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.


Hiding a light or setting it on a hill?

Ave Maria, Florida
A recent post at Dancing on the Head of a Pin showed the plans for the town of Ave Maria, Florida, being built around the new Ave Maria University. The $200 million plans are being funded by Domino's founder Thomas Monaghan as what the Ave Maria website describes as "the first modern town to be developed in conjunction with a University."

The idea of a "a new dynamic Catholic and educational community" is perhaps not so troubling in and of itself. But it does seem to be of a piece with churches that create such an array of services under one roof (I've visited one mega church with a large restaurant and bookstore as well as an actual Starbucks in the lobby) that the faithful never need venture away from church. It also seems similar to the marketing efforts of the Christian book, movie and music industries which would have the faithful reading, watching and listening to things that would leave them no points of contact with non-Christians they do meet.

Jesus said that his followers are to be the "salt of the Earth" and "The Light of the world." Jesus went on to say
A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 5:13-16).
It brings to mind a conversation I had with a friend in Rome, Georgia. He was an attorney and a member of his church's board and was sharing with me his concerns when his church was building recreation facilities for its own league play. He wondered why the church should replicate services available elsewhere as it was in playing basketball or softball in a league that Christians could naturally hang out with non-Christians, and therefore be that salt or light, or whatever metaphor you want to use.

Ave Maria, FloridaIn fairness to the mega church referenced above, that church does encourage their members to be involved in non-church activities in the community as a way of sharing the Gospel not through some forced way, but through genuine networks of friendship. So perhaps I am seeing Ave Maria, Florida all wrong as well.

What do you think? By retreating to an almost entirely Roman Catholic enclave, are they hiding the Light of Christ or setting it on a hill (metaphorically speaking as this is Florida we are considering here)? How cut off from the rest of the world should Christians be?

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


  • At 8/23/2005 6:55 AM, Blogger Cathy said…

    "What do you think? By retreating to an almost entirely Roman Catholic enclave, are they hiding the Light of Christ or setting it on a hill (metaphorically speaking as this is Florida we are considering here)? How cut off from the rest of the world should Christians be?"

    As the true Anglican, I will sit on the fence - they are doing both - however, I beileve that it's funder certainly intends for it to be set on a hill as a beacon of light.
    As a lay person living in the Bible belt with Episcopalians being a minority, it sounds utopian and a breath of fresh air to be in a community of "like minded folks" - but it narrows what we "know and understand" as how the rest of the world lives. We can go into that shell and forget the hurts and needs of the outside world in our comfortable community. Or, if we use it wisely, we can use it as an oasis, and bring others to Christ through this "different world".
    Let's hope that Ave Maria can be an oasis for all, for both believers and non believers, and be a beacon of light that believers can shine to others.

  • At 7/29/2007 12:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This arrogant pretentious jerk ( Tom Monaghan) who claims to be influenced by C.S. Lewis' "mere christianity) perverts the plan of a famous architect and wonderful human (now deceased) E. Fay Jones, to alter and build this monstrosity dedicted to hypocrisy and judgemental values! All this while he sits on a plot of ground in Ann Arbour MI with a unfinished mansion designed by the same great man because it was "too austentacious" for his new set of values! He now calls it a "beautiful ruin", wouldn't it be more sensible to his alleged values to finish it, sell it, and donate the proceeds to the less fortunate; oh lets say AIDS research, the hungry etc. NO, that would mean he would have to give up some of his precious landholdings at Domino Farms, GOD forbid! This house was downsized once by Monaghan when Fay was alive due to his increased values because it was too big! He then made the comment; after looking at Fay's smaller revision; that "now it would be just another Fay Jones house". Fay's reply in his most condecending sarcastic humor was: "Whats wrong with that!" Monaghan went ahead with the building for a while and then decided instead of finishing to let it remain half built and sit and rot. Get a CLUE jerk! Now he is builing his little isolation from reality in Florida and the only building that Fay had designed is altered after his death by some perverse architect that Tommy hired. Monaghan's one regreat is that it is a few feet short of the record height of american cathedrals! What a twisted sense of morals! If anyone has any way of forwarding this to Tom Monaghan I would appreciate it! Tom my e-mail is


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