Morning Prayer for Tuesday Aug 11

Welcome to today’s brief (under 12 minutes) Morning Prayer. Rev. Amy and Rev. Joe lead and offer a conversational reflection on Matthew 18:1-5, where Jesus says, “Unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven”. Why? (Click on the underlined Morning Prayer above, and it should take you to the recording.)

    1. Thanks Pamela. Our quarantine ends Friday! We feel great and can’t wait to get out and about. We will try to keep up the MPs. Blessings, Joe

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      1. I echo Pamela’s hope for the continuation of these MP podcasts. Chip and I began listening and worshiping together this week. What a joy! Your reflections and variety of scripture and prayers are a wonderful start to the day. Thank you, Joe and Amy! Wishing you joy and peace.

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      2. Thank you so much, Gail! That is really nice to hear and, although it is not the same as being together in person and hearing your voices as well, it makes us feel a little more like we’re all in this body of Christ together, which, of course, we are. Blessings and joy to you and Chip too!

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  1. i enjoyed joining you for Morning Pryaer today. I will join you occasionally as I also continue my own MP routines.

    I keep my own Calendar of Saints. Amy made it on July 29. Here’s the reflection:

    July 29 -Saints of Good Trouble, Necessary Trouble: The Philadelphia Eleven and The St. Andrew’s Thirteen

    “O God, you poured your Spirit from on high to bless and summon these women, who heard the strength of your call: Equip, guide, and inspire us with wisdom, boldness, and faith to trust you in all circumstances, hear you preach new life to your church, and stretch out our hands to serve you, as you created us and redeemed us in the name of Jesus Christ, who lives with you and the Holy Spirit, one God everlasting. Amen.”

    Every July 29, the Episcopal Church commemorates the Philadelphia Eleven: the first female Episcopal priests ordained on that date in 1974. The blessed eleven are: Merrill Bittner, Alla Bozarth-Campbell, Alison Cheek, Emily Hewitt, Carter Heyward, Suzanne Hiatt, Marie Moorefield, Jeannette Piccard, Betty Schiess, Katrina Swanson, and Nancy Wittig. The prefatory Collect sings their praises. So do I.

    As of 1974, the General Convention of the Episcopal Church had not approved the ordination of female priests. As a result, the House of Bishops deemed the ordinations “irregular” and banned the new priests from exercising priestly functions. Yet they persisted.
    On September 7, 1974, four more female priests were ordained in Washington D.C. Finally, in 1976, the General Convention approved the ordination of females and made the irregular ordinations regular. Thanks be to Mother God!

    It is astonishing that the Episcopal Church took almost 2000 years to catch up to Jesus and his circle of Good Trouble, Necessary Trouble females. His mother was the first person to receive the annunciation of the good news; she responded with a revolutionary Magnificat worthy of Martin Luther King, Jr. and John Lewis. The Syrophoenician woman was the first person to tell Jesus that his mission was to extend to Gentiles. The woman at the well was the first person to go and tell the Gentiles about the Messiah she had come to know. Mary, sister of Martha, was in effect blessed as a priest because she chose the better part of worshipping with Jesus. Joanna, wife of the chief steward of Herod Antipas (!), financed and accompanied Jesus. Mary Magdalene was the first person to see the risen Christ and to proclaim his resurrection to the male apostles hiding back at home.

    In perhaps the first recorded statement of Christian faith, Paul wrote in Galatians 3:26-28:

    “there is no Jew or Greek;
    there is no slave or free,
    there is no male and female;
    for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.”

    See The Forgotten Creed: Christianity’s Original Struggle against Bigotry, Slavery, and Sexism By Stephen Patterson for more about this revolutionary creed creating Good Trouble, Necessary Trouble.

    Right from the beginning, then, females and males were equals in the eyes of Jesus, Paul, and the emerging Christian faith. It took a century or two for the patriarchs to assert gender control. And then it took until 1974 for the Philadelphia Eleven to undo that control and reassert the equality of the gospel.

    With this entry, I begin the third year of keeping my own Calendar of saints. My first entry was on July 22, 2018, when I honored Mary Magdalene, Sharline Fulton, and Hilary Greer as my first saints: Mary because she was the Apostle to the Apostles and Sharline and Hilary because they followed in Mary’s footprints and became rectors of St. Andrew’s and thus Sherpas along my spiritual way.

    The Philadelphia Eleven created Good Trouble, Necessary Trouble for my parish. Beginning in the 1970, St. Andrew’s has been a hotbed for employing and nurturing female priests and deacons who have continued in that troublemaking tradition of fully equal female power.

    I now add these clergy names to the honor roll: Gerry Wolf, Nancy Stroh, Pam Nesbit, Nancy Dilliplane, Nancy Hoffman Hennessey, Amy Richter, Christine Ritter, Cathy Kerr, and Barbara Lewis-Venutolo. And I add Carolyn Lyday and Megan Brown Sutker as well, despite their not wearing the collars of Episcopalian clergy. Even though Carolyn is not officially ordained as clergy, she is attuned to and aligned with the Holy Spirit and acts as a de facto priest in leading us in contemplation and discernment. And even though Megan is ordained as Methodist minister rather than an Episcopal priest, she leads St. Andrew’s in our pastoral care. Together with Sharline and Hilary, we now have a St. Andrew’s Thirteen to go with the Philadelphia Eleven. May the numbers keep rising and may we someday have sent forth 5000 female priests with each one feeding 5000 more.

    Sojourner Truth was a prime practitioner of Good Trouble, Necessary Trouble. She gets two last gender-bending words:

    “Who had to do with the birth of Jesus? God and woman. Man had no part in it.”

    “If women want rights more than they got, why don’t they just take them, and not be talking about it.”

    And that’s just what the Philadelphia Eleven did.

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    1. Dear Bob, What an honor to be in such company, and what a blessing to me to have been nurtured in such a hotbed of holy troublemakers! Your reflection brings tears of joy and so much gratitude. With love, Amy

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  2. Thanks, Amy and Joe, I listened on my morning walk, stopping beside a pond, surrounded by birdsong. In the shade of many kinds of trees. It was lovely and heartening. Eve

    Sent from my iPhone

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  3. Dear Amy and Joe , I am loving having morning prayer with you and have been receiving by email but did not receive today. I have been searching but did not find. I wonder if I was the only one doing on email. I know most have face book but I do not.If it doesn’t work for email I think Sally can forward you me from Facebook but it was so nice having it on line. It seems like your quarantine must be near the end so you can begin to meet your new parishioners and neighbors. Love to you in Jesus. Deede

    Sent from my iPhone

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    1. Thanks Deede. I’ll check my inbox and forward you the service. Let me know if you don’t get it and I will send the link in a separate email. Love, Joe

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