Bishop John Shelby Spong ~ June 16, 1931 – September 12, 2021
Bishop Spong provided a much needed place for those of us who did not connect with traditional theology. We love you Bishop Spong. You will be missed! Funeral services will be held at St. Peter’s, Morristown, NJ and at St. Paul’s, Richmond, VA. Dates and times will be announced as soon as they are available

Worship Materials: Epiphany

THEME:  The Interplay Between the Inner and Outer Worlds.  The Journey to the place where we once began.


  1. To follow a star is far better than seeking the security of familiar riches.
  2. If you follow your star you will find your Bethlehem.
  3. A thousand outward journeys can never replace one inward journey; therefore cease merely being a tourist and become a pilgrim.
  4. The inner and the outer journeys are but two parts of the one journey. The mystery within and the mystery in the furthest stars are but one mystery for the innermost point of our being is the point of connection with all things and in the darkness of unknowing we find light.
  5. When the stars of the universe and the inner light of our spirit combine, enlightenment grows.
    When the dance of the universe and the dance of our spirit inter­weave oneness unfolds.
    When the song of the universe and the song of our spirit resonate together celebration flourishes.
  6. The world is not saved either solely by reflection or solely by action but by their inter-weaving with awareness.
  7. For a change we should try walking with our mind and thinking with our body.
  8. The iridescence of the pilgrimage lies in the awareness of the now; the hope of the pilgrimage is in its shaping of the future.
  9. It is so easy to succumb to the temptation to turn signposts on the road into immobile temples of orthodoxy.
  10. There is no spirituality without pilgrimage and no pilgrimage without chaos and order, without agony and ecstasy.
  11. If our pilgrimage is to be a dance, and not a leaden-footed march, we must learn to be willing to risk failure from time to time.
  12. Let the pilgrim indwell me; let the pilgrim enfold me.
  13. The place to which you want to travel is already within you.
  14. The goal lies in the appreciation of the journey rather than the point of arrival.
  15. When the spirituality of another human being or another culture becomes solely a phenomenon to be observed or an entertainment to titillate our senses then we have ceased to be spiritual pilgrims and have become spiritual tourists.
  16. The key to our journey is awareness and the goal the circle of divine mystery.
  17. If you do not take an open mind with you on your travels they will simply reinforce your prejudices.
  18. Enlightenment is a style of travelling not a place of rest.
  19. We no longer need to run round the universe frantically searching for God but need simply to rest and be still and in the silence discover that we are at one with all creation.
  20. The epiphany of laughter can lead to the epiphany of wonder.



O God, may the star we follow be the steady radiance of your mystery which we discern only in part but can forever trust.



Who is this Herod in my heart. (BL)


The way of God.

Buried in my being.

Christ the tent.

You do not need to come O God.

Come let us dwell in that place.

Darkness is my mother.

Epiphany of wisdom’s dawn. (STS1)

Enter the stillness. (STS1)

Singing the Sacred, Vol 1, 2011, World Library Publications






Twinkling shining outer world

like star-particled Milky Way

you seem but dream;

and inner world too

as dimmed as dampening fog

But beyond and within

the shadows,

beyond and within life’s puritan Bread

and agonizing Wine

I vision

a dancing Body that is everything

and yet not a thing –

Body of rainbow matrixed atoms

singing the mystic song

of universe

Body that transforms

my Calvary love until

in the darkness it hymns





When I turn my face from the sun

I become my own shadow

and merely retread my past.




Action without reflection can lead to inappropriate and sometimes unintentionally destructive results.

Reflection (meditation) without action can lead to world-denying irrelevance.

It is not a question of which comes first but of simultaneously holding both together.

How can I achieve this balance in my spirituality?


What examples are there in my own situation of the need to maintain this balance in the fields of ecology and politics?

The examples might include –

  1. A Local Body approving the extraction of shingle from a river bed without first ascertaining whether the area contained a nesting ground for any species of birds or whether it contained any unique flora.
  2. A government taking action which would benefit one sector of the population without taking into consideration its effect on other sectors.
  3. A government encouraging mining companies to operate without reflecting on what would happen to the mining waste in the event of the company going bankrupt.


Text and image © William Livingstone Wallace but available for free use.

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