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July 4th, 2018: remembering John P. Lozowsky

     John P. Lozowsky was one of the 2,753 people killed on September 11, 2001 in the attacks on the twin towers of the World Trade Center.

John P. Lozowsky_EDIT     Today — July 4th — is the 62nd anniversary of his birth.

     John was known for his Hawaiian shirts that “raised eyebrows” amidst the east coast professional attire at Marsh & McLennan, the firm where he worked as a contractor in 2001. A naturalized New Zealand citizen, according to a co-worker John “called people “mate” and was laid back in a Kiwi kind of way.” [1]
     Someone who I wish I had met in this life, I look forward to meeting John in the next. Our lives crossed paths, beyond the grave, when I put my hand on his name after praying and asking for one name to take with me; one person who I could specifically hold in prayer after visiting the 9/11 Memorial in New York City for the first time on September 15, 2015.
     This day, as an Australian ex-pat, one who has enjoyed the “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” as spoken about in the Declaration of Independence, I’m praying for the soul of John P. Lozowsky, and all those who have died as a result of violence: all those who have had their lives, and their hope for happiness abruptly stripped from them. I’m praying too, for the perpetrators of violence, that their hearts and minds may be turned to right action for the well being of all.
     Lastly, I’m praying that all those who enjoy those gifts of Life and Liberty (including myself!) around the world may take it upon themselves to daily set aside all divisiveness and prejudice, and live in love, peace, and joy with all.

Foolishness of Love

Everyone, everywhere wants to be of value. Everyone, everywhere wants to be loved.

Christians believe that, in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, love came down as one of us.

This human being, Christians contend, entered into the mystery of human violence; suffering and dying, and rising to new life to show that our inheritant violent, competitive natures don’t need to fight for God’s love. It exists already. Waiting to be claimed.

Ancient Scriptures, Hebrew and New admit that this argument is “foolishness” to many (1 Corinthians 1:23). Surely, God’s wrath and curse is on one who would die in such a terrible way (Deuteronomy 21:22–23)? This is a “new” teaching, and this is “difficult” (John 6:60).

Yet, Christians, fools that they are, believe in this Jesus, the One they call the “Christ.”

Everytime I go to a conference, one related to ministry in any way, I’m struck by the need – of individuals, communities, and the world – for love. And I’m struck by the craziness, the radical nature of this message: that God is love; that God loves all; and that in the beautiful brokenness of humanity, God truly does dwell.

2017 Season of Gratitude Day 6

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Today I’m grateful for a productive day on-site at Emmanuel Episcopal Church: for Emmanuel’s Administrator, Lisa, for her patience, energy & enthusiasm, for her willingness to process whatever comes; for a blessed time of Noonday Prayer from the BCP, for Office Hymns, for a tuned piano, for friendly visitors, for a coffee-shop pastoral meeting, for great and tightly-packed soy-latte foam! for Amy’s frozen meals saving us vegans on busy days, for the support of Julia, my spouse, for her efforts, energy, wisdom, love, care, compassion, support, and encouragement (no matter what comes our way!) (with prayers for those who do not feel that they have been gifted those things by people around them) and for those who pray for and minister to them — we give thee thanks, O God.

2017 Season of Gratitude Day 5

Monday, November 27

Today I’m thankful for a Sabbath Day Rest: for going back to bed and catching up on sleep. For a slow morning reading the Anglican and Episcopal History journal, for phone conversations with friends, lunch with the same, a gentle time of errands, a time making hummus, tomato & onion soup (and eating the same!) and for dinner around the table with Phoebe & James. For the warmth of a family home, for Hawaiian music piped out by my neighbors, for the smell of fresh laundry, flowers, and soap, for clean sheets, and a place to lay my head, for those who work to assist and care for those who go without these things — we give thee thanks, O God.

2017 Season of Gratitude Day 4

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Today I was thankful for the Lord’s Day: for baptizing an amazing, beautiful baby boy at the 7:30 am service, for fitting 28 people in the chapel!, for bringing in the godparents via Skype, for the wonder of modern technology & all those that make it possible. And for the 10:00 am service, the gift of hula offered by one of Emmanuel’s keiki, for celebrating Christ the King and the Feast of the Holy Sovereigns, for Hawaiian food potluck after the service. And for time spend debriefing, and chatting after the service, for talking story over coffee, for the honesty, integrity, and faithfulness of those at Emmanuel Episcopal, for the way in which they have dedicated themselves to the life of the Gospel for so many years. And for time with family: a drive, a cuddle, a check-in, and dinner at Zippy’s, Hawai’i Kai – we give thee thanks, O God.

2017 Season of Gratitude Day 3

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Today I was thankful for an amazing vegan breakfast with my family and a beautiful Emmanuel Episcopal family, for the smell and smile of a new-born, for family love, brotherly love, for sisterly love, for shared loved. And for the beauty of misty mountains, banana trees, strawberry guava, breadfruit, and lilikoi (passionfruit), for the sweetness of vegan donuts and vegan blueberry muffins, for the feel of a wooden floor on my feet, and the licks of a friendly puppy dog. For the love of companion animals everywhere, for those who care and support for friendless animals, for the Hawai’i Humane Society, for the ASPCA nationally, for the work of those committed to creation care – we give thee thanks, O God.

2017 Season of Gratitude Day 2

Friday, November 24, 2017

Today am thankful for a day of rest with Julia, Phoebe, and James: for the Waikiki Aquarium, for parking lots, for cross walks, for colorful people, for colorful fish/sea horses/dragons, for friendly aloha-filled staff, for God’s underwater creatures small and great, for the joy of children’s new discovery, for enthusiasm and creativity, for our family minivan, for public transportation, for GPS and Google Maps, for freshly mown grass and the friendly greeting of the houseless — we give thee thanks, O God.