Showing posts from 2013


Still not completely put back together after yesterday, but I woke up some bit better and made the decision to make it a work day. Trying I intentionally move slowly and keep my inner stress level low, I got into the office only a little later than I ordinarily would. Conferred with the Archdeacon and the Treasurer over a range of administrative and pastoral issues that are in various stages of emerging, Phone conversations with two priests and one warden. Pulled together a full rough draft of a sermon for Epiphany I (January 12 at St Michael's, O'Fallon). Came home for lunch and didn't go back, but continued to work from home, mostly answering emails. In the evening, we actually socialized with some people whom we did not meet at any church, a bit of a rarity for us!

First Sunday after Christmas

This was a rare Sunday with no scheduled visitation. So Brenda and I got out of the house in time to sit in the pews for the 9:15am Eucharist at the Church of St Michael & St George in the inner ring St Louis suburb of Clayton. Wonderful music, solid preaching. It was a joy to be there. We were delighted to run into our friend Bishop Ed Salmon (who was rector there for 12 years before he became Bishop of South Carolina), and he graciously invited us to lunch at the St Louis Country Club. As outside temperatures steadily plummeted, we complete phase two of our mission for the day by finding the one Trader Joe's in the area and doing a bit of shopping. Home around 3:45.

Holy Innocents

The cough is still with me, and I still felt a bit puny, but no fever, so that is progress. Said goodbye to the last of our house guests and made a little progress on putting the place back together post-company. It was a joy to have our "extended nuclear" family with us for Christmas. I decided against my usual Saturday workout, hoping my body will appreciate the chance to heal. Took care of some administrivia via the internet and worked on my sermon for the last Sunday in January, when St Paul's Cathedral will celebrate their patronal festival.

St John's Day

Nasty cough ... fever ... that general run-over-by-a-truck feeling ... if it had to happen, this was probably the "least bad" time for it. So I spent most of the day in the recliner, with the denizens of a full house swirling around me. Quality snuggle time with the younger granddaughter, despite my condition. (It helps that my iPad has some kids' games on it.) Dealt with some emails and did a wee bit of sermon prep. Felt better toward the end of the day.

St Stephen's Day

The house is still full of children, spouses, and grandchildren. What a joy! I journeyed to Second Street to celebrate the midday Mass for St Stephen's Day and tie up a couple of loose ends in the office. Got a modest amount of work done (sermon prep, answering emails) from home in the afternoon, but mostly just laid back and enjoyed the company. Took #1 to the airport in the late afternoon for her flight home to NYC. The rest of us enjoyed a Chinese buffet dinner and a shopping expedition to Barnes & Noble.

Sermon for Christmas Eve

St Paul's Cathedral, Springfield  --  Luke 2:1-20 , Psalm 89:1-29 Sure enough, we have tamed Christmas. A baby will usually do that. Brenda and I are in the stage of our life together now where we’re enjoying grandparenthood. Our two young granddaughters are no longer babies, but it hasn’t been that long, so the memory is still fresh. And when we’re with our extended family, there are lots of babies. We find that when we’re in a public place—in a restaurant or on an airplane—and we see a baby, we both instinctively smile, and if we manage to make eye contact with the little one, and provoke a smile in return, that’s an added bonus. Babies are interminably cute, so we are certainly attached to baby Jesus, who is appropriately the object of our attention and affection as we celebrate his nativity. We wish we could make eye contact with him as his mother holds him on her shoulder to get him to burp, and exchange smiles. As babies go, I’m sure Jesus was adorable, and we will all j

Sermon for Advent IV

St John's, Centralia -- Matthew 1:18-25, Romans 13:8-14 , Isaiah 7:10-17 My wife and children, if you were to ask them, would readily verify one characteristic of the way I behave, and that is that I don't really like surprises. Good news, of course, is always welcome, whenever it arrives; that's not the kind of surprise I'm talking about.  The situation that I find emotionally challenging is the one which asks me to make a last-minute, unanticipated change of plans. It has a tendency to make me just a wee bit grumpy. It's a good thing my name is not Joseph, living in first-century Palestine, in the village of Nazareth. I don't know that I would have coped very well with finding out that my fiancĂ©e, with whom I myself had so far behaved as a perfect gentleman, was pregnant—and by the Holy Spirit, so she says! Indeed, it appears that Joseph did not exactly take the news lightly. But he did keep his cool.  He didn't make a scene. He just decided to qu

St Thomas (O Oriens)

Bishop Ed Salmon preached and I presided at the 1892 BCP service of Holy Communion as the people of St Thomas', Glen Carbon, under the fine pastoral care of Fr Tony Clavier, celebrated the centennial of the opening of their church by Bishop Osborne, one of my predecessors several times removed.

Friday (O Clavis David)

Delayed by some staff banter when I arrived at the office, but eventually Morning Prayer was in the cathedral. Fr Sean Ferrell left his overcoat in my car as we parted ways at the end of our field trip yesterday, so I took it over to the downtown Post Office, found an appropriate box, and sent it off with a guarantee of next day delivery. Spent the rest of the morning responding in various ways to several emails that arrived yesterday. Lunch at home. Leftovers. Worked some more on my sermon for the Second Sunday after the Epiphany (Christ Church, Springfield), arriving at an essential message statement. Made a scheduled quarterly review of our progress in the implementation of our diocesan mission strategy. Created several new actions as a result. Made travel arrangements (air, hotel, car rental) for my DEPO visit to the Church of the Holy Communion in Charleston, SC on the first weekend in February. Read an article sent by one of our clergy that has been in the queue for sever

Thursday (O Radix Jesse)

Out the door early, at 7:45. Rendezvoused with Fr Sean Ferrell in Mt Vernon, discussing with him some recent developments at the Chapel of St John the Divine as we headed south on I-57 toward Marion and Carbondale. We arrived at St Andrew's around 11:30, and poked around the place with newly-arrived rector Mother Kathryn Jeffrey. Then the three of us headed out to lunch at Chili's, taking some time first to drive around the campus of Southern Illinois University. Our conversation centered on a strategic evaluation of the health and vitality of St Andrew's in Carbondale and St James in Marion, the general missionary environment of the "Hwy 13 metro area," and the work of campus ministry at SIU. It was a fruitful time of communal thinking-out-loud. At a rest area near Lebanon on the way home, I pulled out my phone and was horrified to see no fewer than 60 unread email messages. That's what happens when I'm not in the office to whack them down as soon as they

Wednesday (O Adonai)

Morning Prayer in the cathedral. Sorted through the accumulated snail mail (none of it first class). Spoke by phone with the new rector of St Andrew's, Carbondale (and priest-in-charge of St James in Marion). Did all things necessary to prepare to preside and preach at the 12:15 Mass. Spoke by phone with a fellow Nashotah House trustee on some pending business. Took care of some administrivia concerning our diocesan summer camping program. Began to put some meat on the bones of my Christmas Eve homily (I'll be at the cathedral). Presided and preached at the regular midday cathedral Eucharist. Lunch at home, leftovers. Continued work on my Christmas sermon. Full rough draft now complete. Kept up with a stream of emails, an interesting exchange on a listserv, and an active comment stream on a Facebook post that happens to touch on the underlying assumptions of our mission strategy. Composed a fairly lengthy  ad clerum  letter, which should go out be email tomorrow. E

Tuesday (O Sapientia)

Task planning at home; Morning Prayer in the cathedral. Responded serially to five emails that I had turned into tasks. They were all of a hybrid pastoral/administrative nature, and they all took a fair amount of time. Refined and printed a working text for this Sunday's homily, at St John's, Centralia, Lunch from La Bamba, eaten at home. Went over to the Illinois National Bank and arranged for a wire transfer of funds that had already been set aside by Diocesan Council for a particular project in the Diocese of Tabora. Composed a fundraising appeal letter to the diocese on behalf of specific needs in our two companion dioceses. Arranged for it to be emailed to all our clergy and key lay leaders; put it on the website, with links on the diocesan Facebook page and my personal Facebook and Twitter accounts. Left the office at 3:30 because Brenda had a semi-emergency dental appointment and it was appropriate that I accompany her. While in the waiting area, made substantial

Third Sunday of Advent

We were out of the house at 7:45am, ahead of the regular 9:15 Sunday liturgy at St Paul's, Carlinville. The landscape along I-55, and then IL 108, we winter-wonderland exotic--snow-covered fields and bare trees revealing abandoned nests. We had a good time celebrating the Third Sunday of Advent-- Gaudete , Rose Sunday--with the people of St Paul's. Fr John Henry displayed his versatility by covering duties at the organ bench, since I was there to cover the altar. Sumptuous meal afterward, the cheese grits being the most memorable feature after the table conversation about faraway places. Following some afternoon downtime we went over to Staab Funeral Home to pay our respects to Jim Donkin in the wake of the sudden passing of his wife Mary. Her funeral will be tomorrow at Christ Church.

Sermon for Advent III

St Paul's, Carlinville -- Matthew 11:2-11 , Isaiah 35:1-10 There was once a man—we’ll call him “Fred”—who lived in a         cabin in the woods in a low-lying area. (Some of you, I’m sure, have heard this story, so just bear with me.) Fred was a very religious man: He prayed every day and never missed church on Sunday unless he was too sick to get out of bed.  One day it started to rain, and it rained all through the night, and all the next day, and all night again. The flood waters began to rise, and the message came over the radio that the entire area of the county in which Fred lived was to be evacuated. About that time, Fred was in prayer, and he had a deep sense of assurance from that Lord that the Lord would take care of him, that he would not come to any harm, and that God’s faithfulness would see him through this crisis.  Just then, a sheriff’s deputy knocked on the door. “Fred, come on, get in my car, I’ll take you to high ground.”  But Fred replied, “No, you

Saturday (St John of the Cross)

Woke up to a winter wonderland. Tried to wait until it had pretty much stopped snowing before firing up the new snow blower. Blessedly, it worked--and the work was short. Spent most of the rest of the day beginning to long process of getting the house ready for company when Christmas arrives. Also tackled some smallish items on my task list and processed a few emails.

Friday (St Lucy)

Morning Prayer in the cathedral. Took a phone call from a priest ordained in another tradition seeking to have his orders received by and to exercise ministry in the Episcopal Church. Fattened up what is now a full rough draft of a homily for Advent IV--December 22 at St John's, Centralia. Pushed an email exchange a little further down the rails toward a theological study of marriage and sexuality that will complement the one currently being prepared by a team created by a General Convention resolution and whose work is probably quite predictable in its conclusions. Did some administrative and pastoral work by email with a Eucharistic Community that is in leadership transition. Attended (again, by email) to some business wearing my hat as a board member of Forward Movement. Corresponded with a priest of the diocese over some aspects of my January visit to his parish. Lunch at home (frozen pizza). Back to email, this time in response to someone from outside the diocese who

Thursday (Our Lady of Guadalupe)

Task planning at home. Debriefed after my trip with the Archdeacon and the Administrator, even as we processed the devastating news of the sudden death of Mary Donkin, wife of our treasurer Jim Donkin.  Morning Prayer in the office (too cold in the cathedral). Prepared to celebrate and preach at the regular 12:15pm cathedral Mass. Replied to an important text message. Examined and processed the materials of a priest interested in one of our vacant cures. Presided and preached at the cathedral chapel Mass, celebrating the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Lunch with the Archdeacon and the Provost at the Sangamo Club. Prepared a letter of recommendation for a former parishioner. Spoke at some length by phone with the Executive Director of the Living Church Foundation (one of the boards on which I serve). Talked with the Archdeacon regarding an emerging possibility for priestly ministry "on the ground" in one of our isolated parishes.  Administrivia (printed and signed


The day had a leisurely start. Nice relaxed waterside outdoor breakfast with Brenda at the hotel restaurant. Then I met for a couple of hours, also  al fresco , with the Dean/President of Nashotah House and the Academic Dean on a variety of matters related to the institution. I reconnected with Brenda and we went on a bit of a death march around downtown Sarasota in search of a stationery item she needed, which we eventually found. About 9000 steps later we were back at the hotel, where we enjoyed a mid-afternoon lunch at the same place where we had eaten breakfast. I then had an opportunity to process a few emails before it was time to dress appropriately and get over to the Church of the Redeemer, It was a packed church and out-of-this-world music and liturgy. The Bishop of Southwest Florida presided generally (since we were in his diocese). I ordained Jason Murbarger and Charleston Wilson to the priesthood. The Bishop of Central Florida ordained David Bumstead. The103rd Archbishop

Second Sunday of Advent

Packed for three days away from home last night so we could hit the road promptly at 8:30am. There was a light dusting of snow, but it did no hinder our travel southward to St Thomas', Glen Carbon. Presided, preached, baptized and adult, and received his fiancee. After visiting with folks over good food in the parish hall, Bishop's Warden Jan Goosens gave me a tour of the daycare center and pre-school that operate under the auspices of the church. Then we headed to Lamber St Louis International Airport and hopped a jet for Atlanta and the on to Sarasota, where tomorrow the plan is for me to ordain Charleton Wilson and Jason Murbarger to the priesthood. We caught the tail end of a gala in anticipatory celebration of that event, seeing a large contingent from Nashotah House.

Sermon for the Second Sunday of Advent

St Thomas', Glen Carbon -- Matthew 3:1-12, Isaiah 11:1-1,  Romans 15:4-13 The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe  is an immensely popular children's story by C.S. Lewis.  Many of you, I'm sure, are very familiar with it. The action takes place in a land called Narnia.  Narnia is ruled by the cunning and vindictive White Witch, who rides around in a sleigh, terrorizing her subjects. As long as anyone can remember, it has always been winter in Narnia —“always winter, but never Christmas,” to be precise.  But yet, there is a collective memory among the residents of Narnia, a memory of a time when Narnia was a happy place, alive and green and growing, a time when it was ruled by a wise and kind lion named Aslan.  Aslan has not been seen or heard from for a long, long time, but there are rumors. Rumors that Aslan is going to return, very soon, to melt the snow, banish the witch, and restore tranquility and happiness to Narnia. The trees and the animals of the forest whis

Saturday (St Ambrose)

Nothing on my calendar today, so I spent it at home--mostly working from my recliner, though I did get a good treadmill workout in. I took care of a lot of non-urgent tasks that have been in the queue for a long time -- mostly articles that I've been wanting to read and routine personal organization "scheduled maintenance." Also dealt with several emails as they arrived. My Inbox is currently at Zero, which is a nice feeling.

Friday (St Nicholas)

Arrived at the office at the regular hour, but took the time upon arrival to reprogram my satellite radio after yesterday's dealer update of the system. One must have one's familiar infrastructure. Morning Prayer in the office (the cathedral of forbiddingly cold these days). Left voice mail with a lay leader in one of our Eucharistic Communities. With Sue's assistance, laid the wax seal on three ordination certificates, two for next week and one for next month. Two out of three were good on the first try, but even with three copies to mess up on, one had to be reprinted. Took an incoming phone call from another member of the Nashotah House board. Researched and made appropriate plans for parking at STL on Sunday as we journey briefly to Florida for two ordinations (in one service). Drafted and sent a email to the person who left the threatening voice mail that I discovered earlier this week. This was an attempt at pastoral care. Don't know how effective it will b

Thursday (St Clement of Alexandria)

Back to my previously customary (before all my travel) Thursday morning treadmill workout. Dropped the YFNBmobile at the Hyundai dealer for its scheduled 67,500 mile maintenance. Brenda followed me in and brought me to the office. Morning Prayer in the office. Revised the evolving draft of my homily for Advent III (St Paul's, Carlinville). Registered for the March 2014 meeting of the House of Bishops, which also entailed making airline reservations from Springfield to Houston. Found a decent itinerary at a decent price. Drafted and send a couple of emails--one related to my membership in the Communion Partners group of bishops, the other related to my Nashotah House responsibilities. Began scanning the pile of hard copy detritus on my credenza. Brenda picked me up and brought me home for lunch, then back to Green Hyundai to retrieve my vehicle. The updated my GPS and managed to erase all my radio presets in the process. Ugh. Continued with the scanning project. Took a pho

Wednesday (St John of Damascus)

Usual AM routine; Morning Prayer in the cathedral. Set up and otherwise prepared for the 12:15 Mass (altar book, readings, Prayers of the People). Took a phone call from one of our clergy regarding a deployment issue, which then generated a handful of emails. Worked on a long-delayed updating of the "alternative" Prayers of the People, a resource for parishes on the diocesan website. Presided and preached at the regular cathedral liturgy, celebrating the lesser feast of St John of Damascus. Lunch at home, from TG. Working from home, continued with the Prayers of the People project. Left for Edwardsville at 3:30. Met with the vestry of St Andrew's from 5:00 until approximately 6:30. They are past the initial phase of their transition, and ready to discuss possible future scenarios.  Dinner at Jack-in-the-Box in Edwardsville, then home, arriving at 8:30.


Master weekly task planning at home. Morning Prayer in the cathedral. Edited, refined, and printed a working copy of my sermon for this Sunday, to be delivered at St Thomas', Glen Carbon. Spoke by phone with one of our clergy concerning a financial/administrative matter and the question of hosting the 2014 Synod. Responded to a clergy request for Discretionary Fund assistance. Responded to a request from Sandy Moore, our chair of National and Global Mission, to look over a draft of a survey regarding interest and involvement of the various parishes in those areas. Tended to an administrative matter concerning the retirement of one of our priests. Lunch at home ... yummy leftovers. Processed with the Archdeacon and the Cathedral Provost a voicemail that was left last Wednesday afternoon but which I just listened to this morning that can plausibly be interpreted as a death threat against me. We discussed it, and eventually made a call to the Illinois State Police. Bashed my

Advent Sunday

Leisurely morning, as my visitation was to All Saints, Morton, which is only an hour and fifteen minutes from Springfield, and the liturgy was not until 11am. Solid Advent worship at All Saints (which naturally includes the Great Litany sung in procession), with one confirmation. Once we got home, it was vigorous work doing "leaf abatement" until darkness set in.

Sermon for Advent Sunday

All Saints, Morton --Matthew 24:37-44, Romans 13:8-14, Isaiah 2:1-5 One of my brothers—many years ago, when he was a teenager—worked in a McDonald’s restaurant.  I enjoyed hearing him tell some of the "inside" stories of an operation than is such a ubiquitous part of American life.  One of the facts of life for McDonald’s employees was the knowledge that, at any moment, members of an inspection team from the corporate offices could walk through the door and make a spot check.  People's jobs depended on the results of such inspections. The scariest part was that the employees might never know the inspection team had even been there until it was well beyond too late to do anything about it.  As likely as not, the team would be "disguised" as ordinary customers, who would come in, wait in line, order a meal, sit down and eat it, and probably use the restroom.  So, with the possibility of a corporate inspection at any moment, the employees simply had to conduct


Morning Prayer in the cathedral. Prepared readings, prayers, and homily for the cathedral chapel midday Mass at which I was scheduled to be the celebrant. Took part in a scheduled conference call with some other board members of the Living Church Foundation. Produced a finished rough draft of my homily for Advent II (8 December at St Thomas', Glen Carbon). Attended to some routine end-of-month personal organization chores. Spoke by phone with my U.S. Trust contact over some Putnam Trust issues. Celebrated and preached the scheduled Mass. Lunch at home--leftovers. Remained at home to work the rest of the day, which was mostly consumed with producing an Advent message for the diocesan website (and, in due course, for the Current). Into the evening, I completed an  illustrated travelogue of our recent visit to Tanzania .


Weekly task planning and organization at home. Consulted with the Treasurer and the Archdeacon on a financial/administrative matter. Morning Prayer in the cathedral. Processed my email inbox. Refined and printed a draft of my homily for this Sunday at All Saints, Morton. Spoke by phone with a representative of U.S. Trust, co-trustee with YFNB of the Putnam Trust, which benefits two of our congregations, over some policy details. Not quite resolved, but getting there. Took care of a small pastoral/administrative matter. Lunch at home, leftovers. Returned a phone call from a retired priest, an old friend who is serving as an interim in another diocese. We had both forgotten what the original purpose of our trying to reach one another by phone was, but we always manage to find something to talk about! Posted musical settings of several Psalms to the website. This now complete the project; they're all up there now, or should be. Attended to some administrative details pertai

Sermon for Christ the King

Emmanuel,  Champaign -- Luke 19:29-38 , Jeremiah 23:1-6, Colossians 1:11-20 One of the frustrations of life in this technological age occurs when something goes obviously wrong with us, or with one of the things we use, but it’s not at all obvious what the problem is. That strange feeling that you get when you turn your neck to the left needs to be diagnosed. That strange sound that your car makes when it’s backing up needs to be diagnosed. But diagnosis is more of an art than a science, and often involves a good deal of plain old trial and error. I know this is completely irrational, but sometimes I feel like we should declare a day when all the auto mechanics report to the clinics and hospitals, and all the physicians report to the garages and repair shops, and we could see whether the diagnostic outcomes are actually any different! But I’m sure the frustrations of these professionals to whom we entrust our bodies and our cars—I’m sure the frustration of these professionals

Saturday (St Clement of Rome)

Arrived at the cathedral/office complex around 9:45. Celebrated the 10am Diocesan Council Mass (observing the day's lesser feast). Presided over the quarterly Diocesan Council meeting. Met briefly with one of our clergy who is experiencing a peculiar amount of personal stress. Met with the Archdeacon and one of our Rural Deans over a deployment situation in that deanery. Met briefly with the Standing Committee regarding a specific piece of business they needed to conduct. Met with the Bishop's Warden of one of our missions, along with the Archdeacon and the Treasurer, regarding an emerging (an unwelcome) financial contingency. Grabbed a quick lunch at Taco Gringo with seminarian Ben Hankinson, now officially approved for the ordination to the transitional diaconate on January 30. Drove to Champaign, through one patch of horizontal snow. Met with the search committee at Emmanuel at 3pm, the Vestry at 4pm, the Deacon and Interim Rector at 5pm, then to the home of a pari


After the better part of three weeks out of the office, there was a good deal of catching up to do with the Archdeacon and the Administrator. Morning Prayer (late) in the cathedral. Began to process a batch of emails that had been accumulating. Time-consuming. Took a phone call from Fr Ralph McMichael, giving me a status update on his interim ministry at St Andrew's, Edwardsville. Lunch from La Bamba, eaten at home. Refined and printed my homily for this Sunday (Emmanuel, Champaign). Made various preparations for tomorrow's Diocesan Council Eucharist. Finished cleaning out my inbox, Friday prayer: Ignatian meditation on today's daily office gospel reading. Evening Prayer in the cathedral.


Preached at the Eucharist that closed the Diocese of Albany priests retreat. Enjoyed a visit to All Saints Cathedral in downtown Albany, the first Episcopal Church building constructed intentionally as a cathedral (1888). Uneventful flights from Albany to Chicago and Chicago to Springfield.

Wednesday (St Edmund)

Still in the Diocese of Albany. It's cold here--never got much above freezing today, though the sun shone brilliantly. I delivered the final two of my five retreat addresses, and joined in worship and meals with the diocesan priests (plus the Bishop of Albany, the retired Bishop of Albany, and the Suffragan Bishop of Peru). Enjoyed a long and vigorous walk in the afternoon. I have been very graciously welcomed here; what a blessing it is to be able to exercise this ministry.

Tuesday (St Elizabeth)

Delivered two retreat meditations, presided at Mass for the feast of St Elizabeth of Hungary, and participated in a healing service in the context of Benediction. On balance, a pretty awesome day at the Diocese of Albany Priests Retreat.

Monday (St Hilda of Whitby)

Up ridiculously early to catch a 6am flight from Springfield to Chicago, then Chicago to Albany, New York. I'm at the Christ the King Spiritual Life Center of the Diocese of Albany, where I am giving the addresses at a retreat for priests of the diocese, on the theme of the "Iconography of the Priesthood." My body still doesn't know what time zone it's in, though this will all sort itself out in due course.

The Lord's Day (XXVI Pentecost)

Woke up in my Effingham hotel room and hied over to St Laurence's Church to preside and preach at the 8am liturgy. It's a very small congregation, but proclaiming the Word and celebrating the Sacrament is an inestimable privilege under any circumstances. Then it was down I-57 to Salem (past more deer roadkill than I think I have ever seen), where the people of St Thomas' Church, along with St John's in Centralia, have been doing a mating dance this weekend with a recently retired priest from outside the diocese who looks like he's a good fit to take pastoral charge of those communities. When the tornado warning siren surrounded around noon, we were already in the basement, which is just where we needed to be. Home around 5:00. In the evening, I had to be about packing, as I have a 6am flight from SPI to O'Hare, and then on to Albany, where I will be leading a retreat this week for the priests of the diocese of the same name.

Sermon for Proper 28

St Laurence, Effingham -- Luke 21:5-19 , Malachi 3:13—4:2a,5-6; II Thessalonians 3:6-13 One of the blessings of our Anglican and Catholic tradition is the church year. It systematically takes us through the mysteries of our faith, and if we pay attention to it, and allow it to spill over into the rest of our lives, it draws us closer to Christ in the fellowship of his Church. If you have been an unusually attentive observer of the subtleties of the liturgical calendar in the past, you may know that we are in that time during the year when our attention is drawn to that article of the Creed in which we profess our belief that the same Christ who came as a vulnerable infant two thousand years ago will come again in glory, this time to judge the living and the dead, and that his kingdom will have no end. When he comes, all wrongs will be put right, all injustices will be corrected, and all tears will be wiped away. Justice, peace, and love will prevail throughout the created order.