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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."


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  • October 23, 2016 6:48 PM | Anonymous

    The following video was created just before Evensong this evening, thanks to the videography taken of Tia Landry-Kennedy. It is intended for parents of young children, but might well have something for everybody who wonders about what to some folk might seem strange choreography.


  • October 20, 2016 8:29 AM | Anonymous

    In the early 1980s religious communities of every stripe were gathering around Harold Kushner's best seller, When Bad Things Happen to Good People. Rabbi Kushner had just buried his fourteen year old son, Aaron, from progeria, a rare disease which causes rapid aging. Kushner was outraged at God for the unfairness of it all. He goes through all the various justifications for suffering, but in the end lays down his burden by asserting that none of are worth considering because all of the arguments assume that God causes human suffering. 

    The book looks at the story of Job, and explores all the interactions between Job and God, and through that, Kushner made a remarkable discovery, a contribution to theology which has shaped the past 35 years of teaching and preaching: God is loving and just, but God is simply not powerful enough to banish all evil and suffering. Why doesn't God stop it all? Because God can't. What Kushner hears in Job's and God's conversations is this: God says, "Job, I am doing the best I can, but I am not in control of all this. Managing evil is not an easy task, even for me." 

    The real invitation for Christians, at least as I hear it, is to proclaim that Jesus, who became flesh and dwelled among us, is involved in our pain and suffering, and stands (or sits) with us. It's one of the most powerful magnets of Christianity...that Jesus is intimately involved in both my joy and my suffering, right there with me every step. 

    Psalm 23 comes to mind, doesn't it? Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. For a sermon on the
    23rd Psalm click here.

    Peace and blessing for your day. 
    Faithfully in Christ,
    Thomas


  • September 21, 2016 7:59 AM | Anonymous

    I came out as a gay man early-on during college. It was a relief to many, even if for me the process of telling this truth was a kind of hell. Interestingly the struggle wasn’t with God or Jesus, or with my family, but with adults who were in charge of the church, an institution I cared about a great, great deal. Throughout the coming out process God was always on my lips and in my heart. There were many angels who came in the form of family and friends, lovers too, to support and to guide, and within a couple of years I had made peace not only with myself, but also with the church. Like most people I grew tremendously during college. By the time I graduated, in 1992, my mind, my spirit, and my heart were at least five times the size they’d been when I first arrived. I had grown up during those years, not completely, but measurably. 

    A companion to me in those seasons, really a mentor, was a then-young professor in Counseling Psychology (in the graduate school), James M. Croteau. He wrote articles and taught courses, and in short order Jim was promoted from assistant professor to associate professor, and eventually to full professor. Countless men and women sat at his feet to learn about undoing racism and advocating for those who have no voice. At the time of his appointment Jim was the only self-identified, gay faculty member at Western Michigan University.  And because Jim was never my professor we were able to have a friendship that was free of the requisite boundaries which rightly define how teachers and students interact. To me he was “just Jim.”  Like me,  Jim struggled with overeating, so we’d sometimes go to Bill Knapps Restaurant for au gratin potatoes and hot fudge sundaes. Unlike me Jim dove head-first into all kinds of athletic pursuits, almost obsessively. His partner, Darryl, was also a friend, and in a real sense Darryl and Jim were my first experience of a gay couple.  Jim & Darryl were the first people from whom I heard the words, “Ogunquit, Maine.” They have visited there since the year they first dated, now 31 years. 

    Last Thursday Jim messaged me on Facebook to say that he was going to be in Ogunquit in October. He wondered if we might meet half-way for a meal. I responded by suggesting that we meet for supper in Ogunquit on Thursday, 13 October at 6:30pm. It was the first time in several years that we’d been in touch. 

    This past Sunday night I was afflicted with insomnia (unusual for me) so I looked at Facebook. There was an odd post from a woman I’d never met who referred to  Jim in the past tense. A reply from another person used the word “memories” My ears pricked up, but Facebook's siren was silent, so I chalked my ominous premonition to midnight stupor, and went back to bed. On Monday morning a mutual friend texted me asking, “is this still your cell number? I need to talk to you.” I knew immediately that Jim was dead. I just knew.

    Early on Sunday morning Jim set off from his house in Kalamazoo for a bike ride. Evidently before he was out of the subdivision he was dead from a cardiac arrest. Jim had no history of heart disease; he was 59 years old. Darryl is devastated, and as he stated in a text yesterday, “numb like I’ve never known in my life.”

    I can’t rejoice in Jim’s death, but I do give thanks for his reaching out last week; for the idea that we would have had a reunion over some rich meal in a fabulous restaurant in Ogunquit. The friend who texted me on Monday morning encouraged me to keep the date, and to toast Jim on 13 October; he thinks Jim will be there.  Today, I give thanks for the way Jim led me from death to resurrection. And, I give thanks that he lives now with the angels.

    As you go through your day today find, or call, or email at least one person to say, “I love you.” 

    O God, whose days are without end, and whose mercies cannot be numbered: Make us, we pray, deeply sensible of the shortness and uncertainty of life; and let your Holy Spirit lead us in holiness and righteousness all our days;that, when we shall have served you in our generation, we may be gathered unto our ancestors, having the testimony of a good conscience; in the communion of the Catholic Church; in the confidence of a certain faith; in the comfort of a reasonable, religious, and holy hope; in favor with you our God; and in perfect charity with the world. All which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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