by fr. ben maas
I have been struck recently by how small my world can become, and it troubles me. Why do the relatively insignificant disappointments and tribulations of my children preoccupy my waking hours and even interrupt my sleeping ones? Why can I not recall tossing and turning in my bed over the child who has known nothing but a refugee camp, war, hunger, illness, homelessness, drugs, or violence? Obviously, I know I have the capacity to ache, and not just ache, but to be willing to move mountains for someone. How can I harness that love, that relentless desire to fix, console, and remove obstacles, or better yet, equip to ascend?
I think much of the power of Bishop Curry’s sermon at the royal wedding is that it got outside of the smallness of the moment. Despite the billion who tuned in worldwide, the attention and careful choreography, the considerable pomp, it was simply a moment between two people and their families. Two people found each other, fell in love, and decided to commit themselves to one another. Most of us have known the specific power that love has had on us, the magnetic pull that drew us to our beloved, that made every other person in the room fade away, that seemed to limit our ability to focus on anything but that one person. Curry invited us to think about the nature of that love, its power, its source. He then opened our imagination to think about what could be possible if we could channel that love beyond the smallness of our world.
Continue reading “Message from the Rector: 2018 Spring Newsletter”
For all of us, our country’s departure from the Paris Climate Agreement was deeply disturbing. Responses however, have included some very positive suggestions which focus on the fact that we, as Americans and Christians, believe that individuals are empowered to act. Please consider the following ways to respond:
— We pray because the Earth is God’s creation, and it is in His hands. The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church made the following statement. A number of Episcopal Church bishops have also issued a joint statement.
Continue reading “Green Team Update: Response to Leaving the Paris Climate Agreement”
While God may have called me to ordained ministry, I have long claimed that there are two core reasons why I am an Episcopal priest.
The first is centered around my experience as a navy brat. On average I moved every two years. I lived in the south, New England, the Pacific Northwest, and even overseas. Regardless where I lived, I belonged to ONE church, each new building or congregation an extension of the other. The second reason is affirmed in the prayer for the newly baptized. We pray for an “inquiring and discerning heart”. Our creedal beliefs and our identity as the body of Christ hold us together, but while we may have one head, Jesus Christ, we do not share one mind.
There is no ultimate earthly authority on the myriad of complex issues we face in the world today. We have tools, the three legged stool of scripture, tradition, and reason, our ecclesiastical governance, our common prayer, but we do not have universal consensus or a crib sheet of the church’s stance regarding x, y, and z (for which I am mightily grateful).
Even here at Saint James’ Episcopal Church, as the rector, I still speak only for myself. Our congregation holds as many worldviews, political, social, and theological views as we have members. I revel in the dynamism of our Thursday discussions with the bishop as we share, challenge, and learn from our different perspectives. I also believe when we gather communed by Christ’s grace and love and not by our like mindedness, we stand as a witness to our faith and an icon to the outside world.
Continue reading “Fr. Ben’s Response to the Anglican Primates’ Recent Actions”