Minnesota Episcopal
Commission (MEESC)

Episcopal Church in 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

Resolution on Creation Season

Resolution on Green Congregations


Lectionary Reflections

Year B, Proper 19

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 the Rev 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?"


Reflection on Mark 8: 27-38
by the Rev Wanda Copeland

"If any of you want to be my followers, you must forget about yourself…If 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." vs 34b-35, Contemporary English Translation

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?


Reflection on Mark 8: 27-38
by the Rev Tom Harries

"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."

Seems to me this is particularly true in the area of environmental stewardship. If we insist on hanging onto our current way of life with its unsustainable levels of natural resource usage in nearly every area we may well bring about an environmental collapse. On the other hand if we seek a new life in greater harmony with the natural world we have the opportunity to find long lasting health and fulfillment.

It is well established by now that a plethora of material goods does not bring happiness. The things that do bring happiness - good relationships with family and friends and time spent working for the common good are inexhaustible in supply.

Printable version


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

Reflections available at the active links
Standard (Episcopal) Lectionary
Revised Common
Semi-Continuous Track
Gospel Theme Track
Old Testament
(Hebrew Scripture) Reading:
Isaiah 50:4-9
1 Kings 8: (1, 6, 10-11), 22-30, 41-43
Isaiah 50: 4-9a
Psalm 19 or
Wisdom of Solomon 7: 26—8: 1
New Testament Reading:
James 2: 1-5, 8-10,14-18
James 3: 1-12
Mark 8:27-38 (this page)
Mark 9:14-29
Mark 8:27-38
(this page)


  • The Rev Sally Maxwell was a seminary student and member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Duluth, MN, when she originally wrote he reflection in 2006. 
  • The Rev Wanda Copeland was Co-Chair of the Episcopal Ecological Network and a priest in the Episcopal Church in Minnesota when she originally wrote her reflection in 2006.
  • The Rev Tom Harries was Co-Chair of MEESC (2005-present), rector of Holy Communion Episcopal Church, St. Peter, MN, and Total Ministry Mentor when he originally wrote his reflection in 2012.

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

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 2012-09-13.

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