TEC News

Epiphany

Posted by on January 5, 2021 in Featured, News, TEC_News | 0 comments

Epiphany

Where is he who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him. Matthew 2:2 The Feast of Epiphany commemorates the journey of a group of wise men from the East who realized that something unusual was happening in the night sky and began a pilgrimage to find where and to whom the star would lead them. What they found was the Christ, and when they did, they worshipped him. The word “Epiphany” comes from the Greek word “epiphaneia” which means “manifestation.” The Feast of Epiphany commemorates the manifestation to the wise men of the divinity of the baby Jesus. Because the Magi came from afar, were led by God, and were not Jewish this event also manifests that Christ came for all, not just for the Jews.Epiphany observances originally also included commemoration of the manifestation of Jesus’ divinity when he was baptized in the River Jordan (“This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.”) and manifestation of Jesus’ divinity when he performed the miracle of turning water to wine at the wedding in Cana. The Eastern Orthodox churches still include all three. The western church now celebrates the baptism of Jesus separately on the Sunday after Epiphany.Whether the commemoration service centers primarily on one event, or on all three, the primary message is the same. God has manifested himself in our lives through Jesus Christ. The Epiphany message is a message of faith, hope, and love— a message that God loves us and that God comes to all. “. . .we have seen his star. . . and have come to worship him.”How has God manifested himself in your life? How will you manifest him to others?In Christ,NancyNancy YoungNational PresidentThe Episcopal...

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Epiphany 2021

Posted by on January 5, 2021 in Chaplain, News | 0 comments

Epiphany 2021

Dear Sisters in Christ, During this Pandemic I “feel” that time is moving very quickly which is odd; I would have thought I would be experiencing time dragging out and painfully slow. It seem to me that even with time on my hands it is moving rapidly. In an interesting way time to just sit and be and think is appealing to me. In short doses of course! (I am an extrovert!)We are all on a journey and like the “Wise Men” we move forward in different ways; sometime by returning from where we began. Just as we are told they returned home, but by another way. How do we see our lives changed by this Pandemic? Can we offer to God our time and talents reimagined and renewed? The Wisemen returned home but by a different way.I believe that it is in life’s journeys of our moving forward and being closer to others that we are also moving closer to God in Jesus. May this Season be for each of us a blessing; Epiphanies through those encounters with others. In His Holy Name,Bishop DuncanNational...

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Darkness Shall Not Prevail

Posted by on December 29, 2020 in Featured, News, TEC_News | Comments Off on Darkness Shall Not Prevail

Darkness Shall Not Prevail

From Nancy Young, National President Advent is a time of waiting and expectation, a time when we look forward to Christmas Day and the celebration of Christ’s birth—a time when we anticipate being with family and celebrating with friends, of gathering in a beautifully decorated church, of enjoying glorious music, and of sharing Eucharist. This year, however, for many of us, the Christmas season has been a dark time, a time of struggle, of loss, of loneliness, and of grief. Daily we hear the names of nurses, doctors, teachers, celebrities, friends who have died from COVID-19 or its complications. Some of us have lost family members. Television news shows us adult children pressed against assisted living windows straining for connection with their aged parents, and nurses in ICU units holding iPads so patients do not die without hearing a final goodbye from their families. Christmas Day this year will be very different. Many churches are closed or open for only very limited worshipers. Most people will participate in church services through ZOOM or You Tube. The CDC has recommended that the holiday be celebrated only with those family members that live together every day. The first Christmas was also a dark and turbulent time, but through the darkness Mary and Joseph were led to a safe place for Jesus to be born, the frightened shepherds were encouraged by singing angels, “ Do not be afraid for behold I bring you tidings of great joy,” and the Magi were led through the dark along an unknown path to find the Messiah. Fear not. Trust in the Lord. Draw near and. . . How do we do that? It is in times like these that we most need to hold on to God’s promises, to remember that we are not going through this alone. Spending more time with scripture helps to quiet the fears. I find Isaiah’s descriptions of God’s loving care for us and of the savior to come particularly comforting. “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. Upon those who lived in a land of gloom a light has shown. . .For to us a child is born, to us a son is given . . .His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:2, 6) “Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10) God also speaks to us through nature. The psalmist assures us, “The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of His hands, day after day they pour forth speech, night after night they display knowledge.” (Psalm 19) Observing the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn (forming the “Christmas Star”) in the December sky this year fills me with wonder and awe. Outdoor walks with my little dog Harley fill me with gratitude for the beauty of God’s creation and remind me of His care, for he cares even for “ the birds of the sky” who “ neither sow nor reap.” Time in prayer, time listening to Christmas carols, and time reaching out to others through notes, emails, and phone calls also give...

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Bishop Duncan’s Christmas Letter

Posted by on December 29, 2020 in Chaplain, Featured, News | Comments Off on Bishop Duncan’s Christmas Letter

Bishop Duncan’s Christmas Letter

From The Rt. Rev. Philip Duncan, National Chaplain December 25, 2020 Each year I prepare for Christmas, and each year I try to think back to the Advents before in hoping to make my process more complete and fruitful in the getting ready. Soon that preparation will be in the past, and Christmas will be here, and I know I will have done my best and that is what is important. None of us is perfect, and Christmas is about God sending all of us His own perfection through The Word Made Flesh: His Son Jesus! I believe we each need to “relax” into the real sense of the Christmas message that God loves us and we are called to love all of God’s creation. Rushing about and trying to get all our expectations fulfilled perfectly is a form of idolatry. It doesn’t work. God is perfect, and I am (we are) not! This is what the Pandemic continues to show us! It shows the good when many people go out of their way to help others in life giving and life changing ways—people opening their homes and hearts to others and caring for each other, the sacrifices made by hospital staff from cooks and cleaners to the nurses and doctors—ministry that we in the church can learn from and hold up as icons for ourselves and the world. It is that service and self giving for others that is living into “the way, the truth and the life!”  Many of us carry heavy burdens. This Christmas season we need to acknowledge what that means for ourselves and others. My prayer is to see in this Christmas the way we each go deeper into our faith that others may see the fruits of our labors. May God bless each of us along that Path.  Faithfully in His Name,Bishop Philip M....

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Bishop Duncan’s Message Advent 2020

Posted by on November 23, 2020 in Archives | Comments Off on Bishop Duncan’s Message Advent 2020

Bishop Duncan’s Message Advent 2020

Each year I come to the season of Advent with mixed emotions.  I like Advent, and I like Christmas better.  Advent is the getting ready for Christmas and how we accomplish that matters.  If all of our focus is on Christmas, we miss the opportunity to be ready and refreshed for Christmas. If we rush through the preparations, we might miss the real joy that is promised.  “Come thou long expected Jesus” is our expectation that God has already fulfilled!  It is ours to claim!  Yes, there may be things we want to do before our family celebrations or hopes that cannot or will not happen in this time of Pandemic.  But our hopes and fears join with those who have come before us, and they and we are all embraced in His grace!  May all of us share in the newness of life in the grace of God’s call to us this Advent.In His Holy Name,Bishop...

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A Message from Chris Butterworth

Posted by on November 23, 2020 in Archives | Comments Off on A Message from Chris Butterworth

A Message from Chris Butterworth

Dear Sisters in Christ,Well here we are again. Advent 2020.  We have spent most of the year waiting – waiting for Covid to end, waiting for a vaccine; waiting for the election (no matter where you stand.) Now, we are approaching Advent – a season of waiting.  Oh boy – more waiting.I was asked to lead a book study at our friend’s church over at the next town.  I picked a book called “Seven Spiritual Gifts of Waiting” by Holly Whitcomb; it is an Advent study.  The seven spiritual gifts of waiting are: Patience, Living in the Present, Compassion, Gratitude, Humility and Trust in God.I have read a couple of chapters and it is MADE for a time like this.  Normally I would offer to lead a study of this book, but our past response for book studies has been low.  If we can get 6 people who are interested in participating on a Zoom call, I and Patti Joy will be there as leaders.. if you are interested please let me know.  You may order the book on Amazon.Other resources for Advent are available on the National church’s website where you can and download the Way of Love for Advent and the accompanying calendar.  It is of course free and looks fabulous also!My best to you in this much different time that we are in.  I pray that this season of waiting will help all of us moving forward trusting in God.Blessings, Chris ButterworthFormation...

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Advent and the Great Pumpkin

Posted by on November 23, 2020 in Archives | Comments Off on Advent and the Great Pumpkin

Advent and the Great Pumpkin

Watching “It’s the Great Pumpkin”, Charlie Brown with my grandchildren on Halloween, the movie seemed a strange story for children on what is for most a candy filled, fun holiday. Linus waits and waits and waits, accompanied only by the somewhat reluctant Sally, for the coming of the Great Pumpkin whom he assures his friends will come bringing gifts to all sincere believers.  In spite of the ridicule of his friends, he waits. He is certain the Great Pumpkin is coming.  But the Great Pumpkin doesn’t come, and Linus’ friends, finally even Sally, leave him alone and shivering in the pumpkin patch while they trick-or-treat and party. Linus’ faithful, expectant waiting seems to be a story of disappointment and unfulfilled hopes.  The Great Pumpkin doesn’t come. There are no gifts. What does the Great Pumpkin represent?  Does it represent God?  Is there another layer to this story that is easily overlooked?  I believe so.  Just as Charlie Brown gets a rock while the other children get candy and other sweets, there is a rock of truth in this story for us.  God promises that He is our rock.  He is ever with us.  So where is God in this story? To me, this is a story of advent—of waiting for the coming and of incarnation.  It is not that God (the Great Pumpkin) does not come into the world, but that Linus does not recognize His coming.  Lucy is the Christ figure in this story.  At each house, she asks for extra candy to share with Linus.  When she realizes he is not home at 4 a.m., she goes in search of him.  When she finds him, alone, shivering from cold in the pumpkin patch, she embraces him and carries him home.  She removes his shoes (Christ removing the sandals and washing the feet of his disciples) and tucks him gently in bed, Christ is here.  Christ is incarnate in Lucy.  He is incarnate within each of us as we are Christ to each other, bringing the gift of love.  The Great Pumpkin is here. Nancy YoungNational President, The Episcopal...

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Community in the time of Covid-19

Posted by on August 4, 2020 in Archives, TEC_News | Comments Off on Community in the time of Covid-19

Community in the time of Covid-19

Community in the Time of COVID-19 by Nancy Young, National President, The Episcopal Community How can we be there when we can’t be there? This is a question that religious groups throughout the church are having to answer during this COVID-19 pandemic. At a time when we must practice social distancing, a time we cannot travel, a time of isolation, we face two primary challenges: How do we support each other in this time of separation, turmoil, and grief?How do we carry on the mission and business of our group? This is not a new question for The Episcopal Community. The group was formed in 2010 during a time of change and turmoil within the national church—the ordination of women, the consecration of a gay bishop, disputes over church property and the formation of breakaway congregations. In 2010, as snow fell softly outside the large glass windows of St. Mary’s Chapel of St. Philip’s Cathedral in Atlanta, Ga., a group of women pledged to form a new women’s organization within the Episcopal Church—a vowed community anchored in the Baptismal Covenant and Rule of St. Benedict, a community that would support its members in deepening their spiritual lives as they gave prayerful support to their Episcopal clergy, parishes, dioceses, and the national church. The 40-plus women gathered that day were from all over the country. Although united by a common desire to live a life “Marked as Christ’s Own for Ever,” how could a group so geographically separated live as a community? The first step was to select a common foundational study and to create connections by assigning each prospective member a one-on-one mentor for the study. Mentors were selected from women who were recognized as having gifts in education and/or spiritual formation. The book “St. Benedict’s Toolbox” by Jane Tomaine was selected for the study. Mentors interacted individually and in small groups with prospective members through phone calls, email, snail mail, shared journals and Skype. The use of common study and devotional materials, the provision of mentors and discussion leaders, and the use of electronic communications have been building blocks for The Episcopal Community in being there when you can’t be there. The lessons learned early in the life of The Community have served us well through the years but have become especially important during this time of social distancing and travel restrictions. How do we ensure the health and safety of our members while simultaneously meeting their needs for community and communal worship? As members deal with loneliness, anger, fear, grief, economic insecurity and a loss of normalcy, how do we maintain connections, continue our ministry and meet the needs of our members? Newsletter emails, phone calls and Zoom meetings have been an important way for members to stay connected. A member shared, “the fact you all are there is a comfort.” We have offered Zoom online book discussions so that members can see and hear each other as they share ideas and insights. Our most recent study was “The Gift of Wonder: Creative Practices for Delighting in God” by Christine Aroney-Sine. Aroney-Sine’s book teaches how through childlike creative play with nature we can delight in God as He delights in us. Although not written with this pandemic time in mind, she suggests activities that can be done...

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Miller’s Moths

Posted by on June 1, 2020 in Archives | Comments Off on Miller’s Moths

Miller’s Moths

All these [the Disciples] were constantly devoting themselves to prayer,Together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus,As well as his brothers.When the day of Pentecost had come,they were all together in one place.And suddenly from heaven there came a soundLike the rush of a violent wind and it filledthe entire house where they were sitting.Divided tongues appeared among them,And a tongue rested on each of them.All of them were filled with the Holy SpiritAnd begin to speak in other languages,As the Spirit gave them ability.I opened the door early this morning, and Miller Moths were everywhere. Not exactly tongues of fire, but they reminded me that because of Pentecost, the Spirit is with us everywhere–in life, in death, in this time of COVID-19, in this time of racial turmoil.Miller Moths are named for the tiny dusty white flakes they shed from their wings-like the flour permeating the air from a baker’s apron as he goes about his sacred body sustaining service of making bread.Miller Moths and tongues of fire, the bread of life-God’s assurance that he never leaves us.In...

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Pentecost 2020 Bishop Duncan

Posted by on June 1, 2020 in Archives | Comments Off on Pentecost 2020 Bishop Duncan

Pentecost 2020 Bishop Duncan

Dear Sisters of The Episcopal Community, As Christians we are always on a holy journey. That journey is sometimes glorious and sometimes not! In that journey we are always traveling on the road of faith and trust in God. For the past 50 days we have followed with the apostles and saints throughout history. We have traveled with them in their desert times and their waiting for the coming of the Holy Spirit promised by Jesus. Those in that community were first left speechless and then they all spoke so they understood each other.For us, we believe that we are called by God to share that message (Gospel) with each other and the world. That message is for us to be a witness of the Good News that we are loved by God and that we are not alone. Jesus died for each of us so we might have the fullness of life now and finally into the Kingdom of God.May God in Christ bless us in the work we do in sharing God’s love and grace. Smile: God loves us all!PaxBishop Philip...

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