In my experience the declaration that “I’m spiritual but not religious” is often greeted by a collective eye-roll in church circles. For many of us affiliated with formal church or faith organizations, it can seem a ridiculous thing to say. What we think we’re hearing is “I’m spiritual but not yet religious.”
Each year my wife and I attend St. Bartholomew’s three-hour Good Friday service. Each year I wonder how on earth I will sit through three hours of music, extended periods of silent prayer, readings on the seven last words of Christ, and a homily on each. Each year the time disappears.
Each year I try to spend a week in silent retreat. With my travel schedule, that can be a challenge. However, if I attach the retreat to other travel, so that I’m already away from the temptations of the office and the “to do” lists of home, I can sometimes swing it.
Today I find myself in the Holy Land—on a pilgrimage. This is not my first pilgrimage, nor, do I suspect, will it be my last. Moreover, this is my 5th or 6th time visiting many of the sites on this trip. Yet, each visit is a little different. Each visit challenges and rewards me inContinue reading ““Do not be afraid…””
On Wednesday, December 6th, Episcopal Relief & Development, the organization I have the privilege of leading, marks the anniversary of its founding. It also happens to be St. Nicholas Day. That is a happy coincidence and provides an opportunity to reflect on the values that shaped St. Nicholas’ life and inform the work of EpiscopalContinue reading “Servants of God: St. Nicholas & Bishop Paul Jones”
This Sunday, the First Sunday in Advent, will mark a new liturgical year. We tend to gloss over that in our culture, focused as we are on the big event: Christmas Day. However, Advent is one of the places where one can feel God at work in the world. Here are five ways to makeContinue reading “Five Advent Lessons”
Did you know that October has been designated “Clergy Appreciation Month” by the good people at Hallmark Cards? It was news to me. So, in honor of all the clergy who are a part of our lives, I offer some insights and advice from Sei Shonagon, an 11th century Japanese noblewoman living in the imperialContinue reading “Advice for Clergy (and the rest of us)”
In last week’s installment of “The Water and Sanitation Mystery” my colleague discovered that, to his alarm, the project had not gone as planned. Household latrines had not been built and the one public latrine that had been built was not in use. Most concerning, however, the community was not capturing and protecting its clean waterContinue reading “The Water and Sanitation Mystery (Part Two)”