Episcopal Life Convention Daily
Thursday, 13 July 2000  

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Meditations mark simplicity

"They don't need me. You can't throw a rock around here without hitting a pastor," quipped the Rev. Frank Wade, chaplain of the House of Deputies.

The rector of St. Alban's in Washington, D.C., does lead each day's opening prayer, the noonday prayers and meditation, and is keeper of the intercessory prayer list for the deputies.

Since being offered the role last winter by House of Deputies president Pamela Chinnis, Wade has been collecting opening prayers from The Book of Common Prayer, the prayers of Lancelot Andrews, the newly published Women's Uncommon Prayers, and various litanies.

"The theme of Jubilee was obvious. I worked up the idea of telling the stories of what I call Jubilee people," Wade said, adding "Story has more doors in it, more ways to enter in and stories are more welcoming. General Convention, with all its concreteness, needs this as a counterpart to what we deal with."

For the noon devotions, Wade wrote daily meditations about seven remarkable people from history. He chose them because they "represent a basic truth: the importance of simplicity over complexity. They had a simple understanding of what they were about and a clarity about who they were and who they were to become," he added.

A graduate of the Citadel and Virginia Theological Seminary, he served 17 years in the Diocese of West Virginia before going to St. Alban's 17 years ago. This is his ninth convention as a deputy.

Last week's salt episode was a surprise for Wade, who was asked to intervene with prayer. "I don't remember a moment like it in all the conventions I've attended," he said. "First I prayed myself -- there is no chapter in the rules of order when something like this happens. I tried to recognize that there were many things for which to be thankful, felt the need to sing a song of praise and realized the need for God's grace in all things. Anybody who was there knew the Spirit was moving. The only thing for me to do was step out of the way."

Chaplain's meditations available on cassette

The noonday meditations by the House of Deputies chaplain, the Rev. Frank Wade, are available on audiocassette from the Episcopal Media Center.

Orders may be placed at Booth 77 in the Exhibit Hall. The series, titled "Jubilee Lives, Jubilee People," costs $10, including shipping.

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