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.

11/30/2006

3 things you do not know...

The following was in a sermon the Rev. Grant LeRoux gave at Holy Nativity Church on St. Simons Island some years back. I do not know if it is original to Grant or if he was quoting someone else:

When you look upon a brother who has sinned, there are 3 things you do not know...

  1. You do not know how hard he tried to resist temptation...
  2. You do not know the strength of the forces assembled against him...
  3. You do not know what you would do in the same circumstances.

1 Comments:

  • At 11/30/2006 8:21 PM, Blogger Robin D. said…

    Those three things are really important for me to remember. Mostly because I can be really harsh with someone who is doing wrong.

    I am especially hard on those in positions of leadership who do bad things. I would do well to remember that they are no more or less human than I.

    I suppose those whose heads are higher than those around them make better targets

     

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11/29/2006

No Grandchildren Allowed

Maxwell Anderson Goodwin


Pictured above is Max, the newest member of King of Peace's extended family. He was a whopping 8 lbs. 12 oz. when born Monday evening. The son of Mickie and Angie Goodwin, who attend when they are in town, Max is the grandson of Neil and June Maxwell and niece of Meredith Maxwell and so he is firmly a part of our church family.

FRank holds Emma GracePictured at right, I am holding Jim and Janis Hudson's granddaughter, Emma Grace. When she came to the Thanksgiving Day meal with her Mom, Amanda, two-day old Emma Grace, who was born at 34 weeks, was just at five pounds. As a congregation with a healthy number of young couples, most of the babies born into our church family are children of parishioners (like Tyler and Kaitlin to name but two recent additions to the family). But these two newest babies are grandchildren, thus joining Colby and Gray whose grandparents as well as parents come to King of Peace.

But Max and Emma Grace will need to learn that there are no grandchildren allowed in church. This isn't being mean. It is because God does not have any grandchildren. Each of these babies is a child of God. We have been entrusted with them and the other children in our congregational family as a gift. And if we assist their grandparents (and to the degree we can their parents) in raising them to know and love God, Max and Emma Grace and the other kids in our family will come to understand themselves as the children of God they already are.

In the archives are the religion column Teaching children the language of faith and the sermon As a Little Child.

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

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11/28/2006

Deep water, big fish

Jonah in the great fish
In our spiritual life we sometimes prefer the shallow water where we can enjoy the experience and feel safe. But while that is good, we need also to launch out into the deep water with all the risks that are involved. That's where the big fish are—the ones worth catching.
—John Williamson

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2 Comments:

  • At 11/29/2006 6:33 AM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    I'm curious. Has anyone noticed that this is a photo of Jonah? Look inside the fish.

    If you click on the fish, you'll see more paintings by the same artist. Scroll down a bit. Some of my favorites are "parables" "ten lepers" and "The widow's mite."

    peace,
    Frank+

     
  • At 11/29/2006 9:50 AM, Anonymous kenny said…

    I hadn't noticed Jonah in there. That's a beautiful picture, though.

    But remember this?

    "Steer the ship of my life, good Lord, to your quiet harbour, where I can be safe from the storms of sin and conflict. Show me the course I should take. Renew in me the gift of discernment, so that I can always see the right direction in which I should go. And give me the strength and the courage to choose the right course, even when the sea is rough and the waves are high, knowing that through enduring hardship and danger in your name we shall find comfort and peace."
    —Basil of Caesarea (329-379)

    More advice like the Proverbs that say "don't argue with a fool" and "argue with a fool" in successive verses.

     

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11/27/2006

No Quarrel

There were two old men who dwelt together for many years and who never quarreled. Then one said to the other: "Let us pick a quarrel with each other like other men do."

"I do not know how quarrels arise," answered his companion.

So the other said to him: "Look, I will put a brick down here between us and I will say 'This is mine.' Then you can say 'No it is not, it is mine.' Then we will be able to have a quarrel.

"So they placed the brick between them and the first one said:"This is mine."

His companion answered him:"This is not so, for it is mine."

To this, the first one said: "If it is so and the brick is yours, then take it and go your way."

And so they were not able to have a quarrel.

1 Comments:

  • At 11/27/2006 4:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Who was their mother? I'd like to meet her. Even if they are not brothers...two men not quarraling...what a dream!

     

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11/26/2006

Conspiracy Theory

Jesus and the 12 apostles"The hypothesis that the Apostles were knaves is quite absurd. Follow it out to the end and imagine these twelve men meeting after Jesus's death and conspiring to say that he had risen from the dead. This means attacking all the powers that be.

"The human heart is singularly susceptible to fickleness, to change, to promises, to bribery. One of them had only to deny his story under these inducements, or still more because of possible imprisonment, tortures and death, and they would all have been lost.

"Follow that out."
—Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

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11/25/2006

King without a Kingdom

Tomorrow is Christ the King Sunday and in the Gospel reading, Jesus and Pilate have the following exchange of words after Pilate has asked Jesus' own people want him dead.
"My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here." Pilate asked him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice."
Christ triumphant, a mosaic from the 500sIn his own lifetime, people projected all sorts of their own ideas of power and authority onto Jesus. Some wanted a warrior to lead a Jewish military victory over Rome. Others wanted a prophet to lead a religious victory over a priesthood gone complacent at the Temple in Jerusalem. Since Jesus death and resurrection, people have declared him to be a great teacher, a magician, a philosopher, a poet, prophet, or even a deluded fool.

On Christ the King Sunday, the challenge is to answer the question Jesus used to challenge his own followers. He asked them, “Who do you say that I Am?” It doesn’t matter so much who other people say that he is. “Who do you say that Jesus is?” Was Jesus just a teacher, poet, magician, politician, an outlaw or was he something more? The answer is personal and for Jesus the answer had to do with getting at the truth of the matter. For what this king wanted and wants still is not to be king of an earthly klingdom, but to be the king of your life.

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

1 Comments:

  • At 11/27/2006 10:09 AM, Anonymous kenny said…

    It is very hard to accept Jesus as both Savior and Lord. Too many times we hear too much of one or the other. He is the Good Shepherd but He is also the omnipotent, righteous judge with standards that transcend our understanding.

    Thank God for His mercy for otherwise who could be saved?

     

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11/24/2006

Meet Our Daughter

The Chapel of Our Savior at Honey Creek

In 2007, King of Peace is assisting in the creation of a fourth Episcopal Church in Camden County—The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek. The new church will meet at the chapel at our Episcopal Camp and Conference Center, which is just off Dover Bluff Road, 5.5 miles east of I-95 at exit 26.

While this new congregation will be supported by the Diocese of Georgia, King of Peace has agreed to serve as a mentor on the project and will assist as needed. This separate congregation will be pastored by the Rev. Linda McCloud. Along with St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Woodbine and Christ Episcopal Church in St. Marys, we are working to expand the Kingdom of God in Camden County.

To find out more about our daughter congregation visit www.oursaviorhoneycreek.org and Pastor Linda's blog Sunrise on the Marsh.

1 Comments:

  • At 11/25/2006 7:07 AM, Blogger Linda McCloud+ said…

    Frank -- I like the new look of your blogspot. The Thanksgiving Day pictures are really nice -- especially the "King of Peace" aprons. And thanks for featuring The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek in today's blog. I am so proud of the new website.

    Peace,
    Linda+

     

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11/23/2006

Thanksgiving at King of Peace

It's Thanksgiving Day and more than 80 people are here at King of Peace. There is tons of food on hand, going out to the community through Meals on Wheels and in just a few minutes we'll begin serving food here as well. This is a highly successful event that could not have happened without broad support from the community including our fellow churches and some businesses. It also would not have happened without a herculean effort behind the scenes by June Maxwell and Sande Schmidt who coordinated the event.

Packing food for Meals on Wheels

RJ carves ham Melissa and Mary

Filling to go plates

Janis Bob and Peggy

We are having fun as well as working hard

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Thanksgiving

Frank's photo of wheat in Israel

Let us give thanks to God our Father for all his gifts so freely bestowed upon us.

For the beauty and wonder of your creation, in earth and sky and sea.
We thank you, Lord.

For all that is gracious in the lives of men and women, revealing the image of Christ,
We thank you, Lord.

For our daily food and drink, our homes and families, and our friends,
We thank you, Lord.

For minds to think, and hearts to love, and hands to serve,
We thank you, Lord.

For health and strength to work, and leisure to rest and play,
We thank you, Lord.

For the brave and courageous, who are patient in suffering and faithful in adversity,
We thank you, Lord.

For all valiant seekers after truth, liberty, and justice,
We thank you, Lord.

For the communion of saints, in all times and places,
We thank you, Lord.

Above all, we give you thanks for the great mercies and promises given to us in Christ Jesus our Lord;
To him be praise and glory, with you, O Father, and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen.

Note:
Today King of Peace gives thanks to God for our many blessing by serving our community. Volunteers are gathering at the church at 9 a.m. to prpeare meals. We have more than 300 meals to provide through the Meals on Wheels program. Then from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. we will serve a free Thanksgiving meal in our sanctuary. All is prepared. Come join to serve and to eat.

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

1 Comments:

  • At 11/23/2006 9:02 PM, Anonymous Bob in Wash, PA said…

    What a blessing the people of King of Peace are to your community, both to each other (as a parish) and to the the people of Kingsland and Camden County.
    It makes me wish I were a little closer (about 600 miles closer, SW PA here).

    God Bless,
    Bob

     

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11/22/2006

Thanksgiving at The Preschool

The Frogs class made maize headdresses

At King of Peace Episcopal Day School it's beginning to look a lot like Thanksgiving. Each class made it's own Thanksgiving themed costumes for the occasion.

Gray as a pumpkin pie Madison

The Bees Class dressed as Pumpkin Pies

Mila and students Amelia

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11/21/2006

If this is Earth?

An egret in the canal at Okefenokee Wildlife refuge

Yesterday, my wife, Victoria, our 15-year old daughter, Griffin, and I headed over to the Okefenokee Swamp in the afternoon. We paddled 4 miles or so—the length of the canal out and back. It was the perfect afternoon for the trip with crisp fall air and beautiful afternoon light. Griffin remarked, "If this is Earth, what must heaven be like?"

Indeed.

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

An alligator at eye level to our canoe

Paddling on the Canal

4 Comments:

  • At 11/21/2006 8:15 AM, Anonymous kenny said…

    Do the gators bite in heaven? :)

     
  • At 11/21/2006 8:28 AM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    Isaiah 11:6-9 says, "In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard and the goat will be at peace. Calves and yearlings will be safe among lions, and a little child will lead them all. The cattle will graze among bears. Cubs and calves will lie down together. And lions will eat grass as the livestock do. Babies will crawl safely among poisonous snakes. Yes, a little child will put its hand in a nest of deadly snakes and pull it out unharmed. Nothing will hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain. And as the waters fill the sea, so the earth will be filled with people who know the LORD."

    So the answer would be "No." Alligators don't bite in heaven. But it will probably take a millenia or two for the egrets to get much rest with them nearby.

    peace,
    Frank+

     
  • At 11/21/2006 10:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I don't mind gators, but I am not going to heaven with snakes! No way! Not even nice snakes!

     
  • At 11/21/2006 7:57 PM, Anonymous Debbie said…

    I agree - NO snakes. Not a one.

     

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11/20/2006

Welcoming the Stranger

At church yesterday morning a couple introduced themselves as the parents of a priest I know. They were traveling along I-95 and planned the stop to have a place to worship on Sunday morning. I was glad to have them as guests at King of Peace.

Our yellow pages adLater, as they were leaving, they said, "Only one person spoke to us and introduced themselves. We thought you would want to know." The father went on to note that he liked our Yellow Pages ad, and we had at least lived up to not yelling at them. And yet the couple was clearly wrankled by our not being adequately welcoming.

As we spoke, I looked up and the entry hall was still very full with perhaps as many as half of the 131 people who came to worship with us. There were lots of groups of people talking energetically and I could see how it would be hard to attach and easy to slide on out as this couple was doing. It would be easy to see us as a friendly church, but a church that is friendly with one another rather than strangers. Though I did know new faces who I could see speaking with folks who had been at King of Peace longer. A stranger couldn't see that. They could only see the welcome they had recieved.

I told them that what we teach specifically is a 5-minute Rule. In the first five minutes after worship those who consider King of Peace their church home should look for people they do not know and go up and say, "Hi I'm _____. I don't believe we have met." Then talk, get the person connected to others with similar interests, ages of children, whatever. And if you see someone new already has someone speaking with them, let it go until next time as we also don't want to mob newcomers.

This is central for us as hospitality is one of our values of King of Peace. Frankly, I was pleased that someone noticed the couple and spoke to introduce themselves. That is heartening. Yet two visitors left feeling they had not been welcomed. No matter what I think of how we did, our response fell short of their expectation of what a welcoming Episcopal Church is like.

In our hallway after church on a less busy SundaySo while I'm Monday morning quarterbacking the situation, I thought I would ruminate along with y'all. What should we do? How can we learn, as a group, to better welcome strangers in our midst? How can we be welcoming to newcomers rather than just friendly with one another? And I want to challenge some of the 200+ daily lurkers to chime in and help me sort through the challenge of the ministry of hospitality.

In the archives is the sermon The Value of Hospitality.

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

24 Comments:

  • At 11/20/2006 7:48 AM, Blogger Celeste said…

    Is this growing pains? There are so many new faces that I see every week at KOP. I can think of about 6 people that I saw for the first time just yesterday. Then there were some who haven't been to KOP in a while. We definitely have some room for improvement, but how do we get to all of them?
    I remember the couple, I only acknowledged them when they got there and then left them alone. Looking back, I see they were wanting more.

     
  • At 11/20/2006 9:26 AM, Blogger Victoria said…

    This is a difficult one for me. As a "1" on the introvert/extrovert scale (1 being an extreme introvert)and being shy to boot, just walking up to someone I do not know is excruciatingly hard for me to do. Conversely, if I am new to or just visiting a church, I prefer to just attend worship and slip out. So, how do you know which people want approaching and which do not? From my point of view, if I am looking to attach, I would be more likely to hover and hope that I am approached. I imagine if this couple had "hovered" a while longer, there would have been a number of people who would have noticed and said something to them. As Celeste noted, with so many new faces, it takes a while to figure out who needs welcoming. And, as we are all different, how we wish to be welcomed will vary. There is a fine line between being welcoming and running someone off because you were too welcoming.

     
  • At 11/20/2006 9:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    As a new member of King of Peace, I must say that I have seen and experienced more hospitality at King of Peace than in any church I have ever attended. From the moment my family and I walked in, we had friendly faces all around greeting us, talking to us and welcoming us. I think that you may need to be a little more forgiving towards your congregation yesterday for a few reasons. These are not to be taken as excuses, but maybe you can see why things happened the way they did.

    First of all, it is Thanksgiving week, and your congregation has taken on a tremendous responsibility trying to make sure that all who need to be fed will be on Thursday. People were trying to tie up loose ends and manage the details with those that they might not see again until Thanksgiving Day.

    Secondly, because of the holiday, there were a few out of town relatives visiting our church with their families. Could these people have been unfortunately mistaken for somebody’s mom and dad within the church? Maybe we saw this couple speaking with you and assumed that hospitality was being extended. Like you said, you don’t want to mob people.

    Also, with your congregation growing the way it is, it is very difficult to get to ALL of the new faces. Sometimes, you can think you have sought out all of the new faces, but accidentally miss some hiding in the crowds.

    I sincerely apologize for not recognizing this couple as visitors or new faces within King of Peace. But, there were several members of your congregation still recognizing me as a new face. That’s a good thing! Sometimes it takes awhile. Maybe it’s like commercials. Did you know the average commercial is seen seven times by somebody before they ever really see it?

    I think that since the congregation at King of Peace is growing so rapidly, there may be a few things we can do to help ourselves in the hospitality department. Maybe acknowledging new comers and visitors before the service begins, or during the announcement may help. Simply state,“ We would like to welcome all visitors and new members to our church.” Have them raise their hands so everybody can see them. Also, have a guest book open near the membership sign up sheets. Invite the visitors to sign the book so we can keep them in our prayers. Also, mention where the new member sign up sheets are located. This way, after the service these new faces will be in a certain area and they can be easily recognized and approached and invited to stay for a few minutes of fellowship. Sending friendly thank you notes to visitors would be nice too. I would be more than happy to do this!

     
  • At 11/20/2006 2:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Not to rain on anyone's parade but many visitors do not want to be pointed out or singled out. Some just want to obseve unnoticed.

    I have visisted King of Peace and frankly the people did seem reserved and socialized almost exclusively with the people they knew.

    This is not meant as a criticism because lord knows I can be unsociable.

     
  • At 11/20/2006 4:44 PM, Blogger November In My Soul said…

    Lurker? Wow, never been called that before.

     
  • At 11/20/2006 6:04 PM, Blogger Robin D. said…

    Well, as a "PK" I have been to more churches and different congregations than most.

    I don't think I've heard of anyone dropping in on their daddy's friend's church and giving them a report card on hospitality.

    That's just strange. It reminds me of the "Connoisseur of Fine Churches" described by Screwtape.

     
  • At 11/20/2006 7:56 PM, Blogger Mike Gross said…

    I really think the door swings both ways. People who want to be recognized, should be introducing themselves and letting us know they are from out of town. Many of us have "chores" to do right after church. Setting up for Kids in the Kingdom, meeting for Thanksgiving day preps, paying the babysitters, counting the tithes, putting away the alter linens, setting up the desserts. I could go on, and on, and on. So many things get done and folks just think it is "automatic". I would encourage everyone who does not have a "chore" to get out and "meet and greet". By the same token, it takes two people to perform a handshake. Whoever extends the hand first is not the issue here.

     
  • At 11/20/2006 8:53 PM, Blogger Laura said…

    We are so fortunate here at "my" church, because we have a member who takes it on herself to greet all newcomers and make sure they meet others of us! We also have organized a rotation of "greeters" whose job it is to come early, stand by the door and give each one who enters a cordial "Hello."
    But I agree that it's hard to find the line between welcoming and scaring off!
    And I agree that, as an introvert, (it must be genetic) it's hard for me, personally, to approach strangers. But I'm getting better at it. We actually divided up in pairs and practiced greeting at a meeting organized by our Church Growth committee. That helped. And we have nametags, if we could only get our members to actually wear them!

     
  • At 11/20/2006 9:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Rita and I concur that our personal experience has been excellent from the standpoint of KofP members welcoming us and making us feel a part of the Church community. Before transferring our membership to KofP, we visited a couple of times at St. Peter's in Fernandina Beach. I was extremely impressed with their greeting and their post-Church follow up. Perhaps we could use designated greeters at each service, and then have a committee (or the Mission Council) to call or write the newcomers to extend our hospitality to them. We don't want to become like a fraternity "rush," but my personal thought is, when in doubt, take the initiative to offer hospitality and welcome.

    Bill

     
  • At 11/20/2006 9:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    So sorry to hear that we are not up to par. As a rapidly growing church, it is a bit difficult to figure out who our visitors are. Being baptist for so long I am used to the visitors being pointed out. Maybe we should try that but only have a few church members go to them and say hello so that they don't feel bombarded.

    God Bless,
    Karen

     
  • At 11/20/2006 9:09 PM, Anonymous Maris Cato said…

    At one church I attended, we had bleached sand dollars with a card of welcome attached that we handed out to visitors (at least to the ones who acknowledged they were new to us.) It showed newer people that we were trying anyway. The attached card had the minister's name and numbers. Just an idea.

     
  • At 11/20/2006 9:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow. That comment that couple made, kind of hurt my feelings. I made it a point to smile at them and say hello, (not trying to judge them or make excuses) but they did not really make themselves approachable. And if I remember right, they were one of the first people to want to get out the door-- did they try hang around and talk to people? I cannot remember if they did or not. I just remember them talking to Frank very shortly after the service. I know at other churches, they make visitors raise their hands and fill out cards to put in the offering plate. How embarassing is that? I've also been a newcomer at another church and felt smothered. Where do you draw the line? I think that King of Peace DOES have clicks. I've seen them, and I know a lot of others have too. But that is going to happen anywhere, and you can't really get away from that. You can't please everyone, and we can't change the past. We CAN focus our efforts a little bit more on the newcomers, try to break up the clicks and maybe everyone should make a personal goal to try to meet someone new every service (even if they've been here once or twice but you haven't met them yet).

     
  • At 11/20/2006 10:22 PM, Anonymous Debbie said…

    I think one's view might depend on what you need from church that day. Some days I come and I want to be surrounded by company and friends, and on those days I talk to lots of people. Other days, I've just wanted to be among people yet still be alone, and that's OK, too. Whether I get companionship or solitude is up to me. As long as I understand that what I am there to do it to worship and take care of spiritual matters, pursuing the social aspect is a perk. I've never felt that our church is a social club but a spiritual community of friends and family - spiritual brothers and sisters.

     
  • At 11/21/2006 7:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It has felt overwhelming lately trying to meet all the newcomers and keep the newer members feel connected. When people sign our guest book, we do follow up, but very few newcomers sign it. We do need to encourage them to do so. I try to welcome people during the peace who are sitting near me, but maybe they don't see that as a sign of welcome.

     
  • At 11/21/2006 8:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Being fairly new to the church myself, I am still meeting some of the current members. One cannot expect everyone in the church to run up and welcome them. Yes, we need to be open to those that are new and give a friendly hello, but the newcomer should also do the same.

    Our old church that we went to would ask if there were any visitors and if they chose to raise their hand they could. He would ask where they were visiting from and if they were a guest of someone in the church. He would welcome them and so would the congregation. We also once a month called those forward who's birthday it was that month and a birthday prayer would be said for them. Small thing we did to make the congregation more involved.

    Overall, King of Peace is an amazing church and I am lucky to have found such a wonderful place to worship.

     
  • At 11/21/2006 9:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I love Maris's idea of the sanddollar. That is short and sweet. When it is handed to them, it might prompt more conversation. On the other hand, if they are the type who don't want the attention they can say thanks and move on. There would have to be a plan for getting these to the visitors. What if you and the greeter stood at the door as the people exited the sanctuary and shook hands with everyone and had a basket of sanddollars next to you to hand out to the visitors? Then, when they are hanging around, others will see the sanddollars in their hand and know they are visitors. If they are the type to not socialize, then they will probably head out the door. If they hang around, they are probably looking for conversation.

    I am always afraid of welcoming someone as a visitor, only to find out they have been members for a long time!! How embarrassing. That is what holds me back because, quite frankly, I don't know who all the members are. I wouldn't recognize some of them on the street.

    The bottom line is, we want our members and regular attenders to be "real".

    So, if we're asked to be "fake" in order to attract the visitors, then the visitors are not seeing the "real" thing. Not sure if that makes sense.

    —Melissa

     
  • At 11/21/2006 9:46 AM, Blogger Celeste said…

    It seems the consensus is that KOP has good intentions for welcoming new folks. What doesn't fit well for me is to have all newcomers stand at the peace or single them out for introductions. I also can't see name tags for the members. We do have a guest sheet and cards available. We are currently working on getting the cards more accessible to the guests. What this has stirred in all of us is to be more mindful of who is around us and attempt to greet them. For me it would probably help if I actually sat in a different area. We all tend to sit in the same place and that puts us around the same people.

     
  • At 11/21/2006 10:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Obviously, our visitors on Sunday wanted to be singled out, acknowledged as visitors and receive special attention. Maybe we should welcome visitors during the announcements and point out that there is a guest sheet to sign in the entrance way. I know when I walk out after the service, there are so many people at the tables signing everything that it is overwhelming. Is the guest sheet in a place by itself? Also, raising hands during the announcements to acknowledge visitors is fine. If there are some that don't want to be noticed, they don't have to participate.

     
  • At 11/21/2006 11:02 AM, Anonymous Maris said…

    When I started coming to church in May, Janice Morris began an email conversation with me. It took weeks for us to find each other, except in cyberspace, but I knew someone special was looking for me and I was looking for her. It made all the difference! Thank you, Janice!!!

     
  • At 11/21/2006 12:12 PM, Anonymous Steve+ said…

    I notice the hospitality of other churches when I worship on vacation, etc. I notice when I'm not spoken to. That may be for a variety of reasons. For instance, and I haven't read all the responses so I don't know if this was covered, but what would be more scandalous in a larger church; going up to someone and welcoming them only to find out they've been members for 30 years or not to speak to them at all in fear of embarrassing yourself for not knowing them? But I think at the end of the day, coming to worship is about worshipping God, regardless of who talks to you or who does not. Certainly we want all of our churches to reflect the joy and love and hospitality that naturally springs from our faith (or we hope springs from our faith) but I tend to cringe somewhat at an ego-centric approach to worship. "I" didn't get anything out of it. No one spoke to "me." I heard an Orthodox priest say yesterday that we come to church to work. If liturgy really is the "work of the people," he's right. It's not about us. But we do want the Body of Christ to know each other.
    At St Michael's, we have refreshments in the yard immediately after worship. Most stay and chat and we look for new folks who are just standing around. But some folks don't want to chat, they want to go. I think we have to respect that. Just like if someone puts down their phone number of a visitors card, I think they want to be called. If they don't put it down, they don't want to be called. For me, people are people. What is hospitality to one is not to another. We do the best we can being as authentic as we can. The fact that this post is being discussed seems to suggest that KOP takes community and hospitality seriously.

     
  • At 11/21/2006 12:45 PM, Blogger Celeste said…

    Ditto and Amen to that Steve. Well said.

     
  • At 11/21/2006 2:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I tend to agree with the posts of not knowing everyone and welcoming someone who is not new as an embarassment. Even after attending KOP for almost 2yrs.I still do not know all names and maybe even some faces can be unfamiliar. I myself when attended a new church I did not want to be singled out. I think if people would like to be known as visitors then they would tend to stay around for a while after the service. I am disturbed by the fact that we go to church to worship and praise and the last thing I want is to be judged by how many people I talked to.

     
  • At 11/21/2006 3:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You can always greet somebody you don't know without making it seem like you're welcoming them for the very first time. "Hi,I am _____. I don't believe we've met,"is a great lead in to meeting somebody. This is a good opportunity to find out their story. I do agree, however, that we were judged a little harshly on Sunday.Even if we try our best, we will never be perfect. These visitors had not walked in our shoes these last couple of weeks.

     
  • At 11/28/2006 11:53 PM, Blogger Melodie said…

    I enjoyed reading all of the comments and I learned a lot about some of the members through reading them. I have been attending KOP for almost a year and have yet to meet everyone. Most people have been very welcoming to me and each week I feel more like family. I think the comments about clicks, sitting in the same area, being busy with church business and the fact that the church is growing rapidly with new faces all the time makes it difficult for the newer people to recognize even newer people at times. I think a nice idea would be just before “The Peace” to ask if visitors are present and to stand and be noticed, but not have to introduce themselves and then proceed with The Peace in welcoming them and one another. I also feel The Peace could last 2 extra minutes to enable us to go a little farther in the crowd. Then, afterwards some would have the opportunity to welcome the newcomers. I attended Baptist churches all of my life and I was embarrassed by being singled out too, but something has to be said about being aggressive at some point. I enjoy my worship and fellowship time at KOP and it has been my experience that there are many wonderful and sweet people there who have blessed my life in making me feel so welcomed and loved. I remember meeting a new couple beside me and introducing myself to them, but for all I know they could have been someone who sits on the other side and changed seats for the day. I also think that people who are not shy could possibly spend more time speaking to people they haven’t met before during the few minutes after church for coffee break or at dinners we have. Another thought would be to encourage more to attend Wednesday nights since it is so personal and growing, as well and would help us all to become acquainted more. Thank you Fr. Frank for sharing this message and just know that you are Awesome and we love you. ~Melodie

     

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11/19/2006

Hammer Time

Camden County Episcopal Youth traveled to Brunswick yesterday to join with members of St. Mark's Episcopal Church, both youth and adults in building a Habitat for Humanity house. The home is for Samantha (and her Mom) who the teens know from events at Honey Creek. Click on any photo to see a larger version of the picture.

Griffin and Ashley clowning around before work

Griffin and Celeste hammering Kyle hammering
Griffin, Ashley and Kalyn show what they are made of

raising a wall into place Father Frank

Holding the long wall in place
When we arrived, there was only a floor. When we left at lunchtime, there were three exterior walls up and a fourth would go up just after we left. It was a very gratifying morning of work, even if my muscles are now sore from the hammering and moving stacks of OSB and 2x4s. This is a good warm up as we are one of twelve churches in on the Apostle's Build for Habitat for Humanity of Camden County.

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

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11/18/2006

Let the Reader Understand

In tomorrow's Gospel reading we encounter Mark chapter 13, called by those who study scripture "The Little Apocalypse" for Jesus words,
But when you see the desolating sacrilege set up where it ought not to be (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains; the one on the housetop must not go down or enter the house to take anything away; the one in the field must not turn back to get a coat. Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing infants in those days! Pray that it may not be in winter. For in those days there will be suffering, such as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, no, and never will be. And if the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would be saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he has cut short those days. And if anyone says to you at that time, 'Look! Here is the Messiah!' or 'Look! There he is!'--do not believe it. False messiahs and false prophets will appear and produce signs and omens, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. But be alert; I have already told you everything
Of this apocalyptic text, Larry Gilliack has written,
The Gospel is known as the Good News. Today’s Good News sounds very much like the bad news we hear and see in the media. The whole chapter from which these verses are taken reads like a futuristic science-fiction novel. Where’s the grace? Where’s the hope? Where’s the invitation to God’s being faithful?

Earlier in the thirteenth verse of this same chapter we hear Jesus say that the one who stays firm to the end will be saved. This is right in the midst of doomier and gloomiest warnings. This begins the better news, but there is more.

As in the First Reading, Jesus is Lord of the earth and sky. While we desire to know the date and place of the final ending or “second coming,” Jesus encourages us to keep living towards our eternal existence. The “when” is “now.”

We know there is going to be an end to our individual lives. Jesus is saying that we should live today as if we knew that later today is the beginning of our final ending. We would love to be able to read the signs of the time and get ready and be prepared and looking good when the Lord comes collecting.

We are encouraged rather to read the signs of our minds and hearts.

How sacred it all is and how wonderfully mysterious it all is. There are new leaves and growth in bush and tree and field. The fall of the leaves is not the beginning of the end, but the beginning of the beginning. We are encouraged to watch, but live the sacredness of our lives every day.

It is a strange thing, this on-coming of God. In five weeks we will celebrate a first-coming. It will be a birth of a baby, the Prince of Peace. Shepherds and wise men will come in humble awe. We will kneel with them fearlessly joyful while the stars of the heavens keep watch.

Now the Liturgical Year seems to be ending with Jesus casting joyless fearful bolts at his listeners and those same stars will be falling from the skies. Where’s the Good News!!

Allow me to make a quite bold statement here. God is not a “Mercy-Machine.” God, as revealed in the fullness of revelation in Jesus, remains as in the beginning, is now, and will be for all ages, the God of Creation!

Mercy is more a legal concept and Jesus gave battle to the legal-eagles of his day. Mercy is but a fractional part of God’s creative love. Sin is our personal de-creation of ourselves, others and our relationship with God.

If we have an image of God that centers around God’s being legalistically just/merciful, then we push Jesus to the sidelines and stand in midfield shivering like the naked trees of winter, fear and frightened that the sky is going to fall upon us with wrath and vengeance.

With that image, would we, could we ever look forward to the “second coming” of the Prince of Peace?

What God asks of us is “mercy not sacrifice,” mercy towards ourselves from ourselves. God is always at work, laboring to bring all of us into harmony within and around us. We can worry about whether we will be ready.

The more important reality is whether or not we believe we belong to God, by God’s creation of us from the beginning and leading up to our final ending, which of course, is only the beginning of what’s always new.

Let me say it clearly once more. God is not merciful! God is more than what we mean by that lazy word. God is always coming to make more of us than we can make of ourselves.

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11/17/2006

Shine On

Someone who goes to King of Peace sent along a note about this video from the new Christian music group NEEDTOBREATHE. The group is from South Carolina and their music has been life saving for the person who sent in the link to this video. The video itself was made for $183, which is amazing once you see it. The title is Shine On and the video relates to sharing the Light of Christ (that is within you) with others.

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

4 Comments:

  • At 11/17/2006 8:41 AM, Anonymous Debbie said…

    WOW!!

     
  • At 11/17/2006 9:21 AM, Anonymous Kenny said…

    Very good. The concept/content is always better than the flash. Lots of artists have forgotten that these days.

    Has an 80's feel to it. That's another bonus for us old-timers. :)

     
  • At 11/17/2006 6:54 PM, Blogger Celeste said…

    this is a good way to show why we need each other. When we lose our ice cream (so to speak) we have each other to lift us up. It reminds me of the movie "Pay it Forward" which has come up for me several times lately. Great music! Another to add to my collection.

     
  • At 11/22/2006 7:02 PM, Blogger Susan said…

    It never ceases to amaze me how young people find it so easy to express their feelings. This video is amazing. I agree with Celeste... it does make me think of Pay it forward but it also makes me think of something I learned a long time ago - if your love for Christ shows in your life it becomes infectious. Always share your testimony - use words if necessary.

     

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11/16/2006

A Drug Problem

The other day, someone at a store in our town read that a methamphetamine lab had been found in an old farmhouse in the adjoining county and he asked me a rhetorical question, ''Why didn't we have a drug problem when you and I were growing up?''

I replied: I had a drug problem when I was young:

a kid with a drug problemI was drug to church on Sunday morning.

I was drug to church for weddings and funerals.

I was drug to family reunions and community socials no matter the weather. I was drug by my ears when I was disrespectful to adults.

I was also drug to the woodshed when I disobeyed my parents, told a lie, brought home a bad report card, did not speak with respect, spoke ill of the teacher or the preacher, or if I didn't put forth my best effort in everything that was asked of me.

I was drug to the kitchen sink to have my mouth washed out with soap if I uttered a profane four-letter word.

I was drug out to pull weeds in mom's garden and flowerbeds and cockleburs out of dad's field. I was drug to the homes of family, friends, and neighbors to help out some poor soul who had no one to mow the yard, repair the clothesline, or chop some firewood; and, if my mother had ever known that I took a single dime as a tip for this kindness, she would have drug me back to the woodshed.

Those drugs are still in my veins; and they affect my behavior in everything I do, say, and think. They are stronger than cocaine, crack, or heroin; and, if today's children had this kind of drug problem, America would be a better place.

—anonymous

3 Comments:

  • At 11/16/2006 9:42 AM, Anonymous Kenny said…

    Amen

     
  • At 11/16/2006 6:09 PM, Blogger CSL said…

    Oh, no. The drug problem is not related to not dragging our kids to the woodshed to beat them, or not dragging them to the sink to wash their mouths out with soap, or any of the other many humiliations that can be visited upon children by vicious parents. And I respond here with confidence because I know you to have a very different approach to child-rearing yourself. And without any of these practices, have raised a decent, thoughtful (and drug-free!) young woman. What if, instead, we offered children guidance and love?

    "What is done to children, they will do to society." - Dr. Karl Menninger

    "The birch is used only out of bad temper and weakness, for the birch is a servile punishment which degrades the soul even when it corrects, if indeed it corrects, for its usual effect is to harden." - Saint John Baptiste de La Salle, "On the Conduct of Christian Schools"

    "Children ought to be led to honorable practices by means of encouragement and reasoning, and most certainly not by blows and ill treatment." - Plutarch

    and of course,
    "Whatever you have done to little children you have done to me!" - Jesus Christ

     
  • At 11/16/2006 8:12 PM, Anonymous Debbie said…

    I don't believe that anyone who knows me, my husband, or my parents would accuse any of us of being vicious. Viscous would be the LAST word used to describe my Dad. But I WAS held accountable for my behavior in ways I could understand. And yes, I will even admit that occasionally - not often, but occasionally - the quickest and most permanent way to my brain was through the seat of my pants. And, yes, I did occasionally need my willful little spirit quashed some.

    And, No, I don't feel abused or mistreated. I feel like my parents loved me enough to do whatever it took to make sure I became an individual who understood right from wrong and consistently tried to choose right regardless of personal comfort.

    You see, my parents never yelled or belittled me, called me names, or made accusations to me that they couldn't back up as true. In everything, I had guidance and love even when I got "drug to the woodshed" - which was always a last resort.

    More important was the other "drug" lines from the piece. The ones that imply service to others. Those are the ones that teach real discipline. Those are the ones I am most grateful for receiving.

     

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11/15/2006

Let him rest

The following is a monks' tale from the desert of Egypt in the 400s, giving advice for when someone next to you falls asleep in church:
Some old men went to Abba Poemen and asked, "If we see brothers sleeping during the common prayer, should we wake them?"

Abba Poemen answered,"If I see my brother sleeping, I put his head on my knees and let him rest."

Then one old man spoke up, "And how do you explain yourself before God?"

Abba Poemen replied, "I say to God: You have said, 'First take the beam out of your own eye and then you will be able to remove the splinter from the eye of your brother.' "
My Dad always said, "Everyone should get something out of church, even if it's a nap." I guess his advice was older than I thought.



In other news, plans are moving ahead for our Community Thanksgiving Meal this Thanksgiving Day from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. You can see what is still needed at our online list http://kingofpeace.org/food4thanksgiving.htm and also find out how to sign up to bring food or help.

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

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11/14/2006

Saying Never Again, Again

I feel so powerless to help those in the Dafur region of the Sudan. We know full well the level of atrocity taking place. After the Holocaust under Hitler we said, "Never again." Then with the genocide in Rwanda, "Never again." And now it is happening again and again I wonder why we are powerless to bring about change. Is there no way to stop the broad scale suffering?

In recent news a Norwegian Aid agency has had to pull out of the region. The Norwegian Refugee Council is currently assisting 300,000 people (of roughly 2 million displaced persons), but is at the mercy of the government which has held up their work 210 days total since they started in 2004. The group feels it can do more good elsewhere.

an AP photo of a Janjaweed fighterAnother BBC News report says that the Janjaweed militia killed at least 63 people in recent attacks in Darfur, at least 27 of the victims are thought to be children under the age of 12. It was these same fighters who displaced the 2 million refugees from their homes and have led to what is estimated to be 400,000 deaths so far. The Janjaweed are the local militias in Darfur widely reported to be connected to the Sudanese government.

In 2004, Episcopal Priest John Danforth served as an American envoy to the Sudan to broker peace. In a press conference after his visit he was asked if Americans cared and he responded,
Are the American people concerned about the people of Darfur? Yes, they are. Are the American people aware of the disaster of Darfur? Yes, they are. Are the American people aware of the stories of burning and rape and plunder and displaced persons? Yes, they are. And do the American people, to their credit, stand up for people half way around the world who are so different from what they are, but are human beings? Yes, the American people care about them.
a map showing the regionI want to think my brother priest was right, that we do care about those halfway around the world and yet two years have passed, thousands more have died and I have done nothing, nor have we.

As I have preached before (see Strong Weakness) I usually find power in situations of powerlessness. But in the case of genocide, I see nothing but pathos, loss. Is there any response I am missing other than prayer? We have said "Never again" and now it has been happening again for 3 years and we have done little to stop it.

Two places to find out more are the Wikipedia article on the Dafur Conflict and the "learn" page at SaveDafur.com

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

3 Comments:

  • At 11/14/2006 10:41 AM, Blogger Ryan said…

    Dear Frank,

    I appreciate this post. It is very hard to find something to do in addition to prayer to help the people of Darfur. It is also very easy to get "compassion fatigue," and become discouraged. My parish has sponsored a family of 6 and has brought them out of Darfur to the U.S. They live in a house the parish owns and are slowly getting accustomed to life in the U.S. The process for helping a refugee family like this is long, but more worthwhile than you can imagine. Especially when you consider that unless they were here, they, like the rest of their family and village, would be dead. We helped to save 6 out of a village. In the grand scheme of things, did that matter? I say yes! And it certainly mattered to them! Your church may want to investigate the possibility of sponsoring a family. But, y'all should always pray, as I'm sure you do. A wise man once said, "Prayer is not the least we can do, but the most." God bless you.

    -R

     
  • At 11/15/2006 6:38 AM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    Ryan,

    How did your congregation go about this? Who would one contact? I would ask for this information by email, but I think it is worth posting here if you can.

    peace,
    Frank+

     
  • At 11/17/2006 10:38 AM, Blogger Ryan said…

    Frank,

    At the congregation I now serve, we partnered with a local Mosque through an organization called "C.A.I.R." - Council on American-Islamic Relations. In my previous congregation in Chicago, we worked through a local agency who specialized in bringing refugees to the city. That congregation brought over and resettled hundreds of Bosnians in the 90's, and two Liberian families while I was there. You can try and find such an agency in your area. You can get more infor by checking out websites like the Lutheran Imigration and Refugee Service. This is an amazing ministry, but one which takes lots of time, patience, and total congregational support. Refugees arrive with almost nothing but the clothes on their backs. Literally. They arrive scared, often not speaking very good English, and in total and complete culture shock. You have to have housing and furniture and food waiting for them. It's a big step, a huge project, but it proclaims the Gospel louder than any preacher.

    -R

     

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11/13/2006

Evangelical Atheists

It sounds like a contradiction in terms, but as an evanglical is one with "Good News" to spread and some who believe there is no God feel that revelation is good news, the term was bound to be coined. The chief proponent at the moment is Richard Dawkins, whose book The God Delusion I referenced at this blog once before. Two more recent items have crossed my desk.

First, Kenny sent a link to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle challenging Atheists with the notion that if anything, the notion of evolution seems to favor those with religious beliefs. That opinion piece looks at the two world views and asks
Should evolutionists like Dennett, Dawkins, Harris and Wilson be surprised, then, to see that religious tribes are flourishing around the world? Across the globe, religious faith is thriving and religious people are having more children. By contrast, atheist conventions only draw a handful of embittered souls, and the atheist lifestyle seems to produce listless tribes that cannot even reproduce themselves.
The full text of the article is online here: God Knows Why Faith Is Thriving.

Victoria's articleAlso, my wife, Victoria, wrote an interesting article for The Brunswick News on this issue. The article, the .PDF of which page is online at her website, sees Dawkins' book as the latest version in the line of thought that goes back to Sigmund Freud's 1927 work The Future of an Illusion an further. The full text of her article is here: Facing the Dark Side.

I am reminded of the T-shirt design which on side one says,

"God is Dead."—Nietzsche
and on the reverse says,

"Nietzsche is dead."—God

It is a debate bound to outlive the current generation of people arguing both sides of the theological issue. The problem, as noted in the earlier post, is a bit sad in that logically speaking no atheist will ever discover they were right, while no Christian will ever discover they were wrong. Right?

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

“To believe in God is impossible
—to not believe in Him is absurd”
—Voltaire

3 Comments:

  • At 11/13/2006 4:32 PM, Blogger November In My Soul said…

    "It seems perplexing why nature would breed a group of people who see no purpose to life or the universe, indeed whose only moral drive seems to be sneering at their fellow human beings who do have a sense of purpose. Here is where the biological expertise of Dawkins and his friends could prove illuminating. Maybe they can turn their Darwinian lens on themselves and help us understand how atheism, like the human tailbone and the panda's thumb, somehow survived as an evolutionary leftover of our primitive past."

    This quotation is from the same article. I think it is an excellent idea to turn the atheists' own logic against them. I have long wondered why atheists feel the need to blow their proverbial horns so loudly. Who are they trying to convince? Us or themselves? If they truly deny the reality of any higher power why worry about those who believe? What are they trying to save us from, heaven?

     
  • At 11/13/2006 11:14 PM, Blogger CSL said…

    We seem to live in such a polarized time. I remain hopeful that we can figure out a way for there to be room for all of us in this incredible world. It seems a shame to decide that all atheists/nontheists "see no purpose in life" or "whose only moral drive is sneering at their fellow human beings." Most people have their sneering moments, and I readily admit that I certainly have mine. But I can't help but think of an elderly man in my Meeting who is kind, compassionate, deeply moral and as genuinely good a soul as I have personally met. If he has ever sneered at anyone for their beliefs, I haven't heard it. And he would take being sneered at for his beliefs with good grace. A true Quaker pacifist, he embodies what many people would describe as a Christ-like attitude. And he's a nontheist. Primitive? Enlightened? Who gets to decide?

     
  • At 11/17/2006 10:07 PM, Anonymous Bob in Wash PA said…

    csl: I agree with you.
    I use to believe that the Episcopal Church was the great experiement in which people of differing viewpoints could still live under one roof. I think some of this fascination with Atheism is a backlash to those who think their Gospel is the only Gospel and their exegetes is the only correct exegesis (I hope i got that right).

    I belong to a Non-Network parish in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. We have many views, opinions, likes and dislikes but we are family.

    I can't tell you how many people my age (mid 30's to mid 40's) are turned off by Christianity. Atheism might look attractive to some of those.

    Maybe there is hope. I certainly Hope so.
    Bob in Wash PA

     

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11/12/2006

Look Alike?

God created man in His own image,
in the image of God He created him;
male and female He created them.
—Genesis 1:27



According to this computer match, I look nearly as much like Cameron Diaz as I do like Paul Newman and I look most like Starsky's partner, Hutch. Go figure.

Yet, the quote above from Genesis suggests that everyone you ever met rates 100% for the image and likeness of God. It's easier to see how I look like David Soul than to sort out in what way I am in God's image. What do you think it means when it says that humans are created in God's image and likeness?

peace,
Frank+

Live in harmony with each other.
Don't try to act important,
but enjoy the company of ordinary people.
And don't think you know it all!
—Romans 12:16 (New Living Translation)

3 Comments:

  • At 11/12/2006 6:13 PM, Blogger Celeste said…

    Of course the site is not very accurate: I posted my grandson (round white head, no hair with hat) and they found a resemblance to Snoop Dog with a hat....it's all in good fun though....It matched me to robin williams which was a frighteningly close match...
    "It's easier to see how I look like David Soul than to sort out in what way I am in God's image."
    If the site had matched Seinfeld, or Napoleon Dynamite, or Ben Stiller [Starsky & Hutch (mullet wig)] then I might could agree...but, I am confident there is more of God's image in you than David's Soul's image...


    "What do you think it means when it says that humans are created in God's image and likeness??"Created with chesed-mercy, loving kindness?? Surely not anything physical? It must mean spiritual..that part of us we often overlook?

     
  • At 11/12/2006 8:34 PM, Anonymous Bob in Wash P said…

    In Genesis 1, God creates humans, male and female, in his image, the meaning of "in the image of God" is uncertain. Does it mean a physical image__that God has a face and body like ours? or a spiritual image? or an intellectual image? Whatever it means, though, we can say at a minimun, that the Bible pictures humans as participating in the divine in some way that an animal does not. There is something of God in humans, and this something is crucial to the event s in Eden following the creation.
    From, "Who Wrote the Bible," by Richard Friedman.

    I actually read this today while doing my cardio machines. I thought since we have the subject here I'd share.

    I had always glossed over the creation stories as well, a good story but not likely. This book has made me realize that it's important to look beyond a literal meaning when reading the bible.

    God's Peace Bob

     
  • At 11/12/2006 10:30 PM, Blogger November In My Soul said…

    I always thought you looked like the guy from the movie Fame.

     

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11/11/2006

Ten Times Tithing

The Widow Some time back, I was asked to write the November 12 sermon for the Episcopal Churches "Sermons That Work" series which are sermons "available online in advance of use dates, published as a resource for preachers and congregations." Here is some of what I wrote for tomorrow's Gospel reading, none of which will be preached at King of Peace in the morning:

Jesus knows that these are not any two coins, but the woman’s last two coins. The text says, “All she had to live on,” but the Greek is starker still. What is really said is that she put in her “bios.” It’s the word from which we get “biology,” the study of life. For Jesus tells us that the widow put her “life” into the temple treasury that day.

This is not a sermon about tithing, for the woman did not give ten percent of her income. These were her last two coins to rub together, and rather than keep one back, she tossed both into the temple treasury’s coffers. The widow gave 100 percent of her money. The widow is down to two practically worthless little coins, and she trusts it all to God. If this were a gamble, then the widow would be laying all her money on God. But this is not a gamble, for the widow does not bet her money; she trusts her life to God.
The full text of the sermon is online here: November 12, 2006 - Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost.

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

1 Comments:

  • At 11/11/2006 10:12 PM, Anonymous BobinWashPA said…

    I really enjoy reading and re-reading this one. I had to select music for the Sunday service and I think I've mentioned before I used this to select appropriate music (I have a book from church publishing which I purchase from the Episcopal Book Store but I like to study the readings).

    Personally, I really like the picture you paint. Were some priest have talked about she gave all she had you add that in giving all she had she trusted God with her very life. Something I need to remember more.

    Peace, Bob

     

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11/10/2006

Frustrated Professor?

An actual professor, Martin LutherI have been called a frustrated history professor before, but as I get plenty of chance to share the compelling stories from history I run across, I'm not sure from where the frustration is supposed to come. In any case, I did try to use today's Tribune & Georgian religion column to 'splain why I find church history not just fascinating but essential.

As I write in the essay,


Christianity has produced both witch trials and hospitals; The Inquisition and Saint Francis of Assisi; the Crusades and Mother Theresa of Calcutta. How can followers of one faith produced such consistently inconsistent results?
The answer lies within church history itself. The full text is here: The Battles of Church History Rage Within

Or if you would actually rather delve into church history instead of why I think that history matters, you could always try one of these sermons in our archives:
Holy Foolishness
on the Holy Fools tradition in Russia and how it relates to the cross or
Which Words are The Word
on the heretic who gave us the Bible.
Or there are Wednesday evening sermons which lean even more on history, like
Weeds among the wheat
on Saint Augustine and the Donatist Heresy
or this one on
The Martyrs of Japan.
peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor + King of Peace Episcopal Church

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11/09/2006

Jesse Michael Nunn

June 18, 1987-November 4, 2006

This morning at 11 a.m. we will hold a funeral for Jesse Michael Nunn. In the service, we will read from the Book of Lamentations:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. For the Lord will not reject forever. Although he causes grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not willingly afflict or grieve anyone. (Lamentations 3:22-26,31-33)
Into your hands, O merciful Savior, we commend your servant Jesse Nunn. Acknowledge, we humbly beseech you, a sheep of your own fold, a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of your own redeeming. Receive him into the arms of your mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints in light. Amen.

Jesse's eulogy is now online here: Echoes of the Resurrection

12 Comments:

  • At 11/09/2006 11:17 PM, Anonymous Debbie said…

    Amen and Amen.

     
  • At 11/12/2006 9:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Jesse Michael Nunn-You are forever in my heart and will forever be missed. It is however a great comfort to know that you are in Heaven with Jesus, your brother and your grandparents; you have received the ultimate healing. I will see you there someday and we will rejoice.

    All my love,

    Mom

     
  • At 11/13/2006 6:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Jesse,
    I know you and Chris are together and at peace. You both will remain in our hearts as two people we watched grow from little boys to young men. We keep you both close to heart.

    Love,
    Jenny & Mike

     
  • At 11/13/2006 9:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Jesse,

    Just as your picture shows I will always remember your thumbs up and that half grin. Although I didn't know you long you had a piece of my heart the first day I met you. My heart is heavy knowing what I will miss. An angel on earth and now in heaven may you have everlasting peace with your heavenly family.

    Love ,
    Geri

     
  • At 11/13/2006 10:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Jesse,

    I will always remember your smile. Your smile was something that opened a door to your heart. You and Chris are now together in heaven and I know you will both keep a watchful eye over your parents. May you know what an impact you both had on so many lives and I'm sure it will continue in heaven. My love is with you both.

    Love,
    Sherri

    P.S. Give my mom a big hug & kiss and make sure she knows that I miss her terribly.

     
  • At 11/14/2006 7:59 AM, Blogger Celeste said…

    We always take for granted that we can see you later and never realize that each time we face each other may be the last time.It is hard to believe that you're not here. I think the last time I actually saw you Jesse was wearing that cool hat. That's the way I will remember you.
    I hope your afterlife is everything you dreamed it would be. We all miss you!

     
  • At 11/14/2006 9:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    May the Holy Spirit be in the hearts of all those who read this. Thank you for the time we had here with Jesse. We ask for the strength to live our lives knowing that life is precious, and that we matter to others. Help us to learn about life through the death of Chris, Jesse, and...Jesus. While not worth the price, there is undeniable value in their passing. It's up to us to find it. TBTG. -Joe

     
  • At 11/14/2006 7:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    From the time I met Jesse in 6th grade I don't remember a time when that smile didn't light up the room he walked into. That same smile can be seen on his mom's face when she speaks about him. What a beautiful tribute to Jesse.

     
  • At 11/15/2006 6:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Some video from last week.
    www.katietv.com/Jesse2.wmv

     
  • At 11/15/2006 7:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Jesse - You were like one of my own children and I loved you very much. You helped me to learn a lot of things and really helped to save my life by convincing me to get an insulin pump and holding my hand as I learned to use it for the first time. You had a lot of accomplishments while you were here, but that is the most important to me.

    Love you,
    Staci

     
  • At 5/07/2015 3:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I don't think I'll ever stop loving you or missing you-Here it is the year 2015 and not one day has gone by that you and Chris weren't remembered, missed, and loved.

    -Mom

     
  • At 6/16/2015 5:16 AM, Blogger Wade Wilson said…

    Hey man it is Brent, you neighbor. It has been a long time but I never forgot you. It weird how I can't even remember most people's names but I remember your face perfectly. I just wanted to remember you man, you were a good friend and time in my life. Well, take care man.
    -Brent

     

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11/08/2006

Ugly Babies

There is a folktake from Romania which says, of all the birds the crow is considered the ugliest, especially its young fledglings. The legend tells that sometime after God had created all the living beings, he called everyone to see them and their offspring. He wanted to see how the young birds and animals looked, and then to give them suitable gifts, and food for their little ones.

They came one by one, and God looked at them, patted some and stroked others, and was very pleased with every one of them, for each one had something of beauty in it. And so he blessed them and gave them food by which to live. The last to come was the crow, bringing her little brood with her, very proud of them.

When God cast his eyes upon the young crows, he spat in astonishment, and said, "Surely these are not my creatures. I could not have made such ugly things. Every one of my creatures has such beautiful young ones that they are a pleasure to look at, but yours are so ugly that it makes one sick to look at them. Where did you get this one?"

"Where should I get them from?" replied the crow. "It is my very own young child," she added with pride.

"You had better go back and bring me another one. This is much too ugly. I cannot look at it."

Annoyed at the words of God, the crow went away and flew all over the earth to search for another young one that would be more beautiful than the one she had brought to God. But no other young bird appeared so beautiful in her eyes as her own. So she returned back to God and said, "I have been all over the world, and I have searched high and low, but young birds more beautiful and more dainty than mine I have not been able to find."

Then God smilingly replied, "Quite right. Just so are all mothers. No other child is so beautiful in their eyes as their own."

Then he blessed the little crows and sent them away into the world with his gifts. For God sees as beautiful creations all those that others see as ugly.

3 Comments:

  • At 11/08/2006 12:06 PM, Anonymous Debbie said…

    Yes, but my babies REALLY are the most beautiful!!


    As God gave mothers and fathers such love for their children, how much more must he love us.

     
  • At 11/09/2006 10:36 AM, Blogger Robin D. said…

    Thanks for the Crow Story,

    Sincerely,
    AE
    (Pronounced Go Guyn, The Cherokee word for Crow)

     
  • At 11/09/2006 11:56 AM, Blogger Laura said…

    How can other babies be the most beautiful, when mine were---and are still?

     

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11/07/2006

Forgiveness and reconciliation

An 1800s painting of The Prodigal Son's return
I'm working on a sermon that references echoes and this text sitting on my desk to type up for the blog as needed jumped out with a reference to an echo. It deals with the theme differently, but I want to share this from Miroslav Volf's book Free of Charge now anyway as I circle back around on the theme of echoes...

All our forgiving is inescapably incomplete. That's why it's so crucial to see our forgiving not simply as our own act, but as participating in God's forgiving. Our forgiving is faulty; God's faultless. Our forgiving is provisional; God's is final. We forgive tenuously and tentatively; God forgives unhesitatingly and definitely. As we forgive, we always wrong the offender by inadequate judgment and pride; God forgives with justice and genuine love.

The only way we dare forgive is by making our forgiving trasparent to God's and always open to revision. After all, our forgiveness is only possible as an echo of God's. In the here and now, that echo is distorted, but it is inescapably distorted. One day the distortion will be removed.

The Apostle Paul wrote that one day we will all "appear before the judgment seat of Christ." The day of judgment stands as the boundary between transitoriness andeverlasting life, between this world of sin and the coming world of love. Mostly we think that at the judgment day we'll receive "recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil," as the Apostle said.

But Christ's judgment is also a judgment of grace. As a result, we'll be transformed and fully reconciled with God and one another. That's how it must be. Otherwise judgment could not be what faith claims it is—the door to the world of love.

In the archives are the religion column Forgive Others and Unlock Your Heart and an issue of our church's bathroom newsletter, The Toilet Paper which dealt with forgiveness.

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

1 Comments:

  • At 11/07/2006 9:05 PM, Anonymous Bob In Wash PA said…

    Frank+ two things. Just to let you know that Miroslav is featured on Trinity Wall Street service last week. He really is special to listen to. Here is the link to share.
    http://trinitywallstreet.org/multimedia/?sermon

    I do believe he is also on the video archives list.

    Secondly, I was planning music for the upcoming Advent season and having difficulties with the theme for a particular Sunday. You had a sermon on the readings posted on the National Church website that was of great help and a joy to read.

    God's Peace, Bob in Wash PA

     

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11/06/2006

Fall from Grace

The Rev. Ted Haggard, pastor of the 14,000-member New Life Church in Colorado has been much in the news this past week. He first denied allegations of drug use and sex with a gay prostitute, then admitted to some of it and finally yesterday in a letter to his congregation wrote,
Pastor Ted Haggard before his fall"The accusations that have been leveled against me are not all true, but enough of them are true that I have been appropriately and lovingly removed from ministry. I am so embarrassed and ashamed. I caused this and I have no excuse. I am a sinner. I have fallen."
The letter to the congregation also asked the members of the church to forgive that man who had come forward with the charges,
"He is revealing the deception and sensuality that was in my life. Those sins, and others, need to be dealt with harshly. So forgive him, and actually, thank God for him."
Haggard says that he has fallen and he has. But the wonderful thing we find in scripture is that in falling from grace, we find ourselves landing in grace. Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden of Eden, but God made them clothes and gave them a place to settle and then began the long project of bringing humanity back to the garden.

The pastor's letter to his congregation reminds me of the fairly recent sermon The Hypocrite and the Septic Tank in which I spoke of the masks we wear both good and bad. Haggard wore a mask to cover what he called "repulsive and dark" within himself. He could not have been at peace about his life, with such a war being waged.

Yet, I have no reason to believe that Jesus wants to condemn this man and neither do I. What he needs is healing that will bring his body, mind and spirit into synch. Haggard has been given the painful gift of having what he wanted to keep hidden brough to light. I pray that he and his family and congregation are better for it and that all will find grace even in a fall from grace.

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

4 Comments:

  • At 11/06/2006 2:08 PM, Blogger Laura said…

    It's that last comment that resonates with me: that this dis-grace may actually help Ted Haggard to find grace.
    My prayers are with his family. I can only begin to imagine the pain.

     
  • At 11/07/2006 10:40 AM, Blogger November In My Soul said…

    Anyone who has ever had their dirty laundry aired in public can relate to what this pastor is going through. In the long run he will be happier and a much better person, and probably even better equipped for the ministry.

    As to forgiveness, as Christians we have have no choice but to offer forgiveness and reconciliation. We are to love as Christ loved.

    Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy.

     
  • At 11/07/2006 11:52 AM, Blogger CSL said…

    I find this a fascinating story not so much for what Haggard did, but for the utter hypocrisy involved. Do, in fact, these sins need to be dealt with harshly? It could be such a wonderful opportunity for both Haggard and the congregation to do some serious soul-searching about compassion. Ultimately, they could all be the better for it.

     
  • At 11/08/2006 9:25 PM, Anonymous Bob In Wash PA said…

    I have heard some think Haggard got what he deserved but even if that were true what of his family? Certainly they don't deserve what must be a living nightmare.

    I pray for all of them, Haggard included. I wonder if homosexuality wasn't looked on as such a terrible sin, and those who are of a different sexual orientation where treated as God's beloved and encouraged to explore their God given gifts maybe things like this mess might have turned out different, for all.

    I teach special ed so i'm use to different people. Just a known fact. Homosexuality is 2 to 3 times more like in people with Downs Syndrome. Talk about a vunerable population.

    My prayers for healing in this situation.
    Peace, Bob

     

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11/05/2006

Transformation

Last year, in a post called sacramental bazaar, I noted a spiritual aspect to our Christmas Bazaar. Yesterday, the bazaar was bigger and better, an impressive event. We grossed more than $3,500 dollars and should net something close to that, the proceeds assisting with both our memorial garden my discretionary fund, through which I assist needy families.

The first tangible result of the sale will be that it will buy turkeys for a Thanksgiving meal held in the same room on Thanksgiving Day open to the whole community. Like a few looaves and some fish becoming a feast for thousands, the items sold in the bazaar will be transformed into a feast for those who would not otherwise be able to gather with neighbors to return thanks to God.

But beyond the money raised, I am most pleased with the transformation that takes place when people who attend church side by side (but don't yet know one another) get to meet through working together at a church event. In the process we are transformed from individuals who gather to worship into a congregation who worships as one. You gotta love that.

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

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