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EDOLA Blog

Forward Day By Day – April 22, 2018

Fear. Anxiety. Uncertainty. Security. Prejudice. These emotions and more prompt us to place labels on people. These labels offer tidy definitions that help us deal with people who are different from us. The problem is that humans are far too complex to be fully...

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My Best Friend

  “Your best friend is the one who: seeing him reminds you of Allah, speaking to him increases your knowledge, and his actions remind you of the hereafter.”  — Al-Muhasibi   I want to tell you a story:   There were two close friends who had been parted by war so that...

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Forward Day By Day – April 21, 2018

I wonder if we make enough space in our lives to experience holiness. Our lives are much easier if we hold God and other things that require vulnerability at arm’s length. These holy things may be unclean, unfamiliar, foreign, or profane and require a whole-hearted...

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Continuing to Remember Ann+

Along with Education for Ministry (EfM), Episcopal Café, and most of the Episcopal Church as a whole, I am mourning the loss of a mentor, co-mentor, editor, friend, and incredible resource and example, namely Ann Fontaine. So many words have been written about her...

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Remembering Ann from the SttS Contributors

Although I never got to meet her in person, Ann Fontaine has been walking alongside me almost as long as I’ve been an Episcopalian.  We first met when I was new to the church, around 2006, via the blogosphere.  She later coerced me (in that won’t-take-no-for-an-answer...

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Come, Thou

As most readers already know my mom, Ann Fontaine, passed away earlier this week.   To say I will miss her greatly is an enormous understatement. I don’t think I even realize how much I will miss her. I know from the many cards, emails, texts, and social media...

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Forward Day By Day – April 20, 2018

All of us will lose something at some point in our lives—friends, family, health, jobs, opportunities, or possessions. Grief is a part of life. Faith grants us not an escape from the deep spaces of certain loss, but a container to hold them and a lens through which to...

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Forward Day By Day – April 19, 2018

Biblically speaking, food is more than simply fuel for the body. Food offers space for community and is the direct means of connection, religious experience and worship, sacrament and miracle. Saul takes some food and regains his strength in this holy context. Many of...

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Snagging Souls

The Feast Day of St. Alphege   I am visiting our daughter in south Florida.  She has a screened-in porch overlooking her backyard, and I have been sitting out here in the cool mornings to write.  This morning daylight seeps slowly, incrementally, into the world. As my...

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Forward Day By Day – April 18, 2018

Philip is compelled by the Holy Spirit to talk to a strange, foreign person parked on the side of the road in the literal middle of nowhere. The man to whom he goes could have been a criminal, a crazy person, anyone. But the Spirit nudges these strangers together,...

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The First Apostle

Mark 16:9-12: Now after he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. She went out and told those who had been with him, while they were mourning and weeping. But when they heard that he was...

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Forward Day By Day – April 17, 2018

Jesus comes to save our souls. His work on the cross takes all the junk out of our hearts and discards it, offering us something beautiful and life-giving in its place. We just have to be willing to make the transaction. And that’s a hard kind of will to muster. Simon...

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Holy Ground

Sometimes you feel it in your bones. Sometimes you just know. Your breath slows down. You pause. You feel as though time has stopped. You are frozen in place. You want to stay there forever. You want to feel safe. Warm. Present. Calm. Known.   Sometimes you’re on holy...

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Forward Day By Day – April 16, 2018

Our stories are deeply and intimately connected to the stories of everyone else we know and many, many other people we don’t know and never will. Our wholeness and our pain are each borne by others in addition to ourselves. Many of us may be familiar with the killing...

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Rivers of Living Water

  Today’s Daily Office Gospel reading, skipping the genealogy of Jesus, brings us back around to John the Baptizer, a voice crying in the wilderness, which continues for the next two days. Probably chosen to begin the way to our annual memorialization of the first...

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Forward Day By Day – April 15, 2018

Human beings are endlessly complicated, frail, and stubborn. Not only do we bear the image of God, we also bear the likeness of one another—the good, the bad, and the ugly. Proof of our frailty is found in our ability to rehearse and rehash our mistakes over and over...

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Who Will You Be?

“…What we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears,  we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”  I John 3:2 (NIV) Have you seen those bracelets that say WWJD? It’s on tee-shirts too, and some keychains. It’s just about...

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Forward Day By Day – April 14, 2018

The Holy Spirit is the star of the show in Acts. Some of us may have been conditioned to imagine the Holy Spirit as a violent, disrespectful force blowing into our lives uninvited and pummeling us into submission to God’s will. But what if the Holy Spirit is more like...

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DIY TR

I speak often of a group that I belong to and have the honor of mentoring in, and that is Education for Ministry (EfM). For those unfamiliar with the title, it’s an educational formation program for laypeople, but is open to clergy who may be part of a discernment...

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Miracle Food

Daily Office Readings for Friday, April 13, 2018:   AM Psalm 16, 17; PM Psalm 134, 135 Exod. 16:23-36; 1 Pet. 3:13-4:6; John 16:1-15   Our reading from Exodus–the story of manna in the wilderness–reminds me just how fickle we are about “miracle foods.”  Seems like we...

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Forward Day By Day – April 13, 2018

I’m comforted in knowing that the apostles can be a little snotty and ungrateful. I have this tendency as well. The daily work of parish ministry can often feel like a distraction from what I perceive to be the real work of church. I want to spend my time sharing the...

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Forward Day By Day – April 12, 2018

Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, is saying something important. In his address to the religious elites, he talks about this strange cohort of Jesus-followers who are constantly upsetting the status quo in Jerusalem. As a child, my family and I visited New York City....

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What Is Needed Now?

John 15:12-27   Here is the heart of Christian teaching, its very essence. “Love one another as I have loved you.” This is what it is all about, Jesus tells his disciples. Expressing the greatest love there is, he gave his life for his friends. Because of his...

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Bearing Fruit

John 15:1-11   Spring officially began on March 20, but in much of the country you couldn’t tell that. One of my friends on the West Coast was bewailing the fact that it was in the 90s a few days ago where she lives, while those of us trapped in Flyover Country and...

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Forward Day By Day – April 11, 2018

Our shadows have the power to be agents of healing and wholeness when we are honest about them. Peter has many shadows—he’s quick-tempered, impatient, prideful, angry. And still, Jesus calls him to walk by his side. Peter’s close proximity to Jesus does not excise...

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Forward Day By Day – April 10, 2018

Ananias and Sapphira hedge their bets. They’ve been living as members of the growing community of Jesus’ followers in Jerusalem. But when they sell a piece of property, they keep a portion of the proceeds, just in case this Jesus-business doesn’t work out. To make...

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The Theology of Spring

Just as different seasons in the church year have their own feel and theology, so, too, do I believe that the seasons of nature have their own theology. It’s no secret that each season feels and looks different. There’s a variety of smells and tastes and sights that...

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Forward Day By Day – April 9, 2018

I’d like to offer up my favorite bit of evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit: It’s rooted in how our hearts respond to God’s invitation toward generous living. Generous living is not about specific amounts or really even about money. Today’s reading from...

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Mary, William Law, & Us

Today is the transferred date of the Feast of the Annunciation.  The past four months have been a whirlwind of waiting through Advent, the struggle between the material and holy Christmastide, the long, hard Lent, the joy of the Resurrection, and within days here we...

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Forward Day By Day – April 8, 2018

As a hospital chaplain, I encountered difficult situations every day. Once, as a huge family was spinning out of control following the unforeseen death of their patriarch, I found myself climbing onto a waiting room table, extending my hands, and saying, “Wait! I know...

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Forward Day By Day – April 7, 2018

The fly in the ointment of Christian faith is pride. Our faith makes absolute statements about the world and the place of faithful followers of Christ in it. It is easy to take these claims and wear them as a shield, rather than offering them as a salve. Christian...

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