Monday, January 18, 2010


Below is communication from the Diocese of Rhode Island related to relief efforts for Haiti. An invitation to a benefit at the Cathedral of St. John, Providence is at the end. This week at St. Columba’s we will do an appeal for Episcopal Relief and Development. Be generous and pray.


Episcopal Church in Haiti: Your Prayers and Aid Needed

Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Haiti who now need our aid more than ever, in the wake of Tuesday’s 7.0 magnitude quake.

Recent estimates indicate that the quake has affected one in three Haitians, or about three million people. Casualties are expected to reach the tens of thousands, possibly even the hundreds of thousands. Roads and other infrastructure of Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince, including the cathedral and Diocesan offices, are in ruins and the situation on the ground is dire.

As Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said in a statement Wednesday morning, “Even under ‘normal’ circumstances Haiti struggles to care for her 9 million people. The nation is the poorest in the western hemisphere, and this latest disaster will set back many recent efforts at development”.

Haiti is also the largest and fastest-growing diocese in The Episcopal Church. There are over 83,000 Episcopalians, over 100 Episcopal Churches, and over 200 Episcopal schools in Haiti.

Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) has a long-standing partnership with the growing Episcopal Church there, and is committed to providing care to the Haitian people under normal circumstances, as well as in this new wave of devastation.

ERD has already disbursed emergency funding to help the diocese of Haiti meet immediate needs for shelter, food and water, and “stands ready to support their ongoing recovery as they rebuild their ministries” according to Rob Radtke, President of ERD. “As communication improves and recovery plans develop, Episcopal Relief & Development will continue to provide updates.”

So far we know the Episcopal Church in Haiti has lost a cathedral, the Society of St. Margaret Convent, Holy Trinity Complex, College St. Pierre, and a Jubilee Center. The Bishop is alive, but has no place to live. The four missionaries are all accounted for - Mallory Holding, Jude Harmon, Oge Beauvoir and his wife Serette. The three sisters of St. Margaret who were at the convent are also alive, unhurt, and doing what they can to help in the football field of what used to be College St. Pierre.

How can Rhode Island help?
Join us for “Music and Prayers for Haiti; A Benefit for Earthquake Relief” at 4pm on Sunday January 24th at the Cathedral of St. John, 271 North Main Street, Providence, RI. The evening will include music from a variety of Episcopal Choirs and brief comments from two Haitian speakers. Donation offerings will be collected, make all checks out to Episcopal Charities, with “Haiti” noted on the Memo line. Email for more information. All proceeds will go to the earthquake relief initiatives of Episcopal Relief & Development and the Society of St. Margaret in Haiti.
Recommended Places to Donate:
Donate to Episcopal Relief & Development online at or by calling 800-334-7626 ext 5129. ERD has a four star rating on Charity Navigator and meets all 20 standards of the Better Business Bureau.
Donate to The Episcopal Charities of Rhode Island’s Haiti Fund by calling (401)-274-4500 x234
Donate to the Sisters of St. Margaret, or mail a check to The Society of St. Margaret, 17 Highland Park Street, Boston, MA 02119
Raise Awareness in your parish and beyond:
Place a link to Episcopal Relief & Development on your congregation’s home page.
Check for updates on the Haiti page on Episcopal Relief & Development website and our Diocesan blog
Share this information on Sunday and in your bulletin inserts. Bulletin inserts from Episcopal Relief & Development are available in both Spanish and English.
Please do not encourage anyone to travel to Haiti, as priority must be given to first responders and a few relief agencies so as not to over-burden the already compromised infrastructure.
Thank you for all that you do in our Church.

Music and Prayers for Haiti A Benefit for Earthquake Relief
Sunday January 24th 4pm The Cathedral of St. John 271 North Main Street, Providence, RI, 02906
Featuring Music from a variety of Episcopal choirs and brief comments from two Haitian speakers. All are invited to Attend
All donations are welcome. Checks should be made payable to Episcopal Charities. Note “Haiti” on the memo line.
All proceeds will benefit the earthquake relief initiatives of Episcopal Relief & Development and The Society of St. Margaret In Haiti

Ruth Meteer
Communications Officer
The Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island
275 North Main St
Providence, RI 02903
(401) 274-4500

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Listening to Your Life

Back in 1992, Fredrick Buechner published a book of daily devotions titled, Listening to Your Life. It was given to me by a friend, and has served as a quiet voice, reminding me to pay attention to the everyday events of life. It is a great volume.

The entry for January 14th, Alive and Changing, speaks to me.

“God speaks to us through our lives, we often say too easily. Something speaks anyway, spells out some sort of godly or godforsaken meaning to us through the alphabet of our years, but often it takes many years and many further spellings out before we start to glimpse, or think we do, a little of what meaning is. Even then we glimpse it only dimly, like the first trace of dawn on the rim of the night, and even then it has a meaning that we cannot fix and be sure of once and for all because it is always incarnate meaning and thus as alive and changing as we are ourselves alive and changing.”

Faith is God’s dynamic gift to us. It comes through God’s grace and is deepened through intentional cultivation. A quiet few moments at the break of day saying, “Thy will be done,” might be a good place to start. I have a trusted friend who begins each day by asking God to “use” him; God does.

We are not living out a chemical equation; we are seeking to deepen relationships with God and one another. Faith cannot be grasped, but to use Buechner’s word, glimpsed. If we are clear that faith is about seeking and deepening relationships, perhaps we can find the freedom to embrace the flux. Faith is a living process and so are we.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Tomorrow is the Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ. It is the traditional commemoration of the arrival of the three kings to the presence of Christ to offer their gifts. The theological significance for Christians is that Jesus is the supreme manifestation of God. The presence of the kings is interpreted as the manifestation of God to Gentiles. These kings were certainly not Jews included in God’s Covenant relationship with Israel. The Epiphany is the mark of a new Covenant that encompasses Gentiles.

Being a Gentile, I am pro-Epiphany. We will celebrate this feast at our Wednesday 5:30 pm Eucharist. Come offer thanks for God’s manifestation and new Covenant.