Faith and Community, by Cathryn Conroy

My faith is grounded in community--so much so that I wonder how sustainable my faith would be in solitude.

No faith? Interesting question.

Some of it is basic. I come to St. Anne's on Sunday, take communion and leave fulfilled.

Some of it is friendship. I come to St. Anne's on Sunday, embrace others, become a part of their lives and leave fulfilled.

Some of it is sharing. I come to St. Anne's on Sundays and find a place where I can share my life and receive others who trust in me enough to share their lives with me.

Some of it is inspiration. I come to St. Anne's on Sundays and am filled with the power of the Holy Spirit to go out into the world. Sometimes to make a real difference. But usually just to pray harder, believe more, love greater.

Some of it is divine. I pray the Daily Office in solitude in the morning and evening. I view it this way, as described by Robert Benson in the book "In Constant Prayer": "To pray the office is to anchor your life of prayer somewhere between the daily and the divine."

And it comes full circle back to community. As I pray the Daily Office in solitude in my home, I know that I am not alone. There is an entire community of people around the world, who are also praying the same Daily Office. We pray it together. In community. So when two or three are gathered together in his name you will be in the midst of them.

And then I go back to St. Anne's on Sunday. A full circle.


--Cathryn Conroy

St. Anne's Book Club - January 19, 2015 7:30pm

The St. Anne's Book Club will meet on Monday, January 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the home of Mary Grubb. Contact the office for the address. We will discuss "The Invention of Wings," by Sue Monk Kidd. All are welcome!

Note we have changed the book club meetings to the third Monday of the month, instead of the first Monday.

"The Invention of Wings"

Hetty "Handful" Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke's daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

Kidd's sweeping novel is set in motion on Sarah's 11th birthday, when she is given ownership of 10-year-old Handful, who is to be her handmaid. We follow their remarkable journeys over the next 35 years, as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each other's destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love. As the stories build to a riveting climax, Handful will endure loss and sorrow, finding courage and a sense of self in the process. Sarah will experience crushed hopes, betrayal, unrequited love, and ostracism before leaving Charleston to find her place alongside her fearless younger sister, Angelina, as one of the early pioneers in the abolition and women's rights movements. This book was inspired by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke.