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Feast of St. Basil the Great

St. Basil the Great was born at Caesarea of Cappadocia in 330. He was one of ten children of St. Basil the Elder and St. Emmelia. His brother, Gregory of Nyssa, and his sister, Macrina, are also saints—as was his learned grandmother, St. Macrina The Elder. His best friend in his youth was St. Gregory of Nazianzen. These form a couple of other groupings of “Holy-Among-Holies”: the four great Eastern Fathers: St. Athanasius, St. John Chrysostom, St. Gregory of Nazianzen, and, of course, Basil. Basil was on his way to becoming a famous teacher when he decided to begin a religious life of gospel poverty. After studying various modes of religious life, he founded what was probably the first monastery in Asia Minor. He wrote a famous monastic rule which has proved the most lasting of those in the East. He is to monks of the East what Saint Benedict is to the West, and Basil’s principles influence Eastern monasticism today.  He was ordained a priest, assisted the archbishop of Caesarea—now …
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Feast of St. Simon and St. Jude

St. Simon and St. Jude led ordinary lives and were chosen by Jesus to “follow him” and to teach others about God’s love. Ordinary people who were asked to go out into the world and to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). Their lives help us understand the depth of discipleship when we decide to follow Jesus. 
St. Simon was often called “the Zealot.” In Matthew and Mark, Simon is referred to as the Cananean. Luke calls him the Zealot, perhaps due to his zeal in upholding the Law, or maybe he was a member of the radical Jewish sect so named. This designation helped to distinguish him from fellow Apostle, Simon Peter. In Simon’s case, he firmly believed in the importance of people following Jewish law.
Once St. Simon met Jesus, his life changed and was convinced that the most important thing was to follow Jesus. After Pentecost, he was sent out made disciples throughout the regions. He preached in Egypt and then to have joined St. Jude in Persia.  He was martyred by being cut i…

Locked Doors or a Sacred Opening.

Last week we were walking through the new diocesan offices. That day was one of constant and chaotic activity. A reported fire near the Courthouse necessitated the closure of the surrounding streets. Delivery vans rerouted, construction crews moved through the buildings, public safety personnel directed traffic, and government workers stood outside waiting for instructions. 
Amidst the clamor, in a sacred space of recognition, two women reminded me of the importance of the Church. The Church not only a building or a brief interlude on a Sunday morning.  The Church, our Church as a home, a place of belonging, a locus for transcendence, a peaceful and meaningful resting stop on this holy pilgrimage called life. The Church as the living Body of Christ. 
St. John’s Church is adjacent to the new diocesan offices and was closed in 2015. Two years ago, the diocese took a chance, and we unlocked the doors and reopened with an emphasis on outreach and engagement. Last December, we held our first…

The Holy Moment

When I pray, when I pray deeply, I move through the day as if every step is a constant prayer. I am always aware of the power of the sacred present. Unfortunately, I am often caught in the "busyness" of daily life. I think of the past or look to the future.  Yet, our hearts need those holy encounters where we step into those spaces of transformation. Recently, God's hand gently redirected my being to that place.
I hold weekly office hours out in our churches.   We encourage anyone to come in and meet with their diocesan staff or me.  We begin with the Eucharist or Morning Prayer. On this day, I was a bit hurried and headed straight for the chapel. As I entered, I was handed a long list of the meetings. I began reviewing the day ahead. 
Inside the small chapel were 13 people. I moved a chair, so I was seated close to those in attendance. Seated directly in front of me were a young man and woman in their early twenties. It was apparent they were not familiar with the service…

9.11

On this day of sacred remembrance, let us as a people pray for peace, light and goodness. We are resolute in the knowing the Risen Christ is present. That we all may be one.

Via Dolorosa, Tour of the Dome of the Rock, Relationship, Back Home.

My sisters and brothers, I returned from the Anglican Communion Pilgrimage late yesterday. This pilgrimage and every pilgrimage has the real possibility of transformation and encountering the holy. I can share that once again, the impact was moving and deeply spiritual.  For this reason, I have made the pilgrimage an essential part of my Episcopacy. Thus, the reason for the first pilgrimage to all the churches during my first months in 2016. The naming of the diocesan magazine as “Camino - Our Road Together.” 
Pilgrimage is not only to the Holy Land, or on the Camino to Santiago in Spain. Pilgrimage can be in our Diocese or the walk with one another as a diocesan family of believers. The spiritual purpose of a pilgrimage is to somehow transcend our human knowing and experience God in new and unexpected ways. You are transformed spiritually and physically.  In much the same way, pilgrimage connects you with your fellow pilgrims; you laugh, pray, cry and help one another along the way.  


Unity - Anglican Communion Pilgrimage (Days 3 & 4)

Good and blessed morning. This will be a long post so please take your time.  It is 3:30 a.m in Nazareth as I continue the Anglican Communion pilgrimage. The Holy Land awakens hearts and minds to the presence of Jesus Christ, and it is often beyond description.  As I mentioned in my last post, our schedule is long and detailed. The day usually begins at 5:45 a.m. and continues until at 9:30 p.m. Prayer, briefings and in-depth discussions frame the themes of the 2020 Lambeth Conference. While out in the Holy Land, we center our work on the sacred sites and discuss scripture at each of the sites.
Throughout my ministry, I have attempted to emphasize the importance of relationship building. While not always successful due to my own ego, false assumptions, and constant failures, I strive to know people on a deeply personal level. I pray to see all people as God’s beloved. During this pilgrimage, I have come to know my fellow pilgrims on a profoundly personal level. I am struck by their lov…