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Pax Et Bonum
Peace and all good to you from the friars of the Order of Saint Francis! We hope that you find this site informative and helpful. If you do not find what you are looking for, please feel free to contact us with your questions.
The Order of Saint Francis (OSF) is an active, Apostolic Christian religious order within the Anglican Communion, in communion with the See of Canterbury. Rather than living in an enclosed communal setting, OSF Brothers live independently in different parts of the world, with ministries based on the needs of their local communities. Members are baptized men who have been confirmed within the Anglican Communion, and who voluntarily commit to live by a set of professed vows for a term of years or for life.
To get a better understanding of who we are, please visit the 'Vocation' and 'Brothers' pages.
2016 Convocation - The DeKoven Center
Poverty - No matter what you have, it isn’t yours. Use everything in your possession for the benefit of God’s people and for God’s glory. It’s not about what you have, but what you do with what you have.
Chastity - People are ends and not means. They are not possessions. They have integrity and dignity and wholeness and so should you. Free yourself to love.
Obedience - Freedom is not about doing what you want. It’s about being released from the prison of selfish desires. Stop manipulating circumstances and people to get what you want.
The question becomes - why do we make the three vows of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience? Our vows are not ends in and of themselves. They are means. They force us to become aware of the idols we have erected in our lives that distract us from our responsibility to love and serve God and others. They are the means by which we learn to tear those idols down. What idols, or obsessions if you will, do the vows help us to recognize? Poverty points to our obsessions with security and safety. Chastity points to unhealthy pursuit of affection and the esteem of others. Obedience to our desire for power and control. We are distracted from God when our inordinate attachment to these things warps our sense of perspective and proportion. The three vows provide starting points for dismantling the systems we have built up, culturally and individually, that draw our love inward towards the self and it’s desires rather than towards God and other.
When vows become an end rather than a means to an end, they turn quickly to false idols. When Poverty becomes just about money and possessions; Chastity merely about sex; Obedience solely about submission to authority; then we lose the opportunity to focus on what the vows are meant to accomplish. We miss the thing to which they point. Vows don’t lead to the relinquishment of the will, but our stretching of it so that it can be conformed to the will of God – which is to love God and neighbour.
Due to our nature as an apostolic community, we often say that we carry the monastery on our backs. Sometimes this is true, since the weight of religious life in the world can be heavy. But often, it sounds more burdensome than it actually is. So, today, I contemplate what it means to carry the monastery in my hands and in my heart. It feels more like carrying a gift for the world - one of great peace and sanctuary for those who need it. Today, I carry it for you.
Psalms - Trinity College, Cambridge
Islamophobia 'is not Christian.'
Christians should actively resist, steadfast in their faith, anti-Muslim bigotry that has reared its ugly ahead in the 2016 presidential campaign, faith leaders argued Wednesday night in a forum at St. Mark's Cathedral.
Decrying what he called "the appeal to our lesser selves," Episcopal Bishop Greg Rickel stated: "To denounce a whole people, a whole faith, is not Christian."
The bishop and appeared in a forum with Arsalan Bukhari, executive director of the Seattle Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
"Ad hominum attacks and xenophobia" have entered America's political debate, the Rev. Steve Thomason, dean of St. Mark's, said in introducing the forum. "Relationships matter," he added.
Bukhari appealed for more and closer relationships. He invited those curious about Islam, even those a bit wary, to visit a Seattle area mosque. "Drop in, say hello, meet people," he said. "They're not for believers only."
The "average American Muslim," Bukhari added, "seeks to realize the American dream."
Rickel put another face on faith at St. Mark's. He quoted Paul to the Galatians:
"There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."
St. Paul was not suggesting that "all barriers could be erased," said the bishop, but that each of us is blessed by God. "There are other children of Abraham even if their concept of God is different than our own," Rickel added.
And, argued Bukhari, they are loyal Americans.
BY JOEL CONNELLY, SEATTLEPI.COM
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