019 in Meditations | Comments Off on Easter 6 (C) May 26, 2019

Easter 6 (C) May 26, 2019

[RCL] Acts 16:9-15; Psalm 67; Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5; John 14:23-29 or John 5:1-9 Acts 16:9-15 Throughout the Acts of the Apostles, Paul and his crew are directed where to go in many different ways. Just before this passage, the apostles are “forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia” and “the Spirit of Jesus” does not “allow them” to go into Bithynia (Acts 16:6-7). But in this passage, Paul receives positive direction in two different ways: through a vision of a man and an invitation of a woman. In their mission work, the early followers of Jesus must remain just as open to indirect messages about where they are not to go as they are to specific affirmations of where they are welcome. When has it been easier for you to hear warnings about where not to go and what not to do? When has it been easier to hear positive guidance? In what different ways has God offered you direction in your life?She urged us, saying, “…come and stay at my home.” What invitation in your life are you having difficulty being open to? Is it from someone you do not expect? Psalm 67 We read the word “all” five times in this short Psalm: “all nations” (twice), “all the peoples” (twice), and “all the ends of the earth” (once). Unlike in other parts of Scripture, God’s inclusiveness is unmistakable in this psalm. Over and over again, God’s all-encompassing love expands beyond the limits of the psalmist’s imagination. The reference to “the ends of the earth” reminds us that the globalization and circumnavigation of our day were inconceivable at that time. In what ways might our own imaginations be limited by our concepts of space, time, and global realities? How does God’s love extend beyond even those? When all the peoples praise God, do they praise God in the same way or differently? How does our understanding of universality intersect with our notions of diversity and particularity? Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5 The vision of St. John of the new Jerusalem in these verses is quite beautiful, and echoes Psalm 67: “the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” The lack of night in this new city means the gates of the city will never be shut. In this, we know that there is no longer anything for its inhabitants to fear. Given how intrinsic fear, insecurity, and anxiety are to modern life, it is hard to imagine life without them motivating our habits and choices. What would a lack of fear, insecurity, and anxiety look like in your life and in the life of the Church? What is missing from St. John’s description of the new city? What other aspects of life in the new heaven and new earth do you long for? Why is imagining life without fear, insecurity, or anxiety helpful or important for Christians? What can it enable or open us to? John 14:23-29 In the joy of the Easter season, it is sometimes easy to forget that Jesus will leave the disciples again at the end of the fifty days. Even as we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, we know that the disciples will need to let go of the incarnated friend they have known. In this...

read more
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook