On November 8, 2016, we will be accorded the privilege to exercise a very precious right that many in the world do not enjoy.
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Posts from retired blogs, including Bishop Mark Beckwith's blog "Signs of God's Grace," Canon Greg Jacobs' blog "Out of the Ordinary," and blogs by General Convention deputies in 2012 and 2015.
Bombs in Seaside and Elizabeth. Thank God no one was hurt. Dumpster bombs in Chelsea. Thank God no one was killed.
I had a seminary classmate who, when asked why he was going into the ordained ministry, replied that he couldn’t do anything else.
As I reflect on the now-completed pilgrimage across the diocese, I keep thinking of Mother Pollard, who was one of the many voices of inspiration during the Civil Rights movement. A resident of Montgomery, Alabama, she joined the 11-month bus boycott in 1955, which crippled the local economy and launched the ministry of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. When asked about how she was coping with having to walk to work every day, she said “My feets is tired, but my soul is rested.”
Our first day of pilgrimage across the diocese was hot. And humid. our feet and our faith carried us forward, but the real grace for me was the hospitality – from the St. Luke's and St. Mary's folks in Belvidere who served us breakfast, to the staff and Board at House of the Good Shepherd who welcomed us at the end of the day with showers and piles of food.
For the past several months, I have been much engaged by the image of a river.
“Enough!” a colleague wrote to me earlier today as he asked to join the network of Bishops United Against Gun Violence, in the wake of the assassination of police officers last night in Dallas. "Enough!" was the chant started by a local mayor at a vigil I attended nearly a month ago after the murders in Orlando, Florida. The echo of "enough" went on for several minutes, growing in volume and intensity.
It was the ultimate curse. To curse is to wish diminishment, damage or – in the case of the horrific crime in Orlando early Sunday morning, death to someone else. The 49 murders in the Pulse nightclub, along with at least 53 wounded, represent a toxic and unholy trinity of gun violence, suspected terrorism and hate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people. It was an ultimate curse of evil that has cast a lasting spell of anger, grief, fear and shock across the country. Again.
A friend of mine, who has been working on gun violence prevention for thirty years, has repeatedly told me that the engagement of faith groups is critical to the growing movement to reduce gun violence. This is not about gun control; it is about gun safety.