Human Structures

Another shot rediscovered from last summer in NYC. The Human Structures sign refers to the colorful sculpture which is mostly out of the frame to the right, but I think it could also apply to the way Selfie Guy just to the left is busy using the camera on his phone to construct a version of himself and his friend. Some might question the authenticity of that endeavor, but I think meaning-making is a valid and ongoing project in all its forms, including selfie-making.

What is my life really all about? What’s most important to me? What inspires me? What do I aspire to? When you think about it, trying out answers to those questions is a big part what Facebook and Instagram are all about.

If you had to summarize, what does your Facebook wall say about you? What do you think mine tells you about me?

Love on the bridge

This might look like love, but actually it’s a picture of hope. They’re hoping these photographers are worth what they’re paying for them. She’s hoping she’ll look beautiful. He’s hoping she doesn’t feel as cold as she looks (yes, that is snow on the ground). Everybody else on the bridge is hoping they’ll be finished soon so they can continue walking. The wedding guests are trying to snag some hors d’oeuvres and hoping the picture-taking will be over soon so they can sit down and start dinner. But most of all, we’re all hoping that even though they can hardly imagine it now, they’ll still be together in 30 or 40 years, and these pictures will be a reminder that love and commitment are real. And as I’ve been preaching lately, hope isn’t just a wish, it’s living as if you believe that wish is true. May their life together be a sign of love and hope to this broken world.

News

This letter about my retirement goes out to the parish today; it was announced in church on Sunday. “There is both joy and sadness in this for me.” A great deal of sadness, to be sure, because these have been grace-filled years. But I look forward to having more time and energy for my family, and for exploring other areas of ministry, including leading faith-enrichment programs including quiet days and evenings and adult forums. So you haven’t heard the last from me! My last Sunday as rector of Good Shepherd Church will be Feb. 24.

Dear friends,

I write today to share with the entire parish the news that was announced in church this past Sunday morning.

After a considerable period of prayer and discernment, I’ve decided that the time has come for me to retire. There is both joy and sadness in this for me. It wasn’t an easy decision to reach, since I do love this grace-filled community and I feel blessed by my time here. However, I also am very much looking forward to having more time to spend with my growing family, and I’m confident that this is the right time for me to take this step.

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Stop. Rest.

I had plans: places to go, things to do. But life said no. Stop, rest; that is the gift of this day. And one of the gifts of age is obedience to these leadings. So I came home to the fireplace and the view of snow falling, falling, falling to the lawn that was yellow with leaves this morning but looks like winter now.

A visual prayer for God’s healing grace

Orange blaze stole for this morning’s healing Eucharist. A visual prayer for God’s healing grace for those who were wounded on Saturday in Pittsburgh, and for all victims of violence, especially gun violence. May the dead be received into the comfort of eternal rest. May those who mourn be comforted. May those who suffer now in body, mind, or spirit be made whole again. Loving God, heal us and heal our world so that your peace might prevail. Look with compassion on all for whom we pray, and strengthen us to be your instruments of healing in the world. Amen.

I visited a school yesterday where I noticed a hand-lettered sign in the health office that said, “I was not put on this earth to be shot at,” and it broke my heart.

#wearorange is dedicated to honoring the lives of Americans affected by gun violence. For me, it’s a prayer for change, an end to that violence. May there come a day when I wear a bright orange stole on Oct. 31 to celebrate All Hallows’ Eve and nothing more.