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Bishop Scanlan’s Easter 2019 Message

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Dear Members of the Episcopal Church in Central Pennsylvania,


The last line in Wendell Berry’s bold, prophetic, and inspirational poem, “Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front” (1973) is this:

“Practice Resurrection.”

Practice Resurrection. In a complicated world that can overwhelm us on a daily, if not hourly basis; in the maelstrom of political divide, environmental degradation, racism, sexism, ageism- all of the isms- Berry implores us to step aside, and to claim a different way. He writes:


So, friends, every day do something that won’t compute.

Love the Lord. Love the world. Work for nothing.

Take all that you have and be poor.

Love someone who does not deserve it…

 Say that your main crop is the forest that you did not plant,

that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested when they have rotted into the mold.

Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.

Put your faith in the two inches of humus that will build under the trees

every thousand years…

Go with your love to the fields.

Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head in her lap.

Swear allegiance to what is nighest your thoughts.

                                                            (selected verses)

Our Christian faith is something that we practice. Holding onto core values of love, inclusion, justice, and peace, we choose our moves, in the name of Jesus. At Easter, we are surprised, invigorated, refreshed, and reminded that the Way of Love is the Way of Life given to us through the resurrection of Jesus. We are taught at Easter that death has no hold on us, and that, by living the Way of Love, by practicing resurrection, we can transform the world.

Dear ones in Christ, I invite you this Easter to boldly claim Jesus’ resurrection as your own. Use it to claim a different way for your life that is simple, loving, hopeful, and faithful. Practice Resurrection.

In the name of the One who gives us eternal life,

The Rt. Rev. Audrey C. Scanlan

XI Bishop




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