Monday, March 31, 2008

Not so Low Sunday

Yesterday morning at St. Mary’s, Manhattanville, we were joined by friends old and new. I’ll just mention three with national reputations.

First, the Gospeller was the Rev. Patricia (Patty) Ackerman, who was at St. Mary’s as a seminarian in 1991 when our Rector was arrested for sitting in at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Patty has been active in Integrity, Code Pink, and the Fellowship of Reconciliation. She can be seen with Cindy Sheehan here.

Then the sermon was given by our former rector, the Rev. Robert (Cousin Bobby) Castle. Bobby’s cousin Jonathan Demme, the film director, was in the congregation. Bob Castle has appeared in several movies directed by his cousin, including an uncredited appearance at the end of The Silence of the Lambs.

Bob’s sermon was in large part about the evils of the wars the US is involved in. He lives now in northern Vermont and serves four small churches in the Diocese of Quebec where they pray for the Queen. The withdrawal of Prince Harry from Afghanistan led him to note that every soldier is a prince or princess in their own family and every prince and every princess deserves to come home to be taken out of harm’s way.

Bob spoke about his love for the Episcopal Church and its support both of women and of gay and lesbian people. He also had kind words for the United Church of Christ, home to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

At the end of his sermon Bob reminded us that Jesus is alive (Christ is arisen!) And that we Episcopalians can learn from our evangelical and pentecostal brothers and sisters how to live with an awareness of the closeness of God.

After church I was talking with a friend who works at 815. Speaking about recent and future events in the Episcopal Church I said that one of the problems of people on our side is that many of us are too nice to the opposition. My friend knew exactly what I meant and said Bishop Katharine does not have that fault. Let the church say "Amen1"

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