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December
2004
A first for First Peoples
It was a day of unity, celebration and long overdue recognition of the unique cultures and contributions of Native Americans. Faces beamed, cameras flashed and cell phones buzzed, while powerful speakers broadcast the sounds of ceremonial drums, fiddles and Native American music to the crowd. People spoke about their pride and their wonder at the immense diversity of cultures spread across the nation’s front yard.
In Christ there is no East nor West
For many Native Americans, the Sept. 21 dedication of the Smithsonian’s newest museum, the National Museum of the American Indian, is a kind of healing, offering long-overdue acknowledgment to this country’s native peoples.
Closely tied for centuries
“We are people who have been blessed by the creator,” Gallagher said following a Gospel reading of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. “This might seem to most Americans to be an incredible contradiction. But Native people understand -- we know what it means to be blessed.
National, relief agency budgets up
A major request for $450,000 that will launch new leadership and educational programs, develop skill-building workshops and theological training, and build self-esteem among American Indians was approved by Executive Council at its meeting in the Diocese of Idaho in early November.
An African perspective
The U.S. church says that it interprets Scripture in a cultural context that supports the action, he noted.  “What makes your culture that important and mine not? “A position that is different is simply different, not necessarily better.
65 years of peacemaking
The Episcopal Peace Fellowship began its 65th-year celebration on Nov. 12 with a celebratory dinner in Washington, D.C., and the unveiling of plans for “A Passion of Peace” pledge campaign with a goal of $300,000 to support new programs.
Since you asked...
The Rev. Jane Butterfield, mission personnel officer in the Anglican and Global Relations and Mission Personnel Office Program at the Episcopal Church Center, New York, responds:
An African thanksgiving
“The Americans bring casseroles,” says Prince Thomas, president of the Sierra Leone Association, “and we bring jolof rice, bean cake, couscous and spicy meat.”
Climbing toward hope after deadly fall
On Sunday, Adams announced the tragedy to the congregation.  “People started to congregate at the church for prayer. As the word got out to the wider community, more than 125 people gathered for a spontaneous prayer service on Sunday evening.”
Good reads for littlest readers
"It's relatively rare to find good children's books that really accurately reflect either religious concerns or, even less, religious community of faith that also have literary and artistic quality."
Let Us Bless the Lord
As both writer and preacher, the Rev. Barbara Cawthorne Crafton’s voice extends the personal to the spiritual and vice versa. Nearly every day, she produces a meditation and sends it out to a virtual congregation in the form of e-mail.
A flowering of prayer in cyberspace
Although geraniums bloom in the windows of her bepurpled house in Metuchen, N.J., Geranium Farm is virtual reality, “a spiritual harvest of the thoughts and prayers of thousands of people.” Crafton likens writing eMos to “praying ex tempore,” about which she says she was always good.
Finding our way
From Presiding Bishop Frank T. Griswold
The primary task before us is to move beyond our polarized positions and to seek common ground. Instead of setting ourselves one against the other, we must find a way in which the concerns and fears of all can be brought together in one large and respectful conversation.
And a little child shall lead them
Jeffrey was not to be denied. He extended his hands. His mother pulled them back not once but three times -- thump, thump, thump! Jeffrey yelled at the top of his lungs, “Jesus, Jesus! I want Jesus! Give me Jesus!” and thrust his hands forward once again to receive the host.
Missing the welcome mat
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Are the imprisoned lighting, and her name?
Mother of Exiles.
Mugging by speech
Their baptismal and ordination vows are precious to them as mine are to me. Their desire to serve the church and honor God is neither more nor less than mine. Yet I have seldom participated in a debate in which some have not accused others of “abandoning Scripture and orthodox faith,” claiming that only their group loves the Bible and the tradition and reads these properly.
Letters
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