Several bishops have recently asked if I had any counsel with respect to the imposition of ashes in a time of pandemic. The implication of the questions has generally assumed that some sort of fresh and innovative solution could be found. Perhaps that is the case. Rubber gloves? Q-Tips? Imposition with immediate removal with an antibacterial wipe? All sorts of things are surely possible, but perhaps we should look first to see if the tradition has anything to teach us. I believe it does
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The Pensacola New Journal published this front page article on Jan 2, 2021 about St. Christopher's efforts, lead by Nancy Kolb, to beautify the landscaping at O.J Semmes Elementary School.
Two of America’s best-known faith leaders Bishop Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church, and Dr. Russell Moore, Executive Director of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention engaged in a conversation moderated by award-winning On Being broadcaster Krista Tippett.
In this conversation, these leaders, who represent denominations with different theological and cultural perspectives, share their personal views, examine areas of common ground and explore how their faith leads them to treat others with dignity and respect across differences. They also explore some of the key ethical teachings of their faith (i.e. the Golden Rule, forgiveness, humility) and look at ways these teachings are relevant to the task of creating understanding and reconciliation between Americans of different political views.
Those who observe the season of Advent—maybe especially those of us with young children—are looking for ways to create a meaningful home practice in these chaotic times. What I've found as a pastor, mother, and someone who's given years to studying and developing home faith practices, is that my best strategy is to focus with intention on routine, ritual, and simplicity.
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Social distancing got you missing church? You'll be back! Our priest's parody of the hit Hamilton song turns King George's threat into a joyful promise.