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ICYMI: Week of 3/12/17

Welcome back to the latest In Case You Missed It, a.k.a. ICYMI, our weekly blog roundup of the latest stories around the @fwd_mvt and #Episcopal world.

Lent Madness got going in earnest this week—how’s your bracket looking? In their weekly video, Scott and Tim shared snapshots from some brackets around the globe. We enjoyed this picture from Marin Catholic in Kentfield, CA.

And here’s a post on how we play in the Forward Movement office.

Last Wednesday was #InternationalWomensDay, and we saw some excellent posts from across the Episcoplan/Anglican social media community (and across the world). A particular favorite was this photo of Trinity Wall Street staff with the new ‘Fearless Girl’ statue across from the famous Wall St bull.

Daily meditation and prayer are for many a solo practice, but it can be immensely rewarding when we realize we’re part of a larger prayer community. We saw two examples of that this week. Our Question of the Week asked:

A few of the many answers we received:

  • “First thing with my coffee. Sets up the day for a better chance at being, well, better…”
  • “Early before anyone is up around 4:45 am, then again later in the evening.”
  • “Around 6:00 AM. Peace on porch.”
  • “I try to do before work and before bed, but the times vary because my schedule varies.”
  • “Lunch time. If the morning was bad, it helps me turn the day around.”

It’s pretty cool to think that when you’re reading the daily Forward Day by Day meditation, or whatever you use in your practice, there’s a community of many others reflecting on those same words at the same time.

Speaking of community, we also read a great blog post on ECF’s Vital Practices from Linda Buskirk, a regular contributor to Forward Day by Day’s daily comments forum. Linda writes:

Nearly every morning, I enjoy morning prayer time with a group of friends. I think most of us are Episcopalians, but I don’t know for sure. We come from all over the United States, the Caribbean, and beyond … We’ve done this so long now, we call each other family. Sometimes people share their worries, ask for prayer, or admit struggles and questions. In response, many prayers and words of encouragement offered. New people easily come into the mix and are welcomed. Anyone can participate.

We’re so glad this forum has become such an important place for so many Day by Day readers. If you haven’t checked it out, it’s here. And of course, you can also connect with Day by Day readers on Facebook and Twitter.

Have a great week!

ICYMI: Week of 3/5

Welcome back to the latest In Case You Missed It, a.k.a. ICYMI, our weekly blog roundup of the latest stories around the @fwd_mvt and #Episcopal world.

We began our Lenten journey this week—but before we did, we asked:

We saw some tasty responses to this one. A few favorite answers:

  • “Definitely pancakes, and ham, and lemon curd, and real maple syrup at Epiphany’s annual Pancake Supper….I’ve been working at it for the past 35 years!”
  • “I gorge on whatever my fast will be in any given year. Tomorrow I will be feasting on “appetizers”–mozzarella sticks, onion rings, potato skins.”
  • “Paczki! Detroit is all about paczki.”
  • “Homemade potato salad and fried chicken on the parade route.”
  • “A truly decadent desert: Charlotte Malakoff a la Russe, for instance.”
  • And this photo response from Trinity Episcopal Church’s dinner in West Pittston, PA:

We hope you had a fun feast on Tuesday.

What’s your family’s Ash Wednesday tradition? Do you receive ashes to go? We saw some cool pictures—from around the world—on the #ashestogo hashtag.

A favorite, from our friend Fr. Albert Cutie:

Do you take your kids to church on Ash Wednesday? What sorts of questions have they asked about the service, or the ashes? Nurya Love Parish wrote a terrific post on the subject for Grow Christians this week. We heard from a lot of readers on our Twitter feed who said they absolutely take their kids. Some responses:

  • “I took mine! The little one had to go outside for parts, but my oldest (6) asked questions like why we cover the cross. Good conversations!”
  • “Why on earth would you cheat children out of Ash Wednesday??”
  • “Pro-tip: When kids are little, make sure they know the ashes are from palms. Not bodies! (True story.)”

On “Ash Thursday” this week, Lent Madness started. You can listen to Scott and Tim discuss this season on the excellent Priest Pulse podcast, and cast your votes at lentmadness.org.

And at Forward Movement, we began A Season of Prayer: 40 Days in the Desert. We’ll be sharing daily prayers and readings as images on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and you can download weekly bulletin inserts (and browse many other resources, including videos) at forwardmovement.org/seasonofprayer. The project focuses particularly on themes of exile, hospitality and migration. We’ll close with today’s image:

Have a great week.

ICYMI: Week of 2/5/17

Welcome back to the latest In Case You Missed It, a.k.a. ICYMI, our weekly blog roundup of the latest stories around the @fwd_mvt and #Episcopal world.

If you’re a regular Forward Day by Day reader, you may have noticed that this new month of meditations is particularly exciting. First off, do you like this cover as much as we do? Here’s the official one, next to Twitter user @ElizaYoda’s version:


How cool is that? Be sure to check out Roger Speer’s adult coloring book Pathways of Faith, if you haven’t already.

And that cover is just the beginning. This month’s meditations also feature Moving Forward—a daily action or question sparked by the reflection. You can share yours using the hashtag #ForwardDaybyDay. And if you haven’t watched this video with February author Minda Cox, she is truly inspiring:

For many around the church, this is the week to place that big order of Lenten resources. We liked this guide that the Episcopal Church in Minnesota put together (OK, we may be biased because we were excited to see our new Ashes and the Phoenix on the cover, but all these resources sound terrific!)

Much of the conversation on #Episcopal social media lately has been around the role ‘political’ issues can or should play in the pulpit. We’ve heard a lot of wise words on this complex issue, but Tim Schenck’s reflections on Thursday were particularly worth reading. Here’s Tim’s blog post, titled ‘In Good Faith: Seeking a Moral Compass.’

Have a peaceful week, and may the countdown to Lent Madness begin! Have you picked up your Saintly Scorecard yet?

ICYMI: Week of 1/22/17

Welcome to the latest In Case You Missed It, a.k.a. ICYMI, our weekly blog roundup of the latest stories around the @fwd_mvt and #Episcopal world.

We saw several excellent articles on nonpartisan offerings from churches this week. Writing in ECF Vital Practices, Richelle Thompson described churches opening their doors for simple prayer on Friday. Key quote:

“What if the doors were simply open and all were invited to spend time in prayer? Isn’t our God bigger than all of this Sturm und Drang?”

This Episcopal News Service article made a similar point:

“We Episcopalians call ourselves people of common prayer, and that usually means worshiping together using the words of the Book of Common Prayer. But, shared silence can also be a form of common prayer.”

If you or your parish is looking for a resource for reconciliation in divisive times, we recommend Living Reconciliation, which offers tools for finding common ground. It’s an excellent book, with a foreword by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.

Of course, daily prayer and reflection is always an excellent resource. Our Question of the Week on social media this week focused on Forward Day by Day. Here’s what we asked:

We heard some great responses to this one, with start dates ranging from “over 50 years ago” to “last month”! A few favorites:

“St. Francis Episcopal Church in Moab Utah provides these booklets. First time I took one, been hooked ever since. I find forward day by day very inspirational.”

“A lady in my bible study group. I now read it everyday.”

“In 1995 we were living in Stuttgart Germany, my Husband was in the US Army I attended The Episcopal Church St Catherine’s the Church’s Atrium was a little table that had the little Booklets Foward Day by Day I took one and I have been reading them ever since!”

“Been a part of my life for so long I cant recall.”

“It was only a month ago that I became hooked, reading 📖 all the scriptures daily. It was at Trinity Episcopal Church, Easton, Pa. THANKS 🙏 to you & God. You make my day!😊”

You can read more responses on the Forward Day by Day and Forward Movement Facebook pages. Are you a faithful (or occasional) Forward Day by Day reader? Who first introduced you?

On a related note, Forward Day by Day will soon be launching a new feature called Moving Forward. Starting in February, meditations will end with an extra action readers can take—and we hope you’ll join in these and connect with fellow readers using the hashtag #ForwardDaybyDay.  Stay tuned!

ICYMI: Week of 1/15/17

Welcome to the latest In Case You Missed It, a.k.a. ICYMI, our weekly blog roundup of the latest stories around the @fwd_mvt and #Episcopal world. We’re publishing on a Sunday this week; we’d love to hear if you prefer this new timing, or if you’d rather get these posts on another day of the week. Just let us know in the comments, or on Facebook or Twitter.

As we wrapped up Christmastide and celebrated Epiphany, we read a great post from Mary Lee Wile (author of the Epiphany book Star of Wonder) on the many, multi-cultural ways to enjoy this holiday, from king cake to “star caroling.” Check out ‘Epiphany Fun—Foods, Songs, Stories & More’.

And speaking of king cake… We’re excited to try this recipe from the Church’s ‘Make Ready the Feast Blog’ (shared by a New Orleanian, so you can trust it’s the real deal!)

The whole ‘Make Ready the Feast’ blog is terrific, by the way—great seasonal and holiday-specific recipes for the whole family, from a range of culinary traditions.

Another good one from Grow Christians this week: Nurya Love Parish wrote about the various prayer spaces she has created over the years—some spacious and some small, some treasured and some less used. Do you have one of these in your home? Here are a few photos that readers shared with us on Facebook:


How neat is that backyard labyrinth? Wow.

And yet another Grow Christians goodie this week: A post by Roger Speer, the Georgia artist behind Forward Movement’s new all-ages coloring book, Pathways of Faith. We loved Roger’s words about creativity, and his wonderful point that “God is a maker … Within each of us dwells the spark of that same creator spirit.” Inspirational stuff!

We hope that Pathways of Faith will help you access that creative side.

If we’re eating king cake and talking resolutions this week, that also means that Lent is coming up before we know it… and with it, the annual early spring tournament that sweeps the nation: Lent Madness. You can now get your 2017 Saintly Scorecard, for all your tourney tracking needs. And why not pair it with a Lent Madness mug?

Just who will take home the Golden Halo this year? Tune in to Lent Madness on Facebook and Twitter as the anticipation builds.

Have a great week!

ICYMI: Week of 12/22

We’re guessing many readers may be en route to Christmas celebrations tomorrow (if not already), so we’re running an abridged In Case You Missed It a day early this week. So you don’t miss it!

With four candles lit, the talk in the #Episcopal and @fwd_mvt world has naturally turned to the weekend’s Christmas celebration. But that celebration doesn’t have to end on Sunday. In fact, wrote Scott Gunn in this week’s newsletter, the best time enjoy the season may be in the relaxing time after Christmas Day. This year, will you savor all 12 days?

Grow Christians has launched a new project to help you do just that. Titled #12Days, the project offers daily activities, readings, songs and more, all designed for the whole family to enjoy the whole Christmas season—and each inspired by a lyric from ‘The 12 Days of Christmas.’ It’s a great way to enjoy some fun and faithful family time after 12/25.

Also on #GrowChristians, we loved what Marcus Halley wrote about the story of Thomas and the nature and role of doubt in faith: ‘Jesus Welcomed St. Thomas’ Doubt: What About Mine?’

If you’re a regular Priest Pulse listener, you already know about the great podcasts Ben and Colin have been producing this year—and if you’re not, their ‘Very Merry Priest Pulse Family Christmas’ is a perfect place to start. Lots of nostalgic Christmas fun, and perfect if you’ve got a plane or train or car ride ahead!

We wrap up with today’s image from the Journey through Advent app, per Jay Sidebotham’s illustration—as colored by Twitter user @auntiesdollhouse.

A lovely message to carry with us into this holiday weekend. Merry Christmas!

ICYMI: Week of 12/9

Welcome back to In Case You Missed It, a.k.a. ICYMI, our weekly blog roundup of the latest stories around the @fwd_mvt and #Episcopal world.

Last week, we dedicated our post to sharing resources around Standing Rock. Over the weekend, the federal government announced that they would look for an alternative route for the Dakota Access Oil Pipeline. 

Here’s the New York Times article on the announcement, and powerful video from Standing Rock:

And here’s an excellent post from Episcopal News Service on the scene in North Dakota, and the key role of Episcopal chaplains on the ground.

As we lit the second candle for Advent, at Forward Movement we continued to share ‘Advent Actions’—ways to engage in your home, on your block, and in society at large. Did you talk to a neighbor this week? Learn more about a nonprofit? Gather with family and friends around the table? We’d love to hear your stories!

As a Christian, how do you greet people this time of year? Do you focus on Advent, wish a merry Christmas, or offer a secular greeting? In this week’s Forward Today, Scott wrote about this issue—a subject of seemingly annual debate that also speaks to some key questions about how we practice faith in the public sphere.

Speaking of shared faith: A reminder that when using our Journey through Advent app, you can color in daily digital calendar illustrations from Jay Sidebotham, then share them on social media. (The app also offers daily scripture readings and a journal feature; you can get it here.) Here were some favorites so far:

From @auntiesdollous on Twitter, for St. Nicholas day: 

Scott’s two-candle work

The simple-but-striking all-red, from @StFrancisCEC

We’ve also launched a Facebook group for sharing drawings in the Spanish version of the calendar. “Viajemos juntos en este Adviento” es un grupo de Facebook en el que nos preparamos, con caricaturas y preguntas breves, para la llegada de Jesús. ¡Únete al grupo y viaja con nosotros!

We hope you’re enjoying a reflective Advent season. Have a great weekend–and join us here for the next week of Advent actions after the third candle is lit!


ICYMI: Week of 11/18/16

Welcome back to In Case You Missed It, a.k.a. ICYMI, our weekly blog roundup of the latest stories around the @fwd_mvt and #Episcopal world. Here are some of the topics that captured our attention this week.

We should probably call this week’s edition In Case You’re Missing It; right now in Dallas, folks from around the church are gathering for Evangelism Matters–or as it’s known in the social sphere, #evangelism16. If you’re not attending in person, fear not! There’s a live stream showing several excellent workshops and services, and it’s playing as we speak. Tune in now!

We loved this selfie from Father Albert Cutie from this morning’s panel:


For more photos from Texas, check out the Evangelism Matters Conference photo album on our Facebook page, where Frank Logue is uploading pics from the gathering. Here’s another good one, of Stephanie Spellers and our own Scott Gunn:


There are lots of other great pics and key quotes popping up all the time on the hashtag. A few of our favorite quotes so far:

“The way we present the message of Jesus must change to meet the culture of the day.”

“We must put down mission as colonialism, take up the work of witnessing as lovers of people–like Jesus.”

“We need people gossiping the gospel.”

Good stuff! Keep an eye on #evangelism16 through tomorrow (Sat 11/19) for lots more.

Elsewhere in the Episcopal world, we’re counting down to the season of counting down. Writing in Forward Today, Scott looked toward Advent with a sense of excitement and relief:

“In my entire life, I’ve never looked forward to Advent more than this year. I can’t wait for the season of quiet hope. I long for time to pray and to work for justice and peace. I look forward to my daily prayers with scriptures that promise grace and mercy.”


(NB: If you’d like to order print Advent resources from Forward Movement–including our English and Spanish calendars–today is our shipping deadline.)

Speaking of hope: After a contentious week for the nation, our Question of the Week wanted to know:


We deliberately left this one pretty open-ended, and we got some good answers, ranging from “Chatting with colleagues in the office at the end of the day” to “in an urban church; at a local museum; at my library.” You can add yours here.

Wishing you a peaceful weekend.

ICYMI: Week of 10/21/16

Welcome once again to In Case You Missed It, our new blog roundup of the latest stories around the #Episcopal world. Here are some of the topics that captured our attention this week.

Lots of Episcopal folks were at the Claggett Center in Maryland for the Discipleship Matters conference, hosted by RenewalWorks and Jay Sidebotham. For those who couldn’t attend, the lively #discipleship16 hashtag archives some of the highlights and key takeaways. For another good read on the meaning of discipleship, check out this reflection from Scott Gunn.

We also enjoyed the photos we saw from Claggett—check out this one from Scott next to the conference logo!











There is still much work to be done to support those affected by Hurricane Matthew. Episcopal Relief and Development issued this press release detailing their efforts, in Haiti and elsewhere, and how you can help. You can also download bulletin inserts here.



If you haven’t checked it out yet, the Episcopal Church’s ‘Thursdays at 2’ video series is really terrific—great stories every week, beautifully produced. Here’s the latest, on The Crossing, a group of young adults meeting in community weekly in Boston.


At Forward Movement, we’re continuing to share prayers each day leading up to the election. It’s been amazing to see the response to these–a testament to the power of prayer and the Episcopal community (and beyond). Here’s a favorite from this week:

OCT 20: Pray for peace in the world and in our nation


To join us for each day’s prayer as it’s posted, follow/like Forward Movement on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can read the full season of prayers and download them as bulletin inserts at forwardmovement.org/election.

Wishing you a peaceful week.