The New Northeast

tracking the Spirit in the Episcopal Diocese of Maine

Why me, Lord?

by Heidi Shott
Canon for Communication and Advocacy


He does have that ’70s Jesus thing going for him.

Of late I’ve been posing a question that was once asked by the venerable 20th Century theologian and Rhodes scholar, Kris Kristofferson.

“Why Me, Lord?”

It’s not that I’m facing some Sunday-Morning-Coming-Down existential crisis, far from it. It’s that I’m a slightly mystified as to why I’m propping up a wall in JFK’s international terminal waiting for the Royal Jordanian Airways ticket counter to open at 6 p.m.

It seems that I, along with six talented Episcopal writers and bloggers – and an additional 18 or so religion writers from other denominations – have been invited by the Jordan Tourism Board on a nine-day tour of “the other holy land.”

When the offer to apply first arrived in my inbox this summer, I was loath to believe it.

“What a great opportunity,” an encouraging Bishop Steve Lane offered by way of blessing several weeks later.

Then he said this: “But I also want you to represent my office on the Diocese of Maine pilgrimage to Israel and Palestine in late October.”

Two trips to the Middle East in five weeks with a little event called Diocesan Convention in between. As daunting and overwhelming as that seems, experiencing the hospitality of Jordan, which is often described as “a quiet house in a noisy neighborhood” in advance of a trip to Israel/Palestine where strife and violence, or the fear of it, are woven into the fabric of daily life offers an opportunity to bear witness to so many human stories. It’s an offer I can’t refuse, even if I’m not sure why I’ve been graced with it.

It is my great hope that I will find ways to do justice to the telling of a few people’s stories and the circumstances in which they find themselves and the way that God is at work in their midst.

My colleagues and I invite you to follow along with us. On various social media channels, we’ll use the hashtag #holyjordan. We’re a varied group in terms of both geography and vocation so our perspectives will, I hope, complement the our story-telling styles.

Please join us  – and join in – our Jordan journey.

Here are some posts already shared as we head out.

The Rev. Rosalind Hughes, rector of Church of the Epiphany, Euclid, Ohio
“Crossing the Jordan” at

The Rev. Tim Schenck, rector of St. John the Evangelist, Hingham, Mass.
“Journeying to Jordan (TODAY!)” at

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