Monday, April 18, 2005

Karl W.

I'm Karl Weber, a 51-year-old Christian, a member of the Episcopal church, and a proud progressive Democrat.

Raised in no religion, I attended Quaker meetings for a time when I was a teenager (along with my girlfriend, now my wife of 31 years). We became Episcopalians soon after our marriage and have been active members of four parishes in the years since then. In my case, I was drawn to the church partly by the writings of such great Anglicans as George Herbert, John Donne, and C.S. Lewis, as well as by meeting people of faith and social conscience who touched and inspired me--for example, the priests who founded and ran Emmaus House, a half-way house for ex-cons in New York's East Harlem.

For the past fourteen years, we've lived in Westchester County, New York, and worshiped in the church where our son was married, where our two grandchildren were baptized, and where all three of our grown-up children still attend from time to time. I have served as a vestry member, a Sunday school teacher, a lay reader and chalice bearer, and the editor of our parish newsletter.

I'm grateful to have a personal relationship with the God who created and loves me (although I don't always maintain my end of the relationship as faithfully as I should). And though there is so much about my God that I don't understand, there are some things I know to my marrow.

I know that God does not hate or reject any of the creatures that he made. I know that God gave all human beings intellects to be freely used, hearts with which to freely love, and talents to be freely shared, not hidden or repressed.

I also know that God is seeking a pathway into every human spirit, that each pathway is different, and that many of these are pathways that I will never fully comprehend. Recognizing God's presence in the deeds and words of Gandhi and Rumi, Nelson Mandela and Dorothy Day, Walt Whitman and H D Thoreau, Albert Einstein and Sojourner Truth, I know that God is not white or Black, male or female, gay or straight, Christian or Muslim or Hindu or Jew, but that he embraces them all.

And I know that anyone who professes to speak for God while sowing among his children seeds of dissension, resentment, jealousy, bitterness, arrogance, hatred, and fear is telling lies.

At 10:46 PM, Blogger ecko_x said...

Can I just add that Emmaus House was NOT a house for ex-cons. It was a house run by formerly homeless men and women. Some of which had former run-ins, with the law (though not exactly making them ex-cons) and some who were in recovery from drugs and alchohol abuse/addiction. Some people were clean and had no criminal record, they just needed a place to stay. Also, it was not a half-way house, it was a community of people who while getting help themselves, in turn helped the community at large. Emmaus House Harlem/ East was sold BTW and the name of the Melkite priest is Father David Kirk.

At 3:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to say, Emmaus house is not a bad place, They do a lot of good for so many for 40 years,and is still doing great things, the are out every wednesday night feeding the homeless,and helping those who want to get into detox find a program and get there. they also still have space for those who need it and it is a clean and wonderful place to get your life together, learn and get training and they always have an open door to help others and feed anyone who comes to the door. Pantry every tuesday. so you need to revisit emmaus


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