President George H. W. Bush, Episcopalian

 
As an Episcopalian, I’m proud that the state funeral for President George H. W. Bush is being held today in the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. The National Cathedral is the Episcopal cathedral of the Diocese of Washington, and is often considered the nation’s cathedral because many important national events such as this funeral are held in its magnificent space.
 
You can find the bulletin for the service here. Notice that the celebrant is the Most Rev. Michael Curry, our Presiding Bishop, and the service is taken directly from the Book of Common Prayer. In other words, this is the exact same service every Episcopalian is entitled to. It says a lot to me that all people, from Presidents to ordinary people, are viewed the same in the eyes of the church and receive the same dignified words of the Prayer Book. I notice that the final hymn is “Eternal Father, strong to save.”
 
President Bush was a faithful lifelong Episcopalian and a member of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, TX, where he will be remembered in a funeral service tomorrow. May he rest in peace.
 
Bill
 

Advent drawing series

This Advent I would like to share my ink and watercolor drawings for Advent. They’re based on the scripture readings and Collects for the four Sundays of Advent and other ideas related to the theme of Advent.

Advent day 1

Shootings at Tree of Life Synagogue

I am grieving, as we all are, for the victims of the shootings at Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, Pennsylvania last Saturday. Once again we hear of a radicalized person targeting people of faith in a sacred space.

Once again shock waves of grief and fear are going through the nation as we process the horror of the scene. I am especially fearful for my two nephews who have been raised in the Jewish faith. I wonder, will they suffer harm from members of hate groups?

Today’s lesson from Morning Prayer includes Luke 11:34, “Your eye is the lamp of your body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light; but if it is not healthy, your body is full of darkness.”

The shooter appears to be a person who was radicalized by his immersion in hate groups on the internet. The internet harbors some very dark places where evil spreads like a virus. Loners like this shooter enter an echo chamber of lies, conspiracy theories, and hatred.

We must find a way to prevent a tiny minority of hate-filled people to magnify their message through social media. And our nation’s leaders must model responsible language and behavior.

We are all praying for the victims of the shooting and for their families and friends. May God gather them under the shadow of his wings.

Bill