Archive for the ‘Church Life’ Category

Grateful For Health Care

March 23, 2017

As we watch this astounding legislative day unfold before us in which the future of health care for many Americans may well be determined, those of us who are clergy of the Episcopal Church might well pause in gratitude for the committed lay people and church leadership over the years who have worked so hard to provide amazing health insurance coverage to say nothing of an extremely generous pension program which is virtually impossible to disappear as so many have in corporate America in the last decades.

“The seed for CPF (the Church Pension Fund) was planted by the Rt. Rev. William Lawrence of Massachusetts when, in 1910, he brought before the General Convention of The Episcopal Church a resolution to create a Joint Commission on the Support of Clergy because he was appalled by the ‘suffering and poverty of the aged servants of the Church’.”

“In 1913, the General Convention voted to establish CPF to provide retirement and disability benefits to eligible clergy…Initial funding for CPF was raised by a committee working with Bishop Lawrence that was led by J. P. Morgan, Adolph Ochs (owner and publisher of the New York Times, and Newcomb Carlton (president of Western Union Telegraph)). More than $8.5 million was collected by March 1, 1917 … the value of that $8.5 million raised to start the fund is over $159 million in today’s dollars.” (Church Pension Group web site — http://www.cpg.org)

Today, the Church Pension Group has expanded to include other products and services and to cover lay employees so critical to the Church’s ability to carry out its mission. In 1978, The Episcopal Church Medical Trust was formed to provide health benefits to eligible clergy and lay employees. And in 2009 the Denominational Health Care Plan was established to provide equal access for lay persons as well as clergy for health care benefits.  The DHP has not been without its difficulties in implementation, but is a much-needed attempt to be just and fair to lay as well as clergy employees of the Episcopal Church.

I have been the beneficiary of fine health insurance since my ordination in 1972 and now continue to count on its benefits in retirement as well as enjoying the security of a rock-solid pension. Having served congregations large and small as a parish priest for sixteen years and walking with similar congregations as a bishop for nearly forty more, I am well aware of the struggles many congregations have had to go through to provide such health insurance and pension payments for their clergy.

In a time of declining church attendance and participation, it has become increasingly difficult for smaller congregations to provide this health coverage and various attempts at premium cost-sharing with clergy and lay employees and other cost-saving measures are being discussed all across the church. Whatever the solutions are, I have confidence that my church will be there for its clergy and lay professionals and will do all in its power to keep us healthy as we serve and financially secure in retirement. I am so grateful for that.

Perhaps because Episcopalians have worked so hard to address this issue and we clergy realize how very fortunate we are, we continue to advocate for universal coverage, for health care seen as a right and not as a commodity, and — many of us, at least — eventually for a single-payer, “Medicare For All” type of national health insurance such as that which much of the developed world enjoys.

Let us continue to advocate for those whose health insurance coverage and long term retirement security are at risk in the modern world and specifically in today’s debates.

And let us do so, motivated at least in part, by our mindfulness of how very blessed we are and how grateful we must always be!

 

Temptation

March 5, 2017

This first Sunday in Lent is always marked by the story of Jesus’ Temptations in the wilderness, his 40-day fast, upon which our season of Lent is based. Years ago, I did a sabbatical at our Anglican College of St. George in Jerusalem and spent some time in the very Judean wilderness we heard about in our Gospel this morning.

The desert in which Jesus spent some forty days, fasting and in prayer, begins just outside the city of Jerusalem. In fact, it’s positively startling to drive, or walk, a total of a few miles from Jerusalem’s city center…to crest the top of a little hill…and to find yourself gazing out into some of the bleakest and most dangerous countryside in the world. This particular desert is not miles and miles of snow white sand drifts like we sometimes picture it.

It is bleak, barren, rocky ground so hot and dry that you have to wear a hat at all times and drink water constantly in order not to dehydrate and suffer heat stroke in a hurry. My assumption is that Jesus fasted mostly from solid foot during those forty days (as a matter of fact, others have done that) but that he did drink water.

And, during those days of fasting and prayer, Jesus – as a relatively young man, by our standards, but in those days it may have been more like midlife – struggled with just what his life and ministry were going to look like from this point on. He had inaugurated his public ministry by being baptized in the Jordan River by John, but immediately felt led by the Holy Spirit to make an extended retreat, a time apart to get some perspective on his life and to seek fresh energy for what lay ahead.

And Matthew’s Gospel tells us that he had to wrestle with several primary temptations. First of all, Jesus was tempted to try and meet everyone’s needs by turning miles and miles of rocks and stones and boulders into bread enough to feed the known world. And, as wonderful as that would have been, Jesus came to see that not even ending world hunger would satisfy what we are really hungry for. Deep down, we’re hungry for God’s Word.  We want to hear from God, and to know that we are loved and cared about. And so Jesus said, “It is written: One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)

Then, Jesus was tempted to do something even more dramatic, to do something spectacular to prove that he was God’s Son and that God would come through for him by sending angels to protect him just like Psalm 91 had promised.  Actually, we’re told later that Jesus was ministered to by angels, but not in the showy, egocentric way the Tempter had in mind. So Jesus said, “Again it is written: Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” (Matthew 4:7)

And, finally, Jesus was tempted to “sell out” for this world’s goods. “All the kingdoms of the world can be yours, Jesus, if you’ll just worship them…and me…instead of God.” But Jesus replied, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord our God and serve only him.” (Matthew 4:10) (Pause)

I don’t know what your specific temptations are, but if you’re anything like me, they may not be all that different (in substance) from those Jesus faced. The temptation to try and meet everyone’s needs…the temptation to do something spectacular to draw attention to yourself…and, maybe above all else, the temptation to “sell out,” to forget that we cannot serve God and Mammon and to cave in to the values of the world rather than the values of the Gospel. But, you know, you can ward off those temptations too — in much the same way Jesus did. By being attentive to God’s Word…by refusing to put God to the test…and by rededicating yourself to put God first in your life – and nothing else! (Pause)

We’re entering more fully today into the season of Lent. Like Jesus’ experience in the desert, it is a time for fasting and for prayer. A time to listen for God’s Word…a time to stop putting God to the test…a time for worship and for service. I hope you’ve taken on some spiritual disciplines to help you do some of that. The Ash Wednesday Liturgy told you what some of those disciplines are (but it’s not too late to begin today, if you missed the first days of the season!)

Those disciplines are: self-examination and repentance…prayer, fasting and self-denial…reading and meditating on the Bible. I invite you – once again – to keep a holy Lent this year. May our prayer for these days be the prayer of the Psalmist this morning…a prayer which, quite likely, Jesus himself prayed during his Lent, his forty days in the desert.

You are my hiding place; you preserve me from trouble;

you surround me with shouts of deliverance. (Psalm 32:8)

 

 

 

Reading The Bible Again

March 2, 2017

I am choosing an unusual Lenten discipline this year. In addition to acts of abstinence and dipping back into some Marcus Borg, I am once again embarking on “the Bible Challenge” (reading the Bible through from cover to cover). But this time I am daily reading three chapters of the Hebrew Bible, one Psalm, and one chapter of the New Testament — in the King James’ Version!

Why in the world would I do such a thing? Well, after decades of reading only the most recent translations of the Bible — The Revised Standard Version, The Jerusalem Bible, the New English Bible, The New Revised Standard, etc. — I felt the need to immerse myself once again in the elegance of the English poetry and prose of the KJV. Certainly I am aware of the fact that more recent translations are more accurate in the rendering of the Hebrew and Greek texts and that recent scholarship is reflected in these editions which was simply not available to the translators of King James.

Yet I am thoroughly (or should I say “throughly!”) enjoying the melodic rhythms of this classic text and remembering that one of the reasons it seems so ponderous and downright difficult to follow in places is because the translators of the KJV followed pretty much the order of the Hebrew and Greek words of the manuscripts they had available. Sometimes, new (or rather old) meaning can be gleaned from this original word order  — or at least, so it seems to me.

Undoubtedly some of the pleasure I am receiving from this exercise hearkens back to the fact that I was an English literature major in college and remember with pleasure reading Shakespeare, John Donne, Spencer and Swift marveling at the sheer beauty of their use of the English language. It is a joy once again for me to relish in, and wrestle with, such literature.

I would never recommend the King James Version (or even Rite One, for that matter) for regular liturgical worship these days. Clarity of thought and contemporary theology is best understood in the language “understanded of the people.” That was the whole reason for translating the Holy Scriptures from their original languages into Latin and eventually, by the Reformers, from Latin into English. People need to be confronted with the “Word of God” in language they understand easily.

But, like browsing through an old photo album and thus immersing oneself in one’s history, from time to time it may well be worth meditating on the words of the venerable King James’ Version of the Bible. Or, at least, this Lent, so it seems to me.

World Mission Begins At Home

February 28, 2017

We conclude the great missionary season of Epiphany today. I say “missionary” because this season has been all about the light of Christ shining into the whole world, making it clear that the Good News of God’s love was not to be limited to the people of Israel or any one,  ethnic group, but was always intended to be shared throughout the world to all people.  Because of that, the Last Sunday after The Epiphany every year has been designated “World Mission Sunday” by the Episcopal Church. Our mission to the whole world!

One of the ways we do “World Mission” in our church is by a network of Companion Dioceses. We pray every week for our long-term relationship with the Diocese of Brechin in Scotland and our one with Swaziland which was established during my time as Bishop of Iowa. And, of course, we now have an even newer companionship with the Diocese of Nzara in South Sudan.

They especially need our prayers these days as their country descends even more deeply into chaos and war. Please remember Bishop Samuel Peni and his family. He actually studied for the priesthood right here in our diocese, in Dubuque, at one of the seminaries there, and his family received financial support from the people of Trinity Cathedral. They are our companions in World Mission!

And we always read the Gospel story of the Transfiguration on this Sunday because it was one of the formative experiences for Peter, James and John as they were present at a powerful mountain-top experience of Jesus. And they realized –quite literally “in a flash” – that Jesus was the embodiment of the Law (represented by Moses) and the Prophets (represented by Elijah). This realization left them silenced for a time, but it didn’t take long for them to regain their voices and to be about their mission as apostles…as those who are sent.

Well, you and I are the “sent ones” today. We’re the ones who are sent to share with our families, friends, and neighbors what we’ve discovered about God through Jesus and the church, and to continue to let God’s light shine in our dark world today. Our Prayer Book Catechism says that “the mission of the Church is to restore all people…to unity with God…and each other…in Christ.”

But that’s a pretty sparse definition, so the Anglican Communion has tried to flesh it out a bit, by adopting something called “The Five Marks of Mission.” It’s a kind of check-list for us to see if we are being about the mission of the church. I’d like to share them with you this morning:

Mark #1 is “to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom.” Obviously, it all starts there. We are to witness, by our words and our deeds, the extremely good news that God is in charge of this world, and that we are not! That’s what it means to live under the king-ship, the reign, the sovereignty of God…and to begin doing it right now! That’s one reason good preaching is important. It’s typically done by an ordained person, but more and more licensed “lay” preachers are being trained and commissioned for this important ministry.

Since Susanne and I moved to Iowa City, we’ve been attending New Song and I’ve been mightily impressed with the several lay preachers I have heard. They bring a unique and different perspective to the pulpit and to the proclamation of the Gospel that never fails to move me.

Mark #2 is “to teach, baptize, and nurture new believers.” So, Christian education is important for a congregation as well. If we have young people, then of course Sunday school and such newer programs like Godly Play and Journey to Adulthood need to happen. But, our formation as Christians doesn’t stop when we grow up and get confirmed!  Bible studies, Education for Ministry, and the kind of ministry formation programs we hope you will get involved in here at St. Alban’s help keep us alive and growing in our faith, instead of just stagnating and sort of “treading water” in our spiritual lives.

Mark #3 is “to respond to human need by loving service.” St. Francis famously said, “Preach the Gospel always…if necessary, use words!” And, by that, he meant that serving other people is also a way to demonstrate that they are valued and treasured by their Creator, and that God, and God’s people, want only the best for them. That’s why we’re so proud of you for the outreach you do in this community by hosting the various recovery groups, by the feeding program, the underwear ministry, the gift bags, and by the faithful jail outreach which emanates from your gathered life here as the People of God.

Mark #4 is “to seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind, and to pursue peace and reconciliation.” Some people are uncomfortable with the church speaking out in the public square, but the “separation of church and state” doesn’t mean that the church has no role in society. It means that the state may not establish any one religion in this country. The church should never be “partisan” but Jesus does call us stand with the poor and the marginalized, and to challenge structures that oppress and hurt people.

Sometimes, you can either keep pulling people out of a raging river one at a time, or you can go upstream and find out who’s throwing them in…and try to make them stop! The work Grant Curtis and others do to make our community a more accepting and welcoming place for recent immigrants and new citizens of the United States is a good example of this Fourth Mark of Mission.

Finally, Mark #5 is “to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.” It has to be said that we Christians have not always taken our responsibility to this planet very seriously. And while it’s true that the first Creation story in Genesis says that we are to “be fruitful and multiply, to fill the earth and subdue it,” (Genesis 1:28), the second account of Creation says that God put us in the Garden of Eden “to till it and to keep it” (Genesis 2:1):  in other words, to be good stewards of the earth. Like a good farmer is to be a good steward of the land – so that it will bear fruit for years to come.

I hope that your vestry keeps that responsibility in mind as you make decisions in this congregation about how you care for this beautiful piece of property you are stewards of, whether that’s in how you conserve energy or how you re-cycle or how you take care of the land.

Well, we enter the holy season of Lent this week. This Wednesday is “Ash Wednesday.” Lent is a time of self-examination and repentance, of prayer, fasting and self-denial. I hope you’ve been thinking about something to give up for Lent or something new to take on…or both! But it’s not only a time for self-examination of our personal lives. It can be a time for the church to do some self-examination of our own –corporately.

Are we carrying out the mission of the church here at St. Alban’s, are we willing to make the kind of changes necessary to make sure we can continue carrying out that mission for years to come? Are we proclaiming the Good News? Nurturing our young people? Serving the poor? Speaking out against violence? Being good stewards of this beautiful world God has given us?

If not, there’s still time to repent. Still time to turn around and go in a new direction. Still time to heed the voice from the cloud which spoke to Peter, James and John on the Mount of Transfiguration: Look: “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!”

 

 

 

Bonhoeffer…Benedict…Or…Gerald Ford?

February 14, 2017

New York Times columnist, David Brooks, asks this question this morning, “How Should One Resist the Trump Administration?” Interesting first of all, from this conservative voice, that the question is not “Why” but “How” to resist. Brooks uses some interesting metaphors in wrestling with the issue.

If “the primary Trump threat is authoritarianism,” Brook opines, the U.S. may not slide into full fascism, but become a kind of “repressive kleptocracy” where democratic rights slowly disappear, federal contracts go to the oligarchs, and the media and judiciary are complicit. In such a case, what is called for is a “Bonhoeffer moment,” using street protests, disruptive tactics and fiery rhetoric against the Administration. (I note that Brooks would not recommend following Bonhoeffer in participating in an assassination plot!)

Alternatively, we could simply be in for a time of stagnation and corruption which would call, in Brooks’ estimation, for a “St. Benedict moment.” Following this founder of monasticism who fled into the desert to form alternative communities, then activists simply ignore Washington, put their heads down, and commit to making change happen at the state and local levels. And, presumably, wait for better days to come.

Or, David Brooks’ third possibility is that the main threat from a Trump Administration is “a combination of incompetence and anarchy.” In which case, it will collapse of its own weight and the task will be a “Gerald Ford Moment” which will eventually call forth a decent, experienced public servant who will rebuild the fabric of government and restore the trust of the people. Predictably, as a completely establishment conservative, Brooks thinks the third option is where we are headed and hopes for “a new establishment, one that works again.”

While one can wish that this scenario may indeed play out, my take is that our diagnosis of the current situation depends a lot on where we sit in society, the perspective from which we view this disastrous election and its aftermath. If you are wealthy and secure, like Mr Brooks, you can afford to see things calling for a “Ford Moment.” If you are middle-class and largely secure, like me, you can choose the luxury of opting for the “Benedict Moment” and hunker down, working to effect small changes locally. (I even wrote a blog recently entitled “Think Globally, Act Locally).

But if you are poor. Or if you are a woman. Or if you are a person of color. Or if you are an immigrant. Then you may well see this as a “Bonhoeffer Moment” and resist with every fiber of your being and by every means necessary.

Hopefully, not with the despairing last resort of Dietrich Bonhoeffer to the horrors of Nazism.

Hopefully…not that.

“Home”

February 11, 2017

It’s interesting how a sense of “place” gets embedded in one’s soul. I’ve discovered that kitschy, fairly run-down Daytona Beach is such a place for me. I never actually lived in this little east coast town myself. My parents and I vacationed here from the 1950s when we still lived in Greenville, SC.

When we made the big move to Florida in 1955 we settled in Orlando because of my dad’s work, but kept a series of boats in the Municipal Yacht Basin on the Inland Waterway in Daytona. Then, when I left for college at the University of Florida, my folks moved to Daytona full time, living in a series of small houses and condominiums both on the beach side and the mainland.

Whenever we visited them during college, seminary, or during my tenures as a parish priest in Melbourne, Lakeland, Jacksonville, and Cocoa, Daytona Beach was where we came. My formative years were spent swimming in the surf or in boats up and down the Halifax River. Even though this town has never really been my home, it has always been “home!”

Part of the reason I like Daytona is that it is not just a rich person’s resort town. Certainly there are many wealthy people here who live in the same kind of high-rise condos and lavish river and beach front homes as you find up and down both coasts of the Sunshine State. But Daytona has always also been the vacation-destination of choice for all sorts and conditions of white and blue collar workers and persons of all ethnicities and economic levels.

Some of the still-family-owned motels along A1A may look tacky (and they are) but are affordable “resorts” for lots of people who would otherwise never walk up and down a Florida beach for more than a few days in their entire lives. And there are “old salts” and Florida crackers who have lived here for generations as well as an African American community centered around the famous Bethune-Cookman University with its primarily Black student body and faculty. St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church is located virtually on the campus of this small college and has become my favorite church in town.

So, it’s good to be back for a few weeks this time of year. Not only to visit my dad who remains in assisted living just north of Daytona. But to spend some time in that “home” which has never been my “home.”

Maybe it will be one day.

 

Life Before Death

February 8, 2017

This trip to Florida will end up, sadly, mostly spent taking my 95-year old dad around to doctors’ appointments and running other errands. He’s in assisted living now which, as near as I can tell, means he’s on his own except that nurses bring him his meds, check on him a few times a day, and are available at the end of a pull-chord should he fall (and be able to get to it!).

Medicare won’t allow these particular nurses to do anything really except administer the meds so, in order to have a couple of wounds treated (one, a bed sore developed when he was in the hospital; the other an elbow scrape sustained in a fall) he has to contract with an outside health care agency for which he pays extra and who visit him a few times a week.

He can get transportation to appointments and such and will have to do so when I head back to Iowa, but it’s a hassle and takes all day to get transported to and from the docs and to hang out in their waiting rooms for what seems an interminable length of time. Just so much easier, when I’m here, to drive him myself and maybe take him out for a meal to break the monotony of the dining room service in his assisted living facility.

It’s not much of an existence for one who has had such a long and active life. Former Air Force pilot, architect and banker, boat owner and faithful churchman. All of that is gone how, including his beloved “Maggie,” wife and best friend for 72 years until her death a few years ago. Like so many elders, my dad really wishes it was over, but the will to live is still mostly there and so he faces the endless days largely alone and making lists of things he needs to do.

There are, of course, activities provided but he’s never been much of a “joiner” and, apart from the occasional bingo game, does not participate in many of them. He’s not able to concentrate enough to enjoy reading, TV is mostly awful, and his hearing is so bad (even with hearing aids) that carrying on an extended conversation with his few friends proves difficult if not impossible.

He keeps a sense of (sometimes “gallows”) humor, calling Bishop’s Glen where he lives “Sing Sing” (“It’s walled in, they lock us in at night, and we’re here for a life sentence!”). And he gruffly maintains that no one should live past 80…85 at most. “Four sets of 20,” he growls,” 20 years to grow up and get educated; 20 years to advance in your chosen work; 20 years to enjoy your success; 20 years in retirement, and then you’re done. If I was running things, that’s the way it would work!”

Looking at his lot in life now, I can’t say that I disagree.

Except that I just turned 70!

Salt and Light

February 5, 2017

Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. Matthew 5

I’m not preaching today but, if I was, I would say something like this: In confusing, uncertain and downright scary times like these, it’s important for the people of God to remind ourselves of what we are all about. We must remember that Jesus, and his earliest followers, lived in a time of oppression and violence. Their whole nation was under the domination of the Roman Empire and had been for a very long time.

Some of Jesus’ fellow Jews counseled violent revolution to overthrow the government. These were the Zealots of Sicaari (dagger men). Others followed the path of withdrawal. The Essenes and others retreated into the desert to avoid being persecuted and to create an intentional community of prayer and holiness; there to await the coming of the Messiah. Still others like the Pharisees and Sadducees tried various ways to “go along to get along.” They paid attention to their religious observances, but made the compromises they could with the political establishment and, in the process, were often rewarded by the state in ways tangible and intangible.

Jesus taught another way — the way of non-violent resistance to the powers-that-be. He and his closest followers continued to live “in the world” but to live lives that were remarkably different from the dominant culture. Like salt they livened things up a bit in the midst of the meager rations of everyday life. They stood with the outcast and the marginalized. They brought what healing they could into the lives of the poor. Occasionally, by openly debating the issues (with the Pharisees and others), by staging a mock procession into Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover, and finally by undergoing public martyrdom, they brought a shock to the taste buds of those who feasted on the provisions of others.

By public preaching and teaching, by enacted parables of resistance and justice they sought, like that lamp on a lampstand, to shed light into the darkness of their day. They stood up to tyranny, but without breaking a bruised reed or lifting up their voices in the street. They were salt. They were light.

Are we?

 

Works of the Flesh; Fruit of the Spirit

February 3, 2017

For evangelical Christians: Donald Trump’s moral check list from the 5th Chapter of Paul’s Letter to the Galatians. “Works of the Flesh:

  1. Fornication – Check
  2. Impurity – Check
  3. Licentiousness – Check
  4. Idolatry – Check
  5. Sorcery – Not so much
  6. Enmities – Check
  7. Strife – Check
  8. Jealousy – Check
  9. Anger – Check
  10. Quarrels – Check
  11. Dissensions – Check
  12. Factions – Check
  13. Envy – Check
  14. Drunkenness – Not so much (teetotaler)
  15. Carousing – Check

“Works of the Spirit”

  1. Love – Check (family)
  2. Joy – Unknown
  3. Peace – Not so much
  4. Patience – Not so much
  5. Kindness – Not so much
  6. Generosity – Not so much
  7. Faithfulness – Not so much
  8. Gentleness – Not so much
  9. Self-control – Not so much

No wonder he was like a fish out of water at the National Prayer Breakfast!

“Look Around You”…a song of lament

January 30, 2017

On my long drive to Florida, as I often do I listened – and sang along with – a CD from the Community of Celebration (the musical arm of which was called “The Fisherfolk” decades ago).  I serve as Bishop Visitor to this wonderful community of Christians now living in Aliquippa PA, incarnating God’s love and healing in a distressed, formerly “Rust Belt” neighborhood.

As so many of us remain deeply saddened, depressed if not angry, and nearly hopeless following Donald Trump’s election, his Cabinet selections, and his recent executive orders, it is all very well to resist, to demonstrate, and to begin planning for the next elections to bring some sanity back into our government.

But we also need words and music to help us lament. I was touched deeply once again by this modern interpretation of the ancient Kyrie eleison (Lord, have mercy) by J. Page-Clark and sung by the Community of Celebration in their worship and on a number of albums and CDs. I wish I could sing the haunting melody for you over this medium. But these are the words:

 

Look around you; can you see. Times are troubled, people grieve. See the violence, feel the hardness. O my people, weep with me.

Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison

Walk among them; I’ll go with you. Reach out to them with my hands. Suffer with me and together, we will serve them, help them stand.

Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison

Forgive us, Father; hear our prayer. We would walk with you, anywhere. Through your suffering, with forgiveness, take your life into the world.

Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison

 

Join me in praying these words through your tears…

And mine.