Saturday, April 28, 2007

Afro Celt Sound System

A few months ago my friend Kieran introduced me to "Afro Celts" having learned of my appreciation for Peter Gabriel's work. So here and there I've been listening to this fascinating fusion of sound and finding myself very inspired. I wonder if the Anglican Communion might learn something from this "world music supergroup"? Afro Celt Sound System draws together celtic, african, and dance music into one amazing aural experience. In addition to their website (where you can listen to a few of their tunes) they have a fan site too.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Global Day(s) for Darfur

I just got back from a press conference in front of San Francisco City Hall where people from across the Bay Area came together to help launch the Global Day(s) for Darfur. There are events throughout the world happening this weekend to call for an end to the violence. Author Anne Lamott, the Reverend Cecil Williams from Glide Memorial Methodist Church, Sudanese immigrants, kids from a local Catholic school, secular and religious activists and Stanford University students were among those who spoke at today's event.

There will be an interfaith prayer service this evening at Old Saint Mary's Church. Click here for more details on all that is happening to bring an end to this nightmare.

A new friend of mine just told me about an event happening this coming Friday highlighting the struggles of Northern Ugandan children, called "Displace Me". My friend Mike in San Diego has posted a thoughtful reflection on the event and film associated with the movement. There are many ways to express ones commitment to the global struggle for justice and reconciliation, may we never give up until the dignity of all people is honored.

A Prayer attributed to St. Francis

Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is
hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where
there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where
there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where
there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to
be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is
in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we
are born to eternal life. Amen.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


Yesterday, I got to spend some time with two people doing amazing things to connect faith and economics --- Ben Corey-Moran, from Thanksgiving Coffee Company and David Funkhouser, a strategic outreach person for TransFair --- we were joined for lunch by two of my colleagues from work and a woman named Lee from Georgia who belongs to a fascinating faith community connected with an interesting place called Hildegard's. I've been getting to know Ben through the San Francisco Interfaith Council and their effort to support an interfaith co-op in Uganda. David, I met a few months ago, he's also an Episcopal priest, grew up just a few miles from my childhood summer camp, Shrine Mont and actually spent summer's working there. Our group had a wonderful, rich and deep conversation about coffee, the fair-trade movement and how faith communities can help support this global movement for sustainable development, just labor practices, gender equality and environmental protection.

A very inspiring and wide-ranging conversation, full of hope, new information and opportunities for working together. I first heard about Fair-Trade through two organizations one religious and one fairly secular but both committed to justice and peace, Ten Thousand Villages and Global Exchange. We in the church are always talking about putting our beliefs into practice --- Fair-Trade perhaps may be one way to take our commitments into the marketplace. Many Episopal Church's have been supporting Fair-Trade through the ERD's Bishop's Blend Coffee as well but there perhaps may be many other ways to encourage this important work. Just saw a story in Sunday's New York Times on Fair-Trade, worth a read.

Friday, April 20, 2007

New sites for faith, art, peace & justice

There's a new blog emerging called Episcopal Cafe. Episcopal Cafe intends to feature inspiring reflections, beautiful art, and engaging perspectives from across the country.

Also, a new site Global Good has been launched by the Episcopal Church today in observance of Earth Day 2007. Global Good is intended to be a tool to support involvement in the Episcopal Church's top churchwide mission priority peace and justice ministries framed by the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Pray for victims of and an end to violence

Please pray for all affected by the horrific violence at Virginia Tech.

God of life,

Every act of violence in our world, in our communities, destroys a part of your creation.

Stir in our hearts a renewed sense of reverence for all life.

Give us the vision to recognize your spirit in every human being, however they behave.

Make possible the impossible by cultivating in us the fertile seed of healing love.

May we play our part in breaking the cycle of violence. AMEN

The prayer above is adapted from a prayer on the St Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace website. You can read the original here.

There are a number of significant theological reflections over at "OnFaith" worth reading about this tragedy. Including Desmond Tutu, Marcus Borg, John Chane of Washington D.C. and N.T. Wright.

Also, the God's Politics blog is a good place to find helpful commentary and inspiration. I was particularly moved by the words of Diana Butler Bass and Shane Claiborne.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Grace Cathedral is a busy place as are all Episcopal churches during Holy Week (the week preceding Easter) but the Cathedral is getting extra visitors right now because of a beautiful and deeply inspiring piece of art that has been on a pilgrimage around this country --- the Keiskamma Altarpiece from Hamburg, South Africa. A wonderful video has been put together which you can view here. Check out the official Keiskamma website for further details. If you are in the Bay Area this is definately something worth viewing up close.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

you were strangers...

Last night I had the opportunity to attend a Passover Seder at my friend Hillary's place in Oakland. What a gift and honor to participate in this holy and beautiful meal celebrating God's liberating love and care for the oppressed. As we read from the Torah particularly the words calling the people of God to remember that they were strangers and must care for the stranger as they care for themselves, I recalled the recent ICE raids in Marin County and the continuing struggle for immigrant rights throughout this country. People from my church have participated in vigils calling for an end to these unjust raids and recently Bishop Marc Andrus of the Episcopal Diocese of California stood with other clergy from a variety of religious traditions calling for compassion and justice. You can read about this here and view a video here.

“The strangers who sojourn with you shall be to you as the natives among you, and you shall love them as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt” [Leviticus 19:33-34]

"Justice, justice shall you pursue" [Deuteronomy 16:20]

“You shall neither mistreat a stranger nor oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” [Exodus 22: 21]