What is this blog about?

Welcome to a new website! This is intended to be a companion site the main Hope Episcopal Church website (html://www.hope-episcopal.org) and to the church Facebook page. I have written a few things here to explain or give examples of how I would like to see this blog work, and what I think we can gain by it.
Please let me know what you think! Continue reading

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“He descended into hell…”

This is a post I wrote a few years back. But Today, Holy Saturday, I think these ideas are worth wrestling with. Not so much for my ideas, but the thing itself is worth wrestling with. I welcome your own thoughts. May we, like Jacob, not let go until we have been blessed!

When I was young, in my “Baptist Days,” we didn’t think much of the days before Easter other than the crucifixion itself; the whole period between the betrayal of Jesus and the Resurrection was pretty much ignored. When I became an Episcopalian, I found that there is even a name for these days, “The Triduum.” Who knew?

There is much to think about, and today, Holy Saturday, the “Great Silence” is a good day for pondering.

I had been pondering a part of the creed little used in the branch of the Church I grew up in: “He descended into hell” particularly in connection with Jesus’ words from the cross “it is finished” and “Into thy hands I commend my spirit.”

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Epiphany, Spinning Plates and a Forgotten Cell Phone (-from Eric S)

This has been a difficult, frantic season for me, has been for months. Probably less so than for many, probably a pretty common set of problems; but I have often felt like I have had more than I could say grace over. And so I haven’t. Continue reading

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A Story of Two Groups of “Wise Men” submitted by Eric S.

(with apologies, I also posted this on my personal space, but with the Epiphany upon us...)

Well, I’m going to go WAAAY out of character for me, and out on a church calendar limb. Tomorrow is Sunday, 5 January, 2014, the last Sunday in Christmas this year. So I am going to race ahead and post about Epiphany. “Sin Boldly”; to half-quote Martin Luther.

So why jump ahead two days as if I were impatient for them to be gone? Well, perhaps I am in mid-revelation, and revelation is sort of what the word “epiphany” means. Or perhaps I am receiving my Christmas gift, which also marks it as OK as a Christmas post (now I feel better!). I understand that in many places in the world, in many parts of the Church, Gifts are not exchanged on Christmas, in remembrance of the Gift of the Incarnation, but on Twelfth-Night, Epiphany (“…my true love gave to me, …”) in remembrance of the gifts of the Magi, given TO the incarnate Son of the most High. I sort of like that, in that it puts the focus a little more where I think it belongs, on me giving to God as I seek to serve Him in all people, in recognition of my baptismal vow.

Well, rambling over, on with the point. In Matthew’s account of the Gospel, Chapter 2, he says of the “wise men” (or Magi): Continue reading

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Strength in Words (from Dorothy M.)

 Have you ever thought about the power of words?

They can build-up or destroy people, places, or things.  They can either mean community or mean aloneness.  Continue reading

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A Spirit of Christmas (submitted by Dorothy M.)

 Christmas has always held a special place in my heart.  I am sad to admit that it was never a good place though.  Continue reading

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Mother Teresa Quotes:

(An almost-lost friend of mine posted these on FB. I’m not normally fond of copy-posting this sort of thing, but I was so moved by several that I could not resist bringing them here.
-Eric     -and thank you Tom D.) 

  Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.

Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.

Do not think that love, in order to be genuine, has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired.

Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.
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Karma and Exodus -thoughts from the Sunday evening Bible Study

Last Sunday afternoon, May 26, our Bible Study group was reading in Exodus. We read the Ten Commandments, and we continued with laws relating to a variety of subjects, most of which our legal system would call tort law – or how to deal “with what is fair?” when one person has, intentionally or accidentally, caused harm to another.

I have to confess that this not my favorite part of the Bible – it is not exactly action packed, and there are a number of pronouncements that I have a hard time with. Along with the genealogies – all the “begats,” these are the passages where I most want to just skip ahead. But I have also learned that “ALL scripture is given by the inspiration of God” and is profitable for… Thus, the parts that are least appealing to me may well be the parts containing the things I most need to wrestle with. God obviously desires me to read them, or they wouldn’t be in the Bible. And I know that He did not ordain it so, that I may have an entertaining read!

In the midst of the discussion, someone introduced the concept of “Karma.” What does the Bible have to say about it? Continue reading

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