Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


Taking our faith for a walk

Palm Sunday procession at King of PeacePalm Sunday involves some amateur theatrics, but there is a point to it. As the Rev. Boone Porter puts it, "For many Episcopalians such a procession will be the first time in their lives that they have marched out-of-doors for their Church. The procession is an act of worship offered to Christ, an act of witness offered to our community, and an act of devotion strengthening our own faith."

Thinking of our procession today as marching out of doors for our Church reminds me of a story in Barbara Brown Taylor’s book Bread of Angels. She wrote of taking part in a Martin Luther King Day march, which was to start from her church (which is by the way the church my parents attend), Grace-Calvary Episcopal Church to Mount Zion Baptist on the opposite side of the town square in Clarkesville, Georgia.

It was a not particularly big crowd from a variety of churches and backgrounds. As they got ready to march, they were warned that a group from the Ku Klux Klan awaited them on the square. The clergy was put out front as what she called “human air bags in case of collision.” The clergy were to absorb the impact of whatever awaited them and this gave Pastor Brown-Taylor a perfect view of what transpired. As the marchers turned the corner singing, “He’s got the whole world in his hands” men and women in white robes and pointed hats greeted them. She writes,
They did not hide their faces, which I appreciated. They just held up their signs so we could not miss them. One featured a picture of Dr. King’s head with a rifle viewfinder zeroed in on it. “Our dream came true,” it read. “James Earl Ray made our day,” said another, and a third proclaimed, “Christ is our King.”
Palm branches on the entry hall floor at King of Peace“He’s got you and me, brother, in his hands.” That is what we were singing as we turned the corner and walked away from them. “He’s got you and me, sister, in his hands.”

Pastor Brown-Taylor went on to write,
I was not scared anymore. I was mystified, because if the song was right—if what Paul said was true—then I had just walked past some members of my own body, who were as hard for me to accept as a cancer or a blocked artery. And if I did not accept them—if I let them remain separate from me the way they wanted me to—then I became one of them, one more of the people who insist that there are some people who cannot belong to the body.
The quote from Boone Porter and Barbara Brown-Taylor's story make me wonder about our procession. It was an act of worship and an act of faith. We did take our celebration outside of the church however briefly. What other ways might we be called to take our faith out of the church and into our community, and what affect might that have on us and on Camden County?

Photos from today, the sermon, and our Holy Week schedule of worship services are all online. Have a blessed Holy Week!

The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor + King of Peace Episcopal Church


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