Wednesday, November 6, 2019

KAIROS: At the Family Table of St. Luke, at Sussex II State Prison

By Lee Davis

I shared the table with a friend and fellow team member from Williamsburg Presbyterian Church and four residents of the facility for four days.

To my right is a young man who was incarcerated at 21 years old with two life sentences. Now, seven years later the reality and the magnitude of his situation has engulfed him and he is trying to figure out what to do, how to live out the rest of his life.


Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Common Grounds: Communities in peril

By The Rev. Cameron Randle, Rector

Having lived in Los Angeles for twelve years before relocating to Virginia, I am sickened by the visual imagery of raging fires intent on consuming everything in their paths. The vulnerable regions around the sprawling behemoth that is greater LA are comprised of familiar streets and former haunts. Many friends, along with some family members, have been distressingly close to potential destruction in recent days. This is true in northern California, as well. Social media updates and underscores their proximity to the various fires, marking some safe and affording others the opportunity to describe harrowing evacuations and too-close calls. These first-hand accounts, along with television coverage, can contribute to heightened anxiety and increased concern about our incapacity to intercede.
 

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Day of the Dead Celebration features Misa en Espanol and concert by Angelica Garcia




Join us for a unique and festive celebration of Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) on Friday, November 1.

We begin with a Misa en Espanol (Spanish Eucharist for English speakers, with full English translation) at 5:30 p.m. in the sanctuary. Please bring framed or unframed photos of departed loved ones for display on the altar.

At 6:45 p.m., we'll move outdoors to the Chapel Pantry patio for a concert by Spacebomb/Glassnote recording artist Angelica Garcia. Mexican hot chocolate, pan dulce and other goodies will be served. This event is free and a great night out for the whole family!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Common Grounds: Turning the Pages of Time


By The Rev. Cameron Randle, Rector

At the home of my late professor and dear friend, William Epperson, the entryway features a garden statue of a boy reading a book. The silent stone figure is a tangible testament to the centrality of books in his life. For nearly sixty years, Bill Epperson taught American literature, Milton, Shakespeare and a series of wildly popular (among undergraduates) seminars on various authors and works of poetry, fiction and literary criticism at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK. In the mid-70s, Bill often taught classes while perched cross-legged on top his desk, with his trademark earth shoes somehow tucked beneath him. From Nathaniel Hawthorne to Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson to William Faulkner, John Cheever to Saul Bellow, the pulse of literary America was vital and resilient in the custody and care of Dr. Epperson.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Common Ground: A Message in the Music

By The Rev. Cameron Randle, Rector

Radney Foster’s 1999 album, See What You Want To See, features a blues-flavored tongue-in-cheek original song called Folding Money. The lyrics are inspired by an experience Foster had with his grandfather when Radney was on the cusp of young manhood. On a trip downtown together, Radney’s grandfather slipped him a twenty dollar bill to spend any way he chose, all the while extolling the virtues of ‘folding money’ over mere pocket change. In the chorus to Foster’s song, also featured on the singer-songwriter’s 2001 live album Are You Ready For The Big Show?, a monetary mantra emerges:
“You see, it takes folding money / to get the deal done.”

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Common Ground: New Pathways

By The Rev. Cameron Randle, Rector
 
Along with a late afternoon congregation of a couple of dozen canines (and one nonplussed feline) this past Sunday, we honored the ministry of St. Francis of Assisi by blessing our pets and ESC’s new labyrinth. The litany recited by humans in attendance included the following refrain:  “Bless this labyrinth and all who walk it.” This particular litany is derived from Westminster Presbyterian Church in Dayton, OH and the Weber Center in Adrian, MI.

 

Spoken verses in between the refrain emphasize the essential nature of our labyrinth as “a winding path that leads to a central space and then out again by the same path; a wondrous pathway that may become a mirror for our own lives and a metaphor for our spiritual journey; a circle and spiral, each a powerful and ancient symbol of unity, wholeness and transformation; a spiritual discipline of setting one foot in front of the other and following a path; a calling forth of our intuitive symbolic mind and creative, meandering spirit.”

 

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Common Ground: St. Francis


By The Rev. Cameron Randle, Rector

In a prayer attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, found in our Book of Common Prayer on page 832, the 12th century friar articulates a vision for Christian community premised on both contrast and resolve. From the outset, St. Francis asks God to transform humanity into avenues or vessels of peace, rather than disunity, dissonance or negative provocation. He requests the enlistment of all faithful souls in the furtherance of divine peace, love, compassion, sensitivity and reconciliation. As the prayer proceeds, we are positioned by St. Francis as agents of the positive. He implores our Creator to orient us toward unity, faith, hope, light and joy, so that we may facilitate the triumph of those attributes over their opposites. The prayer concludes with assurances that our resolve to champion divine principles will result in a taste of those very spiritual realities in our own lives.