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Environmental Stewardship Commission

Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota

Shield of the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota
Shield of Episcopal Church

Upcoming Activities:

Next Meeting:

We meet quarterly close to the solstice and equinox.

Special Projects for 2006:

Mary Brown Environmental Center in Ely, MN

Creation Season Materials


Resolution on the Spirituality of Food Production

Resolution on Church Buildings and Grounds

Lectionary Reflections

Year B, Proper 19 Gospel

Mark 8:27-38

Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that I am?" And they answered him, "John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets." He asked them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered him, "You are the Messiah." And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.

Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things."

He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."

Reflection on Mark 8:27-38

by Sally Maxwell

This famous question by Jesus, "But who do you say that I am?" (to which Peter answers, "You are the Messiah") is paradigmatic text for the theology of oppressed people of the world. Consider all of the needs for ecojustice in the world. Perhaps you Filipino villagers who have just lost everything in a mudslide resulting from deforestation. What justice does Jesus bring; what justice do you seek as the people of God? Perhaps your context is indigenous North American ... what color is God, and how does God (Christ) restore your people? How does the Creator amongst the people,along with ancestors and spirits, right the wrongs of the past, the wrongs done in the name of the white man's God. These are just some examples of the response in the world today, when our God asks, "Who do you say that I am?"

Mark 8:34b-35

"If any of you want to be my followers, you must forget about yourselfIf you want to save your life, you will destroy it. But if you give up your life for me and for the good news, you will save it." (Contemporary English Translation)

Reflection on Mark 8:27-38

by the Rev Wanda Copeland

If you have ever watched anyone attempting to extract themselves from quicksand, you know that the more they struggle, the faster they get pulled down. Conversely, the more they relax and work with another person to get out by deliberate, slow movements, the more likely they are to be able to get out.

In the same way, if we want to 'listen' to the needs of our earth or other species, we have to 'hear' about our place in the world. God's redemption is available to all-all people and all the earth.

What new ways do you need to listen to God's plea? What are you being called to "forget about"? Are there new opportunities to spread the good news in your discipleship?

Copyright Statement

To Reflections on other Readings for Year B, Proper 19:

Old Testament (Hebrew Scripture) Isaiah 50:4-9
no reflection available
Psalm 116
New Testament James 2:1-5, 8-10,14-18
no reflection available
Gospel Mark 8:27-38 or Mark 9:14-29
this reflection

Sally Maxwell was a seminary student and member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Duluth, MN, when she originally wrote this reflection in 2006. The Rev Wanda Copeland was Co-Chair of the Episcopal Ecological Network and a priest in the Diocese of Minnesota when she originally wrote this reflection in 2006.

Sally, Wanda, and we welcome your comments. Please address your comments or additional reflections to Sally Maxwell or The Rev Wanda Copeland or any member of the MEESC or our Webverger or send a letter to:

MEESC c/o C. Morello 4451 Lakeside Drive Eveleth, MN 55743-4400 USA

The MEESC assumes that all correspondence received is for publication on this web site. If your comments are not for publication, please so note on your correspondence. The MEESC reserves the right to decide which items are included on the website.

This page last updated 2006-11-01.

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