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.

8/31/2005

Death in Liturgy

a monument to Oscar RomeroIn an email discussion group on worship to which I belong, there has been a recent discussion of people killed in worship services including Oscar Romero, who died celebrating communion, and Dr. Martin Luther King's mother, who was assassinated while playing the organ at Ebenezer Baptist Church.

The discussion then took a turn with an amazingly bleak turn story related by the Rev. Donald Schell:
The most startling story I've heard of death in the liturgy was from Frank Houdek, S.J., a superb teacher at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley. It's a story of another kind of violence.

One of Frank's teaching specialties was discernment - classical Jesuit stuff nuanced with contemporary theology and other sources as well, and a really fine apologetic and interpretation of all this in experience and storytelling. To explore the question of 'how we know God?' he had a whole list of ways and stories to go with them, silence, beauty, human love, and so on, and the last one (which took a strong story to make it clear) was God's absence, the void.

The story he told was that as a Jesuit novice in St. Louis, fifty plus years ago, his novice house had an notorious feuding pair of retired, old Jesuits; their feud was talked of throughout North America, though no one was sure how it had begun. They were about the same age and had probably been novices and seminarians together, and now they hadn't spoken to one another for years and years.

One morning Frank was serving one of the old men in at 'his mass' at an old-fashioned monastic church with as many small altars as there were clergy in the community. Suddenly the other priest at a nearby altar collapsed in a heap, and lay barely breathing, crumpled face down on the floor. His old despised adversary stopped 'his mass' and he and Frank rushed over and turned the gasping crumpled body face up so he could breathe, and when the dying man opened his eyes to see who it was, with his last breath he uttered the bitter words stored up for half a century, 'Take your God-damned hands off me you bastard.'

Frank described the darkness and void he felt in that moment as so bleak and intense and empty of God, that God's presence in the ordinary moment before was palpable. He said that recalling that event and the despairing anger of the old priest's end over many years, opened him to looking for and feeling the presence of God in ordinary moments.
I am horrified at the idea of two monks, both of whom were priests, nurturing such bitterness. It is an extreme example of the ways in which any of us can harbor anger, or feed a grudge.

Let the stark outline of this true story recall you to the healing Jesus has for you. Who do you need to forgive? What anger are you hanging on to? In the archives, there is a related religion column Forgive others and unlock your heart

Then there is Frank Houdek's teaching point itself that the moments in life when God seems most absent can help us be more in tune to God's presence in the ordinary moments of our lives.

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

3 Comments:

  • At 11/30/2011 5:29 PM, Anonymous Nadya Many said…

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8/30/2005

Julian of Norwich

In this latest installment of the seemingly endless procession of quizzes, I discovered that I am Julian or Norwich. I'm honored. Really. What a wonderful woman with whom to be compared.

Julian
You are Julian of Norwich! It's all about God, to
you. You're convinced that the world has a
happy ending. Everyone else is convinced that
you're a closet hippie, but you love them
anyway.


Which Saint Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

In his brief life of Julian for a website, James Kiefer notes,
The Lady Juliana was born about 1342, and when she was thirty years old, she became gravely ill and was expected to die. Julian of NorwichThen, on the seventh day, the medical crisis passed, and she had a series of fifteen visions, or "showings," in which she was led to contemplate the Passion of Christ. These brought her great peace and joy. She became an anchoress, living in a small hut near to the church in Norwich, where she devoted the rest of her life to prayer and contemplation of the meaning of her visions. The results of her meditations she wrote in a book called Revelations of Divine Love, available in modern English in a Penguin Paperback edition. During her lifetime, she became known as a counselor, whose advice combined spiritual insight with common sense, and many persons came to speak with her. Since her death, many more have found help in her writings.

The precise date of her death is uncertain.

Her book is a tender meditation on God's eternal and all-embracing love, as expressed to us in the Passion of Christ.

Julian of Norwich's HazelnutShe describes seeing God holding a tiny thing in his hand, like a small brown nut, which seemed so fragile and insignificant that she wondered why it did not crumble before her eyes. She understood that the thing was the entire created universe, which is as nothing compared to its Creator, and she was told, "God made it, God loves it, God keeps it."

She was concerned that sometimes when we are faced wiith a difficult moral decision, it seems that no matter which way we decide, we will have acted from motives that are less then completely pure, so that neither decision is defensible. She finally wrote: "It is enough to be sure of the deed. Our courteous Lord will deign to redeem the motive."

A matter that greatly troubled her was the fate of those who through no fault of their own had never heard the Gospel. She never received a direct answer to her questions about them, except to be told that whatever God does is done in Love, and therefore "that all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well."
The amazing things is that the word saints in scripture is Greek for "Holy Ones" and it refers to every one of us. We, like Julian, are not a "holy One" because of our holiness, but because of Christ's holiness. It is in following Jesus that we are saints, whether anyone proclaims us as one or not.

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

2 Comments:

  • At 8/30/2005 12:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I totally see this... the quiz said I was Joan of Arc! "You don't really want to hurt anyone, but if they attack your friends or your country and no-one else will stand up to fight them, you head into the battle. Beware though, conviction tends to get you killed." That's nice.
    Shannon C.

     
  • At 9/19/2006 8:54 PM, Blogger Robert said…

    I'm Julian, Wow! I like happy endings and I want to know God and feel the connection. I think I need to read more about Julian of Norwich.

    Thanks,
    God's Peace,
    Bob

     

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8/29/2005

The lighter side of faith


Belief.net had a contest for the best religious bumper stickers. The winner is pictured above. Also rans were quite varied and included
If God didn't want us to eat animals, why did he make them out of meat?
Come the rapture, can I have your car?
Lord, help me to be the person my dog thinks I am

They also offer the Religious light bulb jokes including
Q: How Many Episcopalians does in take to change a light bulb?
A: Eight.
One to call the electrician, and seven to say how much they liked the old one better.

And if neither of the above cause a laugh, there is always belief.net's religious joke of the day. One recent example: One beautiful Sunday morning, a minister announced to his congregation: "My good people, I have here in my hands three sermons... a $100 sermon that lasts five minutes, a $50 sermon that lasts fifteen minutes, and a $10 sermon that lasts a full hour. Now, we'll take the collection and see which one I'll deliver."

One last bad joke for today: A priest, a minister and a rabbi walk into a bar. The bartender looks up and says, "What is this, a joke?"

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8/28/2005

Fair Warning

a warning label for Christianity created by the Rev. Frank Logue
The 19th century Danish Philosopher Søren Kierkegaard wrote
I wonder if a man handing another man an extremely sharp, polished, two-edged instrument would hand it over with air, gestures, and expression of one delivering a bouquet of flowers? Would not this be madness? What does one do, then? Convinced of the excellence of the dangerous instrument, one recommends it unreservedly, to be sure, but in such as way that one warns against it.
As someone very interested in the renewing of Christianity, Kierkegaard was allergic to weaker expressions of faith and wanted his fellow Christians to understand how dangerous living into our faith in Jesus can and should be. Today's sermon, Finding Your Cross: The Warning Label Sermon is online.

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8/27/2005

Bearing the Cross

In the Gospel reading for tomorrow Jesus says, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." Commenting on Jesus words in his great work The Imitation of Christ, Thomas à Kempis (c. 1380-1471) wrote,
There will always be many who love Christ's heavenly kingdom, but few who will bear his cross. Jesus has many who desire consolation, but few who care for adversity. He finds many to share his table, but few who will join him in fasting. Many are eager to be happy with him; few wish to suffer anything for him. Many will follow him as far as the breaking of bread, but few will remain to drink from his passion. Many are awed by his miracles, few accept the shame of his cross.

Many love Christ as long as they encounter no hardship; many praise and bless him as long as they receive some comfort from him. But if Jesus hides himself and leaves them for a while, they either start complaining or become dejected. Those, on the contrary, who love him for his own sake and not for any comfort of their own, praise him both in trial and anguish of heart as well as in the bliss of consolation. Even if Jesus should never comfort them, they would continue to praise and thank him. What power there is in a pure love for Jesus - love that is free from all self-interest and self-love!

Do not those who always seek consolation deserve to be called mercenaries? Do not those who always contemplate their own profit and gain prove that they love themselves rather than Christ? Where can we find anyone who is willing to serve God for nothing? It is surely rare to find a person spiritual enough to strip himself of all earthly things. And where can we find anyone so truly poor in spirit that he is free from being dependent on created things? Such a person is worth far more than the jewels brought from the most distant lands.

If one were to give all his wealth, it is nothing. If he were to try and make amends for all his sins, it is worth little. If he excelled in learning and knowledge, he is still far afield. If he had great virtue and much ardent devotion, he still would lack a great deal, and especially the one thing that is most necessary to him. What is this one thing? He must give up everything, especially himself, retaining no private store of selfish desires. Then, when he has done all that he knows ought to be done, let him consider it as nothing. He should not bask in any applause he may receive, but consider himself an ordinary servant. As it says in the Gospel, "When you have done everything you were told to do, you should say, 'I am an unworthy servant; I have only done my duty'" (Luke 17:10).

Many find the command, "Deny thyself, take up your cross and follow Me" (Matt. 16:24) too hard. But it will be much harder to hear that final word: "Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the everlasting fire" (Matt. 25:41). Those who hear the word of the cross and follow it willingly now, need not fear judgment. This sign of the cross will be in the heavens when the Lord comes to judge. Then everyone who serves the cross, who in this life made themselves one with the Crucified, will draw near with confidence to Christ, the judge.

Why, then, do you fear to take up the cross when through it you can win the kingdom? There is no salvation or hope of everlasting life but in the cross.
As Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889-1929) put it "If we do not bear the cross of the Master, we will have to bear the cross of the world, with all its earthly goods. Which cross have you taken up? Pause and consider."

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8/26/2005

How we got the Bible

Everyone in America has an opinion on the Bible even if they have not read it. Every American household even owns an average of 2.2 copies of the Bible so it is easy to lay your hands on a copy to read. But what is the process by which we received this bestselling book of all time?

This past Wednesday as a part of our study "Beyond the DaVinci Code" we took a brief look at that process. The handout on How we got the Bible is available here in Adobe .PDF format. It is a very different story from the one told in The DaVinci Code, which says that the Pagan Roman Emperor Constantine put the collection together to suit his purposes. Instead we have a lot of evidence of the works now found in our Bible being read in Christian churches from long before Constantine and the only official church council on the issue (The Council of Carthage) met in 367 A.D., well after Constatine's death.

One good website on this process is The Development of the New Testament Canon which includes links to the full text of works that did not make it into the Bible.

Rest assured that we do know a lot about how we got the Bible and the criteria for what was included and what wasn't. This does not make the words of scripture any less the Word of God. In the Episcopal Church, we look at the text of scripture sacramentally. Just as the very real bread and wine of communion are made by human hands, yet convey God's presence, so too humans wrote the text of scripture which we know to convey God's presence just as surely. In fact, the more we find out about the text, the more we discover God is present in and through those words, which are as inspired when you read them today as they were in the process of writing 1900 years ago and more.

Bishop Louttit and priests laying hands on Frank Logue during his ordinationIn unrelated news, today marks the fifth anniversary of my ordination to the Priesthood. Thanks be to God for the many amazing things God has done in our midst at King of Peace during those years—the many lives changed for the better, the 41 baptisms, the weddings, the funerals and the many times I have had the honor to preach and celebrate communion—and yet it is impossible not to feel that God was able to accomplish these things more in spite of me than because of me. For all this, I am thankful.

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

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8/25/2005

Some trust in chariots...

The independent Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) has voted down the Department of Defense proposal—the New London Base stays open and the thousands of highly anticipated new residents will not move to Camden County. This morning's Florida Times-Union covers the story with lots of quotes from officials here in the Kings Bay area.

Many in this area had begun to move in reaction to the Department of Defense recommendations. Property values rose sharply and business plans were being hastily put together. It was hard not to count the chickens before they were hatched.

What happens to economic development in this area now? We trust in God. That was the plan all along.

The Prophet Isaiah wrote,
Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help And rely on horses, And trust in chariots because they are many And in horsemen because they are very strong, But they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the LORD!"
Chariots and horses were the top weapons in the arms race of 700 B.C. and Isaiah knew that many in Israel depended on the chariots and horses to protect their nation and did not trust in God for their needs.

Some have trusted in BRAC to care for their needs. Now we are back to Plan A, trusting in the Lord our God to care for the people of Camden County.

And speaking of caring for the people of Camden, there are important ways in which we Christians are to take part in what God desires to do for God's people. The Times-Union article notes that Camden County Commission Chair David Rainer said developers' plans to build affordable housing in the county, as a result of the possible closure of New London, are likely to be scrapped. Unfortunately, Rainer is probably speaking the truth.

Yet, we should not loose the focus on providing quality housing under $100,000. Habitat for Humanity continues to chip away at the problems of safe, decent and affordable housing (Habitat families pay for the house with a no interest loan), but our community needs to address this large need through other avenues as well.

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

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8/24/2005

Advocating assasination?

On this past Monday's 700 Club show, Pat Robertson advocated assassination of Venezuala's President Hugo Chavez saying,
Pat RobertsonYou know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it. It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war."
Time Magazine explains how Robertson's comments help Chavez. As of now, Robertson has made no additional comments concerning the statements he made on the show. Though his statement has incited comment from practically everyone else, including the editorial in today's Miami Herald, asking the FCC to consider fining Robertson.

Hugo ChavezWhile Robertson could be being widely quoted out of context, it does give us pause to consider what we, as Christians, say about the use of force. These are not statements we should make or take lightly as Jesus said,
You have heard that it was said, `You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.—Matthew 5:43-48
Jesus ChristFollowing Jesus' teaching is not easy, but it has to be better to follow the hard path set by our Lord than taking the path that seems easier, but is so clearly the way of the world. Jesus willingly died on the cross rather than raise a hand against those who put him to death and he called those who follow him to be peacemakers.

Of course, Christian history has not always been so simple and quite a lot of thought has gone into Just War Theory, to decide when the use of force might be justified. The Adobe .PDF format booklet on Just War Theory from the Christian Ethics class held at King of Peace earlier this year, gives what Christianity has traditionally taught about the use of force. There is also a Tribune & Georgian religion column on Just War in the archives.

What do you think? Assasination is cheaper than starting a war, but can assasination be justified? When are Christians justified in advocating the use of force?

1 Comments:

  • At 8/25/2005 7:22 AM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    During the day on Wednesday, Pat Robertson apologized for his remarks saying in part, "Is it right to call for assassination? No, and I apologize for that statement. I spoke in frustration that we should accommodate the man who thinks the U.S. is out to kill him."

     

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8/23/2005

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?

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

2 Comments:

  • 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.
    Cathy

     
  • 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 plantjs1965@yahoo.com

     

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8/22/2005

A cycle of renewal

The current issue of Newsweek features a cover story on Spirituality in America. The article mentions an April 8, 1966 cover story in Time magazine asking Is God Dead? The Newsweek article answers with some hindsight
Newsweek coverWhat was dying in 1966 was a well-meaning but arid theology born of rationalism: a wavering trumpet call for ethical behavior, a search for meaning in a letter to the editor in favor of civil rights. What would be born in its stead, in a cycle of renewal that has played itself out many times since the Temple of Solomon, was a passion for an immediate, transcendent experience of God.
Click on the magazine cover to read the text of the article which looks at the breadth of current spiritual quests in America. There is also a joint Belief.Net/Newsweek poll on spirituality found online here which found among other things that
Seventy-nine percent said they pray at least once a week compared to 45% who said they went to worship services during that time.
In the King of Peace archives is the sermon Thoroughly Postmodern Paul which relates in its assertion that
When Nietzsche declared that God is dead, he wasn’t completely wrong. But if God was dead, whose god was dead? Perhaps it was the god of Immanuel Kant who wrote of religion within the limits of reason alone. The Enlightenment killed the god of reason and the philosophers, not the one true God. The death of Nietzsche’s god was no great loss as the god who was killed off by the 19th and 20th century thinkers had only been invented in the 17th century.
And after reading through Newsweek's take on spirituality in America, you may want to peruse the Spirituality page at the King of Peace website for its related links.

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8/21/2005

To the glory of God

I am often struck by the care that goes into the altar linens, seen up close by so few. The delicately stitched cloths have beautiful designs—a cross and vine, a lamb or wheat and grapes. The same cloths are lovingly washed, ironed and folded just so. The attention to detail speaks volumes about the importance we as a congregation place upon our common worship, our worship space and the items we use in worship. The 19th century Danish philospher Søren Kierkegaard captures this in his work, Purity of Heart

altar linenes in use in worshipWhen a woman makes an altar cloth, so far as she is able, she makes every flower as lovely as the graceful flowers of the field, as far as she is able, every star sparkling as the glistening stars of the night. She withholds nothing, but uses the most precious things she possesses. She sells off every other claim upon her life that she may purchase the most uninterupted and favorable time of the day and night for her one and only, for her beloved work. But when the cloth is finished and put to its sacred use: then she is deeply distressed if someone should make the mistake of looking at her art, instead of the meaning of the cloth; or make the mistake of looking at a defect, instead of at the meaning of the cloth. For she could not work the sacred meaning into the cloth itself, nor could she sew it on the cloth as though it were one more ornament.
How can we put such care into whatever God calls us to do that others see our work as being to the glory of God. If this is difficult, as Kierkegaard states, for the woman sewing an altar cloth, how much more so for the soldier, policeman, teacher, real estate agent, banker and so on. Yet each of us is called to do just that. The meaning of our work, no matter what we do, is that we do it as if our work is God's glory.

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

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8/20/2005

THE One-who-is-to-come


In tomorrow's Gospel reading Jesus asks his disciples, "Who do you say that I am?" Peter responds making up for everything said about him in last Sunday's sermon, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God."

Bill Fletcher from Aotearoa-New Zealand writes of this passage at his Doing as Jesus Commands page,
Matthew's gospel is built around the coming of "The One". Only Jesus uses the title, "Son of man" (in Hebrew = a man, THE Man, or humankind in general). In the Book of Daniel the phrase is used to describe a glorious figure, who was to receive from God the kingdom to come! By asking the question, Jesus shows interest in what people were thinking about the "One-who-is-to-come".

John the Baptist, Elijah and Jeremiah - were all fiery personalities. They were prophets, who raised questions about evil powers & corrupt authorities; about the government of the time. People had been saying Jesus was a new John, or a prophet, or a new judge! By the question, Matthew identifies Jesus with "the One". Opposition to Jesus had come into the open. He asks the disciples what they think about "the One". Simon Peter said: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (v.16).

In other words Peter proclaims: "Jesus, you are the messiah." The rest were saying Jesus was, "a new prophet". Peter says "Jesus, you are THE One-who-is-to-come; YOU are the Messiah! You aren't merely announcing the reigning of God - the prophets had already done that!! "With You the reigning of God comes!" Jesus replied: "Simon, Son of Jonah, you are a blessed man! Because it was no human agency that revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven" (v.17).

People couldn't know that Jesus was the Messiah or "THE One" if they hadn't noticed any change! Jesus had to be another prophet. A poorly dressed, humble, working-man prophet at that! They didn't see anything in Jesus, resembling the reigning of God!! But Peter understood Jesus was more than a prophet! Peter understood that Jesus was "THE One-who-was-to-come"; The One who is to fulfil the words of the prophets.
You can read the full text here.

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8/19/2005

Being Episcopal

I have often said that when I took this job, I told the Bishop that I did not think growing the Episcopal Church was worth ten minutes of my time, but that I was willing to give my life to expand the Kingdom of God. It wasn't that I had anything against the Episcopal Church. After all, I had made a conscious choice in favor of the Episcopal Church after college, having grown up in the Church of God denomination. It was and is the home for me within the Body of Christ. But that doesn't mean I feel that our denomination, and the Anglican Communion of which it is a part, has a corner on the God market. God is bigger than any denomination.

click here to find out more about this logo shieldWith all that said, the Episcopal Church does benefit from deep traditions within the Christian faith. One place to find out more is at The Diocese of Texas' Episcopal Primer with it's brief introduction to being an Episcopalian, The Creeds, The Book of Common Prayer, the sacraments, and Scripture, Tradition and Reason. Go to any of the links above and click "previous" or "next" to get to the others without coming back to this page.

Perhaps, like me, you'll find the Episcopal Church to be the denomination where you can best live into your faith in Jesus Christ.

Some other related information in the King of Peace archives is located at:
How we worship
We are the messy, mystical Body of Christ
Ah Church, It's bigger than you and you are not me

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

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8/18/2005

Rest in Peace Brother Roger

Brother RogerThe epitaph Rest in Peace seems more appropriate than usual for Brother Roger Schutz. The Monk who led an interdenominational monastery of monks from around the world was stabbed in the throat three times during evening prayer Tuesday by a deranged Romanian woman. Death was immediate. 2,500 people watched in horror as murder interrupted the worship service.

During World War II, the Lutheran pastor formed an ecumenical religious community to live in peace in that time of war. The elderly minister founded the Taizé monastic community in 1940 after leaving Switzerland by bicycle at the age of 25 and buying a small house in the village after a woman told him that villagers there were lonely. Today Taizé is made up of over 100 brothers, including Catholics and Protestants, from more than 25 nations. The community is known for its distinctive worship with its emphasis on silence and on its style of chant, known as Taizé which uses a simple repeated refrain to amazing effect.

His obiturary from The Times of London says in part
Though Taizé began as a community for Protestant men, concentrating on prayer, self-supporting work and caring activities, this tiny Burgundian village has become a centre of world pilgrimage where tens of thousands of young people have sensed that reconciliation between nations and churches is being lived out in practice.

The charisma of this frail and sensitive Swiss pastor without oratorical gifts has attracted more young people than any other religious leader in Europe, Catholic or Protestant. He linked prayer and the fight against injustice using the phrase “struggle and contemplation”. Worship three times a day is part of a life which includes a farm co-operative, a printing press and studios for painting and pottery.
The succesor the 90-year old had already named will be a German Catholic, underscoring the unique ecumenical nature of the Taizé Community.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams said on Wednesday, “This is an indescribable shock. Brother Roger was one of the best loved Christian leaders of our time, and hundreds of thousands will be feeling his loss very personally, and remembering him in prayer and gratitude."

An editorial in the Telegraph (UK) said,
His life also successfully reconciled the tension between active engagement in the world and the monastic withdrawal that prefigures the hereafter. In a recent public letter, he observed how we must "love life on earth, and at the same time long for a beyond, for a life that will never end".
For more information, see the article from The Times, London and the The Times obituary as well as the the story in today's New York Times.

You may listen to Taizé chant here in the song Mon Ame Se Repose which means "my soul is at rest or sample a whole CD here at Amazon.com with the CD we often use as background music for the labyrinth.

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8/17/2005

Sacramentality

In the seemingly unending procession of online quizzes, I recently tried "What is your model of the church?" and discovered (to no surprise) that I am sacramental and then come closest to servant model and scored the lowest on the institutional model. Here are the results:

You scored as Sacrament model. Your model of the church is Sacrament. The church is the effective sign of the revelation that is the person of Jesus Christ. Christians are transformed by Christ and then become a beacon of Christ wherever they go. This model has a remarkable capacity for integrating other models of the church.

Sacrament model

84%

Servant Model

78%

Mystical Communion Model

72%

Herald Model

44%

Institutional Model

22%

What is your model of the church? [Dulles]
created with QuizFarm.com

You can take the quiz yourself at the link above.

So what exactly is sacramental? One way to answer the question is to point to the sacraments of the church. The primary sacraments of the church are the two instituted by Jesus during his ministry, which are baptism and communion. The other sacraments of the church are confirmation, ordination, marriage, reconciliation of a penitent (confession), and prayers for healing and for the dying.

A sacrament is something that conveys God's presence in the here and now. Our Prayer Book defines a sacrament as "an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace." This means that the bread and wine of communion are the outward and visible signs of the inward grace (meaning gift from God) of Jesus' presence. The water of baptism is the outward sign of the inward grace of cleansing from sin. The outward signs in the other sacraments are oil and rings and the laying on of hands. But we know that these are not the only things that can convey God's presence.

We can experience God in a powerful in a hike through a canyon, or by watching a sunset or through the birth of a baby. World War II era Archbishop of Canterbury William Temple declared that we live in a "sacramental universe" meaning that everything can and does show us God's presence in our lives. The poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning spoke of the sacramental universe through some oft-quoted lines,

Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees takes off his shoes,
The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.
The quiz pegged me correctly, I do agree with Temple and Browning that everything and every place is potentially the moment of The Burning Bush as all creation is marinated in God's abiding presence.

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

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8/16/2005

The Geranium Farm

Irenic Thoughts is, of course, not an original creation. Not only did we not create the idea of a blog, we didn't create a daily church blog. While it would be hard to know who was the first, within the Episcopal Church, it would be safe to venture that the best known is The Geranium Farm. Created in 2001 by The Rev. Barbara Cawthorne Crafton as "The Almost-Daily eMo from St. Clement's-in-the-'Hood."

As Crafton recalls at her website
I began to write them in the spring of 2001, as a way to provide my parishioners with a meditation they could use in their daily prayer. They spread quickly. By the time I retired from parish ministry at the beginning of 2002, there were almost 1000 recipients. Today, there are at least 10,000, and probably many times that number: one of the characteristics of Internet communication is that it is impossible to measure its reach.
The most recent entry is the August 15th post Church Shoes. Crafton's site has expanded and the Farm now includes "Hodgepodge" by Debbie Sharp Loeb and "More or Less Church" by Deacon J and more. It was a small idea that grew into something more than one might have imagined from its beginnings, perhaps not unlike a mustard seed...

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  • At 8/16/2005 7:13 AM, Blogger Cathy said…

    Crafton's emails are a great way to start or end your day. You can get it as an email "almost every day" - so many are thought provoking!
    Cathy

     

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8/15/2005

Mary, full of grace

Today is the day in the church year when we remember Mary, the mother of Jesus. Laying aside the things Marian which divide some Christians—acts of devotion to Mary—it is worth pausing to consider the fact that we know of her at all. Mary was a poor girl from a small town on the backside of no where. All Christians can agree that the only reason we know she existed at all was that God noticed Mary first. And in this we see how differently God sees the world than we do. God sees the content of your heart and not your house, or bank balance, or job, or car, or any of the other things with which we impress one another.

So perhaps this day for rememberance of the Virgin Mary, is a good day for recalubrating how we see those in the world about us. The Occasional Rev., David Hall, spent the summer in a medical mission trip and followed it with an immersion course in Spanish. Between the two, he was in Honduras and Guatamala for several weeks this summer and writes of the experience saying,
Actually, the time away proves to me once again that I and we just have no clue how good we have it. In Honduras, we worked in a village that had electricity for the first time this year. Their running water comes out of communal spout and it is anything but pure. Most of the people suffer from parasitic infection - a problem largely unknown in the U.S. Antigua, Guatemala may be a tourist town, but poverty is everywhere. I had the chance to visit an interfaith ministry working with children who are homeless and live at the town dump. They bring hope to people living beyond our ever so limited imaginations.

Traveling always reminds me that we are the exception rather than the norm. My heart and conscience scream wondering why the world doesn't do something about this. We will spend billions to go to war, but so little to help the hungry not at war. When I talk about medical teams and mission groups in 3rd World countries, I am amazed at those who question why we need to go off somewhere to offer the ministry of Christ. Aren't there people right here who need the help? Of course there are and there are people in Honduras and Guatemala and Africa and Asia who need help as well and the teachings of Jesus relieve us from none of that responsibility. We are to love all of our neighbors and loving in Christ's name does not involve sitting on our comfortable backsides helping no one and questioning why anyone would.

The whole post is online here.

Short term mission trips are a way to see Christ in the faces of some people whose lives are very different from your own. We know that this is how God sees the world, for God once chose the outwardly unlikely Mary to be the God-bearer as the Orthodox Christians call her.

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

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8/14/2005

Peace in thin places

click to see more photos from the pool party
Swimming. Flipping into the water. Diving. Even a belly-flop contest. It wouldn't seem restful. click to see more photos from the pool partyYet, the annual King of Peace pool party was not without its peacefulness, though perhaps at a deeper level than what you could see in the outward activity.

The party was held at Honey Creek, the Diocese of Georgia's camp and conference center on Dover Bluff Road at the northern end of Camden Couty. Several people commented on the serenity, "It's so peaceful here." It was hard not to think it—Peace. How is it that some places can be peaceful, Holy. Reliably, dependably places of peace. Isn't God present everywhere?

In Celtic Christian thought, which is part of our Anglican tradition, there is the idea that some places are thin. In these thin places, the boundary between our world of daily experience and the life of the world to come are barely separated. In these thin places we more easily experience the peace and holiness of the Kingdom of God.

If so, then Honey Creek is definitely one of those places. People often comment on the holiness and peacefulness of our camp and conference center, even when being there only for a pool party. What a blessing to have such a place right here in Camden County.

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

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8/13/2005

Faith that melts barriers

the Canaanite woman with JesusIn tomorrow's Gospel reading Jesus tells a Canaanite woman who asks for her daughter to be healed,
I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel...It is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs.
The woman stands up to Jesus saying,
Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table.
Jesus compliments to woman's great faith and her daughter is healed from that moment.

Harry Denman, a lay preacher from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma writes of this encounter in his sermon for tomorrow found at the Episcopal website Worship That Works,
the Canaanite woman with JesusWhy is it that the poor and the outcast are so often the ones who recognize Jesus? The vast majority of our ancestors—slaves or free—that landed on the shores of an uncertain land, were either poor or outcasts, yet they brought with them a personal faith. They sensed the grace of God that guided them across stormy seas and gave them stamina to withstand the brutality of chains and unruly ship captains. It has been said that, “If they had less to lose in the eyes of others, then Jesus’ message of acceptance was a welcome mat for hope in the future.”

The Canaanite women would not accept the idea that Jesus was only sent for certain people. Her faith melted that barrier. It calls all of us to receive what Jesus has to offer. Our collect for today says, “Give us grace to receive thankfully the fruits of his redeeming work, and to follow daily in the blessed steps of his most holy life.” His redeeming work is poured out for the likes of us: warts and all.

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8/12/2005

More than ribbons


Our preschool students created cards and other artwork for the soldiers of Charlie Company of the Georgia National Guard's 48th infantry. The kids did not understand the grief the soldiers experience having recently suffered 11 deaths in the 48th. But with many of them having their own fathers away at sea for as much as half the year, they do understand a father being far from home.

Together with the kids' creations (which will be the soldiers favorite now doubt), the mission council (church board) also decided to buy some phone cards and a few DVDs for a little extra something from home.

My religion column for today's issue of the Tribune & Georgian is called Support our troops with more than ribbons and it tells about "heroes in Kevlar" and goes on to say in part,
Back home, cars are decorated with magnetic ribbons proudly declaring “We support our troops” and similar sayings. But if all one does is buy a magnetic ribbon, were the troops the ones supported or was it the Chinese magnetic ribbon makers? This is not to belittle the ribbons. They are, after all, a tangible sign for one another that our friends and loved ones are currently serving in a very hostile environment.

Instead of criticizing the bumper stickers, I want to expand ideas about how to make that support tangible. After all, no matter what one feels about the war, we can all agree that we need to support those who are serving in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Persian Gulf area.
The article goes on to give two concrete suggestions for supporting our troops. The pictures here show us following through on one of the suggestions. You can visit our online prayer vigil to follow through on the second.

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

1 Comments:

  • At 8/12/2005 8:36 AM, Blogger Cathy said…

    Thank you for sharing that post. As a preschool special education teacher on the other side of the Diocese of Georgia and reader of your blog, it warms the heart to see the ministry King of Peace's preschool offers the community tothe very youngest children and their families. Enjoyed the pictures of the kids! Keeping them still for a picture is no easy task!
    Cathy

     

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8/11/2005

Heaven

Would you know my name
If I saw you in heaven
Will it be the same
If I saw you in heaven
—Eric Clapton (1945- )

For the Christian, heaven is where Jesus is. We do not need to speculate on what heaven will be like. It is enough to know that we will be for ever with Him.—William Barclay (1907-1978)

I had a million questions to ask God: but when I met Him, they all fled my mind; and it didn't seem to matter.
—Christopher Morley (1890-1957)

The main object of religion is not to get a man into heaven, but to get heaven into him.—Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)

Heaven goes by favor; if it went by merit, you would stay out and your dog would go in.—Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Who seeks for Heaven alone to save his soul
May keep the path, but will not reach the goal;
While he who walks in love may wander far,
Yet God will bring him where the blessed are.
- Henry Jackson van Dyke (1822-1891)

Our walls of division do not rise all the way to heaven.
—Philaret of Moscow (1782-1867)

If I am not allowed to laugh in heaven, I don't want to go there.—Martin Luther (1483-1546)

All the way to Heaven is Heaven.
—Catherine of Siena (1347-1380)

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth,
where moth and rust doth corrupt,
and where thieves break through and steal:
But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt,
and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
For where your treasure is,
there will your heart be also.
—Jesus
(Matthew 6:19-21)

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8/10/2005

Rare form of art

Ben Long's frescoe of the conversion of St. PaulFrescoes are created through a painstaking process of mixing powdered pigments with water and applying the color to fresh lime plaster so that the pigment is absorbed into the plaster. The painting and the plaster wall are one. This nearly dead Renaissance era form of art takes great patience as well as artistic talent and technical prowess. Artist Ben Long created two wonderful new pieces of work for St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. More photos and information on that project is online here.

The book Wet Wall Tatoos is about Long's battle of wills with a priest over a two-year long fresco project in Charlotte, North Carolina. The book jacket copy refers to Long as
a talented, complex man who learned his craft from teachers as different as his evangelist grandfather and an Italian master, in places as diverse as Vietnam and Florence—a man bucking the tide of contemporary art in his effort to create something of lasting beauty.
Long came to some notoriety for his work through St. Marys in Ashe County, now known as "The Church of the Frescoes" for his works completed there in the mid to late 1970s. More on that project is online here.

Now for something completely different
Christi S. sent a link to a Noah's Ark matching game online. It is fast-paced and mentally challenging. No kidding. The game is kid tested (Jaylee loved it!) and mother approved (Christi sent out the recommendation). What else can one ask for?

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8/09/2005

Beloved Welcome

Church of the Beloved
Not to belabor one point above all others, but I did read something yesterday about being a welcoming church that I thought worth note. The Rev. Richard Laribee continues his sabbatical visits to other churches and most recently reported on Church of the Beloved in Charlotte, North Carolina. It caused my ears to prick up as Church of the Beloved was planted as a new church when I was in seminary studying church planting and so I followed that congregation by web on their wonderful website.

So I was not only pleased, but oddly proud (though I have no connection to the church other than following their launch from afar) that Laribee wrote,
Of all the congregations we have ever visited, of any denomination, anywhere in the world, Church of the Beloved struck as the most warm and most welcoming. During the course of the morning (before the service, after the service, at coffee hour, in the Christian education hour) we were greeted by all kinds of people who seemed to be delighted to meet us. Welcoming did not seem to be in any organized or coordinated, but seemed to be a central value of the congregation.
The whole post on his visit is worth a read. If you are intrigued to read about other churches, a stop in at Ship of Fools Mystery Worshipper is always worth a look.

Interestingly, while not the word "welcoming" itself, "hospitality" is a value of King of Peace. One we hopefully live into as well as Church of the Beloved does.

peace,
Frank+

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

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  • At 8/30/2005 8:04 PM, Blogger Rick+ said…

    Frank,

    I think "hospitality" is the better word!!

    But that's my opinion... I could be wrong! :)

    Thanks for the kind words, again.

    Your brother,
    Rick+

     

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8/08/2005

The war comes home

Jonathan HagginWe always need to be mindful that saying "We support our troops" should have something tangible connected to it. King of Peace offers an online prayer vigil for our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines in harms way.

This week, perhaps even more than most, soldiers from our area need our prayers. Eight members of the Georgia National Guard's 48th Brigade have died since July 24. Included in this number are Jonathan Haggin of Kingsland (pictured above) and Lewie Ganey of Folkston.

Tommy CarterPictured here (at left) at Fort Stewart is Tommy Carter, also of Folkston, whose wife Susan is good friends with Celeste McCullough and herself a friend of King of Peace. Tommy is serving in the 648th Engineer Battalion, 48th Infantry Brigade and would have been with three men killed in a roadside bombing in Iraq this past week except for having just smashed his hand in an accident. Tommy and the fellow soldiers are, of course, grieving for the men they have lost and are especially in need of prayer at this time.

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8/07/2005

Lasting Impressions

Loren Hague at King of PeaceThe past month has flown by. I feel like I just arrived in Kingsland and it is already time for me to head back north to begin at Virginia Theological Seminary. A lot of things have made a lasting impression on me this month: preaching multiple times, walking through the preschool and laughing with all of the kids, learning how to wire a cordless microphone for the pulpit.

I have learned so much about working in a mission church in the short time I have been here and I will always cherish those lessons. However, what I will always carry with me from this summer is not the knowledge I gained or the new experiences I’ve had…what will stay ingrained upon me is the spirit of God’s love and grace that is so abundant here. This is a wonderful community and it has been a blessing to see the work that God is doing in and through King of Peace. As I go off to seminary I will keep you all in my thoughts in prayers. Thank you so much for welcoming me and for helping me prepare for VTS. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for King of Peace in the future!

God bless,

Loren

In the archives are intern Loren Hague's sermons His Hands and His Feet and Sharing the Miracle. Her sermon from today will be added this afternoon to www.kingofpeace.org.

1 Comments:

  • At 8/07/2005 6:20 PM, Blogger Celeste said…

    A lasting impression indeed! I hope you gained as much being here as we did. I have a feeling our paths will cross again and I look forward to watching you become a new shepard of another flock. See you around. Take Care

     

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8/06/2005

I am drowning, save me!

In tomorrow's Gospel reading Matthew tells of Jesus walking out on the water to his disciples as they are in the midst of a storm, then Peter attempting to walk out to Jesus. Jerry Goebel writes of the passage saying,
The wind was “contrary” this is a great term for us to learn. No matter which way the disciples set their sails and no matter how hard they worked; the wind blew the opposite way. The boat itself was “battered;” a word which means tortured or torn apart. Why are those terms important to us? Matthew wants us to understand the circumstances in which Jesus miraculously appears in our lives; when the wind is contrary and our vessels are tortured. Matthew—who was there and witnessed this event—wants us to know that it is at those times when we feel most torn apart that we can also be most expectant of our Lord’s miraculous arrival. In fact, Matthew tells us that Jesus doesn’t come until the “fourth watch.” That is the darkest watch of the morning. That’s when Jesus is wonderfully present; the fourth watch of the darkest storm, when our boat is most tortured.
Of Peter's walk on the water, the great Christian writer of 5th century North Africa, Augustine of Hippo, wrote
Look at Peter, who in this episode is an image of ourselves; at one moment he is all confidence, at the next all uncertainty and doubt; now he professes faith in the immortal One, now he fears for his life.

Lord, if it is you, bid me come to you upon the water. When the Lord said Come Peter climbed out of the boat and began to walk on the water. This is what he could do through the power of the Lord; what by himself? Realizing how violently the wind was blowing, he lost his nerve, and as he began to sink he called out, "Lord, I am drowning, save me "!

When he counted on the Lord's help it enabled him to walk on the water; when human frailty made him falter he turned once more to the Lord, who immediately stretched out his hand to help him, raised him up as he was sinking, and rebuked him for his lack of faith.

Think, then, of this world as a sea, whipped up to tempestuous heights by violent winds. A person's own private tempest will be his or her unruly desires. If you love God you will have power to walk upon the waters, and all the world's swell and turmoil will remain beneath your feet. But if you love the world it will surely engulf you, for it always devours its lovers, never sustains them.

If you feel your foot slipping beneath you, if you become a prey to doubt or realize that you are losing control, if, in a word, you begin to sink, say: Lord, I am drowning, save me! Only he who for your sake died in your fallen nature can save you from the death inherent in that fallen nature.

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8/05/2005

An Attitude Tax for Children?

Militant Housewife writes a recent post about an Episcopal Church program called "Will Our Children Be Stewards?" While in favor of pondering the idea, she wonders about some of the implications of the material in writing,
My solution is called "The Act of Personal Responsibility" and is goes as follows....
If you don't like your children drinking excessive amounts of the Coca-Cola products that are being advertised on the pencils that the PTA is selling for a fundraiser , then don't buy them excessive amounts of Coca-Cola products. If Little Mickey is becoming overweight because he watches four ads for McDonald's everyday ... pull the plug on the TV , make him go outside and play and stop feeding him at McDonald's three times per week. Little Mickey will perhaps savor his treat of a McDonald's cheese burger having bought it with his own money that he has earned raking the lawn. Chances are he may even loose a little weight in the process. If Sarah can't stop tormenting her classmates because they are not as "privileged" as she is ... remove her privileges.... if she earns her own money, then she can do her own shopping at Old Navy if not, then she can deal with whatever you buy for her. Institute an "attitude tax" (my daughter HATES this with a passion) every time she gives attitude to you or someone undeserving of such attitude tax her for it. Unplugging the cable or internet makes for a great tax on a smart mouth. And nothing seems to bring out the seriousness of your statement like making them do all of those chores that are normally rewarded with a weekly allowance for free. And just on a personal note , that jar of quarters and dollar bills (depending on the infraction) adds up fast and makes for a great trip to the bookstore for Mom !! My basic point is that the media can advertise until it is blue in the virtual face , but if parents will enforce some basic rules it will fall largely on deaf ears. In my mind TV and media are not the roots of all evil , but lack of parental involvement comes awfully close.
The whole post is here. Is the Militant Housewife right? Or do you see things differently?

Related items in our archives include: Teaching children the language of faith and Recapturing child-like faith. Or skip all that and just enjoy our online coloring book!

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8/04/2005

What's up with Scientology?

click here to read an old Time Magazine article on ScientologyScientology is much in the news thanks to Tom Cruise, John Travolta and other high profile members of the group. But what do Scientologist believe? Shannon C. sent in a link to a recent article in the English newspaper, The Mirror, which summarized the group saying,
SCIENTOLOGY was founded by sci-fi writer L Ron Hubbard. His book Dianetics: The Modern Science Of Mental Health has sold millions of copies. He died in 1986.

ONE belief is that 75 million years ago, an alien named Xenu ruled more than 76 planets, including Earth (known as Teegeeack), and tried to solve a population problem by blowing up beings on Teegeeack. Their souls were taken to a "cinema", where they were forced to watch a "3-D, super-colossal motion picture" for 36 days that implanted a "false reality" to control them. These souls then possessed humans.

THE Scientologists aim to help people become "clear" to ease crime, mental and physical illness, warfare and drug addiction.

CRITICS have accused it of being a dangerous cult, mainly concerned with making money.
The Mirror's article is from a reporter who spent a troubling week getting inducted into the group and tells of his few days in Scientology. The best information online from former Scientologist is at Operation Clambake.

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8/03/2005

Parish, the thought

King of Peace from the air
Referring to people who attend King of Peace is trickier than it might first seem. One wouldn't want to say "members" as you certainly may attend regularly, faithfully even, while not choosing to join the church. "Attenders" is an awkward word. So "parishioners" seems to work best. King of Peace is then the parish (used here as synonymous with church) and so anyone who attends is a parishioner.

Yet as noted at Dictionary.com parish may refer to a geographic area as one meaning is "a political subdivision of a British county, usually corresponding in boundaries to an original ecclesiastical parish." For example, the British comedy, The Vicar of Dibley, in its very title tells that the Vicar of the church has the cure of the souls in the political unit of Dibley. As the Church of England is the national church, everyone in that geographic area is within her parish whether they ever attend the church or not.

Looking at this idea through his evangelstic fervor and not wishing to be so bound to set borders, 18th-century Anglican John Wesley declared, "I look upon the whole world as my parish."

our sister church in EnglandOur sister church The Parish Church of St Michael and all Angels, Kingsland England features at its website the Parish Plan for Kingsland and that plan is a decidedly communal plan for that political unit, rather than merely a church plan for its own purposes. (As an aside, I thought it funny that their plan includes lighting for their church's car park, as that is in the works for King of Peace in the near future as well.)

So the term parish does not apply here in Georgia the way it did and still does in England, from whence we get the word. However, there is something to that perhaps anachronistic use of the word. For as I was asked to plant a new Episcopal congregation in Camden County, I was given the title "Diocesan Missioner for Camden County" and charged with reaching persons with no church affiliation. That charge still applies.

To grab a term from marketing, people within our area who have no church home are the target market for King of Peace. This is no new idea as World War II era Archbishop of Canterbury William Temple said, "Church is the only society on earth that exists for the benefit of non-members."

To consider Kingsland as our parish means to see the whole geographic area as our responsibility. And as we have a responsibility for the cure of souls in our community, everyone you see around town is a parishioner of King of Peace. They are our neighbor for whom we bare responsibility in sharing the love of God.

peace,

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

King of Peace (top right) alongside our nearest neighbor, the high school

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8/02/2005

Typecast

Things have gotten a little serious lately at Irenic Thoughts. So I thought I would share the results of the "What's your religious philosphy?" quiz I took recently,

You are a Believer

You believe in God and your chosen religion.
Whether you're Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or Hindu..
Your convictions are strong and unwavering.
You think your religion is the one true way, for everyone.


I think I've been typcast. But maybe that's a good thing in this case.

click to see more photos from their tripNew things online at www.kingofpeace.org this week include photos from our own Boy Scout Troop 226's trip to Washington D.C. and a visit to the National Scout Jamboree as well as the latest issue of our newsletter, The Olive Branch in PDF format.

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

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8/01/2005

Trust is for the Birds

Once as I wandered in the mountains, I came upon an outcropping of rocks, and as I sat on the highest rock to rest and look out over the valley, I saw a nest in the branches of a tree. The young birds in the nest were crying noisily. Then I saw how the mother bird returned with food for her young ones. When they heard the sound of her wings and felt her presence nearby, they cried all the more loudly and opened their beaks wide. But after the mother bird fed them and flew away again, they were quiet. Climbing down to look more closely, I saw that the newly hatched birds had not yet opened their eyes. Without even being able to see their mother, they opened their beaks and begged for nourishment whenever she approached.

These tiny birds did not say: “We will not open our beaks until we can see our mother clearly and also see what kind of food she offers. Perhaps it is not our mother at all but instead some dangerous enemy. And who knows if it is proper nourishment or some kind of poison that is being fed to us?”

If they had reasoned thus, they would never have discovered the truth. Before they were even strong enough to open their eyes, they would have starved to death. But they held no such doubts about the presence and love of their mother, and so after a few days, they opened their eyes and rejoiced to see her with them. Day by day they grew stronger and developed into the form and likeness of the mother, and soon they were able to soar up into the freedom of the skies.

We humans often think of ourselves as the greatest living beings, but do we not have something to learn from these common birds? We often question the reality and the loving nature of God. But the Master has said: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” Whenever we open our hearts to God, we receive spiritual nourishment and grow more and more into the likeness of God until we reach spiritual maturity. And once we open our spiritual eyes and see God’s presence, we find indescribable and unending bliss.
—Sadhu Sundar Singh (1889-1929)

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