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December
2003
Loving the questions
Claiming the blessing can claim significant credit for the best-publicized votes of this summer's General Convention. For a coalition of previously existing (and sometimes competing) groups that held its first national gathering in November 2002, Claiming the Blessing has quickly become a crucial voice in the Episcopal Church's discussions about sexual morality.
It's all she had to give
Amid the pretty glass baubles, hand-carved wood shapes, colorful projects made by the children and old-fashioned gold beads, a large pompon hangs from a piece of yarn. And it's not a pretty one, either. Dirty white-and-mustard-colored yarn, hand-tied, it forms a ball about the size of an orange. Every year, I hang it on the tree. I always will, because it reminds me of the true spirit of Christmas.
Hula to 'Silent Night'
The trumpet of a conch shell calls parishioners to worship Christmas Eve at Trinity by-the-Sea, Kihei, Maui. The open-air church is adorned with native red anthurium, white carnations, and wild red berries cascading on the altar. Pine trees, cut from the 4,000-foot "upcountry" Maui, adorn the sanctuary. A crèche, made in modern art figures of local tapa cloth, graces the church.
Far from home
Along with spicy-smelling pine trees, glowing Advent candles and choirs singing "Silent Night," family gatherings are among the most anxiously anticipated activities of the Christmas season.
Dioceses, parishes react
Even as controversy continued over his consecration as the first openly gay man to become a bishop, Gene Robinson began his ministry as bishop coadjutor of the Diocese of New Hampshire with a pledge to take the message of God's love to "those on the margins."
Parishes build bridges of hope
It was bridge of Hope Night, a night in November, and mentoring groups from five churches of different denominations had gathered support for homeless mothers and their children. Two local Episcopal churches were part of the Hope Night, one was feeding the crowd of about 85, and the other was a newly organized group meeting with "Linda" and her kids for the second time.
Harnessing power from another source
Like other churches, its members worship "Holy Lord, God of power and might" each Sunday. But unlike most other churches, the parish generates electrical power using solar panels -- and has a power bill that once averaged $600 to $700 a month and has been reduced to an average of $20.
A gospel storyteller
An Episcopalian, Runyeon performs the gospel story at churches of various denominations, for Confirmation classes, at the Episcopal Youth Event. But he perhaps is best known for secular acting endeavors: starring in soap operas, including opposite Meg Ryan in As the World Turns; guest-starring on shows such as Falcon Crest and LA Law.
Awaiting God's mysteries
How many people two thousand years ago could have dreamed that they were waiting for a baby? How many knew they were waiting at all? How many would have thought that an unlikely gaggle of fishermen and tax collectors and (gasp) women could found a religion and that a fractious tentmaker could take it across the known world?
Tracking down the Holy Ghost
Advent, the season which begins the church year, is a time of waiting and expectation. During these weeks we prepare ourselves “in the time of this mortal life” for Christ’s coming among us. As the collect for the first Sunday in Advent makes plain, Christ coming among us has different dimensions.