Saturday, February 16, 2013

Portland and the Daughters of the King

Steve I went in a day early and spent time with good friends Michael and Marla Hanley. It was wonderful to be with them, to spend time visiting the offices of the Diocese of Oregon and to share stories. We went to Powell's Books -- probably the best bookstore I've ever been to -- thankfully we only had a small carryon bag between us or we would have purchased many more books! We also were able to see some of the beauty of Oregon -- the views of Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Hood were beautiful on Friday, which was a clear day. Also, the various falls and vista overlooks we saw on the way to and around Menucha Retreat Center were spectacular.

The reason we went to Oregon is that I was asked, as Province VIII Chaplain for the Daughters, to address them at their every-three-year leadership retreat. It was so good to be with the Daughters of the King at Menucha Retreat Center in Corbett, Oregon. Pictured here are all the Daughters who came to the leadership retreat from Province VIII -- including daughters from Alaska and Hawaii. It was an honor for the Daughters to welcome Bishop Michael Hanley, Bishop of Oregon with us.

My talk with them centered on leadership in a changing world. How is the work of the Daughters of the King relevant for younger women? What is the best way for us to communicate our message to the larger community? There was lively discussion and great ideas shared.

We talked about mission and ministry, about prayer and service. We talked about how we care for each other and the world. We celebrated the Eucharist (I lead the Liturgy of the Word, Bishop Hanley celebrated the Liturgy of the Table), and we installed the new Province VIII Daughters of the King President -- the Diocese of Los Angeles' own Sara Lee Macdonald. While I had to leave the Daughters late Saturday morning to catch a plane back to Los Angeles, it was wonderful to be together, even for this short amount of time.

The Daughters of the King have a rule of life that centers around service, evangelism and prayer. Isn't that what we're supposed to all be doing as Christians? I can't wait to see where the leadership of the Daughters will go this triennium in terms of their work together. I can't wait to see in what new ways they will be engaging the communities around them. Please pray for them -- and as a Daughter myself, please pray for me.

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Location:Portland Oregon, Menucha Retreat and Conference Center

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Lenten Camino

We didn't go very far -- a little less than 3 miles, but we did it. We walked part of the Camino to Santiago de Compostela. It was a beautiful walk. Peregrinos (Pilgrims) who looked as though they were at the end of a LONG walk, passed us on the road. When we entered the square where the Church is, you could see the joy on the faces of those who had made the long journey -- we were happy for them, and for each of us who did the "abbreviated version".

There are several members of our Diocesan community who are planning future pilgrimages on the Camino. There is a part of me that longs to join them. I remember feeling so moved just by the short journey -- I could only imagine the movement of my spirit if I undertook the whole (or a large part of) the walk.

I'm thinking about the Camino and journey this Lenten season. We all are on a journey -- a journey of faith. We meet fellow pilgrims along the road--some enhance our journey, some try to stop us cold. Yet, the one who is always walking with us is our Lord and Savior.

This season of Lent I've given up two things -- playing online Scabble/Words with Friends and all processed sugar (including chardonnay!). In place of the time I used to play online word games -- I've taken on extending my walks this Lent. I hope, by the end of Lent, to walk the minimum number of miles to get what would be my "certificate" for completing the Camino. More, I hope that well before the end of the year to walk the "full Camino" -- not literally, but figuratively by the amount of walking I accumulate each day. Why? I'm still so struck by the Camino -- and how, even with people around me, at peace I felt. I feel at peace when I walk -- so I have taken that on this year. As a shell is the symbol for the pilgrimage, I'm thinking of collecting shells along the way during the months ahead. The shell -- I loved using those to do baptisms!

I wish you all a blessed, holy Lent. I wonder what I will find as I wander on my "Camino" walks. Shells? Fellow pilgrims? Hmmmmm.

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