Dominus Illuminatio Mea

The Art Blog at Episcopal Cafe

At Episcopal Cafe's Art Blog, we find words and image declaring a search for illumination. Read more here.

Seen above: "Dominus Illuminatio Mea," Photography by Jan Neal.

Bending Low

"... what God did for us in that baby in a manger, we are called to do for others. Jesus spent three years in ministry bending low to help those under the crushing snows. But it wasn’t just about those he helped. It was about showing us what a life as his disciple was supposed to look like: Healing the sick, feeding the hungry, finding the lost.

If you look around and see the beauty of Christmas and hear the joy of children in the season, look a little deeper. The very thing that causes the beauty might also be bending some to the breaking point. Bend low with them, and help them up.

'For lo! the days are hastening on, by prophet seen of old, when with the ever-circling years shall come the time foretold when peace shall over all the earth its ancient splendors fling, and the whole world send back the song which now the angels sing.' Amen." by
Rev. Anne Robertson, read it all HERE.

Seen above: "There Came A Light" by C. Robin Janning

Advent III

The Art Blog at Episcopal Cafe

The art and words of Heather J. Annis are featured for Advent III at the Art Blog over at Episcopal Cafe.

Seen above: "Baby Steps II," watercolor, 2008, 18 ½" x 6 ½" by Heather J. Annis

Advent's Fruit

"Contemplative waiting, purposeful waiting is what makes Christmas an experience rather than simply an event. It is a lesson meant to color the entire year." by Sr. Joan Chittister, read more here.

Seen above: "Pear Study" by
Ruth Councell.

Advent Night

"We are in a season of contradictions. Lights glitter from every structure; meanwhile, the days lengthen, and darkness begins to come earlier, stay later. A little shiver runs through our pre-electric-light primordial selves. The ancient human family viewed this time of year with trepidation. They lit fires for warmth and light, and wondered what the winter would bring. No longer concerned with a lack of food and shelter during the freezing winter months, we turn on the central heat, put on a fleece-lined parka and wait for the weather report.

Yet underneath our civilized response to the season, we may sense our human roots. We may look at the dark velvet dome of the night sky laced with stars, and wonder. It is a season that mysteriously brings together death and birth—death of the old season, the old year, the growth from last summer's garden; birth of the new light after December 21, the Winter Solstice, and birth of the community that is formed as we turn inward with the season. It is the season when Christianity celebrates the birth of Jesus, also called Immanuel or God-with-us." By The Rev. Mary C. Earle in "A Celtic Christmas: Celebrating the Sacred in All Creation."

Seen Above: Advent Starry Night #2 (2006), by Virginia Wieringa

The Advent Bishop

"Emmanuel, Prince of Peace, Divine Counselor is come among us to re-mind, re-member, and re-create. A new mind and heart is birthed in us as we turn to follow Jesus on the way. The body of God's creation is re-membered and put back together in ways intended from the beginning." The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop, The Episcopal Church, read more here.

Seen above: "The Advent Bishop" by The Rev. Wilfredo Benitez-Rivera, Rector of St. Anselm of Canterbury Episcopal (Anglican) Church, in Garden Grove, California.

Advent II

The Art Blog at Episcopal Cafe ...this week

Tracings of Eternal Light (Cross), by assemblage artist John Sager, opens the second week of Advent at Episcopal Cafe. "The art of assemblage is the real jointing of separate objects into a cohesive whole." Read more here.

On View: Tracings of Eternal Light (Cross) by John Sager; Assemblage (Broken auto glass, cookie cutter, glass, frame) Date/Size: 13" x 9" x 4.75" (2005)

Refracting Beauty

"Art, too, can refract beauty in its wake. Art follows nature, pointing to the same generative reality. Art, too, can serve, just as connected to the disabled realities of our lives. But art has also presumed in the 'invisible hand' that guides the process, never questioning that ego-filled landscape of art might regress, rather than progress. Perhaps we need to consider that rooted beneath all of art is a much more sane and humble premise than celebrity or success. Perhaps art is to the economy what trout are to a stream: beauty that once caught, can be, and needs to be, released back generously into the cultural waters so that those who come after us can enjoy them. Perhaps that generosity is what makes waters teeming with created gems that delight our senses and sustain our well-being." Makoto Fujimura in "Trout, the Dow and our Bottom Lines"

Seen above: Bi - The Chinese Ideogram for Beauty, Detail

Bus Shelter Nativity

The poster shown above will be displayed in about 1000 bus shelters across the United Kingdom throughout December. The painting is by Royal Academy Gold medal winner, Andrew Gadd, who says: "At first I didn't like the idea of painting a nativity scene in an urban setting. However, once it was explained that it was to be designed for bus stops, it gave me an idea... this idea. The bus stop when simplified is like a stable. It is after all a shelter; a place people go to but never want to be. So where better to stage a nativity? How unlikely! The image reflects the environment it will be shown in, and therefore includes the viewer. Which is what it is all about."

Read more
here. Hat tip: Episcopal Cafe.

An Advent Journey

For more information visit
Anglican Church in Second Life

Advent Blue

"I turned down a road this morning and
EVERYTHING was Advent Blue."

Image and Words: The Rev. Scott Fisher

Small Glimmers of Light

Winter comes and the days grow short. To ward off the solitude of the dark night, we light candles. Small glimmers of light break the darkness, and we are joined to one another in our search for the one great light that exists always, ready to burst out through love and the lighting of a single candle.

Image and Words by Kathrin Burleson

Seen Above: Advent (watercolor, 12 x 6 inches, October 2008)

The Way Of Advent

Diane Walker, a frequent contributor to Image & Spirit, is blogging Advent. She says: "I have decided that for the next 4 weeks I will take on the daily readings for Advent, selecting a verse for each day and pairing a photo with it."

Take time to visit her at Contemplative Photographer and enrich your journey of Advent.


“Our intentionality constructs the landscapes of our inner world. Maybe it is time now for a phenomenology of soul. The soul creates, shapes, and peoples our inner life. The gateway to our deepest identity is not through mechanical analysis. We need to listen to the soul and articulate its wisdom in a poetic and mystical form.” John O’Donohue in Anam Cara, A Book of Celtic Wisdom.

Image: Photography by A. R. Pinkus, composition by C. Robin Janning.

Advent I

The Art Blog at Episcopal Cafe ...this week

Sr. Claire Joy offers this portrait of Mary and Elizabeth, celebrating "one elusive moment of joy and wonder" as we begin this season of Advent. See more here.


I am, O Anxious One. Don't you hear my voice
surging forth with all my earthly feelings?
They yearn so high, that they have sprouted wings
and whitely fly in circles round your face.
My soul, dressed in silence, rises up
and stands alone before you: can't you see?
don't you know that my prayer is growing ripe
upon your vision as upon a tree?
If you are the dreamer, I am what you dream.
But when you want to wake, I am your wish,
and I grow strong with all magnificence
and turn myself into a star's vast silence
above the strange and distant city, Time.

Poem by Rainer Maria Rilke
Image: "Waiting" by C. Robin Janning

Hymn To Creativity

Moved by the Gospel, let us move with every gift and art.
The image of creative love indwells each human heart.

The Maker calls creation good, so let us now express
with sound and color, stone and wood,
the shape of holiness.

Let weavers form from broken strands a tapestry of prayer.
Let artists paint with skillful hands their joy in lament and care,
Then mime the story: Christ has come.

With reverence dance the Word.
With flute and organ, chime and drum,
God’s praise be ever heard.

O Spirit, breathe among us here, inspire the work we do.
May hands and voices, eye and ear attest to life made new.
In worship and in daily strife create among us still.
Great Artist form our common life
according to Your will.

Photograph by Diane Walker

Words from the Gather Hymnbook (#685):

Title: Moved by the Gospel, Let Us Move
Author: Ruth Duck, 1947-
© 1992, GIA Publications, Inc.

Tune information:
Harmonizer: Ralph Vaughan Williams, 1872-1958

Thoughts on Grace from an ever-seeking non-theologian

Nature's Font by Dawn Glascock, all rights reserved

Grace is something with which my highly tuned analytical western mind has trouble. There are those who would respond that you cannot receive (accept) grace with the mind; that grace is a gift that must be received by the heart. And yet, how do we separate the two? Our Prayer Book teaches us that "Grace is God’s favor towards us, unearned and undeserved; by grace God forgives our sins, enlightens our minds, stirs our hearts, and strengthens our wills." (BCP page 858)

As Advent approaches and we await the coming of "The Light of the World" I find myself longing to grasp the gift of grace - to have it embrace me and to effusively share it with others. I see glimpses of grace from time to time, but, as Christians, should we not consistently experience grace? Surely that was what the creator intended and what our faith teaches us. Is this not what Christ gave to us? It is, again, what our faith teaches us through the sacraments: "The outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace, given by Christ as sure and certain means by which we receive that grace." (BCP p. 857)

Perhaps when we find it difficult to see grace in our selves or others, we receive the gift through God’s creation. I can always find grace in nature. Is the beauty we receive through nature the "on ramp" to receiving and seeing grace in each other? I am not sure of the answer, but to borrow the lyrics of Justin Kensrue:
"And it is safe to say we’ll never know everything, still blessings we receive. And it is safe to say I really don’t know a thing, still I choose to believe....And all the answers that I find only take me so far down the line. The tracks always give out, yeah it’s a leap from the lions mouth."

So this Advent I shall pray that as we await his coming, we shall all be blessed to celebrate grace in ourselves and each other.
Dawn Glascock


On the Journey Towards Becoming a Peacemaker
by Rabbi Albert M. Lewis

What if God were to speak to us now; to give us a fresh look at what's real, true, and the core of our world? Might God say, "Be just, be kind, care, share, give, take, love, laugh, cry, feel the pain, and dance in the time of joy"? And what would we hear? Would it be what we want to hear, or what was said? Could we each hear in our own way? Must we all be of the same mind? Must the one who hears at twelve feet fight with the one who hears at twelve yards? Will the black one and the white one and the child of the land all know God in the same way? And if not, will they then fight?

What if God said, "I grant you a gift: a world full of peace, health, and food for all. I give you a time, now, when each may sit by his vine and by her fig tree and none will cause you fear"? Would we heed the words? If God came to each of us in a dream, would we hold the dream in our hearts and souls, or would we cast it off as just a dream? What would it take to look deep with in, where we live and know truth, and there to find the one God, who cries for us and waits and hopes and says, "I am here. Do not fear. Live, love, talk, and walk hand in hand with me. Let no child learn war anymore, but let each bring what is right and just in his home and in her land!"-

(Rabbi Lewis has written this reflection using only one-syllable words. It is an old discipline, intended to be simple but not simplistic.)

RABBI ALBERT M. LEWIS is the Director of the Emeritus College at Aquinas, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and a weekly columnist for The Grand Rapids Press

Seen above: Contemplating Vincent by artist Barbara Desrosiers

In Your Light

How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.
- Psalm 36:7-9

Seen above: photograph by The Rev. Scott Fisher, St. Matthews, Fairbanks

Things To Be Discovered

The Art Blog at Episcopal Cafe ...this week

Ellen Wiener is an artist whose work invites the viewer to an intimate participation in things already known. She also tucks into each page the promise of things to be discovered. Much like worship, her small works are often segmented into portions, with an organically rhythmic organization that shepherds the viewer into quiet reflection. Read more HERE.

On View: Three Logics by Ellen Wiener. Oil on three panels, 9" x 36", 2003. From An Album of Hours by Ellen Wiener. See her book, The Still Small Hours, 2007, HERE.

All Saints Day

Commemorating all saints, known and unknown, on November 1:

"Therefore, having so vast a cloud of witnesses
surrounding us, and throwing off everything
that hinders us and especially the sin
that so easily entangles us, let us
keep running with endurance
the race set before us,"

Hebrews 12:1
(International Standard Version ©2008)

Seen above, "All Saints" by the Rev. Scott Fisher,
St. Matthews, Fairbanks.

Mary's Song

Mary's song is her response to her cousin Elizabeth's spirited greeting, but it is more than that. It comes from deep inside her. It knits together in a new way the sacred experience and language and hope of her people like pieces of a quilt transformed from scraps to splendor.

Nowhere in this song do we hear the name of her child, but somehow he is there in every phrase. Mary's song is not hers alone; it is the song of the child who wants to come, who comes to do the will of God. This song echoes in the events of her son's life, his death, and his exaltation. The song celebrates the God who keeps promises -- not only to Abraham, but also to us.

The Church has picked up this song and sung it often, particularly in daily evening worship. Mary's song, The Magnificat, is a central text in the liturgy of the historic Church. Who knows what number of settings musicians have composed for it through the years? Who knows how many voices have joined with Mary’s in singing her song through the centuries? From "The Song of Divine Triumph" by the Rev. Charles Hoffacker. Read it all HERE.

Image: "Magnificat" by Virginia Wieringa

Understanding the Role of Art Today

The Art Blog at Episcopal Cafe ...

This week, Mel Ahlborn offers visual prayer in the form of a Laura Fisher Smith icon. She says "Smith's icons of the homeless, such as the one seen above, proclaim what she values most, and bluntly reveal her concern for the marginalized, the sick and the needy. With a creative vision filled with both mercy and advocacy, she paints individual persons who are homeless with a dignity and grace once reserved for saints."

Followed by
The Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation Prayer, the post lights up the heart.

"...Open our eyes to the structures of oppression from which we benefit, and give us courage to accept our responsibility, wisdom to chart a sound course amid complexity, and perseverance to continue our work until it is finished."

Read it all

Paying Attention

"In Verona, Italy, there is an alley that leads off the main street into a small courtyard below the famous balcony on which Juliet is supposed to have appeared to Romeo. Along the walls of the alley leading to the courtyard are layers of post-it notes, placed there to commemorate loved ones and romances.

The texture of the wall of notes is very appealing, so I took several photographs, but there were so many tourists that it was hard to get the wall without them and without being jostled by them. None of the shots I got were particularly crisp, but this one seemed to be the best of the bunch. It's not very exciting -- there's no obvious center of interest -- but I like the texture, the color, and the light." Read more

Image and words by
Diane Walker.


"Prayer does not mean simply to pour out one's heart. It means rather to find the way to God and to speak with him, whether the heart is full or empty." From Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Psalms: The Prayer Book of the Bible

Seen above: "Pour Out The Heart" by C. Robin Janning


"I have often wondered why I am called black. And what purpose it serves to refer to any group by the amount of melanin in their skin?

... I am called black, and listen to country music most of the time, jazz, and classical every now and then, have mixed relatives, went to mixed schools, live in a mixed neighborhood, eat pizza, tuna, tacos, turkey or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I believe in people, focused work, productive play and self honesty. I play no sports but favor cooperative exercises over competitive ones. I create art that sings hope, beauty, and the complications of simplicity."

Words and Image by
Jerome Lawrence
Seen above: "Tulips are People VII"

Reflections On Living Water

The Art Blog at Episcopal Cafe ...

by John Holliger

"All my life I have journeyed up the chanting river of life to find the Source. Such bliss of searching for that One who is just around the next boulder… and find that One already flowing freely within me. You in me and I in you." MORE>>

Seen above: Words and image by John Holliger


Joan Chittister reminds us, “Today, Sept. 22, we celebrate the autumn equinox, the only day of the year in which daytime and nighttime are of exactly equal length. From now on daytime will begin to wane. But there is nothing to fear from this diminishment of the kind of life associated with sunlight. The nighttimes of life have their beauty and their lessons, too.”

Seen above, "The Golden Hour" by
Brie Dodson


"The beauty of blessing is that it recognizes no barriers—and no distances. All the given frontiers of blockage that separate us can be penetrated by the loving subtlety of blessing."

Photograph by The Rev. Scott Fisher, St. Mattews, Fairbanks
Text by John O'Donohue in "To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings"

Not Only One Thing

we are not
only one thing
not just measured line,
not just wild abandoned curve,
neither color, nor "no color."

we are assemblages of light and shadow
divine constructions built to remind
...the Lord is with/in us.

Image: "Untitled" by Moses Hoskins
painting and drawing media on canvas
54 x 80 inches
Words: C. Robin Janning

Voice Within

I just wanted to share this self-portrait titled Voice Within. I was
inspired by this quote:

“Do not follow the ideas of others, but learn to listen to the voice
within yourself.
Your body and mind will become clear and you will realize the unity
of all things.”
Dogen (1200 - 1253)
Japanese religious leader

Being surrounded by strong, unyielding ideals, I have learned to
listen my voice within.

This "listening" has blossomed within me. This precious gift has
helped me become more aware of the awesome beauty and wisdom of God's
world. My heart sings.
Image and words by Jeanelle McCall, all rights reserved

Our Secret Gardens

"Awaken to the mystery of being here
and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.
Have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.
Receive encouragement when new frontiers beckon.
Respond to the call of your gift and the courage to follow its path."
Seen above "Secret Garden" by Diane Walker

Touching Source

"In the early Christian Church, mysticism means something much more akin to unitive seeing. It's not so much 'make me one with everything;' but that you see the unity underlying and holding all the diversity. Rather than getting lost in the forms of consciousness, you experience consciousness itself, directly, as reality. You travel upstream on the river of consciousness and join God at that point of origin where Being, differentiation, form, begin to emerge out of that great, endless stillness of the divine abyss; where Being tumbles out of non-Being. That's the mystical journey back to Source. But the journey doesn't end there. Having touched Source, you then flow out from it, seeing and witnessing to the unity underlying the diversity… and helping to give shape and voice to the new expressions of divine creativity as it cascades (as it does) into form." By the Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault. Read more at

Seen above: "Long Way Home" by Brie Dodson

Communicating with Images

The Art Blog at Episcopal Cafe ...

We can say so much with a single image that dozens of words can only hope to accomplish. In the late 19th century, Ivan Turgenev (Russian author of Fathers and Sons) aptly wrote , "A picture shows me at a glance what it takes dozens of pages of a book to expound." In the west, we are more familiar with the proverb "A picture says a thousand words." Both phrases refer to the idea that complex stories can be described with just a single still image, or that an image may be more influential than a substantial amount of text. Read More>>

Seen above: "Seek First" by Jan Neal. Jan Neal works primarily in digital painting, design and photography with digital liturgical design and symbol as her primary areas of ecclesiastical artistic interests. Her work has been featured in Episcopal Life, the Morehouse Publishing Christian Planning Calendar,, The Apostle, Episcopal Church & Visual Arts, and in a Museum of Biblical Art presentation. Jan was also a curator and contributing artist for Visual Preludes 2006. More of her work may be seen in ECVA’s archived exhibitions, and ECVA’s web site Contacts. She is Exhibitions Director for ECVA and produces the publicity for her parish, Emmanuel Episcopal Church. More of her work can be seen here.

Outstaring The Dark

by Diane Walker

I remember vividly that one of the pleasures of childhood summers was to stay outside until the last rays of light were gone from the summer sky; playing badminton til you could no longer see the birdie, or playing hide and seek until no-one could be found at all and the dark became a lonely place.

We were reveling in the moment then, enjoying ourselves so much we barely noticed as the light slipped away. And I find now, as summer draws to a close and the light begins to fade earlier and earlier, that I am drawn as I was in childhood to sit up with the neighbors, watching from our back decks and talking quietly as the clouds begin to shimmer, then slide into darkness.

As seen above, photograph by Diane Walker


"Mercy is God's innermost being turned outward
to sustain the visible and created world in unbreakable love."

Words by The Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault in "Mystical Hope: Trusting in the Mercy of God."

Image: Like A River by C. Robin Janning

Collaborative Liturgical Art

The Art Blog at Episcopal Cafe ...

St. Peters Episcopal Church, Beverly, Massachusetts
The Rev. Manuel P. Faria III, Rector

By Kendyll Hillegas
This past fall my husband Eric and I worked with a group of young adults at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Beverly, Massachusetts. We had one main goal: to explore what it means to lead lives that matter. We hammered out this goal in several different ways, by working at the church's already-established Sunday night supper for the homeless, by getting involved collaboratively in another installation at a mental health unit at a local hospital, and by alternating our weeks of work with weeks of study and discussion. We found many common threads in each of these endeavors, but the common thread of incarnation, of Christ's being made human and coming to us as a baby at Advent was what we decided to focus on for the capstone of our group's time together that fall. Thus, as we began thinking and imagining what we might create in the nave, the installation became an opportunity for the tying together in an intellectual and physical way of the incarnation of Christ at Advent.


"The Greek word used in the New Testament accounts of the events on the Mount of the Transfiguration is metamorphothe. While the ages have translated that word as transfigured, it actually comes closer to conveying something English can't quite convey. It wants to say something like 'changed shape and beingness and allness into some other form thereof,' or something equally awkward and wordy. What happened, in other words and in the fullest sense, was a "metamorphosis," which again is Greek and again has no really clear or felicitous analog in English."

Words by Phyllis Tickle in "The Indescribable Drama of Transfiguration"

Image: "Transfigured" by C. Robin Janning

Communion of Saints

"The communion of the saints is a kind place. It is a world to which we are all connected at our best places, uniting us in the best love we have, a love from which we who remain here often sag away, but from which they never do. They wish us well and they do us good, seeing as they do that we are capable of better things than we often show forth."

"Who would not want to sit for twenty minutes in that restorative kindliness before a long work day begins, or after another hard one has ended?"

As seen above: Images by The Rev. Scott Fisher, St. Matthew's, Fairbanks, Alaska.

Words by The Rev. Barbara Crafton (The Almost Daily eMo from

Honoring the Dark

In Owning Your Own Shadow Robert A. Johnson examines the Jungian concept of how shadow exists in all of us, and that there is a balance we need to maintain between the light and the dark, creation and destruction, up and down, female parts of ourselves (anima) and male parts of ourselves (animus) and all the polarities of existence. The point of honoring the shadow is to keep it from erupting and destroying our lives. In so explaining this balance Johnson makes a most interesting observation about the incorporation of this concept in the Catholic Mass: "The Catholic Mass is a masterpiece of balancing our cultural life. If one has the courage to see, the Mass is full of the darkest things: there is incest, betrayal, rejection, torture, death - and worse. All this leads to revelation but not until the dark side has been portrayed as vividly as possible. If one went to Mass in high consciousness one would tremble at the awfulness of it - and be redeemed by its balancing effect. The Mass lost much of its effectiveness when it was modernized and made to serve the cultural process. One ought to be pale with terror at the Mass."

I admit that I am a modern. A kneeling Rite IIer. But as a journalism major turned lawyer I have spent a lifetime trying to get clearly and concisely from point A to point B and have made a career out of eliminating legaleze (legal disease). To that end I am somewhat uncomfortable humbly beseeching and am downright offended at saying that I am not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. I don't mind if you like that language; I just don't. I admit that I have gotten myself in hot water with a number of Rite Iers who want me to observe the beauty of the language and learn some humility.

Still, Johnson's point is well taken. I think that we gloss over so much of our shadows at church, we have to honor our shadows elsewhere. I think that Sam Shoemaker, the Episcopal priest instrumental in the creation of AA said it best in What the Church has to Learn from Alcoholics Anonymous.

Johnson indicates that after the balancing effect of the Mass was eliminated "we rely on less effective ways of balancing today. Horror movies, gangster epics, violence, the fashion of something garish or shocking in our headlines, the popularity of murder mysteries - all of these compensate for our high productivity and creativity. But these are clumsy elements compared to the fine works of art of earlier cultures."

The photograph above honors the dark and oddly served to examine my shadow's fascination with this image of what looks like a monster - actually a cicada - perched on the head of the blessed Mother Mary statue who stands guard at the entrance of my garden. Read about the symbolism of the cicada, to include its Christian symbolism and enjoy the irony of this image captured by my shadow at The Sacred and the Profane.

Joy in God's Creation

For Joy in God's Creation

"O heavenly Father, who hast filled the world with beauty: Open our eyes to behold thy gracious hand in all thy works; that, rejoicing in thy whole creation, we may learn to serve thee with gladness; for the sake of him through who all things were made, thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen"

From the Book of Common Prayer, page 814

Nature's Child

"Let us thank the Earth
That offers ground for home
And holds our feet firm
To walk in space open
To infinite galaxies."

Words by John O'Donohue in
To Bless the Space Between Us:
A Book of Blessings

Image: Nature's Child by
Barbara Desrosiers


"... home of memory where
Our vanished days secretly gather,
Receiving every glance, word, and act
That fall from presence,
Taking all our unfolding in,
So that nothing is lost or forgotten."

Words by John O'Donohue,in
To Bless the Space Between Us:
A Book of Blessings

Photograph by The Rev. Scott Fisher,
St. Matthew's, Fairbanks, Alaska

Minding The Gap

Image/altar frontal by Tracy Byrne of Changing Attitude
All Rights Reserved

News from our friends at Integrity and Changing Attitude from Lambeth 2008. Thanks to Katie Sherrod for the following thoughts:

For one brief tiny second, I think there was a rainbow over the green field where the Integrity/Changing Attitude Eucharist took place this afternoon before a crowd of 160 people, including 33 bishops. The Canterbury Cathedral loomed dramatically over the trees beyond the altar.

It was a cool blustery mostly sunny afternoon interrupted occasionally by brief light showers of rain. As the second shower was passing, the sun came out, creating a rainbow just as I glanced up. I grabbed my photographer's arm, but it was gone before I could get words out.

Did I imagine it? Was it wishful thinking?

It seemed much too apt to be true, that tiny glimpse of color, so I'm assuming I imagined it. One often feels that way in the Anglican Communion – thinking one has glimpsed some hope only to find it was aan illusion.

But this afternoon, there was one genuine icon of hope for LGBT folks, and that was Bishop Gene Robinson, striding across the road from St. Stephens encircled by a small group of bishops come to stand in solidarity with him at the service....continued at Walking With Integrity blog.

Posted by Jan Neal; content by Katie Sherrod; image by Tracy Byrne

Blessed Source

From Brother Wayne Teasdale:

O Blessed Source, eternal Lord of creation,
sustainer of all worlds,
you embrace the whole cosmos within yourself,
for everything exists in you.

Let your winds come and breathe your everlasting Spirit in us.
Let us inhale your divine Spirit and be inspired.
Enlighten us in your truth.
Pour your grace into our hearts.
Wipe away our sin and all negativity.

Transform us into your Love,
and let us radiate that Love to all others.
Inflame us with your unending life.
Dissolve our limited way of being.
Elevate us into your divine Life.
Give us your capacity to share that Life with everyone.

Shape us in your wisdom.
Grant us your joy and laughter.
Let us become that divine wisdom, sensitivity,
laughter and joy for all beings.

Let us realize fully that we are members
of that Sacred Community
with all humankind, with other species,
with nature and the entire cosmos.

Grant us a heart that can
embrace them all in you.

Let us be in communion with you
forever in the bliss of that Love:
the Love that sustains all
and transforms all
into your Divine Radiance.


On view above: Blessed Source, ©2008, C. Robin Janning
Quotation by Brother Wayne Teasdale

Morning Glory

From Thomas Merton: If I had no choice about the age in which I was to live, I nevertheless have a choice about the attitude I take and about the way and the extent of my participation in its living ongoing events. To choose the world is not then merely a pious admission that the world is acceptable because it comes from the hand of God. It is first of all an acceptance of a task and a vocation in the world, in history and in time. In my time, which is the present. (Thomas Merton. Contemplation in A World of Action, New York: Doubleday & Company, 1973)

From Rabbi Rami Shapiro: Cultivating grace is a bit of a paradox. You cannot get what you always and already have. There is noting you can or need do to merit grace. All you need do is accept grace. The reason this is so difficult for us is that our hands are full. We are burdened by carrying the past and future around with us wherever we go, and have no room for the grace of the present moment. Cultivating grace means putting down the burden of time, and opening our hands to the timeless now.(Rabbi Rami Shapiro, The Sacred Art of Lovingkindness:Preparing to Practice; forward by Marcia Ford, SkyLight Paths Publishing, 2006)

When I write and think about art, I often use the words acceptance, vocation, grace, and now. Thomas Merton and Rabbi Shapiro are my teachers. What they teach me about art is transmitted from heart to heart; soul to soul. Be here, be now. Listen. Accept grace. Give it all back. Start again each morning... each moment.

Words and Image by C. Robin Janning


Out where cascading hues and pigments
Streak across a distant

Out where evolving shapes and forms
Merge and sing in harmonic

Out where Earth and sky
Breathe as one with each
Master stroke

Out on that phantom edge
God paints a demonstration of

- Rejoice in God's infinite love! -

As seen above: Image and text © by Claudia Smith, All Rights Reserved.
Posted by C. Robin Janning

Art Of The Soul

like the breath
moving in and out
like sleeping and waking
stopping and then running
emotion splashes and swims
flies and crashes
from an edge
of the brush

As seen above: words and image by C. Robin Janning
©2008, All Rights. Reserved.