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Dry Desert
St. Paul's Manna Blog

He humbled you by letting you hunger, then by feeding you with manna... in order to make you understand that one does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
(Deuteronomy 8:3)

This week, I was published in Earth & Altar! I wrote an article for them called "The Feminist Mysteries of the Rosary (An Experiment)."

A close-up photo of hands with manicured nails holding a rosary.
Photo by Karolina Grabowska

Here's an excerpt from my piece:

Even in her agony at Jesus’ crucifixion, Mary can’t tear her gaze away (Matthew 27:55-56). She stays by his side, then sits outside his tomb. Her desire to be close to her son’s body while she mourns reflects the deeply human needs for proximity with the ones we love.
Mary is not a supernatural being. She’s fully human, fully prophetic, fully heartbroken. So when we are heartbroken and pray with her, she dwells in that space with us.

If you read it, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Earth & Altar is a new magazine dedicated to inclusive orthodoxy. From their website:

Earth & Altar is a blog/magazine for and by catholic and reformed Christians of all denominations who see an expansively conceived credal orthodoxy as fully compatible with LGBTQ inclusion, gender equality, and racial justice. You will find reflections on theology, history, liturgy, preaching, spirituality, church practice, and the arts that are accessible to the thoughtful non-specialist for the good of the church and God’s mission in the world. Earth & Altar will especially seek to provide a platform for voices traditionally on the margins of the church because of age, race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, and geography.

Bishops Ian Douglas and Laura Ahrens have released a statement in response to this past week's Supreme Court rulings. I encourage you to read their full statement here.

They're writing regarding the decisions handed down on New York State Rifle v. Bruen (regarding commonsense laws on carrying weapons in public) and on Dobbs v. Jackson (regarding access to privacy and reproductive healthcare in the form of abortions).

About gun laws, Bishops Ian and Laura say:

Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling, however, puts people of faith at even greater risk when we gather for prayer, worship, fellowship and service. At the same time, we thank our elected officials in Washington DC, especially Senators Murphy and Blumenthal and their key leadership, in passing a bipartisan gun bill signed into law by President Biden today.

Regarding abortion access, Bishops Ian and Laura say:

Yesterday’s decision is not only contrary to our church’s position, but will result in unequal access for women seeking healthcare across the United States, disproportionately harming poor women.

Thank you for taking a few moments to read their words. Remember that the St. Paul's community and I are here for whatever pastoral needs you have, in response to these rulings or in general. God bless you, and stay safe.

My heart is broken once again. One week after a gunman killed Dr. John Cheng at a Taiwanese Presbyterian church in Laguna Woods, CA. Nine days after another gunman killed 10 Black people in a Buffalo, NY supermarket. Here we are yet again.

As I am sure you have heard, yet another gunman killed at least 19 children and two teachers at a school in Uvalde, TX yesterday.

I have no words of wisdom. Instead, I'm writing to share two things:

Service of Lament, Saturday 7pm

On Saturday at 7pm, St. Paul's will host a Service of Lament. Please invite any members of the Southington community or surrounding areas who may want to attend.

This is a time to gather so that we can mourn those who have died, lament with those who are left behind, and discern what actions God is calling us to take. Prayer is not an action in itself; rather, it is the action we take to discern and fortify whatever it is we need to do next.

Message from Our Bishops

Today, Bishops Ian and Laura released a message about the Uvalde, TX shooting. You can read their message here.

Both Bishop Ian and Bishop Laura have been leaders in the important work of Bishops United Against Gun Violence. And I'm so grateful that Bishop Laura will be able to pray with us on Saturday evening.

The stresses of COVID, gun violence, white supremacy, a struggling economy, and so many other factors are compounding and causing very real trauma for all of us. Please reach out to me (and to each other) for support at this time so that we can continue to be about the work God has in store for us.

I conclude with the prayer our bishops shared today:

Most merciful God, whose wisdom is beyond our understanding. Deal graciously with the families of the victims of the Uvalde school shooting in their grief. Surround them with your love, that they may not be overwhelmed by their loss, but have confidence in your goodness, and strength to meet the days to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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