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Posts by Fr. Hunter Ruffin

Posts by Fr. Hunter Ruffin

A Circular Path

Last night, Church of the Epiphany’s Courageous Ground Task Force hosted the first of its Advent formation opportunities called Preparing to Become Beloved Community. The conversation last night focused on the telling of difficult truth and how it is difficult both to receive/hear a difficult truth and the difficulty in sharing a difficult truth. To do either of those in a way that is filled with God’s love asks us to prayerfully reflect on the truth that needs to be…

Eucharistia

Eucharistia. It is a Greek word that we use every single week when we gather for worship, and it means thanksgiving or thankfulness. We normally use it as a proper noun to refer to our worship in The Episcopal Church – The Holy Eucharist. When we gather as a body, we come together to give thanks to God for all the things that God has gifted to us, and we give thanks through time-honored rituals and practices that invite us…

Worship Update: Moving to Outside Worship

For many months now, we have been in the midst of a time in which there has been a single constant for us as a congregation: change. The pandemic has pushed us to become a nimble parish that is able to respond to the changing environment as it relates to the spread of COVID-19 in our local community. Early on in the pandemic, we had to learn how to do church completely online, and we had to learn how to…

Discipleship in Motion

Last weekend, the Parish Council convened for its quarterly meeting to share the ongoings of ministries within each of the councils and to listen to each other. It was a gathering that was like many others that we have had over the last several months: in the comfort of our own homes and on the computer in the familiar Hollywood Squares style of Zoom. Since shifting to online meetings for worship, fellowship, and mission last March, it is amazing how…

Community in Otherness

Yesterday, I had the great fortune of being part of a small group conversation with some other clergy folks in our local area. In our conversation, we were exploring the question of what the role of our institutions (churches, temples, etc) is in the current context of the United States and, perhaps more importantly, in the current context of the state of Arizona. We were attempting to discern the role that each of us has to play within our respective…

Finding Hope in Exile

As I sit down to write this week’s reflection, I am struck by one overwhelming feeling: exhaustion. The year that we are in has been and continues to be a year that has offered little in the way of rejuvenation. It has been a year of continuous challenges, and it has been a year in which we have had to do things so very differently. On top of all of that, we find ourselves inside a moment of further uncertainty…

Created to Love and to Be Loved

This week, we approach the celebration of All Saints’ Day, which helpfully lands on a Sunday this year! (According to the Book of Common Prayer, All Saints’ is to always be celebrated on its appointed date; a parish may also celebrate it on the Sunday after November 1 if it so chooses.) On Sunday, we will gather in our church – in the less than perfect ways being dictated by COVID-19 – to re-member who we are as the body…

A Mission of Reconciliation and Healing

Last weekend, our diocese met in its annual convention, and we considered the mission plan for the diocese, creating a new relationship with the Diocese of Western Mexico, and a change to the constitution of our diocese that clarifies who are considered clergy on the Standing Committee. We listened to a keynote address on human impact within creation and hosted conversations on ways forward that extend out from our faith in Christ Jesus. In all of the topics that were…

The Distress of Change

Change is, in a word, hard. It is hard especially when we feel like we don’t have a whole lot of control over the change that is happening. And it gets even harder when those things upon which we have relied are themselves changing. I am not sure about you, but I have certainly felt that way over the last several months. The very things that were the touchstones of my week began to shift underneath my feet. Gathering together…

Visible Signs of Inward & Spiritual Grace

It had been nearly seven months. While this would not normally qualify as a long stretch of time in most cases, it has felt like an eternity. It is the amount of time that had passed between our celebrations of the Holy Eucharist at Church of the Epiphany. In seven months, I, as a priest in the church, had not touched a communion wafer, said the Eucharistic prayer, or gathered around Christ’s table with others in order to receive the…

Living the Incarnation

It’s hard to believe that we are returning to in-person worship on Sunday. It has been such a long time since we have been able to worship together, to break bread together, to find Christ together. It has been a time of fasting for us as we have worshiped by way of online technology and have gone without Holy Eucharist for nearly seven months. The fast has invited us to dive a little more deeply into our personal relationship with…

Epiphany’s Covenant of Care

So, now we know a new schedule for the fall, and we have learned a little bit about how to get tickets for in-person worship services. But how will we care for each other when we gather in-person? This is where our covenant of care comes into the picture.  If you remember your Bible stories, you might remember that there are several covenants that God makes at different times. The first covenant is with Noah, and it reflects God’s commitment…