Tidings of comfort and joy? The holidays seem like weeks of frantic rushing for minutes of comfort and joy.
But this Advent season, if anything does give me comfort and joy, it’s the way local ACNA church members and Episcopal Church members are still meeting with one another — different sets of people, different venues, different occasions, but all warm and friendly.
This would seem highly unlikely, given the split of the Diocese of South Carolina into a diocese affiliated with the Anglican Church in North America and a diocese affiliated with The Episcopal Church.
But as I have experienced first-hand here in Myrtle Beach, local ACNA members and Episcopalians are still finding the time and the love to go out for meals together, to study together, to have drinks together, to share enthusiasms on social media together.
And it’s always good to see each other.
Leaders stake territory; friends stay together.
Posted in Anglican, Anglican Church in North American, Episcopal Church, Episcopalians, South Carolina
Tagged Advent, Anglican Church in North America, Christmas 2018, Diocese of South Carolina, friendship, Myrtle Beach, schism, South Carolina, The Episcopal Church
I was recently in a restaurant in Charlotte, catching up with several friends from the Queens MFA program, when I wandered over to Eileen in a high-ceiling bar with warm color tones and slightly dimmed lights.
“What are you drinking?” I asked, almost having to yell because of all the conversations happening around us.
“Jameson,” she said.
So I ordered Jameson, but the barkeep said he would have to go over to the other bar, on the other side of the restaurant.
“I only have Bushmills over here,” he said.
“That’s OK,” I hollered.
He said something back, like, “…religion card…”
But there was no salvaging the conversation within all the noise.
“Bushmills is fine,” I said, waving my hands.
As the waiter turned, Eileen explained. Jameson is the Irish Catholic whiskey, and Bushmills is the Irish Protestant whiskey.
This I did not know.
But with a simple toast of Jameson and Bushmills, we united Ireland and commenced with a friendly conversation about newspaper work and writing — things we share in common.
Edmund Husserl once said of his fellow philosopher Lev Shestov, “No one has ever attacked me so sharply as he. That’s why we are such close friends.”
From this article in The Jewish Week.
The Barna Group pollsters have released their survey of the most important relationships in the lives of Americans.
One of the most interesting findings (to me) came in a section regarding social networks. Participants were asked to rank which groups, like church, the workplace, hobby clubs, etc., were most important to them.
“Unexpectedly, residents of the West were more likely to list their church group than any other group,” the survey’s press release said.
Note that word unexpectedly. I guess that means we all have certain expectations of the West, that we presuppose it is a liberal-leaning part of the U.S. After all, according to the survey, only 12 percent of self-identified political liberals said their most important relationship was with God, versus 33 percent of political conservatives. So church wouldn’t seem like a priority in those states.
The Baylor University student newspaper reported on the Barna survey and included some interesting comments from the school’s reputable theologians (like Roger Olson) and religion-department scholars; the article is available here.
The Barna survey results are available here.
-Colin Foote Burch
Posted in Barna, Church, conservatives, God, politics, polls, religion, spirituality, surveys, United States
Tagged Barna, BaylorUniversity, Church, conservatives, faith, family, friendship, God, liberals, polls, relationships, religion, RogerOlson, spirituality, survey, theologians, United States