Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lenten Discipline

Each year we are challenged during Lent by the call for prayer, fasting, and commitment to Christ in preparation for Easter.

 As far as fasting goes, there are a number of ways you can go about it. I remember as a child studying the wall calendar that my mother kept posted on the kitchen wall. It was a calendar that the church printed. You may remember the type that had little pictures of the Bishop and perhaps the Presiding Bishop or the Archbishop on opposite sides of the header. The dates for the feast days of the Saints were highlighted in red, and Fridays were always marked "Fast". Being a smarty pants, I challenged my mother one Friday by asking her why, if fasting meant abstaining from food, was she cooking dinner. She responded by saying that fasting meant to not eat meat, so that was why we ate fish on Fridays. I thought I had her at that point so I told her that fish is a form of meat. She retorted that the Bishop said that fish was okay and that I should be thankful for that.

Who was I to argue with a Bishop?

I have since learned that Bishops are not always to be trusted as authorities.

So, I have studied up on the subject, and I have learned that scriptural fasting might be a bit more difficult than eating Dad's catch of the day each Friday.

I never have kept a real fast like Jesus might have done, but one year I had a lunch fast, another year I only ate green things for lunch, and this year I am going for a modified caveman approach. I present the following example.




It may not be scriptural, but I can feel some positive effects already.
I can almost feel the hair growing on my knuckles now. No need to worry though, I have found that the hair rubs off whem my knuckles drag across the parking lot.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

It's Lent, Just Don't Get All Bent Out Of Shape About It

In his sermon today, our preacher referred to an Abbot Antonio and offered up the following quote (which I could only track down to an unreferenced blog citation),

When Abbot Antonio was asked if the road of sacrifice led to Heaven, he replied:

‘There are two such roads. The first is that of the man who mortifies his flesh and does penance because he believes that we are all damned.
‘This man feels guilty and unworthy to live a happy life.
‘He will never get anywhere because God does not inhabit guilt.

‘The second road is that of the man who knows that the world is not as perfect as we would all like it to be, but who nevertheless puts time and effort into improving the world around him.
‘In this case, the Divine Presence helps him all the time, and he will find Heaven.’

Fr. Antonio makes an unattractive strawman and places him on the first road in order to blow him away by the second one. Our preacher stuffed a little more straw into the miserable guilt ridden straw man before moving on to focus on the second road.

Our preacher changed the wording of the first road to be the road of guilt and the second road to mean the road of "grace."

The first man is stuck in his guilt, not a very good place to be, and not the typical individual you are going to meet these days. But at least he knows that something is wrong and I hope he will find the road to repentance which probably leads to the second road.

I got the impression that repentance was needed to get on the road of grace too, but once on it you really shouldn't bother about beating yourself up over all that sin stuff.

That would be the typical watering down of our sinful nature that we so often hear in the Episcopal church.
Of course, most of us need to be brought down before we can be lifted up, and some of us more than others. It would be nice to start out on that second road, but most of us have some repenting to do before we get on. I would rather the story of the two roads be less mutually exclusive and told as a highway with an on-ramp. Of course there is always the chance of a breakdown or detour along the way. It would be nice to be so free from sin that we didn't breakdown so often or need to be reminded about it. Hey, if we are already at the end of the second road, why bother with such things as going to church or confessioning our sins?

What we forget is that without sin, grace is not necessary.
Thankfully, our hymns provided the balance we needed on this the first Sunday in Lent.

Hymn 142

Lord, who through-out these forty days
for us didst fast and pray,
teach us with thee to mourn our sins,
and close by thee to stay.

As thou with Satan didst contend
and didst the victory win,
O give us strength in thee to fight,
in thee to conquer sin.

As thou didst hunger bear and thirst,
so teach us, gracious Lord,
to die to self, and chiefly live
by thy most holy word.

And through these days of penitence,
and through thy Passion-tide,
yea, evermore, in life and death,
Jesus! with us abide.

Abide with us, that so, this life
of suffering over-past,
an Easter of unending joy
we may attain at last!

Words: Claudia Frances Hernaman (1838-1898) Music: St. Flavian, melody from Day's Psalter, 1562; adapt. and harm. Richard Redhead (1820-1901)

Remember that one of Jesus' calls to us is to repent.

And to think we just went over this as we were reading about our Lord's early ministry in Mark 1.

I guess this counts as another detour off the superhighway of grace.

Excuse me as I mortify myself.

Now where is that on-ramp again?


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"Because He Had Refused Those Few Ashes"

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, which for me is a period of prayer, fasting and repentance. Woe be it unto those who do not repent as the ancient Abbot of Eynsham illustrated (in bold text below) a thousand years ago. First the preface (I did a lot of work typing this so you had better read it),
"On the Wednesday, throughout the whole world, the priests bless, even as it is appointed, clean ashes in church, and afterward lay them upon men's heads, that they may have in mind that they came from earth, and shall again return to dust, even as the Almighty God spake to Adam, after he had sinned against God's command 'In toil thou shalt live, and in sweat thou shalt eat thy loaf on earth, until thou return again to the same earth from which thou earnest, because thou art dust, and shalt to dust return.'"
"This is not said of men's souls, but of men's bodies that moulder to dust, and afterwards shall at doomsday, through our Lord's might, all arise from the earth, that were ever alive, like as all trees are always quickened in the Lenten time, which before had been deadened by the winter's chill. We read in the books, both in the old Law and in the new, that the men who repented of their sins bestrewed themselves with ashes, and clothed their bodies with sackcloth."
"Now let us do this little in the beginning of our Lent, that we strew ashes upon our heads to signify that we ought to repent of our sins during our Lenten fast."
"There was a certain foolish man with bishop Ælfstan in Wiltshire, in his household: this man would not go to the ashes on the Wednesday as other men did, who attended at mass; then his companions begged that he would go to the mass-priest, and receive the scared mysteries which they had received. He said, 'I will not." They still prayed him. He said that he would not, and spake strangely in his talk, and said that he would use his wife at the forbidden time. Then they left him so. It befell that the heretic was riding in that week about some errand when the hounds attacked him very fiercely, and he defended himself until his spear shaft stood up before him, and the horse carried him forward so that the spear went right through him, and he fell dying.
He was then buried, and there lay upon him many loads of earth within seven nights, because he had refused those few ashes."
Ælfric, "Lives of the Saints" edited by Rev. Walter W. Skeat, Cambridge-1881 pp263-268 (269-271 in the reader)

Ælfric of Eynsham (Old English: Ælfrīc; Latin: Alfricus, Elphricus) (c. 955 – c. 1010 )

                                                           Eynsham centre

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

URGENT: Prayer Request for ++Nzimbi of Kenya

Former Kenyan Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi suffered a stroke which has affected his left side and his speech.  Please pray that the doctors are able to administer to him in a timely manner so that these impairments may be corrected and he is restored to full health.

This came across my desk a few minutes ago, and it has left me speechless too. There is only one thing for us to do in times like this, times when others seek our prayers, and that is to get down on our knees together in prayer.

Lord, you instructed us to gather in prayer and you will grant our requests. Look upon your servant Benjamin and be beside him, give him strength, and if it be your will, restore his speech so that he may once again proclaim your name with courage and strength. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Secret of the Transfiguration

Today's Gospel reading was Mark's version of the Transfiguration,

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!’ Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.
 As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. Mark 9:2-9 (NRSV)
Our preacher pointed out that this, or one of the other versions,  usually appears on the Sunday calendar immediately before Lent.  I have to wonder why.

Clearly, the Transfiguration occurs before Jesus' death and is so placed in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, but the witnesses were to keep it all a secret.

It seems likely that people, perhaps even the other disciples, would have doubted the testimony of Peter, James, and John until the presence of the resurrected Jesus in their midst proved the Transfiguration account to be true.

Why not recount the story of the Transfiguration after Easter in the modern Church calendar? Wouldn't that have more of an impact on us pewsitters? After all, Peter, James, and John were ordered not to talk about it until after Jesus' Resurrection, so why should we be talking about it now?

Wouldn't it be good to hear this story when the Resurrection is fresh on our minds?

What about those today who doubt the witness of the Gospels? Don't forget, there are many who wish to treat the empty tomb as "irrelevant" (Marcus Borg) and better understood as a metaphor for our continuing life with Christ. Can one accept today's story of the Transfiguration as a real, historical event if one has not accepted the fact that Jesus' body really rose from the grave?

Alas, it appears that our Presiding Bishop has fallen under the spell of the metaphor and can't speak of the real Resurrection in her most recent Lenten letter which she concludes with,

"I wish you a blessed Lent and a joyful resurrection at the end of it that may be shared with others around the world."

To Schori, and to the rest of the sceptics, Christianity is all about the here and now, a resurrection of the self, which unfortunately gives us a resurrection with a small "r".

No cross, no crown.

It may sound backwards but, no Resurrection, no Transfiguration.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Rodent Housing Crunch

Nell Greenfieldboyce at NPR must have drawn the short straw and was given this story about how our helpful government is planning on attacking the housing problem in the mus musculus world. 
"Recently, some new recommendations about how to house female lab rodents and their babies caused an uproar, with experts at major research institutions now saying they're unsure of what they'll have to do to keep their government funding. The new recommendations appear in the bible of lab animal care, officially called The Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals."
"There are a lot of changes in this edition of the guide, but the one that has the research world in a tizzy appears on page 57. It's a chart that lays out new recommendations for the minimum number of square inches of floor space that should be used to house female rodents and their babies.
It says a female mouse plus her litter should get at least 51 square inches, while a female rat plus her litter gets at least 124 square inches."
Who knew? Do you think anyone asked the rodents for their opinion?

At least minimal floor space requirements are measured in square inches because for a minute I thought I was going have to enlarge my attic where a family of squirrels has set up winter residence in their luxurious 1200 square feet of cozy, insulated, "natural" habitat.

What were they thinking? Don't they know that some mice are problem snorers? How would you like to be stuck in 51 square inches with one of these:

One problem with our human government regulating rodent reproductive habitats is that rodents don't follow human rules. For one thing, they practice a rodent version of polygamy, as one researcher explains,
"To explain his concerns with the new guidelines, Adams pulls out one cage. Hairless pink babies squirm in one corner. There's a tangle of adults with dark fur over by the water valve. Adams says there's probably a male in here with a harem. One male plus two or more females can produce lots of mice quickly."

"But as Adams interprets the new guidelines, this would no longer be possible in this shoe box-sized cage. The guide seems to say that its 75 square inches is big enough only for one mother and her babies, plus one other adult."
The cruelty of our government breaking up families!

So whom do you separate from the babies, the father, or some member(s) of his harem?

Animal activists should have their paws up in outrage!

The real beneficiaries of these new rules are of course the manufacturers of the little plastic mouse houses and the large expensive racks that hold them.

Researchers had better heed these "recommendations" and buy the new equipment or else...
...the government warns that "blanket, program-wide departures from the Guide for reasons of convenience, cost, or other non-animal welfare considerations are not acceptable."

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Abundant Life as a Solitary Construct

This Sunday was the date set aside for our annual parish meeting. Our supply priest, knowing that it could be a long day, gave a reasonably short sermon taking his cues from 1 Corinthians 9:24-27,

Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it. Athletes exercise self-control in all things; they do it to receive a perishable garland, but we an imperishable one. So I do not run aimlessly, nor do I box as though beating the air; but I punish my body and enslave it, so that after proclaiming to others I myself should not be disqualified.
He was clearly trying to encourage people to stick it out and stay for the meeting, and he also got in some good points about the difficult race we run when we try to keep up with our Bible reading (a few downcast faces there) and prayers.

One point gave me a little trouble was when he talked about the goal of the Christian race we run. As he described, "salvation" has been misinterpreted by other denominations to mean "eternal life" whereas he would prefer to consider it to mean "healing" and "abundant life" to be the goal of the race. Our priest openly wondered why no Episcopal churches were named "Abundant Life" ( I googled that and I think that is correct).

I am sorry, but I think in his haste to dismiss those who might over-emphasize the importance of eternal salvation at the expense of the benefit of living life abundantly, our priest went entirely too far in the opposite direction. Not only did he fail to make a connection between the two, but I feel that he may have severed a connection that should have been a point of emphasis.

His hypothetical Episcopal Church of the Abundant Life sounds a little fishy to me, and I am left with the following questions:
1) Is abundant life the goal?
2) What is the definition of abundant life?
3) Do you need the promise of eternal life as long as you have abundant life?
4) Can you truly live life abundantly if you do not have eternal life?
 Unfortunately, I fear that the answer to #1 is all too often "Yes", and when abundance is the goal in life, we will easily find it in things that please us but might displease God. Life seems even more abundant when we do not have to worry about upsetting God. In our Episcopal church tradition, we have been able to successfully eliminate God's displeasure by writing it out of our language (see the numerous posts here on the missing verses in the Sunday Lectionary) or by re-defining things that once were "considered" sinful to now be "blessed" (abortion as a blessing pronounced by the Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School, and same-sex blessings for example).

When asked for a definition of abundant life (#2), I suspect that the leader of the hypothetical Episcopal Church of the Abundant Life would say that abundant life is that which promotes and furthers "justice." Justice has to be defined next as the liberal social cause du jour.

I greatly fear that many in the hypothetical Episcopal Church of the Abundant Life would answer #3, if being intellectually honest, in the negative, and #4 in the affirmative.

I contend that abundant life as a solitary construct, absent of the promise of eternal life, is the way of death.

Maybe it is just as well that we don't have an Episcopal Church of the Abundant Life.

Give me the "Church of Our Saviour" as a name for a church any day rather than that.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Free Will and the Unleashed: Born to Run?

"Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;
Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:
Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free." Ephesians 6:5-8 KJV

The other day on my way home, I drove past the family dog et m'épouse on their afternoon walk. They were deep in a nearby vacant lot checking out some of those smells that I can only imagine appear new each day to the hyper-acute nose of a dog. As I stopped to load up the empty trash can and the recycling containers, I heard a shout and turned around to see the dog, released from his choke collar and leash, running as fast as a greyhound down the street to greet me.

Now, you have to know that this is the same animal that last year was sentenced to wear the leash and collar for the crime of running away in the excitement of his first white Christmas, frustrating all attempts to get him to return by running deeper into the woods and the backyards whenever we got close to him. One year later, after running right to me, the same dog began zooming up and down the neighboring yards and driveways, racing right past me on every lap as we played his version of "tag." Always returning, never getting distracted from the game by some new sound or smell, and never stopping to leave his calling card in the neighbor's yard or stopping to examine their trash cans, this year the dog reveled in this display of his freedom as well as revealing his bond to his human guardians. As he returned and obediently sat to accept the choke collar and leash before being led back to the house, he was given a well deserved pat and a "good dog" compliment.

Contrast this with what happened a few days later. Driving along with said dog in the back seat, window down to prevent car-sickness and to let him enjoy the sights and smells of new territories, a squirrel made a mad dash towards the car. Suddenly, I heard something or sensed a shift in the ballast and looked back to see an empty back seat. Stopping the car, I found the dog, having forgotten the object of its earlier desire, chasing after me, not the squirrel.

Freedom becomes less attractive when you are lost, hurt, and bleeding.

 All this made me think of our personal relationships to our Master. Most of us have probably thought about the question of free will as well as the issues of "law," our willful disobedience, God's wrath, His love for us, and how these all interact as we live and learn about this life in Christ that we have been given. He gives us both freedom and the collar. He watches us as we run, rues when we do not return, and rejoices when, out of love for Him, we willingly return to His open arms, without fear of the collar and leash if He judges that we need to wear them again; we know that they are given to us out of love for our safety.

 As I sit beside a cozy fireplace with God's warm animal resting its head and bloody lip on my shoulder, I wonder why I can be so lucky to have a Lord and Master as well.

Forgive me Lord when I run off to upset my neighbor's garbage. Forgive me when I wander off chasing the smells and temptations of the world. Teach me to run with freedom within your sight, and teach me to return to you out of love for you.

Your tail-wagger,


Sunday, February 05, 2012

Your Episcopal Pledge Dollars at Work (Part II)

                                         (The Evangelfish from Reverend Fun)
In today's Gospel reading we heard a little about the early ministry of our Saviour and the beginnings of the spread of his teachings in Mark 1:29-39 from which I quote verses 35-39,
35 In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed.
36 And Simon and his companions hunted for him.
37When they found him, they said to him, ‘Everyone is searching for you.’
38 He answered, ‘Let us go on to the neighbouring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.’
39 And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.
What was that early message? Was it of repentance and the good news that the kingdom of God was at hand as we read in Mark 1:14-15, or was it one of forgiveness of sins as we will hear about in Mark chapter 2?

Whatever it might have been, the early message was probably nothing like the messages that the Episcopal church of 2012 has been trying to spread.

H/T T-19 for posting this link to a summary of TEc Exec Council Resolutions from 01/29/12.
I started to respond in the comments at T19 to the question of whether or not the Executive Council of the Episcopal church discussed church growth at all at their recent meeting when I realized that my response was going to be too long, too linked, and too full of the sorry story about just what kind of people are in charge of the Episcopal church to fit in a comment box. In short, the Executive Council did discuss their idea of church growth because you can see that they chose to,
"Recognize and celebrate the work of council members the Rev. Canon Sandye Wilson and the Rev. Winnie Varghese in spreading “Good News” locally and abroad (EC021)"
And what "Good News" have these two been spreading?

Well, for one, the Rev. Winnie Varghese is a lesbian Indian-American who has been featured at the Huffington Post in a piece called,  "Celebrating The Holy: Marriage Equality As Sacrament."

Oh yeah, that "good news."

I don't know how well that type of ministry goes over "abroad", but Outlook India did an article on her in which they wrote,
Winnie would like to see activists again on the steps and in the graveyard of St Marks like in the sixties, and in the days leading up to the Iraq war. "Spirituality for me is very embodied. It's who we are on this earth, and how we treat each other on this planet."
And how about Sandye Wilson+? The word out on the street is one of accusations about a same-sex scandal in the past,

Referring to the inquiry back on Sept 28,1998, the Episcopal Press had this terse statement:
September 28, 1998 Reinstated Colorado Priest Accepts Call in Minnesota: Episcopal News Service

(Episcopal Life) Just days after Bishop Jerry Winterrowd reinstated the Rev. Sandra Wilson as rector of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Wilson announced in September that she had accepted a call from a parish in Minneapolis.

Wilson, 45, a member of Executive Council who was elected president of the Union of Black Episcopalians in July, was temporarily inhibited last March by Winterrowd after three women made formal complaints of sexual and ethical misconduct.

Wilson, a nominee for suffragan bishop of the Diocese of Maryland at that time, withdrew from the selection process.

After a diocesan response team conducted an investigation and made its confidential report to Winterrowd, the bishop issued a single-sentence statement in August that he and Wilson "had entered into an agreement which addresses the subject matter of the inquiry."

During her sermon on Sept. 6, Wilson told her congregation the decision to leave was hers alone. "In light of what we've been through I cannot stay," she said.

Dismissing suggestions that she had been asked to leave, Wilson told Episcopal Life she had been part of the search by the Minneapolis parish since January. "When this thing [the investigation] was over, they called me and I accepted," she said.

Wilson, who said the complaints were raised to prevent her election to the episcopacy in Maryland, said she intends to remain on Executive Council as a representative from Province 6.
 The original article was in the Denver Post,
DENVER - An Episcopal priest will be leaving her parish and moving to another after acknowledging that she had "relationships" with two women in her congregation. The admission by the Rev. Sandra Wilson, 45, a black female pastor was cited in a confidential memo from Colorado Episcopal Bishop Jerry Winterrowd accused Wilson in late March of "sexual and ethical misconduct," prompting Wilson's suspension from the pulpit. A third woman also filed a complaint but the nature of it has not been made public. Although a diocesan "response team" found the women's complaints "credible," Winterrowd reinstated Wilson saying the case was closed.

Wilson denies any "exploitation of those parties or abuse of her role" as a priest, the bishop's memo says. But official guidelines of the Episcopal Church forbid a priest from having a sexual relationship with a member of his or her congregation.

Wilson declined comment on the memo because of a confidential agreement between Wilson and her bishop. (9/7/98 Denver Post)
While other Churches get in trouble for spreading potential sex scandals "locally and abroad," the Episcopal church celebrates it!

This amazing story can only be explained by assuming that the blessedness of same-sex realtionships has become part of the doctrine of the Episcopal church, and it is now incumbent upon the members of the church to spread this doctrine as part of the new and revised "good news."

How far we have strayed. TEc's upper levels are so enamored by a false gospel that they wouldn't recognize the original "Good News" if it were to be tossed directly onto their doorsteps.
 Instead of "recognizing and celebrating" the work of these false teachers, we should be raising a warning flag to others,
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ- Colossians 2:8
The Executive Council should be well informed about the results of their work to spread the "new good news" as they were recently presented with these slides:

Decline in ASA over 10 years
Another slide adds additional evidence:

  • Change in church school enrollment: -33%
  • Change in number of marriages performed: -41%
  • Change in number of burials/funerals: -21%
  • Change in the number of child baptisms: -36%
  • Change in the number of adult baptisms: -40%
  • Change in the number of confirmations: -32%
  • Oh yeah, keep up the good work Executive Council. Honor and recognize your evangelists of the new gospel, a gospel that redefines "sin" to mean "sacrament" in a vain human attempt to deny our sinful condition. We cannot put sin to death by a vote of an Executive Council or a General church Convention.  Sin is put to death through the pain and blood of Christ, and through Him alone can we be saved from our sins.

    Wednesday, February 01, 2012

    Fairy Gardens Created at Episcopal Camp

    For many years the youth of the Diocese of Upper South Carolina have camped, held their "Happenings," and otherwise congregated at "Camp Gravatt." A few years ago, the Diocese gave up most of the responsibility for Camp Gravatt as have many dioceses with regards to their church camps.  Here is how Camp Gravatt currently describes itself,
    "Established in 1949, the Gravatt Camp and Conference Center is an Episcopal summer camp and conference center located outside of Aiken, South Carolina. Gravatt is sanctuary for the ministry of Christian formation and hospitality. We offer an outdoor Christian youth camp, environmental education, and challenge course, and we host conferences, meetings, training, and retreats. We serve churches and other not-for-profit organizations and groups whose purposes include human-development, character-development, education, or training."
    Here are the latest offerings from our friends at Camp Gravatt,

    Art Academy in the Woods Fairy Gardens Thursday, April 19 4 - 6:30 PM
    Let your imagination run wild as we create a Gravatt's Village of Fairy Houses. Fairy Houses are small structures for the fairies and nature’s friends to visit. Sticks, bark, dry grasses, pebbles, shells, feathers, seaweed, pine cones and nuts are just some of the natural materials used. Ranging from rustic to intricate "Fairy Mansions," these whimsical habitats are built by children, families, gardeners, and nature lovers reflecting their creativity, joy, and pride. This event is great for families. Cost is $20 for adults and $10 for children ages 4 to 12, with a family max of $50.The includes materials, instructor's fee, and a light supper.
    Not interested? Too bad, because you just missed this:

    Honoring the Creator, Mindfulness in Art using Mandala Circle Drawings
    Thursday, January 19 4 - 6:30 PM
    Art therapist and instructor Mary How will teach you how to use mandala circle drawings as a meditative practice. Learn 7 skills that will help you in practicing mindfulness in your art and in your life. The $25 fee includes materials, instructor's fee, and a light supper following instruction.

    It looks like the neopagans have gained another beachhead in Upper South Carolina. This is getting ridiculous (Previous posts here and here and here and here and here).

    Our children shouldn't be entrusted to such camps until the fairy houses are removed along with the mandalas, sacred poles, labyrinths, etc.

    This is the sort of thing that should cause a complete split between a camp and a church sponsor.

    For some reason I don't think that Gravatt will feel any pressure to remove the word "Episcopal" from its web pages.

    The druids are winning.

    Image from Art Journaling 101