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Monk in the Midst is a series of videos and blog posts by Bishop Tom Shaw, produced in 2012 and 2013 and focusing on Christian messages and what they mean to people outside the church.

Episcopalians numbering 650-plus joined Bishop Tom Shaw and an estimated 10,000 others in making a witness against gun violence by walking the Mother's Day Walk for Peace in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood on Sunday, May 12, 2013.  The Episcopal Church group walked in memory of Jorge Fuentes, 19, a young leader from St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Boston who was murdered in September 2012.  The benefit pledge walk is an annual event of the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute.  Learn more about the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts’ antiviolence work at www.diomass.org/b-peace.

Bishop Tom Shaw in this video makes a visit to the Boston Marathon memorial site and is moved to wonder how we are willing to get at the root causes of violence.  To learn more about the Diocese of Massachusetts' antiviolence work, visit www.diomass.org/b-peace.

A few years ago one of my younger brothers, Sam, in his early 60's, ran the Boston Marathon.  My family came from all over the country to support him and watch the marathon.  We had a great time, getting on and off the crowded Green Line subway trolleys, standing on the side of the road in Newton, following the race into Boston for the finale.  We loved being together in the spring weather, marathon fans and baseball fans, because there was a game that day, out in force celebrating the pure joy of this New England day.  I expect almost every one of us in eastern Massachusetts at one time or another, whether as a runner in the race, or supporter of a friend or family member or spectator, has had the same experience.

Bishop Tom Shaw in this video strikes up more coffee shop conversations to hear about how people see the church and what the cross symbolizes to them.  How would you describe what the cross means for you?

Bishop Tom Shaw in this video meets "Lucky" in a coffee shop and shares conversation about who God is and what he gets out of going to church.  (You know how it is in coffee shops, so go ahead and crank up the volume to catch all of it.  Here is a transcript.)  How does being in church fuel you?


It happens almost every Sunday on a visitation to one of the 185 congregations of our diocese.  At a vestry meeting, in a private conversation or in the open congregational meeting, more than a dozen people in one setting or another will tell me that they are now Episcopalians and that they have come to us from the Roman Catholic Church.

Bishop Tom Shaw in this video talks about how Lent is like a valentine.

Bishop Tom Shaw tells in this video of a subway station encounter and what sin is about.

“Rock solid” is how Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described the commitment of the United States to Israel as she arrived in Israel to help broker a ceasefire in Gaza.  That was, you might remember, back in mid-November when Hamas and Israel were lobbing rockets at each other across borders.  Since then, ahead of Israeli elections later in January, Prime Minister Netanyahu has advanced settlement plans around Jerusalem that would be a further obstacle to a two-state solution.

Bishop Tom Shaw of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts shares a story about how church “wrecks” Christmas.