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Bread & Oranges zest of the living

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eDiToR’s LeTTeR ges, a & Oran gazine is d a e r B of ma t issue g. This ve, which o l n i i v p i l e e h to t t of th initiati elcome the zes Living f e o Th n o n i g.com collect the larger Joi out f thelivin ges are living o n i e o c .j e i w a e w ep these p ut at w ed in th just on ead abo lks profiled in king the Sacr ow to live r n a c you are see ay. f the fo ining h Some o dreams. Some me are reimag g to them tod n e o i v v S -gi eati ge. their cr ain and chan ys that are life ope, help us to n p a f w f o in eo h nectio midst nt faith us a little piec us of our con pe, e i c n a out an f them offer emind gs—ho s, and r he thin ng for. They t n f o i All o o t a e n gi som s lo our ima ose are hat many of u expand other. And th t — unity an to to one on, and comm the way ranges. g i n t a lo n a i g t en &O ima of life. experim -yearly Bread 2007, I and s n n a g s i i s e are fall of r, twice lot issu This pi igger, yummie ebsite in the travel across ng it ng a b agazine and w e Living will are calli r launchi h t e m n e i W h o . t r J fo of ch tou To laun r/co-founder and listening eat the bushes ung e b e n t l g r ’l a w e ie yo my pa on a pilgrim Tour. W s. We’ll inter v ome e f i L a c f i storie igns o Amer them c ch for S listen to their what makes ts, writers r a e S e d th tis nd souls an who have fou ressions of ar spiritual p s creative x r e e i t e h ea ve, nd ot reativ with cr y a r adults a l profile the c p d e’l nce an ey on alive. W ians. And da n prophets. g journ eginning n c i r i e s ld d u o f o m n st b dm eu and ties, an bout th adventure is ju e you’ll i a n e u r o m com learn m . I hop e zesty You can ving.com. Th n with f riends ore fu intheli www.jo ip is always m tr Peace, and the . e join m radsen Carol B l.com gmai living@ jointhe

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Bread & Oranges zest of the living

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www.j ing@gmail.com oin P.O. Bo theliving.com x Tucson 42766 , AZ 8 5733

Special thanks goes to the Evangelical Education Society of the Episcopal Church (EES) who helped fund this pilot issue through a grant. The EES awards grants to members of Episcopal seminaries for special projects. Thanks to the group of my fellow Episcopal Divinity School students who gathered a couple of years ago, to eat chicken pot pie and brainstorm many of the articles in this issue. Creative kudos to the Rev. Kate Bradley and members of the 20s/30s Thursday night supper group at Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, in Tucson, AZ, who gave birth to the idea of “What’s Your Revolution?” on the back cover. Also gratitudes go out to our generous photographers BK Hipsher and Kate Dalton who did the photo shoots for the Profile and Story sections. Thanks to Kevin Anderson for creative direction encouragement. As well, thanks to the writers in this issue: Shea Van Rhoads, Stephanie Spellers, Kristin Krantz, Mel Gilles, Mel Sims, & Susan Langle. And thanks to all those who took the time to submit their writing and art. It was an honor and inspiration to read them.

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Port Elizabeth

What do you do if no one is telling your story? Publish your own ...page 4. When the church softball league gets too boring, what’s next? ...page 5. What can happen when the idea of spiritual community is taken out of the box? ...page 6. You work eight-and-a-half years toward a goal and then it doesn’t come to be, what then? ...page 10. Can anything good come out of an illness that brings life as you know it to a halt? ...page 12. Buddhist on one side, Muslim on the other, and Christian in the middle ...page 13. What if one of the wise men and the kid Jesus decided to make a day of it in San Fran? ...page 14.

Sections of Bread & Oranges Profile: In this section we give a snapshot from the life of someone who embodies the spirit of The Living. Slices: Tidbits of a few yummy places and people where we’ve seen hope, imagination, or community take root. Community: How do you find it? What does it look, smell, taste, feel like? This section looks at one incarnation. From Here: The world is a big place and how it looks depends on where you are standing. Here’s a chance to share how it feels to be inside your skin or to climb inside someone else’s life for a change. Journal: Probably never meant for public consumption. Which makes it all the more intriguing. Here’s one soul working out the details on paper. Roots: Where we grew up, what our family taught us, what we learned from our culture; these give us our roots and they can tell us a lot about others and ourselves. Story: Sometimes the most true thing is something that never actually happened, or did it? In future issues we’ll add more art, poetry, and a collage of articles, art, and essays around a theme.

contributing writers Stephanie Spellers, author of “The NU Monasticism,” page 6, is an Episcopal priest. She is the Cox Fellow and Minister for Radical Welcome at the Episcopal Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Boston, Massachusetts. She is the author of Radical Welcome: Embracing God, the ‘Other’ and the Spirit of Transformation, (Church Publishing, 2007). She also really knows how to let loose and dance.

All copyrights belong to the authors and photographers. Permission to reprint must be granted by them. Bread & Oranges is printed on post-consumer, 100 % recycled paper.

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TaBLeoF coNTenTs What’s inside?

Kristin Krantz interviewed Steven Lancaster for the “From Here” article on page 10. Kristin met Steven while on a seminary education trip to South Africa in 2004. Kristin is an Episcopal priest and a scholar of pop-culture Jesus kitsch. She lives in Berkeley with her husband Brian and son Zach. Bread & Oranges ~ Pilot Issue 2007

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proFiLe JASEN SOUSA,

founder of J-Rock Publishing, began writing poetry while a teenager in Somerville, Massachusetts. What started as a hobby became a lifegiving passion after losing close friends to suicide. He wrote to deal with his own anger and sadness and to tell the stories of young people that no one seemed to be telling. Sousa has written and published three poetry novels. For A Thought and A Tear For Every Day of The Year, Sousa wrote a poem a day for an entire year during the time that he worked for the buildings and grounds crew at Episcopal Divinity School. One of his recent creations, Close Your Eyes and Dream With Me, is published as a book and a CD. Sousa is ďŹ nishing his business degree while also continuing to work full-time. He ďŹ nds ways to give back to his neighborhood, from throwing drug-free parties hosted by his publishing company to leading poetry workshops for young people. He currently is working on ways to publish more young writers. To listen to some of his poetry and learn more, check out www.jrockpublishing.com

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Writing with Reverence

Gettin’ Kicky With It

To Elizabeth J. Andrew, writing is an act of reverence. In her third and latest book, Andrew leads us on a spiritual journey into creative and sacred territory where “the temple is the page” and the landscape our own lives. In Writing the Sacred Journey: The Art & Practice of Spiritual Memoir, Andrew weaves practical tools for writers with wise suggestions for those mining memories for spiritual insights. She describes exercises to strengthen our memory muscles to uncover forgotten details. She cautions us to not judge our younger selves, and instead learn from the particular wisdom of that self. Her life and writing show that she swallows her own advice. Andrew reminds us that any spiritual memoir is a snapshot. She recounts how she has to have compassion for her own 28-year-old self who wrote her first published book, Swinging on the Garden Gate, about her story of coming out as bisexual. “I’m embarrassed by some of her ideas,” Andrew writes, “but I’m generally proud she did such a marvelous job of sharing her truth.” Andrew encourages us to honor our own truth and to leap into the faithful path of writing because, she says, “The exertion of creative energy is, in itself, a witness to holiness.”

Elizabeth J. Andrew

Andrew’s second book, On the Threshold: Home, Hardwood, & Holiness, was nominated for a 2006 Minnesota Book Award by the Minnesota Humanities Commission.

The Next Generation Learns to Wage Peace What did you learn at summer camp as a teenager? How about how to make world peace? Seeds of Peace teaches skills and attitudes needed for non-violent coexistence to teens from several high-conflict regions of the world such as the Middle East, India and Pakistan. Youth from these regions attend intensive summer camps in Maine, U.S.A. At camp these young leaders meet representatives from “the other side” for the first time. Friendships form through daily dialogues, cultural presentations, inclusive religious services, sports, art, music, and drama. Students learn to communicate about painful and

contentious issues in productive and reflective ways. They also interact with global leaders to discuss pertinent issues. Graduates return home to participate in ongoing activities including cross-cultural homestays, school presentations, video-conferences, seminars, and the publication of The Olive Branch magazine. Seeds of Peace graduates also seek opportunities to speak publicly about the organization and about the importance of coexistence. For more information about Seeds of Peace or the documentary film Seeds about the organization, visit www.seedsofpeace. org. —Shea R. Van Rhoads Bread & Oranges ~ Pilot Issue 2007

www.justcoffee.org, it’s more than a cup of coffee

Pull up those tube socks. Remember, no bouncies! And get ready to kick it. Yes, friends, kickball is back, and it’s retro cool. Thousands of 20-and 30somethings are flocking to local leagues in the World Adult Kickball Association (WAKA) all across the United States. Team names like Happy Fun Ball, Kick Asphalt, and Afterschool Specials, are reminiscent of playground days with a grown-up edge. “It’s pretty hard to be full of yourself when you’re playing kickball,” 29-year-old Richard Manfredi was quoted as saying in the Los Angeles Daily News. The LA Daily News reported that Manfredi took up kickball when his wife started knitting and crocheting. “I was originally looking for a dodge ball group, but it was too intense. I wanted a less ironic, less selfreferential, less full-of-itself crowd,” he said. Each WAKA division is encouraged to select a charity (generally one benefiting children) and raise funds and awareness for it. By the beginning of the 2006 season, WAKA kickball divisions had raised more than $135,000 for various charities since its founding in 1998. Regional tournaments happen across the United States in the summer, all leading up to the WAKA Founders Cup World Kickball Championship. To learn how to start your own league go to the WAKA website at www.kickball.com.

SlIces

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coMmuNiTy

the nu m Sounds like: a fluid itunes party mix Feels like: a supper party with friends Smells like: incense from an old cathedral

It’s Church of the Apostles: a spiritual revolution you can dance to By Stephanie Spellers Survey: 85 percent of Seattle’s techie, dot.com residents believe in something like God. But nine out of 10 won’t go near a house of worship. Most churches don’t have a clue how to fill that gap. Church of the Apostles isn’t most churches. This Seattle-based community sounds, looks, and feels like funky, young, postmodern Seattle. Church of the Apostles (COTA) may be part coffee house, part art collective, and part party promoter, but it’s all church. Only the definition has changed. “People aren’t coming to church looking for a set of doctrines to espouse. They’re looking for a home to live in. So we’re creating one.” That’s the word from Karen Ward, midwife and spiritual mother to COTA. Still a young adult by church standards, Karen is a black woman and ordained Lutheran pastor in her early 40s. She cut her teeth in inner-city Philadelphia before heading into the belly of the beast: Lutheran National headquarters in Chicago. It took her about seven years of banging into walls and having establishment church folks treat her like an alien before she saw the 6

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light and struck out on her own. “I kept thinking, ‘This is Wonderland, and I’m Alice.’ Then, I stumbled across this piece on the PostBoomers in the church and generational shifting. It was like I wrote it myself. This is why I don’t fit, why I’m always causing so many problems. So I put on the glasses, took the red pill, and shot down the rabbit hole.” She shot back out in Seattle about five years ago. Her dream: create a Christian community for a generation of seekers who got wounded by the church or never darkened a church door in their lives. The Episcopal Diocese of Olympia and the Lutheran Synod in Washington signed on, adopting COTA into their “tribes” (Karen’s term for denominational bodies). COTA is also part of a loose network of churches that share similar dreams that some call the “emerging church.” For years, COTA has struggled to build credibility and financial supports within their sometimes tentative tribes. But their faith is bearing fruit. The resulting community is an eclectic mix of ancient and future, sacred and secular, liturgy and party.

It would be easy to pigeon-hole COTA as an anti-establishment experiment. That would be a huge mistake. This group of young adults isn’t stuck in lament-critique-deconstruct mode, nor are they following some selfconsciously, tragically hip call to be the next “new” thing. Like others in the “Emerging Church” movement and countless generations before, they’re trying to get back to the source and create an authentic expression. COTA seeks to honor Jesus’ call and the treasure trove of ancient Christian traditions and practices, all while speaking to (and sometimes countering) the cultural language of their zip code. “We keep re-reading the Bible to get insights about what Jesus did,” Karen said. “Here’s what we know: he traveled with a small core, and they did life together. They slept in some meadows, encountered large groups. A few of those they met actually listened and followed. Half of them were men and half were women. They went round trying to live the kingdom life and trying to tell people about it. We’re trying to use the same paradigm.”


monasticism Church of the Apostles in Seattle is one of a growing number of faith communities around the world that is reimagining church for our time and birthing a new sub-movement called “nu monasticism.” Urban Modern Monks From the beginning, the Church of the Apostles has been built around a small band of apostles; brothers and sisters living “the kingdom life” together, plunging without fear or dualism into the world and culture around them, and inviting anyone who wants to join to drop their nets and follow. They’re not aiming for mega-church. Think of them as leaven in the loaf.

Ryan Marsh and Lacey Brown are part of that group. As Karen’s partners in crime, these twentysomethings skillfully organize music and liturgical arts for the community. They also live with four other friends in a house called Rosewood Manor. Together, they’re shaping their own intentional Christian community, complete with a rule of life and daily prayer. Karen is the abbot

to this countercultural band of “urban monks.” “At other churches, I went to a service, and then I went to my life,” said Lacey, who grew up in a conservative tradition before breaking out in college. “I’m working now to integrate church with my life. So I’m all about being poor and being with people,

continued on next page... Bread & Oranges ~ Pilot Issue 2007

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This wa radical

photos from COTA website

“People aren’t coming to church looking for a set of doctrines to espouse. They’re looking for a home to live in. So we’re creating one,” says Karen Ward (pictured left), midwife and spiritual mother to Church of the Apostles in Seattle. Top left: A COTA home group. Top right: Techno-Spirited worship COTA style. `

because that’s Jesus. Too much in our culture forces us to be alone. How can we integrate Jesus’ ways with our real life?” Ryan quickly picked up the strand. “We’re all trying to find Christ in the mundane,” he said. “It’s different, because we grew up in this culture of, ‘You become spiritual at camp or at a retreat.’ It’s disconnected from real life. Our passion now is where is God found in the washing of clothes, receiving your change from the lady at the counter? Then you begin to treat all of life as worship.”

Our passion now is where is God found in the washing of clothes, receiving your change from the lady at the counter? Then you begin to treat all of life as worship.

nu monasticism Emerging churches across America 8

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have tapped into the hunger for community and authentic Christian life, birthing a sub-movement called “nu monasticism.” It’s an emergent riff on the long, rich tradition of intentional, disciplined Christian community life usually associated with Roman Catholicism and the rare Anglican community. But don’t call it a fad. These young people are fierce about reclaiming community and connection, following the patterns of church legends like Benedict and the Desert Fathers and Mothers in fresh ways. The hope is that a tight circle of apostles can build an intentional, transforming way of life that radiates outward and nurtures people who are free to connect in a variety of other ways.

and laugh and say, ‘What crazy stuff is he up to today?’” Ben always had a secret thing for the quiet and beauty of cathedrals. He liked to sneak in to soak up the energy when life got hard. Still, he never thought he could be a part of the community. Until COTA. “You come to Seattle and you’ve got young people who’ve been all over the country, the wanderers. COTA connects with them, gives them a place to be creative, share their gifts.” Ben linked with COTA through one of its sister projects, an artist’s collective called artwerks. Others connect at the Fremont Abbey, the COTA church and community arts center where musicians and artists of all ages book shows and support each other’s work. And yes, there’s also the Finding a tribe crew that gathers for worship. The modes vary. In every instance, Ben Brackin certainly didn’t go the apostles are nurturing authentic looking for church. He didn’t even community and helping people to think much about God. If anything, tune in and sense the sacredness of life this 30-year-old photographer and whizzing all around. computer guru has avoided religion “We don’t come to people in the most of his life. old evangelical mode, thinking, ‘You’ve “I grew up an atheist, so I was never never encountered God, so let us show that much into religion. My stepfather was Catholic. He would watch the Pope you something new,’” Ryan said. “We


as never about worship styles. Emerging church is much more radical than that. It’s a rethinking, reimagining of the Christian faith for our times.We want the whole enchilada.

Worship remix All that said, the apostles are fiercely dedicated to emergent worship. When it’s time to gather, the service follows the classic structure – or the ordo, for Latin lovers – that Christians have been following for millennia: gathering, word, meal, sending. Then comes the remix. First is timing. The main service happens on Saturdays at 5 p.m. in The Abbey. A few members wanted to explore the down-tempo, chant-based Taize style, so now they have a monthly Taize service on Sunday evenings. Sunday mornings are not church time for Seattlites. On one Saturday at COTA, they were working with the theme “You Are Invited.” Ryan and Lacey designed and led most of the service, which interwove video; cool, postmodern, neo-lounge music by a live band; a remix of the classic hymn “Holy, Holy, Holy”; time for meditation and group reflection with the scripture appointed for the day; original prayers for confession and forgiveness; the Eucharist, candles, and icons. To Ryan, that kind of translation and adaptation is what worship is all about. “If you look around, you’ll see that the Church has been doing this – taking from one part of the culture and applying it to the Church – forever. So how does that happen in our culture? Maybe you play Bjork.” He shook his head in wonder. “At some point, you’ve got to not be afraid of things in the culture that are usually separate. If there’s a DJ spinning trance, then maybe there’s a spiritual element that you couldn’t see in the original context. We want to bring that out.” COTA really turns it out for the high holy days like Christmas and Easter. A few years ago, the crew rented out an old schoolhouse with five huge rooms and smooth wooden floors for Rise, their Easter Night Vigil. They scattered inflatable bean bag chairs, prayer cards, and candles all around. A DJ took the post of priest on the stage, directing the action in the main room with music. In the side rooms, guests enjoyed art, meditation, crafting, and chilling. “It’s a worship party where the Eucharist meets culture,” Karen said. “We modeled it on the Seattle party

scene, because that’s where a lot of people experience their spiritual reality today. “So people who haven’t come to church in years were here, a lot of them with their kids. There was lots of music from different genres: electronic, acoustic, indie rock, and in the central room the DJs are doing their thing. But we also did the Exultet [an ancient chanted prayer recalling the miracle of Christ’s resurrection] and called everyone together for the Eucharist. More than half of those people were not church people, and they knew this was about Jesus...Still, they felt welcome.” Something real

What’s so welcoming? Well, it’s not mimicking someone else’s formula for a cool, hip church. For postmodern generations, it all comes back to what’s real. “People here aren’t spectating,” said singer, keyboardist and apostle Gwen Owen. “We’re seeking, and we’re seeking something real.” Real and grounded in Seattle doesn’t look like real and grounded in Brooklyn or Boston or Austin. That’s alright by Karen. “This was never about worship styles. Emerging church is much more radical than that. It’s a radical rethinking, reimagining of the Christian faith for our times. We want the whole enchilada.” The vision goes way beyond worship and way beyond young adults. It’s a whole different set of questions, and they’re questions every church could – and should – be asking. “Go ahead, ask it,” Karen said, with a wry smile, as if she knew what havoc she was wreaking. “What are the most important things we can carry into the future, into the reign of God? What’s in your saddle bag? For us, as Anglicans, as COTA, we have knowing common prayer is at the heart of our life together. We have a radical orientation to the incarnation and Jesus joining our flesh, our earth, and saying the good news is in this world, and this world is good. “How do we open that up to people? How do you pass the disciplines of prayer and spiritual practices onto the next generation? Our tradition has incredible gifts. How are we going to open that up in our context? “How would you open it up in yours?” COTA is on the web at: www.apostleschurch.org

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Listen to some of COTA’s original music at www.myspace.com/churchof the apostles ~ dive into the emerging church world via Karen’s blog at http://submerge.typepad.com/submergence/

know you already have (encountered God). The question is, how can we help to name this? How can we mature this together? It’s all about carefully looking for where God is showing up and then facilitating that encounter.”


From HeRe

the nu m Port Elizabeth

Steve

n & J oy La ncast er

We all see the world from a different perspective

Here’s the view Steven Lancaster sees from Port Elizabeth, South Africa Interview by Kristin Krantz Steven Lancaster was 20 when his home country of South Africa held its first democratic election. “I remember standing in the queue for two hours in the Cape Town rain on April 27, 1994, to vote for the first time. The rainbow nation was in those queues.” Rain in South African traditional religions is considered a blessing. “It seemed like such a great symbol for a day most of us hoped for, and some thought might never come,” Lancaster said. “This was a day when God cried in sadness for the lives that were lost and made sure that his tears watered the land that has so much potential for health and healing. “This was the day when God cried for joy because people felt like people; I have both white and black friends who have told me that this was one of the most humanizing days of their lives. It was for me.” The changes in his country’s government also meant Lancaster didn’t have to decide what to do about serving in the military. During Apartheid all white men were forced to serve in the army or serve double time in jail. Although forced service ended with Apartheid in 1994, it ended in practice about 18 months prior because the courts no longer enforced jail terms. “Fortunately, I was able to study for the last few years before it was deregulated. I wasn’t looking forward to jail. To 10

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have been a political prisoner is a small badge of honor today, but it is not my style.” A haven for his call Much has changed not only for South Africa but also for Lancaster in the last decade. In his early 20s he thought he would follow in his father’s footsteps and be an Anglican priest. He spent almost eight years preparing for ordination, including almost a year at an Episcopal seminary in the United States, Virginia Theological Seminary, and six months teaching in India. When he returned from South Africa, the bishop had not found a church for Lancaster so he volunteered at the House of Resurrection Haven, in Port Elizabeth. The AIDS Haven, as it is commonly called, is a mission of the Anglican Diocese of Port Elizabeth. It is the only 24-hour care facility that serves the estimated 400,000 people with HIV/AIDS in the Eastern Cape and is situated in what is still largely a “colored area,” Lancaster explained. After spending time at the AIDS Haven playing guitar, entertaining the children and counseling the staff, he asked the bishop if he could se-rve at the AIDS Haven as their chaplain since they didn’t have one. Instead, “I was sent to a ‘white’ church on the other side of the [city]!” “I lasted four months at that church and learned some valuable lessons about winning friends and influencing people – all of them the hard way! I was told I was no longer


A drop in the bucket Last year the AIDS Haven had space to serve only 36 people at a time. They recently completed a new children’s wing which increases the capacity of the Haven to about 50 patients—a small drop in the bucket considering that almost one-third of the 1.3 million people in Nelson Mandela Bay are HIV positive. “We have found that increasing numbers of people require palliative care for their last days,” Lancaster said. “This is true for two reasons: as the disease has mutated and become more aggressive, people die much more quickly; and secondly, there is less of a stigma attached to HIV/AIDS in certain communities and so people are more open to being admitted to the AIDS Haven.” While the highest prevalence of those with HIV/AIDS are between the ages of 17 and 25 according to an article in the Port Elizabeth newspaper, The Herald, many who come to the AIDS Haven are children. Some are able to be

stabilized and even get well enough with love and good food to go into foster care; however, most children who have HIV/ AIDS will die before the age of five. “Have you ever seen how small a child’s coffin is?” Lancaster said. He remembered one little girl named Rochelle who had a big smile with just a few teeth. She would often call out to him in her husky voice, “Steven, come play with us!” “One of the hardest hours for me was her funeral, realizing that here lay the body of a girl I loved.” So much change

South Africans have seen and continue to live with so much death and change that it makes some want to cling to something that seems unchangeable, Lancaster said. “In terms of my faith in the current South African context, I find people here very open to try and experience new things to grow their faith, but only as long as it fits in with what they perceive as within the word of God,” Lancaster said. “This is why there is such resistance to new theological insights and interpretations of old passages. Change for society, especially one where there has been so much change over the last 10 or 20 years, becomes something to fear—however unhealthy this may be— but everything in its time. “This fear explains the deep feelings that surround issues like the ordination of women in Africa and more recently the debate around same-sex relationships. But I don’t understand why people don’t have the same feeling regarding lying and racial bigotry.” Lancaster and his wife, Joy, attend Holy Trinity, an Anglican church. “Joy’s family is what we in South Africa classify as Colored which is mixed race between traditional black African like Xhosa, Zulu, or Sotho and white,” he said. “Holy Trinity Church is one of the most integrated churches in the city, in terms of gender, culture and age. The integrated nature of this church was important for me when finding a church to belong to because it reflects my belief of the church and it reflects my marriage.

It is also a church that has some fantastic training and community development programs.” Hopes for the future

Lancaster’s most intense passions and hopes are mostly for his country.“One of my biggest fears and disappointments, and now one of my biggest levels of anger, regarding the New South Africa is its response to HIV/AIDS. More than 10 percent of our population is HIV positive. What boggles my mind and my emotions is that we still do not have an adequate government response. It was recently reported that the South African health care system is operating with a shortage of over 4,000 nurses.” The Eastern Cape, where Lancaster lives, is the province/state with the second largest population and is the second poorest in the country. The House of Resurrection Haven is the only dedicated 24-hour care facility for people living with HIV/AIDS in the area, yet the government doesn’t consider it a care facility, he said. “We have children, so the Department of Health won’t register us. We have adults, so the Department of Social Development won’t register us. But it is fine to refer patients to the Haven,” Lancaster said. How you can participate

Lancaster said there are many ways that people from around the world can join the efforts to offer aid to the crisis in South Africa. “The first is: pray. The fact that the AIDS Haven celebrated its 10th anniversary this year is a minor miracle.” “The second thing is to contribute financially from where you live. United States dollars go much further here,” Lancaster said. “Lastly, we have volunteers who come and work at the Haven for a period of time as part of the staff. So consider coming to work with us. We’ll even show you some magical sites in and around Port Elizabeth for days off.” To contact the AIDS Haven or Lancaster: Tel: (041) 481-1515, Email: havenpe@iafrica.com, Address: P.O. Box 17143, Saltville, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, 6058 Bread & Oranges ~ Pilot Issue 2007

Desmond Tutu was the former Anglican Archbishp of Cape Town, Chairman of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. A good read is his 2004 book, God Has a Dream: A Vision of Hope for Our Time.

onasticism acceptable for ordained ministry…and I felt betrayed after spending eight and a half years working solely toward this end.” Lancaster wasn’t sure what to do next and he began to feel discouraged. “Theology is not going to get you much more than a bag-packing or navelgazing job, and neither appealed to me,” he said. “After about nine months of volunteering and working through my depression, I started to learn the administration ropes at the Haven.” A month later he began writing grants and raising money for the Haven. When he began, the Haven had less than two months operating money with a long-awaited government grant still being promised but remaining unseen. Two years later Lancaster left the Haven to work at a church-based community organization, but he left the Haven with 10 months operating capital in the bank and further grants on the way. A few years ago he was approached to serve on the Haven’s Board of Directors. He also works with a not-for-profit company that works to improve primary school education in the rural areas.

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JouRnaL

Mel Gilles

Mel Gilles was diagnosed with ďŹ bromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome in 2004. It was just the beginning of a confusing, frustrating, and ultimately spiritually enlightening journey. These are some of her journal notes during the last couple of years. Gilles lives in Greensboro, NC, with her husband Matt and their two dogs, where she is active in the Servant Leadership School of Greensboro.

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Bread & Oranges ~ Pilot Issue 2007


roOts

Growing up Christian in an Interfaith Family & World By Mel Sims Year was also a time for members of the Buddhist side of my family to come together to make offerings of food and incense to our ancestors. My Christian

Mel Sims lives in Vancouver with her partner Ruth. relatives and my own family would also go to the graves of my maternal grandparents around Chinese and Christian festival days to clean the sites and light candles to remember my grandparents. My extended family includes Anglicans, Roman Catholics, evangelical and charismatic Christians, Muslims, and Buddhists, and even a few agnostics and atheists. While my family did argue, it was rarely over religion. My brother and I didn’t have a choice about going to church. The only times we didn’t go where when we were sick or had a school activity. And yet, at home, we didn’t talk much about God or faith traditions. Questions about religion were answered summarily or just hushed, perhaps because we knew how divisive and troublesome religious discussions could be. Perhaps it was because we valued family unity over religion. While the practice of burning incense and offering supplications to deceased ancestors might seem really unorthodox to Christians in North America, this blending of two faith

traditions is what I appreciate most about growing up in Brunei, and it’s what I miss most. A few years ago, I realized that my faith and spirituality have gotten somewhat sterile because it seems so much less informed by the faiths of the people around me or my other relatives. While I may have learned different ways of worshiping and experiencing God in the Anglican Church in Canada and in the United States, something is missing. In his book, Mansions of the Spirit, Anglican Bishop Michael Ingham (Diocese of New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada) argued that God’s true nature is so unfathomable to human minds that if God were to reveal Godself to only a select group of people, its members would be so overwhelmed that they would not know what to do with all that information. It is not unlike how some people react in the age of the Internet and information overload. So, God reveals Godself in bits and pieces, in the hopes that, by working together, we can put the puzzle back together and not be overwhelmed by the true nature of God. This makes sense to me. The Anglican tradition has given me a particular understanding of God, yet it is still incomplete. But as I integrate other faith traditions’ pictures of God into my own, my picture grows evermore richer and more complete. Growing up in an interfaith family has made me humbler and more open to questions of faith. After all, if we are all made in the image of God, as is a common theme of creation in several faith traditions, then we each hold a piece of a greater puzzle that is the mystery of faith. Alone, our puzzle pieces make little sense, but together, they show us what God is like and what God is up to. Bread & Oranges ~ Pilot Issue 2007

Five Voices Five Faiths, edited by Amanda Millay Hughes, is a non-insider’s look at some interfaith conversation.

Allahu Akbar. Allahu Akbar. Every Friday evening, around sunset, these were the words I heard as a child as I finished playing outside and got ready for dinner. I became very familiar with this Muslim call to prayer growing up in the tiny Southeast Asian sultanate of Brunei Darussalam. My world was a microcosm of the different religious groups in Brunei. My neighbor on one side of our house was Muslim. Across the street, they were Christians. The woman who drove my brother and I to school was Buddhist. Our friends, likewise, were from many faiths, Christian and otherwise. Sometimes, it seemed like the only other Anglicans I knew were people from church. The official religion of Brunei is Islam–about 67 percent of the population. Buddhists, Christians and those who profess indigenous beliefs and other faiths about equally make up the rest. Although the official state religion was Islam, Brunei honored the other major faiths by declaring state holidays for each religion’s major festivals. Open houses, filled with good food, great fun and plenty of visitors, were held throughout the year for different festivals. I remember going to an Indian friend’s open house around Christmas time where I would eat delicious samosas, curries, and different Indian meats and vegetables. On Chinese New Year (my favorite), my family would have an open house for all our relatives and friends. Filled with candies, endless trips to and from the kitchen with a different plate of food each time, not to mention, the traditional red packets filled with varying amounts of money from relatives. Chinese New

13


sToRy

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Melchior

A San Francisco Epiphany

TheBabe By Susan Langle

M

elchior and the Babe have been missing for some time. Perhaps tired hands carefully wrapped them in tissue and put them in the wrong box, consigning them to the perpetual darkness of the family archives along with bowls and books collected long ago but rarely used. Perhaps confused and frightened hands, attempting to exorcise the demons, smashed them and threw them out. Perhaps they just got hungry and went down the street for a pizza. I like to think that their attention wandered, that they were ready for a change of scene and decided to take a walk. Down to the street-car stop they went, the man and the Babe. Their clothes were a little off beat, but hey, in this city no one would give a second thought. As they walked they looked at the shop windows – holiday decorations getting long in the tooth, mark downs on lights and candles, promotions of devices for better health to tempt those trying to turn a new page in the new year. “Let’s go to the park. Do you think the carousel is working today?” “Hey dude, why not!” And as they rattle along they talk. This is, of course, a precocious Babe. He already gets Aquinas, Dylan and Miles. He’s a big Giants fan. His lullabies are the Psalms. His questions get right to the heart. And the stories this Babe is already telling? They turn the world on its head. Melchior has been around the world. His ship sailed into every port, and he read every book he could get his hands on during the long lonely voyages. The man and the Babe can carry on about just

14

Bread & Oranges~ Pilot Issue 2007

photo by Kate Dalton

any topic. Finally they are at the park, and yes indeed the carousel is spinning its tunes, twirling laughing boys and their bemused parents. They don’t have the change but the teenager tending the entrance looked away for a moment and they slipped through the gate, heading for the flying tigers. Soon the pipes start and the platform turns and the wind rushes. In their face the lights, like the first light, shine. In their hair, the breeze like the breath of God blows. And they laugh like they have never laughed before. “Well kid, are you ready to head back?” “This has been real fun but I know she misses us. Maybe we could stop for a brew at Alvin’s before we go?” “You got it, dude.” “And do you remember which way we head?” “I think it’s toward the sea. If we just follow the star, it will lead us home.”


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Wondering how God wants to use you to make a difference in the world?

Consider an internship opportunity.. available within the Episcopal Church across the USA for service, learning and discernment. Domestic Internships (10-12 months)

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My Revolution Is...

to deepen personal relationships. —Peter Richtsmeier, 26, linguistics graduate student, Tucson the reconceptualization of education in order to make it personalized and within the real world. —Brett Shiel, 27, educator, Philadelphia Reconciliation. How can art, worship, and church life have a tangible relationship with the sadness that grows in our country: the growing distance between the rich and poor, the replacing of love with material goods, the ongoing oppression that our country's government supports within and outside of our own borders. —Allison Farnum, 27, seminary student, Chicago Love. —Kate Bradley, 27, Episcopal priest, Tucson iitty-bitty and grand. On the everyday level, just plain kindness and openness to those whom we meet on the street matter most. Also we must think through every aspect of our lives: what we buy, what we ride/drive, the food we eat and consider the impacts on other people and the environment. —Rob Coppolillo, 36, mountain lover and writer, Boulder to proclaim and enact the message of God's love for all. —Kristin Krantz, 31, minister/mom, Berkeley to not forget birthdays.

—Bridget

Diamond,

27,

sociology

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student,

Ames,

Iowa

? n o i t u l o v e R r u o Y ’s What

Bread & Oranges pilot issue  

A little morsel to get your juices going.

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