Tuesday, September 30, 2014

New Blog Location

You can now read the Episcopal Diocese of Washington blog on our website: www.edow.org.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Learning from our Four-Legged Friends

My cat Scooter died. A colleague’s dog died. Two kids at church are struggling with the loss of a beloved family pet. And our Saint Francis day celebrations are around the corner. 

The Rev. Jessica Hitchcock
with Scooter
Both of the two kids who are struggling with the loss of their pet want to do something AT CHURCH to remember and celebrate their four-legged family member. One said, “’Cause that is where you remember people.” And so we have and we will. And at our Blessing of the Animals service, heartbroken folks will gather around a table and light a candle for their pet that they love but see no longer. I wonder why it is so instinctual to want the church, one’s faith community, to share with you the burden of such a loss. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Call to Civility

James Woody
One Sunday afternoon this summer, my wife, Valerie, and I took a leisurely stroll through downtown DC. Because we are both energized by the rhythm of the city, we’ve taken countless such walks over the years. The weather was perfect and it seemed like a great way to end the weekend. 

As we discussed where we’d like to end up for dinner, we barely noticed a harmless looking group of pedestrians walking towards us. I instinctively staked my claim on a narrow swath of sidewalk and held my line believing that the tall, burly young man who was headed my way would surely angle his body enough to assure our mutual safe passage. After all, I was nearly old enough to be his grandfather and displayed the gray hair to prove it. 

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Our God is an Awesome God!

The Rev. Canon Jan Cope in Alaska
In August my husband, John, and I went to Alaska for our vacation—a place we had never been and had heard so much about. We both love nature and exploring new places so this seemed like a good choice. We were prepared to see wildlife, beautiful mountains, streams and rivers, and exquisite sunrises and sunsets. What I was wholly unprepared for was encountering the sheer magnitude and awesomeness of our Creator as we cruised through Glacier Bay National Park.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

It's All About Context: Ministry that Goes with the Flow

The Rev. Jason Cox
In 2006, I spent a summer studying at the College of the Transfiguration, the Anglican Seminary in Grahamstown, a university town of about 70,000 in South Africa’s Eastern Cape.  I was taking a course called “Contextual Theology” and I wrote a paper about doing ministry in context, based on my observations of two very different church communities in the town. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but it turns out that the community that tried to understand and respond sensitively to the surrounding context was vibrant and growing. The community that ignored the context wasn’t working. My summer in Grahamstown convinced me that our calling isn’t to create the church in our heads that we think ought to exist--that doesn’t work.  Instead, our calling is to listen for where the Spirit is already at work, and do our best to join in that work.