TEC News

Community in the time of Covid-19

Posted by on August 4, 2020 in Featured, News, TEC_News | 0 comments

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 Featured, News | 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 Chaplain, Featured, News | 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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Easter Message, Nancy Young

Posted by on April 15, 2020 in News | Comments Off on Easter Message, Nancy Young

Easter Message, Nancy Young

A lot can happen in three days . . .Low in the grave He lay low in the graveJesus my saviorWaiting the coming dayJesus my LordThe days after Jesus’s death were a dark time for the disciples. They most likely hid in fear for their lives, not knowing if they might be arrested next. It was a time of uncertainty about the future, a time when they were afraid to leave their lodgings not knowing who or what might pose a danger to them, a time of anxiety. In short, it was a time much like the one we are living in now.Every day we hear new numbers of how many positive test results, how many in hospital, how many dead. We adjust to new restrictions on where we can go, who we can see. We inventory our pantry, stand in line to purchase our two packs of toilet paper, and sanitize our hands as we leave the store and again as we return home. We stay six feet away from any person we encounter, learn to use ZOOM to “attend” church, and postpone weddings and birthday celebrations. We live in fear that things will get worse.A lot can happen in three days . . .Suddenly and unexpectedly, for the disciples, Resurrection happened.Up from the grave He aroseHe arose the victorWe know the promise of Easter. We know resurrection happens. We know God is with us.The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined. Isaiah 9:2He was raised on the third day. I Cor. 15:4“Be not afraid,” Jesus says. The three days end. Resurrection happens. Our lives will be changed for ever, but these “three days” can unify us, can bring out goodness, kindness, compassion, can bring us closer to God and to each other. Perfect love casts out fear.All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well . . . for there is a force of love moving through the universe that holds us fast and never lets us go.     -Julian of NorwichIn Christ,Nancy Young, National President  Easter...

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Bishop Duncan’s Easter Message

Posted by on April 15, 2020 in Chaplain, News | Comments Off on Bishop Duncan’s Easter Message

Bishop Duncan’s Easter Message

Easter Sunday this year is the 12th of April.  Lent will be behind us and for most of the world the Coronavirus, COVID-19 has taken center stage.  We are all likely to feel afraid and vulnerable.  Kathy and I have moved into the mode of staying home and going out as little as possible.  A form of “self-isolation.”  We have tried to keep a “Good Lent” and by our usual standards we could not do it.  Churches closed for worship, no special Lenten events and hospitals not open for visitations to the sick.  In most Dioceses churches went online and that was an “anchor” and blessing for many of us.   Most of us will be unable to attend church worship in our traditional way.  It is a blessing that there will be some broadcast services and that is how Kathy and I will offer our worship.  Each of us can also use the Book of Common Prayer using the service of Morning Prayer with the readings for Easter Day.This is a “scary” time for many of us. We can feel out of control.  The Easter Message is that in the end our God loves us and that Jesus is the Christ who rose from the tomb and nothing can separate us from that love and life!May God bless us and keep us in the love of Jesus Christ our Lord!Alleluia: Christ is Risen!The Lord is Risen indeed!  Alleluia!In His grace and love,+ Bishop...

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Lent 2020

Posted by on February 26, 2020 in News | Comments Off on Lent 2020

Lent 2020

Greetings Sisters in Christ, We are approaching another Lent which begins on February 26. Lent is such a conflicted time for me. Growing up Catholic, we always “Gave Up” something for that period of time. It wasn’t really a learning experience as much as a “have to” experience. These days you can still give something up – chocolate, or whatever your favorite thing is; also people are giving up behaviors that no longer suit them. There is giving away 40 items for the 40 days of Lent – decluttering if you will. Some people take on things….practicing more kindness, compassion, volunteering, etc. Whatever it is that speaks to you this Lent, do it with love, conviction and happiness. Yes happiness. Although Lent is a time of solemn reflection, I don’t believe God wants us to go around literally in ‘sack cloth and ashes’. I believe anything we choose to do during Lent as a practice should be done because of our love and thankfulness for the fact that Jesus died for us and our belief in the Trinity. As a Community we are using the Lenten Meditations for 2020 from Episcopal Relief & Development. You may want to use this to help you in your Lenten journey. Whatever you decide to do for your Lenten practice, I wish you a rich experience that you will benefit from long after Lent ends. Blessings,Chris ButterworthNational TreasurerSpiritual Formation...

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Lent 2020 – Following the Way

Posted by on February 25, 2020 in News | Comments Off on Lent 2020 – Following the Way

Lent 2020 – Following the Way

Lent, like Advent, is a time of reflection and preparation. It mirrors the forty days Jesus spent in the wilderness preparing for His ministry. For Jesus, the question was, “What does it mean to be the Christ?” For us, the question is, “What does it mean to be a follower of Christ?” In the early days of the church, Lent was a time of preparation for Baptism, a time to learn how to be a follower of The Way of Jesus—The Way of Love. Presiding Bishop Curry has said, “If it’s not about love, it’s not about God.” He has given us a seven step process to live more deeply into The Way of Love. This Lent, may we all strive to follow this path. TURN (toward Jesus) and choose His Way LEARN from Scripture, from the life and words of Jesus PRAY intentionally dwelling in God’s presence WORSHIP in community with others BLESS by sharing faith and serving others GO across boundaries, living like Jesus REST in God’s grace and peace and be restored This Lent, let this become your Rule of Life—the foundation and support of living into your Baptismal Covenant, for we are “Marked as Christ’s own for ever.” In Christ’s love,Nancy YoungNational...

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Keeping a Holy Lent

Posted by on February 25, 2020 in News | Comments Off on Keeping a Holy Lent

Keeping a Holy Lent

   My prayer for each of us this Lent is that we may be witnesses to the Gospel of Jesus’ love for the whole world as we share the Gospel of Christ’s saving embrace. Dear Sisters in Christ,     Each year on Ash Wednesday we are reminded that the “keeping” of a Holy Lent is important for all of us. It is the time of remembering the sacrifice of our Lord for each one of us and indeed for the whole world. I always find it a challenge of time, energy, work, family and things to do. When I was in Seminary my spiritual director said to me something like this: “Lent is a time of introspection, looking inward.” For me, Lent is of little value if we forget that it is also reaching outward to others in the world: we are all called to be the hands, the feet and the heart of Christ.” “Christ died for us all.” I am still impressed with the simplicity of that Gospel mandate. We are called individually and as Community to keep a Holy Lent. Study, yes! Works of mercy, yes! Reaching out to the sick, the poor, the homeless…..! Yes to all those and more! My prayer for each of us this Lent is that we may be witnesses to the Gospel of Jesus’ love for the whole world as we share the Gospel of Christ’s saving embrace.      I am yours in Christ,    +Bishop Duncan ...

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Winter 2020 Online Book Study

Posted by on January 4, 2020 in Archives, Book Study, Meditations | Comments Off on Winter 2020 Online Book Study

Winter 2020 Online Book Study

The Gift of Wonder: Creative Practices for Delighting in GodBy: Christine Aroney-Sine Our Winter Book Study will begin in early February. Please join us as we move through Epiphany towards Lent! Selling for $3.99 on Kindle; $11.86 in paperback on Amazon.Click Here to Order Book on AmazonThe study begins Sunday, February 2, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. EST, and continues for 4 consecutive Sundays. We will read approximately 50 pages a week. Start reading when you can! Make lots notes, ideas that you might have thought of and how you found the practices, so we can discuss together!February 2 – Chapters, 1-3February 9 – Chapters 4-7February 16 – Chapters 8-11February 23 – Chapters 12-14 and wrap up Our online host will be Zoom. You will be receiving an invitation with link to join the book will be sent in January. Any questions or if you plan to participate, please let me know.Chris Butterworth, Formation Chairchristina.s.butterworth@gmail.comReading what authors give as their dedication often gives the reader a glimpse into their heart – Sine writes “to all who are learning to laugh and dance and play with...

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Christmas 2019

Posted by on December 23, 2019 in Archives, Chaplain | Comments Off on Christmas 2019

Christmas 2019

Dear Sisters in Christ, Soon we will leave the Season of Advent preparation and begin the joy of celebrating the Christmas Season, the time of our Savior Jesus’ birth.  For us we gather as we are able to hear and tell the story of the birth of God’s Son.  He came into the world being born of/in our human flesh by the power of the Holy Spirit. He was born as all of us are born.  Is it any wonder that over the two thousand years since that event we are still amazed and give thanks to God for the gift of life, love and joy?  We experience that our lives have purpose and meaning through living and relating to each other.  It is how we treat the environment and embrace “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven.”It is my prayer for each of us during this time that we seek to serve Christ in the simple acts of kindness.  Wherever we find ourselves; at home, with family or friends, in nursing homes or hospitals, with the homeless, or in church; we are all God’s children.May God in Jesus Christ bless us and keep us in His grace and love. A Blessed and Joyful Christmas Season to each of you.I am,+ Bishop Duncan From Our President As this year draws to a close, we are surrounded with dark news as the media tells us of wild fires destroying entire towns, sex trafficking of young women, refugees fleeing violence, immigrant children separated from parents, the destruction of homes by hurricanes and tornadoes, murders committed by young teens, and presidential impeachment. But we are promised that “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John1:5) Jesus was also born into a dark time, a time of political and social unrest, of despotic rulers, of violence, and of threatened revolutions. In this dark time, Mary and Joseph journey toward Bethlehem, holding to the promise that Mary will bear a son who “will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) We must also journey toward Bethlehem-toward hope-toward new life. As we move toward Bethlehem, toward the light, we help to birth the God within us. We help to birth Christ into the world. Every kind act, every shared pain, every act of hospitality advances us and the world around us on the journey. Every act of love brings Christ into the world: every act of love helps the light overcome the darkness. May the light of Christ illumine Christmas through our shared love. PAX, Nancy Where there is no love, pour love in, and you will draw love out. -St. John of the...

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