Saturday, February 9, 2013

Living on $4 a Day

In keeping with my intent to make Saturday's a day for something a little different from the Monday to Friday meandering of this blog, unless distracted by some event such as the Hui last weekend, today's something is the Lenten message of the Presiding Bishop of TEC. 


I wish you a blessed Lent.
Lent is the ancient season of preparation. Preparation for Baptism at the Easter Vigil and it’s a season of solidarity with those who are being formed to be disciples of Jesus and missionaries in God’s mission.
We form people in a sense that God dreams of a healed world, a world restored to peace with justice, and some of the ancient images of that healed world are those of the prophets. One of the famous ones from Isaiah is an image of people having a picnic on a mountainside, enjoying rich food and well-aged wine. That image of being well-fed is particularly poignant in a world like ours where so many go hungry.
Lent is a time when we pray, when we fast, when we study, when we give alms. It’s a time of solidarity and it is particularly a time to be in solidarity with the least of these.
As you prepare for your Lenten season and your Lenten discipline, I’d encourage you to think about consciousness in eating. That’s really more what fasting is about than giving up chocolate. Being conscious of what you eat, standing in solidarity with those who are hungry, whether it is for food, or shelter, or peace, or dignity, or recognition, or for love.
When we stand in solidarity in terms of eating, we might consider what we are eating and how we are eating it and with whom we are eating, and I’d invite you to consider some of the challenges that are around us. Many leaders in this United States part of the church have engaged in an act of solidarity with the poor by trying to live on a food stamp budget for a week. That’s about $4 a person per day. And it’s very, very difficult to find adequate calories and reasonably nutritious food for that kind of a budget. But it would be an act of solidarity with those who do go without every day and every week. An act of solidarity like that might increase your consciousness about those who go hungry, it might increase your own consciousness about what you eat, and it might provide an opportunity to share some of your largesse, some of what you save from that kind of eating with those who go without.
The violence in our country, the violence around the world is most often an act in response to those who don’t have enough. Those who are hungry, those who ache for recognition and dignity, those who struggle for peace.
Your and my preparation for the great Easter festival can be an act of solidarity with the least of these. As you engage this Lent, I would encourage you to pray, to fast, to act in solidarity with those who go without. Learn more, give alms, share what you have. Be conscious about what you eat.
A blessed, blessed Lent this year.
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church

9 comments:

Turnip Ghost said...

Wow-this from a church with the highest percentage of private-school educated members and clergy in the US after the Quakers.
Paternalist (maternalist) nonsense.
Lady Bountiful in vestments.

Father Ron Smith said...

I find the last comment on this thread a little uninspiring - and almost totally devoid of context. I wonder how the author connects the PB's efforts to encourage Lenten Fasting with (p)maternalism?

Shawn Herles said...

"The violence in our country, the violence around the world is most often an act in response to those who don’t have enough. Those who are hungry, those who ache for recognition and dignity, those who struggle for peace."

Rubbish.

Al-Qaeda is concerned with peace and poverty???

Kurt said...

“Wow-this from a church with the highest percentage of private-school educated members and clergy in the US after the Quakers. Paternalist (maternalist) nonsense.
Lady Bountiful in vestments.”—Turnip Ghost

It’s precisely because we Episcopalians are relatively privileged that it’s important to be reminded that “preparation for the great Easter festival can be an act of solidarity with the least of these…to pray, to fast, to act in solidarity with those who go without. Learn more, give alms, share what you have. Be conscious about what you eat.”

Good advice, I think. Particularly for this season of Lent. And I say that as a graduate of an elite, northeastern liberal arts college of Episcopal foundation, fully cognizant of my obligations to others less fortunate than myself, (however “paternalist” it may seem to some spectral Evangelicals Down Under.)

Kurt Hill
In snowbound Brooklyn, NY

Turnip Ghost said...

Sir, Andrea Dworkin couldn't have raved more ludicrously.
Here's to refute: I don't live anywhere near the Southern Hemisphere. I'm not related to anyone who does. I've never been there. I don't work for anyone who does work there or with anyone there.
I'm not an Evangelical but that doesn't mean that the sight of the Archdeacon of Hampstead Heath swinging his flaming purse makes me happy; I'm an atheist.
And if you wanted to be "reminded" of your privilege and its responsibilities, get your private schools and colleges to admit-and graduate-students who are poor in the percentage such students make up in the general school age population; paternalism has very much had its day. Otherwise, you're just a waste of space and Mainline Protestantism will continue to be Something (Only)White People Like.

Father Ron Smith said...

I'm not sure why 'Turnip Ghost' an obvious spectral vegetable enthusiast with no religious affiliation is actually doing here on A.D.U. I fear we give him too much attention, and he may just thrive on it.

Turnip Ghost said...

As I'm sure my departure would help you restore what Mainline Protestantism,indeed all religions, wish for most devoutly: a tranquil, quiet echo chamber of the like-minded. A "flock"-coincidentally what clergy call their sheeple.
"Father"? Bit of a pre-Raphaellite affectation there, isn't it? Ever ask the Catholics or Orthodox if THEY think you're a real priest?

Shawn Herles said...

"As I'm sure my departure would help you restore what Mainline Protestantism,indeed all religions, wish for most devoutly: a tranquil, quiet echo chamber of the like-minded."

You haven't spent much time here have you? If you think that without your presence this blog, or our Church, would be a quiet echo chamber of the like-minded, your seriously mistaken.

Your posts have barely registered with me, so if you think your some kind of challenging, upsetting presence, you may want to try a little harder.

Or not.

"A "flock"-coincidentally what clergy call their sheeple."

The devotees of the religion of "atheism" make pretty good sheeple. Just look at how easily they swallow the laughable twaddle spouted by Richard Dawkins

Kurt said...

“Ever ask the [Roman] Catholics or [Eastern] Orthodox if THEY think you’re a real priest” –Turnip Ghost

Actually, yes. I remember attending a Trinity Institute session here in New York City some years a go, where a world-famous Jesuit scholar was asked exactly this question. His reply was that he, and all of the Jesuits he knew, fully recognized Anglican orders, and he thought the Roman hierarchy “very short sighted” for not formally doing so.

As to the Eastern Orthodox, several of their bishops have already (years ago) participated in the consecration of Anglican and Episcopal bishops, so the answer to your question is obvious.

Now, that does not mean that some Roman Catholics or Eastern Orthodox don’t have differences with Episcopalians regarding women’s ordination, openly gay bishops, etc. But the most progressive, educated elements certainly DO THINK that our priests are “real.”

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY
Where we are expecting more snow tonight