Friday, November 17, 2006

Too Many Books - Not Enough Time

What are you all reading?
I have quite the stack of books and journals awaiting my attention.

Late last night, I abandoned my survey of puppy training books (Therein lies another tale/tail!) and picked up Thomas J. Craughwell's thin book Saints Behaving Badly: The Cutthrouats, Crooks, Trollops, Con Men, and Devil Worshippers Who Became Saints.
What fun!
I had never heard of several of the saints. Like St. Fabiola, Bigamist. Her statue is among that of the 140 saints who line St. Peter's Square in Rome. Craughwell, who writes a monthly column on the saints for Catholic diocesan newspapers, took care to correct misinformation. For example, St. Christopher, ever popular, was not "de-sainted" in 1969 by Pope Paul VI. And if you've never read St. Augustine's Confessions. which is western civilization's first autobiography, Craughwell's six page summary may entice you to pick it up. Both St. Augustine's Confessions and Craughwell's Saints Behaving Badly are available at the Emmaus Public Library-- or will be as soon as I return my copy!
Craughwell wants us to see that we don't need whitewashed, pure saints. We need "real" saints. He writes in his introduction:
"Saints need not be infallilbly perfect all the time.... Their mesage is reassuring: if these people can be saved, then so can you! But just as the old storytellers did not whitewash the misdeeds of the saints, neither did they minimize the effort involved in conversion. A conversion experience is not magic; it is only the first step in a lifetime of striving to avoid the old sins, grow in virtue, and conform one's unruly, rebellious will to the will of God."
Inspirited by the stories of these 30 saints, I am re-thinking my more idealic picture of St. Margaret, Queen of Scotland. (See the Rector's page at Post your thoughts here.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Diocesan Convention Information

Some information from Convention 2006

Here is the official record: Diocesan Convention Minutes

Bishop Paul Marshall's 2006 Convention Address

Bishop Paul Marshall's Sermon at the Convention Eucharist

A wrap up story on Diocesan Convention may be downloaded below.
Download 061104-5b.pdf

See more Diocesan information at DioBeth newSpin.

My Reflections on Convention

This was my third Diocesan Convention and my first as a delegate. I happen to love conventions because I like to hear what people are passionate about. What I heard was the church struggling to keep practical items in balance. I heard this diocese support resolutions passed by the General Convention, our national body.

There was a call to Holy Habits and to an attitude of helping those who are needy and in harm’s way. These calls affect both our thoughts and our personal behavior. The prayers and liturgy that surround this Convention reflected these same sensitivities, as Bishop Paul Marshall called us to follow the day’s gospel: Jesus embraced both those who were firm in faith, and those who were doubting, by affirming they are embraced by His love and continue to go forth as His disciples.

As one who has strong faith and also has been doubting and hurting at times, I appreciate this message.

So on this Saturday I was pleased and proud to participate in the church willing to struggle with the issues of war, violence, peace, immigration and the role of the church, as well as a call to personal discipleship. I look forward to helping and participating as St. Margaret’s embraces these ideas, in response, in the coming year.

Christina Nord

East Penn Churches United for Habitat

Greetings from East Penn Churches United for Habitat,

The committee met Monday night and discuss the success of the Blitz week. The electrical work was finished up today, October 23, 2006. We are waiting for the final inspection at 601 East Cumberland Street, Allentown, Pennsylvania.

A new work schedule has been released for members who are still wanting to be involved in this worthwhile project. At this point, children 16 years and older may work with a parent. Yolanda Hernandez is the scheduler for work days if you are available. Please call her at 610-776-7737. In addition please make sure she has a release for you. (A release can be filled out on-line). It is a first come first serve basis, so please call to sign up now.

The days workers are needed are Tuesday, Thursday (8am to 2:30pm) and Saturday. This is how the dates are scheduled:
Week of October 23: porches need to be dug out and concrete poured
Week of November 6: insulation
Week of November 13: drywall/hanging
Week of November 20: finishing drywall
Week of November 27: trim work
Week of December 11: painting
Week of December 18th: kitchen installation

In addition, t-shirts have been made and a sample will be at church on Sunday. The shirts cost $10.00 with XXL and XXXL costing $11.50. Orders can be given to Evelyn Costelloe at 610-965-2693 with checks made payable to Emmaus Moravian Church. Shirt orders have to be in by November 3, 2006.

This is an exciting adventure. We hope many members at St. Margaret’s will participate. If you have any questions, please contact Evelyn Costelloe.

Sermon at Diocesan Convention

"Churches exist for a purpose – to make disciples … In every church in every place, there is the same choice: Are we here for us or are we here to worship God and serve God’s world? Churches that grow have a strong sense of mission that far outweighs their pain, doubt and survival concerns. … Large or small, rich or poor, churches grow because they want to. … We struggle to step away from magical thinking … that there is an easy answer, a program, or somebody from somewhere else who will fix the situation … What is exasperating for us personally and organizationally is that we come to Jesus asking for magic and instead of magic he offers us maturity."

Download the text of Bishop Paul Marshall's diocesan convention sermon below.

Download 2006_convention_sermon.pdf

Listen to the sermon as delivered here.

St. Margaret's Newsletter - November 2006

The November 2006 St. Margaret's Newsletter is now available.

St. Margaret's News