There is Something About Being an Episcopalian (Anglican)
If you haven’t seen this new video on YouTube, I would like to encourage you take a moment to watch and share it if you wish. It is a witness and a testament on being an Episcopalian within the Anglican Communion, and a Sacramental Christian within the Church Universal.
As a contemplative tradition and prayerful path, as a way towards a knowledge and understanding of God, by whom we are fully known in and with and through an indwelling of the Spirit. And how God as the “Connecting Spirit" calls us into relationship with one another and all of creation.
Corinthians 13 (NRSV) ~ 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known.
It is no secret that I love what the Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion have to offer as an open inclusive boundless community of loving-kindness, and as a transforming faith and spiritual practice within the world. In our beautiful liturgy, the work of the people, and as sacred art, literature, and poetry that is transforming, an invocation of the Holy Spirit.
As I love how the Holy Spirit is actively at work within the world, as a divine presence and mystery, formless ~ without form, unseen and invisible, unbound, eternally open, indwelling, and transforming; God as a verb, acting to transform creation, in a world without end.
Romans 8 (NRSV) ~ 26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. 27 And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
Transforming our lives and creation if we will only open ourselves up to the peace, power, and joy we find in a relationship with and in and through Christ. And the hope Christ offers to a weary world through the gift of the Holy Spirit. Even as the Holy Spirit prays within us when we do not know how to truly pray ourselves to God, with God, invisible and unseen, indwelling and always present.
John14 (NRSV) ~ 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.
To be reminded is to remember, in Eucharistic remembrance. In remembrance of Christ. To remember whom we are as Children of God, as a People of God, living in community with one another and helping to heal and repair the world. Tikkun Olam.
Allow me to end this note please, with this beautiful and ancient liturgical poem and invocation of the Holy Spirit written by the Eastern Christian Orthodox monk, Symeon the New Theologian, over a thousand years ago.
Within these words, I find a connection to many other contemplative traditions and faiths, in an interfaith dialogue, that touches on the mystery and formlessness of the divine. Symeon uses a Christian vocabulary, but his words are timeless and eternal.
Words that may take us beyond all our images and symbols of God, the Divine Ultimate Mystery. Seeing God as the “Connecting Spirit” as my friend and theologian Paul F. Knitter has written and spoken of in his books and teaching.
Symeon the New Theologian's Invocation to the God, the Holy Spirit
Come, true light.
Come, life eternal.
Come, hidden mystery.
Come, treasure without name.
Come, reality beyond all words.
Come, person beyond all understanding.
Come, rejoicing without end.
Come, light that knows no evening.
Come, unfailing expectation of the saved.
Come, raising of the fallen.
Come, resurrection of the dead.
Come, all-powerful, for unceasingly you create, refashion and change all things by your will alone.
Come, invisible whom none may touch and handle.
Come, for you continue always unmoved, yet at every instant you are wholly in movement; you draw near to us who lie in hell, yet you remain higher than the heavens.
Come, for your name fills our hearts with longing and is ever on our lips; yet who you are and what your nature is, we cannot say or know.
Come, Alone to the alone.
Come, for you are yourself the desire that is within me.
Come, my breath and my life.
Come, the consolation of my humble soul.
Come, my joy, my glory, my endless delight.
Saint Julian Press ~ The Poem: http://www.saintjulianpress.com/there-is-something-about-being-an-episcopalian.html
God the Connecting Spirit ~ Third Recording with Paul F. Knitter
Ron Starbuck is an author, poet, the Publisher-CEO of Saint Julian Press, and an Episcopalian.