During the past 30 years various churches have begun to revive an ancient pattern for preparing adults for baptism and Christian discipleship. The Roman Catholic Church began the process in the 1980s by creating a Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults-now the way one becomes Catholic as an adult. The Episcopal Church soon followed with a process of its own.
St. Andrew Episcopal Church in Kokomo, Indiana, began its commitment to the catechumenal process by launching two experiments. In 1992 the church had an enthusiastic congregation eager to share with others both the faith and the rich liturgical symbolism of the Episcopal/Anglican tradition.
The majority of the world's resources pour into the United States. And as we Americans grow more and more wealthy, money is becoming a kind of narcotic for us. We hardly notice our own prosperity or the poverty of so many others. The great contradiction is that we have more and more money and less and less generosity-less and less public money for the needy, less charity for the neighbor.
During a Lenten retreat, we were asked to reflect on the feelings and role of the father in the parable of the Prodigal Son. Though I had frequently thought about the parable over the years, I had not given the father much attention other than to consider him a symbol for God. Our retreat leader, however, asked us to think of the father as a real parent.