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.


Parson—a representative person

I just got back from a service of prayer for John Paul II at Our Lady Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church in St. Marys. I was there representing King of Peace, showing our fellow Christians that they are alone neither in their grief at his death, nor in old picture of a country parsontheir desire to celebrate his life. It is part of my job, to represent our whole congregation on some occasions. Another example that comes to mind is when I showed up, check in hand, to let the congregation of First African Baptist Church know that we were praying for them after their building burned to the ground. It's sometimes impractical for us all to go and show our concern and so I go to represent the congregation.

This role of being a representative is where the old term, "parson" comes from. The word comes from the Middle English "persone," which in turn comes from Medieval Latin "persona." A parson is a representative person. The word literally means "person" and hopefully it is no surprise that pastors are regular people. But we are also called to be representative persons. Sometimes that is to represent others who can not be present, as at the death bed of a parishioner. Sometimes, it is to show what each person in the church can do, as in visiting a new baby or a sick person in the hospital. I can represent the kind of things all Christians can and should do. Of course, since I am a person, I get it wrong sometimes. But I do try to represent King of Peace well.

The deeper truth is that for people who know that you attend King of Peace, you already serve as a representative person as well. For good or ill, others will look at you to decide what King of Peace is like. Further, we all as Christians represent Christ. I know we do a bad job of it at times, but in the ways we get it right, we do sometimes let Jesus shine through us. Not that we are Jesus, or are even Christ-like, but we represent him everytime we reach out to someone in need.

Today's sermon: Competing Stories: which do you make your own is here online.

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


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