About Rev Susan Hill

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Rev Susan Hill has created 22 blog entries.

The Church and Slavery: From Shame to Lamentation, and Onward to Restorative Justice?

This past Sunday, we kicked off our fall Christian Education series “Foundations of our Faith” with a whirlwind session discussing the history of the Episcopal Church. In order to pare down the information, I relied heavily on Christopher L. Webber’s Welcome to the Episcopal Church: An Introduction to Its History, Faith, and Worship -- a useful primer for new church members. I did have a significant problem, though, with the material presented in the opening chapter on History -- an issue that those present at the forum picked up on pretty quickly too. Although I understand that the purpose of Webber’s volume is to be as inviting as possible to newcomers, I was surprised and disappointed to notice that in a chapter that focused heavily on the church’s history in America, there was no mention of the church’s involvement with slavery. Since I did not do enough to counter that omission on Sunday, I thought I would write a few sentences here to clarify....

The Church and Slavery: From Shame to Lamentation, and Onward to Restorative Justice? 2018-10-04T22:41:21+00:00

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year?!

One of my favorite television ads of all time was for Staples – it ran some years ago, and you might remember it. It featured ecstatic parents practically dancing as they pushed shopping carts in Staples, picking out school supplies with their glum, feet-dragging kids in tow. Peppily playing in the background is Andy Williams’ Christmas song “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!” I always got a kick out of the joy the parents took as they got ready to send their kids back to the more structured time of school, akin to the joy their kids wouldn’t have until Christmastime....

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year?! 2018-09-06T21:28:21+00:00

The Gift of Listening

I had dinner recently with a friend who I only see a few times a year. It was a late dinner, at the end of a very long workday, and I was very tired on my there. I was worried that I wouldn’t be a very good dinner companion. But as we talked, I began to feel better and better, and I realized that the improvement in my mood was due to a gift that my friend has -- he is excellent at being an active listener. He was truly interested in what I had to say, asked insightful questions, and didn’t jump in immediately to redirect the conversation back to himself. The experience was a great reminder that being a good listener is a real gift that we can give all the people in our lives....

The Gift of Listening 2018-08-09T23:38:17+00:00

The Episcopal Church’s 2018 General Convention Addresses Justice and Love

Over the past nine days, the 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church has been taking place in Austin, TX. Held every three years, General Convention is the national legislative body of our denomination. The Constitutions of both the United States and the Episcopal Church were written around the same time and so you may not be surprised to learn that the governing structures have some similarities....

The Episcopal Church’s 2018 General Convention Addresses Justice and Love 2018-07-13T16:47:12+00:00

Evelyn Underhill and the Sacrament of the Present Moment

Today, June 15, we mark the feast day of Evelyn Underhill, a writer, spiritual director, and retreat leader who helped Anglicans recover the gifts of an intentional spiritual life. She was born in 1875, grew up in London, and in her early adulthood struggled over whether to convert to Roman Catholicism. In 1921 she decided to commit to her Anglican roots, while also being what she called a “Catholic Christian.”...

Evelyn Underhill and the Sacrament of the Present Moment 2018-06-13T18:41:17+00:00

Opening Up Space In Your Life For God

This week we are in the ten days between the Feast of the Ascension and the Feast of Pentecost, which we will celebrate on Sunday, May 20. The Ascension, of course, marks the resurrected Jesus’ withdrawal from this world and his reunification with God and all of creation. And on Pentecost, we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit. As I preached this past Sunday, Jesus’ ascension opens up a space among us, and the Holy Spirit empowers us to work creatively in that space. It’s easy for us to let that space get cluttered up with all kinds of junk and distractions -- all of which hinders our ability to see clearly and find ways to do God’s loving work in the world. Just as a good round of spring cleaning in our homes and offices can inspire us to begin new projects and help us find the spaciousness to think more productively, at this time of year we might consider doing a little spiritual spring cleaning as well!...

Opening Up Space In Your Life For God 2018-05-14T21:47:29+00:00

Reflecting On Eastertide

I’ve been reminded lately, by events in the world and events in the personal lives of those around me, that just because we are in Eastertide doesn’t mean that everyone is happily enjoying new growth and life! After the solemnness and introspection of Lent, and the drama and trauma of Holy Week, we were primed to get right into the celebration of resurrection at Easter. And yet, for some of us, the celebration comes harder some years than others. And sometimes during Eastertide we have an anti-climactic feeling, or it seems that the promised new life is slow in coming or might have passed us by entirely....

Reflecting On Eastertide 2018-04-18T22:47:17+00:00

Make Stations of the Cross Part of Your Lenten Discipline

Bp Mary Glasspool, Assisting Bishop in the Diocese of New York, recently wrote a meditation about the Lenten Practice of Stations of the Cross. As you may know, the devotion developed out of the practice of early Christians who wanted to literally walk in the footsteps of Jesus as he journeyed in his last hours to the cross.....

Make Stations of the Cross Part of Your Lenten Discipline 2018-03-13T16:43:23+00:00

Take Some Time to Practice Positive Prayer

I don’t know about you, but over the past year or more I’ve really become a bit of a political news addict. I’ve counseled others who are suffering from this condition to limit their news from their phones and computers and TVs and newspapers and magazines -- and yet on I continue, unabated in my quest to know more, understand more. Unfortunately, it also tends to lead me to be outraged more! And so I’m already thinking that part of my spiritual discipline for Lent will have to be some curtailment of my news habit. And because it is often easier to do something positive rather than stop yourself from doing something negative, I will pay closer attention to my prayer life in the meantime. One of the best antidotes I know for feelings of frustration and despair and outrage and fear is prayer practice that is centered on the love and compassion that God has for us beloved children....

Take Some Time to Practice Positive Prayer 2018-01-24T16:03:18+00:00

Don’t Forget to Say “Merry Christmas!”

Merry Christmas! How many times have you heard that greeting since December 26? My bet is not very often. I recently read an article about how the idea that there was a “war on Christmas” got started in conservative evangelical Christian circles. As I read, I was reminded that those who exhort us to “say Merry Christmas again” don’t appear to be very interested in the theological meaning and liturgical timing of Christmas! Instead they are much more focused on the trappings, on consumerism and materialism (presents, lights, decorations, prominent Christmas-only displays), and starting as early in the year as possible -- way before Advent, way before Halloween, in fact....

Don’t Forget to Say “Merry Christmas!” 2017-12-28T21:46:30+00:00