100 episodes

Welcome to When Love Shows Up: Weekly Reflections about God's Presence by the Rev. Philip DeVaul, Rector at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Cincinnati, Ohio.

When Love Shows Up: Weekly Reflections about God's Presence The Episcopal Church of the Redeemer

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 5.0 • 14 Ratings

Welcome to When Love Shows Up: Weekly Reflections about God's Presence by the Rev. Philip DeVaul, Rector at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Cincinnati, Ohio.

    Rector's Blog, Scared of Death - The Rev. Philip DeVaul

    Rector's Blog, Scared of Death - The Rev. Philip DeVaul

    I am a Christian who is scared of death.And back in 2009 I thought maybe seeing an autopsy would help. When I gave my explanation, two other chaplains raised their hands and said, "Actually, that makes sense. We would like to do this too if possible." Our supervisor rolled her eyes, and reluctantly gave us permission to ask. My friend Wiley took on the responsibility of setting it up. I remember this because of what the morgue workers said when he spoke with them. They said they'd arrange for this to happen on one condition.
    "What's that?" Wiley asked.
    "Pray for us," these bastions of modern medical science requested.
    "Well of course we'll pray for you, but why?" Wiley asked.
    "Because we're all alone down here. We're the morgue. Nobody wants to be around us or interact with us." That blew us away. Even in the hospital, among professionals, the ones closest to death are avoided like death itself. We prayed for them every day. They told my friend they'd call us when a viewing was allowed. Several weeks passed, and I all but forgot the request. On my 30th birthday the call came, and down to the morgue we went.

    • 10 min
    Rector's Blog, A Tale of Two Churches - The Rev. Philip DeVaul

    Rector's Blog, A Tale of Two Churches - The Rev. Philip DeVaul

    It's a tale of two churches.

    One is grieving. The church they knew and loved is gone. The building is there, as beautiful as it has ever been, and many of the people are still engaged, and relationships of deep connection, prayer and support have stood the test of the pandemic. But whenever they worship, they are reminded of just how different things are. Sometimes they are required to wear masks when they gather. For months they were not allowed to sing. This is after over a year of not being able to worship in their beloved space at all - having to watch it on a screen in their family room or, if the weather was allowing, maybe worshiping outside in a park. They've shown back up, but many of their friends haven't. Some of their beloved pewmates have died. Others haven't shown back up yet, out of caution, or because their priorities have shifted, or because they simply haven't gotten back into the habit. Still others have found watching worship online in their pajamas a comfort rather than a letdown - especially since the church chose to change the time or location - or both - of their preferred service.It's not like it used to be - and that's not just stodgy grumbling. It was something special, this church as they knew it. It was growing and thriving and joyful, and without any kind of warning the doors were closed. When they were all scared, confused, lonely, one of the main ways they knew how to find strength, direction, and connection was gone. Yes, there were digital offerings, and remote Bible studies, and neighborhood groups checking in and creative ways to be church. It was admirable and loving. But it didn't change the fact that they never got the chance to say goodbye to what was - not really. And now the doors are open and it's not the same and they are grieving.

    • 10 min
    Rector's Blog, Will The Church Survive? - The Rev. Philip DeVaul

    Rector's Blog, Will The Church Survive? - The Rev. Philip DeVaul

    I'm not trying to sidestep the issue of declining church attendance. Christians have a lot to reflect on as fewer and fewer people see our presence in the world as particularly positive or meaningful. We should not shy away from this conversation. Nor do I want to minimize the feelings of grief and anxiety many of us have as our experience of church shifts. We don't need to act like we're too cool to feel feelings, too smart to worry. We're humans. And we're humans who are living through a time of protracted radical culture change. Amidst the uncertainty and trauma, it would be odd if we were not expressing some fear and worry.We should not hide from all this. But we also should not pretend it's the whole story of the church. And we should not pretend that the impending death of church as we know it is equivalent to the death of Christ's work in the world. Jesus himself called the church into being, gathering those who believed in him into a community for the purpose of practicing unconditional love in God's name. The world's need to be united in Love is not dying.

    • 8 min
    Rector's Blog Throwback Series, Angry and Beautiful - The Rev. Philip DeVaul

    Rector's Blog Throwback Series, Angry and Beautiful - The Rev. Philip DeVaul

    Editor's note:
    As part of our When Love Shows Up Throwback Series we are re-posting this blog
    post which was originally posted on March 18, 2022.

    Six months later I found out my parents were getting a
    divorce. My mom came into my room and, with an unusually delicate gravity, said
    we needed to talk. "Did someone die?" I asked. "No," she said. I followed that
    immediately with, "Are you and Dad getting a divorce?" "Yes." She was sort of
    surprised and relieved that I said it before she had to. I was grateful for her
    bluntness. But the thing I remember the most about that moment was that I had
    guessed it. You know what that means? It means I knew it was coming. It means
    that even though I wanted to be a perfect kid with a perfect family and a
    perfect life, not too far under the surface I knew things were a mess. My
    parents weren't separated. They had never mentioned splitting up in front of
    me. We were all trying so hard to be ok and to seem ok. We weren't. None of us
    were. I had no idea how to admit that, much less articulate it. I couldn't ask
    for help because I didn't even know I needed help.

    We might think we grow out of this, that I'm just describing
    adolescence, but I wonder if that's true. Do we really grow out of not
    admitting we're not ok? Do we really grow out of not knowing we need help? The
    most significant growth and maturity I have experienced has not come simply
    with age - it's come through practice and intention. So if we do not practice
    the ownership of our broken feelings, how do we think we will ever actually get
    good at being honest with ourselves? If we only practice putting on the best
    face possible and moving forward as if things are ok, aren't we just getting
    better and better at denial?

    Nirvana's music, that grunge, that angry beautiful wall of
    sound, tapped into the part of me that was not ok and gave me something I
    couldn't even ask for: It made it ok for me not to be ok. It made anger
    beautiful. It gave melody to my fears. We're all so afraid of being alone. They
    made me less alone.

    • 9 min
    Rector's Blog Throwback Series, A Need for Hope - The Rev. Philip DeVaul

    Rector's Blog Throwback Series, A Need for Hope - The Rev. Philip DeVaul

    Editor's note: As part of our
    When Love Shows Up Throwback Series we are re-posting this blog post which was
    originally posted on September 30 2021.

    "I could not see past my own life, my own comfort. And
    there were a lot of things happening around me that I chose not to see. The
    word "privilege" is another word that is politically loaded right now, but it
    is a fitting description of me: I was allowed to not pay attention to people's
    lives that were worse than mine. I was able to focus on what was working for me
    and could filter out the pain and strife of others...

    I'm paying attention now. To the degree that I can. I bet
    you are too. The need for hope is so obvious to everyone I meet, and I'm sure
    that includes you.

    Hope doesn't thrive well in privilege. Hope requires
    acknowledgement of need. Hope is born in the midst of sorrow and strife. Hope
    is the purple sky that accompanies the sunrise and is so beautiful because it
    signals the end of the sleepless night."

    • 8 min
    Rector's Blog Throwback Series: Hoping for Peace - The Rev. Philip DeVaul

    Rector's Blog Throwback Series: Hoping for Peace - The Rev. Philip DeVaul

    Editor's note: As part of our When Love Shows Up
    Throwback Series we are re-posting this blog post which was originally posted
    on December 1, 2021.

    "Christians often refer to Jesus as the Prince of Peace.
    Paul simply calls Jesus himself Peace - the way John calls God Love. And yet
    Jesus rarely makes people like us comfortable or unbothered. Jesus doesn't
    strive to create a happy and content middle, but heads to the margins of our
    lives and communities in order to reveal God's presence and blessing in the
    places most unlike us.

    "Blessed are the peacemakers," Jesus declares, and then
    lives the rest of his life as an exclamation point to that declaration. Jesus
    makes peace, and he doesn't do it by creating false binaries or forcing others
    into his way of seeing things. Jesus shows up. Jesus makes himself present.
    Jesus listens. Jesus recognizes faith and beauty and holiness and humanity in
    lives that look nothing like his own."

    • 9 min

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