Monday, November 24, 2008

Great Grace

It was ninety miles from the chapel to the cemetery. The ride was a reflection on the memories and stories of Gracie Lee Kellett Moss. Her ninety-six year life was a fulfillment of her name. She extended grace to everyone she met.

She was momma to two daughters, and either auntie or granny to the rest of the world. She adopted family, friend and stranger alike. Gracie was the consummate host. All who claim to be hospitable have to measure to her standard. She knew no stranger and never turned anyone away from her door.

Gracie was the epitome of the Good Shepherd she modeled her life after. She didn’t try to lead anyone instead she walked along behind the flock, ensuring that all the sheep had the opportunity to be safe. When someone from the flock strayed she would go after them, usually with a visit or a phone call. She never scolded or told them what they should do. Gracie listened and prayed.

Her sister died much too young from cancer leaving a single father with three teenage girls and a young son. Gracie didn’t try to replace her sister as their mother instead she was present for them offering her love, support and care. She couldn’t be their mother but she could be the compassionate and present aunt. Gracie knew how to be the living embodiment of grace to others.

At the service of the celebration of her life songs were sung about her and stories were told of her life. Every song written about her and every story told repeated her life of unconditional love.

Her namesake eight year old great-great-grand daughter Gracie, stood at the end of memorial service and told the large gathering through her tears, “I loved my granny and I will miss her very much.”

We all loved you very much, Aunt Gracie, and we all miss you very much

Friday, November 14, 2008

Please pray for the Brothers at Mount Calvary

Peregrini friends, please pray for the Brothers of the Order of the Holy Cross at Mount Calvary Monastery and Retreat House. The monastery was destroyed in the Monteceto fire last night. All the Brothers were evacuated to safety. They need our prayers as they deal with the immediate situation and as the days go forward. Some of you have been to this beautiful house of prayer and know that I am an Associate of the Order.

Attached in an article written by the Rev. Nicholas Knisley of our Cathedral here in Phoenix.

Monday, November 10, 2008

In the presence of holy friends

This weekend I had the experience of being in the presence of holy friends. It's a sacred trust to gather in community. We shared in the frightening discussion of "What does this one life mean?" The group was vulnerable with one another, willing to share fears, doubts, and the uncertainty of not knowing what's next.

The container for the gathering was prayer. We prayed the Daily Office, the four cycle prayers of the Church, morning, noon, evening and compline. Prayer bathed our tired bodies, eased the tension of meeting new people, comforted those in pain, and reminded us that, if we give ourselves over to the idea, we are a part of something much bigger than our own private world.

We were privileged to be guided by the wise among us - each other. Four voices took the yoke of offering a possibility for conversation, and we responded with our questions and life experiences. A diverse group in some means, too much alike in others. Yet from our own milepost of life we were able to shine some light on the path for our fellow pilgrims.

Peregrini - the pilgrims way, it is a lifestyle, done best in community. Thank you friends for sharing a resting space with me. May our paths find us gathered again soon.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Number 44

Henry Aaron wore number 44 with pride and integrity - breaking Babe Ruth's homerun record despite threats against his life - and on this historic night, the 44th President of the United States is an African American - I am proud to be alive to witness a change in the very fiber of the life of this country. It was a privilege of mine to be on the same team as Henry Aaron in spring training with the Milwaukee Brewers and I am in tears to witness this particular moment in history and to feel some connection in supporting Barack Obama as President of the United States of America.

Working the Polls for Education

I'm heading out to distribute materials at a polling place on behalf of the local school district. The district needs an override election to pass in order to provide much needed support services for the children. I noticed there are override elections in almost every school district. These overrides rarely raise taxes and when they do its typically so small is goes unnoticed by most homeowners and businesses.

Public education is one of the wonderful opportunities this country offers its citizens. Most of us are products of public education. My parents were public school teachers, my wife is an administrator for a public school district, I taught public school, my son and daughter in law work in public schools, both our children were educated in public schools and many of our friends work in public schools; Laura, Jillian, Erin, Rebecca, Alicia, actually the list is countless.

If you can, support your local public schools and consider voting to pass their override elections.