Monday, May 7, 2012

Abiding Within

In a fascinating sermon this week, Rev. Pattiann Bennett provided a lesson on grafting fruit trees, and how one goes about doing so.  It tied in with the Gospel reading this week from John 15:1-17 where Christ says, "“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.  You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me."

The concept of abiding in Christ, of loving one another to the extent that the fruit borne from that love is good fruit, enriching humanity and the lives of those it touches, is both simple and requiring a commitment that is steadfast - and that cannot be accomplished alone.  We must reflect the love of God that nurtures the grafting to consistently produce good fruit as an outward sign of our own commitment to "remain" in Christ.  

So knowing that you have been grafted to the vine of Christ, what sort of fruit will you be producing this week?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Tragedy on the East Coast

From a press release from the Maryland Diocese:

Tragedy at St. Peter's Church, Ellicott City

May 4, 2012
The Rev. Mary-Marguerite Kohn. Click here for a larger image. Baltimore -- The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland is saddened beyond words by the shootings May 3 at St. Peter's Church in Ellicott City, Maryland. The Rt. Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton, bishop of Maryland, immediately offered prayers for the victims in the chapel of the Cathedral of the Incarnation, Baltimore, when he learned the news later that evening. Clergy of the diocesan staff have been present with the parish and members of the St. Peter’s staff, and have said prayers over the victims. The diocese holds the victims, their families, and the people and staff of St. Peter's Church and pre-school in its continued prayers. A nearby Episcopal church, St. John's Parish in Ellicott City, opened their doors late Thursday evening to offer a place of support and prayer.

Howard County police are investigating the shooting. According to them, two women, Brenda Brewington, administrative assistant, and the Rev. Mary-Marguerite Kohn, co-rector of the parish were found shot inside the church office yesterday just after 5 pm. A custodian called 911.

Brewington was pronounced dead at the scene. Kohn was transported to Shock Trauma in critical condition.
The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland is a Christian community of 22,000 households in 112 congregations covering 10 counties and Baltimore City. Please visit for more information. The Episcopal Church is a community of 2.4 million members in 100 nationwide dioceses, 10 overseas dioceses and six extra-provincial territories; The Anglican Communion is a global community of 77 million Anglicans in 38 member churches/provinces, including The Episcopal Church;