This morning’s Commemoration talked about Julia Emery who created the United Thank Offering. “This works by giving each woman a small box with a slit in the top, and encouraging her to drop a small contribution into it whenever she feels thankful about something.” Those boxes are then presented to the Church once a year to help support mission and ministry in underdeveloped countries and around the Anglican world. This is a cool idea (not sure it needs to be limited to women) that doesn’t seem to be continued so much. Remembering your blessings on a daily basis could really help people to stay in the positive. On the other hand, it might be an interesting experiment to have the thank offering in one bank and a swear jar in the other, and see which one has the most at the end of the year. That might be eye-opening to some people.
I’ve been a fan of the Time-Warp Wife for quite a while now, and she mentioned the controversy surrounding the new book by Cameron Candace Bure. Goes to show what I do/don’t pay attention to. 🙂 The book is on balancing priorities to at least seem like the superwoman we would all like to be (well, the women among us at least <grin>). But the controversy is regarding her statement that she is submissive to her husband. This is a topic that holds a great deal of interest to me, not necessarily the wife to the husband submission, but how we choose to submit our will.
The pastor at DoH has been invaluable in making clear the concept of the head of household, and that the man of the family is expected to be responsible for the actions of his family by God – that’s a bit of a huge responsibility, and the idea that the wife should support her husband in his duty to God just makes complete sense to me. It has been interesting to listen to his comments that if the man fails to lead his family, that the woman will invariably step up to do so, but that the man is still the one responsible to God. In the case of widows, the head of the family is Christ, and submission to Christ is a decision every Christian makes at their baptism or confirmation (depending on the religion).
One of the difficulties I’ve had with the Episcopal Church, after having belonged to both the Catholic and Baha’i Faiths, is the concept that only the priests are required to be obedient to the institution. The normal laity is not; they are only responsible to submit to Christ, like all other Christians. In the Catholic Church, one is submissive to the decisions of the priest, bishops and pope, because you have chosen to be Catholic. Same as in the Baha’i Faith – you have chosen to submit your will to that of the Local and National Spiritual Assemblies or the Universal House of Justice. The concept is that when you take actions prayerfully, after considering and consulting on all aspects, it is important to go forward in unity, even if you don’t agree with the decision. That the decision was made through prayerful consultation means that if it’s the wrong decision, God will set things right in the end, and you trust in that process. It basically puts the Episcopal church and church leadership in the position of “advisor” rather than “leader”, if that makes sense – and to me, it doesn’t.
But, just looking at the beginning of the Lord’s Prayer, think about emphasizing the italicized words: “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done.” This isn’t about us as individual people – it’s about us recognizing that we must submit ourselves to God’s plan, which is infinitely better for us than anything we can come up with. 🙂 The Baha’i daily prayer says, “I bear witness, oh my God, that Thou has created me to know Thee and to worship Thee. I testify at this moment to my powerless, and to Thy might; to my poverty and to Thy wealth. There is none other God but Thee, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.” It’s all about submitting oneself to God. And people wonder at my attitude. <g>
On a completely different topic, there is a pastor in South Korea making a difference. Have tissues ready.