Bishop Curry, in his book Love is the Way, writes, “… every day provides an opportunity to do love, so long as you’re not living a life of isolation.” The bishop had no way of knowing about a global pandemic when he wrote those words, but many of us may feel like we have been “living a life of isolation” for much of 2020 – for our own safety as well as the safety of our loved ones and neighbors. Technology can help reduce feelings of isolation through video worship, prayer, meals, and fellowship, but many if not most of us continue to grieve our loss of free movement, routine, and touch, at least for a little while longer.
But Bishop Curry doesn’t focus on isolation in his book and neither should we. The bishop tells story after story of how his parents and grandparents, siblings and cousins, neighbors and complete strangers all had an impact on his life, the person he became, and the amazing things he would accomplish. During this time of Advent, we can all think of someone – or many someones – who helped shape and guide our lives. And even if we’re physically alone or socially distanced for the time being, perhaps you would like to reach out to that person(s) with love and say, “Thank you!”
Turkish Delight at St Thomas’ Parish: an Artefact of Sacred Resistance
by Jason Crighton
“Daughter of Eve from the far land of Spare Oom where eternal summer reigns around the bright city of War Drobe, how would it be if you came and had tea with me?”
C. S. Lewis
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Traditionally, this Third Sunday of Advent is many parishioners’ last Sunday in Washington, DC before travelling to visit families for Christmas. It always felt to me like “Christmas at St. Thomas’ – transferred!” It has been a joy to watch our congregation celebrate together as many of us wished each other a safe, festive journey away to another place.
I’ve always felt that the more joyful nature of Gaudete Sunday, in the midst of a generally penitential season, provides an opportunity for something different. And I believe that referencing the rare liturgical colour—even if only as subtle as a treat for Coffee Hour—provides an opportunity for our faith community to learn more about our Episcopal liturgical calendar, and our history, in a creative way. I’ve rejoiced that our jewel of a parish church in Dupont Circle truly welcomes everyone. That includes opportunities for new traditions that are uniquely ours, capturing the imagination of our diocese.
Over the past years, a feature for this Sunday’s festive Coffee Hours was rose-flavoured lokum candy, colloquially known as “Turkish Delight.” This might appear to be a rather subversive menu choice, given the treat’s notoriety in C.S Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe. It was, after all, the enchanted temptation for which young Edmund Pevensie betrays his fellow “Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve” in order to secure.
Thank you, Lord, for those who have had an impact on our lives and helped us become who we are today. Help us remember that “every day provides an opportunity to do love” and express love to someone else, even and especially during these difficult times. Let us turn away from the headlines of the day when we need to and turn toward quiet places of healing. Forgive us when we fear or fail, and remind us that none of us are truly alone as we await the birth of Christ within each of us. Amen
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17
Create a DIY creche using blocks, river rocks or sticks and learn more about Episcopal Relief and Development’s work in the world.