When I was a day school chaplain we had an annual routine reminding each other and ourselves that [a] Lent has 40 days and [b] Easter has 50 days because [c] Chaplain Susan didn’t do forty days of Lent to do just ONE day of Easter!
Living a both/and life in an either/or world
by Susan Russell
“No good deed goes unpunished” is an old axiom that comes to my mind every year when we hear the gospel story that begins our readings for Holy Week – the story of Mary’s extravagant outpouring of precious perfume as a gift to Jesus — a gift that earned her a tongue lashing from Judas in John’s account of a story told in three out of four gospels. Mark says, “They were infuriated with her.” Matthew says, “They murmured against her.” No matter who told the story, this part was consistent: Mary’s, best offering was judged and rejected by those surrounding Jesus who thought she should have made a different choice.
And then Jesus intervened.
Giving up something for Lent is one time honored choice for a spiritual discipline during the forty day journey to Easter. So is taking something on. This year I’ve decided to take on rather than give up … and here’s a reprise of the Huffington Post piece I wrote explaining how I made that choice.
Sheri Bonner and Susan Russell in the Rector’s Forum on Sunday, January 22, 2017:
“Abortion rates are lower than they’ve ever been. That’s a story we need to tell, too. The reason so many fewer woman are having abortions is because they have access to birth control… If you really want fewer abortions, then Planned Parenthood is the way we get there.”
Susan Russell on Sunday, November 27, 2016:
“Advent is time for hope — not a necessarily a time for patience. It is a time to use our collective righteous indignation as fuel for the holy work of resistance.”
Homily preached by Susan Russell on Thanksgiving Eve [November 23, 2016] at All Saints Church in Pasadena.
I know your service leaflet says “Homily” … but I’m going to start with a Confession. For the first Thanksgiving in as long as I can remember I have been struggling to be thankful.
Susan Russell on Wednesday, November 9, 2016:
“Tonight is time to bring all of who we are – our fears and our hopes, our grief and our gratitude, our dreams and our disappointments – to this altar. Tonight is a time to choose love.”
Our All Saints Jazz Vespers 2016/2017 launched on Sunday, October 16 with the amazing Dwight Trible in a powerful evening of music, meditation and prayer. The poem chosen for the evening was Hafiz’s “Cast All Your Votes For Dancing.” It offered a timely message in these last days of the election cycle — timely enough that we’re sharing it here — along with the meditation that followed (offered by Susan Russell.)
Susan Russell on Sunday, October 9, 2016:
“The point of the church is not what happens in the church. The point of the church is what happens in the world because of the church.”