From The New York Times-
Curaçao, the Dutch island off the Venezuelan coast, is nice this time of year. Actually, it’s nice any time of year. The temperature is in the low 80s and the seawater is nearly as warm. It must be a nice place to give a sermon. But for Katharine Jefferts Schori, since 2006 the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States, memories of Curaçao will always be associated with the controversy that greeted her upon her return — another controversy in what has already been a rocky tenure as the head of a troubled, shrinking church.
On May 12, Bishop Jefferts Schori preached in All Saints Church in the town of Steenrijk. Curaçao is part of the Episcopal Church’s small Diocese of Venezuela, and Bishop Jefferts Schori was making a pastoral call to a distant congregation. Her text was Acts 16:16-34, which includes the story of a slave woman and fortuneteller whom Paul encounters in Philippi, Macedonia.
As Luke, who Christians believe is the narrator, tells the story, the woman “had a spirit of divination and brought her owners a great deal of money by fortunetelling. While she followed Paul and us, she would cry out, ‘These men are slaves of the Most High God, who proclaim to you a way of salvation.’ ” After many days, “Paul, very much annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, ‘I order you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.’ And it came out that very hour.”
Prayer is not wishful nonsense
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