February 22, 2016
Every Wednesday and Saturday mornings at 8 AM a few people from Church of the Resurrection go to the Aanchor abortion clinic in Glen Ellyn to pray, try to talk to the women going in, and tell them about other options including CareNet (right across the street). One of the members of the Sanctity of Life Team recently wrote, "Praying outside the abortion clinic means we can be there to help if a mom has a last minute change of heart (a Carenet clinic is open across the parking lot during times the clinic is open). Sometimes seeing people praying outside the clinic can be a deterrent from customers going in. And finally, when I am there, it stops abortion from being abstract in my mind. I see these desperate, confused moms, and I think about the tiny baby growing inside their wombs and I know I can't become discouraged. I need to keep praying for these moms and babies, and our government, until abortion is illegal and all women know there are other choices."
Church of the Resurrection member Darcie Dezell wrote the following reflection after her first time praying outside the clinic:
"Krista Scheidt and I went to the Aanchor abortion clinic early on a Saturday morning. We bundled up, got some tea, and parked in front of a business a few doors down from the clinic. I really wasn't sure what to expect. What I found was around 15 people quietly standing on the parkway in front of the clinic. They were entirely respectful of the men and women coming to the clinic, and simply called out to the women with a message of care, love, and resources, encouraging them to keep their babies.
I was surprised by how 'not weird' it all felt. We simply stood there praying for the women, the babies, the doctors, the boyfriends and husbands. I felt a strong sense of witnessing; that my standing in front of this clinic was a way to give witness of God's love and purpose in the world, and a way to honor the humanity of these babies. I also knew that I was, in many ways, a witness to evil. And simply my presence in the face of evil was God-honoring and powerful. It was a moving experience and, I pray, an effective and worshipping one."
February 11, 2016
It's seven in the morning. Not quite awake, I enter the chapel. I dip my hand in the holy water and cross myself. The familiar words begin:
"Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness...
"Let us confess our sins..."
Why am I here again? Why am I repeating these words yet again?
I came from a church tradition that fears empty repetition, insists all prayer be spontaneous, and belittles ceremony. This service of all services, the morning and evening, day after day repetition of confessions, creeds, prayers, psalms—this service is the most foreign to my upbringing. Yet it is most familiar.
As a child, I lived in Turkey and attended Turkish schools. There I experienced ritual, ceremony, and repetition. Every morning I stood at attention with hundreds of children in the schoolyard—with millions of children in schoolyards across the country—and recited The Oath. "I am a Turk! I am upright! I am diligent!..." Day after day, week after week, year after year... The words were woven into the fabric of my being. What began as a required recitation of incomprehensible words became the expression of my identity, in particular, of my identity as one of a People.
On Easter Vigil of Holy Week 2013, I would become a member of the church. As the disciplines of Lent opened my heart, I heard a drastic call: the call to shift my identity from Turkey to Holy Church. I wrestled with the call. My very identity was being torn out of me. Would I accept this death? Deep within I accepted, yet continued to wrestle. How would this new identity look? What was I being called to? How would Holy Church ever become the very warp and woof of my life, the People of my identity? As I cried and prayed my way through Holy Week, the Lord brought a gentle answer to my questions: daily office.
Through daily words and ceremony I became of Turkey; through daily words and ceremony I am becoming of Church. The Oath shaped my identity; the Creed and The Lord's Prayer reshape my identity.
That is why I am here at seven in the morning. That is why I stand and kneel, say the words, pray the prayers, hear the Scriptures. Some days I stumble through, barely awake. Some days my lips form words I cannot say through my tears. Some days I feel nothing and my distracted mind wanders to trees and chores and intricacies of the HVAC system. Some days I am fully present, drinking in the beauty of God's presence. I would love to experience all days fully present. But, in a way, whether I do doesn't matter. Whether I feel it or not, whether I can focus on it or not, whether I can understand it or not, the ritual of the daily office transforms me through its sheer daily-ness.
I stand and proclaim, "I believe in one God... I believe in Jesus Christ... I believe in the Holy Spirit; the holy, catholic Church..." And I know: I belong in Church.
The entrance to All Saints is at the southwest corner of the building.