Sustain me with your bountiful spirit

A homily for Ash Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Trinity Church of Morrisania, Bronx, New York

Give me the joy of your saving help again and sustain me with your bountiful spirit.

We gather today to begin Lent. Immediately after the imposition of ashes we will say Psalm 51, the great penitential psalm which has been repeated by Christians and Jews for millennia. I would like to reflect with you on this psalm.

Lent is a time for the renewal of life. It is a time to focus ourselves on the gift of life that God has given us. It is common to think that it is about sin and feeling bad about it. But you can do that any time: the Psalm says “I know my transgressions and my sin is ever before me.” Our sin; our falling away from the goodness that God has for us, is real, but it is not for us to wallow in sinfulness, or to commit the further sin of despair.

This psalm is about God’s mercy… “according to your loving kindness in your great compassion blot out my offenses.”  God’s compassion propels us forward in our lives, even if we want to pack it in, and give up.  It says, “behold, you look for truth deep within me, and will make me understand wisdom secretly.” We can be distracted by the things of this world. Have you turned off your cell phone? Is the anger and pre-occupation of this political season upsetting you? But when we listen to God in the secrecy of our heart, the truth is there. That truth is God’s love, deep within every person. The purpose of our penitence, and indeed of all our lives, is to discover that love of God, to step forward just a bit, and live a little more in that love.

Listen to how the Psalm progresses after that:

Purge me from my sin, and I shall be pure; wash me and I shall be clean indeed. Make me hear of joy and gladness, that the body you have broken may rejoice.

Lent is not a sad season, it is the season where that body that has been broken is purified and focused so that may rejoice. We live and we move toward Easter. We live in this real world, where death and sin, distraction from love and attention to hate are real things that surround us. Remember, Jesus was in the midst of just this reality, and in it and from it, he really died. At Easter, God raised him from the dead, and none of these things have power over life any more. Our journey to the cross is a journey to life.

I shall teach your ways to the wicked and sinners shall return to you.

Deliver me from death, O God, and my tongue shall sing of your righteousness, O God of my salvation.

Open my lips, O Lord, And my mouth shall proclaim your praise.

 

The appearance of his face changed

A sermon for the Last Sunday after Epiphany, February 7, 2016

Trinity Church of Morrisania, Bronx, New York

Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed.

Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep, but since they had stayed awake they saw his glory—Jesus was praying on that mountain and the groggy disciples saw God’s glory manifested in his face. I have always found the Transfiguration difficult to preach, because it is not the same kind of story that we usually see in scripture—rather than being about instruction, or making a moral point, or showing Jesus confronting the powers, or healing or welcoming—the Transfiguration is an image: Jesus on the mountain, praying, transformed in the glory of God and accompanied by the two key prophets of Israel, Moses and Elijah.

The story is at a key position in the Gospels, but it is not really about something happening to Jesus. We see Jesus praying, and his face reflects the presence of God, the love of God, the Glory of God. It is not that he doesn’t always manifest these things, but up on that mountain, alone, with nothing else happening and the disciples just sitting there, they could see his face, and the Glory of God in it. His clothes were a dazzling white, the garments of celebration and joy, for wedding feasts, or the coming of the Kingdom of God. Moses and Elijah also appeared in God’s glory. Moses had received the law before God’s face, Elijah had been taken up into heaven in a chariot of fire; through them God had guided his people, encouraged them, corrected them.

The Gospel says that they were speaking with Jesus about his departure—if we looking at the Greek, it says that they were speaking to him about his EXODUS, which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem.  In other words, as, in Moses, God set the people of Israel free in the exodus from Egypt, so God would set all of us free in what Jesus would do in Jerusalem. The Exodus was not cost free, there was forty years of wandering in the desert, suffering, complaints, people died. So also, Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem entailed his suffering and death. And being his people, living in his resurrection, is not cost free either. We are called to die to self, die to selfishness and scheming, to abandon self-serving ideas of privilege and our own righteousness or entitlement.

But this is called the Glory of God. The glory is the celebration of life, not fear. Glory is the celebration of God present with us now, and in the time to come. God’s glory is God’s presence, not what we tell God, or what we think we want.

God is with us, in the face of Jesus, dressed in dazzling white and celebrating with us. Peter is awake but groggy. Later in the Gospel, on another mountain, Peter and the other disciples sleep while Jesus prays. In Gethsemane, they are lost and confused, and Jesus is alone with God. Unlike in Gethsemane, on this mountain the disciples see the Glory of God in Jesus face.  So Peter sees it, though in his grogginess he doesn’t really understand what Moses and Elijah and Jesus are saying about Jerusalem. Peter sees the prophets, he sees Jesus among the other two, great archetypal prophets, and he perceives the Glory of God, and he says, “Let’s build three booths!” Three because now we have three great prophets, Jesus is one of them. But the cloud comes and covers them all. And the voice. The voice speaks. This is my Son, the one I have chosen. Listen to him.

Jesus is the one, not one of the three; but the only begotten Son. The prophets give us context for the love and action of God. The Glory of God is not whatever we make of it, it is the love of God in this real world, saving God’s real people—in the Exodus, in the word of the prophets, in the faithfulness of Israel and the call to repentance. But at the end, Jesus is the one, the Chosen.

And suddenly, the cloud is gone and the three disciples are alone with Jesus. The Glory of God has not gone away, but those special manifestations evaporated. And they were silent.

There was nothing more to say. There was Jesus. The Glory of God and the voice from the cloud said, “This is my chosen one, listen to him.”

Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. It’s common to think of Lent as a time of sadness and self-denial. But it’s not a time to worry and think glum thoughts and miss some luxury you are “giving up for Lent”—Lent is a time to listen. It’s that quiet when we know the Glory of God in Jesus, God’s chosen one. That Glory manifests itself at Easter, but God’s Glory is here, at every moment. Listen to him. Leave off the noise that distracts us, the things that take our attention. See his face, the Love of God come for us. Live in God’s blessing, live your Lent in the presence of God’s Glory. He is right here.

Dr. King MountaintopThis month we are also celebrating Black History Month. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. knew how to listen to Jesus, and what it was like to see the prophets.  What it was like to live in God’s presence in incredibly difficult and dangerous times. In his last address before he was assassinated, he said:

We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

Let us pray:

O God, who before the passion of your only-begotten Son revealed his glory upon the holy mountain; Grant to us the we, beholding by faith the light of his countenance, may be strengthened to bear our cross, and be changed into his likeness from glory to glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

Love rejoices in the truth

A sermon for the 4th Sunday after Epiphany, January 31, 2016

Trinity Church of Morrisania, Bronx, New York

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.

Today’s Epistle lesson is St. Paul’s great hymn in praise of love. In his first letter to the Corinthians, he has been discussing spiritual gifts and he arrives at the end of his discussion and points out than the one spiritual gift worth having is love.  I don’t know about anyone here, but when I look at these characteristics of love, I see that I can be occasionally a little irritable, sometimes just a little arrogant—and don’t ask my wife about the rude part. The love of God is something that we don’t always fully live into.

God’s love is always here for us, but our own love, and the love of Christians is not something that is automatic or something we can take for granted. Living together in a Christian community requires patience and forbearance, because someone is always going to be irritable, or resentful, or insist on their own way. Love rejoices in the truth—not the truth of telling others what’s wrong with them—but the truth of knowing the depths of God’s love for everyone, the truth of Jesus’ love for us and his giving himself for us.

Last week there was a little snow. And it was tough, if not outright dangerous, for most people to join us in church.  But that doesn’t mean that you can’t hear my sermon because last week’s Gospel is the first part of our Gospel for today, so here is some of it again:

*****

Jesus opened the scroll of the prophet Isaiah, the sixty-first chapter, where the prophet announces the hopeful message of God’s redemption for Israel, his summons for them to return from exile. Jesus teaches the meaning of the text, and that meaning is himself. “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” That scripture that they heard said: “He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor…”

So is the Good News of God’s love mainly for the poor?  Could be. Certainly the song that Jesus mother sang before he was born says, “He has filled the hungry with good things and the rich he has sent empty away.”

It is significant, of course, that he starts with the poor. Those who get the least respect, are just as entitled to full honor and respect as those who presume that they are the ONES who are entitled. It is not so, that some are entitled to honor and others can be dismissed. ALL are worthy of our respect. ALL of us have God’s respect and love, right now. Jesus is telling us that—the challenge is to us, and to everyone—how do we respect the ones who God loves and respects, particularly those who are pushed to the side, dishonored in their social status, or physical disability, or their place on the economic ladder. God gives us freedom, what do we do with it?

*****

In today’s Gospel, the congregation hears that, and they nod their heads, and say, “Yeah, pretty good.” They probably think that THEY are the poor and the Good News is just for them. But then they look at Jesus, and they say, “Wait a minute, this is just that carpenter’s son, what gives him authority?” But Jesus explains a little more: “the prophet Elijah brought that good news to a widow outside of Israel, not to those inside, and when it came to curing lepers, the prophet Elisha cured Naaman, who was a Syrian, not any of his own people.” The Gospel spreads far beyond those that we are in our own town, the love of God extends far beyond where we ourselves are comfortable.

When the congregation realized that Jesus was saying things other than what they wanted to hear, they did what any self-respecting Cliffcongregation would do—they took the young preacher out and prepared to throw him off a cliff.

“Love does not insist on its own way; … it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”   Jesus is the love of God. He had spoken the truth at home, and he had much more to do, so he slipped away. Living in the love of God can be a slippery thing. We like to divide the world into good guys and bad guys, and then simplify things by seeing only our own group as good. God’s love is bigger than ours. We are called to grow, not in our own way, or in winning more so that others lose, but in the love that rejoices in the truth.

St. Paul says, “Love never ends.” That means that our growth and change in love never ends—we are challenged by Jesus, and just as we have ahold of him, he slips away to teach more love. We think we know the will of God, but Paul teaches us, “as for knowledge, it will come to an end. …Now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face.” Jesus preaches to us, the Good News to the Poor, and we know what he means, we know the poor, we know how many deserve respect who don’t get it. But yet, we also know that Good News because he makes us uncomfortable and challenges all of us, to learn to extend our love further, to examine ourselves and live more deeply in God’s love.

“Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.”

Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing

A sermon for the 3rd Sunday after Epiphany, January 24, 2016

Trinity Church of Morrisania, Bronx, New York

Jesus unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written: “The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.”

In the Gospel of Luke, this is the first record of Jesus’ teaching. After his baptism and his temptation in the desert, the Gospel tells us that Jesus was filled with the power of the Spirit and went around preaching in Galilee, his home region. And when he got to his home town of Nazareth, the Gospel describes that teaching.

He opened the scroll of the prophet Isaiah, the sixty-first chapter, where the prophet announces the hopeful message of God’s redemption for Israel, his summons for them to return from exile. Jesus teaches the meaning of the text, and that meaning is himself. “Today this House of hospitalityscripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” As we proceed through the Gospel toward Easter, it will become more and more clear what it means, that he himself is the meaning of the word of God. Today, let’s look at the text he reads: “He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor…”

So is the Good News of God’s love mainly for the poor?  Could be. Certainly the song that Jesus mother sang before he was born says, “He has filled the hungry with good things and the rich he has sent empty away.”

God is here for those who suffer and those who have needs that are more than they can handle. Yet it doesn’t just mean that God has pity on the poor or gives cosmic handouts to the needy.  In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells a parable about a slave who was forgiven a tremendous debt, but then immediately grabbed another slave who owed him a very small debt and had him thrown in jail—being poor, or of low estate did not justify him in being unmerciful to others. Jesus did not come to change the order of things in order to privilege a different group, he came to give release to the captives, sight to the blind—a time of the Lord’s favor—when ALL the oppressed are free.

It is significant, of course, that he starts with the poor. Those who get the least respect, are just as entitled to full honor and respect as those who presume that they are the ONES who are entitled. It is not so, that some are entitled to honor and others can be dismissed. ALL are worthy of our respect. ALL of us have God’s respect and love, right now. Jesus is telling us that—the challenge is to us, and to everyone—how do we respect the ones who God loves and respects, particularly those who are pushed to the side, dishonored in their social status, or physical disability, or their place on the economic ladder. God gives us freedom, what do we do with it?

Jesus announced: “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” This means two things—first, it is in Jesus that these promises are fulfilled—his person and his life make the difference. Next week’s gospel lesson continues this story, and I will talk about what happens when Jesus made that announcement in my sermon next week.

But the other thing is, TODAY, the good news to the poor is announced, TODAY the release of captives and recovery of sight to the blind, TODAY the oppressed go free. This year is the year of the Lord’s favor, not some day in the far off future, when we get around to it, some day when the rich get tired of being rich, until, literally, Kingdom come. God is not waiting for justice, or mercy. The mercy of God, the right of those who are poor and oppressed to find freedom is right now. In Jesus, we are freed from the values that say whatever has been established by those in power is how it has to be. God’s mercy is here, in Jesus Christ. In us, in his mercy, we live as merciful, in his hope, we are generous and share our lives, in his courage and his way of the cross, we courageously face the difficulties that this world has brought and will continue to bring. We live in the year of the Lord’s favor.

Once again, let us pray in the words of our collect for today:

Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ and proclaim to all people the Good News of his salvation, that we and the whole world may perceive the glory of his marvelous works; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Do whatever he tells you

A sermon at Trinity Church of Morrisania, Bronx, New York

Second Sunday after Epiphany, January 17, 2016

The mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.”

The Gospel of John is punctuated by a series of stories that make their point through humor. People encounter Jesus, talk with him and misunderstand altogether what he’s saying. In the story of the wedding at Cana, it may not be that Jesus’ mother completely misunderstood him, but I think that what happened can be understood pretty humorously.

If we read through the story of the Gospel in John to get to today’s Gospel, here’s where we are. John the Baptist predicted the One who was to come. Then he sees Jesus, and says “Behold the Lamb of God.” Next, two of John’s disciples go and talk with Jesus and become his disciples. Then they go and find Peter and Nathanael and they become his disciples, too. Immediately after that, Jesus and his disciples (it’s not clear whether there were four disciples, Andrew, Philip, Peter and Nathanael, or whether there were more) Jesus and his disciples start walking from Judea to Galilee. After three days they show up at a wedding in Cana of Galilee.

I’m sure they were welcome at the wedding. But it is not clear whether they had received invitations and sent their RSVP and a gift. At least one reliable scholar has pointed out that at Jewish weddings at that time, the amount of wine available was directly related to the amount of gifts that were received. In other words, gifts were a form of RSVP in ancient Israel. Like us, they didn’t want to make too many reservations with the caterer, which in their case, meant having enough wine. Weddings were probably even a bigger percentage of people’s income in those days.

So in this passage, at least five, young, vigorous, healthy men show up unexpected. And probably thirsty from the journey. And the party ensues. After a while Jesus’ mother walks up to him and says, “Jesus. … They. Are. Running. Out. Of. Wine.” And Jesus response was basically, “Eh.” But then he says, “My hour has not yet come.” Somehow, Mary understood that something was going to happen, even if she didn’t know exactly what.  She said to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.”

The water goes into the jars, and when they draw out a cup, it is wine. Very good wine. Wine is a sign and symbol of life and abundance. It wasn’t an every day beverage—it marked celebrations and feasts. The Gospel of John emphasizes that this was Jesus’ first sign, at this wedding feast in Cana of Galilee. Jesus’ sign was bringing life in abundance—the wine was gone, the party was near to falling apart, and Jesus performed his sign—the glory of God was manifested and the feast continued.  Jesus’ mother had not expected this sign—even she did not know what to expect of Jesus. The glory of God is always a surprise, and frequently the surprise is funny—the joke is on us—the religious types who take ourselves so seriously. Our psalm today says it well, “How priceless is your love, O God! Your people take refuge under the shadow of your wings. They feast upon the abundance of your house; you give them drink from the river of your delights. For with you is the well of life, and in your light we see light.”

No one was expecting this unannounced traveler to produce over a hundred gallons of choice wine for them. The abundance of God always comes from sources unpredicted. This week, we observe the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Who would have predicted the effects his life would have all over the world? Most of his life was struggle, and he stood for justice against great opposition, but out of his struggle emerged a spirit of healing for all people. Martin is among the saints from whom we see the hope of God.

The British religion journalist Ruth Gledhill remarked on another person this week, “The saint emerging from this sad hour is not the Archbishop of Canterbury, nor any leader of the Global South churches. It is the Primate of The Episcopal Church, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry.” She was referring to the difficult meeting that took place this Bishop Curryweek of the Primates—that is to say the senior archbishops—of all the national churches of the Anglican Communion.  The results of that were disappointing, and indeed, distressing for many.  The Primates recommended that representatives of the Episcopal Church not vote on committees that make doctrinal and ecumenical decisions for the Anglican Communion for the next three years. This is not removal from the Anglican Communion—most of the real activities of the Anglican Communion, which are relationships between churches and programs like the Carpenter’s Kids—will continue unchanged. The Primates objected to the actions of General Convention that allow same gender persons to be married. Before they voted, Bishop Curry spoke to them:

Many of us have committed ourselves and our church to being ‘a house of prayer for all people,’ as the Bible says, when all are truly welcome … Our commitment to be an inclusive church is not based on a social theory or capitulation to the ways of the culture, but on our belief that the outstretched arms of Jesus on the cross are a sign of the very love of God reaching out to us all. While I understand that many disagree with us, our decision regarding marriage is based on the belief that the words of the Apostle Paul to the Galatians are true for the church today: “All who have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female, for all are one in Christ.”

Curry went on to tell the primates: “I stand before you as your brother. I stand before you as a descendant of African slaves, stolen from their native land, enslaved in a bitter bondage, and then even after emancipation, segregated and excluded in church and society. And this conjures that up again, and brings pain.

The pain for many will be real. But God is greater than anything. I love Jesus and I love the church. I am a Christian in the Anglican way. And like you, as we have said in this meeting, I am committed to ‘walking together’ with you as fellow primates in the Anglican family.

Bishop Michael Curry lives in the tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King.  He knows and teaches that abundant life is possible, but it is only possible through the struggle for justice, through insisting that God’s love is for all of God’s people. Is he a saint? We are all God’s saints, because that word saint, means a holy person of God. When we see clearly that a person is living and witnessing to the holy calling of our Holy God, it shines out in God’s splendor and glory that they are saints. Does that make them more than human? It does not. Bishop Michael was reflecting Christ’s light this week, even if next week he makes all the same missteps we all do. The same could be said for the life of Dr. King. The same could be said for any of us.

Dr. King and Bishop Curry know about that party with Jesus, they receive abundant life along with all those other wedding guests. We are invited to that party, to rejoice along with them, to celebrate the Kingdom of God, which emerges unexpectedly, even humorously. And we are invited to serve Jesus—as Mary, his mother, said to the other servants: “Do whatever he tells you.”

 

With you I am well pleased

A sermon for the Feast of the Baptism of Christ, First Sunday after Epiphany

January 10, 2016

Trinity Church of Morrisania, Bronx, New York

You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.
A month ago, I preached about John the Baptist, from a text just a few verses earlier in the Gospel of Luke. John preached that people should receive a baptism of repentance. The word that is translated repentance means “turning back.” Turning back to God, turning back to God’s righteousness, turning back to righteous behavior.  People asked him questions and he gave simple, direct answers: “What should we do?”—“Share what you have with those who don’t have anything.” When the tax collectors asked that he said, “Just collect what you’re assigned, don’t line your pockets with whatever you can take.” To the occupying soldiers: “Don’t extort, bully, or blackmail people.” In other words, follow the law; do what decent people know they should do; don’t try to get out of your responsibilities or get the advantage of people who are weaker or more vulnerable than you.

Simple. Maybe too simple for some. The problem is—and we all know this—is that people do their best to dodge these simple responsibilities, by making them seem more complex, by creating distractions to get out of things that might be a bit uncomfortable, or a lot uncomfortable. We all do it, at least some of the time.

We have been talking for the last few weeks of Jesus, the Son of God, coming into the world. He was there, with all the other people listening to John the Baptist. And he too came to be baptized.  Why? Wasn’t he perfect? Wasn’t he God’s Son? Yes. He was God’s Son come among us, as one of us. A human being from God’s perspective, living as we might, living as we can. As one of us he was baptized to turn us around to God’s righteousness. Turn all of us back, not just those who are courageous enough, or honest enough to follow John the Baptist’s challenge. And this call isn’t only for those who are somehow purer than the rest of us, or have nothing left to lose, so what’s the difference—might as well follow.  The Son of God has come to turn us all to God’s righteousness.

But how does he do that? What does that mean?

The voice from heaven says, “You are my Son, the Beloved, with you I am well pleased.”

Jesus is not John the Baptist, he embodies God’s love and mercy. When John talked about the one who was to come, that is, Jesus, he spoke about God’s judgment: “His winnowing fork is in his hand… the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” Yet the Spirit descends on Jesus who represents God’s mercy. God’s judgment and God’s mercy might be the same thing. If you look into the eyes of Jesus, who knows you like a wise mother or grandmother would know you, can you really say, “Oh, really it’s someone else’s fault. I’ll use that money that’s reserved for the poor in a much better way than they would. The world will be a better place if I’m a lot more comfortable?” Perhaps you can. But Jesus brings God’s mercy, even to those who have a worm gnawing at their insides because they have lied to the one who loves them most. Jesus, the Son of God, lives among us, as we should live with one another. Willing to turn, and return again to the love of God. He receives the baptism of John in the Jordan River, so that if we turn away from God, and use games or violence or falsehood so that we climb over others or put them down, Jesus is still there with God’s mercy, saying: Turn to God’s righteousness, to God’s love Owyhee_River Canyon and be saved. God’s mercy is demanding, but not defeating. Jesus came down to the water of that desert river to bring hope for the whole world.

The lectionary leaves out a few verses of this passage of Luke’s gospel. They inform us that Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee had John imprisoned for his preaching. Jesus didn’t come down into that water to make things easy for himself, or for any of us. Jesus went down in the water to bring God’s love to us—particularly in difficult times.

We join Jesus in his baptism, in our baptism we join the Kingdom of God. It’s not a contest, or an achievement. It’s an invitation home. That dove descended from heaven, and landed on Jesus—this is my beloved… the spirit descends on us as well. It is not a matter of signs or display, it is God’s healing love that we are talking about, not some instrument of our own. We—each one of you here—are God’s beloved. He brings forth the fruit, the ripe and nourishing grain, of lives simply lived with him, along the path with Jesus.

From today’s lesson from Isaiah:

Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you; I will say to the north, “Give them up,” and to the south, “Do not withhold; bring my sons from far away and my daughters from the end of the earth—everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”

Um … about that American Libraries article we wrote

Librarians are about the fair and unimpeded sharing of information. The publisher of American Libraries apparently thinks that the promotion of business relationships with commercial vendors trumps that.

Stewart Varner

As a professional rule, I try to keep things positive. I like to be a cheerleader for all the great people out there and avoid boosting the signal on a bunch of negativity.

However, situations compel me to devote this one post to something totally crappy.

TL;DR: Patricia Hswe and I wrote an article for American Libraries and the editors added some quotes from a vendor talking about their products without telling us. We asked them to fix it and they said no.

Because American Libraries refused to clarify what happened, we decided to clarify it ourselves. What follows is our second (and hopefully happier) attempt at collaborative writing. This little blog does not have quite the reach of that big glossy magazine so please feel free to share as widely as you want. As always, let me know if you have any questions!

svarner@email.unc.edu  ||  @stewartvarner

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