Stepping into a New Day

It has been a long while since I’ve dusted off this blog. Life for many of us has shifted over the past year. Covid-19 has been a powerful disruptor in almost every aspect of our life and while things are opening up, this pandemic isn’t over yet.

One of the things that has come clear through this is how very resilient and creative we can be. It has shown us who is there for us when we hit an emotional wall. It has taught us that a slower pace in life is not a bad thing. It has brought us lessons about how we cope with line ups and masks and those whose views on vaccines and masks differ from our own.

Looking back on the past year, what was an outstanding moment for you? Perhaps it was seeing family members in person for the first time in a while. Perhaps it was a negative covid test. Perhaps it was time to break out the paints or pick up the guitar. Maybe it was learning the value of letting go. For me, it was the long stretches of being home feeling secure. I wrote books of prayer, I made memes Like the one above). I recorded. I napped. This doesn’t mean it was idyllic. There were challenges, hardships and true disappointments. That is just life. But there seemed to be an extra dollop of Grace to carry me and I know my angels were working overtime.

How about you? As you look back what was the greatest lesson you faced? What was the biggest challenge? What did you learn about yourself? What work is ongoing?

I am a big proponent of journalling. It is a wonderful way to capture the things bouncing around our heads onto paper. It can bring clarity and a measure of relief. When I am feeling overwhelmed or out of balance, it is a way for me to express what I am feeling and take a look at it. That can be really helpful and sometimes surprising. Maybe it can work for you, too.

Another help? I have my favorite prayers that remind me of God’s loving presence and the holy angels that care for me and for all.

One of my go to prayers is the Serenity Prayer. It helps me figure out what I can do and what I can’t – and find peace in it all. And -bonus- I can journal with it for deeper understanding.

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change
Courage to change the things I can
And wisdom to know the difference.

That is my prayer for all this day. That we would have peace, that we will do what we can to make improvements in our own lives, accept what is beyond us and have that inner knowing that all will be well.

Stay well and stay strong.
Bishop Deb

Empowered by Love

A Graceful moment
with Archbishop Deb…..

If you are like me,there are days when the state of the world can be overwhelming.  We see the news and shake our heads in disbelief.  It can feel like truth and integrity, facts and basic compassion have fallen in the face of greed, corruption and dishonesty. It feels like we are in a new place in our history, where a battle between good and evil is playing out all around us, leaving us feeling off balance, worried and terribly fearful. 

I know many are feeling hopeless.  In this time of pandemic and conspiracy theories, when aggressive behaviour and open hostility to those whose beliefs differ reveals an ugly side of humanity, we can drift through our days feeling like we have little control over the future.

That is actually the biggest lie of all- that we have no power, that we have no control.  We are all children of the most high and holy creator.  We have the very spark of the divine in us.  We are all radiant, magical beings.  For those of us who are concerned by the current climate of hate and dissent in the world, we can take heart.  We are not powerless. We can change the world with the power of intention and the goodness of our hearts. 

Do you believe that you are magical?  It is true.  We get so caught up in the material side of things that we forget that we are also spiritual beings.  It is time for us to recall whose daughter or son we truly are and how that recognition can empower us to be transformed and by extension transform the world.

We are all sisters and brother on this planet. It doesn’t matter what faith or spiritual tradition you follow.  If you believe in a loving creative force — however you name it– then in spirit, in love, we can join our intentions and build a wave of love and healing to encircle the planet.

Maybe this is our life purpose.  Maybe this is why we find ourselves here at this point in history. 

maybe this is the moment that we reach out and shine.  This is the day that we stand in the fullness of our divine power and say, “My faith is stronger than my fear.”

How do we do this?  By using the power of our mind, fuelled by the prayers of our hearts.

That is prayer at its purest essense.   Loving thoughts expressing our desires.

We hold a vision of peaceful and happy homes with plenty of food, monies and resources to meet all needs.  We hold a vision of people everywhere reaching out and sharing together.  We hold a vision of the natural world being respected and restored. 

We see ourselves, our loved ones and those in every community happy, peaceful and content.  We hold that vision with all the loving emotion we can muster.

This is so important to do right here and right now.  We must step into our power, claim our divine heritage, and get to work to bring healing and love each day, every day, all through the day.  We cannot believe that are helpless.  We bring the light of Creator as we reach out in love.

You are a child of the most high creator.  You have within you the power to transform the world.  This is truth.  As we work on loving ourselves, living kind and gentle lives, treating others with fairness and respect, honouring the earth and being thankful for all that we have, choosing to be happy… then transformation will happen.  As we each live this kind of intentional life, walking in the knowledge that we are loved and sharing that love, then the shadows of dark things cannot stand against its light. We bring sacred space wherever we go.

Let’s start today.  Let’s create a wave of love.  Let’s kindle a flame of hope that will be a light to those who are feeling lost and overwhelmed.  Jesus tells us that we are capable of great things.  Just as he healed and brought good news of God’s love to those who felt desperate and hopeless, he tells us that we have it within us to do all that he did and then some.  How incredible is that?

Today is our commissioning, our call to action.  Let’s begin by calling in the angels and by giving thanks that we are loved and beloved,  and take up this high and holy work.

Let us pray

Holy One, mother and father of all.  Forgive us for the many ways we have faltered on our journeys.  Forgive us for the times we have allowed fear and darkness to overwhelm us.   Forgive us for the ways in which we hurt one another, lashing out because of our own pain. Today we reset.  We claim our divine heritage.  We reclaim all that has been lost to us. 

Fill us with your light, your love, your wisdom and your truth. Surround us with the protection of your holy angels, enfold us with your grace, empower us with the spiritual tools we need as we move through the day.  This we ask in your holy name.

Considering Loss.

I found out yesterday that a dear friend passed away very suddenly weeks ago. I knew something was wrong as texts and emails went unanswered and phone calls went straight to voicemail.

At first I thought she was taking a time out, as she often did, but as days turned into a week and longer, I grew more concerned. I even called local hospitals to see if she had taken sick. Nothing.

Finally, I reached out to one of her friends, who had more contacts, and, incredulously, the word came back that she had died in July. Likely an aneurysm. She was a larger than life individual who seemed immortal. We had spoken to her just a few days before her death and she was full speed ahead with her work and her projects and her vision to make the world a better place.

And now, that voice has been silenced – though I still hear her in my head, calling me “kid,” telling me excitedly about things in her life. It feels impossible. Impossible.

I think about the thousands and thousands of people feeling like me today. Those who are grieving their beloved family and friends. Those who feel the finality of it all, the deep loss, the questions. Especially, why?

I think about the people of Beirut who are still reeling after that sudden catastrophic explosion – dozens dead, thousands injured; lives changed forever in a blink.

I think about the hundreds of thousands of people around the globe who have died alone in a hospital room after a battle with COVID, with no loved ones to comfort them or see them through their transition from this life.

I think of those left behind and the task of moving forward. Everything in their lives is different, yet the world still chugs on in its fashion.

I know that she is at peace and I believe her great spirit is free. She is very likely having a party with all her beloved friends in that place of love and light. Her light continues to shine, just not in this physical plane.

Nothing can dull that shining spirit. Now that her friends know about her passing, there is much work to do. She was not given a memorial or even a death notice by those tasked with arrangements. We fear that her work and her legacy has been trashed, decades of brilliance snuffed by ignorance and malice. We will now work together to see that some of that work continues, as I think she would expect we would do.

So, today, I light a candle with a prayer for the repose of her soul. Her faith in the next life was strong and I know her love for us burns bright.

We are all grieving in some way. Grieving for those whom we love, grieving for the loss of normalcy in this pandemic world, grieving for the loss of dreams and visions… We need to flip that and re-focus. At least, I do. Our task is to bring love to the world. Through our sadness, new purpose can be found. Fresh empowerment. This is so important right now. Shining our light, bringing hope and healing as we can.

I often use this beautiful piece of prose at funerals. I leave it with you to speak to your heart. Today, I celebrate life.

It is a deep mystery, 
This matter of life and death. 
That the same person, 
Who brought us a thousand joys 
Can one day leave us shedding a thousand tears. 
So suddenly sometimes, 
That we grope blindly for words left unspoken, 
And for hugs we need to give, to say good-bye. 
And we wonder, 
How this thread that holds us all to life, 
Can be so thin and fragile. 
Until one day we find the courage to accept, 
That the living aren’t meant to understand death, 
Only to celebrate life. 
And to remember that the only real death 
is in forgetting……

Author unknown



Hello from Niagara-on-the-Lake on this muggy Monday.  There is the chance we will have a severe thunderstorm in the next while and I hope it rains torrentially.  The earth is so dry here.  Lawns look scorched and thirsty.  This ongoing heat has everything craving rain – and with it a change to cooler, less humid temps.

I have been feeling tired today, up extra early for some reason.  I’ve been chipping away at the pile of things to do on the desk for hours and listening to songs that are touching and inspiring. Hamilton soundtrack playing as I write.

I do have to go to the Post Office to see if my wandering eyeglasses have finally made it here and we are completely out of bread, but truthfully, I am feeling a little nervous about being out and about today.  Le sigh.

We have entered phase 3 in this region.  Today there is news of Covid shutting down restaurants in Niagara Falls that have JUST opened.  The weekend saw thousands of tourists in our little town.  Someone described it as a zoo.  It feels like everything is about to unravel after all these months of being so careful.

Time to regroup, folks.  We need to recommit to kicking Covid’s butt.

I spoke to an officiant who was sharing how this strange wedding season has affected her.  With masks and physical distancing she cannot hug the couples or stand with them for pictures.  With the coronavirus so active, I still question why couples absolutely have to get married right now.  Venues are closed for the most part.  Vendors are really not active.  And as an officiant, I am really not comfortable unless everyone is on the same page about precautions and protocol.  There is too much to risk. Still.  Months later.

How are you doing in the midst of all this?  I hope you are able to grab something nice to drink and sit somewhere shady and quiet.  The chatter will always be there, pushing fear and worry thoughts our way.

We know what to do: Wear a mask.  Sanitize. Keep your distance from people you do not live with.  Be careful when you are out and about. Be kind and courteous.  It really is that simple, right?  Turn off the news.  Don’t let the headlines drag you down.  And pray that resistant people will finally understand that their blatant ignorance can be deadly for themselves or those who they love.

Try and stay in your bliss.  Now more than ever, we need to take time for ourselves to be restored and renewed.  I see many games of Scrabble with a brilliant woman in my near future. 🙂

Have a great day everyone.  Be kind to yourself.

This is an awesome video I stumbled across this morning.  Imagine being this little girl?
Check out from 8:22 onward.  It’s the best.

Bishop Deb

Rainy Wednesday

jesus mask

Over the past few years I have been doing “prayer on the go” podcasts from my car as I am out and about.  These days, I am not out and about a lot.  In fact, I am happy to stay home and let this COVID thing pass by.  Every day is busy and life is never boring.

COVID cases are up in Niagara again – as they are everywhere as people start to move about more freely.  We are social beings – we WANT to be out and about.  But truly, these are dangerous times.

I went to the Post Office on the main street yesterday.  It’s July and it is typical for the streets to be very crowded in this tourist town.  Groups of people passed by as I waited in the physically-distanced line as one by one we went in to our mailboxes. The passing groups were young and old,  enjoying ice cream or holding a coffee in hand, talking and sharing, enjoying their day.  It could have been any typical summer day.  Unbelievably, very very few of them were wearing masks.

This is a problem.

Yes, it is not possible to eat or drink while masked, but I didn’t see any masks in evidence,  Nothing adorning necks ready to pull up again, nothing peeking out of pockets.  Hmmmmm.

I do not understand this rebellion against something that can save your life and the lives of those whom you love.  The virus is not a hoax – as we can see by skyrocketing numbers around the world.  Some are saying these are just typical numbers of deaths slapped with a COVID label.  Not so.  Talk to any nurse or doctor and they will tell you that what they have been battling is not just your average upper respiratory infection.

Are people just escaping, thinking if they don’t wear a mask the virus will not get them?  Is it an attempt to just pretend that everything is normal as they enjoy their stroll down Queen Street?

Their selfishness can be deadly for someone they may never meet.

We are called to love one another.  To see everyone as a Child of God.  To know in our hearts our deep connection.  We are one race, one family.  Instead, we are witnessing the rise of racism and people acting badly.  Simmering hatred is being openly expressed. We see basic human rights being rolled back.  We see the rise of an ugly, hard-fisted approach to peaceful protests – witness Portland, where protesters are being basically kidnapped in ways that we have seen in the brutal regimes in South America.

Not wearing a mask is a part of this insidious, shadowy unrest.  Somehow people have gotten it into their heads that this is a political thing.  That it is a conspiracy thing.  That NOT wearing a mask expresses their freedom and is a bold assertion of their rights.  (We have the right to be ignorant, I guess.) Meanwhile, their rights and freedoms – OUR rights and freedoms- are slowly being eroded in the backrooms and in bills that are being passed in Ontario as I write this.

The mask thing is a distraction.  We go for the bait every time.

I didn’t mean for this to become a rant. I have cut out many paragraphs just now. lol It is just hard not to feel overwhelmed and helpless in the face of so much fear and chaos.  So many people are emotionally and mentally exhausted from the wear and tear of these times.

Let’s reset.

I am getting my pom poms again. Cheerleader Deb has taken over the keyboard.

We effect the change we want to see.  Maybe it is time for us to come together as community as never before.  To look out for one another.  To share what we have.  To plant vegetable gardens and stock up for what could be a very difficult winter for many.
To celebrate our diversity and honour everyone’s unique gifts and talents.  We need each other.  It is clear to me that the people in power do not always have our best interests at heart.

What is the one thing you can do today to make life a little less stressful for yourself?
What is one thing for which you are truly grateful?
What is one thing that you would like to accomplish or see happen today?
What is one thing that you can do to help someone in need today?

We are powerful.  We are gifted.  We have everything we need to enjoy a successful and happy day.  Set the intention and watch things around you shift.

Have a fantastic and uplifting day!  I am off to visit with some friends at a peach farm in Queenston.  Maybe we will dance in the rain with our masks on.  Appropriately distanced, of course. 😉



Back to the Blog…

Hello, dear friends.

Well, it has been a while since I’ve sat at the keyboard and added to this blog. So much has happened in our world.

I have been getting requests to reach out once more sharing thoughts, memes and podcasts and so I offer this with love, hoping it will assist in some way.

We live in very strange times.

We hear uncertain and unsettling reports of people actually killing each other for something as simple as a request to wear a mask, unrest in the US, growing partisan politics in our country, economic hardship, rising COVID numbers… we know the list. When there are so many mean and disrespectful incidents happening every day, we know must focus on loving kindness and good things more than ever before, but that can be a challenge.

We get stuck in some sort of paralysis of spirit. The news is unrelenting awful. We feel lost and afraid. Overwhelmed. Battle-weary.

Our inner light is barely an ember.

It is challenging not to feel the effect of fear and worry in the face of the global situation and what is happening in our own homes and communities. It can be scary.

Time for a shift perhaps. Think of me as your cheerleader, waving my poms poms here. Let’s raise the energy. I am here to remind us all that we do not do this alone. Holy Angels surround us and Divine Love enfolds us.

We have the power of Heaven to assist right here, right now!

We forget that, don’t we. Remember that fear is often False Evidence Appearing Real. We are Children of the Light (Love is Grace, Hope and Truth – i just made that up. lol) Gimme an L ….

Remember who you are. Remember Who called you into being. You are loved and beloved. You have the spark of the Divine within you! It is time to bring our lights together and shine, reflecting the power of the One, who works in each of us to effect good. We have the power to transform everything with our love and intention. We are called to burn so brightly that shadows vanish.

We need one another in these shadowy times. We are people of the light; darkness cannot extinguish us. We are children of the Most High God; evil cannot harm us.

Divine Love always wins.

As we hold fast to what we know is true and good, as we look for blessings and freely share with all, the light within us will continue to shine. Love will shine in us, around us and through us. We will see and know the difference in our soul.

Friends, above all, now is a time for prayer; for taking time to connect with Divine Love, to draw on that unlimited strength to power us through each day. Prayer is our super power, supporting us on every level of our being. It is the fuel for our light. It is our connection to grace, healing, transformation and miracle.

Here is a little prayer that I offer for peace, healing and protection.

Blessings. Please wear the mask and keep washing those hands.

August Already


*** As I went to post this, I heard the news about the mass shooting in Dayton this morning on the heels of the shooting in El Paso yesterday.  Pray for peace, dear friends.  Pray for those injured, the families affected, for those who have died. Pray for first responders and medical personnel. Pray for all who are tested by this act of violence.  May angels comfort us all. Visualize peace and love blanketing the planet.  ***

Hello, everyone!

We all know how busy life can get.  It has been a whirlwind few months for me, and while I manage to do “Prayer on the God” podcasts fairly frequently, this blog got lost in the shuffle.  Sorry ’bout that.

I put up the gratitude phrase from Melody Beattie today.  That rose in the garden was just aching to be celebrated and I was grateful for its vibrance and fragrance.  It is a simple thing, to see this beautiful splash of red against the green of the backyard, but it reminded me of the many other ways blessings surround me.  Little winks from Heaven.
All is well.  Even if it feels like all is in chaos in the world.

We are all feeling unsettled about something or other these days.  How can we not?  We turn on the news and see another mass shooting.  We talk to a friend to discover they have been going through a difficult time in their life.  A loved one falls ill.  Bills exceed our bank account.  Relationships crumble without warning.  The sand shifts beneath our feet and we get stressed and out of balance.  We wrestle with negative emotions. We get depressed and withdrawn, resentful and overwhelmed….

Sound familiar?

We have to look out for one another in these times.  As we retreat and process, we cut ourselves off from the love and assistance that is available to us.  I read recently where having nights out with besties can help us live longer.  I believe this!  Laughter, dancing, letting go and being silly — it’s the perfect antidote to fear and worry.  Being with loved ones, watching funny movies, playing in the garden, singing, walking in nature…. these are just some of the things we can do to bring back balance and get our minds shifted away from problems and back onto the happy things of life.

There is no question that we are living in challenging times.  Remembering every day to count the blessings we have and trying to remain in that place of gratitude actually makes us receptive to more.

Jesus said in Matthew 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

When we remember the blessings we have been given by Creator, when we look to Divine Love in our dark times, when we remember that we are loved and beloved by the One who knows how many hairs there are on our heads, then we trust that things will work our our highest and best.  When we focus there, then we will find things shifting.  Our attitude and understanding of things changes.  More blessings come as we give thanks and look to our loving God to bring us grace and love.

When we are in the midst of the pit, it isn’t easy to climb out into the light of day once more.  The sun is shining up there.  People are walking by with ice cream cones and having a great day.  We are stuck in the pit, feeling alone and helpless.  Every blessing we count can be a rung on the rescue ladder.  Reaching out to a friend can bring the rope we need to escape the darkness.

Taking time to read something spiritual, connecting with Love, with our angels, writing in our journals.. there are so many ways we can find joy once more.  It is okay for us to be happy.  It is important for us to be happy.  When we seek God’s love and give thanks for blessings received, then we are stronger.  We in turn reach out and share that love with others.  They in turn reach out and help — and so on.

With this world so caught up in fear, we all have a call as children of the Most High to remember our heritage.  We are sparks of the Divine.  We are powerful, created to enjoy life and experience the goodness of Creation.

It’s time to step up.  We have work to do.  We can’t buy into the negative mindset encouraged by those who wish to keep us unhappy and fearful.  Seek first the Spiritual, the realm of Divine Love.  Connect there and everything will come to you – understanding, joy, healing, prosperity, and gratitude.

We need peace in our hearts and the understanding that we truly are one on this planet.  I pray that today you will see the many blessings that surround you, despite the challenges and give thanks for the good that comes.  It will give us strength and hope in these challenging days.  Good comes to us now.









First Friday in Lent – IWD

jesus and mm

Today is International Women’s Day and a fitting topic for today’s Lenten blog.  Shining a light on the women of the world celebrates just how far we have come in matters of justice and equality — but even more importantly, it shows how very far we have to go to ensure the safety and protection of women and girls everywhere.

In recent times, the #metoo movement bravely brought to light the many ways in which women have been victimized  and abused by those in positions of authority and power.  Most of my women friends can share experiences of lecherous bosses or handsy guys.  I recall a salesman making some overt comments about me at a convention a very long time ago.  Over the course of dinner and a number of scotches, his intentions were more and more clear and I, a very naive 20-something company rep, would have been in deep doo doo had I not been rescued by an observant co-worker who basically dumped the interloper on his derriere outside the restaurant.  I know many other women for whom there was no intervention.   #metoo has helped to put a laser on this behaviour.

I remember a distraught friend rushing over to my house in a blind panic.  She had suddenly remembered a date in college that was in fact, a drugged rape.  For fifteen years she had no memory of that night, except the puzzle of waking up in her bed naked, alone.  She had married, had kids and one day, watching the news of a woman whose date had drugged and raped her, the puzzle pieces came back together and she remembered what had been done to her.   Who could she report this to?  Where was the guy now all these years later?  How many other women had he raped?  Helplessness turned to rage.  And frustration.  And horror. And shame.  After so much time, there was not much to be done other than make a report.  Women deal with these kinds of feelings all the time. I think that is why #metoo has been so important.  It is time to raise consciousness.

Every day, women are emotionally and or physically abused by their boyfriends or husbands. They receive less money for the same job as their male counterpart. They get told they are hysterical when they show emotion, and called a bitch when they are justifiably angry.

When I was first ordained in 1985, I was told that I would have to work a whole lot harder than my male counterpart to be accepted in my role as clergy.  When I got up to preach, some people walked out because it was offensive to hear a woman in a leadership role in the Anglican church at that tender time of change.  I was told that women priests were distracting and cause men to think unclean thoughts.  When I was first pregnant I was “jokingly” told by my priest supervisor that he shouldn’t have given me time off, since I obviously enjoyed myself with my husband while we were on vacation….  oh, I have stories.

The battle for respect, equality and fairness is ongoing here in North America, especially with someone in the White House who has a vocal and blatant disrespect for women. There are states ruled by GOP men who are passing more and more oppressive laws dealing with women’s reproductive rights.  We need to be vigilant and not lose hard-won ground.

International Women’s Day casts a spotlight on the women in the world who still have NO rights, who live in oppressive societies, who may at any time be beaten by their husbands and whose lives are impossibly harsh. I saw an item on CNN that showed an app used by Saudi men who track their wives’ every move (some have multiple wives) and make sure that they don’t leave the country.  Hello?  2019.  Deck is stacked against anyone not male.

We cast the spotlight on those women around the world who are forced into the sex trade and treated like commodities, who have no freedom, no life of their own. When will serious efforts be taken to keep women safe?  This is evil borne out of greed and the behaviour of those who fuel this monstrous activity treating women and young girls like chattel.  Disposable.  Of no value other than for a man’s pleasure.  I read where 3 year old girls are being sold to be married in Yemen so families can survive.  This is unspeakable.

We cast the spotlight on the countless women who go missing every month.  Here in Canada, we continue to question the government about the dozens of Aboriginal women who’ve disappeared.  Where are they?  What happened to them?  They count.  They matter.  What are you doing to stop it?

This is a day when we take up the banner and make a noise. A loud and angry noise.  A noise so loud that it rises up like a collective volcano of hot fire and ashes.  We are strong. All women matter.  All women are important.  Don’t mess with our sisters.

Women matter. That should be obvious.  But as long as unevolved men who are threatened by the talents, intelligence, ingenuity and loving spirit of women are in charge, we will continue to fight for equality for all women on this planet.

Jesus was outspoken about the rights of women in his day.  He broke  patriarchal boundaries and spoke directly to women of other cultures.   He brought women into his group as spiritual leaders and disciples, even though Scripture doesn’t literally declare it.  He defended women who could be divorced by their husbands for any reason. He saved a woman from stoning by pointedly asking the men there about their own sins and actions. He reached out to heal both women and men.  He taught both women and men.  He did not indicate in any way that women were lesser.

It might be a good thing for those who call themselves Christian –especially those in authority — to go back to their bibles and read it, especially the gospel of Luke.

It was the women who stayed with him while he died on the cross. It was the women who prepared his body for burial. It was to Mary Magdalene that he appeared on that Easter morning.  Food  for thought.

Here is a beautiful prayer written for today by a Franciscan named Deborah Hirt.  May it be our truth.

Lord, make me an instrument of peace:

Bless all women who daily strive to bring peace to their communities, their homes and their hearts. Give them strength to continue to turn swords into plowshares.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love:

We pray for all women who face prejudice, inequality and gender disparities. Help us see and to face the discrimination against women in all the many forms it may take.

Where there is injury, pardon:

Comfort all women who suffer from the pain of war, violence, and abuse. Help them to become instruments of their own reconciliation and peace.

Where there is division, unity:

Forgive all women and men who let differences breed hate and discrimination. Let your example of valuing all of creation help us to see that we are equal partners in the stewardship of your world.

Where there is darkness, light; where there is untruth, truth:

Comfort all women who struggle in the darkness of abuse, poverty, and loneliness. May we stand with them in light to acknowledge their suffering and strive to remove the burdens of shame or embarrassment.

Where there is doubt, true faith:

We pray for all women who live in fear of their husbands, fathers, and forces that control their lives. Help them to be empowered to be their true selves through your everlasting love and faith.

Where there is despair, hope:

We pray for all women who live in the despair of poverty, violence, trafficking, slavery,and abuse. May the light of your love bring them hope.

Where there is sadness, new joy:

Help us to see the strength and goodness in all women and men.
Transform our hearts to celebrate the love and grace of all people.





Reframing Suffering

Today, I have mostly wiped the schedule.  So much planned, including a badly needed haircut, but my throat is scratchy and my head is achy.  I am staying put, taking vitamins and letting my body rest.

There is an idea that we must forge on when our bodies are not well, or when we are lagging behind.  Shake it off.  Push through it.  It’s just a cold etc.

We’ve been told from various pulpits that we must override the weaknesses of the body and not give in. In some religious circles, suffering is recognized as a kind of badge of honour.  Maybe this is a nod to St Paul who complained about his unnamed affliction, but continued his missions into foreign and often hostile territories.  I have friend who offers her suffering to assist those in Purgatory.

I find all of this confounding, this dislike of the flesh, this denial of our unique beauty.  We are made in the image of the Creator.  We are all sparks of the Divine.  God delights in us and wants us to be joyful and creative.  God wants us to be like Christ.

Oh. And Jesus suffered.  Jesus went to the cross for us.  So we must suffer too?  Cue the record scratch.

Let’s be clear.  God does not throw down thunderbolts at us.  God does not cause us to be ill.  God does not wish for us to bear heavy emotional burdens.  God does not want our pain.  Jesus took that on for us.  Willingly.  He did it to free us so that we know the LOVE that God showers upon us every minute of our lives.

That got twisted along the way.  christianity1

Today, let us celebrate the love that God brings to us to embrace and to share.  Here is my little podcast that talks about all this.


Ash Wednesday


Today, the wheel of the Church year turns once more and we find ourselves beginning a new season: the season of Lent.  On this Ask Wednesday, I invite you to listen in to our online service, live at 9:30 a.m. but available at the link whenever you wish to hear it.

I am sharing my homily here because it tells us about Ash Wednesday and what lent is about.  You can read along when you listen to the service. 🙂  Have a holy and blessed day, everyone.

Ash Wednesday Homily
Well, the pancakes have been consumed, Mardi Gras has wrapped up, the noisemakers and perhaps the treats have been shelved as we greet this new day. This first day of the season of lent.

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of our 40 day journey through Lent leading to Holy Week, Good Friday and ultimately, the empty tomb of Easter.  As we begin the season of Lent, we are invited to take some time for self-examination, to really look at our lives and how we spend the time we have been given.

This is a good exercise any time of the year, but as we prepare our hearts for the events of Good Friday and Easter, it is a deeply spiritual thing to do, one that can help us grow in our faith and our self-understanding.

Over the next 40 days, we choose make time in our day to think about the people in our lives whom we have hurt or who may have hurt us and to work on moving to a place of peace and forgiveness.  We give this over to God and own up to our own behaviour, knowing that each situation has brought up lessons and insights into our lives. As we let it go, we also forgive ourselves.  And as we consider others that have wounded and hurt us, the point is not to excuse them but to move on in our own lives.  Give them to God, look to the strengths and good things that have come about as the result of the challenges.  There is healing in this for you even if resolution cannot be found.

During Lent,  take time each day to connect more fully with divinity – by reading inspirational books, by meditating, and by praying for ourselves and others.We can also to think of ways to reach out and give of our time, talent and resources.

Many people choose to test their discipline and willpower and decide to give up something that they enjoy.  This mirrors the sacrifices that Jesus made for us as he went to the cross and gave up his life for us.

I have learned over the years, with the ups and downs and stress of life that it isn’t always easy to give up something I like – such as chocolate.  When I cave in a and eat some it tends to cause more stress and even guilt, so I have changed that practise.

Now I use the weeks of Lent to get out my journal and think about the things that have a negative impact on me and release them from my life.  If something is not contributing to my self-esteem and confidence or making me feel good, then I choose to let it go.  I try very hard to shake the dust, even if it means letting go of a friendship.  If I am not being honoured or respected, then that person or circumstance has no resonance in my life.

During Lent, I use my “God Can” a lot more.  If I am worried about something, I write it down and put it into the “God can”, a special jar appointed as the receptacle of my fears, concerns, worries and negative thoughts.  I give it over to God and then as much as I can, choose to spend my day being happy, trusting that things will resolve for good with the angels and God working on it.  And, I try and do one act of kindness for someone in the course of the day.

Lent reminds us to live by faith, to deepen our connection to God and to all the people on this earth.  I do not believe that God wants us to sacrifice something I like or to suffer through a bad situation.  Jesus already did that for us!  God wants us to see ourselves as I we are regarded by our Creator – beautiful, perfect, joyful, prosperous and beloved. Forgiven and free, called to do the loving work of Jesus in the world.

So, I do turn Lent on its ear.

Instead of wearing sackcloth and wearing ashes, I profess my faith in a God who loves me so much he sent Jesus to tell me about that love and to show that love even beyond death.  I give thanks for Jesus who told me to reach out and help my brother and sister, to embrace everyone as a child of god.

I try to live each day connecting to God, writing down my worries and putting them in the God can, working to squeeze the most out of each beautiful moment in the day.  And, you know, living like this for the next 40 days as best we can, will make Easter a much richer experience as we proclaim the mystery and the wonder of our faith – that Jesus not only died for us but came back to tell us that we need not far anything in this life or the next because we are so completely loved by a all-accepting creator who is with us each and every day and into the life after this one too.

I pray that you have a wonderful and holy Lent, however you choose to observe it.  Let us have a prayer to set us on our journey.

Gracious God, be with us this day as we search our hearts.  In the things that we have said and done that have separated us from your love, forgive us.  May we be aware of you loving presence walking with us, holding our hand in the dark, bringing to us people who will love and uplift us, bringing us blessings and good things.

Be with all whom we love this day bringing peace to those who are under any duress, healing to those who are ill in body, mind or spirit, joy to those who are without hope, and love to all who are tired in spirit.

We ask your angels to fill this whole earth with your divine light and grace, melting every hardened heart, clearing the scales from the eyes of those whose hearts and minds are consumed by anger, greed, avarice and lack of compassion.  May we be instruments of your peace, your truth, your holy love and by our faith in you shine your light everywhere we go.  Amen.