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Questions & Blessings
The Corner Office

Recently, I found 3 intriguing articles published in The Victoria Times Colonist, (Religion & Spirituality section).

The headlines read:

  • Living with a Jewish faith, without believing in God;

  • At 103, Sister Jean offers spiritual guidance and basketball tips;

  • Southern Baptists oust church over ordaining a woman pastor.            

In the first article, Andrew Muchin writes:

about grieving a family member, and receiving a friend's remark of how Muchin’s faith was sustaining him in his sorrow.
Muchin, reflecting on the comment...offered that what was sustaining him was not the ‘faith’ his friend thought.
Then Muchin writes:
“… Like my friend, some of the congregants, maybe most, believe in God. I don’t, and still don’t, believe in the existence of God.
I attend synagogue not so much to pray as to gather with my community, learn about Jewish history and culture, and nosh on post-worship pastry.”

- How do I / you reflect on my / your faith?            

In the second article, a journalist writes

about Sister Jean, 103 years of age, who awakens daily at 5 a.m., sits up quickly to avoid going to sleep again, “I’ve got too much to do.”
Sister Jean begins her day with prayer, followed by reading the daily scriptures on her
tablet. In her biography titled, Wake Up with Purpose: What I’ve Learned in My First Hundred Years, Sister Jean writes of offering spiritual guidance, and shares some of the lessons she’s learned. Her goes into the office, every day, at Loyola College.
Her one claim to fame (not by Sister Jean, but by others) is her work as Chaplain for the Loyola College men’s basketball team.
The article witnesses the admiration shown from all the students at Loyola.

- How do you -or- with whom - do you share spiritual guidance?            

In the third article, a journalist outlines:

how the Southern Baptists have ousted the second largest congregation – Saddleback Church, founded by pastor and best-selling author Rick Warren, for having a woman pastor.

MY reflection upon reading this report, to ask the question, "...after generations of entrusting the religious education of our children,  how we could suggest a woman could not, or should not, be a pastor.
I asked myself, 'is what I, the priest, do at the altar on Sunday morning the most essential part of what adherents learn about their faith?

-Through whom did you learn your faith?            

As a parish, we have just held our Annual Vestry Meeting at St. John’s. It is the time, in each year, when we look back on the past.

As the meeting convened, I shared the following quote from Thomas Jefferson,

“I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.”

-What is our vision of the future? 

Will it be to have the motto of 103 year old Sister Jean:

“Sports are very important because they help develop life skills.
And during those life skills, you’re also talking about life and purpose”

Sister Jean’s motto: “Worship, Work, Win.”

Blessings from my corner office,
Archdeacon Brian+