Tuesday, December 30, 2008

December Reflections

As I prepare to leave for Sudan, I am both excited and sad. I am so excited about this new opportunity for transformation, for service, for discovery, and for journeying together. But it is also sad, as I have to say goodbye to ministries I have loved, especially my work with the World Mission Network of the Diocese of El Camino Real (http://worldmissionnetwork.blogspot.com/), and with the Outreach Committee and Vestry at my home parish, St. Luke’s Atascadero. And as always, it is difficult to say goodbye to my family and friends. Especially as my nephew Jacob learns to walk and talk.

This month has echoed this joy and sadness for me. I had the excitement of attending the annual conference of the organization that has given me so much training and assistance in tropical agriculture (ECHO, Fort Myers, Florida). My time there was full of new contacts and exciting new ideas and resources, which I know will be of great value to me in Sudan.

But I have also had sadness this past month from losing a friend, who passed away just before Thanksgiving. Conney, who was a bible study friend of mine, was passionate about mission work, and she helped me to discern my own call to mission. She was beloved by all who knew her, and was taken from us far too soon. She continues to inspire me by the example of her kindness, her faith, her patience, and her passion for mission.

The lesson for me this month seems to be: let go of the question “why” which only brings emptiness and longing, and move toward the question “where is God in all this?” embracing the intention to rely on God. Very little in this world makes sense, why Sudan has suffered so much, why Conney was taken from us. But truth is found in what we know: leaning on the love of God we will be comforted, acting out the love of God we will be transformed.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sermon- Visalia Episcopal Church

I preached at the Continuing Episcopal Church of Visalia on November 30, 2008
St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Visalia was the parish I grew up in, and I attended St. Paul's School from pre-school to 8th grade. It was wonderful to be back with members of the congregation who I hadn't seen for 13 years. While in Visalia, I also gave a presentation at St. Paul's School, and to the Visalia County Center Rotary Club.

This sermon is based on the readings of the day (see below). I talk about where I find hope in the world, and the hope and challenge of the Gospel reading.

Click here to see the readings of the day

Isaiah 64:1-9 Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19 1 Corinthians 1:3-9 Mark 13:24-37