Risen Rhode Islandâ€™s Source for Episcopal News
The Way of
a Pilgrim Places 5to Pilgrimage
Without Leaving New England
Praying at TaizĂŠ
Walking the Camino de Santiago de Compostela
EPISCOPAL CAMP AND CONFERENCE CENTER
Sign Up Now! Music and Creative Arts Camp June 28 - July 4
Teen Camp July 5-10
Older Boys’ Camp July 12-17
Older Girls’ Camp July 19-24
Musical Theatre Week July 26 - August 1
Younger Children’s Camp
Summer’s End Week August 9-14
For more information visit www.eccri.org or call ECC at 401-568-4055
RISEN / SUMMER 2009
Rhode Island’s Source for Episcopal News 275 North Main Street, Providence, RI 02903 Phone: (401) 274-4500 Fax: (401) 331-9430 www.episcopalri.org Publisher: The Rt. Rev. Geralyn Wolf, Bishop of RI
Editor in Chief:
Ruth Meteer, Communications Ofﬁcer
Art and Design:
Ruth Meteer, Communications Ofﬁcer
Liz Crawley, Executive Assistant to the Bishop Gloria Williams, Administration/Reception
Graphic Developments, Hanover, MA
Subscriptions: RISEN Magazine is a free quarterly journal published by and for The Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island. If you would like to be added to our mailing list, send an e-mail with your name and address to: email@example.com.
Submissions: We welcome submissions of original articles, letters, poetry, art and photographs. Submissions should pertain in some way to the Episcopal Church in Rhode Island. It is advisable to check with the editor prior to submitting, to ensure your materials will ﬁt with the themes of an issue, and that there is sufﬁcient space. All submissions should be sent via email, to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name, parish, phone number, and home address. The Editor reserves the right to edit all material, for length, clarity, and accuracy. Some material may be published online instead of or in addition to RISEN. At this time RISEN cannot provide compensation for materials submitted.
Advertisements: RISEN Magazine has a circulation of 10,000, and an approximate readership of 27,000. For more information or to receive a copy of our rate card E-mail email@example.com Note: Display ads for parish or diocesan organizations and programs will be accepted without charge, and used on a spaceavailable basis. Please e-mail the Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org for size and color speciﬁcations.
COVER PHOTO: Ruth Meteer The View from Taizé Village, France
The Camino de Santiago 12
The Rev. Jennifer Pedrick from Epiphany East Providence walked this ten century old pilgrimage path, learning much along the way.
Praying at Taizé 16
Each spring young people from the Diocese of RI take a pilgrimage to the Taizé community in France. Read about this year’s trip.
General Convention 21
Caryl Frink explains the “who what where when and why” of General Convention, to prepare for the triennial event this July.
New England Pilgrimages 22 Can’t manage a trip far away this summer? Sr. Grace, SSM explores ﬁve places you can pilgrimage to without leaving New England.
From the Bishop Body Building Living the Journey Together Scenes
The Arts at Trinity Newport Episcopal Charities Coventry Mission’s New Name Bishop of Navajoland’s Visit
Episcopal Life 28 Postlude 34 SUMMER 2009 / RISEN
Zero Circle Be helpless, dumbfounded, Unable to say yes or no. Then a stretcher will come from grace To gather us up. We are too dull-eyed to see that beauty If we say we can, we're lying. If we say No, we don't see it, That No will behead us And shut tight our window onto spirit. So let us rather not be sure of anything, Besides ourselves, and only that, so Miraculous beings come running to help. Crazed, lying in a zero circle, mute, We shall be saying ďŹ nally, With tremendous eloquence, Lead us. When we have totally surrendered to that beauty, We shall be a mighty kindness. -Rumi
RISEN / SUMMER 2009
From Th e Bishop F
or over 2,000 years, Christians have embarked on journeys to visit sites where important events have occurred in the life of our faith. In the fourth century Christians were encouraged to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, a practice now followed by Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Frequently visited sites include Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee, and Mt. Tabor. Sites in Rome, Istanbul (formerly Constantinople), and France attract many visitors, as well. I have taken several pilgrimages over the years to places like Israel, Assisi, Walsingham, Canterbury, Norwich, Taizé, the Abbey of Gethsemani, and others. In anticipation of the journey, I read about the shrine or place to be visited, and the tales and reflections of those who had gone before. These were not mere visits; in each case, I went in anticipation of an encounter with God. Most of the time, I was disappointed. The longing for experience was of my own making, but not always according to God’s time or will. However, when I actually spent time in extended prayer, worship, and fellowship I found deep spiritual nourishment.
One of the great books that most of us have read is Chaucer’s, Canterbury Tales. The tales are very amusing, not unlike my experiences of the people that I have met on my pilgrimages. People travel to holy sites for a variety of reasons, and the narratives emerge on the journey. Even if traveling alone, one meets many others on pilgrimage who share their secular and spiritual stories. Thus, the encounter is not at the site only, but on the road, as holy men and women, sinners and thieves, refugees and clerics, unknown to each other before the journey, become partners in a
PHOTO: MARY MURPHY
pilgrimage of faith. Pilgrims usually travel over a geographical area in order to arrive at a pre-determined physical and spiritual destination. How-
encounter is not at the site only, but on the road, the
as holy men and
sinners and thieves,
ever, not everyone is capable of making this type of journey. Perhaps your pilgrimage is less physically demanding. Going to church each Sunday, is a pilgrimage for many. Reading Holy Scripture with an open heart is a “pilgrimage” of the soul. Both are adventures in their own way.
your journey began. When the pilgrims returned home, they shared their stories and experiences; thus, the enlightening accounts in poetry, prose and art work survive to this day, as a gift to others. Each year, we take young adults on a pilgrimage to Taizé, in France. Next year, I hope to join the pilgrims in their journey to this isolated and international place of prayer and community. Someday, I’d like to go to Santiago de Compostela, in Spain, where the pilgrim walks for long periods of time, from one church to another, until arriving at the Shrine of St.. James. For now, my pilgrimage continues to be in the heart of Christ, through reading of holy scripture, reception of the Holy Sacrament, and living in fellowship with those whom God has given. A journey to which all the baptized are called, and in which our beloved Jesus is continually meeting us. □
Pilgrimage is not only going towards something, but carrying spiritual gifts from the place of encounter to the place from which
SUMMER 2009 / RISEN
Openings a shore line beach. It is not necessary to go to a retreat center, an abbey or church, but to find a place of peace and lightness to feed your soul.
BODY BUILDING Notes On Congregational Development By Betsy Fornal
Canon for Congregations and Clergy
Since the beginning of recorded time, people have left their everyday world and have traveled to sacred places in order to deepen their relationship with the Holy. Some journey alone; some travel in groups; all are questing for one of those ‘thin places,’ as Celtic tradition calls them, where heaven and earth draw near. Those who desire to become pilgrims are not people who have a special holiness but those who do have a desire to intentionally spend time in the presence of God. For those of us who live in the busy world of the twenty-first century, where do we find both the time and the destination for such holy journeys? As you will read in this issue of RISEN, there are many places closeat-hand where one may go to seek a time of reflection and refreshment for one’s soul. But there are other ways and other kinds of pilgrimage through which we can encounter the Holy. As summer is upon us and schedules slow a bit, perhaps you can deliberately set aside a day to spend time with God, to be still and bask in the beauty of God’s creation. And the place need not be as far as Jerusalem; it may be as close as your own backyard or given the beauty of our state,
RISEN / SUMMER 2009
Setting a few hours aside for a time of quiet reflection invites us on an internal pilgrimage, a journey of soul and mind through reading and journaling. There are always books to inspire which invite questions and sometimes answers that will deepen our relationship with God. As you make this pilgrimage, you might desire the company of other travelers, fellow pilgrims on the way. Each year, groups from our churches journey together on planned pilgrimages or retreats of a day or longer. These groups form around the desire to spend soul time in God’s presence away from the normal schedule of life. Such a group of pilgrims adds greatly to the spiritual life of a congregation. Is your soul thirsting for such an opportunity to put God at the center of your being for a few hours or day or perhaps two? Then be a Pilgrim! □
LIVING THE JOURNEY TOGETHER Notes On Christian Formation By Mary Ann Kolakowski
Director of Christian Formation
Pilgrimage is neither a vacation, nor a sightseeing tour, nor a mission trip. Vacations are time for relaxation and refreshment. Sightseeing tours are for taking in the wonders of a distant land and culture. Mission trips are principally a chance to share in the spreading of the Gospel. A Pilgrimage is all of that and more – By mindfully walking in the footsteps of Christians who have come before, we put ourselves
in touch with our tradition, and our God. A Pilgrimage is a journey, of seeking and finding God in new ways. Once the normal activities, relationships, and obligations which sustain our day-to-day lives are removed, individuals are free to look again at their understanding of God and their need for His grace and presence in their lives. It is important to note here that every moment of a pilgrimage does not have to be meaningful, nor should it be. There must be time for play, laughter, quiet, and rest. God often moves in the hearts of pilgrims, even in the lighthearted activities of the journey. Remember to pray every day for the eyes and heart to see and to understand what you see. Pray for this while on your pilgrimage as well as upon your return. Sometimes recognizing the blessings of a pilgrimage can take time. It is not always while we are on the journey that its true effects show. One of the biggest challenges of pilgrimage lies in finding ways to incorporate all the new-found information about God and God’s People into regular life back at home. We at home must also remember to pray for our pilgrims as they leave us for a while. You may know someone in the group of young adults who make a yearly journey to Taizé from this Diocese. You may know someone in a Journey to Adulthood group, who is leaving for a place they planned to visit during their two years of preparation and study. There may be a group of adults or a young seminarian from your parish leaving for the Holy Land. There may even be a person you know who has entered into the sacred state of parenting, allowing their child’s Baptism and Christian formation to lead them along the way to trusting in the God who is always there. Lord, bless the pilgrims we send forth from this place. Be with them as they journey to places unknown, in search of your love and presence there…May they be guided by your Holy Spirit, filled with your grace… and strengthened, in the Name of Christ, our Savior, Amen. □
2 AROUND THE DIOCESE
1 The Parish Administrators Lunchon on May 20th. 2 Eastertide Conﬁrmations May 2nd & 9th. 3 Full Pews at the Eastertide Conﬁrmations May 2nd & 9th. 4 The Diocesan Altar guild taking a tour of the Cathedral of St.. John on March 28th. 5 Rhode Island State Council of Churches’ packed rally at the statehouse to stop human trafﬁcking, April 21st.
6 BUSY DEACONS
6 Deacons Singing loud and clear at the Chrism Mass on April 2nd 7 Deacon Mary Hitt talking to visitors at the Environmental Stewardship Task Force’s Annual Poster Contest Display at Roger Williams Zoo on Earth Day, April 19th. SUMMER 2009 / RISEN
Your Episcopal Charities Dollars at Work Central Falls Family Self-Sufﬁ ciency Foundation
F Episcopal Charities Campaign Update
any thanks to our dedicated volunteers who are working hard to encourage people in their parishes to participate in the important and wonderful work of Episcopal Charities. Congratulations to our donors for their support and commitment to helping so many of our fellow Rhode Islanders who are in fragile situations and living on the edge. We are all feeling the pinch in our economy and the problems it has brought, but none more than the most marginalized across our state. Here’s the Campaign update. As of May 15 - $250,000 in pledges – 50% of our $500,000 goal. If you have not participated yet, just think of all the good your gift will do for so many. Please join with others across our diocese to help Christ in healing the gaps, hurts, and brokenness in thousands of lives. Any questions? Contact the Episcopal Charities Office at 275 North Main Street, Providence, RI 02903, or call 274-4500, ext. 234 for Peggy and 233 for Jack. □
RISEN / SUMMER 2009
inancially stable families are the foundation of financially stable communities. Central Falls is currently the poorest community in Rhode Island. The Central Falls Family Self-Sufficiency Foundation plays a critical role in helping lift families out of poverty The Youth Employment Program (YEP) plays a significant role in helping teens break the cycle of under education, poverty, and reliance on welfare and low-income housing. YEP is an extension of the agency’s mission to help families get on their feet. The program’s goal is for Central Falls’ teens to develop into self-sufficient adults and become productive members of the community. Participants learn concepts such as team building, money management, hygiene, appropriate dress and conflict resolution in weekly workshops. It also promotes the safety, security and well-being of children by taking teens off the streets and teaches critical job skills and how to overcome obstacles like academic challenges, behavioral issues and unstable home lives. Through this program, teens work about 16 hours per week, Monday through Thursday. Each summer 10 teens are off the streets as YEP gives them jobs in Central Falls. They are encouraged to stay in school and go to college. YEP pays the teens wages because employers cannot afford to do so. Employers help extend lessons beyond workshops and into the workplace. They meet with teen workers to assess team skills learned during a workshop and put into practice on the job. Through evaluation meetings, employers help teen workers figure out what they are doing well and what they need to do better. Teens share these evaluations with the YEP Coordinator. Employers local non-profits, small businesses, City Hall and Central falls Housing Authority, Central Falls police Department and the local community center. This program has made a profound impact on the lives of Central Falls young residents and their families.□
YouCan Open the Skies to
a Better Tomorrow!
NewsBriefs their Church School, letting the children decide which Saint might be the best fit for the mission’s new patron.
A New Name for Our
Coventry Mission By Ruth Meteer Y
ou may recall, in July of last year St. Matthias and Christ Church in Coventry merged to become one worshiping body. To signify the church’s new joint mission and fellowship, it was suggested that they select a new name together. Bishop Wolf mentioned that a Saint’s name might do, and so St. Matthias and Christ Church set about picking their new name, using a unique tactic. They put the task into the hands of
The kids took to the task with gusto, and learned much about the heritage of their church in the process. After careful consideration of the options, they presented a list of 8 possible names to Bishop Wolf, with “St. Francis’ Episcopal Church” as their first choice. The name seems particularly appropriate. As St. Francis’ self-defines on their website: “We are a small church, which means that our worship gives a sense of intimacy. We are a community that knows and cares about each other. We are a people who honor, cherish, and celebrate God’s creation, and seek to be good stewards of the earth. We are a group that is committed to deepening our spiritual lives and a people who believe that God calls us to a place of deeper compassion, creativity, and love. Our life together is centered around the Holy Eucharist, with com-
munion services held every Sunday. As a response to our faith in Jesus Christ, we strive to make our parish a place of hope to the despairing, of growth to the spiritually hungry, of healing to those in pain, of comfort to those in need, and a place of empowerment so that we may serve Christ in the world.” It is, therefore, with great pleasure that Bishop Wolf announces she has renamed the Coventry mission “St.. Francis’ Episcopal Church”, in accordance with their Church School’s request. The name change became effective on May 1st 2009. St.. Francis’ will continue to worship at the site of the former Christ Church, an old English Tudor style structure on rural Peckham Lane, in Coventry. Their website can still be viewed at: www.christchurchrocks.org □
Bishop of Navajoland visits Christ Church Westerly By Ruth Meteer Church’s annual “Friends of Navajoland” Fundraising Dinner.
he Rt. Rev. Mark MacDonald, Bishop of Navajoland and the National Indigenous Bishop of Canada blessed Christ Church Westerly with a visit the weekend of May 2 to speak at Christ
“The Friends of Navajoland” is a group of six churches across the country, who send people to the Diocese of Navajoland each summer to pray, eat, and work with the communities surrounding the missions there. Christ Church Westerly has had a particularly long-standing relationship with St. Mary’s of the Moonlight, a Navajo Mission Church in Olijato Utah. In fact, George and Marlies Parent of Christ Church Westerly have spent 11 summers at St. Mary’s, running a one week VBS and spending a second week helping St. Mary’s with various work projects.
The annual “Friends of Navajoland Dinner” that night filled the Parish hall. Dinner consisted of a buffet of southwestern fare, and there was a table of Jewelry and other wares for sale, made by the people of St. Mary’s. After dinner, Bishop MacDonald gave his address. He thanked Christ Church for their continued ministry at St. Mary’s, and told of his plans to expand the ministry there in several ways, one of which is raising enough funds to allow 2 or 3 Navajo youth to travel to Continued on page 10
SUMMER 2009 / RISEN
NewsBriefs Bishop of Navajoland
that there are still words he avoids altogether because of the possibility he’ll use the wrong intonation and say something offensive.
Continued from page 9
Westerly and help lead the summer VBS at Christ Church. According to Bishop MacDonald, the relationship of respect and longstanding companionship that has been established between St. Mary’s and Christ Church is invaluable, and to illustrate how invaluable he spoke a little about the development of his own relationship with the Navajo people. Bishop MacDonald grew up with the Elwha Tribe in the Leech Lake area of South Dakota, and served among the indigenous peoples of Alaska for more than a decade before becoming the Bishop of Navajoland. Despite this “head start” of sorts, he still found the intricacies of Navajo language and culture difficult. He spoke of the mistakes he has made over the years, the cultural and linguistic faux-pas he didn’t know to avoid.
A dinner of Southwestern Fare including Chili, Creamed Corn, salad and Indian Pudding was served at the event For instance, the Navajo consider it rude to point with fingers or hands, so they point with a twitch of their lips and chin. Not knowing that made getting simple directions quite difficult at first. Also, vocal inflections entirely change the meanings of words in their language, and the wrong vocal intonation can turn a simple statement into something embarrassingly inappropriate. Bishop MacDonald said
The important thing to remember, he says, is that the Navajo people really respect the continued attempt to learn, understand and participate in their culture. They have a great sense of humor, and often times the result of bloopers is nothing worse than an unfortunate nickname you can’t get rid of. Time builds trust, he said, and that this is why Christ Church’s ministry at St. Mary’s of the Moonlight has been so successful in the past and will be even more so in the future. The longstanding relationship of mutual trust and respect has opened doors between these two cultures, doors which will continue to deepen the faith of both communities for many years to come. □ The author of the article “On Navajo Time” which appeared in the Winter 2009 issue of RISEN is Marlies Parent, member of Christ Church Westerly. Photos were by George Parent and Seth Tulman.
ABOVE: George and Marlies Parent, the Founders of “The Friends of Navajoland” at Christ Church, Lead the summer Missions Trip to St.. Mary’s
LEFT: Attendees of the fundraiser listened to Bishop MacDonald after dinner, from tables adorned with fresh flower arrangements
RISEN / SUMMER 2009
NewsBriefs these professional level performers were actual parishioners at Trinity.
The Ministry of the Arts at Trinity, Newport: One Parish Begins to Live Into its Particular Gifts and Talents Article and Photos By Ruth Meteer
Trinity Ministry of the Arts is the newly hatched darling of Trinity Church Newport. I first heard about this program last winter, shortly after Trinity’s decision to hire parishioner Thomas C. Erb as Trinity’s Artistic Director. The explosion of interest and activity since has been inspiring. In the past six months Trinity Church has transformed the lower level of their Carr-Rice house into a theater, performed multiple pieces with remarkable success, founded a summer theater camp, and plotted a full fall production schedule beginning with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in September. Trinity’s Ministry of the Arts program has not been ignored by the press either. There have been reviews in publications such as The Providence Journal and Motif Magazine. Trinity’s rendition of Art, by Yasmin Reza, was even nominated for a Motif Magazine award. The Newport Daily News published a few articles about American Songbook Does Time, a musical which was a collaborative written by Trinity’s own Paul Koumrian and Al Deston III. One emphatic review raved that “The ensemble and soloists were nothing short
of perfection” and “the performance was so balanced and organized, and most of all professional, it made you think that you were at a major Broadway production”. In fact, American Songbook Does Time was
The growing success of this ministry is particularly poignant for Trinity Church, since they are a Parish in “Transition” as we call it around the Diocese. Their Current acting rector, the Rev. David Dobbins, is an interim. He is there to lead the parish through a process that involves attempting to identify the parish’s unique personality and place in the surrounding community, in preparation for their search for a permanent rector. It has been wonderful to see Trinity Church discover its wealth of music and theatrical talent, and live into the gifts it in a way that builds spiritual community within the parish, as well as in greater Newport. We here at the Diocese are all looking forward to the future of this ministry, somewhat selfishly. After all, who wouldn’t look forward to a chance to see a fantastic production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat ? PHOTOS by Ruth Meteer, taken at Trinity Ministry of The Arts’ May 14th performance of “American Songbook does Time” , a montage of popular music and narratives that have stood the test of time.
so well received that in the first round, it sold out most evenings. Trinity produced the show a second time May 7-17th, as a fundraiser for Episcopal Charities. I walked into a sold out room on a Thursday night, and was lucky to get a chair. The performance was given in the round, which made for an intimate venture, and The soloists were indeed fantastic. I was surprised to find that all but 3 or 4 of
SUMMER 2009/ RISEN
The Camino de
Angels Along the Way Article and Photos: The Rev. Jennifer L. Pedrick, Church of the Epiphany, East Providence
RISEN/ SUMMER 2009
ast year I experienced a call to make a journey that was
a great challenge and a life-changing gift. I went on a pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela.
or “El Camino” as it is called in Spanish, is an ancient pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain.
over a thousand years Christian pilgrims have been walking to the legendary site of the tomb of the Apostle St. James the Great. The pilgrimage route I walked began in France at the foot of the Pyrenees Mountains and covered roughly five hundred miles across Northern Spain. I was surprised to find myself called to do this, yet as I planned and experienced this pilgrimage, and now a year later as I have lived with the Camino’s life lessons, I can see more clearly how God has been present and generous along the way. The first time I heard of El Camino, I was sitting in a Commission on Ministry interview, listening to The Rev. Meaghan Kelly,
then a postulant for Holy Orders. As she recounted her own Camino pilgrimage she spoke of walking day after day, facing great challenges and experiencing peace, always with a sense that God was providing exactly what she needed. Another thing I remembered was that she spoke of having an unprecedented amount of silence and time to think. I thought to myself, “this is amazing, but I would never, ever do something like that.” As the old adage goes, “never say never.” Several years after this Camino seed was planted, I was on a treadmill one morning, thinking I should get serious about planning my sabbatical the following spring. The Camino came to mind and would not go away. I researched the journey, talked to people who had made it, and discussed the idea with my husband and friends. I had suspected that my growing interest would wane. There were, after all, many good reasons not to make this pilgrimage. I could not imagine leaving my husband and children for six weeks. It would be the end of the school year and my girls would have their seventh and eleventh birthdays while I was away. I experienced fear about any number of things including travel plans, the physical demands of walking this distance, the height of the three mountain ranges, being alone in the middle of nowhere, and the idea of carrying all my necessities on my back. Despite all this, my daily research, conversations, and prayer moved me closer to this Camino journey. When the time came for me to leave, I experienced a strange mix of deep sadness and incredible freedom. As I sat on the plane waiting for my flight to depart, I wrote in my journal, “Day 1: It is hard to
believe my sabbatical is finally here. I don’t have a list. I have nothing to do. That’s odd. My only book is a New Testament. Hmmm. I feel like crying, not for sadness, but for the enormity of it all…life, family, church, gratitude, this opportunity. I am beloved, deeply, truly and by amazing people, by God. I think I’ll actually sleep now. Looking forward to hanging out with Jesus for the next forty days.” On the second day I made my way by train from Paris to a French village at the foot of the Pyrenees Mountains. I was sur-
Pilgrims have been walking this path for more than ten centuries rounded by eager pilgrims, all of whom looked much more fit and certain of what they were doing than I. The mountains in front of me were high and I was fearful. Perhaps, my training on the East Bay Bike Path was not adequate! The third day I began the walking and I did cross the Pyrenees. It was arduous and exhilarating. There were companions along the way and I had the first of many shared meals and deep conversations with other pilgrims. That night I slept in the first of many albergues, or pilgrim refuges. Since pilgrims have been walking this path for more than ten centuries, there is a well-established system of hospitality. Every pilgrim has a “credential,” similar to a passport that is stamped
SUMMER 2009 / RISEN
along the way, giving one access to food and shelter offered in private and public facilities. The accommodations varied from the sublime to the ridiculous and I never knew where I would end up at the end of a day. Even the best of accommodations were shared. There were never fewer than four pilgrims in my room and at times there were as many as one hundred and twenty. Though I did sleep, or rather lay quietly, on several concrete floors, I always had a roof over my head. I carried my food for the day and almost always dined with other pilgrims at night, either cooking together or eating from a “Menu de Peregrino” in a restaurant or refuge. The last Sunday before my pilgrimage began, a wise woman at my church reminded me that when Jesus went into the wilder-
ness he was with wild animals and was attended by angels. As I look back on my experience the same was true of my forty days, particularly the part about being attended by angels. I was tested and found myself in difficult situations. I walked through rain, thunder and hail storms. There were days of great heat, rough terrain, and endless miles of manure and mud. One foggy, rainy day I got terribly lost, miles off the Camino, in a rural area where the few people I found did not speak Spanish, but Galego. They pointed and stomped on pavement and I stared at them blankly. I tromped through my fear, tears and many miles repeating Jesus’ words, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” God only knows how I got back onto the right path.
tion so that I could get to a place to stop for several days of healing. I learned something about the importance of being carried and cared for along the way. It was a challenge to watch the walking pilgrims from my seat inside the bus. There were days when I struggled emotionally and spiritually. The lack of privacy in the alber-
I faced internal challenges as well. I learned to listen to my body more intently when I experienced injuries, the most painful of which was an inflamed Achilles tendon. This particular ailment reminded me of my own vulnerability and need for rest. I chose to take public transporta-
gues grew old very quickly. Several times I was ready to get out a credit card and call it quits. I was keenly aware of the privilege of my resources, my safety net on Camino and in life. The challenges were a part of the journey, but what has stayed with me is that at every turn, I have a sense that God was providing for me. I have never been one for believing in angels, but I can say that I have now experienced their tending.
When Jesus went into the wilderness he was with wild animals and was attended by angels... the same was true of my forty days
One morning after walking only three miles or so, I entered the garden of a pilgrim refuge for a cup of coffee. I sat for over an hour enjoying the trees and the roses. Finally the host commented that I must not be in a hurry. I said I was tired, that maybe I’d like a bed, even though I knew the albergue would not open until late in the afternoon. He asked if I was okay and
RISEN / SUMMER 2009
something about his concern brought tears to my eyes. Very gently he took my arm, led me to a lovely room and sent me to bed. Next he brought up my pack, my boots and walking poles. He pulled the shades, and told me he’d be back to check on me. He brought a cold drink later and asked me about my family. Later that afternoon his father brought some food up. I felt like I was at my beloved grandmother’s house, but these were complete strangers who seemed to know just what I needed. Another day I asked a man in a village where I could find a market for food. He asked what I wanted and then brought me into his small kitchen where he began handing me bread, cheese, fruit and salami. When my arms couldn’t hold any more, he stuffed an orange in my pocket. On the feast of Corpus Christi, my youngest daughter was celebrating her seventh birthday and I was feeling particularly homesick. I met up with a group of women from several different countries. One was from Korea and we had shared a room several nights before. I explained that I was feeling blue and a German woman took me in her arms and told me we would walk together. Later in the day we phoned my daughter and wished her a happy birthday in four languages. On this journey I carried very little. I had one change of clothing and one kind of soap to wash everything from head to foot, including my clothes. My backpack contained my sleeping bag, essential toiletries and a first aid kit. I packed water and
food for each day. It all weighed less than twenty pounds and yet I never wanted for anything material. My needs of every kind were met, often through the kindness and hospitality of others. I was tempted and tested, and certainly, tended by angels. There were many days that were a pure joy to experience. I met extraordinary people and walked through stunning countryside. The Camino passes through many historic and architecturally important cities and Christian sites. There were moments when the beauty of a landscape or a church
would take my breath away. One of the gifts of the Camino was the solitude and the time to reflect on my life and ministry. Some days I had the luxury of deciding what topic or theme I would think on as I walked. Walking the Camino is an intuitive experience. I did not carry a map though I did have a pamphlet to tell me the distances between villages and stopping places. The journey is marked by a quirky series of yellow arrows, scallop shells, and signs. The arrows were especially iconic, and main-
tained by local people who painted them on rocks, barns, stones and trees. The Camino is easy to follow, in part because there are relatively few distractions, the mission is clear, and there are other pilgrims. One day when I realized how easy it was to follow the arrows and stay on this Camino path, I began to consider the arrows of the pilgrimage that is my life. I wondered about the arrows that keep me on my “way” with Jesus Christ. The prayer, “give us this day our daily bread” has taken on new meaning as I realize that the key is not to want so much more than this. Carrying today’s bread is usually enough, even though as a wife, mother, and parish priest, I am often carrying and longing for so much more. Since my return I have made some practical changes to allow me to live more simply. Other arrows I am trying to follow in my ongoing pilgrimage include listening more attentively to my children and being more attentive to my personal spiritual life alongside my spiritual leadership role as a priest. I am more peaceful because I play and pray more. Living more simply, awareness and avoidance of some distractions, and nurturing my own spirit are the parts of the journey that have had the most lasting impact since my return. There is not a day that passes without my thinking of something or someone on my Camino pilgrimage. This journey was, at its end, a new beginning of sorts. I remain grateful for all its continuing gifts and guidance. Happily, I still look forward to hanging out with Jesus. □
“Religion points to that area of human experience where in one way or another man comes upon mystery as a summons to pilgrimage.” -Frederick Buechner SUMMER 2009 / RISEN
Praying at TaizĂŠ Photos and Article by Ruth Meteer
very spring the Diocese of Rhode Island takes a savvy group of young adults on a pilgrimage to Taizé,
an ecumenical monastic community in France known for its unique style of sung prayer. Taizé draws thousands of visitors from around the world each week, and has inspired many Churches here in the USA to hold Taizé style prayer services. When I heard that tagging along on the trip would be an option, I jumped at the chance.
I had been wanting to visit Taizé for ages. I first heard of the place four or five years ago, when a few of my close friends attended Taizé prayer at an Episcopal Church in Wenham, MA. It was another year before I was able to make it to one myself, but as soon as I did I was hooked. On the floor with pillows, among icons, in a dim candlelit atmosphere, the simple chants and solemn silences spoke to the aesthete in me. The surprising number of fellow twenty-somethings in attendance was also encouraging, and I began to experience the Holy Spirit in a grand new way. About Taizé: So What exactly is Taizé prayer and how did it come about? Brother John explained it like this one evening, when the Americans at Taizé all met together. He said that it all started in 1940, when Brother Roger, a Lutheran, bought a house in the French village of Taizé and opened his doors to those in need of hospitality. The village of Taizé was in free southern France, close to the close to the border of the Nazi occupied part of the country, so Brother Roger’s open home quickly became a shelter for refugees fleeing the war. Eventually Authorities caught on, and Brother Roger had to flee to Geneva. After the war, Brother Roger brought three friends back with him from Geneva, and they began living as Brothers in monastic community. Others joined, visitors came, and the community grew. According to Brother John, Taizé’s unique prayer style grew out of the Brothers’ continued attention to the needs of their visitors. Initially the brothers prayed with Benedictine chants, but
visitors would often find these difficult, so they began to write simpler tunes that all could sing. Then, when visitors began to come from outside France, the Brothers translated the chants into Latin, a neutral language, and eventually into the many different languages of the visitors. Today a typical prayer service at Taizé will include a little Latin, French, English, Spanish, and during our week we sang a lot of German, because it was German school vacation, and there were so many German teenagers around. The buildings of Taizé have grown in much the same way. The first prayer services were held in the village Church, and when it was outgrown in the early 60’s, the larger Church and dormitories were built just outside the village. Father Warren, rector at the Church of the Advent in Boston, once told me about his first trip to Taizé. It was in the mid to late 60’s, and the week before he arrived there had been so many visitors, that they couldn’t come close to fitting in the still newish Church. The Brothers decided to just knock the back wall of the church down, to make room rather than splitting the group up, so Father Warren arrived to worship in a Church with a tent for a back wall. These days the church is a huge segmented building with walls that roll up to open more space as more visitors arrive. The day we arrived there were only about 500 people, so most of the building was closed off, but we came for the week ending in Pentecost, and by the arrival of that day, visitors numbered somewhere around 2,500-3,000, and three of the five or six more sections of the Church had been opened.
SUMMER 2009 / RISEN
seemed like forever, we were forced to resort to whatever combination of alternate transportation we could find. When the buses and planes, and buses and trains were all over and done with, the 8-10 hour trip had taken us nearly 22! We arrived at Taizé exhausted, were sorted and assigned to bible studies and work groups, and went almost immediately to bed. The daily regimen at Taizé was quite busy. Morning prayer was at 8:30 sharp, and was immediately followed by a breakfast of French bread, butter, 2 sticks of chocolate and hot cocoa. Bible introduction was immediately after that, then small groups, then noonday prayer, then lunch, then just enough time to change before my 3:00 practical work. After work their were 2 hours to attend workshops, nap, walk the paths of La Source St. Etienne, or meet with a Taizé Brother, or a Catholic Sister if you preferred. After that came dinner, evening prayer, an hour at the snack shop OYAK with your friends before bed. Needless to say, it was difficult the first few days. Even without jet lag, the schedule would have been draining for me. I normally require equal parts active social time and quiet alone time to think and pray and write. The first few days I mechanically moved my way through the schedule thinking the cyclical thoughts “This ABOVE:
Patrick Greene (far Left) to the Church and Susan Pracht for morning (far right) prayer with new friends.
Three Girls Walk
About Our Pilgrimage: Our little group of Pilgrims numbered 9 altogether, and we set out on a Peter Pan bus to Logan Airport on Saturday May 23rd. Most of the pilgrims were college students that had been, or were currently involved with summer camp at ECC. Raechel Doughty, Laura Sidla, Cece Cookingham, and Ian Holliday all came along. Many of them had been to Taizé before. Patrick Greene, a seminarian and itinerant priest from St. John’s Barrington came on his way to study for a few weeks at Canterbury Cathedral in England. Patrick Campbell, the minister of music at St. Paul’s Pawtucket came to learn how to lead Taizé prayer. Canon Tylan Creason and I represented the Diocesan House, and my part time roommate Susan Pracht who attends St. Martin’s, Providence took a week out of her European vacation to meet up with us once we arrived. We flew on a 5 hour KLM flight to Amsterdam, and after a short layover hopped on an hour long Air France flight to Lyon, where a minibus was supposed to meet us and drive us the another hour and a half to Taizé. It never showed. After waiting for what
RISEN / SUMMER 2009
isn’t at all what I expected. I have a bad attitude. It just isn’t what I expected. I’m not experiencing God. I have a bad attitude. It just isn’t what I expected.” I wasn’t at all prepared. I wasn’t prepared for the 1200 German teenagers on field trips with their public school religion courses, and the post-junior year abroad students who thought Taizé would just be a cheap place to stay. I had expected solemn pilgrims, and the chattering during the silence of the prayer service disturbed me. I wasn’t prepared for the exhausting manual labor projects I had inadvertently signed up for with my work group,
Me, as a
Climbs the stairs
from La Source
driving tent stakes with sledgehammers and scrubbing canvases the size of football fields.( I exaggerate. They were much closer to the size of a basketball court). The long and short of it is that I had come perfectly prepared to meet God, but only where and how I wanted. I was not at all prepared to meet God where He wanted, and where I eventually found Him. I’m guessing this is something that many first time Pilgrims have to deal with… the breaking down of human expectations, to open the way for the Holy Spirits’ unexpected gifts. Gradually, most of the things that had irked me the first couple days became the things that made my time at Taizé so special. During lunch on day three, one of the Germans in my “over 25” small group sought me out, and opened up about some things that were troubling her. She asked, in very elementary English, really tough questions about God’s love, human love, and how to not let one get in the way of the other. Somehow I managed to fit a complicated Thomas Merton answer into simple words. Somehow she seemed to find what she needed in what I said, and for the first time that week I felt the Holy Spirit at work in a way completely worthy of Pentecost. On day four, while scrubbing tents, a German teenager named Benjamin told me about how he first came to Taizé on a school trip. He hadn’t come for spiritual reasons, but he said he was struck by this fun place that teaches him to be a better person and gives life meaning. By the end of that first trip he had discovered a
SUMMER 2009 / RISEN
gather near the
bells to eat
and talk before Christianity that was relevant to his life in a way he never knew it could be. He said he still wasn’t interested in Church back home because it is boring, but he comes to Taizé two or three times a year and now brings most of his friends from with him too. “It is a special place, it is a good special place” he said. Those were the only words he had to use, but I completely understood what he probably couldn’t say in German either. It was humbling to realize that the very people I had been wishing away, were first-trip Benjamins, perhaps experiencing church in a way that is meaningful to them for the first, or the only time in their life. Suddenly I felt that they were the ones who had all the right to be at Taizé, and that there were a whole lot of people around me at all times who needed praying for. That was when I hit my groove. I had all of this time to pray, and all of these people to pray for. Somehow after that, the prayer services became “downtime” in the same way my writing is at home. It bookended all the things to do, and centered me in a way that made prayer a holistic part of everything else I did, rather than something to happen between and after the social activities. When you sing a song or two enough times through, they just get
stuck in your heart.
Even my work project became a blessing, when I realized that I had quite literally been a “tentmaker” the whole week. The Brother who was supervising my work group laughed when I commented that it felt good to be contributing as a tentmaker like Paul in Corinth, but I was quite serious. At Taizé I found a new appreciation for Paul’s words to Corinth in Acts 20:34-35. “You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive” I had come to the Taizé community on a pilgrimage, for the specific purpose of receiving, of ministering to myself. Funnily enough, it wasn’t until I began to give, to work and help and pray for those around me, that I was actually able to receive the blessings that I had so hoped to find.□
Taizé in Rhode Island The Cathedral of St. John First Sunday of Each Month at 4:00
St. Paul’s Pautucket
For dates email email@example.com
St. Anns By the Sea 7pm Wed june 24th
The 1st & 3rd Thursday of each month at 7pm, through August
RISEN / SUMMER 2009
GENERAL CONVENTION 2
WHO WHAT WHEN WHERE WHY By Caryl Frink Have you been to Lexington and Concord, MA? Walked the Freedom Trail in Boston? Been to Gaspee Days in Warwick? We New Englanders have a special relationship to the birth of the United States of America. You can imagine what the Revolutionary War did to Anglican congregations in RI and throughout the colonies becoming states. What a time that must have been! Exciting, frightening, turning so much that was familiar upside down. Before George Washington was elected the 1st President of the United States, clerical and lay Deputies from several states assembled in Philadelphia to plan for the future of an independent, American Episcopal Church. In the spirit of the times, the General Convention was born and would very soon be composed of a House of Deputies and a House of Bishops, ���giving clergy and laity an equal voice with bishops in determining policy, establishing our legal framework, and maintaining a living liturgical life.” (Pamela Chinnis, House of Deputies President, 2000) 204 years later we’re still at it! Attend the Annual Meeting of your congregation and you will elect delegates to Diocesan Convention. Every three years those delegates elect the General Convention Deputies; deputies commit themselves to prepare through study, conversation and prayer and to be open to the working of the Holy Spirit. While they do represent their particular diocese, they are not bound by that diocese to vote a certain way. In September 1995 delegates from your congregation gathered in a special Diocesan Convention and elected the Very Rev. Geralyn Wolf as the 12th Bishop of Rhode Island. She became a member of the House of Bishops which does have regular meetings, but it is only when the two houses meet together that we have a General Convention. Our polity is unique in the Anglican Communion and often misunderstood. General Convention is a legislative body that approved the Book of Common Prayer you regularly hold in your hand as well as the Hymnal 1982. Ordination to the priesthood of women was approved in 1976 in an emotion filled convention. Our church is still feeling the effects of the decision in 2003 to consent to the election of the Bishop of New Hampshire; bishops and deputies made that decision after much study, talk, and prayer. In 2006 the General Convention asked the Episcopal Church to look beyond
“churchy” things and go forth in mission with the Millennium Development Goals. Many ecumenical partnerships have been strengthened by the actions of General Convention, and on and on and on. In 2009, twenty-two committees will review resolutions and send them on to the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies for action. What does the Episcopal Church believe? Where does the Episcopal Church stand on an issue? Look to the actions of General Convention. But, General Convention is more than a legislative body. It’s a family reunion; it’s the Triennial Meeting of the Episcopal Church Women, it’s a marketplace for goods and a showplace for organizations, but above all, it’s a worshipping community. There’s lots of room in this church for difference of opinion, but at our best, we are one body in Christ. The theme for the 76th General Convention, July 8th to 17th, 2009, is a new word for most of us - “ubuntu”; it will take us a while to get comfortable with saying it, but “ubuntu” refers to the interconnectedness of all humanity, I in You and You in Me. Community - not just in RI or New England but across and through political and geographic and economic and any other kind of boundary you can think of. Ubuntu. This is a challenging theme for us as we approach controversial issues, a theme that will help us see things through many eyes before a decision is made. We have a special heritage in the Episcopal Church. □
Clergy From the Diocese of Rhode Island met on Thursday June 4th in Synod Hall at the Cathedral of St. John in preparation for this year’s General Convention.
SUMMER 2009 / RISEN
5 New England Places to Pilgrimage to
Article and Photos by Sr. Grace, SSM
Illustrations by Ruth Meteer
Pilgrimage is a very old tradition. There seems to have always been pilgrims, people who are traveling to a holy place as an act of religious devotion. God called Abraham to pilgrimage from the land of Ur of the Chaldeans to the Promised Land. The ancient Israelites went up to Jerusalem three times a year to worship the Lord and to bring sacrifices - at the Feast of the Passover, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Booths. Mary and Joseph brought the young boy Jesus on one of these pilgrimages, and as an adult, Jesus made the journey himself.
oday, many Christians are making pilgrimages. They go to the Holy Land to visit the places that were important in the life of Jesus. They travel to Germany and Switzerland to explore the Reformation Movement. They want to see the magnificent cathedrals of England, France, and Spain. They pray at Iona in Scotland, at TaizĂŠ in France, or at Canterbury Cathedral in England. They travel alone or in groups
of like or different faiths, with friends for support, safety and greater value. When a person prepares properly, and goes with a specific intent, the pilgrimage they embark on can be one of spiritual struggle, but also of spiritual epiphany. Many people find that God becomes manifest to them in ways they would never have imagined; Scriptures come alive, Jesus becomes more real, or they experience the Holy Spirit
in a way unknown to them until then. Clearly, a pilgrimage is an important and often life-changing experience, but not everyone can afford to go on a lengthy pilgrimage to Europe or the Middle East, especially in these challenging economic times. So how can we, here in New England, find the time and the space to take a pilgrimage of our own? The answer lies in expanding the definition of pilgrimage. As Christians, we are all pilgrims. Just the act of walking through the days of our lives, with all of the struggles, joys, triumphs and pain, confirm that this life is a journey. We can go through this life drifting about, tossed by our whims and those of others, or we can transform our drifting into pilgrimage. Pilgrims by definition travel to a destination that is sacred, but there are very few places on this planet that are NOT sacred in some way. If you are interested in history, a place of historical interest may be a holy place. If you are wrestling with a family issue, a trip to the old homestead might be a pilgrimage. If you love the beauty of the natural world, a place of a particularly scenic nature might be where you want to go. It all depends on who you are and where you are on your spiritual journey. The preparation for pilgrimage is nearly as important as where you go. Pilgrims need not only a sense of adventure, but also a sense of holy longing, that ache in each one of us that draws us along on our journey. What is your intent? What is the grace that you most desire from this pilgrimage? Are you looking to make contact with a God that has become remote? Are you trying to reconnect with the life force of the Holy Spirit? Do you want a better, more intimate experience in prayer? Are you wrestling with a particular question or situation that could benefit by taking time out to concentrate on it in a holy
“As Christians, we are all pilgrims. Just the act of walking through the days of our lives, with all of the struggles, joys, triumphs and pain, confirms that this life is a journey.” place? Pray about where you should go, why you should go, and what you want to receive. Ask God to tell you what you need from the pilgrimage. Do this as a regular practice, for an extended period of time before you embark on the journey. God will honor that preparation. You will also need to decide if you should pilgrimage alone, or with others. Going alone can be very enriching. You will have the time and space and privacy of your own thoughts. The communal aspect of travelling with others also has benefits.
The experience, when shared with others, can become much richer and can develop more fully. Being able to talk about it with fellow pilgrims can make the experience linger long after the actual journey is over. Ancient pilgrims traveled in groups because there was safety in numbers. That isn’t necessarily true these days, but it certainly can be rewarding. To help you begin to prepare, the following pages highlight five places people pilgrimage within New England.
CATHEDRAL OF THE PINES
ST. MARGARET’S BOSTON
ST. MARGARET’S DUXBURY
COLT STATE PARK
SUMMER 2009 / RISEN
Colt State Park Bristol, RI
www.riparks.com/colt.htm Distance From Providence: 16.5 miles By Car: 31 minutes
COLT STATE PARK in Bristol, RI is often referred to as the ‘gem’ of the State Parks system. The entire western edge of the park is an open panorama onto Narragansett Bay. It is open year round and contains 464 acres of beautifully landscaped
grounds. There are four miles of bicycle trails and over 400 picnic tables. Why is it sacred? To me, Colt State Park is a wonderful mix; all the beauty of the natural world with lots of space to wander and a glorious outdoor chapel to pray in. The Chapel-bythe-Sea is an open-air chapel, complete with wooden bench pews and a stone altar and pulpit.
A pilgrimage to Colt State Park doesn’t have to mean sitting around on a pew all day, however! Activities at Colt State Park include boating, canoeing, saltwater fishing, kayaking, horseback riding, crosscountry skiing, waterskiing, mountain biking, bird watching, hiking, horseback riding, wildlife viewing, volleyball etc. I know a man who considers his time bird watching to be his most spiritual time of the week! Any of these activities, when done in the right spirit and with the right intention, can be the means to a greater spiritual awareness.
RISEN / SUMMER 2009
La Salette Shrine
Attleboro, MA www.lasalette-shrine.org Distance From Providence: 14miles By Car: 22 minutes
THE NATIONAL SHRINE OF OUR LADY OF LASALETTE in Attleboro, MA is a shrine of the Roman Catholic tradition, dedicated to the Blessed Mother who appeared to two shepherd children at LaSalette, a small hamlet in the French Alps. The extensive complex includes a monastery, a retreat house, a Church with regular Masses, an enormous gift shop, and a cafeteria in addition to the many outdoor
shrines. You can follow a Rosary walk around a pond with swans, and visit gardens devoted to Our Lady of La Salette, St.. Francis of Assisi, and the Apparition to the Children. There is also a fountain, the Stations of the Cross path, and a large statue of Jesus with the Sacred Heart, not to mention “the Holy Stairs.”
steps were later found in Jerusalem and brought to Rome. People began to climb these “Holy Stairs” (as they were called) on their knees, praying and meditating on the Passion of Jesus. The 28 steps at LaSalette are there for the same purpose. Pilgrims are encouraged to climb them one by one on their knees.
What are “the Holy Stairs?” According to tradition, when Jesus Christ was condemned to death, he had to climb 28 steps to the throne of Pontius Pilate. Those stone
If you don’t make it for a visit this summer, stop by in the evening during Advent to view their spectacular light display .
SUMMER 2009/ RISEN
Duxbury, MA & Boston, MA http://www.ssmbos.com Distance from Providence:: Duxbury: 47miles, 1hour 5 minutes Boston: 42.9 miles, 55minutes
THE SISTERS OF ST MARGARET are an Episcopal Religious Order of women called to glorify God and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ through their worship and work, prayer and common life. Their commitment to God and to one another is expressed through vows of poverty, celibate chastity and obedience. The Sisters of St.. Margaret operate retreat houses in Duxbury, MA and in Boston,
RISEN / SUMMER 2009
MA. A retreat is a different type of pilgrimage, a stepping away from work, from the world, and from our lives in order to take stock of what we are doing, what we are becoming and where we are going. We choose to go apart to be with God, to turn our eyes upon Jesus, and to wander in the wilderness of our own faith. Retreats can last anywhere from one day to a week or more. At St.. Margaret’s on Harden Hill Road in South Duxbury, individuals or groups can rent the Bertram Conference Center, the Farmhouse or the Boathouse. It is a short walk to Duxbury Bay and St.. Margaret’s private beach. There are several landscaped acres to walk with the smell of fresh salt
air, and a multitude of creatures to watch. In Boston, the Sisters also welcome those who want to come for a retreat, either individually or in a group. If you wish to have a Sister direct your retreat, you need to contact them in advance. There is a comfortable library on the first floor for reading or studying with an extensive collection of books and magazines, and a lovely reading room. Guests may use the Oratory on the second floor for their private prayer and meditation. The icon prayer room on the fourth floor has a wide variety of icons, candles, prayer benches and cushions for you to use for individual, private prayer. If the weather permits, you can sit out on the roof deck. If not, you can sit inside in the solarium. All of the properties of the Sisters of St.. Margaret are designed for the pilgrim who seeks a deeper knowledge of God.
intend to go. Ancient pilgrims made sure they knew where they were going and how to get there. How do you get to where you are going? How long will you stay? What is the terrain of the place you are going? What footwear should you have on? How should you be dressed? Be aware that some shrines have dress codes. Remember that Jesus was himself a pilgrim, journeying through growing, loving, suffering and dying, in the ultimate act of religious devotion. In the same way, we are all pilgrims traveling from birth to death. We are all in the process of becoming, of going somewhere. We are constantly changing and evolving. Our whole life is a pilgrimage. Why not take some time to go on a spiritual pilgrimage to a place that can help you to get in touch with your spiritual self? Remember, life itself is a pilgrimage to God. □
of the Pines
• Society of St. John the Evangelist
www.cathedralofthepines.org Distance From Providence: 86.4 miles By Car: 1 hour 55 minutes
Cambridge, MA www.ssje.org
CATHEDRAL OF THE PINES is an outdoor worship space with a breathtaking view of Grand Monadnock Mountain in the town of Rindge NH. Along with the natural and serene beauty of the Cathedral grounds, visitors find inspiration in its many unique stone shrines, altars, and gardens. Among these is the Altar of the Nation, officially recognized by unanimous vote of the United States Congress as a national memorial to all American war dead. The awe-inspiring Women’s Memorial Bell Tower, is the only monument in the nation to specifically recognize the countless numbers of patriotic women who have sacrificed their lives in service to our country. Other shrines throughout the Cathedral grounds include the bronze Fountain and Tree of Life, and unique stone appoint-
• Other Shrines in New England ments like the Mother’s Chapel, the Baptismal Font, the Lectern, the Pulpit, the Ten Commandments Monolith, and the Altar of St. Francis. Beautifully manicured gardens enhance the Cathedral’s natural landscape and add to its overall sense of peace and tranquility. All lend themselves to reflection and reverence. Once you have picked your destination, do your homework. Much of the information you need can be obtained by looking at websites or by calling the place you
To View a Slideshow visit the web address bellow www.boston.com/travel/explorene/ galleries/catholic_shrines_in_ new_england
• Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village New Gloucester, ME www.shaker.lib.me.us
• The Freedom Trail/ Old North Church, Boston, MA www.thefreedomtrail.org
SUMMER 2009 / RISEN
BEST OF Episcopal camps nurture faith and friendships By Pat McCaughan
Rhode Island’s Source for Episcopal News
inside Presiding Bishop on communion’s challenges neWs WortHY: All eyes look toward Anaheim faItHWorKs: Partnerships wage war on malaria
IT WAS THE first full day at Camp Stevens at Julian, Calif., for 31 sixth-graders, and every step along the hiking trail brought fresh discoveries. Camille Furby, 12, a firsttime camper, was part of a group receiving a mid-May mini-lesson on discerning dog prints from cat tracks. “I like it. I’m learning a Photo/Pat McCaughan lot,” said Furby, whose Episcopal summer camps, such as Camp Stevens in class curriculum included Julian, Calif., offer a wealth of experiences for young spending a week at the people. However, the sliding economy has slowed camp about 60 miles north enrollments at the camps, which also must compete of San Diego. From merely taking time with other modern alternatives. out to stop, be still and listen to meadow grasses shifting in the charred oak and pine trees for an imwind to contemplating varieties of energy, promptu fire safety lesson, “we want them recognizing poison oak or settling in amid to have this experience,” said to page B
Embracing Ubuntu: exploring identity and mission Photo/NetsforLife
Zambians get insecticide-treated bed nets during NetsforLife distribution.
aCtIVe VoICe: Columnist urges church support for Earth Charter
By Episcopal Life staff WHEN AN ANTICIPATED 9,000 deputies and alternates, bishops, Episcopal Church Women, exhibitors, staff, volunteers and visitors converge in Anaheim, Calif., on July 7 for the opening of the church’s 76th General Convention and ECW Triennial Meeting, they can expect sun, fun, rich diversity, green space, fresh worship and the launch of a mission
conversation. For 11 days the glass-walled Anaheim Convention Center will be transformed into meeting, worship, child care and other spaces and host at least 120 exhibitors, an education discovery center and a diocesan hospitality venue featuring banners proclaiming “Faith and Our Future” and emergent worship, said Bishop Jon Bruno of the Diocese
of Los Angeles. “I was there the last time General Convention was in Anaheim [in 1985] when Edmund Browning was elected the presiding bishop,” said Bruno. “I’ve gone from volunteer to host of convention, and we’re excited beyond belief and preparing for our thousands of visitors.” Anaheim, named in 1857 by its German founders, means to page C
Camps from page A
15 camp buildings. He and other camping advocates say the church needs to devote more time and attention to this activity. General Convention, meeting in Anaheim, Calif., from July 8-17, will be asked to allocate $60,000 and assistance to help develop curricula, resources and training events in English and Spanish. “Since 1976, there have been no personnel or financial resources from General Convention dedicated to camping ministry,” a resolution to convention states. “Now many dioceses are in desperate need of assistance with resources, training and leadership development for camping ministry.”
Erin Brennan, a teacher at Furby’s school, All Hallows Academy. The 260-acre camp, a shared ministry of the dioceses of San Diego and Los Angeles, is a yearlong living witness, environmentally and ecologically and – especially in the summers – is one of the Episcopal Church’s best evangelistic tools, said Director Peter Bergstrom. “What draws campers back is they’ve had a powerful experience of Christian community that stays with you,” he said. “They hunger for that community and develop the values that make them want to continue to be involved in the church.” The United States has more than ‘Holy ground’ 12,000 day and resident camps, Horseback riding, archery, arts according to the American Camping and crafts remain summer staples Association. About 60 are Episcoat the Sheldon Calvary Camp in the pal camps with varying programs reorganized Diocese of Pittsburgh, and budgets. Camping fees vary, said David Dix, a third-generation depending on locale, but average camper whose daughters say they between $300 and $600 weekly in wait to go, even though it doesn’t the peak summer season, when start until July. about 300,000 children and teens For Dix and, he hopes, also for are served, said Bergstrom, execuhis daughters, camp becomes a tive director of Episcopal Camps place “to be yourself. “The friends and ConferI’ve had for 30 ence Centers, years are those I a national met at the camp. I association of haven’t made any 114 conference friendships comcenters and parable anywhere summer camps else in my life.” in 84 Episcopal The camp has dioceses. added two “mini” He said the programs for just poor economic a few days for condition is 7- to 12-year-olds, affecting camp and also for their enrollment parents, in rethis year. That sponse to another includes Camp recent trend – parStevens, which ents reluctant to is rebuilding Photo/Pat McCaughan send their children from devastatto camp for an Staffer Laura Hiesener divvies up ing November food for lunch among backpackers entire week. 2007 wildfires The Diocese of before a four-hour hike at Camp that destroyed Vermont’s Rock Stevens in California.
B • closerlook
Photo/Diocese of Pittsburgh
Episcopal camps such as Sheldon Calvary in the Diocese of Pittsburgh offer many traditional summer camp activities, such as swimming, as well as a special experience of Christian community for youngsters. Point Camp on Lake Champlain faces “a transitional moment” this year, said director Jenny Ogelby. A former camper, she still passionately yearns for the experience of “holy ground,” she said. “Here, I’ve discovered a lot about Christian community, and I am very, very passionate about that.” Successful camps typically are actively and passionately supported by bishops, camp directors and their boards of directors, as well as by diocesan clergy and laity, “who work to promote the program, to keep it fresh and to help raise money,” said Bergstrom. “To the extent we’re not promoting Christian summer camps for kids, we’re losing a great opportunity to help young people develop those values we all hold in such high esteem,” he said. The Rev. Pat McCaughan is correspondent for Provinces VII and VIII for Episcopal Life.
Ubuntu from page A
“home by the Santa Ana River.” For 11 days it will be home to thousands of Episcopalians. Embracing Ubuntu The Rev. Gregory Straub, executive officer and secretary to the General Convention, said he hopes the spirit to Ubuntu (pronounced oo-boon-too), a Zulu or Xhosa word that means “I in you and you in me” will permeate the convention meetings, conversation and worship. By stressing the convention’s theme of Ubuntu’s “interconnectedness of one person to a community …we hope to launch conversations in each diocese, leading to mission focuses” via public narrative, a tool to build bridges through personal story,” he said. New assignments will face firsttime deputies, who won’t receive legislative committee assignments but instead will visit with seasoned conventioneers in the hopes of being enriched by their convention experience. “We hope that by giving new deputies a richer experience, we will cut down on the loss of continuing deputies,” Straub said. More than 40 percent of deputies are new to this convention. Even months ago, it was clear from diocesan resolutions that there was a desire to consider such issues as same-gender relationships, the environment, financial help for seminarians and liturgical change. The dioceses of Atlanta, Bethlehem, Massachusetts and Vermont are among those forwarding resolutions calling for the development of rites for blessing same sex relationships. The economy and environment are also high on many lists. Southern Ohio and Los Angeles passed resolutions proposing a plan for the church to embark on a mission for securing economic justice for all. At least half-dozen dioceses want
the church’s budget to underwrite the mounting costs of theological education for seminarians. Other dioceses have signed on to support either the Genesis Covenant, an interfaith commitment to work to halt global climate change, or the Earth Charter, an interfaith effort to build a just, sustainable and peaceful global society.” There are several liturgical resolutions, among them one from the Diocese of North Carolina asking convention to substantially revise the Baptismal Covenant in the Book of Common Prayer.
the Rev. Canon Brian Grieves, the church center’s senior director of mission and director of the Advocacy Center. “One is in response to God’s mission to reconcile all things to Christ. We join in Christ’s work of salvation of the world. “Secondly, we undertake this work as an expression of our partnership with other provinces of the Anglican Communion. These are life-and-death matters [for them].” The many international guests invited to Anaheim include primates, bishops and provincial secretaries from many of the communion’s 38 provinces, especially Global issues those who have not experienced Global issues are also a priority our church governance and have at the convention. Some of the key little understanding how we operissues will focus on the crises and ate, said the Rev. Chuck Robertson, peace-making efforts in conflict canon to Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams will attend his first General Convention from July 7-9 and participate in a Bible study and be a keynote speaker at a global economic forum. Ecumenical leaders of other faiths have also been invited. Deepening the relationships between the Episcopal Church and its ecumenical partners is a goal as these ecumenical and interfaith guests participate, observe and learn about the church and how it is governed, said a member of the church’s Standing Commission on Ecumenical The Anaheim Convention Center, the site of and Interreligious Relathe 76th General Convention and the Epistions. Among the proposcopal Church Women’s Triennial Meeting. als to be put to convention is one that would introduce full communion with areas such as the Middle East, Suthe Moravian church, much like dan, Sri Lanka and the Great Lakes the covenant the Episcopal Church region of Africa. has with the Evangelical Lutheran Convention addresses global Church in America. concerns for two reasons, says
newsworthy • C
Communion meeting faced challenges Presiding Bishop THE ANGLICAN CONSULTATIVE Council met in Jamaica for two weeks in early May. You will, by now, know of the headline-attracting decisions of this meeting, but you will undoubtedly have heard much less about mission around the communion. I am convinced that the work of mission is where the Anglican Communion really “lives” – where it has its incarnate reality. The various networks of the communion focus on mission work with youth, women, indigenous peoples, French speakers; in health care, education, environmental issues and the nascent Anglican development alliance. The Anglican Communion engages God’s mission to heal this world in the incarnate realities of feeding, educating, housing and healing people, equipping them for ministry and pursuing reconciliation in contexts of war, division and discrimination. One Sunday, the members of the ACC dispersed for worship and conversation in parishes around Jamaica. I visited St. John’s, a parish in Black River, about 100 miles west of Kingston, one of the oldest congregations, dating from the mid1600s. Black River is a sleepy old port, no longer
D • activevoice
used for cargo, but it still supports a local fishery. There are two marble plaques at the front of St. John’s sanctuary that remember gifts of land to the parish in the early 1800s, to be used for the education of poor children. Two schools founded at that time continue to this day, and the parish began a major local high school in the early 1960s. Excellent education for all is a pervasive mission of the Diocese of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Yet I also heard from parishioners and clergy that claiming their status as Anglicans often is difficult. Some don’t want to be publicly identified with what is perceived as the rich, colonial church – which was also the church of many former slave owners. We talked about how the mission identity might be shifted, particularly through work with the poorest, perhaps in adultliteracy endeavors. As we ACC members shared our learning from these mission conversations, we recognized that Jamaicans, like most Anglicans, struggle to include new generations, to be relevant to the spiritual concerns of people in secular cultures and to engage their members in serving those outside the church.
The ACC meeting is a further example of the challenge we face in making decisions as a communion. We come from vastly different cultures, speak different languages and value different things about Anglicanism. For example, the covenant text garnered broad support for its first three sections, but some feel the fourth section is inappropriately focused on discipline, while others see that as essential. We are not well-equipped to make structural decisions, even though we have deeply productive dialogue and partnerships around mission. The last Lambeth Conference proceeded without resolutions, and the result was far deeper and richer because of the focus on conversation, dialogue and building relationships. This ACC meeting conducted some of its business in that way, but a great deal of time and energy was devoted to hearing reports and dealing with resolutions. The members arrived and were inundated with lengthy, complex papers on a great variety of subjects – resolutions from the different networks, the recent draft of
Katharine Jefferts Schori
an Anglican covenant, the Windsor Continuation Group report, a 256-page book on ecumenical relations and many others – and were expected to make decisions after brief opportunities for smallgroup discussion. The details of decisionmaking would surprise most Episcopalians and the contrasts with our General Convention are significant. A small group develops material in advance and then offers it to the group with relatively little opportunity for deliberation or alteration. The resolutions presented for deliberation are vetted and edited by a committee. The chair exercises a great deal of discretion in referring or declining to entertain resolutions; elections are not straightforward ballots for a single individual; discussion of any proposed amendment requires the support of 10 members and the president (the Archbishop of Canterbury) steps in fairly frequently to “steer.” Yet, even in the midst of our differences, we recognize a common passion for deep and transformative participation in God’s mission.
Faith partnerships help to eradicate malaria By Mary Frances Schjonberg EPISCOPALIANS WITH OTHER Anglicans have formed partnerships with governments and faith-based organizations to begin to control and eradicate malaria, participants at the One World Against Malaria Summit in Washington, D.C., were told in April. Held the day prior to World Malaria Day, the summit featured the announcement of new commitments from faith-based organizations, including NetsforLife, a partnership founded by Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD), which pledged to mobilize more than 30,000 volunteers and distribute up to 7 million mosquito nets in 17 sub-Saharan African countries during the next five years. In its first three years, NetsforLife distributed more than 1 million nets. “We have helped the communities through our church… to make the fight against malaria a priority,” Diocese of Northern Zambia Bishop Albert Chama told the summit. Religious communities have reached areas “where nobody would think we could be, and this is a duty of the faith-based organizations and the church, that we can get to where the government can never be at times,” said Chama, acting leader of the Anglican Province of Central Africa. “Together we can fight and win the war against malaria.” The faith-based partnership he helps lead in Zambia, which includes partnerships with NetsforLife and the Global Fund to End AIDS, TB and Malaria, has distributed 770,166 nets in a country of 11.5 million people. This helped precipitate a 90 percent drop in malaria deaths in Zambia, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice said in her keynote address. Transmitted through infected
mosquitoes, malaria infects 300 million to 500 million people each year, kills 3,000 children a day and nearly 1 million people annually, and costs an estimated $12 billion in lost productivity in Africa, according to ERD. The bishop said that malaria had accounted for 40 percent of the deaths of Zambian children age 5 and younger. ERD estimates that, when threequarters of a community properly
use insecticide-treated nets properly, malaria transmission is cut by half, child deaths by 20 percent and the mosquito population by as much as 90 percent. ‘Distinct advantages’ “Faith-based organizations have some distinct advantages that make them exceptional partners in the struggle to end malaria,” Rice said. TO PAGE F “They have nearly
Stay Connected with
EpiscopalLife! Don’t miss the August “Super Issue” of EpiscopalLife, with special coverage of the General Convention. Get all of the important General Convention news delivered right to your door when you subscribe by July 10th…. DIOCESES AND PARISHES: Keep your members informed! Take advantage of the discounted printing partner rate of $.40/copy and we’ll mail to your list (min 100) OR we’ll mail office copies directly to your church for you to distribute (min 10). CONTACT EpiscopalLife Subscription Services: Phone: 800-374-9510 • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org OR subscribe by mail: P.O. Box 2050, Voorhees, NJ 08043 Please reference code “INGC09” when subscribing.
EpiscopalLife Name _____________________________________________________________ Street ____________________________________________________________ City/State/Zip ______________________________________________________ ❑ Check Enclosed or Charge my: Visa ❑
American Express ❑
Card # ___________________________________ Expiration ________________ Phone # _____________________ Signature _____________________________ *Add $20 for each address outside the U.S. All payments must be in U.S.$. INGC09
faithworks • E
General Convention should endorse Earth Charter By Harold R. Talbot
ONE OF THE resolutions up for consideration at General Convention in July calls for endorsement of the Earth Charter together with the development of “action steps for diocese, churches and individuals to implement its principles locally, nationally and internationally.” The Earth Charter is a declaration of fundamental principles for building a just, commentary sustainable and peaceful global society in the 21st century. Following the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, it was drafted over a multi-year period by an international committee that engaged literally thousands of ordinary people and hundreds of local and international organizations. It was formally launched in June 2000 and since has received formal endorsements by thousands of groups worldwide. Among its 16 principles, the charter calls for respect for the earth, development of democratic societies, the eradication of poverty, protection and restoration of the integrity of earth’s ecological systems and gender equality. We live in an increasingly interdependent world. The current global economic crisis is further evidence, if we needed any. And yet, around the world, we often
from page E
universal reach: Many rural areas lack health clinics, but they almost always have a mosque or a church. Faith-based groups and houses of worship draw from a deep well of community trust,” she said. “The faith community has been at this for a
F • activevoice
stumble, procrastinate and expend enormous amounts of energy charging down blind alleys in our efforts to work together across boundaries, ethnicities and circumstances. As Christians, we look to Scripture to find substantial common ground for dialogue and, often, progress in resolving or even just living with our differences across and within denominations. It seems to me that it would be most helpful if, as members of global society, we could look to a globally agreed-upon set of ethical principles for guidance in resolving differences and achieving progress. I believe the Earth Charter provides just this opportunity. For our church, the four core principles (and 12 supporting principles) of the Earth Charter provide a practical framework for local and global ministry and shared responsibility for the greater community of life. Together, they are a vision of hope and a call to action. In this, we can be one. For the global community, they provide a vision of shared values at a critical time in the history of God’s creation – Earth and all life upon it – when it is crucial that we recognize that we are one interdependent community and must truly begin to live that way. There is increasing recognition of the role that can be played by Earth’s great religions in moving towards implementation of the
while,” said Ed Scott, chair of the Center for Interfaith Action on Global Poverty. “What’s new and exciting is the collaboration between faith-based institutions and governments in their joint effort to end this deadly disease.” Rear Admiral Timothy Ziemer, U.S. coordinator for the President’s Malaria Initiative, said that
values set forth in the Earth Charter. Not all of these religions are “Godcentered,” and that is why God is not mentioned in the Earth Charter. Each religion will have its own ways and means of supporting implementation of Earth Charter principles – and, I think, this is as it should be. The more important consideration is that religions bring a spiritual element to the question of “respect and care for all peoples and the greater community of life” that transcends, each in its own way, the enormous practical difficulties implicit in implementing the Earth Charter principles. A friend recently commented that the Earth Charter seems a very “ liberal” document – damning with faint praise, perhaps – and, in the context of times past, that may well have been so. But times change and are changing fast. Today, given the state of the Earth and life upon it, the Earth Charter seems to me to offer a set of values that are ultimately pragmatic, sensible and forward-looking. I hope we endorse it at General Convention. Harold R. Talbot of Katonah, N.Y., worked with the social concerns commission of the Diocese of New York to place a resolution concerning the Earth Charter onto General Convention’s agenda.
religious communities were “not just part of a network or a logistical-delivery mechanism for bed nets – the importance of the religious community is that you change minds, hearts and behavior.” One of NetsforLife’s goals is to instill what it calls a “net culture” so that entire communities understand the value of
bed nets and the right way to use and maintain them, as well as when to seek medical treatment and how to access effective treatment. Much of that work is done through local people trained as malaria-control agents. They incorporate skits and songs into their teaching efforts and help distribute and install nets.
Dear Readers RISEN Creative Writing Contest ,
The pilgrimage theme for this issue of RISEN was inspired by the handy timing of our Diocesan Pilgrimage to Taizé (thank you Ty Creason), but the idea was solidified when I realized the season this issue would fall in. Tomorrow RISEN goes to press as spring explodes its last few flowerbuds, and leaves the summer vacation season open and looming large. I know finances are tight for most of you this year, which will perhaps put a damper on your vacation plans.
Why not take your family on a Pilgrimage instead? To that end, I’ve stuffed this issue of RISEN is chock full of summer trips that cost little to nothing, but will continue to give back for the rest of your life, should you choose to set out upon one. This is, after all, the summer of “more bang for your buck”. This is the summer where Matthew 6:20 might as well read “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where [Wall Street] thieves do not break in or steal [30 percent of your heavenly treasure’s value]”. Go on a Pilgrimage. I dare you. On a completely different subject, I hope you have enjoyed the makeover Risen Magazine received for this issue! I enjoyed creating it. The new design is part of a series of enhancements that began in our last issue with the change of, well, me! Over the past few years the Diocesan House has been in a process of re-evaluation, to make sure we are using our resources as effectively and as cost-effectively as possible. Stewardship has been plummeting for years, and long before the stock market crashed, our finance department hinted that 2009 could be our tipping point. In preparation for this, the Diocese has spent the past triennium trimming, reorganizing departments and staff, and saving money.
Rhode Island’s Source for Episcopal News Enter your original, unpublished works in the RISEN Magazine Creative Writing Contest! Prizes will be awarded in the categories of:
Poetry and Fiction The winning works will be published in our January 2010 Creativity and the Arts Issue Visit RISEN Magazine at www.episcopalri.org for entry deadlines and details
RISEN Magazine has not been exempt from the process, and it is in this spirit of effectivity and cost-effectivity, that we have decided to bring the layout and design of RISEN back into house. We now have an updated, fresh looking magazine, the flexibility and control of in-house design, and a few more dollars in our RISEN pocket. Over the next few issues you will probably notice some other small changes, as we discover exciting new ways to improve RISEN One change you may notice sooner than later, is that RISEN will begin soliciting a limited number of advertisements from vendors of specific interest to Rhode Island Episcopalians. The revenue will help cover RISEN’s publication costs and keep RISEN subscriptions free to you. I hope to have a rate card for prospective advertisers available on www.episcopalri.org by July 1st, but in the mean time, you can e-mail RISEN@episcopalri.org to gather more information, or even just to say hello!
The 76th General Convention of
Summer Sun and Other Blessings, Ruth A. Meteer Editor in Chief
RISEN / SUMMER 2009
the Episcopal Church July 8–17, 2009 Anaheim, California.
THE EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF RHODE ISLAND
Episcopal Charities Fund of Rhode Island
401-274-4500 x234 www.episcopalri.org
OCTOBER 23 2009 6:00PM Celebration of the 80th Anniversary of the Cathedral of St. John, With a Eucharist Followed by a Collation in Synod Hall.
SATURDAY OCTOBER 24 2009 8:00AM The Marriott Downtown, One Orms Street As Our Guest:
BISHOP JOHN ZAWO OF OUR COMPANION DIOCESE OF EZO, IN THE SUDAN Bishop Zawo has accepted Bishop Wolf â€™s invitation to join us for the weekend, pending his ability to receive a Visa.
Your Advertisement Could Be
Right Here email
To Find Out More
SUMMER 2009/ RISEN 35
Episcopal Conference Center
SUMMER CAMPS 2009
The Episcopal Conference Center has 186 wooded acres on beautiful Echo Lake in Pascoag. There is a lovely beach for swimming and canoeing, hiking trails, an outdoor campﬁre area, and much more! All of our camps are sleep-over weeks, where campers and counselors stay in cabins at night and have days ﬁlled with worship, fun activities, and adventures!
THE EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF RHODE ISLAND
WELCOME TO THE COMMUNITY!
For a brochure or more info visit
Contact the Camp at (401) 568-4055 email@example.com