The Arts

Poetry
ORGANIZED RELIGION


I am not a member of any organized political party.  I am a Democrat
-Will Rogers

I am a part of organized religion.

I am an Episcopalian.

On the other hand, it isn’t

very organized, and, God knows,

the entire Christian community

isn’t very organized either.

My hope is that my notions, splendid as they are,

are repeatedly tested by the wisdom

of a loving, varied, and persisting community.

That community gets stuck, sometimes,

in the vocabulary and traditions of times

no wiser or more perfect than ours.

But the organized Church at its best can be

wise and generous, able to enfold us as we

try again to be faithful and free.  It seeks

to direct us beyond ourselves, to teach us

to care deeply about the isolated, poor,

powerless, and dying. It points outward

to the farthest reaches of creation.

And it points inward, telling me over and over

that God’s love is sure, that I am forgiven.

I want to live in community, to be part of

that pilgrim company, that rag-tag band of travelers

who believe God cares about his world and us.

I prefer organized religion.

Mostly.

-William F. Maxwell

The Fifteenth Station
At the bottom of St. Paul’s steps,
full of grace’s nectar,
an Anna’s hummingbird showed me his
throat of rose-red shimmer.

He lingered.

He whispered.

Isn’t it amazing how things 
shimmer with the slightest 
turn toward the light.

You shimmer, too, 
though you can’t see it. When you linger 
and listen, when you look at me and gasp, 
I see the rose-red glimmer of your 
heart.

And then he lifted and flew
west over the Parish Hall.
I turned to watch and when the
sun hit my face, I
gasped.

-S. Reed ®2015