Category Archives: Episcopalian

Ash Wednesday Prayer From a Family Heirloom


This page is about the size of a playing card. It’s in a small Book of Common Prayer that belonged to one of my great-grandfather’s brothers.

I love the beginning of this Ash Wednesday prayer, which seems controversial in some theological circles even today: “Almighty and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that thou hast made…”

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When the neighborhood Anglican Church starts another Baptist Bible study


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When the neighborhood Anglican Church starts another Baptist Bible study. 

 

 
Photos from Pixabay.com

Questions for Anglicans and Episcopalians


Bishop Greg Brewer of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida has resigned from the Board of Trustees of Trinity School of Ministry.

The resignation is related to turmoil following his decision to baptize the adopted child of a same-sex couple.

In his resignation letter, Brewer writes:

“I am aware that in this heated climate of theological and moral controversy, there are fewer and fewer places within Anglicanism where we can agree to disagree.”

A question for Anglicans and Episcopalians:

If you cannot agree to disagree among yourselves, how are you going to bring new people into the church?

Maybe that question should be pondered at the current Episcopal General Convention.

The more conservative people ought to ask themselves, “How could a newcomer sing ‘Just As I Am’ in our church?”

The more liberal people ought to ask themselves, “What makes our church different from other types of social gatherings?”

The more conservative people could also ask themselves, “What makes our Anglican church distinctive from other forms of conservative, Bible-quoting Christianity?”

Postscript:

I recently heard a radio program about Howard Zinn, who wrote a play entitled, Marx in Soho. One of the characters asks something to the effect of, “Why is it that every movement of six people is trying to expel someone?”

The real Church of England


“Bishop Tom Wright and I were just two who were outraged at the misinformation, misrepresentation and selective re-writing of history presented to us.”

Earlier and parenthetically:

“I was once asked in Central Africa why one has to be gay to be ordained in the Church of England. I was asked in another country why the Church of England no longer reads the Bible and denies Jesus Christ. I could go on. When asked where this stuff has come from, the answer is that this is what a bishop has told them.”

Nick Baines's Blog

The Church of England is investing a huge amount of time and energy into re-shaping its agenda. Not in order to bolster the institution, but in order to get us back (amid a million claims on attention) to our core vocation: to make and nurture disciples of Jesus Christ; to grow disciples who pray into ministers who evangelise; to shape churches that give themselves away in serving their communities. Not simply growing churches for the sake of having big churches, but growing churches in all our communities – even and especially where it is tough.

I am working with lay and ordained Anglican disciples to shape a diocese that places worship, evangelism, nurture and service at the heart of our life. This will shape our priorities, how we raise and allocate our resources (of people, money and ‘stuff’), and how we shape and work our structures. We are attending seriously…

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Garrison Keillor’s apt, amusing analogy


I saw Garrison Keillor perform earlier tonight in Myrtle Beach. One of his stories — I can’t remember if it was from his own life or fictitious — was about growing up in a strict religious community. He said members of the community were supposed to just read the letters of Saint Paul and then, somehow, he guessed maybe through force of imagination, figure out what they were supposed to do and how they were supposed to be. Keillor said it was like going to see Swan Lake and expecting to become a ballerina.

11 things I love about the Episcopal Church


“I don’t always believe the words of the Nicene Creed. But I say them anyway. Sometimes they’re more a confession of desire than conviction, a statement of what I desperately hope to be true.”

Ben Irwin

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My faith was saved in a gutted-out shopping mall.

I had reached a point where I no longer believed in God’s love—or rather, I didn’t believe it was meant for me. I thought it was something reserved for God’s “chosen ones,” and I just couldn’t imagine myself as one of the lucky few.

It was a trendy church with a famous pastor and a hip worship band that helped me reassemble the pieces of my faith. I will always be thankful for that church.

At that time, I had no idea my journey would lead from that gutted-out shopping mall to an old red door. But it did. Today it’s the Eucharist, the stained glass windows, and the liturgies of the Episcopal Church that are breathing new life into my faith.

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I’m not alone, either. Lately I’ve been sifting through the stories of fellow travelers like Rachel Held Evans, Jonathan Martin

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Barna Group research suggest Millennials prefer quieter, liturgical, traditional church settings


I saw this Barna Group report, which was released last month, and I mentioned it on Facebook but forgot to post it here.

Before I repeat the most interesting (to me) statistics from Barna’s research, here’s a supporting personal anecdote, which I reported two years ago:

…I remember a story from a student at the campus where I teach, Coastal Carolina University. A young, zealous, Southern, evangelical student invited some Northeastern cradle-Catholics to a local rock-and-roll church — you know, one of the churches with “high-energy” worship, guaranteed never to be boring.

How did the Northeastern cradle-Catholics react to the rock-and-roll church? Were they surprised that church could be so cool? Were they delighted to hear a backbeat in the worship songs? Did they feel at ease around casual clothing?

No. They’re response was simple: “That’s not church,” they said.

I figure they had expected something a little less like the rest of their lives.

Church can be different from the surrounding culture in more ways than one (and that one way is usually moral pride).

I told that true story in the same post that noted a campus ministry at the College of William & Mary was offering “silence” and “incense” to students.

Barna: Millenials Research

Among “Millennials,” or adults 18-29 years old,

67 percent prefer “classic” church settings (33 percent “trendy”);

77 percent prefer “sanctuary” (23 percent “auditorium”);

67 percent prefer “quiet” (33 percent “loud”).

Follow the link and look at the visual preferences of this generation: Altars that could be from European cathedrals, and tall stained glass windows.