Thursday, December 25, 2008

New Featured Blogs Focus on Lui

Over in the right sideboard, you may notice I've add a category for "Featured Blogs." I'm using this section to highlight new blogs or blogs I've newly discovered.

I've had the insuperable Jan Nunley's Jawbones there for a while. Jan is newly liberated to write in her own voice, without editorial supervision from the Episcopal Church Center. She has a straight-talking, sometimes sardonic, and insightful blog, and I encourage you to add hers to your daily reading.

Now I'm featuring two new blogs – both from the team of eight missioners from our diocese who arrived in southern Sudan on December 18 to work with our companion Diocese of Lui. These people have sacrificed Christmas time with their families in order to be with our brothers and sisters in Lui. You can read more about the mission objectives on our diocesan website. If you're on Facebook, you can join the "Prayers for Lui" group. Some of you know that I spent two life-changing weeks in Lui in early 2006, and I blogged the trip at LuiNotes; now the current mission team has taken responsibility for that blog to add their stories and insights. One of the missioners, Debbie Smith, has her blog at LuLuLui (which translates to "I love the Lord").

In this season, I bid your prayers for our missioners who are truly doing the work of Christ with our Episcopal friends in Lui. And in a time when excess so marks the face of the U.S., their blog entries remind us all of what truly matters.

Let me call-out one snippet by Emily Bloemker, newly ordained transitional deacon, who wrote on Christmas Eve at LuiNotes:

Christmas Eve in Lui: the first Christmas Eve I have ever spent away from home (hi, Mom!) in twenty-six years. Like many Christians, I have always had angst about American Christmas: whether or not to give gifts, where is 'Christ' in the consumer free-for-all, and what to do about Santa Claus. Now, half a world away from the normal traditions, stripped of excess, I am finding Jesus at Christmas for the first time.
I resonate with that comment. Since coming home from Lui, I have been incapable of engaging in the national consumer frenzy that characterizes the supposed "celebration of Christmas" in the U.S. This friend speaks my mind.

Those of you who supported me in so many ways during my time in Lui, I beseech you to read LuiNotes and LuLuLui to hear – up close and personal – what is happening with our fellow Christians in southern Sudan … and of the commitment of our missioners to live out the Gospel with our friends there.

Update: I just learned from Beth Felice (our Diocessan Communications Officer extradinaire) that the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has picked up the story, too. You can see that story here. Dear friends, the world is shrinking day by day.

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