The witness of the saints includes:


Abraham, telling us it (all the relationship with God stuff) is only about community.

Moses, telling us law and love are the same thing.

Augustine and Aquinas, telling us faith is rational.

Luther telling us the church can be wrong and must not be corrupt

Bonhoffer telling us conscience stands alone

Scripture must be read in context

We must rekindle the spark of reform.

 James Carroll

The following is part of a series of Interviews of Prisoners and Prison Ministers by William Barnwell. The first article in this series can be found here.

“We’re called to find in everyone that innocent child we were created to be and to speak

 to that child.”

February 18, 2012


WHB: Deacon Cindy Obier and I are having a conversation here at Trinity Episcopal Church in Baton Rouge. A deacon is one of the clergy orders in the Episcopal Church: there are bishops, priests, and deacons. Like the first seven deacons in Acts 6, deacons have a special role of serving those outside of the church as well as those inside.

Talk some, Cindy, about your growing-up years and how your dad was so influential in your life. Tell us about your Kairos experience at the women’s prison at St. Gabriel’s and your experience with the DOCC ministries at Angola Penitentiary these past ten years. [DOCC stands for the Episcopal program called Disciples of Christ in Community. It is a national program that helps individual parishes build what Dr. King called “the beloved community.”] And talk about your ministry on Death Row. Read More…

In 1908 the Olympics were held in England for the first time. The norms for what we like to regard as the “Olympic spirit” had not yet been established in the renewal of the ancient games. As it turned out, nationalist pride took over in those games and they were tainted by several controversial actions.

We will never know why, but the English did not display the United States or Swedish flags at the stadium prior to the games. The Swedes packed up to go home, but did finally compete. The U.S. team stayed, but in the opening ceremony ignored the custom of dipping the national flag to the head of state of the host country. The American carrying Old Glory made it clear that this was not an oversight.

Read More…

by Donald Schell

If I’ve framed this question as I mean to, it will probably sound nonsensical to two quite different groups –

            – One group includes post-Christian atheists, agnostics, apathetics, and “spiritual but not-religious” people, many of them my friends.  To them, the question will sound nonsensical coming from me, a priest of forty years, now an itinerant teacher and workshop leader, but still going to church every Sunday and happily covering as a supply priest in a variety of church settings as I’m invited.  They might tell me that they don’t have a clue what church is for, but don’t expect me to be asking the question, though maybe not.  Maybe knowing I don’t mean to provide an abstract doctrinal answer would make the question interesting to them.  Maybe it would get them wondering how church compared with other purposeful organizations and gatherings.  I hope so. Read More…