2014 Athena Awards Speech May 22, 2014

If I were to ask you to name some philanthropists, who would you think of? Raise your hands for Bill and Melinda Gates? Warren Buffet maybe? Oprah??? She gave $40 million in 2010. Did you know that Taylor Swift was actually the most generous celebrity donor in 2013? Would you call out your name? Probably […]

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annie fritschner

Silent No More

April 01, 2014   Posted by Sophie Magazine , Written and Photographed by Robin Reed Stunned and nearly speechless, the Rev. Annie Fritschner felt a flood of emotions sweep through her as she accepted the 2013 ATHENA International Award for Henderson County. “This is extremely, extremely personal and meaningful to me,” Annie told the crowd of predominantly women who had […]

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Hearts, Flowers and True Love

According to Nielson research, by Valentine’s Day 2014, we will have bought 86 million pounds of chocolate. We will have purchased about 144 million Valentine’s Day cards, and according to the Society of American Florists’ estimate, we will also have bought 200 million roses. The National Retail Federation estimates that $4 billion will be spent […]

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Maunday Thursday 2014

Let us pray: Loving God, we are just beginning to realize how much you love us. Your son, Jesus was humble and obedient. He fulfilled your will for him by becoming human and suffering with us. You gather us in this upper room with your son, to be fed by your love. At that supper, […]

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Why is Good Friday good?

I have a friend with whom I will be forever bound in my soul, because she and I used to weep together on this day. We went through the Episcopal equivalents of 4 years of Disciples’ class and a walk to Emmaus together, and every year, at this time, we would lose it. We cried […]

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Tomatoes and the Ministry of Choice

Father Ham, in khaki shorts, preached in the Fellowship Hall, as he does every Sunday. The sermon was on choices, how we have them. But in a room of people with no homes, no jobs, what choices do they think are theirs: which place to go for food, or who to ask for work, or […]

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Job, the Philanthropist

‘It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.’ This is from the Book The Invitation […]

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What the Athena Award means to Me April 2014

The Athena Leadership Model: The authentic self Relationships Giving back Collaboration Courageous acts Learning Fierce advocacy Celebration and joy Often I describe myself as a coward or a chicken. I have a big heart and have always led with it, but my head – the voices in my head – tell me I am afraid. […]

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Four Good Thoughts by Theodore Roosevelt, 1912

Fit yourself for the work God has for you to do in this world and lose no time about it. Have all the fun that is coming to you. Go ahead and do something and be willing to take responsibility. Learn by your mistakes.

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The 1st Sunday in Lent, Year B: Lent then Easter

A while ago I picked up a copy of the Asheville Citizen Times, announcing a new important business coming to town. But the next story over  was about a man who is accused of killing his girlfriend’s 4 year old son, the child she hit in the face and locked in a refrigerator. This horror […]

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