St Alban’s Episcopal Church
Thursday, August 4, 2022
Another ThoughtFrom the Anglican Prayer Book of New Zealand
Part of the first collect for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost – sent to me by Channing Horner of Maryville, MO:“…so deepen our unity in Christ that we may rejoice in our diversity.”
If you look up “unity and diversity” online, you might be surprised to see that the greatest interest, the largest number of articles and memes are from India. Their huge country, made up of hundreds of cultures, religious expressions and languages, works very hard to try to create an India that respects this diversity. But as in the USA, it isn’t easy. There are those who believe that India and Hinduism should be identical, that Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, and Christianity are all intrinsically non-Indian and shouldn’t be protected. Racial, tribal and language differences, regional differences, difference between urban and rural dwellers, levels of educational opportunity and degrees of wealth and poverty are huge as well. We could take a page from their real and sustained national attempts to do it. Within the Church there is great need to do this work as well – to tell the truth about our differences, the different ways we think and experience reality – even our shared faith. Audre Lorde wrote this: “It is not our difference which immobilizes us, but silence. And there are so many silences to be broken.”
Revelation The Communion of Saints and Dr. Bertice Berry for Thursday morning
Most of you know that I listen to the stories Dr. Bertice Berry tells every morning.(Find her on Facebook, or on YouTube)She is my friend, n the ordination process in the Diocese of Georgia, and a PhD sociologist. She is also wise and often hilarious. But here’s the deal. She believes in the power of story. One of her favorite lines is, “Tell a better story, live a better life. “Now stories matter to me too, the Biblical narrative is a whole library of stories; but folk tales, myths, and personal stories are important to me, too. But this morning’s story was exceptional for me as a Christian and an Episcopalian. I don’t especially like the “meditation” style of today’s presentation – that isn’t how I hear stories. You may love it. BUT, I have never, ever heard a better story (six or seven minutes) about what will greet us as we leave this place and join the communion of saints we say we believe in. It’s a major theme of Revelation, too. Who will greet us? Who are our ancestors, anyway?(Pay close attention to that part)What will our sins and failures look like then? How will we see ourselves? And what will they praise us for – thank us for doing and being on earth? Minda’s friend, the friend of many of us, Dana Hacker, died this week. We had hoped she would get well. Pray for her family and friends. But imagine her on that sailboat Bertice describes. Then imagine yourself. I urge you to find it and listen online, on her page- or the St. Alban’s page – for real.