Come in! Come in!

"If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a Hope-er, a Pray-er, a Magic Bean buyer; if you're a pretender, come sit by my fire. For we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in!" -- Shel Silverstein

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Little Blue Boxes

You may know of the recent troubles in the church concerning UTO (United Thank Offering).

If you don't know about the United Thank Offering, and you are an Episcopalian, hie thee hence without undue delay and learn all about this incredible, historic ministry of women here

If you don't know about "the troubles" you can get some information at E-Women 125 Years of UTO.

Several people have asked me what do I do with those Little Blue Boxes where they have placed their coins of thanksgiving.  To my great distress, I've heard some say, "The church won't be getting another red cent from me!"

Here's my response:

Those little ubiquitous UTO Blue Boxes are a powerful, sacramental sign of a deep spirituality which arose from the institutional oppression of women.

The UTO Blue Boxes are an outward and visible sign of lay presidency in the everyday, common eucharistic act of turning thanksgivings into real relief of real human pain and suffering throughout the world.

Do. Not. Stop.This. Practice.

Please, keep giving thanksgiving for what God has brought into your life. Please drop at least one coin - a penny, dime, nickle, quarter, half-dollar or dollar - into the box every day. Surely, there is something - some little something that happens during the course of even the worst day - for which you can give thanks to God.

If it's someone's birthday or anniversary, consider dropping a coin of thanksgiving for their lives and their faithfulness.

If someone has done something unexpectedly nice to or for you, or you found yourself "rising above" a particular difficult personal challenge, or you discover that a prayer you thought had long been unanswered finally found at least partial fulfillment, please consider dropping a coin of thanksgiving.

Whether you know it or not, you need the spiritual practice and discipline of those little UTO Blue Boxes, because those prayers and coins of thanksgiving will be transformed into real, corporal acts of mercy for those whose basic human needs for food and shelter - or hope and possibility - have long been their supplication and petition to God.

What, now, to do with those UTO Boxes?

Hold onto them. Keep putting coins into them every day.

Wait and watch and pray as the Executive Council meets next week and deliberates on this issue.

Pray that the trust which is the foundation of Christian relationships which has been so seriously eroded may find healing.

Hope for the justice and mercy that brings reconciliation and the peace of God that passes all human understanding.

And, after everything has been decided or determined, you can make your decision as to where to contribute your UTO boxes. If not UTO then perhaps to your parish or diocesan efforts for mission.

Whatever the outcome, I repeat:

Do. Not. Stop. This. Practice.

Whatever the outcome, we will always give thanks to the ECW and the UTO for being our "spiritual mothers" and teaching us the deeper, everyday meaning and practical mysteries of eucharistic thanksgiving.

That's something that bylaws and regulations and all the other things that seem to delight church bureaucrats, while unfortunately necessary, can't possibly provide.

No comments: