The Proper Way To Handle Trick-Or-Treaters
A Halloween special from Man in the Box.
Wayward began as a Katrina recovery blog in 2006 but has since wandered off to consider social justice; theology; the intersections of faith, politics, and the environment; and a life lived between DC, Idaho, Nebraska, and New Hampshire.
Progressive Christian, conservationist, music lover, craft beer enthusiast, Dartmouth alum, and Sierra Club online organizer. Former DNC staffer, online consultant, MyDD blogger, and ministry intern. Views my own. Follow me on Twitter: @nathanempsall
A Halloween special from Man in the Box.
With its former occupants having left their church and diocese behind, the Diocese of Fort Worth is now set to ordain its first female priest! Huzzah! From Episcopal Life Online comes this exciting news:
Thirty-three years after the Episcopal Church approved the ordination of women to the priesthood and to the episcopate, the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, Texas, is following suit.
The Rt. Rev. Edwin F. (Ted) Gulick Jr., bishop of Kentucky and provisional bishop of Fort Worth, is set to ordain the Rev. Susan Slaughter to the priesthood on Nov. 15 at St. Luke's in the Meadow Episcopal Church, where she currently serves as deacon...
"It is with a deep sense of awe in the mysterious ways of our Lord that I arrive at this moment," Slaughter said recently. "I am filled with gratitude toward those persons, lay and clergy, who have encouraged and supported me over the years. St. Luke's in the Meadow has been especially supportive and has helped me discern more clearly my true vocation."
While driving from Idaho to Omaha in September, I had the privilege of spending a night camping in South Dakota's Badlands National Park, just outside the Black Hills and about an hour from Rapid City. I rarely journal, but after spending a few hours driving and walking around the buttes in the moonlight, I immediately sat down and wrote. Here's an excerpt from my notebook, as well as the context I wrote for it in last week's sermon before deleting it for brevity. (Picture credit.
Still struggling to find the right adjectives. It is an uncapturable experience. It was a moment and a place, and such things do not conflate with pen and paper. It was religious, and beautiful in an eery way. It was almost like a moon, but with greenery. And thanks to the owl and crickets, it was so alive! And not a single other person. I had been transported in a way I never had been before. For once, I was glad to be along during a wonderful moment. It was all so ancient, and made me feel safe in an edgy way.
Great article from the Episcopal News Services about Episcopal Churches getting involved with the 350 International Day of Climate Action, one of the largest political events ever!
Bell ringing, postcard campaigns and community connections will point the way to Copenhagen when congregations join in the International Day of Climate Action this Saturday, October 24.
Organized by the 350.org campaign, this year's annual celebration will call for a fair climate treaty when world leaders gather in Copenhagen in December. Three hundred fifty parts per million is considered to be the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide in earth's atmosphere.
Episcopal congregations have marked the day in previous years by ringing steeple bells 350 times. This year, Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, and Mary Evelyn Tucker of the Forum on Religion and Ecology are urging greater participation by religious congregations.
Tyler Edgar of the National Council of Churches' Eco-justice unit points out that it is important for the United States to be committed to reducing its own greenhouse gas emissions if it is to be effective in Copenhagen.
I mentioned a few months ago that I’m spending this year in Omaha, Nebraska working for the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection’s Episcopal Service Corps program. This program consists of three main components: spiritual direction, an internship at a local Episcopal church, and volunteer work at a local non-profit. I’ve been here for six weeks and the different components of this new job are now all in place. I’d like to devote a post each to my parish placement and to my non-profit placement.
The Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS), a sometimes-updated online service of Lambeth Palace, has had two interesting stories about Christian involvement in climate change issues this month. The first, dated October 12, was titled simply, "A Statement from the Anglican Communion Environmental Network," and the second, from October 14, was called, "Act local as well as national urges Archbishop of Canterbury."
We look to the Copenhagen conference with hope but also with realism... there must be a desire on the part of every nation to do what they know they must, not because they are legally bound, but because they share a vision for a more just and sustainable future... We pray that each nation will come to the conference wanting the highest level outcome; that demanding targets will be set, not in an attempt to discipline reluctant participants, or to give some preferential treatment which undermines the whole; but that a greater vision might be shared...
Our faith and our ancestors have always taught us that the earth is our mother and deserves respect; we know that this respect has not been given. We know that like a mother the earth will continue to give its all to us. However, we also know that we are now demanding more than it is able to provide. Science confirms what we already know, our human footprint is changing the face of the earth and because we come from the earth, it is changing us too.
In a lecture today at Southwark Cathedral (sponsored by the Christian environmental group Operation Noah) Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, sets out a Christian vision of how people can respond to the looming environmental crisis. Beginning with the story of Noah and the Flood, Dr Williams highlights the “burden of responsibility for what confronts us here and now as a serious crisis and challenge”. Our relationship with the rest of creation is intimately bound up with our relationship with God. The Bible offers “an ethical perspective based on reverence for the whole of life”. “To act so as to protect the future of the non-human world is both to accept a God-given responsibility and, appropriately, to honour the special dignity given to humanity itself.”
I had planned to give this sermon at an Omaha-area Episcopal church today, but unfortunately flu-like symptoms caused me to request a back-up preacher a couple days ago. Nevertheless, I thought I would post it here. The readings follow the Revised Common Lectionary, focusing on Job 38: 1-7, 34-41; Psalm 104: 1-9, 25; and Mark 10:35-45. Drawing heavily from a book by Bill McKibben, the crux of the sermon is basically this: The environment is important for many spiritual reasons. One, when Scripture reveals God’s glory, it does so with environmental and biological language. Two, we are able to experience and feel God when in nature. Three, God gave us this environment as a gift, called it “good,” and asked us to take care of it. For these three reasons, as well as the role the environment plays in justice (its close ties to things like cancer and asthma), we as good Christians must be humble and not live a lifestyle that destroys the environment. If we believe what science tells us, then we must address climate change, and one way to do that is to pass clean energy legislation. So without further ado, my sermon:
Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, so that a flood of waters may cover you? Can you send forth lightnings, so that they may go and say to you, “Here we are”? Who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens, when the dust runs into a mass and the clods cling together? Can you hunt the prey for the lion, or satisfy the appetite of the young lions, when they crouch in their dens, or lie in wait in their covert?
The following is excerpted from a longer Blue Moose Democrat post on the environmental movement's recent traction in its battle against climate change. This is the section that talks about momentum in the faith community - and even this is just the tip of the iceberg. For more about the politics, see the full post.
It wasn't the climate change-caused storm, it was the faulty levees and the devestation of the wetlands that slammed New Orleans.
My computer died today. It wast approximately four years and one month old.
President Obama is the winner of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. Read my thoughts at Blue Moose Democrat in a post called, "Obama’s Nobel Prize, While Largely Undeserved, Is Good For America."
I've posted this before, and I guarantee I will post it again. But I mean, seriously, MOST AWESOME THING EVER. No, I mean it - there's Beethoven's Fifth and Ninth and Piano Concertos, there's Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, and there's this.
The last paragraph in this excerpt is great. From the website of Corky Siegel's Chamber Blues:
Look at it this way: When we think of the blues, don't we think of some guy wailing on an old beat up guitar in a smoky tavern with a bunch of people in jeans and T-shirts? When we think of classical music don't we flash on an ornate concert hall with a grand piano on high stick and a performer in tux and tails and women in sparkling evening gowns? Just the visual image alone makes it seem like classical music and blues are worlds apart.
The music itself is innocent of this visual diversity. The music is made up of chords, melodies, harmonies, counterpoint, dynamics, articulations and rhythm. It doesn't know about smoke-filled rooms, blue jeans, or tuxedoes. It doesn't rely on ushers passing out programs or a society passing out dress codes to fit with a particular genre. The music is blind. All it cares about is having a wonderful time.
Once a radio announcer who was obviously a classical music fan confronted me on the air and stated that blues is a lowly form of music whose text is relegated to the gutter with stories of loose women and booze and etc. ... and sometimes you can't even understand the words. Then he asked the question; "What do you think about that Mr. Siegel?" I answered immediately; "Opera! I rest my case."
I was eating some Southwest Airlines peanuts on Sunday and watching Rachel Maddow on my iPod, and was persuaded by this segment to take a look at the ingredients list. My bag of airline peanuts contained the following: "Peanuts, Honey, Sucrose, Wheat Starch, Maltodextrin, Peanut and/or Canola Oil, Salt, Molasses, Brown Sugar."