Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Ask

I wish you all could have been at the vestry meeting a week ago Monday night. Our smart, faithful vestry members had a difficult but familiar conversation about money. As you can see from the thermometer out in the narthex, we have so far received a little more than half of what we need to function on next year. The implications of this shortfall are significant.

Every year we conduct a stewardship campaign. Over the past few years, we have started year round stewardship, focusing through the year on the many ways we can give back from what God has so generously provided for us – through time, talent and treasure.

Theresa Luby and her stewardship team have done a great job of creating a narrative budget and messaging to make our needs and aspirations clear. We’ve had speakers and letters and inserts casting a vision for where we want to go. And still, we are just half of where we need to be.

Our conversation Monday night was earnest. Where are we going wrong? One of the many ideas the vestry had pointed to me. I need to ask. I need to inspire. I need to move people to give. If I ask, the money will come.

Now, I appreciate the confidence the vestry has in me. And I wish I had that kind of power. But this place is not about me. St. David’s is about God. St. David’s is about the transformational power of the love of Jesus. This is not about me as rector; this has everything to do with about the God to whom I point.

I know that when you come here on Sundays the last thing you want is to be asked for more money. Our phones ring off the hook with robo calls. Junk mail stuffs our mailboxes with requests for donations. You may have come from another church in which it seemed like ‘money was all they talked about’ or you were judged by how much or how little you give. Church should be a place to rest and refresh and feel good, right?

Yes, AND what we do on Sunday morning – gathering together, singing, praying, joining around this table with a welcome that includes everyone – what we do here on Sunday is inextricably related to the money you choose to give as a spiritual discipline. Without your pledge, we can’t keep the doors open. Without your pledge, we won’t have clergy or staff. Without your pledge, we won’t have music or outreach or education.

This ask is not about me but very definitely about this place – something about St. David’s that calls us to something more, something deeper. This ask is about our covenant community and how God changes lives here.

The financial reality of St. David’s is that we are still paying our mortgage. We get no financial support from the diocese and in fact pay in stewardship to them. Our staff is hard-working and efficient; we watch every penny and there is no fat to trim in our budget. Your vestry has worked to be responsible in stewardship and in transparency.

There are so many ministry needs and so much we can do to grow in our work here. Please make a commitment to St. David’s today. You might be worried if you’ll be able to fulfill the pledge you make. We know how quickly our lives can change. You are always more than welcome to change your pledge, no questions asked, if you are not able to fulfill it.

You might wonder if completing a pledge commitment means you are becoming an Episcopalian. Filling out a pledge form doesn’t mean you have converted. If you are interested in becoming an Episcopalian I will be more than happy to meet with you about how that can happen.

Your pledge means you are committed to St. David’s and the vision and mission of this place. Your pledge means you belong here.

Commit to God, commit to us in this covenant community. Decide that the transformation you feel and see here is life giving and meaningful. Decide that this place means something to you, that you believe in what we are trying to do here to create a community in which everyone is welcome and religion is not about keeping some people out, or learning to hate. The world has enough hate and fear right now. This place is about life, and joy, and working for peace and justice. We are thoughtful, faithful, hopeful people who know that we need to be the change the world so desperately needs.

And so, I am asking – asking you to join us, to be a part of us. Please complete a pledge form today. Your vestry thanks you. And I thank you, and thank God for you.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Rector's Forums on Same Sex Blessings

St. David’s Episcopal Church and School Vision:
To know Christ and make Christ known
in a Covenant Community
where no one stands alone
and lives are transformed.

St. David's is a truly remarkable covenant community, Spirit-filled and committed to knowing Christ, and making Christ known, a witness to God’s transforming power. The Holy Spirit is working here, present in our first forum on blessing same sex unions on March 19, and in our subsequent conversations, discernment and prayers.

In those conversations, I have been blessed to see that St. David’s is filled with faithful people who desire to honor God and God’s word in this place and in our lives. I have heard a deep commitment to faithful interpretation of scripture and questions about how we respond faithfully to God’s call to us. I have heard a deep desire to please God and a deep love of St. David’s and the community we share. I have heard loving hearts responding as honestly and clearly as possible. Our invitation is to see the face of Christ in every person, to open our hearts and minds to listen, and to leave room for the Holy Spirit to move in our midst.

Clearly, this is a conversation that is just beginning. Our first session was honest and difficult. I am committed to creating safe space for all voices, and discerning as a community where God is leading us.

I have not made a decision about my performing blessing of same sex unions at St. David’s, and my commitment is to engage the parish in longer term discernment before making that decision. An ongoing conversation and discernment over time will be most helpful. I propose meeting regularly with prayer and scripture and study together in community. These meetings are not for the purpose of changing anyone's mind but rather to understand one another and discern God’s path for St. David’s. This process would include everyone who wants to participate, and involve digging deep into the Word of God, which will be essential to all of us as we seek understanding in our covenant community.

Our next forum is scheduled for April 9, Wednesday evening and will be held in the narthex. I am asking for questions in advance of that meeting, not to edit or control but to provide a safe venue for everyone to ask questions, and so we are sure to address everyone’s concerns. Please e-mail me at, call me at 571-236-7749571-236-7749, or call the church office and leave comments/questions with Liz. I will not identify names of people with questions without their express approval. Questions can be anonymous if you wish.

Please feel free to call me, e-mail or come in and talk as we engage in this work together. My heartfelt prayer is that we continue to hold one another in prayer as we discern together. These conversations are hard and St. David’s has the courage and heart to engage the tough questions and remain one body in Christ.

I welcome your thoughts as always and value your input. Every voice is valuable. I am happy to arrange a time to talk by phone or in person, tomorrow or Friday. My prayer is that you will remain engaged as we do this work seeking God's will and seeing Christ's face in each other.

Mary Kay+

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Going to the Movies

I love to go to the movies! And I'm really excited that so many people have expressed an interest in going to see 'Son of God' with me at Regal Countryside Theaters on Sunday, March 2. I'll be at the theater around 3:30. The movie starts at 3:55pm. Don't worry if that start time is not yet published; we have an inside connection with parishioner RJ Malam, who is a manager at the theater, and he assures me that the 3:55 time is correct AND we still get the matinee rate.

Movies are fun and entertaining. But they are also reflections of our culture, our ethics, what has meaning for us. They can inform how we live and move in the world.

My family jokes that I can always find some sort of theological message in whatever movie we see. I figure that since God is everywhere, working in and through all things, then we can find God speaking, whether in 'Son of God' or 'The Lego Movie' (which, I'm told has profound theological overtones - really!) Saving Mr. Banks was all about redemption! Dallas Buyer's Club, too.

Because we are bombarded with messages and information, telling us what to value and what will make us happy, we need practice reading the culture with theologically literate eyes. We need practice seeing the sacred in the secular. Our task as people of faith is to see beyond the hype to where God may be speaking and moving.

We will be seeing an overtly 'religious' movie this Sunday, and my hope is that we will watch with a discerning eye to see how the writers interpret scripture. What have the writers chosen to emphasize? What have they not included? How are our favorite scenes interpreted? How do we agree or disagree with them? I know we will have some rich discussion afterward. Remember, as Episcopalians, we are all theologians, and no questions are out of bounds.

And I hope we can practice together seeing 'secular' movies as well, through the lens of our faith, with discerning eyes and hearts. One of my favorite questions is: "where is God in this?" What an adventure. What a rich, exciting journey we are on. Amazing how God uses even the movies to grow and transform us.

So I'll see you at the movies. And don't forget to pass the popcorn!

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Living with teenagers means we have lots of interesting conversations in our house.  Our 18 year old son is following the news these days, figuring out how economics, politics, power, history and culture all intersect in the web of life on our planet.  He is particularly passionate about the vast differences between haves and have nots, not only in Ashburn, but around the world.  We had a provocative conversation just the other day.  “You say you care about poverty, and homelessness, and clean water for everyone,” he said to me, “but you don’t really care.”  I took issue with this – of course we care.  But he had a point.  Are we trying as hard as we can to walk the talk? We give – some, we keep informed, we try to keep our footprint small, but really?  Every argument I tried to make that we are doing all we can felt – well, lame.

Which begs the question – are we ‘all in’?  Are we really walking the talk we say we believe in so strongly?  Do we do enough to make ourselves feel good but stop short of doing all we can to show God’s love to everyone who doesn’t have enough?  We live in the most affluent county in the country, yet the last census of the homeless found 300 people living in the woods along Claiborne Parkway – virtually in St. David’s back yard.  Are we doing all we can? Are we all in?

Today in our scripture lessons we hear stories of people who were, in one way or another, all in. Elijah was all in.  We find him in our first lesson today, in a showdown with the priests who worship Baal.  Elijah has challenged them to a contest involving slaughtering bulls and offering sacrifice, not courses we had at seminary.  Each side is attempting to prove the power of their God, and Elijah is supremely confident.  The priests invoke their god, dancing and imploring and begging their god to set fire to their offering.  Elijah taunts them along the way:  has your god gone on vacation?  Maybe your god is sleeping?  And when they finally give up, Elijah makes his preparations as though, Frederick Buechner writes, he is a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat.

Elijah’s people dig a deep trench.  They put the sacrifice in and then douse it with not one, not two but three rounds of water – you could swim in this trench.  And then Elijah calls on the Lord to act -  and stands back to see what happens.

Elijah was all in.  Elijah put everything on the line publicly: his reputation, his people, his sacrifice – everything – convinced that God would act.  And God acted.  “Lightning flashed. The water in the trench fizzed like spit on a hot stove. Nothing was left of the offering but a pile of ashes and a smell like the Fourth of July. The onlookers were beside themselves with enthusiasm and at a signal from Elijah demolished the losing team down to the last prophet.”  Buechner, Beyond Words.  Elijah was all in.

Don’t we all wish that God would give us a sign of his presence – would act on command? 
In our gospel, we find an example of faith in a most unlikely person – a Roman centurion.  Centurions were mid-level managers – they supervised between 80 and 100 men, Rome was an occupying force but this centurion seems exceptional – the Jews held him in esteem because he helped build their synagogue.  Imagine that.  The centurion has a problem and he knows it.  Someone important to him is ill – a slave or a boy.  The centurion is a person who lives in a hierarchy and understands power.  And this outsider, this Roman, somehow knows that Jesus has an authority beyond any in his military structure.  Jesus, he asks through intermediaries, can you help?  And then, when Jesus is approaching, the centurion models humility.  He is not worthy to have Jesus come to his home.  He knows that all Jesus needs to do is say the word, and the ill one will be well.  This prayer of humble access is familiar to Episcopalians and Roman Catholics alike: “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word, and I shall be healed.” And Jesus is amazed at the faith of this Roman centurion, and the miracle is done.

The centurion was all in.  He was not a Jew.  No one would have looked to him as an example of faith in God. We don’t hear that he later converted to the faith, or followed Jesus. He recognized power and authority and trusted it publicly; he put what was most important on the line.

What we’re talking about here is commitment – not the sign on the dotted line kind of commitment, but a commitment of the heart.  When we are committed to Christ we are bound together, we give our hearts to something bigger than we are, this commitment requires something from us – action, boldness, making a difference.

In case you are thinking that times are different now, that we can’t do anything like Elijah, or Paul, or the centurion, think about the example of the Salwen family.  Kevin and Hannah Salwen wrote of their journey of commitment in their book, The Power of Half.  This family of four lived in suburban Atlanta and was ascending the affluence ladder – bigger, nicer, more.  But their teenager, Hannah, began to ask the hard questions about haves and have nots.  And they decided as a family to sell their large home, downsize and give half of the proceeds - $800,000 – to a charity.  The book chronicles their decision making as a family which included visits to Africa and ultimately a gift to a charity that promotes long-term growth and sustainability. The book also chronicles this family’s transformation from benign self-absorption and isolation to engagement in the world and with each other in deep and meaningful ways.  

From Kevin Salwen’s blog on the Huffington Post: “Since that moment, the more we've examined this abundant life the more we realize that everyone has more than enough of something. Spend 6 hours a week on Facebook? Cut it in half and now you have a new 3-hour resource to sing in a nursing home or clean a neighborhood park. Eat out four times a week? Cut that in half and share what you save with the local soup kitchen. (While you're at it, stop by and serve a meal.)”

What does ‘all in’ look like for you?  All in is more than sitting in the pews, more than occasionally putting something in the plate.  How will you be ‘all in’ this week?  Maybe talking to someone outside your family and saying the word God, or Jesus, or inviting them to come to church will be all in for you.  Maybe cutting back from five days of work to four – and using the fifth to volunteer somewhere will be your ‘all in’.  Take the step, do the thing you think you cannot possibly do, live it out.  Come here for some reason other than worship, once a week.  Arrange flowers, sing, sew, pray.  Serve bagels, teach kids.  Help weed the grounds or tighten the pew card holders or take pictures or work on the website. 

Are we all in?  I pray that we are ‘all in’ this commitment to Christ, to meaning beyond ourselves, to love others, to live so deeply, so generously, so passionately that those who see us will say, “Their Lord is indeed God.”

Monday, May 20, 2013

Rector's Parish Update Pentecost Sunday

At our annual parish meeting in January, I talked about a book by J. Clif Christopher called “not your parents’ offering plate” which talks about stewardship. Christopher addressed the question of why people don’t give money to churches the way they used to.  And he said this: people are not convinced that churches change lives. 

I begged to differ, because I know that St. David’s changes lives, and I continue to see daily how St. David’s transforms lives. I talked about the power of community, how the Holy Spirit moves through our worship, how our outreach makes a tangible difference to those in need.  I talked about small groups and the strength and diversity of our ministries and the power of laity. And I challenged our community to grow in specific ways.  I am reporting to you today on the progress we are making on this growth initiative.

Our first goal is to strengthen formation, including Christian education/discipleship for all ages; small groups; and incorporation – moving people from visitors to first steps to involvement in small groups or ministry, to commitment to this community. I’m pleased to report that we have added two new small groups through our Taste and See Lenten program and added a next step class.  Look for a survey soon to solicit feedback on what would ‘set you on fire’ in adult education in the fall.
Our second goal is to build a year-round stewardship ministry of time, talent and treasure. Growing deep disciples will grow the kingdom of God.  Although most of our work here at St. David’s is done by dedicated volunteer ministries, we still are lacking needed paid staff to support their work.  Our current budget does not allow for even the minimum clergy and staff, musicians and bagels to get the job done.   Our stewardship team has revamped our commitment cards and put them front and center in our pews, and is planning many different ways of keeping the message of giving time, talent and treasure front and center in our covenant community.

Our third goal is to spread the word about this community that transforms lives.  Our external marketing team was faced with the challenge of addressing the challenge of our being the best kept secret in Ashburn.  They have been busy exploring ways to encapsulate the unique St. David’s experience in welcoming ways that will invite people to taste and see St. David’s.  Look for a preschool sign along Rt. 7 and more signage to come. 

At the same time, our preschool and church staffs have been working to unify our vision. Through the work of the marketing team, as well as work with our church and preschool staff, the vestry has approved our updated vision statement to include our legacy, present and future:  To know Christ and make Christ known in a covenant community where no one stands alone and lives are transformed. 
That said, our marketing team in conjunction with our staff has created tag lines – language encapsulating the St. David’s experience that would resonate with the larger community.  St. David’s transforms lives through joyful worship; celebrating community; engaged outreach; and lifelong learning.  These tag lines do not replace our vision and mission.  Look for these tag lines in all our communication as we spread the good news about Jesus and St. David’s to our broader Ashburn community.

In order to accommodate the growth which God has in store for us, we need space.  Like a root-bound pot, we are hampered in our ability to serve and grow by lack of space.  In January, I called for a task force to make the parish hall a reality – to explore what plans have been made in the past, to dream about what can be.  This team has met several times, composed of vestry and parishioners and will report to me by June 3, 2013.   The parish hall committee has reviewed old blueprints, is studying the campus as is and welcomes your suggestions. 

All of these teams need more help.  I ask all of you to consider where the Spirit is calling you to serve, and to contact a vestry member to help these teams realize God’s dream for us.
The Holy Spirit is indeed blowing through St. David’s and moving and shaking things up, nudging and shifting and changing.  Our vestry has been working hard to keep pace with the Spirit’s movement.  Here is Katherine Goodwin, our Senior Warden to update you on the vestry’s very able management of our financial state.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Rector's Report: 2013 Annual Meeting

Several representatives from this covenant community went with me to our annual diocesan council on Friday and Saturday. We heard lots of reports and voted on resolutions but the keynote speaker really grabbed our attention. J. Clif Christopher wrote a book called “not your parents’ offering plate” which talks about stewardship. Pastor Christopher said many things which I know resonated with everyone in the room, sometimes in uncomfortable ways. But he said something that made me sit up and pay attention. He was talking about why people don’t give money to churches the way they used to. And he said this: people are not convinced that churches change lives.

Well, I’m here to tell you that St. David’s changes lives. Lives have always been transformed in this place. Our legacy through Margaret Mercer planted deep roots of justice and education and worship on this sacred ground. Our grace-filled rebirth which resulted in our beautiful sanctuary was clearly the work of the Holy Spirit. St. David’s has a legacy of thinking outside the box to live into God’s imagination for us. Every step along the way has deepened those roots, drawing from the well of living water that is at the center of our covenant community, the water of baptism, and the life-giving bread and wine at the table we share.

Lives are changed at St. David’s by the warmth and inclusiveness of our welcome. Our greetings at the front door are matched by our open invitation to the altar for the Lord’s Supper. I have seen visitors weep when they grasp that they are welcome at this table no matter who they are or where they’ve come from or what their life situation is. This is how Jesus welcomed and taught and loved. We make Christ known through this welcome. And God changes lives through this welcome.

Lives are transformed at St. David’s because we are committed to knowing Christ by asking the hard questions, vulnerable enough to share our joys and sorrows, open to transformation through the gospel. We are committed to translating what we hear on Sunday into change in how we live on Monday, Tuesday – every minute of every day. Our identity as a covenant community, defined by our 5 root values, gives us a framework to dig deep and grow tall, to deepen our spirituality in relationship with the risen Christ and with one another. Our 7 spiritual disciplines help make our beliefs real and tangible in the world.

We know who we are – a covenant community where no one stands alone - and why we are here – to know Christ and make Christ known – and we are well aware that being church is much bigger than even our beautiful glass-windowed sanctuary. We are seeking and finding something authentic, something meaningful, something eternal in this place, something we can commit to, give our lives to, something that transforms us.

St. David’s changes lives because here we find authentic, committed community. We are more than just people gathered together for an hour or more on a Sunday morning. We are woven into a fabric of community that embraces and supports us. Here we know each other’s names. Here we care about what’s happening with each other. Here we share our ‘highs and lows’, our joys and our fears and our wounds and our grief. And here we find comfort and healing.

Ms. Theresa – came through our doors by herself one day, and kept coming for the next two years. Her past was enigmatic, but her accent and her smile were charming. She loved being here and I know she felt loved here. For two years we gave her rides after church. And two weeks ago, when she was dying, caring members of St. David’s, without being coordinated at all, were at her bedside with her all day until she died.

Ask me about the preschool mom, with domestic problems, who with tears in her eyes says St. David’s is her “safe place. Ask me about the father who calls the office explaining that he is one payment from no heat in December. Ask me about the parents thankful to find a place which welcomes children to worship. A place to hear about a loving God. Little boy – if I was going to run away, I would run to St. David’s. Lives are changed here, transformed one by one.

St. David’s changes lives because we truly live out the priesthood of all believers. Everyone is gifted for ministry, and lay ministry is the tap root of this community. Our many ministries are strong and well-developed. Our outreach – locally, nationally and internationally – is strong. Our preschool is premier and intrinsic to our vitality and growth. Our vestry has done a marvelous job of shoring up our infrastructure, and providing sound and transparent fiscal management.

More than any church I know, St. David’s is alive with the Holy Spirit, transformed in tangible ways by God’s love and grace, always increasing in our love and knowledge of Jesus in body, mind and spirit and from that grace reaching out to make Jesus known to our hurting world.

In our gospel today, Jesus begins his ministry by reading a scripture which is, in essence, his mission statement, his job description. He reads from Isaiah, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, to bring good news to the poor, proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” And then Jesus rocks their world: “today, this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

Today, as the body of Christ, committed to knowing Christ and making Christ known, the spirit of the Lord is upon us. The spirit of the Lord is upon us and today, we are being called, challenged, summoned to do the work of Christ in the world.

Christ calls us to do better, to do more. We are called to grow. For the past three years, we have stayed steady – in numbers and money. We can do better. We are called to grow. Now, I am not interested in increased numbers for numbers’ sake, or a new building for the sake of saying, “look what we built”. We are called to grow disciples – to continue to grow deep in knowledge and love of God and one another. We need to reach more people to share the amazing, transformational power of Jesus we find in this community. And we are called to grow in our reaching out as Christ’s eyes and ears and hands and feet in the world.

This is how we grow. One: we strengthen formation. We continue to strengthen our Christian education/discipleship for all ages. We continue to strengthen our small groups. We strengthen our incorporation – moving people from visitors to first steps to involvement in small groups or ministry, to commitment to this community. We continue to follow the Holy Spirit in outreach, growing our feeding programs and caring programs and building relationships with other groups caring for those in need.

Growing deep disciples will grow the kingdom of God. Much of this work – most of this work is done by dedicated volunteer ministries, but we need paid staff to support their work. Our current budget does not allow for even the minimum clergy and staff, musicians and bagels to get the job done. Two, we need to engage in year-round stewardship of time, talent and treasure. Eric Byer has graciously agreed to chair our effort in year round stewardship. He needs the support of vestry and congregation alike.

Three, we spread the word about this community that transforms lives. We are the best kept secret in Ashburn. We need to be intentional about getting the word out about who we are and what we do. When people find us, they love us. We have to do better at helping people find us.

The potential for transformation in this covenant community is amazing. But at present, just like a plant which stops growing because the pot is too small, we are root bound. It’s time. We need a parish hall and kitchen. We will never have all ages Sunday School or multiple education classes if we don’t have enough room for them. We can’t feed people from here or provide relief from the cold or if we don’t have a kitchen. We need a parish hall to build community through parish wide events, to provide Sunday School for all ages, to expand our preschool, to give the youth a space to call their own.

I am creating a task force to make the parish hall a reality – to explore what plans have been made in the past, to dream about what can be. This team will be composed of vestry and parishioners and will report to me by June 3, 2013.

Our mission is to bring good news to the poor, to restore sight to the blind, to release the captive and oppressed. We need to stop thinking in terms of scarcity – what we don’t have, what limitations we face – and start thinking of abundance. What God calls us to do, God will equip us for. When we listen for God’s direction, when we act under God’s authority, God breathes life into our work and we will have what we need.

I thank you for the incredible gift of serving you as your rector. You bless me in so many ways. I look forward to growing with you this year.

Monday, October 22, 2012


I asked the children a few Sundays ago to name what superpower they all possess. I could see the wheels turning in their minds about what an ‘appropriate’ superpower answer would be at church. “Friendship?” a little one guessed. “Love?” That’s always a good guess for the priest to hear.

But ‘words’ is what I was looking for. Words – we all use them, often so casually that we underestimate the power they hold. Yet, in my work listening to others as they journey spiritually, I can testify that for many, a casual remark from long ago can remain a source of hurt or shame years later.

Our words have such power to help, hurt or heal. One of our five spiritual disciplines – those basic values we espouse as those that define our covenant community – is truth-telling. In our common life together, I see the value of telling the truth to one another. So often in our world, we don’t speak honestly and from the heart. We don’t want to alienate anyone. We don’t want to risk being disliked or excluded. We don’t want to cause trouble.

But the reality is that we can only grow spiritually if we can be real with each other, and open. And that means sharing what is on our minds, even the hard stuff, even the stuff that is risky to say. Truth-telling requires that the speaker have the courage to be honest, and also that the hearers have the courage to listen with love. Our covenant community requires us to stay in relationship with the speaker even though the message may be difficult to hear.

These are the gifts of covenant community: That we trust one another enough to risk being open with our deepest selves. That we respect and truly listen and try to understand each other even when we disagree with or hurt each other; and that we stay in relationship with one another, loving each other with the unconditional love with which Jesus loves us.

That said, truth-telling does not give us carte blanche to speak our minds without regard to the needs and feelings of others. God does not honor honesty without compassion, truth without empathy or words said with the intention to wound or devastate.

So often, I find the nugget of wisdom in the readings for the day when I ponder how to distill the message into a form that the children will grasp. Thinking about words, and the careful balance between telling the truth and using words to hurt, I came across this simple, sound advice.

Count to three before you speak. Consider the words you have chosen, and ask yourself:
Are these words true?
Are these words necessary?
Are these words kind?

If your words do not meet all three criteria, keep silent. Keep praying. Keep reworking those powerful words until they meet this standard. Our superpowers are most effective when tempered with love.
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