29 November 2007

Words of Wisdom and Faith from the Bishop of New York

Every year at the Episcopal Diocese of New York's convention, our bishop, the Rt. Rev. Mark S. Sisk, gives an address. Every year, I find it to be compelling, thoughtful, provocative and important to our continued mission of Christian witness and action. Here are a few excerpts. A link to the full text of the address is below.

The witness to God’s radical love has become ever more difficult. The difficulty arises from two deeply linked sources. The first, and more superficial cause, is a shift in cultural values that has tended to muffle all but the most extreme voices…

Of late I have been meeting with other religious leaders of a like mind in hopes that together, we can find a way to raise the voice of moderation in the midst of the cacophony that surrounds us.

However, the deeper truth is that deafness to all but the most extreme voices is itself a perfectly natural development in a society, in a world, in which the forces of extremism have moved from the margins to the very center of our common life.

Who among us, in his or her wildest imagination, would ever have guessed that candidates for the Presidency of this great nation, or a nominee for its highest law enforcement officer, would find themselves seriously debating fine nuances of what is an acceptable method for torture and what is not. To what have we come? And how have we gotten here?

These are not easy times in which to serve. But by God’s grace they are the times we have been given. Let us so immerse ourselves in the life of the living Lord that we may find a new and life giving word of hope and justice, to the community of which we are a part.

Let it never be said of us, that we, in our generation cowered before the work that was ours to do. By the power of God’s Spirit who lives within us, let us find in one another the strength of the One who sustains us all. Let us have the courage to live without fear because the God who loves us and sustains us is more powerful than all the evil forces that drive us apart.

Rejoice in each other. Rejoice in the work that God has given us do, Rejoice in the Life of the Living One who loves us, now and unto the ages of ages.
The full text of the bishop's address can be found here.

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