I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat
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.
-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.
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
And then he lifted and flew
west over the Parish Hall.
I turned to watch and when the
sun hit my face, I
-S. Reed ®2015