Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth

These words from Isaiah have always spoken to me. They remind us of God's call to bind together all of humanity as one. Like many, I have watched the news from Iran with deep sorrow. We are reminded again of the brutal way that some hold on to power.

Indeed, in San Diego, we have received refugees of violence and oppression from around the world. Our diocesan Refugee Network was founded to provide aid to those fleeing genocide in Sudan and they are now also helping those who are refugees from Burma (renamed by the military dictatorship Myanmar).

The Burmeses refugees in San Diego are a part of the Karen minority. Many are Christians and some have found their spiritual home at St. Mark's in City Heights and St. Alban's in El Cajon. On Sunday, I visited St. Alban's where I confirmed two: Baldwin, "a son from afar, and Mu Nee, "a daughter from the ends of the earth."

I am proud of St. Alban's, St. Mark's, and the refugee network for their ministry of hospitality. It is what we are called by Christ to do: welcome the stranger and the outcast.

Refugee Network Website: http://www.sudaneserefugees.com/

Friday, June 19, 2009

Thanks George!

On Sunday, I was with the people of St. John's Episcopal Church in Chula Vista as they bid farewell to their rector of fourteen year, the Rev. George Keith. Father Keith is one of those great priests who is a great pastor and preacher. He has irrepressible energy and a hearty, frequent laugh.

The church was packed with those who love George and have been touched by his ministry. I know that he will be missed but he has built a strong foundation for his successor to build upon. I pray that George and his wife, Joan, will come to know this season of retirement as a time of new beginnings. May God bless them. Well done!