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.


Trunk or Treat

Trunk or Treat 2006
On the Eve of the Feast of All Saints, King of Peace held its first ever Trunk or Treat and a great time was had by all. It's a great chance to get to know someone better as you discover that inner super hero, or even a whole family that resembles a Monty Python movie. You can see a little of the fun below and all of the fun at our Trunk or Treat photo page.

David, Kenny and Rachel acting out Monty Python's King Arthur

Charlie, Shelby and Gray The Carter Family
Carved Pumpkins


  • At 1/18/2012 10:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i thought that people that goes to church or likes the church dont celebrate halloween


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Dress Up Day

King of Peace Episcopal Day School held a dress up day today on the Eve of the Feast of All Saints. Click on any photo below to see a larger version of it.


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A mournful month

More than 100 soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines died in Iraq and Afghanistan this month. No matter your politics, you will find moving the photo essay on funerals at Arlington National Cemetary this month which the New York Times offers online.

I'm currently reading Bing West's book No True Glory in which the Vietnam veteran and former Assistant Secretary of Defense relates the Battle for Fallujah in some detail. Time and again I meet a Marine in its pages with a brief sketch about the man. Then soon he is cut down by a random roadside bomb or in a fire fight with insurgents. Or he undertakes a heroic action, saving others without regard for his own life. The book also considers the Iraqi deaths and often notes how senseless they are as some t-shirt clad young man jumps in front of the Marines and starts firing an AK-47 wildy only to be quickly dispatched. The senselessness of the deaths on each side of the conflict fit the books title "No True Glory."

Reading the book and seeing the photo essay sends me back again to that portion of King of Peace's website that steadily draws visitors to an online prayer vigil which has been offered since our troops shipped out for Afghanistan. The site includes a brief service you can pray, names of those serving who have been submitted for our prayers and several other prayers including:

Jesus Christ,
who in the hour of your death was recognized as Savior
by a soldier standing nearby:
be to those whose bear arms now, a sign of saving hope.
In circumstances of danger and ever-pressing fear
keep alive in them steadfastness and courage.
Preserve in them when tested, righteous and humane values;
and uphold their good wills
until they are released from the awful necessities
of human strife. Amen.

and this prayer for the victims of war from the 11th century, which shows that these concerns are not new:

God of love, whose compassion never fails;
we bring before you the griefs and perils of peoples and nations;
the necessities of the homeless;
the helplessness of the aged and weak;
the sighings of prisoners; the pains of the sick and injured;
the sorrow of the bereaved.
Comfort and relieve them, O merciful Father,
according to their needs;
for the sake of your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
—after Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)


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Olive Branch online

Ckick here to read the latest

The latest issue of our newsletter, The Olive Branch is now online and has been mailed as well. You can see the issue in Adobe .PDF format at


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That Pesky 96%

“We know much, but we understand little.”
—Michael Turner, Cosmologist, University of Chicago

Hubble telescope view

An essay in The New York Times Knowing the Universe in Detail (Except for That Pesky 96 Percent of It) says,
Ordinary atomic matter of the kind that makes up you, me and the stars is 4 percent of the cosmos; dark matter that floats as gravitational glue between the stars and galaxies is 20 percent; and dark energy, which is apparently accelerating the cosmic expansion, pushing the galaxies faster and faster apart, is 76 percent, plus or minus 2 percent.
This means that we don't yet understand 96% of what makes up the physical world. That's a big gap in our knowledge. Here's what one should not assume about that gap—it's God.

The reason is that in the 18th century it was popular to insert God as the hypothesis to explain the gaps in our knowledge. For example, Sir Isaac Newton didn't understand certain anomilies in the orbit of planets and so he asserted that God set them back to rights from time to time. Later it turned out that the problem was created by the pull of planets that were yet undiscovered at the time. So rather than God, the answer was Uranus, Neptune and even the now demoted Pluto.

As Diogenes Allen points out,
According to the doctrine of creation, we are never to postulate God as the immediate cause of any regular occurence in nature. In time the "God of the gaps" was seen to be bad science as well as bad theology.
So what matters here is that Allen is correct in asserting that sticking God into the gaps of scientific knowledge is bad theology and not just bad science.

Better to let science be science. That mode of inquiry is not best held in check by our spiritual insights with one exception, and that is in the area of ethics. It is perfectly acceptable and appropriate for a person's faith to assist him or her in deciding what advances in science of which behoove they will themselves, such as in end of life care.

But otherwise, we need to let science worry about that pesky 96% of matter we don't even know what is, while we benefit from other scientific advances as we push ahead on our spiritual journeys.

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

"And you will know the truth,
and the truth will set you free."
—John 8:32


  • At 10/30/2006 12:13 PM, Blogger CSL said…

    I agree. This is precisely why teaching creationism or "intelligent design" in the schools is such an awful idea - it's bad science and muddies the waters between faith and empirical knowledge. We have churches to deal with matters of religion, schools for (among other things) science, and their coexistence detracts from neither.

  • At 10/30/2006 1:39 PM, Anonymous erxqtp said…

    I'm not sure that the subjects can be completely separated for people of faith. For me, the complexities of creation only reinforce that there must be an intelligence behind it all.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that scientists may figure our how it all works, but it doesn't change the fact that God the Creator is still in charge.


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Truth and consequences

Theoretical phyicist turned Anglican priest, John Polkinghorne (1930- ) wrote in his book, Quarks, Chaos and Christianity
Everyone knows that religion involves faith. click for moreMany people seem to think that faith involves shutting one's eyes, gritting one's teeth, and believing six impossible things before breakfast, because the Bible or the Pope or some other unquestion- able authority tells us so. Not at all! Faith may involve a leap, but it's a leap into the light, not the dark. The aim of the religious quest, like that of the scientific quest, is to seek motivated belief about what is the case....

Nevertheless, there are obviously differences between science and religion. One of the most significant is that science deals with a physical world that is at our disposal to kick around or pull apart as we please. In short, science can put things to the experimental test. God, however, is not at our disposal in this way. The Bible says, 'You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.' It's no good saying, 'If there is a God, let him strike me down dead.' He just doesn't play that sort of silly game. Nor do people. If I'm always setting little traps to see if you're my friend, in actual fact I'll destroy the possibility of real friendship between us by the distrust I display. In the realm of personal experience, whether between ourselves or with God, we all know that testing has to give way to trusting....

Another difference between scientific knowledge and religious knowledge lies in the consequences that they have for us. My belief in quarks and gluons is intellectually satisfying, but it doesn't affect my life in a radical way. God, on the other hand, is not just their to satisfy our curiosity. The encounter with him will involve the call to bedience as well as the illumination of our minds. Religious knowledge is much more demanding than scientific knowledge. White it requires scrupulous attention to matters of truth, it also calls for the response of commitment to the truth discovered.


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Let me see again

an African image of Jesus giving sightIn tomorrow's Gospel reading Jesus and his followers on their way to Jerusalem. The blind beggar Bartimaeus calls out to Jesus for mercy. Jesus asks the blind man, "What do you want me to do for you?" and Bartimaeus replies, "My teacher, let me see again."

Verna Dozier has written of this question and answer,
The obvious answer is, of course, I want to see. But is it? What you don’t see you don’t have to take responsibility for. A queen, told her subjects had no bread, replied, probably as much out of ignorance as callousness, "Let them eat cake."

...Blindness protects us from harsh realities. Blindness also means someone else will take care of us.

Think, Bartimaeus. There is cost as well as promise to the new life that will open up for you. "What do you want me to do for you?"

"I want to see."
She is on to something. For once we see, we are expected to act on what we have seen whether injustice or those in want or need, right?

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


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Fall Festival

King of Peace Episcopal Day School held its annual Fall Festival today with horse and train rides, a moon bounce, make your own cookies and crafts. It was great fun for the church and preschool families and friends alike. Below are a few of the photos. Click on any photo to see a larger version of it.

King of Peace Episcopal Day School's Fall Festival 2006
Gray and his granny, Celeste Gary on the horse in front, Hannah on the one behind
On the train Natalie and Delaney
King of Peace Episcopal Day School's Fall Festival 2006


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Richard Dawkins is an atheist ready to dismantle all religions so that mankind can get on with life without the old superstitions of religion, which he attributes to evolutionary misfiring. His latest book is The God Delusion. In a lengthy book review in The New York Times, reviewer Jim Holt writes,
Despite the many flashes of brilliance in this book, Dawkins’s failure to appreciate just how hard philosophical questions about religion can be makes reading it an intellectually frustrating experience. As long as there are no decisive arguments for or against the existence of God, a certain number of smart people will go on believing in him, just as smart people reflexively believe in other things for which they have no knock-down philosophical arguments, like free will, or objective values, or the existence of other minds.

Dawkins asserts that “the presence or absence of a creative super-intelligence is unequivocally a scientific question.” But what possible evidence could verify or falsify the God hypothesis? The doctrine that we are presided over by a loving deity has become so rounded and elastic that no earthly evil or natural disaster, it seems, can come into collision with it. Nor is it obvious what sort of event might unsettle an atheist’s conviction to the contrary. Russell, when asked about this by a Look magazine interviewer in 1953, said he might be convinced there was a God “if I heard a voice from the sky predicting all that was going to happen to me during the next 24 hours.” Short of such a miraculous occurrence, the only thing that might resolve the matter is an experience beyond the grave — what theologians used to call, rather pompously, “eschatological verification.”

If the after-death options are either a beatific vision (God) or oblivion (no God), then it is poignant to think that believers will never discover that they are wrong, whereas Dawkins and fellow atheists will never discover that they are right.
This fits in with recent blog entries as Dawkins is one who would decidedly say that the Scientific Method is the way to know things. In the evolutionary biologists worldview, there is no way of knowing beyond what can be proved by observation and testing.

But as for the voice-from-heaven proof suggested above, the Christian philosopher Dallas Willard causes his students to confront this quandary each year. I found this illustration in Lee Strobels book, The Case for Faith. Try thinking through this scenario from Willard’s in-class hand-out:
Next Tuesday morning, just after breakfast, all of us in this world will be knocked to our knees by a percussive and ear-shattering thunderclap. Snow swirls, leaves drop from trees, the earth heaves and buckles, buildings topple and towers tumble. The sky is ablaze with an eerie silvery light, and just then, as all the people of this world look up, the heavens open, and the clouds pull apart, revealing an unbelievably radiant and immense Zeus-like figure towering over us like a hundred Everests. He frowns darkly as lightning plays over the features of his Michaelangeloid face, and then he points down, at me, and explains for every man, woman, and child to hear, “I’ve had quite enough of your too-clever logic chopping and word-watching in matters of theology. Be assured, Norwood Russell Hanson, that I most certainly do exist!”
Dallas Willard then asks his students, if the heaven opened and God so spoke that clearly and directly to some guy named Norwood Russell Hanson, what would this Hanson do? Willard’s best guess is that he would explain the whole thing away.

So what do you think? Is there anything that could disprove God to all the faithful of varying religious stripes? Is there anything that could prove God to all those who say, "I have no need of that hypothesis" when thinking of things divine. After all, one could decide that it had just been a delusion. Apparently, this is not a new issue. Jesus ended his story of a rich man and the poor man Lazarus who begged at his gates with the rich man asking God to send Lazarus back to preach to his family. Jesus' punchline was,

"If they won't listen to Moses and the prophets,
they won't listen even if someone rises from the dead."
—Luke 16:31

So if Jesus was convinced returning from the dead wouldn't be enough to give someone faith, what would show God to be more than mere delusion?

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


  • At 10/27/2006 10:33 AM, Anonymous Debbie said…

    Not meaning to be a (strict)Calvinist or anything, I can't help but believe that without the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, man cannot of himself come to God. John 6:44 says that "No man can come to me unless the Father draws him;", and Peter's confession in Matthew 16 that Jesus is the Christ was followed immediately by Jesus' assertion that "flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven." In Ephesians 2, Paul said that it was by grace we are saved through faith, and that isn't even ours, but a gift from God as well.

    Knowing man's capacity for denial and self-deception, is it surprising that it would take a move of the Almighty to change the human heart?

  • At 10/27/2006 11:11 AM, Anonymous Kenny said…

    Agreed with Debbie but also with these comments.

    I'm a big sci-fi fan so I'm sort of used to thinking about fantastic things happening. In the case you propose, Frank, how would I know that wasn't just an alien pretending to be God to get me to do something?

    Arthur C. Clarke's third law goes something like this: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." This has been used to argue different sides of the question but it can also be used by Christians as defense against getting caught up in "miracles" performed by evil powers.

    That's why the testimony of the Bible should be used as a baseline for what we experience.

    Also, keep in mind the words of Captain Kirk when confronted by 'god.' "What does God need with a starship?" :)

  • At 12/04/2006 12:40 PM, Blogger Sean Dietrich said…

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    I don't want to be an annoyance, so if this message bothers you please delete it and accept my humble apology.
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Within Reason

In the quote below, "Modern" does not mean "contemporary" but 17th-19th century Enlightenment thinking. Or as Wikipedia has it "a trend of thought which affirms the power of human beings to make, improve and reshape their environment, with the aid of scientific knowledge, technology and practical experimentation."
The way the modern mentality continues to affect theology is splendidly captured in an allegory presented by Basil Mitchell in the 1986 Nathaniel Taylor Lectures at Yale University. Mitchell pictures traditional Christian theology as a barge going down a river. Immanuel KantOne one side of the river are shoals, which represent the works of David Hume and Immanuel Kant which enshrine some of the most serious intellectual barriers to Christian belief in modern times. To avoid these shoals, theologians have either jettisoned some of their cargo (Christian claims) to lighten the barge and sail safely over them, or they have swung sharply to the other bank to remain premodern. That is, they have either become modern by getting rid of lots of traditional Christian claims, sometimes even claims that God is Creator and Redeemer in Christ, or they retain the language of traditional Christianity but at the price of repudiating in various degrees the need to take into account knowledge from any other domain.

For those who remained premodern, Christian doctrines can be affirmed and discussed as if Hume's and Kant's objections simply do not exist. The primary directions of Christian theology have been either to accept the principles and outlook of the modern world and to minimize the distinctive content and basis of Christian doctrines, or to retain Christian doctrines verbally while isolating them from the present day and in effect remaining premodern....

The way forward is forward. The principles of the modern mentality enshrined in Hume and Kant do not form an impassible barrier which we must either accept or avoid. The actual situation is that the barrier they and others formed has collapsed.
Diogenes Allen (1932- )
Homer's Ulysses passes by ScyllaAllen's description sounds like Christianity considers itself between a rock and a hard place. Or as in Homer's Odyssey—between Scylla and Charybdis—two monsters that live on either side of a narrow strait of water. The two monsters were so close to one another that any ship attempting to avoid Scylla would be swallowed by Charybdis. As Wikipedia defines it, "The phrase between Scylla and Charybdis has come to mean being in a state where one is between two dangers and moving away from one will cause you to be in danger from the other."

In these postmodern times, do we have to either:
  1. Jettison Christian teaching or
  2. Act like the enlightenment didn't happen?
Isn't there a way to be both aware of the challenges posed by the Enlightenment emphasis on reason and the scientific method without capitulating to the 18th century ideal of religion within the limits of reason alone? Anything metaphysical (beyond the physical) would seem to be, by definition, beyond the ability to test by scientific method. But does that make it untrue?

For example, while I do believe that the Christian faith is reasonable, I don't think a full account of it can be given within the limits of reason alone.

What do you think?

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


  • At 10/26/2006 11:48 AM, Anonymous Debbie said…

    I don't believe that there is way to reason yourself to God. (Ok, maybe for Aquinas there was, but...)

    Once we begin to limit God to scientific reasoning, we place Him within a framework that limits our possible view of Him. We can only see or miss the bits of His nature that prove or disprove our pet hypotheses of the moment. Our God, however, transcends our imaginations and limitations of our best minds. My God is bigger than reason alone.

  • At 10/26/2006 8:26 PM, Blogger Robin D. said…

    God has told us what and where he is. He is living. He is the Perfect Father. He is the creator. He "IS". We "ARE" because he "IS".

    I really don't think our brains are too small to comprehend Him. I think maybe our minds are too narrow to comprehend Him.

    If God is living and we accept that the definiton of being alive includes reproduction, then are we truly God's offspring?

    If he is the Perfect Father then why wouldn't he want us to realize our potential.

    If he is the Creator then did he just start Creation then back off? Isn't he still in Creation?

    I think God created us to be his children. I think he wants us to learn and increase in wisdom. I think he continues to create. I think reason is a gift of God. Reason helps us to identify truth. When we take the blinders off and look at creation, we can see the touch of God in everything.


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What is Truth?

What is truth?
Is truth unchanging law?
We both have truths
Are mine the same as yours?
—Pilate (in Jesus Christ Superstar)

"Tomorrow, after my death, some men may decide to establish Fascism, and the others may be so cowardly or so slack as to let them do so. If so, Fascism will then be the truth of man, and so much the worse for us. In reality, things will be such as men have decided they shall be."
Jean Paul Sartre (1905-1980)

"When the secret police come, when the torturers violate the innocent, there is nothing to be said to them of the form "There is something within you which you are betraying, Though you embody the practices of a totalitarian society, which will endure forever, there is something beyond those practices which condemns you."
—Richard Rorty (1931- )

"Consider the person who believes, passionately and sincerely, that it is an excellent thing to place millions of Jews in gas chambers. That is certainly "true for him." But can it be allowed to pass unchallenged? Is it equally as true as the belief that one ought to live in peace and tolerance with one's neighbors, including Jews?"
Alister E. McGrath (1953- )

"Science, by itself, would be a hopelessly limited and impoverished view of things. Music would just be vibrations in air. A beautiful painting would be just a collection of specks of paint of known chemical composition. As part of its technique of enquiry, science ignores questions of value, but this doesn't for a moment mean that values don't exist or that they're not of the highest importance. Nearly all that makes life worth living slips through the wide meshes of the scientific net...I think that I know as certainly as I know anything, that torturing children is wrong, and that love is better than hate. I cannot for a moment suppose that these ethical insights are merely cultural choices of the particular society in which I happen to live."
John Polkinghorne (1930- )


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Halloween Choice

Pictured above is the David Gillett Bishop of Bolton, England who is spearheading a Where's the Choice campaign in his country. The concern is "that the trend in celebrating Halloween, and the associated activities, is not just innocent fun and that retailers have a responsibility to offer a range of goods to help people mark the occasion."

According to the campaign, "We want kids to have a great Halloween, and we want to spark a wider public debate about the nature of our way of celebrating the date."

Gregory the Great, who sent Augustine to spread the Gospel in England (unaware of Celtic Christianity) also gave Augustine the advice to "baptize" pagan places and holidays. This is a practice that gave us Christmas and Easter on pagan holidays. But Halloween was left unwashed so to speak. I think the campaign in England is not a bad idea as it seeks to ensure that stores offer a choice alongside demonic and monstrous masks. It is also up to Christian parents and churches to offer alternatives to this now deeply engrained cultural favorite.

Janet as pregnant SarahAt King of Peace, we held a Fall Festival some years ago (2001) with a Biblical Costume Contest. The hands down crowd favorite and clear winner was Janet Finkelstein, who at 82 came as a pregnant Sarah with a big question mark on her stomach as she wondered what happened.

One week from today King of Peace will offer a safe alternative in "Trunk or Treat" to be held on the Eve of the Feast of All Saints (October 31). Cars should begin to arrive at 5:30 p.m. with everyone ready to go by 6 p.m. We’ll back up to that area of grass right out front of the church so that vehicles back up to that patch of grass in like a square in order to leave the rest of the parking for those we do not want to participate in handing out candy and just like to walk around from car to car.

You may bring your own candy to hand out or bring candy to donate any Sunday leading up to the event. You may decorate your vehicle if you wish and/or provide a game for kids. The church will offer some lemonade and hot chocolate.

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


  • At 10/24/2006 11:35 AM, Anonymous Debbie said…

    So can the grown-ups dress up, too?

  • At 10/24/2006 1:12 PM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    Of Course!

  • At 10/24/2006 2:33 PM, Blogger CSL said…

    I sure don't have an issue with alternatives to Halloween being offered, as long as choice is the operative word (and I know you aren't suggesting mandatory church parties). While costume shopping yesterday I saw a huge array of choices, including many non-monstrous options - fairies, pirates, even angels. My own favorite childhood outfits were gypsy and hobo. But I LIKE the trick-or-treating, the ghosts billowing in the trees, the spooky jack-o-lanterns we carve each year. And I never get tired of watching "The Nightmare Before Christmas." I wouldn't mind seeing a reduction of the knife-in-the-skull variety of costumes -and along with them all the gory horror movies that are so popular - but will proudly walk my little dementor around the neighborhood on the 31st in search of candy.

  • At 10/30/2006 8:20 AM, Anonymous kenny said…

    Now you've done it, Frank. Give Debbie a mission and time to accomplish it and you're going to get the whole family roped in...


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The Suffering Servant in China

Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, gave a sermon yesterday at Chaoyang Church in Beijing, China. He used (of course) the same readings we had at King of Peace yesterday. He spoke of how we are to be servants as we follow the suffering servant, Jesus. Here is some of what he preached:
Jesus walks with children on the Great WallSo now let us think of some of the problems that arise when we let Jesus be our servant. Perhaps we imagine that if Jesus is our servant, Jesus does exactly what we want. This is what James and John say at the very beginning of the Gospel reading. 'We want you to do exactly what we want'. Sometimes we should like to use God for our own purposes. And all though human history, human beings have tried to use God to prove themselves right - to use God to bless wants; use God to bless persecutions - they have used God for their personal pride.

But this is not he way in which God in Jesus Christ serves us. God does not do what we want, God gives us what we need and perhaps this is why we are shocked and afraid when the idea arises that God is our servant.

Perhaps we don't want to recognise what it is that we mean - we would much prefer it if we could say to God 'Do what we want'. But God says 'No, I will do what you need.' Because God is God, he knows what our hearts are like; he knows the truth about us; about us as individuals about our nations and about our world. And he comes in the person of Jesus Christ as a human being to show us that he knows our world from the inside. God does not look at us or our world through a telescope - he looks at our hearts and minds from within. Jesus Christ has the knowledge and compassion of God and the heart and soul of a human being.
And so it is in Jesus Christ above all that we see how God knows us, knows our needs and serves what we truly need.
He went on to lay out four principles which he sees flowing from this servant ministry. The first of which was identification:

Chinese Christian artist He Qui's painting which hangs at King of PeaceThe church here has worked hard to make itself understood as part of China, its culture, its history, its hopes. It is no longer true, if it ever was true, that to be a Christian is to stop being really Chinese.

And so we are encouraged to see a church that is trying to find its own way forward honestly - find a language that really belongs in this place. It is no kind of imposed Christianity, whether conservative or Liberal, that will answer the questions of China. It is the Gospel itself in its glory, taking root here. So there is the first principle - service begins with identification.

The other principles are
  • Christians must develop an inner freedom - a freedom that allows them to see the truth about themselves and the truth about the society they live in.
  • Jesus calls others into his world of service. And,
  • The Church has the vision and the capacity to work with so many different kinds of groups - to work for a harmony that is real and inclusive of all.

The archbishop also said, "As this grows and develops, it will of course bring with it difficulties and risks - service in the name of God always brings risks. To be a disciple of Jesus Christ is never to be safe - it is to be loved, it is to be endowed with the power of the Holy Spirit; it is to be given dignity - that is much more important than just being safe."

The full text of the sermon is online here: Sermon preached at Chaoyang Church, Beijing.

the archbishop leaves Chaoyang Church, Beijing


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Shameless Promotion

Peace, Peace book coverThe book at right, Peace, Peace: finding peace in a frenetic world, is my craft for our upcoming Holiday Bazaar. The 296-page self-published paperback books will be on sale here for $15 with no shipping cost. The hardback version is only available online. For those who live close by and want to support the bazaar, it would be easier and better to pick a paperback up here at the church or preschool.

For those who live farther afield and want to support the fundraiser, you can purchase the books online through The proceeds go to my discretionary fund to provide direct assistance to needy folks in our community with a portion set aside to assist also in the creation of our memorial garden. When you place the order, choose "USPS media mail" as the shipping option and the cost is $2.48 just for shipping a book.

The books' 62 readings are primarily sermons, though there are a few of the talks from the Questioning Your Faith course I created and some religion columns from my five years of writing bi-weekly for the Tribune & Georgian. Please note that all the sermons and other writings are also online for free at

The Holiday Bazaar plans are going extremely well with a lot of work being put in by event organizer Sandy Shutak and her volunteers. The Bazaar will be here at King of Peace on November 4 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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


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Whatever We Ask

Scene from Bruce Almighty with Bruce answering prayers online
Teacher, we want you to do for us
whatever we ask of you.

In tomorrow's Gospel reading Jesus' disciples James and John come to him with that great opening line above. Now Jesus is too kind to Zebedee's boys to reply the way I want him too, which is what I heard Dr. Phil say the one time I watched his show. Dr. Phil said, "Did some one tell you I'm stupid?"

Jesus knows better than to promise to give James and John whatever they ask just like any parent knows better than to promise to give a child whatever he or she asks. But Jesus lets them tell him what they want. Jesus listens to the desires of their hearts and answers honestly from his heart.

James and John say, "Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory." But Jesus knows when he comes into his glory it will be through the death of the cross and he goes on to say,
The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.
In retrospect, it was prepared for thieves to be on Jesus' right and left as he came into his glory. This is not what James and John had in mind.

In the movie Bruce Almighty (pictured above), the title character is given the task and the power to answer prayers for a multi-block radius. He gives everyone what they want and disasters mount on top of one another. Bruce doesn't understand where he went wrong. God replies, "Since when do people know what they want?"

This must be why Jesus taught his disciples to pray for God's will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. While there is nothing wrong with telling God what you desire--just as Jesus encouraged James and John to do. It's helpful to know that an answer of "No" is probably grace. Best to tell God what you want while praying that God's will for the situation will become your will for the situation.

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


  • At 10/21/2006 10:49 AM, Anonymous Debbie said…

    Thank you for this entry. It explains so well why I have such a problem with the "Name it and claim it" theology commonly taught in many churches. After all, God is not some great vending machine to whom we can slip our prayers through the slot, push a button, and out pops our wishes. I think I actually prefer that God says, "No" sometimes. It reinforces that He is Almighty and Supreme and that He is beyond our comprehension and understanding. His ways are NOT our ways, although His ways are always true and, regardless of how they appear from my ant-sized perspective of the big picture, they are always just.


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The Church's One Foundation

The following was written by the Rt. Rev. Henry W. Shipps, retired Bishop of the Diocese of Georgia. These words originally appeared in Spiritus Gladius, the Weekly News Letter for Saint Paul the Apostle Episcopal Church in Savannah, where the Bishop and his wife frequently attend.
Hymn 525, "The Church's One Foundation" always has been one of my favorite hymns, largely because it's five verses speak so accurately of the Church, even today. The music is by S.S. Wesley. The words were written in 1866 by a British priest, S.J. Stone, during a time of great concern in the Church over the issue of higher criticism of the Bible (something we assume today). Charles Darwin and evolution also were causing much unease.

Christian Churches today all have a large measure of anxiety and controversy to deal with, the Episcopal Church being in high profile. The faithful become anxious: "Where will all this lead?" I know of at least two new books that are dark and foreboding about the future of the Christian Church. Hymn 525 notes we are "by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed."

click here to find out more about this imageThe 9 October issue of TIME has a helpful feature article concerning religious certitude, and how such a stance is causing much distress and suffering throughout the world. The article observes, "If God is really God, then God must, by definition, surpass our human undersatnding." We have Scripture, tradition, and reason, as well as our own experience, which hopefully guide us into all truth. But TIME goes on: "There is still something we will never grasp, something we can never know—because God is beyond our categories....And if God is beyond our categories, then God cannot be captured for certain....There will always be something that eldues us. If there weren't, it would not be God."

It may be humbling for us to accept our fallibilities, but it may also be healthy and good for the soul. Are ambiguities all that harmful? We can only see so far into God's creation. We delude ourselves if we think we can put God in a box, or if we think we have the gift of amniscience.

Hymn 525 goes on to assure us of God's blessing and final peace. His Church will enjoy "mystic sweet communion."

"The great Church victorious shall be the Church at rest."


+H.W. Shipps
a cheap visual pun—King of Peace's concrete foundation is poured
The photo above links to a related sermon
from the archives


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Always a Revolutionary

The coming of the Kingdom is perpetual. Again and again, freshness, novelty, power from beyond the world break in by unexpected paths bringing unexpected change.

Those who cling to tradition and fear all novelty in God's relation to the world deny the creative activity of the Holy Sprit, and forget that what is now tradition was once innovation; that the real Christian is always a revolutionary, belongs to a new race, and has been given a new name and a new song.
Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941)


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The Over-Arching Story

In a William Orange Memorial lecture, N.T. Wright, a well-regarded New Testament scholar and the Bishop of Durham, England spoke of The Bible in a Postmodern World. Though long and sometimes academic, his lecture is quite interesting. While we don't need a biblical scholar to let us know that there is an over-arching story in the 66 books of the Bible, I do think his way of looking at things is interesting. Wright said in part,

In the Christian canonical Bible as we now have it we find, without much difficulty, a single over-arching narrative. It is the story which runs from creation to new creation, from Eden to the New Jerusalem. Though this is the backdrop and ultimate context, however, the great bulk of the story focuses quite narrowly on the fortunes of a single family in the Middle East, who are described as the chosen people through whom the creator God will act to rescue the whole world from its plight. The choice of the particular family does not imply that the creator has lost interest in other human beings, or in the cosmos at large; on the contrary, it is because he wishes to address them with his active and rescuing purposes that he has chosen this one family in the first place. But the Jewish story thus highlighted contains a puzzle at its heart. The chosen people are in themselves in need of rescue. (It is like Russian dolls. Inside the creation story is the Jewish story, and inside that is the Jesus story.) Even if we were to rearrange the Old Testament Canon - adopting, for instance, the normal Jewish order in which the Prophets precede the Writings, so that the Canon ends not with Malachi but with 2 Chronicles - we would still find ourselves reading a story in search of an ending, a story in which the people chosen to bring the Creator's healing to the world are themselves in need of rescue and restoration.

The early Christian writings we call the New Testament declare with one voice that the overarching story reached its climax in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, whom the early Christians believed was the promised Messiah of Israel. In Jesus the chosen people had found their rescue and restoration, though their self-appointed guardians and spokespersons had not seen it that way. And now the point. Israel's Messiah was always supposed to be the Lord of the whole world, so the idea that Jesus is the Lord of the world is not a funny early Christian idea wedged on to Jesus, and not really fitting; it grows right out of first century Jewish messianism itself. His followers then saw themselves as royal heralds, claiming the whole world for its new King.

Although it is often (rightly) said that the early Christians saw themselves as living in the last days, it is even more important to stress that they saw themselves as living in the first days, the beginning of the new creation that dawned when Jesus emerged from the tomb on Easter morning. They saw themselves, in other words, as living within a story in which the decisive event had already occurred and now needed to be implemented; even if we were to ignore Acts for the moment, that is the implicit narrative which informs and undergirds all the epistles. The four canonical gospels, in their very different ways, are all only comprehensible if we understand them to be telling how the story of God and Israel reached its climax in Jesus, and telling this story moreover from the perspective of those now charged with putting this into effect in and for all the world. Even if we were to rearrange the New Testament Canon, this implicit story-line would still emerge at every point.

So no matter how we arrange the Bible, it is still the story of God's love coming to a decisive conclusion and new beginning in the person and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth.

It reminds me of the not too earth-shattering conclusion of famed theologian Karl Barth. After writing a shelf full of books which were his systematic theology, when asked to give the gist of it he answered, "Jesus loves me this I know..." And when I heard famed Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu preach at my seminary, he said that he hates preaching at seminaries because the only sermon he has is "God loves you." Everything else is just a variation on the theme.

Our over-arching story is well known, not always well told and only rarely well lived, but it is still the best story I know.

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


  • At 10/18/2006 1:50 PM, Blogger Robin D. said…

    The TRUE definition of a Christian is, "Jesus loves me, this I know"!

  • At 10/18/2006 3:46 PM, Anonymous Debbie said…

    How about this one,

    "My faith has found a resting place
    Not in device or creed;
    I trust the Everliving One,
    His wounds for me doth plead.

    I need no other argument,
    I need no other plea,
    It is enough that Jesus died,
    And that He died for me."

  • At 10/21/2006 11:05 PM, Anonymous Debbie said…

    My Mom reminded me I had not properly given credit for this hymn

    Words: Eli­za E. Hew­itt, in Songs of Joy and Glad­ness, 1891. Hymn­als oft­en show the au­thor as Li­die H. Ed­munds, Eli­za’s pseu­do­nym.

    Music: Landås, André E. M. Grétry (1741-1813); ar­ranged by Wil­liam J. Kirk­pat­rick (1838-1921) (MI­DI, score



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Hurry Up & Rest

Honor the Sabbath
and keep it Holy.

This past weekend as Victoria, Griffin and I sat in traffic (see post below), we were often alongside the three 250-horsepower motors dangling off the back of "The Exterminator." I thought of my great-grandmother, "Mama Logue," who fished with a cane pole in the cow pond of her Edgefield County, South Carolina farm. There is such a radical difference between the way she fished and menacing lines of the high performance fishing boat we saw making its way down I-95.

Now I often known enough to know what I don't know (don't try that five times fast) and in this case I know I don't know anything about the world of professional tournament fishing. The Exterminator is a fishing boat sponsored by a pest control company and in its world of tournament fishing, the 750 horses pushing the boat may not only common, but needed. And yet I couldn't escape the fact that we drove more than 17 hours to spend Friday evening and all day Saturday hanging out with old friends. And we have also vacationed so hard that we came home needing a vacation from our vacation.

In the archives is the sermon Come Away and Rest which notes,

Working more is not better and workaholics cost an estimated $150 billion per year through health-related problems. This is not a problem in our nation alone. In Japan they have coined a term Karoshi, meaning death from overwork. The 60-70 hour work weeks in Japan cause 10,000 workers a year to die on the job from Karoshi. Overwork is also listed by an association of matrimonial lawyers as one of the top four causes of divorce.

Being a workaholic was a capital crime in ancient Israel as those who broke the sabbath were to be punished by death (that'll put the brakes on a lot of folks who say they don't want to interpret the Bible, but just live what it says). There weren't loopholes either. The day of rest was for you and your servants and the alien living in the land.

God knows we need rest and not just the exhausting kind of recreation. Rather we crave the re-creation that comes from letter your body idle and your mind wander. So our bodies need us to balance the get-to-the-fish-faster sort of recreation exemplified by The Exterminator, with some real down time.

Pat Gohman sent out the prayer below as the header on this week's list of prayer requests for the Diocese of Georgia:

Thank you, gracious God, for all that fills our lives with joy: the love of family and friends, the comfort of our homes, the challenge of work, and the delight of leisure. Forgive us for too often we have taken all these for granted, failing to see them as your gifts. Stretch our understanding, that we may know our lives in the perspective of your sovereign authority. Teach us to live in the world with faithfulness to your intention for the world, and to be at home wherever your spirit leads us, through Jesus Christ your faithful witness. Amen.
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor King of Peace Episcopal Church

Honor the Sabbath
and keep it wholely.


  • At 10/17/2006 4:09 PM, Anonymous Kay G. said…

    My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone. Thomas Merton - Thoughts In Solitude

    I visited the monastery here in Conyers this past weekend (it is only a few miles from where I live) and this was inserted inside the bag when I purchased one of their fruitcakes. When I read your post here about hurry up & rest, I wanted to share it with your readers. By the way, when I feel things are getting too hectic, I always feel so lucky to be able to visit the monastery, it is such a peaceful place.

  • At 10/18/2006 9:09 AM, Anonymous Debbie said…

    I sometimes think about what a contrast Sunday afternoons are now compared to when I was a kid. We would come home after church and have lunch, often prepared the night before, and the afternoon would be spent in quiet activities. Mom and I would watch an old movie on TV, and Daddy would take a nap and then review his notes and make final preparations for the Sunday night service. Mom and I would review our lesson books for Church Training. There was no yard work done, or shopping done. There was no theater here then so there were no Sunday matinees. All the homework had to be finished before Sunday.

    Actually preparations for the Lord's Day began on Saturday. We had Sunday school lessons to study, and prepare for Sunday lunch so that there wouldn't be so much to do on Sunday. Mom was usually the church secretary, so there were bulletins to be printed and folded. Being the church pianist from age 12 on, I also had my own preparations for Sunday worship, so part of the afternoon was also spent in practice and readying the music for the choir.

    There was a lot of preparation time spent, but it allowed us to celebrate the Lord's Day with a minimum of worldly intrusion and to enjoy a day of rest. How many times do we now goof around on Saturday and turn Sunday afternoon into a rush to get all the stuff done before Monday? Too many, I fear. How many times has the Lord's Day turned into the "Lord's hour" and only become a hiccup in our lives?

  • At 10/18/2006 1:53 PM, Blogger Robin D. said…

    GOOD GRIEF! The death penalty for overworking. Some things never change.

  • At 10/19/2006 8:45 AM, Anonymous Kenny said…

    Good point, DRay. Seems to me sometimes God will get His Sabbath rest one way or the other. Kind of like when the Israelites, who'd been ignoring the Sabbath, were taken into captivity. We do have to take time off to rest and reflect on the goodness of God.

  • At 10/21/2006 2:11 PM, Anonymous Peggy Hughes said…

    your comments are well received. It would be in everyone's best interest to heed the commandment to Remember the Sabbath and to Keep it Holy. Our Lord is a Holy God. We show our Father how much we love Him by keeping His commands.
    Deb, you are and always have been a precious daughter. I am glad you are teaching the things we taught you to our children. 3rd John 4 says I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
    It is my desire, Lord, to show You and the World that I love you and your creation.


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Into the Breach

The conclusion to Jesus' story of The Good Samaritan:
"Now which of these three would you say
was a neighbor to the man
who was attacked by bandits?" Jesus asked.
The man replied, "The one who showed him mercy."
Then Jesus said, "Yes, now go and do the same."

This weekend while driving on Interstates, my wife and daughter and I found ourselves detained by several wrecks. Each of us drove an hour at a time, sharing the driving among us. With the first wreck, Victoria was driving. The cars ahead of us hit the brakes all at once and started pulling off on the side of the road. As Victoria followed suit, we saw dust kicked up to the left where I Jeep Cherokee lay on its side tires still spinning, and the U-Haul trailer the Jeep was towing was improbably still upright at the bottom of the steep-sided 10-foot high embankment. Dust and smoke (coming from the overheated catalytic converter on the exposed underside of the Jeep) clogged the air. But what was most noticeable was the rush of people who jumped out of their cars and headed toward the Jeep to lend aid. There was no pause, no hesitation.

I noticed no one was on the phone and called 911. The dispatcher and I spoke for a while as I thankfully found a milepost in sight, then crossed the road to find the driver had been extricated unharmed. He looked fine, and confirmed that he didn't need medical care. The people who stopped to lend aid filtered back to their cars. I finished the 911 call, crossed the Interstate and we were soon back on our way.

It was heartening to see so many people whose first response wasn't to call for someone else to help, or to drive by. The random selection of cars alongside us on that stretch of I-95 in South Carolina all stopped and were ready to do what they could to help someone in need.

On the way home from West Virginia, two more wrecks stopped traffic on I-95. These times we were much further back and could not see who first lent aid. But we saw that those who go into the breach to help others—police, firefighters, and other emergency personnel—were handling the scene. They by professional unflinchingly head into whatever situation exists on the other end of the radio call. In a world where so much seems to go wrong, it was good to see people helping people.

Now if we could just help each other by maintaining a safe distance between one another while driving on the Interstate, then perhaps there would be fewer emergencies to which we must respond. Right?

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


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While I was out

Sister Elena Thompson at King of Peace

I took some vacation time this Friday through Sunday, so that Victoria, Griffin and I could attend the 25th annual gathering of long distance hikers in Athens, West Virginia. While I was away, Sister Elena Thompson, pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Episcopal Church in Baxley, Georgia celebrated and preached at King of Peace. From the photo above taken by Kenn Hodge, it looks like I left the congregation in able hands. I'm not sure what our Senior Warden, Mike Gross, is doing with that axe, but I have a funny feeling that a creative sermon was in the works.

Thank you Sister Elena for serving at King of Peace this weekend.

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


  • At 10/16/2006 9:53 AM, Blogger Celeste said…

    She was very animated and it was a very good sermon and left me pondering on things. We missed you but loved having her visit.


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Commendation of Lancelot Andrewes

The following was created as a part of an evening prayer service by Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626), who was an Anglican priest and bishop and one of the key translators of the King James Version of the Bible.

To my weariness, 0 Lord, vouchsafe Thou rest,
to my exhaustion renew Thou strength.
Lighten mine eyes that I sleep not in death.
Deliver me from the terror by night,
the pestilence that walketh in darkness.
Supply me with healthy sleep,
and to pass through this night without Fear.
0 keeper of Israel, who neither slumberest nor sleepest,
guard me this night from all evil,
guard my soul, 0 Lord.
Visit me with the visitation of Thine own,
reveal to me wisdom in the visions of the night.
If not, for I am not worthy,
not worthy, at least, 0 loving Lord,
Let sleep be to me a breathing time
as from toil, so from sin.
Yea, 0 Lord, nor let me in my dreams imagine
what may anger Thee, what may defile me.
Let not my loins be filled with illusions,
yea, let my reins chasten me in the night season,
yet without grievous terror.
Preserve me from the black sleep of sin;
all earthly and evil thoughts put to sleep within me.
Grant to me light sleep, rid of all imaginations
fleshly and satanical.
Lord, Thou knowest how sleepless are mine unseen foes,
and how feeble my wretched flesh,
Who madest me ;
shelter me with the wing of Thy pity;
awaken me at the fitting time, the time of prayer;
and give me to seek Thee early,
for Thy glory and for Thy service.


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Threading the Needle

In tomorrow's Gospel reading Jesus tells his disciples,
"How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!"
Mark tells us in his Gospel that the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again,
"Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."
A post at November in My Soul, Money, it's a hit, relates a recent incident on television that shows Christians can still see wealth as a sign of God's blessing. And yet Jesus felt that it would be more difficult for those with money to enter the kingdom of God.

I've heard sermons that puport there was a gate into Jerusalem called "The Eye of the Needle" which was low and a camel could enter on its knees. There is no historical or archeological evidence for this bit of homiletical fiction. Jesus is really talking about shoving the biggest land mammal anyone in his area had seen through the smallest opening anyone was commonly familiar with. It was intentional hyperbole to make the point that it is tough stuff for rich people to get into God's kingdom.

Is this because it is tougher to tithe on a million dollar income, as it means giving God $100,000? Why would it be more difficult for the wealthy? What do you think?

In the archives is the sermon The One Thing You Lack.

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


  • At 10/15/2006 8:52 PM, Anonymous BobinWashPa said…

    My Rector had a intersting tag on this story. She said she wondered if the rich man still followed Jesus: that although he did not sell everything he could have taken to giving to the poor, or when the disciples passed by this village again, the rich man might've provided them with clean clothes, food and money. I think it's her desire to find good in all people that turned her thoughts in this direction. I admire her for this trait.

    This train of thought brings me to this idea. Sometimes I'm more struck by what isn't said than what is said in regards to some of the bible parables/readings

    As for the question... It's my thinking that wealthy people are more occupied with getting more wealth, like you can never have enough. It's like me and ties. I love ties and I'm always buying new ones even though I could wear a new one each day and would not have to repeat a tie for a good 90 days. I just have to have them. I become more obsessed with buying ties then buying a present for someone or giving to a charity or saving for a rainy day. Maybe wealth can be an impediment to keeping our eyes on the Lord???

    God's Peace, Bob


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The Reason for Cohesion

Over at his blog World of Your Making, the Rev. Rick Lord has just finished his on the spot reports from a Compass Rose Society trip to England and Italy. During the reports he tells most recently, of Pope Benedict XVI speaking of Saints Simon and Jude,
Rick Lord's photo of Benedict"They came from very different backgrounds," he said, and by choosing them "Jesus demonstrated that he calls his followers from the most far-ranging social and religious groups." The bonds of their faith run deeper than their differences. "It was Jesus himself who was the reason for their cohesion," said the Pope.
Earlier in the trip he wrote of the group visiting with Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams who gave the analogy of a funeral saying,
Rick Lord's photo of Rowan Williams"People are there," said Rowan, "because they love the same person." At funerals, people lay down their grievances long enough to gather in solidarity with each other for love of the one they have known and see no longer. In a similar way, Anglicans may not be able to find institutional unity, but hopefully, we remain in communion because we too, love the same person. We love the risen Christ.
another of Rick Lord's photos from his trip, this in EnglandSix days apart and with no knowledge of what the other was saying, the two Christian leaders pointed to what makes us One as Christians—we are one because we worship the one Lord. This doesn't mean we always act like one or evryone who is part of that one realizes the fact that we are united. However, that unity is there just the same. The trick is to live into that oneness we share.

In the archives is the sermon So the World May Know.

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


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Raise a Child Up...

Our scouts on a campoutYesterday's entry was on practicing random acts of kindness and it reminded me of the slogan of the Boy Scouts of America, "Do a Good Turn Daily." The scout program was important to my personal development as I grew from a Cub Scout to an Eagle Scout.

Raise a child up in the way he should go
and when he grows old he will not depart from it.
—Proverbs 226

Our Boy Scout Troop and Cub Scout Pack are number 226 for the verse above. Scouting is an important part of our ministries at King of Peace because it is a place where we can be involved in a positive sense in assisting parents in the task of teaching moral character. Where else other than church and in a scout troop would boys and girls be taught to "help other people at all time" and the other lessons of scouting. So our church is in use Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights for Girl Scout and Boy Scout programs alike with Brownie and Junior Girl Scouts and the Girl Scouts leaders district meeting. And also Cub Scouts, Webelos and Boy Scouts.

the logo for ou scout troopI am thankful for the ministires of our scoutmaster Robert Davenport-Ray and his many leaders and our district girl scout leader Elaine Hodge and her many leaders. A sermon in the archives Grace Upon Grace concludes with a story of my scoutmaster Gene McCord personally intervening in my life.

Our troop's website is online here Boy Scout Troop 226.

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

Brownie's a Girl Scouts in church
A junior Girl Scout and some of our Brownie's in church with me
on Girl Scout Sunday.


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