Restoration of the Spirit

The Art Blog at Episcopal Cafe

"Over a period of several years, Anthony Caro has been working on a major series of sculptures and architectural features to form the restoration of a chapel at Bourbourg in Northern France, about 12 miles east of Calais." Read more here.


"Creator and sustainer of the universe, known in so many different ways by so many different people, we rejoice today in the privilege of living in a society in which peaceful political change is possible. We rejoice in our power to do a new thing, to act on our beliefs and to amend our ways. We rejoice that today marks a milestone in our life together that many of us thought we would live and die without seeing. We rejoice in the witness of all who gave their lives so that we all might inherit freedom, and we pledge ourselves to be worthy of their sacrifice, to strive always to be the people they died believing us to be.

We ask your blessing upon Barack Obama as he takes up the heavy burden of his office. We ask your blessing and protection upon his family as they share him with us, and upon the challenging life into which they now move. And we ask your blessing upon all of us, that we might find, each of us in his or her own way, the means to support his leadership and develop our own, for the benefit of all people everywhere.

All of this we pray in unity of heart and purpose. And let all the people say, AMEN"

January 20, 2009, by The Rev. Barbara Crafton

Seen above: "Hope" by C. Robin Janning


by Diane Walker

I watch in prayer,
suspending breath
as hope strains to emerge again.

See how she works to extricate herself
from hearts grown calcified:
Cracks extend like helping hands,
radiate from center outward --

Will these long-buried wings
break forth in light;
remember flight?

Words & Image by
Diane Walker, all rights reserved.

Magnifying Light

Rebirthing King, Rebirthing America:
A Covenantal Pledge on January 19-20, 2009

"On this rebirthing day, January 19, 2009, Martin Luther King's Birthday, on the eve of there coming into office a new government to represent the American people, I join in covenant with other Americans:

I commit myself to give a new birth in America and in the world to the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King, to call ourselves and every nation now to develop an overriding loyalty to humankind as a whole, in order to preserve the best in our individual societies;

I commit myself to work toward a world-wide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond any tribe, race, class, or nation; to call for an all-embracing and unconditional love for all humanity and for the web of life upon our planet;

I commit myself to fuse power with compassion, might with morality, and strength with sight; to choose nonviolent coexistence rather than violent co-annihilation; to speak for peace and justice throughout the world—within and beyond our doors and shores.

I commit myself to take specific actions.

I do this in the knowledge that tomorrow is today, that we are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. Now let us begin. Now let us rededicate ourselves to the long, hard, and beautiful struggle for a new world."

The text above is part of Sr. Joan Chittister's "Vision and Viewpoint" e-newsletter, and is part of an initiative from the Shalom Center.

Seen Above: Photograph by C. Robin Janning

The Sower, Parable Project #2

by The Rev. Earnest Graham

This is the second in a series of graphic novel translations of the parables of Jesus, which are found in Matthew's gospel (Matthew 13:1-9). See more here.

Ethiopia Calling

The Art Blog at Episcopal Cafe

"For most Episcopalians today a church’s holiness comes from the gathered body of believers who are created in the image of God and blessed by the spirit of Jesus. In Ethiopia, the presence of the ark makes the church holy. This in part explains why so many churches have circular or octagonal designs and concentric regions of holiness expanding from the ark at the center. Genuflection, prostration, dancing, loudly-chanted prayers, processions, a strong reliance on rhythm and drumming make church a more physical experience in Ethiopia." From "Timkat and the Ark of the Covenant" by Malcolm C. Young. Read it all here.

Image by Malcolm C. Young.

Malcolm C. Young is a photographer, theologian, and Episcopal priest in the Diocese of California. Educated at U.C. Berkeley and Harvard, he currently serves as the rector of Christ Episcopal Church in Los Altos. He is the author of the forthcoming book The Spiritual Journal of Henry David Thoreau (Mercer, 2009). "Ethiopia Calling" is on YouTube here


By Gene Black

Here with my faith I stand in a valley
Surrounded by fear, my losses I tally.
Fear, I have little.
I feel a strong hand.
My soul reaches out grasping, hoping.
Admiring the wonder, I travel this land.
I seek truth in beauty, my path upward sloping.
Herewith, content I will be, and yet I still seek
The wonder of wonders, a Holy mystique

Words and Image by Gene Black. All Rights Reserved.

After The Epiphany

by Diane Walker

All the signs are there:
this path will take me off the page:
The clear blue welcome of home
recedes into the mist;
new fences bar the way,
declare new ownership,
new rules,
new life.

Someone has coated this bright road with silver
to lure me down the trail
but I've been here before
and know the stronger light means darker shadows.

Hold my hand:
Perhaps in sharing this downward rush
I'll beat the odds,
and will not slip this time.

Words & Image by
Diane Walker, all rights reserved.

Mountains And Fog

your sky is sister
to the sky that walks above my head
and holds my heart in thrall

After Antietam

by Diane Walker

When all my hard-earned seeds
Have been pecked free by
Tiny yellow birds,
And I am left
standing in this God-forsaken field,
Feathered in owl-gray husks,
Trailing woolly remnants
In the blue-clad night of winter,

Who will call to me,
Sing me down the wind,
Draw me with moonlight,
Through the cold dark earth
And into the star of wonder?

When will I get my own wings,
Who will give me voice to cry
the sweet spring's chirp of rejoicing;
a tongue to sip the nectar of the sun?

Shivering in death-scented darkness,
Fragile, chilled, awash in darkness,
Lost, afraid, alone in darkness
I wait, and listen for the Light.

Words & Image by Diane Walker, all rights reserved.


"Living gracefully is knowing what time it is, and acting in sync with it. If it is planting time, plant; if it is harvest time, harvest." (Rabbi Rami Shapiro in "The Sacred Art of Lovingkindness: Preparing to Practice." Forward by Marcia Ford, SkyLight Paths Publishing, 2006).

Seen above: Pen and Ink drawing by Joseph Fox.

Toward A Happy New Year

A Morning Offering

I bless the night that nourished my heart
To set the ghosts of longing free
Into the flow and figure of dream
That went to harvest from the dark
Bread for the hunger no one sees.

All that is eternal in me
Welcomes the wonder of this day,
The field of brightness it creates
Offering time for each thing
To arise and illuminate.

I place on the altar of dawn;
The quiet loyalty of breath,
The tent of thought where I shelter,
Waves of desire I am shore to
And all beauty drawn to the eye.

May my mind come alive today
To the invisible geography
That invites me to new frontiers,
To break the dead shell of yesterdays
To risk being disturbed and changed.

May I have the courage today
To live the life that I would love,
To postpone my dream no longer
But do at last what I came here for
And waste my heart on fear no more.


By John O'Donohue in "To Bless the Space Between Us"

Seen above: 11:00 a.m. and -50 degrees New Year's Eve by The Rev. Scott Fisher, St. Matthew's, Fairbanks.