Sunday, April 28, 2013

Church Visit

Today I had the privilege of  guest preaching in Epiphany Episcopal/Lutheran church in Marina.  Here are some pictures of this wondrous occasion. One of these day ill get a recording...until then... Enjoy!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Declaration of a Heretic

Our consciousness has been so rooted in the idea that knowledge is power that we find it difficult to even imagine that there might exist another completely different way to exercise the human mind.  Yet there is, as far as we can surmise, no firm rule etched into our psyche that requires that we use our consciousness solely as a weapon for capturing and controlling the world around us.  It is conceivable to entertain another approach to the pursuit of knowledge: one that would fundamentally change the very basis of sociality.  Instead of pursuing knowledge to gain power and control, we could just as well pursue knowledge to experience empathy and participation.  Instead of using knowledge to increase our rule over, we might just as easily use knowledge to become a partner with the rest of the earthy creation.

With the old form of knowledge our interest is always focused on knowing how things manifest themselves so that we can use, exploit, harness and control them.  In the exercise of this particular approach to knowledge, we separate ourselves from everything in the environment around us in order that we might then turn all things into objects to be manipulated, used or consumed.  It is this basic alienation that drags us further and further away from our first home, that beatific estate where no differentiation existed, where there was no awareness of self and other.  Where all was harmony.

In contrast, empathetic knowledge reaches out in a very different way.  The mind is not interested in controlling but rather in connecting. With this new approach to knowledge we are constantly asking about the many ways in which we are related to everything else.  We seek to identify with the things around us, to recognize ourselves in the other and the other in ourselves.  Our goal is to join with, to become one with all of the rest of creation.  To "know," under this new schema, is to know how to participate with our surroundings rather than how to control them.

An excerpt from a Declaration of a Heretic

Friday, April 19, 2013

A Prayer

Hi there
I came across this prayer and fell in love, so I'd like to share it with you. Hope you are having a Fabulous Friday!

I pray for a world one day
Where no one needs to be afraid
A world that’s full of the knowledge of peace
As the waters cover the sea
As the waters cover the sea

Fill me with your love, O God
Pour your justice over me
Flood me with your power to forgive
And soak me in your peace
As the waters cover the sea.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

This is not four years ago...

While reflecting, I decided to write this as a way to open up this blogging space and to share with you some of how this process is going for me underneath my hood.  I tiled this post, “this is not four years ago” to try and capture in a few words a sense of growth and progression inside a type of romantic nostalgia.

 Thinking back four years ago to where I was...  I’m in my sophomore year in school. My life up until that point was an accumulation of choices and decisions I’ve made.  I had come to a period where I had to decide or start deciphering how I was going to use all of my experiences to find meaning for my future and to find meaning for my present while affirming that yes my past was necessary. 

Life is different from baking a cake you know.  When baking a cake you have the ingredients and you know that if you add two eggs with batter, milk and water you will wind up with a cake. (In case you are wondering I bake fantastic cakesJ )  In life you can hope and pray that what you are doing now will have some meaningful and profound impact on your life in the future. But you just don’t know.  I participate in things and place myself in situations that I think now will benefit me for the future.  But I just don’t know. 

Over my whole life, but especially the last few years my spiritual life is blossoming into a beautiful garden ;). In my uncertainty about the relevance of the things I’m doing now, I trust that God, or the universe, or fate will work itself out in my life. Alls I can do is keep moving forward so that I cause the world to react to me, rather than me reacting to whatever the world causes.

I say this is not four years ago as a statement, an affirmation, a declaration, to say that Ive come a long way since then.  And even if I couldn’t then see how the decisions I made would affect my life now, I can stand here now and say that everyone who had a hand in making me the person I am today did an okay job. J But again I find myself at a major crossroad where I am presented with major decisions.  I trust and I pray that what I choose to do now will give meaning to my life and prepare me for my future. 

I started this post saying that this is not four years ago, I will end it saying this is not four years from now.  But I will see you when I get there and hopefully we will have some cool stuff to talk about. 


Hey there,

Here's a picture from and of the Holy Cross School in South Africa...The kids look fun don't they! 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

So today was my first day preaching. I spoke at Saint James Episcopal Church in Monterey. It was a really exhilarating experience.  I spoke at both the 8 and 10:00 services.  It seemed that time moved very slow leading up to me speaking but as soon as i got up there time flew by, almost too quickly.   There's a recording of todays service somewhere floating around in cyberspace. Once i catch it ill post it. So until then i leave you with some pictures from today. I hope you had an enjoyable sunday!!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Greetings and Salutations

So here is a quick video about the Young Adult Service Corps.  A lot of the clips shot in this video are at the monastery and at the school in South Africa.  Enjoy!

Missionaries and Education

Ive found out that God had a funny way of preparing me for this mission assignment.  I spent two years researching and writing my graduation capstone on the country of Belize.  The abstract of the paper is:

This capstone examines Belize and what has been the role of the Christian denominations in education formation and policy beginning in the late 17th century to the present day?

This paper, explores the processes that did happen and explains the interactions and development over time. To explore this question I look at the role that missionary groups played in administering education under British colonial rule. I also want to examine the extent to which the introduction of Christian missionaries creates and perpetuates inequalities in the education system and larger population?

If that snagged your interest you can find the rest of the paper via dropbox.

I dont think that i could have had chosen a better topic.  Who knew that something I learned in school would have a direct tie to something I'm doing in the real world!!!


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Solidarity and Charity

As i prepare for this mission trip it is important for me to really think through some major concepts that are contained in the "mission" of a missionary. The first concept is solidarity and charity, I want to monologue about this for a bit because as you may be thinking about being part of the mission you might be thinking that you are being charitable.  I hope to change the conventional thinking about this topic.

It is my understanding that solidarity, in the original sense of that word, must replace charity as the appropriate Christian behavior-ethical behavior- in our world today.  This idea implies a significant paradigm shift for Christian behavior for there is an essential difference between solidarity and charity.  Charity, the word used most often when talking about love of neighbor, has been implemented mainly through a one-sided giving, a donation, almost always, of what we have in abundance.  Obviously that is not all that charity means, but in general, this how it is understood and used.  I am not saying that giving is not an appropriate, even a necessary way of loving.   I do believe, however, that giving is an ethical behavior today only if it is understood and carried out within the context of solidarity.

This paradigm shift I am proposing calls for solidarity as the appropriate present- day expression of the gospel mandate that we love our neighbor.  This commandment, which encapsulates the gospel message, is the goal of Christianity.  I believe salvation depends on love of neighbor, and because love of neighbor today should be expressed through solidarity, solidarity can and should be considered the most essential part of salvation.

Thanks for reading! 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Grahamstown, South Africa

I will be going to Grahamstown South Africa to go live with the Brothers of the Holy Cross monastery and working in a school for young children that the monastery over sees.


Hey you,
Welcome! Thanks for reading and paying attention! Hope you enjoy!South Africa