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News & Resources: Spiritual Spot

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Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

You'll find here occasional writings, a few rants, and hopefully some insights too, about Christian discipleship, the Episcopal Church, and on faith community's life at the Parish of the Epiphany in Winchester, Massachusetts. At the Epiphany we understand ourselves to be "a welcoming Episcopal community, united in God, called to seek and serve Christ in all persons, and to transform the world with love and generosity."


  • March 08, 2019 11:06 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ...and I hope, by thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home. The Methodist Hymnal, #93

    Once upon a time, beginning in 1830, a missionary roamed the vast, lonesome and wild terrain of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, ministering to the Indians of the Great Lakes. Bishop Frederic Baraga, known as the Snowshoe Priest, traveled by foot over 500 miles every winter through blinding snowstorms and deep forests, over trackless mountains to the remote villages of five tribes.

    A modern-day traveler can discover more about Bishop Baraga’s life by visiting the Shrine of the Snowshoe Priest on Keweenaw Bay, featuring a 60-foot bronze statue atop 26-foot-long snowshoes. This curiosity is surrounded by five teepees, a table with votive candles, and a Cornish-Pasty stand. Tourists not awestruck by the Bishop’s treacherous calling to bring thousands to Christ in howling, arctic conditions probably liken this quirky, hidden shrine to others in its category, such as the famous Corn Palace in South Dakota, constructed entirely of corn husks, or the world’s largest concrete peanut sculpture in Oklahoma.

    One-hundred-fifty years later, a young lad was growing up not far from Keweenaw Bay in the Upper Peninsula. There Tommy Brown became a mediocre skier - even breaking his leg one season - on the nearby Porcupine Mountains. He played hooky with his classmates at the majestic Bond Waterfalls, only a bicycle ride away. His spiritual life began at the tiny Ewen Methodist Chapel, with only four pews on each side, and an organ, powered by a frayed extension cord, that he sometimes played. His faith grew in the summers at Camp Michigamme, a church camp where campers plunged into the glittering lakes, hiked through meandering forests and leaped over swift white rivers, and, when feeling puny - or faking it - would rest at the Ernest T. Brown Memorial Health Cabin, named after Tommy’s great-grandfather.

    It may be only a piece of a state, but it has a feel of a lost continent. If there’s a grander landscape on the planet, another intrepid new bishop just might begin discovering it soon in another state miles away.

    Tommy Brown, who grew into Thomas James Brown, Bishop-elect of the Diocese of Maine, might feel like he’s going home. Replacing snowshoes with snow tires and maybe a navigational gadget a bit more advanced than a compass, Thomas will be visiting congregations spread across 33,265 square miles. Thank goodness Bishop Baraga never snowshoed through Maine’s tangled, desolate 100-Mile Wilderness; he would have succumbed to exposure and starvation just trying to get out, a fate which has befallen even hikers of today. Near this unforgiving wilderness is Church of the Advent, the northernmost outpost of the diocese in Caribou, nearly in Canada.

    As he makes his way to All-Saints-by-the-Sea summer chapel on Bailey Island, probably with just four pews, the rugged seashore might remind Thomas of miles of crashing waves on the shores of his boyhood: Lakes Superior, Huron, and Michigan. He’ll climb to St. Peter’s Church in the eastern White Mountains, and gaze northward towards abandoned paper mills, reminiscent of abandoned copper mines of his youth.

    Thomas’s well-worn Book of Common Prayer will be next to him as he navigates those miles of two-lane winding, country roads. With the defroster full on and the windshield wipers frantically keeping the ice from forming an impenetrable crust, his flocks, from California to Vermont to Massachusetts are praying with him the beautiful Prayer for Travelers:

    Preserve those who travel;
    Surround them with your loving care;
    Protect them from every danger;
    And bring them in safety to their journey’s end;
    Amen.

    Godspeed, Thomas, and welcome home.

    Ellen Wilson, former warden and cross-country cyclist,
    including 533 miles in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula


  • March 01, 2019 12:32 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Whenever I see a family in church on Sunday mornings I am in awe. I am in awe that they got themselves dressed and out the door and in church after a week of school, work, and many other activities. For those of us who do not have children, there is a deep sense of respect and awe that parents take their roles of nurturers so seriously. You often put your own needs aside to ensure that your children have everything that they need. Clearly, the Christian formation of your children matters to you. Week after week, you do whatever is necessary to get your kids to church and to Sunday school and Children’s worship. It’s not an easy task, but the payoff is beyond measure.

    Thomas and I notice when families come to the altar rail for communion. We notice the wonder in your children’s eyes, even children who are not yet two years old, getting caught up in the mystery taking place. Somehow, they know they are a part of it all. I see little thumbs and forefingers come together as I approach them with communion. They know something sacred is happening and they want to be a part of it! And I am in awe when a young boy receives communion and bows his head for prayer at the altar rail. He lingers longer than the rest of his family and it seems he is caught up in that liminal space that no words can describe. And I am in awe.

    In the Gospel of Matthew Jesus said, “Let the children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:14 ESV) At Epiphany we believe that our children and youth are vital members of our Parish and contribute to our common life by their wonder, their desire to learn about their faith, and their sheer joy in living every day. Our children have so much to teach us about the love of God. If we are patient and are willing to engage them, they will open our eyes and hearts to the mysteries of life that many of us have forgotten or ignored.

    I hope that if you haven’t had a chance to have a conversation with one of our children or youth that you will make a point of doing so. They are bright, funny, creative, and full of joy! As you engage them you just may see the world in a different way. And if you’re like me, you will be forever changed and filled with awe.

    Faithfully yours in Christ,



  • February 13, 2019 5:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    What do you mean, sit in silence? You don’t talk to anyone? How do you do that? Why would you do it at all?

    I’ve had all of those questions and many more when I mention to friends that I will soon be leaving for an annual silent retreat. I’ve had similar, if less intense, reactions to the idea of gathering in the chapel at Epiphany for contemplative prayer. I am often surprised by the response of stunned disbelief at the thought of not talking, at least out loud, for some length of time.

    So what does happen on a silent retreat, or even in the half-hour, contemplative prayer service at Epiphany on Thursday mornings at 9:00am? There are, of course, the logistics. We use simple spoken prayers to lead to the silence; we use the chime of a singing bowl to enter into silence; we sit before the chapel altar with lit candles and an icon. We sit in silence for fifteen minutes before another prayer takes us back into fifteen more silent moments. We say amen after a final short prayer and go our way.

    And the prayer? There are no rules other than to keep silence. But in the silence, prayer is the process of building and deepening our relationship with God. Talking and listening are the foundation on which all relationships are built. It’s no different with God.

    Jesus tells us to ask for what we need, to ask for our deepest desires. Jesus also holds us in our anger, sadness, despair, fear, or joy and gratefulness. We can tell him anything and ask for help, forgiveness, love, or strength and courage. We can ask for a change of heart or the strength to make a change. We can always talk to God – about anything.

    Listening is what happens if we stop talking, if we quiet the narrative that is so often going on in our heads. It’s what happens if we try to enter the silence, calm our minds, slow our breathing, and simply sit with Jesus. We don’t have to ‘do’ anything. We have the privilege of not worrying about what we need to achieve, we can simply be – open and receptive to the ultimate love that Jesus represents. It’s an opportunity to pay attention and to open the creaky gates of our hearts.

    Maybe you’ve tried this kind of silence and contemplation and you just couldn’t sit still or your mind continued to race. That’s what often happens to me. But, I think God calls us to be faithful, to keep on trying, to care about the deep relationship that can only be built by intentional talking and listening, even if it’s in five-minute increments. I invite you to join us on Thursday mornings or to begin your own practice, somewhere in your day. Say it all from your heart and open your heart to hear. God’s love is always with us.

    Mary Street


  • February 08, 2019 11:15 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Every child is born with a biologically based capacity for natural spirituality. This natural spirituality, if it is supported, is a tremendous resource for health and thriving. The research supports this: adolescents with a strong personal spirituality are 60 percent less likely to suffer from substance use and abuse and 80 percent less likely to engage in risky and unprotected sex than adolescents who are not spiritually oriented…Religion traditionally offers a language and guidance for spiritual growth and development, as well as a sense of community and relationships based upon spiritual values. These are all critical elements of developing a personal spirituality.    Quote from Lisa Miller author of The Spiritual Child: The New Science on Parenting for Health and Lifelong Thriving

    Thank you for allowing me to attend the 2019 FORMA conference in Indianapolis, Indiana on 23 -25 January. FORMA is a network for Episcopal formation leaders whose mission is to celebrate, equip, support, and connect leaders who form followers of Jesus. Both lay ministers, like myself, and clergy gathered from all over the U.S. to attend this conference to connect with each other and learn how others are forming children, youth, and adults as people of faith. I have never attended a conference like this before and it was such a gift. It was a full schedule of worship, workshops, lectures, and networking receptions. I met and made friends with many other formation leaders from all over the U.S. It was an eye-opening experience for me to realize that I am not alone in the challenges of formation ministry. The conference offered a snapshot of where the Episcopal Church is today, helped remind me why this ministry is so vital right now, and gave glimpses of the many different ways we are formed to be the Body of Christ in the world. It was a gift to see how others are creatively working on this challenge, especially with children, youth, and intergenerational formation. The conference provided an abundance of information and insight on the questions: how does Liturgy form us, and how are we forming people for Evangelism? Since returning, I have allowed this experience to stew for a while as there was much to take in.

    The two biggest things I came away with were:

    I learned to be comfortable worshipping with liturgy that is unfamiliar to me. To me and perhaps for you, the most essential way that I am formed as a Christian is in worship. I love traditional Anglican worship. It is comforting and familiar and what I grew up with. I was able to experience for myself what it feels like when we allow other voices into our traditional liturgy. I attended worship at Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis where worship and music were in both Spanish and English. Once I got over the discomfort of unfamiliarity, I found the worship joyful and freeing and opening. Our traditional worship is so beautiful to me but I saw that our worship can be exclusive and unwelcoming to someone unfamiliar with Anglican traditions and music. I experienced worship and music which opened up liturgy to allow the music and language of several other cultures; it also opened me up to new ways of being Church. A speaker during one of the lectures pointed out that keeping worship on our terms was a form of spiritual segregation and when other voices are invited to speak we are practicing vernacular Anglicanism. I experienced that we can hold the framework of our traditional worship and still allow for room to invite others into it.

    I learned that those in dire need are our children, youth, and families. In all of the workshops I attended, we named that the anxiety and stress and over scheduling that children, youth, and families feel is not balanced by the development and nurturing of an inner life right now. Our children and youth are growing up in a fast-paced, technological society where great demands are put on them to perform.  Our Church has the potential to become the counter-balance, the sanctuary for them and for us. We as Church could reach out to both those who walk through our door and to those who are not but should. This is where our work could be.

    Many of us left the conference with the realization that the Episcopal Church needs to transform quickly as it tries to align what Church is to what the reality is today. I have returned from this experience with renewed knowing in my heart that we, with the help of the Holy Spirit, are called to become more than what we are today. I look forward to rolling up my sleeves with all of you as we continue to form this blessed community together.

    Love,



  • January 23, 2019 2:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Several years ago, during a challenging time in my life, my spiritual director gave me a wonderful quote from artist and writer Brian Andreas. His art is very quirky, which I love, and his quotes for each day either make me smile or give me hope. Here is the quote from Brian that she gave me: It is the way of all things that the night ends & the light returns. The light always returns...

    For those of you who find the winters difficult, especially with ice and cold and shorter days, this may give you some comfort. I know that I always rejoice when the Winter Solstice comes, for I know that sometime in February it will become clear that the days are indeed getting longer and with more daylight comes the hope of spring!

    For those who may be struggling with an illness or some issue in your life, I hope this quote reminds you that the light of Christ is in you and around you. Even if you do not feel it at times, the prayers and concern of others, along with God’s love are there to bolster you when you may be feeling completely alone or without help.

    The other thing that always amazes me is the fact that there are contemplative people all over the world – some who are monks and nuns and some who are lay people – who have devoted their lives to praying for others, even strangers. Someone, somewhere in the world, right now is praying for you and is praying for me. They may not know us by name, but they are praying all the same. These people of faith, of all faiths, pray for peace, for those in danger, for those who are dying, for those who have no one else to pray for them. Some of them chant their prayers and I believe that their music and prayers change the Universe somehow. Just like a stone thrown into a body of water creates ripples that go on far beyond what our eyes can see, so the intentional chant of prayerful people ripples out and changes the world. These prayers bring light where there is darkness. And when we pray for others, our prayers join that light that scatters the darkness.

    In the first chapter of the Gospel of John we hear, “What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” Christ is our light and the darkness – whether it manifests itself as fear, anxiety, grief, depression, or illness – the darkness will be dispelled by the light of Christ that is in each one of us and dwells with people of faith in every corner of the world.

    When the light returns, we are not the same as we were. We are forever changed, maybe in small unaccountable ways, but we are changed nonetheless. “It is the way of all things that the night ends & the light returns. The light always returns....”

    Faithfully yours in Christ,


  • January 18, 2019 3:13 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear Dr. King,

    Today is your birthday, and it’s been 35 years since our nation’s Senate and House of Representatives agreed that we would take the third Monday in January of every year to remember you. I’m writing to you on a cold, sunny winter morning. Soon I will preach and celebrate the Holy Eucharist with a faithful band of people who desire healing and wholeness, as do I.

    All of that aside, what I want to say is that in your short life you made a remarkable contribution; you left an indescribable legacy. For those of us born after 1968, our experience of you comes from our ancestors, but that’s precisely the point: you have shaped at least two generations, including my own, in our understanding of racial healing and reconciliation.

    My nephew is black, born in Ethiopia. Next week he’ll have his 15th birthday. I think he’s the only person of color in his public high school in New Hampshire. I worry about him, Dr. King. I worry that navigating race in America as an identified racial minority will lead to unpredictable moments—out of nowhere—where he’ll have to encounter racism and disrespect. I was heartened at Christmas to see him and his cousins, some of whom are also not caucasian, speaking about their experiences as young people of color. They were laughing, comparing notes about the stupid things people say to them. Yet I was also disheartened to hear my nephew say within earshot of all the adults, “Yeah, I hate it when people just walk up to me and touch my hair like I’m something they’ve never seen before.”

    I serve a church that is predominantly white. When we talked about putting a black lives matter sign in front of the church one man said, “I think we’re behind that issue at Epiphany, thank God, so let’s not use signs to divide us.” President Obama was in office then, the man pointed that out to me and said, “doesn’t get much better than being president.”

    Still, I think, despite the work that’s ahead of us, you’d be overwhelmed by the progress we’ve made since you died. Our country is changed because of you, and because of thousands of others, of every race, who have marched forward to continue your dream.

    The thing about your teaching and preaching, at least as I’ve read and heard recordings, is that you helped us see racial healing as a moral imperative; you opened our eyes to Holy Scripture, and you showed us the way of love. That means that many of us are working for a United States of America that is not only fair but also morally and ethically just.

    So, on this your 90th birthday we reaffirm that racial or religious bigotry has no place in our nation, in our society, or our church.

    Happy Birthday, Dr. King. We shall overcome. We shall overcome.

    Faithfully in Christ,


  • January 11, 2019 2:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    “Ask, and it will be given to you. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you” [Matthew 7:7]

    What? How can this be? All of us have experienced unanswered prayers, lost treasures, and closed doors. Surely, God is not Santa Claus doling out presents for good children who behave. Furthermore, I can’t believe we need prayers to convince God to take action or to inform God of our needs. God knows and acts and loves, without our prompting. So, why practice intercessory prayer? What good does it do?

    I’ve had several experiences in recent years that have made me, once skeptical of this spiritual discipline, a regular practitioner.

    First, an experience of asking for prayers. Several years ago, parishioner Brett Johnson asked if he might pray for my family. At his request, every few months, I send an email sharing specific joys and concerns of our family. Crafting this email is a centering and rewarding work. It forces me to think carefully about those I love. What do they need? What would help them grow? What blessings have they received recently? This task refocuses me on the most important issues in our life -- those experiences of grace that draw us into the abundant life Jesus promises and those experiences of suffering that hold within them the hope of resurrection. Asking for prayers transforms me. I wonder, how would our Parish be changed if each of us asked a fellow parishioner to share his/her deepest prayers with us?

    Second, an experience of offering prayers. For the last four years, I have had the privilege of helping to lead the prayer list team at Epiphany. Every week, one of us reaches out to members of our community who have asked us for prayers, either for themselves or those they love. We write to assure them of our prayers and to inquire about how their loved ones are faring. It’s deeply humbling work. I know how much trust and courage it takes to ask for prayers. When I write these emails, I’m filled with gratitude, humility, and connection. It’s one of those moments when I am sure that the Kingdom of God is at hand. Offering to pray for others transforms me. I wonder, how would our Parish be changed if more of us asked to place the names of those we love on our weekly prayer list?

    Finally, an experience of praying in community: Every Tuesday night, five to twelve of us gather in the Chapel at 6:00pm. We sit in a circle and recite the names of those who are on our prayer list. It’s a short, contemplative service. To be honest, there are weeks when my brain is racing through the first fifteen minutes. In these moments, I often imagine God smiling gently, waiting for me to return to the present. And I look around at the faces of my brothers and sisters in Christ. I also know that there are others who will receive the prayer list via email and have promised to lift up these needs to God. I feel inspired by their faith and welcomed by their love. Praying in community transforms me. I wonder, how would our Parish be changed if you (yes, YOU) joined us in person, or prayed with us at home on Tuesday night.

    And so, what good does intercessory prayer? Well, for me, it helps me return to the Good News of Christ Jesus - the promise that we are made for love, that we are called to deep connection with all of creation, and that we are never, never alone.


    Jacob Montwieler



  • January 04, 2019 1:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I am a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem (AFEDJ). AFEDJ raises funds in the United States to benefit schools and hospitals that are owned and operated by the Jerusalem Diocese. Every three years the Board travels to the Middle East to visit some of the schools and hospitals in several countries which we support. I joined the Board on this year’s trip in October and so I visited schools and hospitals in Jordan, the West Bank, Israel, and Gaza.

    I had been to the Middle East before on an Epiphany pilgrimage. But there were to be few, if any, holy sites on this trip. This was all about people in need in today’s world. Before I left on the trip, I expected to see many sad things: a neglected people who are the victims of violence and political dysfunction, a lack of medical facilities and good education, and a lack of hope. I knew that the U.S. had just cut its aid to the Middle East and that that significantly affected two hospitals that we support. I guess I wondered where God is in all of this.

    On the trip, I saw much of what I had expected to see: evident poverty, unemployed people, shortage of water, heavily armed checkpoints and border crossings throughout, and obvious discrimination. What I had not expected to see in such abundance is hope. One such encounter was at the Holy Land Institute for the Deaf, in Salt, Jordan. The Institute cares for 140 deaf or hard of hearing, mostly residential children, nine deaf/blind children, and 75 disabled children who visit daily from the nearby Syrian refugee camp. I was particularly struck by the painstaking efforts involved in teaching deaf/ blind children. The work, almost all of which requires one teacher per student, primarily involves teaching hands-on sign language. To see a deaf/blind student smiling while learning is not something I will soon forget.

    Another such encounter was at Gaza’s Al Ahli Arab Hospital. The situation for people living in Gaza grows more desperate almost daily. The area is isolated by border restrictions that surround it, with a 44 percent unemployment rate and with 33 percent of children being undernourished or suffering from malnutrition. I was happy to learn that many of the children treated for malnutrition, when given an affordable, nutritious diet recommended by the hospital, regain full health. We saw one happy father blow a kiss to his child’s nutritionist. Gaza is predominately Muslim with 900 Christians living among a population of 2 million. The hospital serves 38,000 patients per year and survives largely on charitable contributions and government support. Recent reductions in U.S. aid have cut $40,000 per month from the hospital’s income. One particular aspect of the unfolding tragedy is that the hospital possesses equipment to perform mammograms but does not possess the equipment to perform radiation oncology. Such equipment exists nearby in Israel, but 40 percent of medical requests for travel to Israel are denied. While I was following the hospital director, she stopped in front of a woman sitting on a bench waiting to see a doctor. The patient pointed to me and said, in Arabic, “We desperately need medical access to Israel and only two people can make that happen: God and you.” God is in her heartfelt appeal and will be in whatever I do with that appeal.

    Robie White


  • December 21, 2018 8:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On this day before Christmas, I’m put in mind of the way this particular Advent unfolded in my life and that of my family.

    For starters, my father and step-mother visited Tom and me for the first time in many years. I wouldn’t say we’d been estranged as much as we’d gotten stuck in a pattern whereby Tom and I were the ones who traveled to see them. It was a wonderful reunion, and they loved being here for the Christmas Fair, and for the rededication of the Chapel. I put them in their first-ever Uber early on Monday, December 3rd, to Logan to catch their flights home.

    Then Tom and I scurried to turn around the guest room for our friend, Fr. Martin Smith, who arrived in time for lunch that day. Meanwhile, I was preparing to leave for New York to chair a Church Pension Fund board meeting. Early that evening Tom was hit by a car while walking our dog. Suddenly everything was disrupted, and nothing was sure. A kind, young police officer returned the dog, told Martin the news, and waited for me to arrive so he could describe the event. He said, “this will be very hard for you, and I think it’s best for you and your friend to get to the hospital in Boston.” On the drive into Massachusetts General Hospital, I imagined all the horrible things I might learn: that Tom was dead, or gravely injured, or that he was just fine. I suppose there was a kind of shock response happening, but you know what I remember feeling more than anything? Calm and trust. Fear wasn’t absent, and I was anxious, for sure, but more than fear and anxiety, I remember feeling calm and trust.

    As most of you know Tom is at home now following two weeks at a rehabilitation hospital. He has a broken pelvis and is expected to make a full recovery.

    In the midst of all the disruption grace abounds on every side. A wonderful bishop who has cared for each of us; neighbors and friends from all over who have called or visited; your care and prayers, along with those from the people at St. John’s in Charlestown - all of it reveals a river of love and embrace.

    Tonight and tomorrow, Christians everywhere will celebrate the great truth that in Christ things earthly and heavenly are gathered into one, and we are filled with the sweetness of inward peace and goodwill. Nothing else matters.

    Wherever you are today, take a moment to thank God for the way Jesus Christ is being born yet again—right now—inside your heart, and in the hearts of those whom you love. Today, more than any other moment in the church’s life, we proclaim that there is a light that cannot be overcome. For some of us the light is bright and beaming; for others it’s fragile and barely flickering. However, whether it’s big or small, light dispels darkness; think of the small candles we’ll hold tonight and how they do likewise. 

    Every Advent Tom Mousin writes a poem to accompany the Advent calendar he designs. Here’s 2018’s, and it comes with my greatest love:

    When doubt or sorrow fills the soul, come, O longed for promised word.
    When lies and falsehoods take their hold, come, O truth that must be heard.
    When fear is stirred with words of hate, come, O perfect love to reign.
    Our hearts with fervent hope await: come, O Christ, be born again.

    A happy and holy nativity to you and yours,



  • December 21, 2018 7:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    “God, are you the one who is living life?” 
               The Book of Hours II, 12, Ranier Maria Rilke

    There are periods in life when you just know that it is God who is doing the living, and you are fortunate to be tagging along!  So it is with me now. 

     In my late 50s, when the pre-retirement question “What are you going to do with the rest of your life?” filled my waking and sleeping hours, both the urgency of that question, and the inspiration for the answer, came not from me but, clearly, from God.
    God’s answer: “GIVE BACK!” 
     Me: “How?”
    God:  ACT with Love in Community. 

    So for the past five years, I have served as Co-Chair of ClassACT, an initiative I founded with my Harvard-Radcliffe ‘73 classmates, to allow us to work together to create significant positive change.  The “ACT” stands for “Achieving Change Together.” Our slogan, which harks back to our Vietnam War, Civil Rights activist, Feminism-filled college days is “It’s not too late to change the world!”   

    What are we doing? 

    We established and run The Benazir Bhutto Leadership Program in honor of our assassinated classmate, Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. This program‘s mission is the advancement of democracy, women’s rights, education for all, and religious reconciliation in predominantly Muslim countries. It achieves this through providing fellowships to Harvard’s Kennedy School Government for mid-career leaders from predominantly Muslim countries, working with leaders from the region of South Asia, and educating Americans about these cultures and the challenges they face. 

    In America, we are helping to found an organization dedicated to strengthening STEM education through sports analytics in our own country’s most challenged schools.  We have provided targeted assistance to nonprofits working in NOLA, the Bay Area, DC, New York, Maryland, Kenya, Haiti, Ghana, Mexico, and Costa Rica.  The range of those organizations’ service includes medicine, music, education, human rights, food, clothing, and criminal justice reform.  At present, there are a couple hundred classmates sharing their time and talents in these various endeavors.  

    This all seems something of a miracle. God’s miracle!

    Through this work, I have met the Attorney General of Afghanistan, a champion of women’s rights.  I have spent time in the home of a social activist in the Treme neighborhood of NOLA who is changing the lives of the children there.  I have listened to former prisoners describe the work they are doing to combat the racism inherent in the US criminal justice system. And, in early December, I met with Malala, whose love for others is changing the world.  

    What I have learned afresh is that we are all one in God’s love. That love creates community and produces action. And it seems to me that though it may appear that the “Body of Christ” is exclusively Christian, people across the globe live God’s love in, and for, the world.  Isn’t that Christ’s Body?  I think so, and I am so grateful to be part of it. 

    Marion Dry 
    Parishioner





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