15 Oct., 5:30 a.m. This is a reminder to consider stopping at noon today (12:00 p.m. EDT) for a moment of prayer and reflection on the seventh anniversary of the schism in the Episcopal diocese of South Carolina.
The schism officially occurred at 12:00 p.m. on 15 October 2012.
Here is a suggested prayer (find it here):
God of compassion, you have reconciled us in Jesus Christ who is our peace: Enable us to live as Jesus lived, breaking down walls of hostility and healing enmity. Give us grace to make peace with those from whom we are divided, that, forgiven and forgiving, we may ever be one in Christ; with you and the Holy Spirit reigns for ever, one holy and undivided Trinity. Amen.
Here is a suggested Bible reading:
I Corinthians 12:25-27 (KJV)
"That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular."
Perhaps you would like to recall Verse 3 of the great hymn, "The Church's One Foundation":
Tho' with a scornful wonder,
men see her sore oppressed,
by schisms rent asunder,
by heresies distressed,
yet saints their watch are keeping,
their cry goes up, "How long?"
And soon the night of weeping
shall be the morn of song.
Seven is the sacred number. The Bible and Jewish and Christian traditions are replete with references to and images of seven to represent God, the divine presence, the Divine Will, the sacred mysteries, righteousness, and the like. The Bible gives hundreds of examples of the number seven from the first of Genesis to the end of Revelation.
Seven also represents completion, closure, and finality, as in the seven days of creation and the seven days of the week.
Will seven be a fateful number for the schism in SC, or at least its attendant legal war? Time will tell.
So, I suggest you find your favorite place at noon today and reflect on your life in the last seven years. Weather permitting, I will be in my favorite place in my garden. There, enveloped by the magnificent fruits of the seven days of creation, I will lift up in thanksgiving the heroic saints of South Carolina who, for seven years, have sacrificed of themselves to defend the dignity and worth of all of God's creation.