Monday, April 23, 2018

Horses Speak of God

But We've Never Done It That Way!

But we've never done it that way!
This phrase, with an image of a ship slowly sinking, is one of my favorite illustrations by Jay Sidebotham, Episcopal priest and church cartoonist extraordinaire.
Copyright Jay Sidebotham

Favorite may be a strong word. Maybe I like the cartoon because it, with great accuracy, acute precision, and flawless humor, calls out one of the great sins of humanity…being a stiff-necked people.
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Monday, April 9, 2018

Hands to Work, Hearts to God

Over the Great Fifty Days of Easter, I'll be blogging at 50 Days of Fabulous, an online ministry of Forward Movement. This year, we'll be reading through the New Testament book of The Acts of the Apostles with others using the readings of the Good Book Club. To get a list of the readings, visit the Good Book Club. The posts are for individual use as part of personal devotions and are also suitable for groups - Bible study groups or prayer groups, for example. Each Wednesday or Thursday, we'll share a video or image related to the week's readings that can also be used to further reflection and discussion. 
You can go to and sign up to receive the posts each week.

Today's post at
We get a glimpse of the common life of the early Christians regarding property in this week’s reading of Acts. We read, “…and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common.” The consequence of this community ownership is found a few verses later – that there was not a needy person among them.
One of the most well-presevered Shaker settlements in America, Pleasant Hill, is not far from my home. From 1805 to 1910, the third largest Shaker community resided on thousands of acres in Kentucky.  At Pleasant Hill, dozens of buildings, including Shaker residences, the worship space, and Shaker workplaces, have been beautifully preserved and are opened for modern-day pilgrims to wander and rest.
To read the rest of this post, click here to visit 50 Days of Fabulous. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Litany of Penance

Most holy and merciful God:  We confess to you and to one another, and to the whole communion of saints in heaven and on earth, that we have sinned by our own fault in thought, word, and deed; by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart, and mind, and strength.  We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.  We have not forgiven others as we have been forgiven.
My bishop told me I would be more approachable as a woman priest if I looked more “feminine.”
A parishioner told me I would be more approachable as a woman priest if I looked less “feminine.”
The rector I worked for called me into his office, and when I opened the door, he was standing there with his pants down. When I shared this with a male colleague, he said, “Oh, that’s just the way he is.”

We have been deaf to your call to serve as Christ served us.  We have not been true to the mind of Christ.  We have grieved your Holy Spirit.  
Having a deployment officer tell me, about more than one church, “This parish (almost always a larger one) is not ready for a female rector.” He then proceeded to show me several part-time positions in smaller churches who would be glad to get “anyone breathing.”
I was the only female clergy in the town where I served. At our regular clergy gatherings, the male convener called me, “Little lady,” or “Little gal.” He referred to all the other clergy by their title – Father, Pastor, etc.
My congregation hosted a luncheon for clergy, and a clergy colleague held out his glass to me, saying, “My wife usually gets my tea for me.” I told him my husband usually gets mine for me, but today we could both figure it out on our own.

This piece was co-written with The Rev. Megan L. Castellan as part of a series for the Episcopal Church's House of Deputies as part of a Lenten series of reflections, essays, and meditations on sexual harassment and exploitation in the church.  To read the entire post, click here.