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.

9/30/2007

Finding God


The paradox of the ministry indeed is that we find the God we want to give in the lives of the people to whom we want to give Him.
—Henri Nouwen (1932-1996)

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9/29/2007

Welcoming Strangers

In this weekend's Gospel reading, Jesus tells the story of a rich man who "was dressed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day." Jesus tells us that this man did nothing for Lazarus a poor beggar who lay at his gate and was "covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man's table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores." Both men die. Lazarus goes to paradise to be comforted by Abraham and the rich man to torment.

It is interesting to read what past generations of Christians thought of a reading. John Chrysostom (347-407) is reported to have been the greatest preacher of the end of the fourth century. He saw this parable as being one about the need to offer hospitality to those who can not repay you. In preaching on this parable, he once said,
It is worthwhile inquiring why the rich man saw Lazarus in Abraham's arms, and not in the company of some other righteous person. The reason is that Abraham was hospitable, and so the sight of Lazarus with Abraham was meant to reproach the rich man for his own inhospitality.

Abraham used to pursue even passers-by and drag them into his home, whereas the rich man disregarded someone lying in his own doorway.

Although he had within his grasp so great a treasure, such an opportunity to win salvation, he ignored the poor man day after day. He could have helped him but he failed to do so.

The patriarch was not like that but just the opposite. He would sit in his doorway and catch all who passed by. And just as a fisherman casting a net into the sea hauls up fish, yes, but also quite often gold and pearls, so Abraham whilst catching people in his net finished by catching angels, though strangely enough without knowing it.

Even Paul marvels at this and gives the advice: Remember to welcome strangers into your homes, for some by so doing have entertained angels without knowing it.

And he did well to say without knowing it, for if Abraham had welcomed his guests with such kindness because he knew who they were he would have done nothing remarkable.

He is praiseworthy only because, without knowing who the passers-by were and taking them to be simply human wayfarers, he yet invited them in with so much good will....

Anyone wishing to show kindness should not inquire into other people's lives, but has only to alleviate their poverty and supply their needs, as Christ commanded when he said: Imitate your Father in heaven, who makes his sun rise on good and bad alike, and sends rain on the just and the unjust.

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1 Comments:

  • At 9/29/2007 10:23 AM, Anonymous Linda+ said…

    In my sermon on this for tomorrow, I am quoting Jane Tomaine's St.Benedict's Toolbox in her chapter "Benedictine Hospitality: Hearts Overflowing with Love" in which she stakes a claim on hospitality as a justice issue. She says (p.128) "Hospitality says that the issues of the poor are our problem and that we must take steps for positive change in the lives of others. Hospitality is a call to action . . . We can be the voice that calls for justice and equity." Amen I say. Amen.

     

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9/28/2007

Connection!


Amazing. After a couple of days of tech support purgatory (see below) the last call this morning which promised success in 12-24 hours, actually got the website back up and email running in less than an hour.

So I am receiving email again, but the old emails did not come pouring through the floodgates. Anything sent after Tuesday (I think) and before about 7:30 or so this morning, did not reach me and will need to be resent if you want me to get it.

peace,
Frank+

1 Comments:

  • At 9/28/2007 8:42 AM, Blogger Steve said…

    Frank,
    Take a look at this https://www.google.com/a/
    I use it with our episcopalians.info domain and it works beautifully. Plus, it frees up server space.

     

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Email and website woes


Yes, I know that my email went from poorly functioning a week ago to not working at all two days ago and then this morning the whole kingofpeace.org site seemingly disappeared from cyberspace. The short answer is, we are working on getting things restored.

The longer answer is that here is what happened: King of Peace's website has for a year been bumping up against full. After seven years of placing things online, we had filled the hard drive space we rent from iPower in a building in Arizona. I continually deleted old things (like back issues of the newsletter and audio files of old sermons) to make space for ne things. As email shares hard drive space with the website, when the website was filling the hard drive, my in box would fill up quickly with email, if it was available at all. iPower told me earlier this week that all could be solved with a move to different software on a different server which would allow us to increase hard drive space four fold. In that move, problems ensued. Each of the lengthy chats with tech support has resulted in a promised fix and each fix takes 12-24 hours to test in the real world as that is how long it takes a change in register entry to propogate around the World Wide Web.

I just got off the phone, and there is another change, which could later today result in the website and email running smoothly once more. In the meantime, assume any emails to me this week have not arrived. This is certainly true for any since Tuesday. If you need to get word to me, a phone is the only solution for the next 12-24 hours.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

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The Nation's Church at 100

Building National Cathedral
Tomorrow is the 100th anniversary of the laying of the first stone for Washington National Cathedral. Begun September 29, 1907 and completed in 1990, the cathedral cost 65 million dollars, a cost covered by the donations large and small of hundreds of thousands of people. An Episcopal Life article, The Nation's Church quotes a construction worker from the 1920s saying
Every time we thought we must stop building because funds were lacking, someone has made it possible for us to go on. I think the Lord must want this place built.
Darth Vader gargoyleOfficially named the Cathedral Church of St. Peter and Paul, it is called the National Cathedral as it has become the venue of choice for state events such as President Ronald reagan's funeral. Perhaps the nation's best known Episcopal church, the cathedral is dazzling, a real European-style cathedral built in America during the last century. The gothic architecture pulls the soul upward, with nooks and crannies that emphasize the mystery of God. While details like the famous Darth Vader gargoyle make it truly a product of our own times.


In other news
Today's religion column for the Tribune & Georgian is online here: The Gospel and the Jena Six.

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9/27/2007

Death and Resurrection



Last night I was honored to speak at St. Patrick's Episcopal Church in Albany Georgia where they had an impressive turnout for a meal to kick off their stewardship campaign. As I told them, I feel that what has happened in their church is the most impressive thing to occur in the Diocese of Georgia during my seven years of ministry here. Like many churches, St. Patrick's was seven years ago in the wrong building (there were tough maintenance issues) in the wrong place (off the main road, and few people knew where they were). Unlike other churches, St. Patrick's was willing to go through the hard work of trusting that death and resurrection are still open options.

They bought land at a main intersection in an area of Albany with new housing growth. Then they sold their building, moved to worship in a Methodist Church at an inconvenient time for more than a year and have this year been reborn in their new church building. Not surprisingly, God is blessing their step of faith. Here are a few photos of that courageous congregation with whom I spent last evening.

peace,
Frank+


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Grand Canyon

Victoria's photo of Griffin and Frank at the Grand Canyon
They say the layered earth rose up
Ancient rock leviathan
Trailing ages in its wake
Lifting earthmass toward the sun
And coursing water cut the rock away
To leave these many-storied walls Exposé of ages gone
Around this breathless emptiness
More wondorous far than earth has ever known

My life has risen layered too
Each day, each year in turn has left
Its fossil life and sediments
Evidence of lived and unlived hours
The tedium, the anguish, yes the joy
That some heart-deep vitality
Keeps preesing upward toward the day I die

And Spirit cuts like water through it all
Carving out this emptiness
So inner eye can see
The soaring height of canyon walls within
Walls whose very color, texture, form
Redeem in beauty all my life has been
The darkness and the light, the false, the true
While deep below the living waters run
Cutting deeper through my parts
To resurrect my gravebound heart.
—Parker J. Palmer, in The Weavings Reader

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9/26/2007

Where God calls you

Let yourself be plumbed to the depths, and you will realize that everyone is created for a presence. There, in your heat of hearts, in that place where no two people are alike, Christ is waiting for you. And there the unexpected happens.
Brother Roger of Taizé (1915-2005)

Live Oaks on Cumberland Island, Georgia
The place where God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.
Frederick Buechner (1926- )

Where God is calling me today is Albany, Georgia as I am driving west to be with the congregation of St. Patrick's Episcopal Church as they kick off their stewardship campaign. I find theirs to be one of the most exciting stories in our diocese as they sold their old building and land, moved to worship in a Methodist Church and are now in their new building in a better location. They are a congregation who had the courage to die to everything they had been in order to be resurrected into the church God was calling them to be. I am honored to be with them.

There is no 7 p.m. study tonight at King of Peace.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

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9/25/2007

A Pastor's View of Ministry


Over at Resurgence, in a series on Death by Ministry, Mark Driscoll asks,
In what ways should a pastor view their ministry?
  • Ministry is your fourth priority after being a Christian, husband, and father.
  • Ministry is your job, not your life.
  • God rewards faithfulness, not just fruitfulness.
  • Your salvation and righteousness are gifts from Jesus and not contingent upon your performance.
  • If you do not Sabbath, God will impose a Sabbath upon you.
  • A series of sprints, with nine natural breaks out of the pulpit, rather than a marathon.
  • Jesus is the Senior Pastor and the church is His.
I disagree with the second point above and find something to like in all the rest.

For me, I tend to think of being a priest in terms of who I am called to be, more than what I am called to do. I am called to be a person who wants to be at the hospital in the middle of the night when someone needs me there. That instead of I am the one who has to go to the hospital in the middle of the night because someone called. Though to the degree that is true, I suspect that it applies to all Christians. We are all called to be increasingly more like Jesus, and it is the being that matters.

Do any of these work for you or is there another way you view the role of a pastor? What about the role of all Christians?

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

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6 Comments:

  • At 9/25/2007 9:22 AM, Anonymous Linda+ said…

    "Ministry" is not my life, but priesthood is. As a priest I feel called to stand as a candle that gives the light of Jesus to the world around me. "Doing ministry" is an outcropping of being a priest.

     
  • At 9/25/2007 2:23 PM, Blogger Loren said…

    I find this pretty interesting as I contemplate leaving seminary and entering the next phase of my life. I think a job is something we have to do...ministry is something we get to do, and I do think that my call and my life are intertwined.

    However, I disagree with number 1...I think being a husband and a father aren't really going to be that high up on my list of priorities... :)

     
  • At 9/25/2007 4:22 PM, Anonymous jim said…

    what constitutes success in your ministries? Failure?

    How do you deal with that?

     
  • At 9/25/2007 6:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Nobody could be a failure who truly applies him/herself to the work of the Lord. True success would be knowing that you honestly put forth your greatest effort with what God intended for you to do.

     
  • At 9/25/2007 10:19 PM, Blogger November In My Soul said…

    How is the role of pastor different from the role of priest? I find that in the Orthodox tradition (at least my limited knowledge of it) the man named by my Bishop to serve in my parish is my Priest. Not that he isn't also my pastor but I believe his first calling is as Priest. I realize there may be a subtle differnce and I may be guilty of splitting hairs.

    Which is more important being the pastor or being the priest?

     
  • At 9/26/2007 7:17 AM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    Jim, success and failure are ultimately determined by faithfulness to God's call. If you have been faithful to what God is calling you to do, then that is a success, if not that is failure. That said, the church as instituion will look at the ABCs—attendance, buildings and contributions—as signs of health or unhealth, growth or decline. In The Episcopal Church the prime number looked at is ASA or avereage Sunday attendance. What one has to deal with is that good, faithful people doing all they know to do may not see visible signs of success. We have to trust that God is present in those circumstances as well.

    November, from a scriptural perspective, the prists of the New Testament are 1) Temple priests in Jerusalem, 2) Jesus as our Great High Priest and 3) the kingdom of priests who are all Christians. The role we now term priest is the Greek word presbyteros. That role is primarily a sacramental one in the Anglican (episcopal), Orthodox and Catholic traditions so that the person is authorized by a bishop to administer the sacraments in a place in the bishops absence. Pastor is the Latin word for shepherd and is considered one aspect of a priest's role in a congregation. To some degree this is theological hairsplitting. To another, it is trying to find the right language to describe what we are doing and why. To use the terms as defined here, the sacramental role of leading the community in worship is more important, but as that role is so closely identified with shepherding that same flock, I don't think the two can actually be separated.

    peace,
    Frank+
    The Rev. Frank Logue, Priest, Pastor, Vicar

     

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9/24/2007

YouTube roundup

Some serious(ish) videos this time:


Father Steve is tring to help us get off the fence at St. Micahel's in a thought-provoking short film.


Father Matthew presents a fascinating art history piece from his trip to Italy—Jesus' life shown through the mosaics in Ravenna, completed in the 500s. The pictures of his life and miracles feature a beardless Jesus, while the scenes of his passion show Jesus with a beard, but Jesus is the one with the moasaic halo. There is also his last film from St. Paul's.


This is a serious short showing a woman quite upset over an Anglican Vicar drinking beer at sidewalk cafe. She goes to his group and gives them tracts as she is concerned for their souls. I see the scene and don't see good guys vs. bad guys and can make neither the person concerned for their souls, nor the beer drinking vicar into the bad guy here. Where do you find God in this scene?

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8 Comments:

  • At 9/24/2007 1:49 PM, Blogger jimmorrow said…

    What is the relationship of a vicar, curate, rector, and/or priest to a local church?

     
  • At 9/24/2007 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I believe God is with the vicar and his friends drinking a beer. I believe God is with the person who tends the flowers at the church. I believe God is with the church's congregation and with the people on the streets, and especially the sinners.

    This woman in the video needs to do some soul searching instead of judging everyone around her so harshly. How rude to call the vicar's collar a "dog collar". How rude to judge a congregation from the outward appearance of a church. And, if this woman goes back to drinking wine, she has nobody to blame but herself.

    She's too full of herself and her self rightousness to have any room for God. If Jesus walked down the street I bet he would sit down and have a beer with the "sinners" or stop and smell the flowers in the church garden. I doubt he would be standing in the middle of the street judging and condemning like the woman in this video.

     
  • At 9/24/2007 3:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    First of all, from someone who claims to be a former Anglican, I can't believe she didn't recognize the shirt of a bishop. Bishops wear purple shirts while rectors, vicars and curates (all who are also priests) wear other colors, particularly black.

    God IS with every one; particularly with the sinners who need him the most. And while the woman was so busy quoting scripture, she somehow missed, "Judge not lest ye be judged."

    But as one of the favorite prayers at King of Peace goes, "Bless her, change me."

     
  • At 9/24/2007 4:06 PM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    Nice old Anglican terms. They are used to denote the following:

    Rector-the chief sacramental officer of a parish, called by the vestry (church board) with the agreement of the Bishop. Other clergy work not for the church, but for the rector and, for example, are expected to leave when the rector leaves.

    Vicar-the priest in charge of a mission, which denotes a congregation financially dependent on the diocese. The Bishop is technically the rector of all missions and a vicar serves vicariously in place of the bishop.

    Curate-once referred to a person charged with the cure (care) of souls in a parish. This term dates from a time when a rector would not necessarily be at their parish each week (see Pride and Prejudice). Now "curate" refers to an assistabt in a parish and generally applies to new hires out of seminary.

    King of Peace is a mission of the Diocese of Georgia. We are fully self supporting and have to be so for one year before applying to change to parish status, which takes two consecutive diocesan conventions to ensure that we remain able to be self supporting. Therefore, my official job title is Vicar and will remain such until February of 2009.

    peace,
    the Rev. Frank Logue, Vicar
    though not in my dog collar today as I take Mondays off except for when my email sends me a question from Jim. ;-)

     
  • At 9/24/2007 6:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    While this dear lady is out trying to convert others to her way of thinking, she is in danger of estrangement from her husband and son. And who is this guy she is hanging out with? Is she spending more time with him than with her husband?

     
  • At 9/25/2007 1:29 AM, Anonymous denise ::) said…

    I'd rather see Our Vicar on a street corner having a beer, than holed up inside the church or his house hiding it. I've seen Our Vicar have a glass of wine in public, and other than my significant memory skills, I didn't have another thought about it until I saw the video just now. Like the others said, I think she might want to go back to her bible and see who to leave the judgment up to. Every time you point your finger, you've always got 3 pointing right back at you...something to think about!

     
  • At 9/25/2007 2:27 AM, Anonymous denise said…

    Yours and Victoria's e-mails appear to be bouncing back to me. Weiiiirrrd. I'd forward you the email message, but well isn't that silly? If ya need it, gimme a call.

     
  • At 9/25/2007 11:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Gosh.... what next... hanging out with publicans and sinners? Turning water into wine? Surely God wouldn't be caught dead doing such things. And as for that biblical text about 'considering the lillies of the field'... well obviously it's a bad witness to put flowers outside a church. I mean.. what can creation teach anybody? Give them a tract and a God they can explain.

     

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9/23/2007

Life Vows

During the 10 a.m. worship service, Victoria Logue professed life vows in the Third Order Society of Saint Francis. In his lifetime, Francis of Assisi's radical call to following Jesus resulted in a group of friars (the First Order) and group of Nuns (the second order) and a group for lay persons who wanted to keep a rule of life appropriate for married persons and other lay people (the third order). For more information on TSSF, you can visit their website, TSSF.org.



Her actual vows were:
I, Victoria, give myself to our Lord Jesus Christ, to serve him for the rest of my life in company with my brothers and sisters in the Third Order of the Society of Saint Francis, according to the Principles of the Order, seeking to spread the knowledge and love of Christ, to promote the spirit of love and harmony as the family of God, and to live joyfully a life of simplicity and humble service after the example of Saint Francis.

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Nourish our lives

If we nourish our lives
with the Eucharist,
it will be easy for us
to see Christ
in that hungry one next door,
the one lying in the gutter,
that alcoholic man we shun,
our husband or our wife,
or our restless child.
For in them, we will recognize
the distressing disguises
of the poor:
Jesus in our midst.
Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997)

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9/22/2007

God and Wealth

In this weekend's Gospel reading Jesus tells the curious tale of a dishonest manager who once fired cuts the debts people owe his master so that they will think well of him once he is unemployed. Jesus ends the story by saying,
the children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into the eternal homes.
Then Jesus clases saying, "You cannot serve God and wealth."

The Rev. Lee Griess writes of this passage,
Jesus and the Rascal! That's what this morning's gospel reading is about. The difficult to interpret story of the seemingly unethical servant who is praised by Jesus. But hidden in the story is the person who knew that it was important to act, to risk and respond to the moment. How often our life of faith is cold and calculated, almost without life because we have it so well planned out.

In the parable this morning Jesus is urging us to respond to the moment, to jump at the chance to follow, to trust that God's goodness is sufficient. At the very heart of stewardship is this understanding - a trust in the abundance and goodness of God - how else do we dare to offer anything to our God if we only have a God of scarcity.

In this fascinating parable this morning Jesus want us to respond as whole-heartedly to our God and to invest as much of ourselves into the kingdom of God as the unethical servant does to save himself. Remember Jesus' closing words: No slave can serve two masters. The slave will either hate one and love the other or be devoted to one and despise the other. You can only serve one God. May our hearts trust in our abundant and gracious God alone.
You may also find meaningful, the Rev. James Kavanaugh's short refelction on this passage, The Long Run, in which he compares this passage to a recent break in and robbery at his house.

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9/21/2007

Unconditional love not approval

unconditional love
We often confuse unconditional love with unconditional approval. God loves us without conditions but does not approve of every human behavior.

God doesn’t approve of betrayal, violence, hatred, suspicion, and all other expressions of evil, because they all contradict the love God wants to instill in the human heart. Evil is the absence of God’s love.
-Henri Nouwen, (1932-1996) Bread For the Journey, 1996

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  • At 9/21/2007 8:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I don't' believe all violence is evil, we sometimes ask for what we receive?

     

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9/20/2007

Teens, talk to your parents

Time was that 15-24 year olds were a high risk group for all sorts of unnecessary forms of death from causes that ranged from drug use and car accidents to suicide. But as Mark Males points out in an opinion piece for The New York Times This Is Your (Father’s) Brain on Drugs,
What experts label “adolescent risk taking” is really baby boomer risk taking. It’s true that 30 years ago, the riskiest age group for violent death was 15 to 24. But those same boomers continue to suffer high rates of addiction and other ills throughout middle age, while later generations of teenagers are better behaved. Today, the age group most at risk for violent death is 40 to 49, including illegal-drug death rates five times higher than for teenagers.
What does it mean to honor your father and mother, when you are acting more responsibly than they? The question is serious. I do think that one can honor a Mom addicted to crack or a Dad who likes to hang out in bars until late into the night. But honoring parents in these situations is different from how Beaver and Wally might have honored Mr. and Mrs. Cleaver on the 50's show Leave it to Beaver. Chances of actually sitting down your parents and talking to them about the problems are very slim.

How can a teen walk that line of love and respect in such a setting? I know that there is no simplistic answer and every situation would bring up its own challenges, but it would be made better if the teen found an adult or adults, such as grandparents, a scout leader, etc. to whom they could look up.

What do you think?

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

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3 Comments:

  • At 9/20/2007 9:16 AM, Blogger Rhonda said…

    I agree, I think all teens need a person that they can look up to. I also believe that it needs to start well before they are teens. If and when they do have a problem, they already have that connection and trust.

    My daughter told me yesterday she is looking for that person now, needing someone other than me to talk to. We have always been able to talk, but I also understand that she needs someone else also. I’m OK with that as long as she is talking to someone.

    Her question to me was how? How do I find this person and know that I can trust them to just be there and listen. I was lost at that point, I will openly admit that I never gave her that opportunity as a young person to find that adult that she new would be there. I was also a little sad, that she never found an adult to look up to.

    I am working on getting that connection now with my little ones. It is very important that they have good strong people to look up to.

     
  • At 9/20/2007 11:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Rhonda,

    You are a wonderful mother! I can tell by your caring words and by the fact that your daughter feels that she can be honest with you.

    Parents and priests, I believe, have the most difficult jobs in the world. We are only human, and none of us are perfect. But, we have to remember that there's no time like the present to fullfill an opportunity. Forgive the regrets of your past and use this time to help your daughter find somebody to talk to. Maybe now is the time for you to be that person for her. Maybe now is the time for you to guide her to the right person who will be supportive...to both of you.

    I have the same problem with my kids. Their dad spends most of his nights and weekends out. It's interesting, though; as much as I steer them towards "appropriate" role models, they still look up to their dad the most. I guess it's about honoring and loving him regardless of his parenting skills. They don't seem to compare him to priests, scout leaders, teachers, etc...Maybe my kids are able to see the good qualities in all of them, including their dad, and hopefully utilize them in their lives.

    Sometimes we can learn so much from our own children.

     
  • At 9/20/2007 11:41 AM, Blogger Rhonda said…

    Anonymous,

    Thank you!

    Yes we can learn a lot from our children, like how to forgive. I’m working on this one, I wish her dad were around to be that role model for her, she needs a good male influence in her life. After he passed away I told myself that I was all she needed, but I know now that’s not true. I can only do so much and at times we all need help.

    I am very lucky; I have been blessed with wonderful children.

     

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9/19/2007

Erring on the Side of Grace

The main page this week at Anglicans Online tells of some interesting names of Episcopal and Anglican (as we are known in other parts of the world) churches generated from the fact that we are known as King of Peace, Kingsland as it is typical to add the geographic location. These names include:

St George, Freezywater
St Andrew by the Wardrobe
St Francis in the Redwoods
St Clare in the Cove
All Hallows by the Tower
St Giles, Cripplegate
St Matthew, Heart's Delight
Nicholas, Leading Tickles
Holy Innocents, Paradise

But my favorite is Transfiguration, New York City, which is better known as "The Little Church Round the Corner." The reason for the name found in the church's history is that:
It was in 1870 that Joseph Jefferson was rebuffed in arranging for the funeral of his friend, George Holland, an actor. Told that there was a little church around the corner where "they do that sort of thing," The Little Church Around the CornerJefferson fervently exclaimed, "God Bless the Little Church Around the Corner" and that famous benediction has echoed down through the years. This brought about a close relationship with the people of the theater which has continued to this day. It also brought about the founding, in 1923, of the Episcopal Actors' Guild, which carries on an active program at its national headquarters in the Guild Hall.
The Episcopal Actors Guild has had notable actors as officers including Basil Rathbone, Tallulah Bankhead, Joan Fontaine, Rex Harrison and Charlton Heston.

Founded in 1848 to "to embrace all races and classes" the church lived up to its name by welcoming those other churches would not welcome, like actors. The church in its earliest days was involved in the abolition of slavery and harboring runaway slaves. They also had bread lines for the unemployed.

I think in all of these ministries, they were the church that would err on the side of grace when other churches were setting clear boundaries. It seems better to make the mistake of being too loving rather than too judgmental. Somehow "The Little Church Around the Corner" sounds like a church that Jesus would like a lot.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

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5 Comments:

  • At 9/19/2007 6:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Would you explain why actors were not welcome in church? I never knew that.

     
  • At 9/19/2007 10:38 AM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    Up until recently, actors were generally viewed as disreputable. And so an actor, who had no church affiliation would not easily find a church that would bury him (or her). This is quite ancient. In an interesting text from early Christianity, Hippolytus wrote The Apostolic Tradition. In it he gave counsel on who could and coule not be baptized saying in part:

    They will inquire concerning the works and occupations of those are who are brought forward for instruction. If someone is a pimp who supports prostitutes, he shall cease or shall be rejected. If someone is a sculptor or a painter, let them be taught not to
    make idols. Either let them cease or let them be rejected. If someone is an actor or does shows in the theater, either he shall cease or he shall be rejected. If someone teaches children (worldly knowledge), it is good that he cease. But if he has no (other) trade, let him be permitted.


    The full text of Hippolyus is here The Apostolic Tradition and the part quoted above is from a larger section found at number 16.

    peace,
    Frank+

     
  • At 9/19/2007 10:54 AM, Anonymous Linda+ said…

    Maybe someday The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek will be known as "Everyone's church on Dover Bluff."

     
  • At 9/19/2007 11:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thank you for taking the time to explain! I learned something new today, and that is always a good thing!

     
  • At 12/27/2007 12:11 PM, Anonymous Miss Amanda said…

    The Little Church Around the Corner (address: 1 East 29th Street) is well worth a visit. Among other treasures is a beautiful stained glass window depicting Joseph Jefferson bearing the shroud-wrapped body of George Holland into the churchyard, where Christ stands with open arms to welcome them.

     

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9/18/2007

The Beer Test

When I was in seminary and backed into a corner on a theological argument with no good defense, my preferred response was "Yeah, but my bishop can beat up your bishop."

Bishop LouttitI actually said that on more than one occasion, but as Bishop Louttit visited the seminary each year and ate lunch with me and John West in our Refectory (churchy name for cafeteria), people knew that my bishop (pictured at left) was unlikely to beat up anyone, much less someone else's bishop. He is a great man and a wonderful pastor to us pastors. I don't care that he doesn't have mad nunchuk skills or bow staff skills.

I thought of this because a blog post at Resurgence in which a pastor enamored of The Ultimate Fighter contends that he knows why men aren't so big on church:
The Ultimate FighterSo, I'll just say that while young men are watching tough men compete, the reason they don't go to most churches is because they could take the pastor and can't respect a guy in a lemon-yellow sweater, sipping decaf and talking about his feelings.
I ran across this by way of a response from from Henry's Web which said,
If you determine whether someone is worth listening to based on whether you could take him in a fight, if you despise someone because they wear a lemon-yellow sweater, sip decaf, or talk about their feelings, then you need to seriously reexamine both your intellectual and your spiritual life.
He might be right, but the point still holds. Even though I don't own a lemon yellow sweater and I wouldn't wear one if you bought it for me, I wouldn't last as long as a bull rider in the rodeo if you put me in the ring on The Ultimate Fighter. I did once show a video clip in a sermon from the movie Fight Club, but I am quite sure that's not the same thing.

What I heard at The Church Planters' Boot Camp as I was working on preparing to start King of Peace was that a founding pastor has to pass the Beer Test. Now this was said in a non-denominational, but largely evangelical church setting where drinking alcohol at all, much less for communion, is not always permitted. But the idea was that if the pastor isn't someone you would drink a beer with (or coffee or whatever) then you would probably wander on away from the church before getting connected. They said this mattered less with established church's as there are many more reasons than the pastor to join a church once well established. The claim was that in the early days of meeting in a school (or in our case a house) the pastor has to be someone you would want to spend time with even if it wasn't at church.

So I don't know if this is a more highly evolved answer, but I guess I am suggesting is that guys don't tend to look for a pastor who can blacken their eye or bloody their nose, but someone with whom they wouldn't mind drinking a beverage of choice with while watching The Ultimate Fighter. If you think, I'm right, leave a comment. If you think I'm wrong, meet me on the playground after school and we'll settle this thing there and then.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

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10 Comments:

  • At 9/18/2007 6:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    So, this is how men choose a pastor? What's the criteria for why women choose a particular pastor and church? Also, whose zipper was unzipped on Sunday?

     
  • At 9/18/2007 7:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    pbr?

     
  • At 9/18/2007 8:33 AM, Anonymous Henry Neufeld said…

    I kind of like the beer test, though I regard it as a bit incomplete. Your further statement specifying someone you would want to spend time with outside of church, clears that up, however, as long as we realize that there are many different ways in which people want to spend time outside of church, and various people with whom they would like to do so.

    With that proviso--good response!

     
  • At 9/18/2007 9:21 AM, Blogger Rhonda said…

    I believe women choose a church where the Priest is someone they can talk to and feel comfortable doing so. Who genuinely cares for his flock!

     
  • At 9/18/2007 10:10 AM, Blogger November In My Soul said…

    As much as I hate to admit it you may be on to something. You and I have supped many times together and I feel very comfortable having a conversation with you. We even agree to disagree when you are wrong and I am right (especially on weighty theological matters). I have often wondered at the unqualified success of King of Peace. Your personality and approachability are part of the answer.

    Did I just talk about my feelings? AAAARRRGGHHH! Time for aikido!

     
  • At 9/18/2007 1:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    When I changed churches, I chose King of Peace because I knew so many wonderful and happy people who attended there. I knew that it had to have something to do with the pastor. I found it to be true!

    Funny thing: I did drink a beer with Frank and Victoria long before I ever found myself in need of changing churches! You're definitely on to something here!!!!

     
  • At 9/18/2007 4:09 PM, Anonymous denise said…

    I'd have a yoo-hoo with you any day!

     
  • At 9/18/2007 4:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    They still make Yoo-Hoo?

     
  • At 9/19/2007 6:33 AM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    Wow, I used to lov Yoo Hoo and hadn't thought of that sugery chocolate milk in years.

    As to PBR, I think it is like putting the right wine with the right food. In this case, what beer would go with The Ultimate Fighter? It seemed like a natural choice.

    But as Henry said, there are many different ways to hang out, and they certainly don't all involve malt beverages, or even distilled ones.

    peace,
    Frank+

     
  • At 9/21/2007 4:47 PM, Anonymous denise said…

    Of course they still make Yoo-Hoo. Life wouldn't be the same without it. I wonder, though, if it has any milk at all in it? Next stop, google!

     

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9/17/2007

A Case of the Mondays


Monday is my day off, so this blog was put together last week and just posted this morning. It is a group of prayers from the Church of England's Prayer page at their website. These are work-related prayers for those headed once more into the breach, rather than enjoying a day of rest (rest in the sense of the domestic bliss of cutting the grass and buying groceries that is). Enjoy!

Before work
Forth in thy name, O Lord, I go,
my daily labour to pursue,
thee, only thee, resolved to know,
in all I think, or speak, or do.
—Charles Wesley

A Commuter’s Prayer
I failed to get a seat – again,
too many people on the train.
We’re stuck in a tunnel;
everybody’s sighing;
we’re not moving.
I breathe in –
‘Let me know your peace and grace.’
I breathe out –
‘And help me share it with the people here.’
Breathe in.
Breathe out.
For the sake of my sanity.
For the sake of your kingdom.
—Sheridan James

Inspiration needed
Great creator God,
maker of all things,
you called forth beauty
from emptiness
and order
from chaos.

Is it heretical to ask:
Was it so effortless for you?
Did you struggle, Lord,
to shape the mountain ranges?
Or did you just speak and it was so?

This work you’ve given me, Lord,
it’s supposed to be ‘creative’
but so often it is toil, and pain, and struggle.
Sometimes bringing something new to birth
is like trying to blow a boulder uphill
with a straw –
the effort is exhausting.

Lord, would you help me?
And would the same Spirit that hovered
over the face of the waters,
that breathed human life into being,
be with me in this work?
—Tracey Messenger


These prayers are taken from Pocket Prayers for Work, Church House Publishing (2004), compiled by Mark Greene.

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4 Comments:

  • At 9/17/2007 2:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hate to take advantage of your blog, but I just wanna say thanks to the 10 am congregation for letting me walk around 2 hours with my pants unzipped an nooo one telling me! :P I would tell you guys! Lovely post, by the way.

     
  • At 9/17/2007 7:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well, I was at the 10 am service and I would offer two explanations for why no one mentioned your unzipped pants: 1)They, like me, don't tend to look at people's crotches; and 2)it just wasn't noticeable. Because, had I noticed, I would have quietly let you know. So, I deduce that it just wasn't noticeable.

     
  • At 9/17/2007 7:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You're welcome. We were enjoying the view.:)

    No, really...we probably didn't even notice!

     
  • At 9/17/2007 11:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    LOL! Well I'm glad, anyway. At least we all had us a chuckle now.

     

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9/16/2007

A Dangerous Prayer

This ‘blessing’ was prayed over Henri Nouwen (1932-1996) by his spiritual mentor:
May all your expectations be frustrated.
May all your plans be thwarted.
May all your desires be withered into nothingness.

That you may experience
the powerlessness and the poverty of a child
and sing and dance in the love
of God the Father, the Son and the Spirit.

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9/15/2007

Lost and Found

In this weekend's Gospel reading, Jesus comes under attack for eating with "tax collectors and sinners." Jesus responds with a story:
Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, `Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.' Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
Dylan has an intriguing take on this story at her lectionary blog, where she ends the post for this weekend with,
you might have heard a few sheep quietly noting the shepherd's absence and wondering where the shepherd had gone, as one silhouetted figure made its way toward the horizon and the stray ... and some wolf howls echoed in the distance.

Three questions:

Where is the shepherd?
Where are the ninety-nine?
If one sheep is with the shepherd and ninety-nine aren't, who's really the stray?
We find Jesus ever heading out into the night looking to snatch yet another sheep from the wolves. Sometimes in my job as pastor, I am called to head into similar situations that I hate to characterize as it might seem like I am talking about things best left private. But I get glimpses into lives torn by drug and alcohol abuse, violence and death, and in these instances I am called to bring the light of Christ into a dark place, bringing the love of the shepherd to sheep well away from the herd.

The Good ShepherdBut the thing I notice, is that I am called to do this not so much because I am a priest, as because I am a follower of Jesus. Each of us who wants to follow Jesus will occasionally find ourselves way on the edge of the herd, looking into the eyes of someone who doesn't realize that their shepherd Jesus still loves him or her and wants what is best, which is the safety of home and the herd. Then we are not with the 99, but out in the night with the Good Shepherd. Your job then is to be the shepherd's eyes, ears, hands, and feet. You are the one to offer God's love to the lost sheep.

It's not that you have to save the whole world, or even a whole herd. But sometimes God will place you in a situation where you can bring the love of the shepherd to people who thought they were all alone.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

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1 Comments:

  • At 9/15/2007 10:00 AM, Anonymous denise said…

    Lovely post. I think that because Jesus's mother was a knitter, he also knew that losing that sheep (and potential yarn) would really get him in a lot of trouble at home, as well. Must save the yarn!

     

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9/14/2007

The Value of Staying Put

Frank's photo looking out of a cave in Israel
Today's religion column for the Tribune & Georgian is on stability. Even for those who have to move every few years for work, stability is possible. The article says in part:
A generation ago, Camden County was a much more stable place. The people you went to school with, worked with and went to church with were the grandchildren of the people with whom your grandparents had done the same. There were exceptions, but mostly you knew the measure of a man or woman because you knew their people and their people knew yours.

Today, Camden County is a much more transient community. By necessity, many people leave our county every year due to a military or other job transfer, while many others arrive. There is nothing to bemoan here. It is a fact of life.

Yet, we can let the transient nature of the community effect other areas of life. We can come to look at the greener grass on the other side of the fence and long for those pastures, rather than our own.

For example, someone can look at his husband or her wife and think that it is time for the upgrade. The struggles in the marriage can seem like too much and it would be easier to let the marriage die and then move on to later find another person who doesn’t have all those faults of your spouse. The only problem with that plan is whoever you marry next will still be married to you.

This is just one example, but the same can be true for friendships, jobs, church, and even a club or volunteer organization. In time, any relationship may seem like it needs to come to an end. First, I should acknowledge that this is true. If your spouse is abusing you or your children. Set down the newspaper now and set about leaving. If your job is neither fulfilling nor meeting your family’s financial needs, then finish this column and flip back to the classifieds.

But for the rest of us, who are just grumpy, but not abused, there may be something else going on here.
The full text of the religion column is online here: The Value of Staying Put.

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3 Comments:

  • At 9/14/2007 10:38 AM, Anonymous Linda+ said…

    How very Benedictine -- perhaps the Rule of St. Benedict should set the ethos for our entire county. That way it would always feel like home even if circumstances demand our absence.

     
  • At 9/15/2007 12:26 AM, Blogger Rhonda said…

    Sometimes it is all too easy to give up. It's harder to stay and fix it. At work, home or church.

     
  • At 9/15/2007 8:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yes, it is harder to stay and fix the relationship, whatever it may be. But, it only works when both parties are willing.

     

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9/13/2007

God's Wrath

Michaelangelo's paintingThe biblical doctrine of God’s wrath is rooted in the doctrine of God as the good, wise and loving creator, who hates — yes, hates, and hates implacably — anything that spoils, defaces, distorts or damages his beautiful creation, and in particular anything that does that to his image-bearing creatures. If God does not hate racial prejudice, he is neither good nor loving.

If God is not wrathful at child abuse, he is neither good nor loving. If God is not utterly determined to root out from his creation, in an act of proper wrath and judgment, the arrogance that allows people to exploit, bomb, bully, and enslave one another, he is neither loving, nor good, nor wise.
—N.T. Wright

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2 Comments:

  • At 9/13/2007 7:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I don't agree. The God I worship is full of love. Love is the opposite of hate. I think that God is sorrowful and hurt in the face of these adversities. If he were hateful or wrathful, then we would not be dealing with abuse, prejudic, exploitation, etc..He would have already driven them away with his wrath, just as we humans are trying to do with our hatred and wrath. So far, I see that doesn't work.

     
  • At 9/13/2007 11:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    To quote Frank, "I think it's more complicated than that."

    I don't think love and hate is an either/or choice. God, in his love, has provided a way to counter the evil in this world. He loves us enough to allow us the freedom to choose - and that includes the freedom to choose to do evil.

    When my children are disobedient, I don't hate them - I still love them more than my own life - but I may be angry about the things they do. I don't behave hatefully or maliciously to them, but correcting them is still necessary. Sometimes that means punishment, and sometimes it means that they reap the consequences of their own behavior.

    Unfortunately, in our human condition, we associate hate with visiousness and maliciousness. I believe God's example is a different than the words we use to express hate and anger. They're just the closest language that we possess. For us, hate and love make no sense.

    Gratefully, God hated what happened to his creation so much that he sent Jesus to rescue us. Once again, God did not behave as people do, but did something unexpected and holy.

     

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9/12/2007

A systematic purge of religious books

The New York Times reports on "a systematic purge of religious books and materials that were once available to prisoners in chapel libraries." Inmate in a prison libraryPrison chaplains have been directed to remove all but 150 select books and 150 multimedia titles on Christianity and the same is true for other religions. The article reports the result as
In some prisons, the chaplains have recently dismantled libraries that had thousands of texts collected over decades, bought by the prisons, or donated by churches and religious groups.
The purge is a post-911 move to throw out any materials which could lead to the prison system becoming a recruiting area for militant Islamic groups as wells as militant fundamentalist in any religion.

“It’s swatting a fly with a sledgehammer,” the article quotes Mark Earley, president of the Christian group Prison Fellowship as saying. He goes on to say
“There’s no need to get rid of literally hundreds of thousands of books that are fine simply because you have a problem with an isolated book or piece of literature that presents extremism.”
The Bible is, of course, on the allowed listThe article outlines the disparity in the selection of the permitted materials so that there is a lot of material by some authors and none by others even though none of the works in question could be viewed as advocating violence. The bias includes 80 of the Jewish books all coming from one orthodox publishing house.

You can see the process of thinking that went into this, so that the goal would have targeted one religion over and against others. Impartiality required by the separation of church and state demanded that all religions be treated equally in the decision, so lots of great Christian materials get dumped. But rather than dumping peaceful materials from Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism, they should have seen the need to do so as a sign that they were on to the wrong solution. Better to work on the actual problem of recruitment to militant groups than to remove vast sums of books which were there to help serve the legitimate religious needs of the prisoners, including those of Muslims.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

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2 Comments:

  • At 9/12/2007 4:33 PM, Anonymous denise said…

    Isn't this censorship? The unAmerican in me has a hard time feeling "sorry for" the prisoners, had they not gotten themselves into prison they could go to any public library (or church's library) and check these books out...but still, this is one of the craziest things yet. I won't be surprised if the prisoners riot, and then the people who took the books out will only have themselves to blame.

     
  • At 9/12/2007 5:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I don't think it is considered cencorship because of the separation of church and state. I could be wrong. I do know that there are public schools that don't allow religious books in their libraries, other than factual, because of the separation of church and state.

    It is sad that extremists have us terrorized to this point.

     

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9/11/2007

Faith, doubt, certainty and the leap of faith

If a man will begin with certainties,
he shall end in doubts;
but if he will be content to begin with doubts
he shall end in certainties.
Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

John Humphrys writes in a Times Online article In God We Doubt what sounds like a thinking man's agnostic position. In the lengthy article he tells of the atheist philospher AC Grayling who co-wrote the play On Religion in which
The night before I got married my brother sat me down in an Indian restaurant and (too many beers) got me to make a list on a napkin of why this girl was the right person for me to marry. One side of the napkin had all the pros and the other side the cons.

What was fascinating about the list was that nothing I could write down – kind, pretty, warm, sexy, etc – could ever add up to “I love her”. To marry and make the love commitment is the nearest thing to faith I know because it is something done with the same degree of risk.

a leap of faithWould a person who needed everything fully evidenced and rationally demonstrated ever be in a position to say, ‘I love you’? Couldn’t [an atheist] make a case for love being a fiction, a function of human need, a function of biology and selfish genes? He may have many useful and persuasive things to say but there is something deeply mistaken about thinking love is simply reducible to the chemistry of the brain.

Love, like faith, is to make more of a commitment than one can prove. But there is a truth to it that I won’t—indeed can’t—back away from. Of course, there is much to say about all of this and I can think of a dozen reasons why faith and love might look different. But the truth of both is, for me, found in the poetry, not in the science.
I certainly find comparing faith to love to be not a stretch at all and quite helpful as the essence of the Christian faith is love. So quoting an atheist philosopher or not, this agnostic had me intrigued. Humphrys goes on to write in the the Times article,
This is not an intellectual game. Even if we know what is true – and we don’t – you cannot reduce life to a set of provable realities. Humanity is too complex for that. In the end, it comes down to whether the world would be a better place without religion; and that is a matter of judgment, not certainty.

Yes, we loathe and fear the fanaticism that leads to a man strapping a bomb to his body and blowing up other human beings. But we should also fear a world in which the predominant values are materialism and consumerism, and the greatest aspiration of too many children is to become a “celebrity”. The existence of religion can offer some balance in a society obsessed with image, which turns vacuity into virtue....

As for the fanatics – religious or secular – history suggests they succeed only to the extent that we allow ourselves to be defeated by our own irrational fear. For every fanatic there are countless ordinary, decent people who believe in their own version of a benevolent God and wish no harm to anyone. Many of them regard it as their duty to try to make the world a better place.
Here is a man unable to prove God's existence to himself, but quite comfortable in seeing how that belief in God has helped millions of people lived more noble lives, rather than deluded ones.

He is looking from outside the faith in and while I can't share that viewpoint completely as I know there is a God, I can get close to his viewpoint. I do this by not looking at my own faith in God as revealed through Jesus Christ. Instead I look to the faith of a devout Buddhist. Strictly speaking, Buddhism is nontheistic, but it still works as an analogy. I do not believe in the tenants of Buddhism. I just don't. Yet, I do see that Buddhist practice has been very valuable to millions, helping them to live more enriched lives. I suspect this is something like how Humphrys views all faiths.

Where I part company with with him is that I am certain that there are different ways of knowing and some ways of knowing slip throw the net of science and reason. This is why the love analogy above works so well.

I can remove the logical obstacles to faith, but I can't reason someone all the way to heaven. There is a gap that demands a leap of faith. But what I have found, and I hope that you, gentle reader, have as well is that once you make that leap, there is another way of knowing in which one gets the blessed assurance that God is real. The problem is that I can not graft that experience on to a rational explanation and I can not give that experience to others. It takes the leap of faith first, and then comes the assurance.

That's my experience. Does it fit with yours?

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen.
—Hebrews 11:1

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7 Comments:

  • At 9/11/2007 1:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It looks scary? Very hard to reach.

     
  • At 9/11/2007 2:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm not sure if my experience is a leap of faith, but I did receive a gift from God that sealed my faith.

    Up until a couple of years ago, I believed in God simply because I was afraid not to. I attended church regularly and prayed, but I never really felt anything or knew if God was actually with me, listening.

    One particular evening, I attended a rosary for a dying friend. The church was packed with his loving friends and family. After the rosary, he got up to speak. Even though he was dying, his faith was incredible, strong and unshaken. At that moment, something came over me and I felt the Holy Spirit as if I could reach out and touch Him. I was completely speechless for three days after. My priest at that time said that it was holiness recognizing itself, and that's why I was rendered quiet.

    Since that moment, I am able to recognize the hand of God working in my life and the lives of others every single day. I don't think I lept into faith, but was drawn into it by His loving touch.

     
  • At 9/11/2007 3:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    That, is what I am searching for!

    That unwavering feeling that I know he is with me always.

     
  • At 9/11/2007 4:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I wasn't searching...I was on my knees begging! I even wrote letters to Him and left them on the altar--everyday!!! I couldn't even be sure that He was there.

    I think when I stopped demanding what I wanted and sat quietly and opened my heart, I was able to feel Him. I knew that He had been there all along. I was simply blinded by me and my demands and too much other stuff!

    I don't believe you have to search, just sincerely make yourself available to Him and He'll let you know He's there.

    That same priest told me that he no longer felt the Holy Spirit like he once had, and the same thing happened to Mother Teresa. Maybe that's the leap of faith--knowing that you are not abandoned and continuing in His name when you no longer feel Him around.

     
  • At 9/11/2007 8:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I feel like I'm on my knees more than I am standing. I just don't know how to open up. I want the faith that will carry me through to where I know I need to be. I just don't know how to get to that place.

     
  • At 9/11/2007 9:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Stay consistent. Say all that you need to say but allow equal and quiet time for Him. Sometimes, when I am not seeing or understanding, I ask God to send angels for clarity. Don't give up! He's there! Your faith must be strong if you spend so much time on your knees in prayer! :)

     
  • At 9/11/2007 9:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thank You!

     

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9/10/2007

Ministry Fair

Between the Sunday morning worship services we held a Ministry Fair signing up people interested in helping in a various ways at King of Peace from Children's Church and Acolytes to Boy Scouts and the Music Ensemble. Then after the 10 a.m. worship service we stayed for a covered dish lunch with some tasty food.




The Ministry Fair underway in the entry hall.

Alison and Jay speaking with Stephanie
Alison and Jay speaking with Stephanie about the youth group

Worshipping at 10 am
Sophia looking back during the worship service

a covered dish after the 10 a.m. service
The covered dish lunch after worship

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4 Comments:

  • At 9/11/2007 1:23 AM, Anonymous denise said…

    Who made the pecan pie and mac n' cheese with the sausage in it? We should have covered dish every Sunday...yum!

     
  • At 9/11/2007 10:31 AM, Anonymous Jim said…

    I bet you all had a wonderful time.

    For all of you who are a part of the King of Peace family, be encouraged that the power if the Holy Spirit is very evidently with you--through your own lives, through your corporate lives and through us in the community. May God continue to bless and keep you all.

    With love,

    Jim the Methodist

     
  • At 9/11/2007 10:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    the mac n' cheese was a super easy recipe we found. Geoff and I would be glad to give it to you. We are happy you enjoyed it :)

     
  • At 9/17/2007 8:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    For the chocolate pecan pie, just melt some chocolate chips in the microwave and stir them into the karo syrup mixture before you put in the eggs.

    Debbie

     

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Found Artifacts

A street in Villecroze, FrancePardon my taking this day off from the usual fare at Irenic Thoughts to divert to the personal and share with you some recent photographic work of mine, which I call Found Artifacts. The photos were taken on my trip (with my wife and daughter) to Italy and France in June of 2007. A decidedly old school feel is intended for the forty photos at the website, four of which are displayed here.

A priest praying morning prayer in St. Pete's SquareThe camera used was a Holga camera on 120 format black and white film. The pictures use the particular nature of that less-than-perfect, all-plastic toy camera from China to create images designed to look less like contemporary photography and more like found artifacts. They are new images made to feel as if they have been lost in the photo album of a well-traveled, eccentric uncle; collecting dust on a forgotten shelf in the attic since between the world wars.

The photos are exhibited online at planetanimals.com/foundartifacts/. Our travels from a more up-to-date, digital photography perspective are found here Irenic Thoughts: Travel.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

A street in Todi, ItalyAn odd street scene in Rome

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Connections

cleck here to visit the conference websiteOctober 5-7, the Connections conference will meet at Honey Creek. Put on by the Diocese of Georgia's Christian formation commission, there is a great line up for the retreat and an impressive group of people coming together to put on the weekend. The topics will include Centering Prayer, Liturgy, the Work of the People, Raising & Razing – Setting Your Youth Ministry On Fire, Retirement with Grace, and Vibrant Vestries, Bedrock of Healthy Congregations. Even if none of those topics rings a bell with you, but a retreat weekend on the marsh at Honey Creek does, then take a look at their website for more information as this is a top-notch conference and it may be just what God has for you in the coming month.

The full information on this meeting is found online here Connections at Honey Creek

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9/09/2007

The highest act

worship at King of Peace
Worship is the highest act of which man is capable.
It not only stretches him
beyond all the limits of his finite self
to affirm the divine depth of mystery and holiness
in the living and eternal God,
but it opens him at the deepest level of his being
to an act which unites him most realistically with his fellow man.
-Samuel H. Miller (1935-1978)

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9/08/2007

Counting the Costs

In this weekend's Gospel reading Jesus says some tough stuff to those who would follow him, including that they are to hate father and mother; they are to carry their own cross; they are to count the cost of being a disciple including giving up their possessions. These are hard sayings and Jesus says them right as Luke has told us that large crowds are following Jesus. It seems like the shepherd knows hot to thin the herd. But what do these sayings mean to us?

The Rev. Paul Allick has preached on this passage saying,
Anglo-Saxon painting of Jesus teachingIn our gospel teaching today, we hear that “large crowds were traveling with Jesus.” If Jesus were a good church pro-grammer, he would have dis- patched some of the apostles to get everyone’s name, phone number, and home address. He would have made sure everyone felt welcome. Perhaps he would have fretted over his sermons, making sure that each one was a practical, uplifting message that the crowd would come back for again and again. If they were singing psalms, he would have made sure the tunes were easy and appealing to the largest group possible.

Jesus wasn’t a good church programmer. This is because Jesus wasn’t calling crowds; he was calling disciples. Jesus wasn’t concerned with being popular; he was concerned with helping people transform their lives. Jesus knew that no matter the size of the crowd, it was all temporal anyway. It didn’t matter in the larger scheme. Jesus was leading people toward eternity, not temporal things like material success.

When Jesus sees the crowds, his instinct is not to wow them. His instinct is to make each person aware of the cost of being his disciple. It is this awareness of the journey that brings about transformation. He tells the crowd that unless they can detach completely from everything they are holding onto emotionally and physically, they can never really be his disciples. He tells them – and us – that we have to detach from our family systems, from our very lives as we know them. We have to be ready to take up a cross.
The full text of his sermon is here Sermons that Work.

Jesus wants those who will follow him to place their relationship with God in that most important spot in their lives, making all other relationships and commitments less important. I have preached on this as Redefining Commitments.

In what ways is your life different because you follow Jesus? Does God get the God-spot in your life as the most important thing? Or do other relationships, other things, take priority?

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

Note:
Between the 8:30 and 10 a.m. worship services tomorrow morning, we we hold a Ministries Fair with an opportunity for you to find ways to get connected to King of Peace through service with anything from the Floral Guild to the Boy Scouts. A covered dish lunch will follow the 10 a.m. worship service.

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9/07/2007

I am raised by your arms

The following is a poem I received in a class on Judaism I took in seminary. The rabbi who taught it was teaching about the practical aspects of keeping the sabbath in his conservative congregation. In doing so he described his own family's home practices. Below is a text he would recite from memory to his wife each week. Rabbi Moline said that the power of coming back to these words each week was immense.

Frank and Victoria on September 7, 1985I have said these words to my wife on occasion and for a while emailed this to her every Friday (as the Jewish sabbath begins sundown on Friday and continues through sundown on Saturday). I reproduce the text here now in thanksgiving for 22 years of marriage this day. As you can see in the wedding photo here, my wife looks the same as when I married her, though that kid she married looks pretty young in the photo. We are celebrating tonight by eating at Boy Scout Troop 226's spaghetti supper at King of Peace, which is from 4-6:30 p.m. for those heading next door to the football game. It's a great meal for $5, so come join us in raising money for a good cause.

peace,
Frank+

IN LOCO EISHES CHAYIL
(Husband embraces and kisses wife, then takes her hand and recites:)

I love you
What you have done for me this week,
comforting me,
challenging me,
privileging me with your grandeur,
I shall never have the skill,
the genius
to articulate.
Dragged down again and again
by mundane and commonplace
jobs and burdens,
I am raised by your arms
once more
to your visions of
myself-with-you.
Because of you
I will never know despair
or the claws and clutch
of loneliness.
You are a constant revelation,
a reminder of all the Noble
and the Upright of the Earth,
and I shall never know for what reason
I have been graced by your love.
Companion. Ineffably precious friend.
Each moment is a Bracha-blessing
because of you,
each day a portion of the primal mysteries
of Sinai and Creation,
each tomorrow a taste
of Future Worlds.
My metaphors
are meek:
For you move my soul in ways
only the eloquence-of-silence can express.
And yet,
you see,
I must speak.

I love you.

From And God Braided Eve's Hair by Danny Siegel (United Synagogue of America, 1976).

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9/06/2007

That ain't right


Before this post is over I will sound like an unenlightened romantic at best a luddite or heartless troglodite at worst. But this NPR news report got my attention Scientists Hope to Create Human-Animal Embryo and not in a positive way. The short version is that
Two teams of British scientists had applied to Britain's Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) for permission to create what are known in Britain as cytoplastic hybrids, or cybrids, in order to overcome a shortage of donated human eggs.

The process involves injecting human DNA into an animal egg cell from which the nucleus has been removed.

Researchers hope to use the hybrid embryos, which must be destroyed after 14 days, which would create stem cells. The stem cells could be used to help find new medical treatments for diseases such as Alzheimer's, Lou Gehrig's, and Parkinson's.
That's where I feel unenlightened. I certainly want relief for persons suffering from Alzheimer's, Lou Gehrig's and Parkinsons's. Who wouldn't? But I wonder about the cost of help and what the unintended consequences might be. The article goes on to say:
Scientists have said they understand that the idea of the process — which would create a hybrid embryo that is 99.9 percent human and 0.1 percent animal — might be shocking to some people. But Dr. Stephen Minger of Kings College London says the public should not be alarmed.

"What we do when we take an animal egg, is we remove the nucleus from the egg. We remove not only the genetic identity but we remove the species identity. What makes a cow egg a cow is its nuclear DNA. And we take that out — it's no longer a cow," Minger says.
Britain's Times online also features a Question and Answer on the issue.

Maybe I have watched I Robot one too many times (including last night), or took Jurassic Park or The Lost World too seriously, but I do wonder about the slippery slope and what it means to begin creating hybrid tissue for research purposes. My gut instinct is that we humans are not smart enough to pull this off without running into profound problems we can not yet forsee.

an urban legend playing on fears about this sort of reserach, click to find out moreI could and probably should throw in some biblical rationale for my opinion. Certainly the distinctions among species found in Genesis 1:4,6,7 with each animal reproducing after their kind shows a concern for keeping distinctions in a way that would see no problem with dog breeding and real cataclismic problems coming from recombining very different species. I'm not actually fearful of the urban legend pictured here coming true, but I do think it is dangerous precedent. Yes, I have read a few articles on this and understand that the intent is to remove almost all that is cow from the egg and make it human. But what is created will be a new sort of hybrid and we won't know the problems down the line until it is too late to reverse the course. I wish I didn't see it as market-driven research interested in boosting medical company profits as being the main factor in this continual push ahead trying to find ways to bend the ethics to make the new research acceptable to the broad public's sensibilities.

But I also need to admit that at this point, this is just a gut-level reaction on my part. I do think we should do all we ethically can to help prevent needless suffering from disease. I just think this solution crosses that line.

What do y'all think?

peace,
Frank+
The Frank Logue, Pastor

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4 Comments:

  • At 9/06/2007 7:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It's too FREAKY!!!! There's got to be another way! Suffering from these diseases is horrible, but I don't think I could expose myself to such a cure.

     
  • At 9/06/2007 8:10 AM, Anonymous kenny said…

    I totally agree. There are some awful things that can happen to people but sometimes the cost of the "cure" is way too high.

     
  • At 9/06/2007 10:43 AM, Anonymous denise said…

    I think you hit the nail on the head with the word "ethically". Doctors are supposed to do no harm. If you believe that life is created by God, then you know that only God can play God and this isn't a thing we have any place meddling in. Disease has a way of working it's way out. Maybe we should put our focus into making medicines and treatment affordable to all, or even budget for medicines like we do our cell phones. I can think of at least 5 people I know who complain about a $60 prescription, yet willingly hand over $100/month for their phone service. How come a church isn't supposed to turn a profit, but life sustaining care can? Is it capitilism or greed? So many questions only raise more questions!

     
  • At 9/06/2007 1:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Mooooooooo...I mean...GROSS!!!!!!!

     

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