. Posted in 2013 Lenten Readings

That is what Sister Joan D.Chittister, O.S.B said as keynote speaker at the conference entitled Radical Christian Life: Equipping Ourselves for Social Change, on Friday evening and Saturday, December 7 and 8, 2012. A11 of us were invited to join with St. Francis Episcopal Church in Holden to view the conference that was webcast from Trinity Church, Wall Street, New York City. Pastor Dan, Pastor Aaron, Joan Orton and myself attended. Sister Chittister is a Benedictine nun, author, and speaker. She writes on women in the church and society, human rights, and peace and justice in the areas of war and poverty and religious life and spirituality. At this conference she examined how the theory of evolution changes the way we understand God and ourselves. I took thirty-one pages of personal notes. I would be willing to share these with others. However, for this brief Lenten essay, I choose to quote directly from the summary report of Trinity Church, dated January 10, 2013 as fo11ows: "Life itself, yours and mine, is a work in progress," she said. "We are not passive participants in this work. Instead, we are partners with God in creation, which gives each of us great responsibility. The purpose of life is co-creation of the world around us," she said. Many asked how to take her message of responsibility and change out into the world. "This is a crossover point in time," said Chittister. "Things have changed. Everyone doesn't get to that crossroad at the same time, and everybody doesn't cross over at the same time." She asked, "What's precious here? What do we have to build on?" She laid the groundwork for the future. The service ended with a commissioning and blessing that included the words of Chittister. "We can ignore and accept things as they are, or we can choose to grapple with them. We can surrender to them, or we can struggle to change them. We can run away from the ca11 to contemplation, or we can embrace it with both wisdom and action."

Submitted by Ed Clarke