The Bishopâ€™s column | events | profiles
volume 3 number 1
The Texas Episcopalian
a divine place of surprise and awe page 08
Welcoming a new dean The very rev. Barkley S. Thompson page 23
Diolog: The Texas Episcopalian (since 1874) is an official publication of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.
Our mission is to bring you the wealth of stories from the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion, to inform and inspire you and to deepen your spiritual life. Publisher:
The Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle
Editor: Carol E. Barnwell, firstname.lastname@example.org designer:
LaShane K. Eaglin, email@example.com
Luke Blount, firstname.lastname@example.org
Diolog: The Texas Episcopalian (PE# USPS 10965, ISSN# 1074-441X) is published quarterly (March, June, September and December) for $25 a year by the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, 1225 Texas St., Houston, TX 77002-3504. Periodical postage paid at Houston, TX. Address changes may be emailed to: email@example.com
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ÂŠ 2013 The Episcopal Diocese of Texas
The Episcopal Diocese of Texas
In This Issue: 04 Editor’s Letter Carol E. Barnwell
Photo: Carol E. Barnwell
06 Lent 2013
The Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle
wonder 08 Worship Opens Realm of the Spirit
10 Engaging Scripture Offers Deeper
Wonder inspires curiosity, amazement and awe, and sometimes causes doubt. During Lent consider what brings you a sense of wonder and opens a wider door to the holy.
Experience of the Holy 12 Are We to Wait? 14 The Unexpected Has Theological Impact 16 Ancient Temple Inspires Wonder 19 Visitors Carry Christ’s Spirit at National Cathedral 20 Exploring God at Work in Your Life 21 Sense of Wonder Offers Opening
Luminary, Dean Barkley Thompson page 23 The Arts, Cliff Chally page 26
Photo: Luke Blount
Advocate, Daughters of the King page 28
Congregation, St. Julian’s, Austin page 30
Lent is a season of remembering, of repentance, a season of renewal.
32 opening the doors
Cover and Inside Cover Photo: Carol E. Barnwell
Simple Idea Leads to Sustained Growth
34 calendar & people Diolog
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A Lenten Journey of Wonder “A lot of wonder is mystery—things we can’t explain, but nevertheless they capture our creative imaginations,” says one of the authors in this month’s Diolog. “Wonder is risky,” says another. I had initially thought to focus this issue on prayer, but when I experienced Dale Chihuly’s glass exhibit at the Dallas Arboretum, I was mystified and awed. I decided then to explore the topic of “wonder” instead.
What happened more than 2000 years ago still guides us today. An old story made new again. In our Lenten journey we are invited by the readings to have a sense of wonder and amazement at God’s presence in our lives. We are invited to recognize that we stand on sacred ground and that our giftedness comes from God. In this issue, Bishop Greg Rickel wonders why we don’t seem different from others because of our faith. Others find a sense of wonder in our worship and scripture, in helping others find their spiritual way. Ever wonder what it would be like to be a verger at the National Cathedral? Richard Halloway tells us. Jerome Berryman, creator of Godly Play, describes wonder as “a doorway” to a fuller life with God while Bishop Stacy Sauls takes us to the Temple of Dendur at the Museum of Fine Arts in New York.
Chihuly is credited with revolutionizing the art of studio glass from craft to fine art. He made something very old new again. His lemon yellow “cactus” soars 60 plus feet into Our profiles this quarter feature an interview with the the air, catching glints of sun between the clouds, sending Cathedral’s new dean, a Hollywood costume designer with out pops of intermittent Texas roots, a prayer light. A crowd gathers In our Lenten journey we are invited monkey’s unlikely trip at the base looking up, by the readings to have a sense of wonder and to MD Anderson, and trying to figure out how our newest church in the world “he did that!” amazement at God’s presence in our lives. plant in Austin. And Other-worldly pieces float, piled into a small boat on the pond, the reflecting organic shapes curling into the air and casting onto the water. Scarlet tongues of glass stand rigid in one flowerbed and enormous fuchsia and turquoise globes nestle among orange marigolds in another. It is simply “wonder”ful. Images from his work appear throughout this issue. But what has this topic to do with us at this particular time? As we enter Lent and look towards Easter, I can’t help but imagine that many of us do so with a sense of wonder.
finally, the results are in and big news … being strategic about newcomer ministry actually works! Wander through the following pages and then let us know what you wonder about by sending an email to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Blessings, Carol E. Barnwell
More on Chihuly: There are many videos of glass blowing and exhibitions online at chihuly.com. There’s even a Chihuly app that allows you to “blow” your own creation into shape on your smartphone. 4 |
sharingfaith MAY 16, 2013 Join us on this evening in homes throughout the diocese to share your story.
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The Bishop of Durham, the Rt. Rev. Justin Welby, has officially become the Archbishop of Canterbury at a ceremony known as the Confirmation of Election, which took place in the context of an act of worship in St Paul’s Cathedral. Visit tinyurl.com/ welbyabc to read the full article.
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Justin Welby Confirmed as Archbishop of Canterbury
In my silence and stillness I experience more fully the presence of God.
toni christopher Caregiver. Texan. Survivor.
for that, I now Cancer drew me closer to God, and my view it as a “gift.” God used it to strengthen character and my faith.
Participant registration begins April 1.
May 3-5, 2013 | Camp Allen
epicenter.org/sharingfaith Formation Stewardship Evangelism Who should attend? “I’d love to see our clergy bring teams of people so they can take full advantage of the expertise our speakers have to offer.” — Bishop Andy Doyle Featured Presenters: Bishop Greg Rickel, The Rev. Judy Fentress-Williams, The Rev, Bill Tully and The Rev. Bill Miller and Bishop Andy Doyle Plan now to attend.
Rediscovering Wonder “Explore the Spirituality of Wonder” with New York Times best-selling author Rob Bell. He invites us to examine closely the beliefs we claim to hold most dear but often do not take the time to reflect upon. Visit tinyurl.com/bellwonder to watch the video.
epicenter.org/logos Diocese of Texas Launches the logos project The LOGOS Project is a video series presenting global faith leaders offering their expertise on theological, practical and spiritual topics. These 15-minutes videos are free and available for any person or congregation for personal or teaching opportunities. Visit epicenter.org/logos to get started.
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A Lenten Journey On the Road by the Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle
One of the great American authors has to be Jack Kerouac, whose works ranged from the novels that depicted his bohemian traveling days of wandering across America like On the Road (typed in three weeks on a single roll of paper) to his book Big Sur. He was styled as the father of spontaneous prose. While much of the myth is of his own making, his wisdom about life was deep and powerful. In his novel On the Road he wrote: “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars, and in the middle, you see the blue center-light pop, and everybody goes ahh...” Kerouac even created a list of techniques for writing modern prose. His essentials included: • being open and listening • being in love with your life • telling the true story of life from your interior
monolog • writing in recollection and amazement for yourself • having no fear or shame in the dignity of your
experience, language and knowledge • believing in the holy contour of life
He believed the author was to be the “Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven.” As I pause on the edge of our Lenten journey, I wonder about life lived in this same manner. Our lives are lived out, our pilgrim journey walked, our loves, our deaths, our joys
and births are all the great story of the Gospel burning like fabulous candles. Faith itself is nothing more than the spontaneous narrative that springs forth from years lived along the holy contours of life. The Lenten journey is not so much about a morose, miserable, depressed journey over 40 days wherein we are reminded of our complete worthlessness. On the contrary, the wandering into the desert occurs because it is in the deserted places that God dwells and life is renewed. The Israelites, prophets, the desert fathers of our tradition, John the Baptist, and Jesus entered the desert because it brought a madness to life. The work of our pilgrimage is discovering resonance within our life. The goal of our Lenten journey to Easter is to have an enthusiasm and zest for life, for God, for conversation, for conversion, for salvation and for God’s creation. So it is that Christians from the first years after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ have worked to remake their own life as if it were “sponsored and angeled in heaven.” We open ourselves to the word of God. We rediscover a love for life. We remind ourselves of our true story as God’s beloved. We retell how God intersects in our lives. We see again ourselves as God sees us. We recapture a boldness and wildness about our existence that speaks of a purity not normally experienced in the humdrum of daily schedules. The things we do in this season are rooted in the dignity of our experience, language and knowledge of God. I hope that as you engage your Lenten journey and your Easter celebrations you will burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders across the sky …
Some Lenten REsources This Lent the Society of Saint John the Evangelist (SSJE) has created a beautiful video series on prayer as a resource for you to share with your friends, colleagues, congregation, Bible study group, or to use for your own reflection. A short video from the series, Praying Our Lives, will be available each day in Lent. Watch this Lenten series at tinyurl.com/lentssje.
For more Lenten resources visit epicenter. org/all-lent or contact Jamie Martin-Currie at email@example.com.
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Worship Opens Realm of the Spirit by Sharon Sheridan Singer Ana Hernadez was helping to provide music during a small Christmas-morning service when one of the hymns made her weep. After the service, the organist said, “You know what’s amazing? I push buttons on the organ, and water comes out of your eyes.” “The water drops on the stone of the floor,” Hernandez replied, “and the thought that comes into my head is: I wonder how many other tears have hit this floor?” The organist looked at her and said, “Yeah.” What started as a “goofy” exchange suddenly shifted “into something unbelievably important and huge and wondrous,” Hernandez said. “The Spirit will turn on you like that, on a dime, in a second.” For Hernandez, liturgy at its best inspires wonder—not only a sense of awe in experiencing the holy but also a sense of curiosity. Author of The Sacred Art of Chant, Hernandez is a composer, arranger and performer of sacred music and a member of the Episcopal Church’s Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music. “I didn’t start out in the Episcopal Church, but I’ve been here since I was 17. …I fell in love with the liturgy, the music and the way it helped me access Spirit, the way it helped me access the things that I knew were important to me,” Hernandez said. “I’m still figuring out what’s important to me, because I’m always curious … I’m always approaching life with that kind of, ‘Whoa! How does that work?’ or ‘How did she do that?’ It’s that curiosity, I think, that keeps me grateful for things I don’t have any clue about how to articulate.”
When we come to church, we bring our questions into a space with “something for every sense,” she said. “There’s [stained] glass to look at, and that causes wonder. There is sometimes … a really amazing sense of smell going on with incense, right? There’s the sense of taste and touch in the Eucharist.” And we hear music and the words of the liturgy. “The flow of the words, the rhythm of the words themselves can cause wonder in people,” Hernandez said. The prayer book can help you enter a sense of wonder “and enable you to form the questions that will guide your life.” And while the words remain the same, our perspective on them changes week to week, she said. “You find different things in it because you are never really the same.” “There is no one right way” to do liturgy, she added. “You go to church and we learn the drill from the book … but in that the Spirit is constantly working on us and the Spirit is working on our curiosity and our sense of wonder.” For the Rev. Victor Thomas, “The most important part of worship is the showing up for it and knowing that it’s our responsibility and our role to give praise to God, that it’s not about us. …It’s really about showing up for God and, because of that, we’re showing up for one another.”
Ana Hernandez: liturgy at its best inspires wonder.
“But the wonder piece is important because when we show up for worship we have an experience with God,” said Thomas, rector of St. James’ Episcopal Church in Houston. The liturgy helps people enter that experience in different ways, and different styles will be meaningful for different people. Each Sunday, St. James’ offers a Rite I Eucharist, a Rite II service with organ, choir and trumpet, and a noon contemporary worship service with a jazz influence. “There’s some people that, if we only had worship in the 12 o’clock
Photo: Emily Given
form, would not be members of this parish,” Thomas said. “There’s something that takes place at each one of those services and each one of those genres that really speaks to these people’s souls.” The music, he added, is “not there to entertain us. It’s there to bring us deeper and more profoundly into the presence of God. The same thing with preaching.” And at the center of the worship is the Eucharist. “The Eucharist is all about mystery, and that really does feed us,” Thomas said. “It’s not like
we’re trying to have all the answers … The sense of mystery with the Holy Communion, I think that adds to the wonder in worship.” “We’ve got the best tradition in the world,” he concluded, “because there’s so much to it and there’s so much depth and weight and, really, if you do it with passion and very intentionally, I think it’s meaningful for so many people.” Sheridan is a freelance writer and correspondent for the Episcopal News Service from Morristown, N.J.
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Engaging Scripture Offers Deeper Experience of the Holy by the Rev. Melody Shobe We go to Scripture for many reasons: sometimes we are seeking answers, sometimes comfort, sometimes guidance. We turn to Scripture because we feel that we are supposed to (after hearing yet another gentle reminder from our clergy) or because we feel we have nowhere else to go. We look to Scripture as a record of our history, as a roadmap for our current path, as a pattern for our future. But how often do we turn to Scripture for wonder? It might seem a strange question to ask, as we puzzle over what place wonder might have in our relationship with Scripture. Surely Scripture is a place for answers or reassurance, not wonder? And yet, when we begin to interact with the words of the Bible and the stories that it holds, we soon find that Scripture is chock-full of stories of wonder, in all that the word “wonder” implies. There are stories of curiosity, stories of amazement and awe, stories of doubt. Perhaps the most amusing story of wonder is Exodus 16, when God provides manna to the people of Israel in the desert. At night as they sleep, a layer of dew covers the ground, and when they awake there are thin flakes, like frost covering the ground. It is “bread from heaven,” the food that God has provided for the people. And when they name it, they call it “manna,” which means “What is it?!” This is a scripture of wonder, as
the people are filled with curiosity, awe and amazement, or even doubt. They encounter something that is from God that they cannot understand and immediately they are filled with questions—filled with wonder—for what they are seeing must be experienced to be believed. They even name the bread from heaven with words of wonder, not something descriptive, but with a question: “What is it?!” The same is true again and again for the people of God in Scripture. They encounter God with many emotions: fear and faith, arrogance and humility, trust and worry. But underneath and through it all, there is the sense that they encounter God with wonder. How else can we understand Elijah’s encounter with God on the mountain in First Kings 19, when God is not in the wind or the earthquake or the fire, but in the still, small voice? In that moment, Elijah hides his face from God, wrapping it in his cloak, as he is filled with wonder. So too it is for Nicodemus in John 3, when he meets Jesus and is filled with questions. “How can this be?” Nicodemus asks again and again, as he feels, by turns, curiosity, awe and doubt. When faced with the amazing message of God’s great love for us, what can Nicodemus do—what can any of us do—but be filled with wonder? This is not merely the record of Scripture it is the example that it sets for all of us about how to relate to God and God’s account of love. The Scriptures themselves encourage us to wonder: to engage them with curiosity, with amazement and awe, and even, at times, with doubt. The model of Godly Play, a Montessori-based learning method for children, includes “wondering” questions in each lesson. These questions are designed to draw children more deeply into the biblical narrative, and closer into relationship with God. “I wonder what you like best about this story?” the teacher might ask. Or: “I wonder where you
are in this story?” These are not, if we are honest, simply children’s questions. They are our questions, the questions of the faithful. They are the questions of the Israelites seeing manna for the first time, or Elijah facing the whirlwind, or Nicodemus seeking salvation. They are the questions that we are called to ask and wrestle with and respond to as we come to God’s rich and precious Scriptures. They are the questions that might draw us more deeply into the biblical narrative, and closer into relationship with God, if we are brave enough to ask them. May we follow the example of our forerunners and faith and turn to Scripture not necessarily for answers or comfort or guidelines, but just for wonder. Who knows, perhaps in our wondering we will find the answers or comfort or guidelines that we didn’t even know that we sought. Regardless, we will have engaged with God in curiosity, in awe and amazement, perhaps even in doubt, and we will never be the same. “I wonder…” Shobe is a priest currently serving at Emmanuel, Cumberland in the Diocese of Rhode Island. She is married to the Rev. Casey Shobe and mother to three-year-old Isabelle, who is full of the gift of wonder.
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Are We to Wait? by the Rt. Rev. Greg Rickel Wonder That is what I was asked to write about, and I am sure, from the description I was given, it was to be a positive theme of some kind. I have some of those to write, but what kept coming back to me was more of a twist, a more challenging one. I could not help coming back to my “wonder” at just how much of our Christian culture we have lost. I have to “wonder” why we have not been more changed into different people. Someone asked me in a forum recently, after five years as a bishop, what was my most blessed thing, that thing
I love the most about this work, and then, of course, what is the worst. The worst was that I “wonder” about why we Christians do not look that much different from the world? Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another? That question from Matthew 2 was left to me in this past season of Advent by my spiritual director. She wanted me, on each day of Advent, to meditate on it. Are you the one to come, or are we to wait for another?
She told me not to think of this in the abstract, as so often we are wont to do, not to allegorize it. Of course, it is so simple and easy, especially with this question and passage, to leave the answer to Jesus, since that is whom it is addressed to in the first place. But she wanted me to refrain from that, to not let it go so easily. She had a good point, and that began to wash over me as Advent went on. The “one that is to come” does need to be me—now—that is the point. I am not the only one, just as none of our fellow travelers of the Way are the only one, but I am one, called to be Christ in the midst of a world that could use it, whether it knows it or not.
As the Body of Christ now, the Church is the steward of that reality, the teacher, the guide, or at least it should be. Our community of faith is a base camp for training, nurturing, forming, conditioning and preparing to offer the Gospel life, a different way, to the world. As leaders in the Church, we are called to create that environment. The community of faith does not exist to sooth ourselves—to have yet another club to help us assimilate into this earthly life. It exists to change us, and to call us. It exists to help us answer that haunting question—one that is ours to address. It is a question I have not left behind, and I continue to be in “wonder” about.
Are you the one that is to come? Are you the one seeing that the lame, walk; the lepers are cleansed; the deaf, hear; the dead, raised; the lost, transformed; the despairing, loved? Are you becoming Christ among us? Not metaphorically, not as an abstract idea, but a living breathing, incarnated reality. Rickel is bishop of the Diocese of Olympia and former rector of St. James’, Austin. He will be a featured speaker at The Conference at Camp Allen, May 3-5, 2013, along with Bishop Doyle, the Rev. Bill Miller, the Rev. Bill Tully and the Rev. Judy Fentress-Williams. See more about The Conference at: epicenter.org/ theconference.
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The Unexpected has Theological Impact by Solange De Santis
Why is a tightrope walker an “artist in residence” at a great urban cathedral? At the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, embracing the arts as an expression of the wonder of faith means opening the church’s arms very wide. “If people just get what they expect on a Sunday morning, what are we doing wrong? The arts lead us to expect the unexpected,” said the Rev. Thomas Miller, Canon for Liturgy and the Arts, in an interview. The cathedral, seat of the bishop of the Diocese of New York, currently lists 16 artists or ensembles in residence. They include Philippe Petit, who astonished the world one August morning in 1974 when he and a team of accomplices threw a wire between the World Trade Center towers and he performed a 45-minute walk 1300 feet in the air. Within the last three decades, Petit has taken part in significant cathedral events, performing his singular artistry. When construction of the southwest tower resumed in 1982, Petit walked a wire 150 feet above Amsterdam Avenue to deliver a symbolic silver trowel to thenbishop Paul Moore. “Wonder has something to do with it—the idea that someone can walk so confidently across that thin wire. Artists defy our normal sense of the way things, are and this has great theological impact for us. Eleanor Roosevelt said, ‘We must do that which we think we cannot,’” Miller said. Art has been a part of the world’s largest cathedral for at least 45 years
since Duke Ellington premiered his Second Sacred Concert there in 1968. Recent events included the play Fools Mass from the Dzieci Theater Company, a medieval arts children’s workshop, and the annual New Year’s Eve Concert for Peace, inaugurated in 1983 by Leonard Bernstein. Founded in 1873 with a mission to be “a house of prayer for all people and a unifying center of intellectual light and leadership,” the cathedral features a list of current artists in residence that include folk singer Judy Collins, musical theater composer Jason Robert Brown, poets Cynthia Zarin and Marilyn Nelson, the Forces of Nature and Omega dance companies, and the Mettawee River Theatre Company. Petit and a few other artists actually lived in the cathedral, inhabiting rooms off the triforium, the gallery that encircles the interior high above the nave, but the apartments were closed after a fire in 2001. Artists in residence don’t receive a regular stipend and often offer their work as a gift to the cathedral, Miller said. For Miller, a couple of the most wondrous artistic events at St. John’s are the winter and summer solstice celebrations featuring the Paul Winter Consort, a jazz ensemble that’s been in residence for more than three decades. “The summer solstice event starts at 4:30 a.m. You sit in the dark cathedral; there’s no natural light. The Consort plays meditations and as the sun rises you watch the light come through the windows. There’s a question of what element of the glass picks up the dullest light. Slowly the
reds emerge, then blue, green and brown,” Miller recalled. But doesn’t hosting an event to mark the solstice edge towards a pagan celebration? “The first breath of creation is foundational to our idea of God—‘let there be light.’ It streams throughout scriptural history; it’s in the New Testament,” said Miller. Light streaming through the colored windows “feels like the first morning of creation … allowing us to see as if through God’s eyes,” he mused. “A lot of wonder is mystery—things we can’t explain, but nevertheless they capture our creative imaginations,” he said. The cathedral interior itself—with its stained—glass stories, 17th-century tapestries depicting the life of Christ and sculptures of historical figures, including Shakespeare—is a total work of architectural art, Miller said. “When people walk in, it is literally the OMG moment— ‘oh my God’— when they see the scale of the space itself,” he said. The nave is 600 feet long—two football fields end to end —and the vaulted ceiling is 17 stories high. Experiencing a sense of spiritual wonder through art feels like “a certain weightlessness, a certain lifting,” said Miller. “We are taken out of our selves, connected in an inner way. There is a sense of flowing, integrating the body, mind and spirit. All of those things begin to work together. That is why we feel so alive.” De Santis is the new editor of Episcopal Journal, a national Episcopal newspaper. She is the former editor of the Ecumenical News International news service.
Diolog Photo: Solange De Santis
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Ancient Temple Inspires Wonder by the Rt. Rev. Stacy Sauls One of the many things I like about living in New York is the constant availability of wonderful things to see. The Cathedral of St. John the Divine is directly across from my apartment. It is one of the largest churches in the world, the largest Gothic cathedral I’m told. Now that’s a wonder. Tour buses stop just outside to allow photographs of the statue in the garden. I don’t know what that thing is supposed to be, but the word grotesque comes to mind. That’s a wonder of a different sort. The Statue of Liberty never ceases to cause me to strain my neck on the final approach to LaGuardia Airport. It is because it is a wonder. Perhaps the best, and cheapest, thing of all to do in New York is just to people watch in Times Square. They, too, are frequently a wonder. But my favorite of all the wonders in New York is the Temple of Dendur, an ancient Egyptian temple dismantled to save it from the flooding of the Aswan Dam project, given by Egypt as a gift to the United States, moved to New York, and reconstructed inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Instead of the banks of the Nile, it now stands in a huge glass room right next to Central Park with a constantly flowing stream surrounding it. It commands attention. It is, indeed, a wonder. One of my favorite things to do on a weekend afternoon is to go to the Met to see the Temple of Dendur. It is why I joined the museum in the first place, just so I could see it whenever I wanted. It is admittedly a great privilege to have access to such a wonder on that basis. What I like to do is go to the glass room with the light flooding in from outside and find a place on one of the benches located just after crossing over the flowing stream of water located right in front of the Temple. I sit there and look at it. In truth, though, I do a lot more than sit and look. The Temple is, of course, a wonder itself—a noun, a thing. But the reason it is my favorite spot in New York is not that it is
a wonder. It is that it causes me to wonder. The noun incites the verb. The Temple as wonder causes me to wonder, and thus it is much more than something to see. It is something that engages me. In some ways I have a relationship to it in the wondering. That is a very different thing than many of the wonders I encounter in the big city. The Temple of Dendur engages my mind. It engages my imagination. It engages my spirit. All of that is in the act of wondering, and not that it is a wonder itself. I wonder about the people who built it. I wonder about the people who worshipped in it. I wonder about the priests who cared for it. And I wonder about what they and I, a much later successor as priest in a different religion, have in common, which I am sure would be significant. I wonder about the two deified human beings it commemorates and I think about the Lincoln Memorial, which is distinctly temple-like, as is the Jefferson Memorial. I think about the comparison to be drawn to the Washington Monument, also in an Egyptian form, an obelisk. I wonder about the merchants sailing by on the great river who saw it. I wonder what the hieroglyphics say and mean. I wonder who these people were and how they lived and how they loved and how they cared for their children and how they sought justice and peace. I wonder about their passions. I wonder about their victories. I wonder about their disappointments. I wonder about what they learned that I wish I knew, too. What draws me to the Temple of Dendur is wonder, not the noun but the verb. The Temple of Dendur, to be sure, is a wonder. But what draws me to it over and over again is that it calls forth wonder in me, it causes me to wonder, it inspires me to wonder. That is a much more important thing, wonder the verb rather than wonder the noun. What matters is not that we see, but that we wonder. Sauls is Chief Operating Officer for The Episcopal Church and former Bishop of Lexington.
Photo: Carol E. Barnwell
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Visitors Carry Christ’s Spirit at National Cathedral by Kenneth Halloway Duke Duteil and I turned the corner heading south onto 36th St. NW in Washington, D.C. Immediately, the central tower came into view. I took a deep breath, just trying to fully appreciate the sight of the early morning sun casting transparent shadows on the sixth largest cathedral in the world. Duke said, “And Ken, you work there!” As the new assistant Cathedral verger, I came to work that morning, having attended services at Washington National Cathedral while in Washington on business, over the course of 30 years. It never occurred to me that I’d ever be a member of the Worship Staff. Duke, through the Rev. Mary Wilson, had introduced me to life as a verger when he left Round Rock to take over as head verger at the National Cathedral. Later, I applied for the WNC assistant verger position when my predecessor there retired. I was flattered when offered the job, but I had no real idea of what I was about to learn and experience. Duke said that it would be a challenge. He was right. He said not to worry, that he would teach me all that he had learned. I found that we’d typically welcome almost 700,000 visitors during the year. I learned that we would assist in conducting more than 1400 scheduled services and numerous special services ranging from private baptisms to consecrations of bishops and memorial services for dignitaries. He introduced me
to members of our congregation and so many dedicated and talented volunteers. He showed me most of the 10,650 pipes of the great organ. We toured the only cathedral tower in the world housing a peal bell floor and, just below it, a carillon. We went up to places in the towers few people ever get to see, went outside onto the walkways and looked at gargoyles, almost in the face. As he trained me in the most advanced processes of “liturgical logistics,” I was thankful to have his friendship, tutelage and trust in my ability to support the clergy in all of the worship services and events. From the man who confronted me just before an 11:30 Sunday Eucharist demanding to “know when all of the subterfuge in the world will end” to the family who approached me requesting prayers for their grandmother who had died within the immediate past hour, the verger ministry at the Cathedral, I learned, is a constant practice of loving care. One of my roles was to officiate at morning prayer and evening prayer. One afternoon, as I concluded the evening prayer service, a sobbing mother told her children that her sister, their aunt, had an advanced terminal illness and she could not bear telling them that news anywhere else but within the Cathedral walls. A group of 20 or so strangers and I, who had just prayed together formally, gathered around, held hands with
them and prayed informally, with the greatest spiritual energy, for the health of their family and for her sister’s healing. Even though a number of memorable events have taken place at the National Cathedral—the honoring of civil rights leader Dorothy Height in services attended by more than 3000, consecrating the new Episcopal Bishop for Government Services, the celebration of the life of basketball player and human rights activist Manute Bol, and the attendance of the Boy Scout Jamboree at worship services—that personal prayer showed me why the National Cathedral is the spiritual home for the nation. And when I arrived at day break, most mornings, to prepare Bethlehem Chapel for morning prayer, lighting incense to greet the regular attendees, I was at peace and totally prepared for God’s new day in my spiritual home. As we closed the doors in the evening and I was alone in the nave, quiet but so alive with the spirit of Christ carried by the people who had been there that day, I always looked up at the Rose window, 26 feet across, glowing with the setting sun, and felt with all my heart what a wonder it was to serve our Lord in the Cathedral Church of St. Peter and St. Paul. Halloway is a member of St. Richard’s, Round Rock. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on vergers, contact the Verger’s Guild of the Episcopal Church at vergers.org or in the Diocese of Texas texasvergers.org. Further information may be found at: facebook.com/vergerguild or youtube.com/vergertv. Photo: Kenneth Halloway
| 19 | MARCH 2013
Exploring God at Work in Your Life by the Ven. Ellen Clark-King
There are few things in life quite as humbling as being a spiritual director. There you sit, the supposed authority on prayer and spirituality, listening to another human being tell you the deepest truths about their walk with God. And as you sit and listen you hear of pathways of prayer that you have never entered, of experiences of God’s grace that you have never dreamed of, of mountaintop and wilderness times that are frightening in their intensity, and of faithful quiet commitment to prayer over the whole course of a life.
own language for speaking with God: the language of silence or of music, of liturgy or of nature—whatever allows them to be aware of the loving presence of God in their lives. I have never yet found a way of prayer that works for all people, but neither have I ever found a person for whom there is not a way of prayer that works. Even though I am a spiritual director, I also have my own spiritual guide. It is a true joy to be able to speak with someone whose attention is entirely focused on where God is at work in my own life—someone to rejoice with at the times of blessing, as well as to lament with when life is gritty and unpleasant. She helps me to explore spiritual paths I might not otherwise have discovered and to see more clearly the wonder of God’s grace at work in my own imperfect life.
The wonder of spiritual direction is being a companion to women and men as they journey with God. The most ordinary-seeming faces and lives hide the most extraordinary stories—stories that those telling them usually regard as unexceptionable. So there is the woman who talks of God removing Spiritual directors are not just for the suffocating blanket of guilt that “professional Christians” like priests or had choked her life and of the sense of monks. They can benefit anyone who liberation that followed. There is the man wants to explore how God is at work in who is so centered in God that he doesn’t his or her life and who is interested in really understand what it means to pray encountering the riches of the Christian as a distinct activity—it seems to him spiritual tradition. Most of all they can to be as constant as breathing. There is help anyone to wonder anew at the grace the older person who speaks of praying of God at work in our world. every single day of her life, who never experienced any great epiphany but Clark-King is archdeacon of Burrard knew it was the right thing for her to do. and priest associate at Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver, British Columbia. I wonder with delight at how God is Photo: Carol E. Barnwell
at work in such different ways in so many human hearts. God’s approach, most often not dramatic but gentle and loving, leads people into a greater understanding of what it means to be a beloved child of God. God helps each person find their
For information on spiritual directors in the Diocese of Texas, please contact one of the people listed at: www.epicenter. org/spiritual-formation-commission.
Sense of Wonder Offers Opening by the Rev. Jerome W. Berryman It is odd to consider what wonder might be, because it usually catches us by surprise. To catch it by surprise, we must be very quiet and let it be. Something can make us wonder, but wonder is not “a something.” It is eyes widening, the beginning of a smile, and the catching of one’s breath, but after the smile widens, the breath; returns to normal, and our vision clears, it is gone. Wonder carries us away for a moment from our normal speech and routine, but this is how we usually explain things. We may know where we go from when we wonder, but where do we go? Here is what I propose. Let’s approach wonder as if it were a doorway without a frame. It happens to us when we pause on the threshold, delicately balanced between moving through the doorway or turning around and returning to normal, closing the door. When the door is shut, its frame returns, bringing with it a wall that extends into infinity on either side. All that is left of the experience is the question mark carved into the venerable wood of the closed door. What if we go through the door? Then we are carried along in the flow of the creative process scanning, making insights, developing them, and making the closure that allows us to communicate new ideas. As we move along in this flow, we realize that this doorway leads to the insight that this is not about creating something, like in the normal world. This is about being creating.
A second doorway leads into the experience of the Creator. If there were no Creator, there would only be nothing, so we wouldn’t be here. This means that the two doorways are connected. The Creator is not just there but is here beside us and is both within and among us—all at the same time and all the time. How does one get out of this wondrous place? If you go in the creator door, you come out the Creator one and vice versa. It is a circle. There is something very theological about wonder, then. Where do we go when we wonder? We go in this circle that is a reality that cannot be reduced to logic or science. It can only be reduced to the Creed’s statement of fact. Does this interest you? Why not discuss it a bit more with Dorothy L. Sayers. She wrote mystery stories about Lord Peter Wimsey and was a translator of Dante. She wrote and produced plays and was a lay theologian. She suffered no fools. Her 1941 The Mind of the Maker (London: Mowbray, 1994) suggested that creators and the Creator are engaged in the same process. That is how we can know each other, so each moment of wonder is significant. It is the doorway into life with the Holy Trinity. Now that is something to wonder about! Berryman is the creator of Godly Play, a Sunday school curriculum that engages children with “wonder” questions and a hands-on experience with Scripture.
One tall red and orange spire glows wildly in the dark, a Chihuly wonder by day and magnificent by night. Photo: Creative Commons
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| 21 | MARCH 2013
Cathedral Welcomes New Dean Christ Church Cathedral was founded in 1839 when Houston was the capital of the Republic of Texas. It was the first religious congregation in the city and is the only one still located on its original site. Among the founding members were the Republic’s attorney general, the secretaries of treasury, state and navy, and the Texas ministers to the United States and Mexico. Christ Church became the Cathedral for the Diocese of Texas in 1949 during the centennial celebration of the diocese, and it serves as a place of hospitality and worship for all Episcopalians in the diocese. Six rectors of Christ Church have been elected bishop, including John Hines, who became Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. This spring, the Very Rev. Barkley S. Thompson will take his place as the eighth dean of Christ Church Cathedral. The Very Rev. Barkley S. Thompson
CEB: Who was the faith bearer in your family and how did you
later that tradition endures in my family.
learn and experience your faith growing up?
CEB: How did you come to a deeper faith and choose a call to
BT: I was blessed to be raised in an ethos of faith. My family
ordained ministry? What were the circumstances surrounding
were members of First United Methodist Church in Paragould,
Arkansas, and as a child and youth, I was at the church every time the door opened for church services, youth group, potluck suppers, etc. (I owe most of my knowledge of biblical content to Methodist Sunday school.)
BT: I have felt a sense of God’s calling since adolescence. I recall a moment when I was 12 or 13, standing in the darkened and empty sanctuary of First United Methodist Church in Paragould, when I uttered to God aloud that I was his. Obviously, I didn’t know at
Both of my grandmothers were major faith bearers for me. My
the time exactly what that meant or how it would play out, but I
paternal grandmother potently believed in angels. My maternal
was earnest, and my sentiment was true. I became an Episcopalian
grandmother began a Christmas Day family tradition when I was
in college (which was a return to the mother church, as my father
a small child in which our family acted out the nativity pageant.
had been raised Episcopalian), and the first person with whom I
Everyone had to participate. We would dress in old bedsheets and
spoke about a calling to the priesthood was the Rev. Sam Portaro,
scraps of towels and drapes to play the parts of the Holy Family,
who was then the Episcopal chaplain at the University of Chicago
the innkeeper, the shepherds and the wise men. Almost 40 years
where I was in graduate school. Sam was a great encourager, and I
Photo: Luke Blount
| 23 | MARCH 2013
will be forever grateful to him.
outreach initiatives and enhanced
between life and death. The smallest
CEB: Where have you previously served,
occasion of grace can be life-changing to
and what specific lessons do you bring
Having served in two such different
one in need.
from those experiences?
environments, I have come to believe
CEB: I know you have roots at the
BT: The first congregation I served as
the Episcopal Church can thrive in any
Cathedral. In what way is that connection
context. I am also convinced that the world
reflected in your decision to accept a call as
hungers for both our sacramental and
liturgical tradition and our theology of
BT: My family traces to several of the
vicar and then rector was Holy Apostles, a restart parish in Memphis. Over several years the congregation had dwindled to
forty members, and when I graduated
hospitality and grace.
“Old Three Hundred” who moved to Texas
from seminary the bishop assigned me to
Spiritually, my experience serving parishes
from the United States with Stephen F.
move the remnant of the parish to the edge
has reminded me again and again that
Austin in the 1820s. My great-grandfather
of suburban growth, which was lacking
it’s crucial for the priest to pray. This may
moved from Bellville, Texas, to Houston as
an Episcopal presence. We worshipped
seem self-evident, but in the crush of
a young professional, and my grandfather
in the chapel of St. George’s High School,
activity at a large parish, it’s all too easy for
was raised at Christ Church Cathedral. I
while the congregation grew to over
prayer to be the thing that’s nudged off of
grew up hearing stories of ancestors who
four hundred members. We eventually
the priest’s daily agenda. It can’t be allowed
settled the land, made Texas home, and
bought land and built a church campus.
to happen. Only by regularly centering
fought for Texas independence. When I
Holy Apostles is now served by my good
oneself in God can the priest—rector or
was a seminarian at the Seminary of the
friend, the Rev. John Leach, and the parish
dean—shepherd the congregation toward
Southwest in Austin, I was able to connect
continues to thrive.
that same center.
with my Texas roots. My parents made
I have just completed a five-and-a-half
Practically, I am reminded again and
year tenure as rector of St. John’s Episcopal
again in my vocation that we never know
Church in Roanoke, Virginia. St. John’s is
the inner struggles of those we meet. The
a 150-year-old, resource-size, downtown
parishioner whose life seems the most
congregation in a slow-growth city. In
together is often the one barely hanging
five-plus years we pursued innovative-
on to faith. Approaching fellow Christians
yet-still-traditional forms of worship,
with a discerning ear and an open heart
new programs for Christian formation,
can, quite literally, be the difference
numerous visits to Austin, and we took day trips to Fayette County (from which most of my Texas ancestors hail), College Station (where my dad went to college) and other areas. The sense of calling to Christ Church Cathedral is not due to my family’s history, but added to all of the other signs that God is wedding the Cathedral and me in shared
ministry. My Texas roots make this move
the Diocese of Texas?
We can be a place of spiritual welcome and
feel like a homecoming of sorts.
BT: I’ll reiterate here what I said above:
refuge to all who walk through our doors
CEB: Houston is an incredibly diverse
Any specific vision for the Cathedral’s
city, ethnically and culturally. How will you meet the challenge of becoming a more diverse congregation?
BT: Most importantly, the future shape of the Cathedral congregation must result from a shared vision developed prayerfully over time, in close consultation with lay leadership, and with broad input from the Cathedral community. For that to take place, the Cathedral and the dean
role in downtown Houston and in the Diocese of Texas must be a shared vision developed prayerfully over time by the dean, the Cathedral community, and (with regard to the diocese) the Bishop. With that in mind, I can offer some fairly general thoughts about my understanding of urban, downtown ministry and the Cathedral’s role as the diocese’s central church.
seeking to know the love of God more deeply. Additionally, I hope the Cathedral increasingly will serve as a center of formation, worship and cohesive identity for all Episcopalians in the Diocese of Texas, and I look forward to partnering with Bishop Doyle in developing ideas for how this might be so. In the Episcopal Church we are fond of saying that the basic component of the church is the diocese rather than the parish, and in that sense
must first have the opportunity to build
In Roanoke, St. John’s (where I most
trust in one another. Growth of any
recently served) sits equidistant between
kind—in diversity, numbers, programs,
the Wells Fargo Tower and Roanoke
etc.—necessarily involves change. Only
Memorial Hospital (a level 1 trauma
care to emphasize this.)
through a careful, faithful, and deliberate
center), which means that the parish
process will the dean and Cathedral be
exists in the very heart of the commercial,
CEB: How and where did you meet
able to pursue any sort of initiative with
banking, governmental and healthcare
anticipation, hope and joy.
center of southwestern Virginia. When I
That said, I can offer a few general
would hear the bells of St. John’s ring each
thoughts on increasing congregational diversity. Cultural diversity can refer to nationality and ethnicity but also to generational differences and different socio-economic strata. Part of the reason mainline Christianity has so often failed to increase diversity is that churches tend to decide in a vacuum what non-represented, prospective parishioners want or need and then expect non-Episcopalian or unchurched people to embrace what we offer. The key is first to listen to the spoken hopes and needs of, for instance, the people who’ve recently made downtown Houston their home and who might be seeking a spiritual community. Only then can the Cathedral know how best to respond in a way that will welcome newcomers to our midst.
hour, they served as a reminder that God resides not only in Sunday worship, but also in the midst of each of these parts of our collective lives. God has something to say about how we do business, how we treat our citizens, and how we care for those who are hurting. God lays claim to all of us, and because the incarnate
the Cathedral belongs to all Episcopalians in the diocese. (Dean Reynolds took good
your wife? How is your life together reflected in your ministry?
BT: Jill and I met at Hendrix College, a fantastic liberal arts school outside of Little Rock. We lived a few doors from one another in the college apartments. Jill is a cradle Episcopalian from Trinity Cathedral in Little Rock, and since I had recently moved from the Methodist to the Episcopal Church myself, it was easy to fall in love with an Episcopalian!
God abides among us, all of life is holy.
On the one hand, Jill is my touchstone, my
Urban, downtown parishes like Christ
counselor and my best friend. She enables
Church Cathedral bear the responsibility
me to be a faithful priest. On the other
for reminding the city of this truth, and
hand, Jill has engaged in the ministry of
that responsibility is a challenge, an
the church in her own areas of passion and
opportunity and a privilege.
interest. In recent years, she has helped
Because of its central role and location, the Cathedral also can serve in Houston as an iconic alternative to other forms of Christianity that are insular and often focus on individualistic, material well-
CEB: How do you envision the
being rather than the redemption of the
Cathedral’s life in downtown Houston, in
whole community as the Body of Christ.
with children’s ministry, and last year she co-led St. John’s-Roanoke’s “Club 45,” which is a pre-youth group for fourth- and fifth-graders. In her professional life, Jill is a physical therapist. That and motherhood are her vocations.
| 25 | MARCH 2013
profile: the arts
Hollywood Expertise Helps Set Stage for Worship
by Carol E. Barnwell When Emmy-nominated costume designer Cliff Chally offered to make a replacement set of vestments at his church in Los Angeles, he wasn’t planning a new career. But that’s exactly what happened. Today, bishops from San Diego to Jerusalem wear his custom designed robes, and altars are adorned with paraments that reflect their particular context and history. Each set he designs is completely unique and appropriate for its setting, “to create a visual harmony,” Chally says. “Traditional spaces and individual taste may require a more traditional approach. Sometimes the designs are meant to echo a stained glass treatment, but in a way that’s just enough, it’s very edited. Like costume design, if they notice the clothes, then you are in the way,” he adds. Chally originally wanted to study in Paris but, after leaving the service, learned he couldn’t use his GI Bill there so he headed to design school in Los Angeles. The curriculum partnered students with professionals in the entertainment business, and it wasn’t long before Chally had established a name for himself. His first job was the inaugural show at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. From there, he joined the staff at CBS and worked on the Carol Burnett and Tony Orlando variety shows doing men’s wardrobes before going to work for Aaron Spelling at Columbia Pictures. Then he designed a season for Hal Linden’s Blacke’s Magic on NBC in 1986. While Linden’s series didn’t last, Chally earned a number of Emmy nominations working on costumes for Designing Women (1986-1993). The sitcom’s creator, Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, was a close friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton, and it wasn’t long before Chally put his 26 |
experience in men’s wardrobe to work dressing the future president for his initial debates. “I spent the next several years flying between Washington and LA,” making sure both Clintons were ready for prime time. “It was quite an experience,” he remembers. Chally is an active member of St. James’, Wilshire Blvd., where he serves as verger. Although raised in the Church of Christ, Chally first experienced Episcopal worship during his childhood in Texas when a fellow third-grader invited him to Sunday school. He still remembers the profound response he had to the choir and the music, the stained glass, and incense. Decades later, when another friend invited him to go St. James’, he was finally able to choose the way in which he wanted to worship. “I’ve been there ever since that first Sunday,” he says. Chally served as president of the Costume Designers Guild and was on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. His credits are long and include movies and television. In every instance, his design work was focused on context. Chally’s vestments show the same discernment and respect for detail. He wants his liturgical pieces to enhance the worship experience, “not
Classic style with contemporary elegance is the perfect combination to satisfy the challenges of creating inspirational vestments for the modern Church, Chally says. Each project is designed specifically for the setting where it is to be used or for the individual for whom it is intended.
distract from it.” When designing for clergy, some unique design element always distinguishes the vestments. Mitres and copes for the Diocese of Los Angeles bear the Hands in Healing cross designed for Bishop Jon Bruno by Laura Smith as a symbol of his ministry. Colors of the sunrise were airbrushed into the hems of all the pieces he created for the Diocese of Arizona, and an aqua lining represents the water of baptism while providing a symbolic contrast to the fiery sunrise. Special vestments for a Korean and an African commemoration service included Korean damask with Korean symbols woven into it and special Kente cloth used in otherwise very traditional chasubles. Chally is very clear that the design should not distract people from the worship experience. On one set of hangings, embroidered grapes have a remarkable texture because the thread on each grape is sewn in a different direction. For several years, Chally sent pieces to India to be hand-embroidered, but after long delays and unsatisfactory results, he turned to the people with whom he has worked in costuming for many years. “I took the embroiderer my sketch and the fabric. He digitized the drawing, put the fabric in the machine, and pushed the button and there was my sketch! I thought, ‘What have I been waiting for?’” Chally laughs. Most of his seamstresses are from Eastern Europe or South America. The first time they worked on a set of vestments, Chally noticed a profound change come over the workroom. “They were used to making pieces that are meant to be discarded because they get dirty or have bullet holes. But these vestments are made to last and will be blessed and cared for,” he explains. “There came this quiet I can’t explain, a peace that changed the whole atmosphere because of the great pride that went into the work. It was a great surprise to me. I wasn’t expecting it,” he adds. Chally found a spiritual home in the Episcopal Church, and that has led to the expansion of his giftedness and the replication of the initial awe and wonder he experienced worship years ago wherever his work appears. “What really appealed to me [about the Episcopal Church] at first was the extraneous stuff, the way worship was elevated and the way everyone brings his or her best to the glory of God,” he says. “But the longer I’m involved, I think it’s that the tent is big enough for everyone.” For photos and a story about Chally’s Costume Co-op, go to tinyurl.com/cliffchally.
Every spring all of Chally’s workrooms are full of “Red Carpet gowns” being altered for Hollywood’s glitterati headed to the Golden Globes, SAG and Academy Awards. But the rest of the year, work continues on altar hangings and exquisitely designed and rendered vestments.
| 27 | MARCH 2013
The Holy Spirit is Online by Patti Woolery-Price The Daughters of the King (DOK) prayer request link is prominent on All Saints’, Austin’s website. DOK is a prayer, service and evangelism organization within the Episcopal Church, and I’m the prayer coordinator of our chapter. Along with our rector, Mike Adams, I am a designated recipient of requests we receive, and I often wonder how people in need of prayer find us. Most of our requests do not come from parishioners. Not long ago, I received a request from a woman asking for prayer for the four-year-old grandson of a close friend. Landen is a patient at MD Anderson in Houston being treated for leukemia. At the time of the prayer request, he was in an induced coma and was fighting for his life with IV
lines sending 11 different drugs into his system. The woman told me the child would begin chemo the following Monday and would eventually undergo a bone marrow transplant. Of course, I was happy to send this poignant request to our DOKs, but that was not the only request. The woman also asked, “Do you all sell those blankets?” She said she would like to buy one to send to this little boy. I was puzzled by this and wondered if she perhaps had attended an infant baptism at All Saints’ where a blanket knitted or crocheted by the ladies of St. Clare’s Guild, our prayer shawl ministry, was blessed and presented to the baby. So I told her we didn’t sell them, but I knew we would be glad to give her one for her friend’s grandson. I learned she lived 300
miles away when I asked her to come by the church and pick it up. At this point, I emailed our chapter president Lana, an active member of St. Clare’s Guild as well, asking her help to make this happen. She contacted the chair of the guild, Carroll, who thought a small quilt would be better for a fragile child in the hospital because it would be easier to wash and keep clean than a knitted blanket. Carroll emailed Mary, the leader of St. Monica’s Guild, whose members make quilts for cancer patients. Mary happened to be finishing up a little boy’s quilt and said she would mail it with a prayer shawl for Landen’s mom, who was keeping vigil at his bedside. I emailed the lady in east Texas for a mailing address, and on Sunday morning, Mary presented the quilt and shawl at the altar for a blessing. She also brought a “prayer monkey.” These guys are the old-fashioned sock monkeys with Velcro on their paws so they can “pray.” They are made by St. Clare’s members specifically for sick children, and there just happened to be one on hand. The box was mailed to MD Anderson on Monday. I emailed the east Texas lady— who by this time seemed like a new friend—to let her know, and I asked her, “Just out of curiosity, how did you happen to hear about All Saints’ prayer shawl ministry?” Her reply blew me away! She said she saw something on Pinterest about prayer
shawls and really liked the idea. Wanting to find one for her friend’s little grandson, she “Googled” to see if she could find a church that had such a ministry. She found and chose All Saints’ DOK prayer link because her friend, the grandmother, is an Episcopalian. God does work miracles in mysterious ways—including the Internet! What started out as a simple prayer request ended up involving three women’s ministries and the prayers of all of us. My new friend in east Texas and I are now also Facebook friends, and through her, Mary and I are Facebook friends with the mom, Robyn, at her precious child’s bedside at MD Anderson Hospital, so we are able to get updates on his progress. As of this writing, his mom says Landen is at home but goes regularly to MD Anderson for physical therapy and other treatments. Modern medicine certainly works miracles, but I think the real miracle in this story is God’s love channeled through all of us who participated in any way. Grace abounds!
Landen loves his prayer monkey and quilt, which travel with him for treatments at MD Anderson. Please keep Landen and his mom, Robyn, in your prayers.
Woolery-Price is a Daughter of the King at All Saints’, Austin.
| 29 | MARCH 2013
St. Julian of Norwich, Austin 30 |
St. Julian’s Ties Ancient Roots to Future with Mission Ardor St. Julian of Norwich is a mission of the Diocese of Texas, planted in a growing part of far northwest Austin. The community began public worship in a middle school cafeteria in mid-2009 and, in September 2012, celebrated its first service in a home of its own. The congregation has grown from a committed group of 15 Episcopalians to more than 130 active participants in the years. The journey for this flourishing new Episcopal community began in the basement of St. Matthew’s, Austin, four years ago when a team began to meet weekly to pray, study scripture and envision what God was calling them to become. After nine months in the middle school, St. Julian’s worshipped for two years in another denomination’s church before partnering with the diocese and its Quin Foundation to purchase space in a commercial development in the target area. The development was built for medical use, meaning St. Julian’s began the next season of its life in the midst of a healing community. According to Vicar Miles Brandon, St. Julian’s is committed to bringing the Gospel afresh to a generation of people who have grown up outside the Church and who are increasingly tech savvy. St. Julian’s has thoughtfully embraced technology in worship and spiritual formation and in both internal and external communications. “Projecting the liturgy has allowed us to create a rich liturgical life that is sacramental, ancient and future-looking,” Brandon said, adding, “This includes the use of video, recorded music from multiple genres, iconography, photography from participants, and the development of an open-space time after the sermon each week.” During open space, worshippers are given a self-directed time of reflection, including community art, dialogue, candle lighting, prayer with icons, receiving healing prayer, other seasonal activities, or simply a few moments of quiet in lives that are otherwise often quite noisy. The growing staff at St. Julian’s includes a
theologian in residence, Scott Bader-Saye, Ph.D., Professor of Christian Ethics at Seminary of the Southwest in Austin. Bader-Saye oversees an adult spiritual formation program that encourages deep engagement with one’s own spiritual growth, the use of technology to enhance teaching and a commitment to formation that is relevant for walking with Jesus in the real situations of daily life. Two local, awardwinning professional musicians, Erin Ivey and Wendy Colona, well-recognized in the larger Austin music scene, lead St. Julian’s music program. In addition to traditional hymnody, Ivey and Colona bring their own catalogue of music and appropriately themed music from all sorts of traditions to worship. “This is more than an attempt to make worship attractive and relevant,” Brandon said, “but it comes from a desire to build bridges and share the Gospel message of hope, love and salvation with people in the larger Austin community who hold common values and concerns.” “One of the gifts the English reformers gave to the Episcopal/Anglican tradition was to translate our tradition—received in scripture and common prayer— into the language of their day. We seek to continue that tradition, translating our eternal Gospel message for today’s culture, providing words and experiences that can become part of the fabric of the lives of those who participate in St. Julian’s life,” Brandon explained. “This also includes a willingness to bless and name as God’s revelation in the world today that which is good, admirable and beautiful in the broader culture where we work, learn and live.” St. Julian’s is at the beginning of its journey. “And it is a blessed journey to be on,” Brandon said. “St. Julian’s is a living expression of this diocese’s commitment to be a missional church in a world, craving to know and experience the hope, love and salvation poured out on all through Jesus’ life and love.” To learn more about St. Julian of Norwich, visit them online: stjuliansaustin.org.
A Christmas pageant brought all ages of kids together at St. Julian’s. Photo: Mary Kelly
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Simple Idea Leads to Sustained Growth by Luke Blount By now, most of the clergy and leaders in the Diocese of Texas have heard Mary Parmer’s story. After an invitation from a friend to attend a service at St. Stephen’s, Beaumont, Parmer left her evangelical background and fell in love with the Episcopal Church. For the past several years, she has toured the diocesan conference circuits, encouraging Episcopalians to simply invite their friends to church. Now, in addition to other roles, Parmer has developed a newcomer ministry training that has inspired new church growth. Using some creative thinking and common sense practices, some churches across the Diocese of
Texas have seen more than 100 new members in less than one year’s time during the newcomer ministry pilot program. “I think the Episcopal Church is the best kept secret,” Parmer says, and she wants to let everyone know it is okay to expose the truth. In 2011, the Newcomer Ministry Project began work with four congregations that would use Parmer’s new curriculum and strategies to test their effectiveness. St. David’s, Austin; Calvary, Richmond; and St. Francis’ and St. Martin’s in Houston, each established a new staff position in their churches dedicated to newcomer ministry and
implementing the strategies learned at Parmer’s training. The results are remarkable. From January to October, Calvary saw an increase of 60 members. St. Francis’ recorded 142 new members, and St. David’s and St. Martin’s drew 182 and 186 new members, respectively. “I can talk to a wall,” said Kathryn Adkins, St. Francis’ membership coordinator. “I’ve finally found a place for me to utilize that [gift].” Adkins began her part-time role in March of 2012, tasked with what she referred to as “being nice and polite when people come and visit, sort of like
when people come into your house.” She attends all of St. Francis’ services and makes an effort to introduce herself to faces she doesn’t recognize, even if they are already members. Then, she follows up with them with a phone call and connects them with other families in the church. Parmer refers to this process as “invitation, welcome and connection.” Everything must start with a simple invitation to church. Then, the visitors must feel welcome when they arrive, without feeling bombarded. And finally, someone needs to get the visitors’ information and keep in touch, connecting their interests and needs with the ministries in the church. According to Parmer, most church leaders believe their church is friendly, but, “Until you are intentional and systematic about welcoming and greeting visitors and then follow through, you won’t see these results.”
introduce yourself to people that you don’t know,” Wehner said. “The one thing that runs through all of this is relationship,” Parmer said. “It’s about being in a relationship with someone and making that first step to invite them to church. And then when they do come, it’s about treating them as if Christ walked through the doors. It is not easy. You have to be really intentional.” Soon, Forward Movement will be licensing the Newcomer Ministry training materials for purchase throughout the country, but they will still be available at no cost in the Diocese of Texas at epicenter.org/newcomer. To find out when the next training is, email Mary Parmer at email@example.com.
Though reading the training materials and following some guidelines are a good start to beginning a newcomer ministry, much of the information is not new or different. Something about attending the newcomer training sessions seems to spur a culture change and inspire a newfound creativity within many churches. “It changed the excitement level,” said the Rev. Paul Wehner, Calvary’s rector. “Nobody comes into our church and isn’t greeted multiple times. The number one reason people leave a church or don’t return to a church is because of the people that are there. It has little to do with how many ministries you have or how good the sermons are. It really has to do with how they are received and if they connect with the other people.” At the end of January 2012, Calvary held a newcomer ministry training attended by more than 50 members. The retreat focused on specific changes in practice and attitudes that the church could make. “The reason for having the training is so that it is not the rector telling everyone what to do,” Wehner said. “There are some things about the church and worship that need to be changed, and that is easier to accept through a third party.” Simple things like leaving aisle seats for visitors and setting aside parking spots are easy changes when everyone gets on board. But the real difference comes in attitude and purpose. “You really need to just raise awareness that when you have visitors, instead of talking to people that you know, you should Photo: Rick Patrick
Congregants greet each other at St. David’s, Austin.
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calendar & people Calendar of Events
The Rev. Katie Churchwell has accepted the appointment as assistant to the rector and curate at St. Mary’s, Cypress.
The Conference, May 3–5, combines several conferences into one: formation, evangelism and stewardship. Plan to attend and bring a ministry team.
The Rev. Susan Gerding retired as rector of St. Luke’s, Livingston, in October. The Rev. Leonard “Link” Hullar is now the rector. He was previously the rector of St. Barnabas’, Houston. Keith Giblin was appointed as pastoral leader of St. Paul’s, Orange, on September 1.
The Rev. Viktoria Gotting was ordained to the Sacred Order of Priests by the Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle on January 9 at St. Christopher’s, League City.
Start planning for another Sharing Faith night on May 16 as Episcopalians gather for dinner conversations across the diocese. Visit epicenter.org/sharingfaith to learn more.
The Rev. Pamela Graham was ordained to the Sacred Order of Priests by the Rt. Rev. Dena Harrison on January 31 at St. Thomas, Rockdale. The Rev. Rich Houser accepted the appointment as fellow at MD Anderson Hospital in Houston in August. He was previously at St. Luke’s Hospital.
The Rev. E. Wendy Huber was ordained to the Sacred Order of Priests by the Rt. Rev. Jeff W. Fisher on December 22 at St. John’s, Marlin.
Pastors, worship leaders, educators, catechetical teams, students and congregational teams are invited to participate in a new catechumenate training from April 25-27. Visit epicenter.org/cal for more.
The Rev. Reggie Payne-Wiens resigned as rector of St. James’, Austin. The Rev. Lisa Saunders is now the priest in charge. She was previously the interim vicar at St. Aidan’s, Cypress. The Rev. Travis Smith was ordained to the Sacred Order of Priests by the Rt. Rev. Jeff W. Fisher on January 9 at St. Mark’s, Austin. The Very Rev. Barkley Thompson has accepted the call as dean of Christ Church Cathedral, Houston. He was previously the rector of St. John’s in Roanoke, Virginia.
Camp Allen’s summer is one of the largest in the Episcopal Church. Reserve your spot today at campallen.org.
The Rev. Mitchell J. Tollett was ordained to the Sacred Order of Priests by the Rt. Rev. Dena A. Harrison on December 18 at Christ Church, Temple. The Rev. Mike Wallens has retired, effective January 1. He will continue to work as chaplain at Episcopal School of Dallas.
Episcopal night Houston Astros
Join Episcopalians from across the diocese for a fun night of baseball and fireworks as the Astros take on the L.A. Angels on Friday, June 28. Visit epicenter.org/astros.
Missionpalooza, the diocese’s youth mission trip is returning to Bastrop, July 21-26. Visit epicenter. org/missionpalooza to learn more.
To view calendar go to epicenter.org/cal
The Rev. John A. “Jack” Bosman, retired, passed away on December 11 in Houston.
The Rev. Dick Grant passed away Sunday, November 25, in Orlando, Florida.
The Rev. John Marshall Holt, retired, passed away January 17 in Broomall, Pennsylvania.
Chester Jones, longtime St. Luke’s Hospital board member, passed away January 18 in Houston.
The Rev. Hubert C. Palmer passed away February 3 in San Antonio.
Please keep these families in your prayers.
Episcopal Night at the Ballpark FRIDAY, June 28, 2013 7:10 pm
What do you treasure about the Episcopal Church? Episcopalians newly discovering their church home or long-time members who may have forgotten why they love the Church will appreciate Unabashedly Episcopalian. Bishop Andy Doyle has mined the Baptismal Covenant and his own experiences leading the Diocese of Texas. The result is a heartfelt, smart and practical book that calls Episcopalians to wake up to the Churchâ€™s unique gifts and story, and equips them to share that witness in their neighborhoods and out in the world.
For more information or to download a study guide go to epicenter.org/ unabashedly-episcopalian. Now available online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and at your favorite bookseller.
Bishop Andy Doyle will throw the 1st pitch. A portion of the proceeds will benefit clean water initiatives of the Episcopal Church.
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The Episcopal Diocese of Texas 1225 Texas Street Houston, TX 77002-3504
Itâ€™s never too early to get excited about camp.
Join us at Camp Allen for one of our action-packed, faith-filled summer camp sessions! Since 1921, we have provided youth with one of the best weeks of their lives. www.campallen.org
Published on Mar 18, 2013
Published on Mar 18, 2013
Diolog: Texas Episcopalian (since 1874) is an official publication of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. Wonder: A Divine Place of Surprise a...