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.

10/31/2007

Trunk or Treat Photos

The Trunk or Treat was a HUGE success with lots of costumed kids enjoying treats with no tricks as well as free games, a train ride and horse rides. We've created a Flick'r site with all the photos. Click on any picture below to go to the site:













Thanks again to Amber and Geoff for pulling off this event and for Gillian and her excellent team at The Preschool for their hard work and for providing the train and horse rides.

Labels:

2 Comments:

  • At 10/31/2007 11:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thank you to everyone for making this year's trunk or treat a GREAT success!! I'm already planning our game for next year and can't wait to see what everyone will come up with for costumes and vehicle decor. It was awesome to see so many new faces and get to know our King of Peace family better. I hope to see some of those new faces in church. I'm so glad King of Peace does this. And it was even better this year because the pre-school joined in the fun and we got the word out to the community that we can have safe fun on halloween with our kids and friends and yes it was even at church :-)

     
  • At 11/01/2007 6:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The Flickr' site is very sweet! Frank, at first I thought Paris Hilton, until I noticed the beard!

    Amber and Geoff, I think you're my husband's true family! Do you want him back?

    Trunk or treat looked like a big success again! It's a 10 plus on the cute-0-meter!

     

Post a Comment

<< Home

We made a mistake

Willow Creek Community Church
These are the words of one of the original mega-church pastors, the Rev. Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Community Church in thge Chicago area. He was not speaking to the size of his congregation, but to the way the church disciples the faithful. He says now,
We made a mistake. What we should have done when people crossed the line of faith and became Christians, we should have started telling people and teaching people that they have to take responsibility to become ‘self-feeders.’ We should have gotten people, taught people, how to read their Bible between service, how to do the spiritual practices much more aggressively on their own.
I know it can be trendy to bash mega churches, but I visited Willow Creek in 1999, attending worship while there for a conference on church planting. While I didn't care to copy their church, I did like the way they were careful about thinking through what they did and why. Obviously that continues. Now the founding pastor is concerned that created a multi-million dollar Christian Education program that
did not equate into an increase in members capacity to love God more deeply or to love their neighbor in any significant way.
a fake Sunday magazine cover from The OnionAt least I agree with their bottom line. The thing for a church to ask is whether people are more involved in loving God and loving their neighbors as themselves than they were before coming in contact with the church (unlike the parody magazine cover to the right). In other words, are those who attend more likely to live out Jesus' teachings than not. Obviously, there will be an immense amount of indiviual differences. But what is the trend within a church?

This is all covered in a recent Diana Butler Bass article for The Alban Institute. The full text is here: Intentionality, Practice, and Vitality. There is more on it here as well from Christianity Today Willow Creek repents. Thanks to World of Your Making for pointing this link out.

The question is, "What can churches do to assist the people who attend not to be like Christians, but to be like Jesus?"

For Diana Butler Bass the solution is "re-basing vital congregational life on spiritual practices, including prayer, theological reflection, generosity, storytelling, discernment, shaping community, hospitality, and leadership."

I think the key is some sort of spiritual disciplines like prayer and Bible study and regular worship. But with that said, how does a church encourage these practices? What do you think?

Trunk or Treat
I'm sure this is not the sort of discipleship opportunity they have in mind, but this evening we will show our love of neighbors with a free community event sponsored by our church and day school.

Vehicles are to begin gathering at King of Peace at 4:30 p.m. to set up on the grass is front of the long side of our church for Trunk or Treat. We will begin distributing candy to kids at 5 p.m. and will continue until 6:45 p.m. We will also have train and horse rides for children. At 7 p.m., we'll offer a special All Hallows Eve Communion service and coming in different forms of dress is fine. To go along with this, we have Father Steve's Thriller video:

Labels:

2 Comments:

  • At 10/31/2007 7:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    My idea of being a Christian and being like Jesus is one in the same. Prayer, worship and Bible studies are great foundations to personal growth in Christianity.

    Where I see churches falling short is teaching people how to take these disciplines beyond the walls of the church and put them into practice to where it becomes a way of life, like Jesus.

    A church needs to be open to individual's desires to serve others and provide opportunity and guidance to do so. King of Peace does just that, and it is the reason I chose this church. It was seeing Father Frank and many of the members out there doing the work of Jesus that drew me to the church in the first place.

    I had a strong foundation in my other church and was very disciplined in the religion, but I was trapped inside. I became extrememly frustrated not knowing how to take my desire to serve others beyond the capacity of that church. The ministries offered to us were in service to the church only. I knew what I wanted to do, but had no support from the church leaders.

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

    I totally agree with Father Steve's video. Lets take over halloween and make it fun and safe for the kids!! That is exactly what trunk or treat is here for. It makes me very happy to see churches all over the community having Fall festivals and trunk or treat!! :-)

     

Post a Comment

<< Home

10/29/2007

Letter to a Southern Baptist Pastor


Biosociologist E.O. Wilson has written a "Letter to a Southern Baptist Pastor" as a means of seeking common ground between science and religion for the good of all for as he writes,
EO WilsonBecause religion and science are the two most powerful forces in the world today, including especially the United States. If religion and science could be united on the common ground of biological conservation, the problem would soon be solved. If there is any moral precept shared by people of all beliefs, it is that we owe ourselves and future generations a beautiful, rich, and healthful environment.
The full text is here Letter to a Southern Baptist Minister. In the letter, he lays on the line his own secular humanist beliefs, while making room for joining with those Christians who want to find common cause, particularly the most literal interpretors of scripture.

For the record here at Irenic Thoughts, I don't think I take scripture literally in the sense that is usually meant. But I take scripture so life-changingly seriously that I am always uncomfortable saying that I don't take scripture literally for that makes it sound like I don't think the Bible is true. On the contrary, I know it to be true. People ask, "Did it happen?" about this or that biblical event. I can say in reply, "It happens all the time." For the events in scripture such as the Exodus from Egypt are ones that repeat generation after generation as God calls people from slavery into freedom and from death into life.

With that said, I lament that many Christians have found reason not to follow God's command to be stewards of the earth and to serve and preserve the creation. As Wilson clearly states in his letter, some use Jesus' return as an excuse to not worry about the state of the planet. This is curious logic as we should want our Lord to find that we've been taking care of the place as requested. Martin Luther said that if someone said Jesus was returning tomorrow, he would plant a tree. If they were wrong, he would have prepared for the future. If they were right, he would be found by God to be taking care of the earth.

Wilson's impassioned plea is this:
Pastor, we need your help. The Creation—living Nature—is in deep trouble. Scientists estimate that if habitat conversion and other destructive human activities continue at their present rates, half the species of plants and animals on Earth could be either gone or at least fated for early extinction by the end of the century. A full quarter will drop to this level during the next half century as a result of climate change alone. The ongoing extinction rate is calculated in the most conservative estimates to be about a hundred times above that prevailing before humans appeared on Earth, and it is expected to rise to at least a thousand times greater or more in the next few decades. If this rise continues unabated, the cost to humanity, in wealth, environmental security, and quality of life, will be catastrophic.
Separate from issues of whether global warming is good science or bad, anyone can see that we are raping portions of the earth rather than caring for them. The earth is resilient and may well recover, but it could do so with a billion or so less humans on board. If this happens, it may not be God's judgment so much as God's built-in corrective for us not following the command to care for the gift of creation we have been given.

The professor who taught me Hebrew, Ellen Davis, said in a recent NPR interview,
The biblical writers have always maintained that the world is not a permanent entity as we know it; it can change; is likely to change; for better, or for much worse.
If our own free will leads us to saw off the limb on which we stand, we will not have God to blame. Perhaps this is yet another implication of this past Sunday's sermon When Fires Rage.

You will find some responses to E.O. Wilson at Washington Post and Newsweek's On Faith in Science and Religion. In the archives is the religion column Toward a Christian Ecology.

I think that Christians owe our creator the debt of caring for creation. For that reason, I do believe that I could easily find a good deal of common ground with E.O. Wilson. But then, he wasn't writing the letter to me. What do you think of Christianity and ecological crisis?

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

PS: There is also the reasoning of the Rev. Linda McCloud who said, "Preserve the earth; as far as we know, it's our only source of chocolate."

Labels:

1 Comments:

  • At 10/30/2007 7:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    My family lives out in Mush Bluff and we are extrememly privileged to have a recycling truck along with our regular garbage collection. I can't believe the amount of plastic one family of four can accumulate in a week! For my family, it far outweighs the amount of paper, glass and cans.

    We started recycling 8 years ago and I wish we had done so a long time ago. To think of all we have acumulated that could be going to a landfill makes me sick. And with that said, even though we are lucky to have the recycling truck in our neighborhood, sadly, very few neighbors take advantage of it.

    Yes, there are enough Christians in this world who can set a great example and take care of our precious gifts from God. And regardless of our religious convictions, the one thing that all humanity has in common is our earth. It's our home. It's a legacy that we all need to protect for future generations.

    If each of us could donate just a little extra time, we could accomplish so much.

     

Post a Comment

<< Home

Journey to Wholeness continued



My wife, Victoria, and I are leading a retreat at Honey Creek on Friday November 30 and Saturday, December 1. This is the second of three retreats we are leading at our Episcopal Camp and Conference Center, Honey Creek, which is 5.5 miles east of I-95 at exit 26. Each retreat stands along and you did not have to be at our earlier retreat on forgiveness in order to take part in and benefit from the one next month.

Frank's photo in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, JerusalemThe Journey to Wholeness Retreats offer an opportunity for you to deepen your understanding of Christian spirituality along a given theme. The theme for the Advent 2007 retreat will be Light from the Shadows. During this retreat, you will discover how Jung's concept of your shadow can help you take the next step on your own spiritual journey. The basic idea is that each of us has aspects that remain hidden. These parts of ourselves both good and bad come out in dreams. They also manifest in hidden strengths we are afraid to tap into. This retreat will use dream work and information gleaned from personality type and other methods to help you come to better understand more about yourself. It is an overnight journey into tools for better self awareness so that you can more fully become the person God created you to be.

The all-inclusive cost is $80 for a single room, $60 for a double, $45 for a dorm room, or $35 for commuters. All fees above have tax added at Honey Creek. Some scholarship assistance is available. While registrations will remain open up until the weekend, we need as many of those who are planning to attend for sure to register by November 16, 2007 in order for Honey Creek to make plans for food and staffing. We will also meet alongside the Deacons Retreat and late registrants may be turned away for lack of space.

Schedule

Friday, November 30, 2007
6 p.m. Dinner
7 p.m. Opening session
8 p.m. First break out sessions
9 p.m. Celtic evening prayer

Saturday, December 1, 2007
8 a.m. Breakfast
8:30 a.m. Morning general session
9:30 a.m. Saturday break out sessions
11 a.m. Final general session
12 noon Lunch
1 p.m. Celtic Eucharist
2 p.m. depart for home

Break out sessions will be on how to work with your dreams, using personality type in shadow work, faithbooking (which is scrapbooking your spiritual journey), symbols and art as a means of working with your shadow, centering prayer and more. The retreat leadership will include trained therapists Carlene Taylor and the Rev. Joe Clift as well as persons who bring their expertise in the areas being covered: the Rev. Linda McCloud, the Rev. Joan Killian, Judy Carter, Jacqui Belcher, Victoria Logue and the Rev. Frank Logue.

For some sense of the setting, you may see photos of the first Journey to Wholeness Retreat. To register, contact Honey Creek at (912) 265-9218 or honeycreekga[at]aol.com

Labels:

3 Comments:

  • At 10/29/2007 8:01 AM, Anonymous kenny said…

    Jung, huh? So I guess I should pay more attention to that Sean Hannity dream I had the other day? :)

     
  • At 10/29/2007 8:29 AM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    Kenny, one of the key questions to ask of any dream is "What do the various people and symbols in the dream mean to me?" You also have to realize that you are the only one in your dreams in that all the persons and symbols arise out of your subconscious. So the question is "What is your inner Sean Hannity trying to tell you?" And I may or may not want to know.

    peace,
    Frank+

     
  • At 10/29/2007 12:31 PM, Anonymous kenny said…

    Hannity was a used car salesman. Do you really want / need any more details than that?

     

Post a Comment

<< Home

10/28/2007

Reformation Sunday Photos

Jay Weldon preachingThanks to excellent organization by Jay, coordinating planning and working with Carol and Mary Kay, the Reformation Sunday service was a big success. Thanks also go to Rick Douylliez of First Presbyterian in Saint Marys who officiated at the service.

It was a fun way to mark the big changes in the 1500s which made it possible for us to have the scripture and the worship in the language of the people.
distributing communion
the closing hymn
Carol plays the postlude after the worship service
the bratwurst and sauerkraut heavy buffet
The meal following worship

Labels:

5 Comments:

  • At 10/29/2007 2:08 AM, Anonymous Denise said…

    I think the blog's code monkey got into the fine german beverage cooler, lol. Sorry I missed it, really bad things happened to my internet and had to be fixed.

     
  • At 10/29/2007 8:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Could somebody please explain the significance of red? I know it does not have anything to do with UGA's victory on the previous day. :)

     
  • At 10/29/2007 8:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    To go along with the question about the red. Should white be worn for the All Saints Service?

    I do have to say Go Dawgs!! And how about them Sox!! This norther girl is happy today.

     
  • At 10/29/2007 8:27 AM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    Red is the church color for the Holy Spirit, probably due to the tongues of fire over the heads of the apostles on Pentecost. We don't usually color code according to church color, but have done so before for Pentecost and it makes for a festive service. Fun for one service or two a year, but more than a little funky if one had to color code clothes each week. That would have a high creepiness factor. So I would give white and gold a miss for All Saints were I you. But I am not you and will wear liturgically appropriate vestments to the service. :-)

    peace,
    Frank+

     
  • At 10/29/2007 8:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    So, the color red was representing the Holy Spirit on Reformation Sunday as on Pentacost Sunday? I'm really happy that we don't have to wear white on All Saint's Day since we are well past Labor Day!

    Northern Girl: Glad to see you like the Dawgs! And, way to go Jags too! So sad for the Dolphins in England though!

     

Post a Comment

<< Home

Reformation Sunday

On October 31, 1517, a seminary professor and monk named Martin Luther nailed 95 propositions for debate to the door of the Wittenburg Castle Church. Luther nails the 95 Theses to the doorThis action touched off what we now call the Reformation. There is joy in what the Reformation brought about in that having the Bible and the worship in the language of the people (rather than Latin) is a direct result of the debate Luther began within the church. But, the Reformation also led to the prefusion of denominatons and led to more persecutation of persons of varying Christian beliefs.

Tonight at 6 p.m., we will hold a worship service and a meal to mark Reformation Sunday. While more typically observed in the Lutheran Church, it is an appropriate day of observance for Episcopalians as well, particularly since our agreement of increased unity with Lutherans forged in 2000. Pastor Rick Douylliez of First Presbyterian Church in Saint Marys and Jay Weldon, our pastoral resident will lead our worship using a communion service from the Lutheran Book of Worship. This blend of denominations is perfect for a day in which we remember God's Word as the basis for our beliefs and unity.

The meal is provided. Please come and enjoy the particular fellowship possible when we use this day to remember not what once divided us from others of faith, but the Word of God which continues to draw Christians together.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

10/27/2007

E.C.W. Sharing Day

ECW Sharing Day kicks off with a continental breakfast
Victoria teaches the practical aspect of how to walk the labyrinth
Victoria speaks to the group
Victoria's talkToday is the Episcopal Church Women Sharing Day for the 15 Episcopal Churches in the southeast corner of Georgia. The event is being held now at King of Peace and is led by our trained labyrinth facilitator, Victoria Logue, who prepared a special All Saints meditation and labyrinth walk. The group is recalling not just the saints of the church, but also the saints in their own lives, people who have born the image of Christ to them. The meeting concludes with a light lunch.
walking the labyrinth

Labels:

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

Pray without Ceasing

In this weekend's Gospel reading Jesus tells a parable
an interesting twist on the storyTwo men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, `God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.' But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, `God, be merciful to me, a sinner!' I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.
A few years ago, I preached on this passage, showing how a whole strand of Christian tradition—The Jesus Prayer—came from this story. I wrote:
This prayer of the humbled tax collector forms the basis for The Jesus Prayer—a prayer central to the Orthodox understanding of Christianity. The Orthodox churches, such as Russian Orthodox and Greek Orthodox were separated by political divisions from Christianity in the west for more than 1,000 years. There is within the Orthodox understanding of Christianity vast depths of wisdom which many of us who live West of Constantinople have never experienced. I want to offer this decidedly Orthodox form of prayer—The Jesus Prayer—as a possible new avenue for you in your life of personal prayer....

For the Orthodox monks who developed and passed down this practice if interior prayer, the goal was nothing more or less than leading one’s own heart into God’s presence. This was not a way to pray for something, but a way to be with God. This form of prayer was never taught to be a quick fix or an easy path. Nicephorous emphasized patience in using the Jesus Prayer. He wrote, “patiently continue with this activity for some time, and a way to the heart will be opened for you without any doubt. We have learned this by experience. If you do this with great desire and attention, the entrance into the heart will bring about a host of virtues: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, humility and others.”

If this all sounds a bit like transcendental meditation or some other iffy new age practice, remember that The Jesus Prayer has been practiced within the Christian Church for more than 1,000 years that we know of by millions of Christians. Those who taught the Jesus Prayer were always careful to note that the content of the prayer is Christ and the experience is not of ourselves, but of a pathway to God.
The full text of the sermon is online here: The Jesus Prayer.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

Labels: ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

10/26/2007

Servant Leadership (Part I)

USS Kentucky
For this week and next week's religion column in the Tribune & Georgian I interviewed recently retired Mike McKinnon (Captain USN, ret.) who until recently commanded Submarine Base Kings Bay as it was recognized as the top Navy installation in the world. In the column for today I write:

I met Mike McKinnon for lunch last week to talk about what it means to him to be a leader. The retired Navy Captain and former commander of Submarine Base Kings Bay shared that he had only recently come to realize that his leadership style is what many others refer to as servant leadership. This is a style of leadership that looks to the needs of those being led.

USS Kentucky“My life took a different twist in the summer of ’98,” he says. It was then that Mike struggled with whether he would take command of the Kentucky, a ballistic missile submarine then based out of Kings Bay.

“I got overwhelmed with the responsibility and the impact I would have on other people’s lives,” he says recalling that moment of decision.

Mike knew that he had a burden for people and that in taking command of the boat, he would be affecting the lives of the men on that boat and their families back home. Mike knew the type of leader he wanted to be and he knew that his leadership style would involve risk.

Looking to the example of Jesus as the prototype of a leader, Mike saw that Jesus was empathetic. He took time to build up his disciples and he trained them to each be successful in their own way. Mike could see in the Gospels how Jesus prepared his disciples for greatness without their ever knowing it. This was the model of leadership Mike wanted for his crew on the Kentucky.

“Part of my success as a leader is determined by whether the people I lead are better people,” Mike said. “Are they more successful?”

Mike recalls the first inspection of the Kentucky. He gave the men room to prepare themselves. That first inspection was below average. “That was the best thing to happen to that ship,” Mike remembers. He continued to give the men room to learn and to grow and the next inspection was above average and they did even better the next time.

What made the difference? Without any reference to his faith, Mike did his best to follow Jesus’ example of complete communication, ongoing encouragement, and concern for those being led. As Mike would read from John Maxwell, a favorite author of his on leadership, “Leadership is influence.” Mike would learn that leadership is not control.

Mike pointed out to me how the church in the book of Acts was growing fast and in the midst of that growth it was clear that they were taking care of their people. The early church followed Jesus’ method of being more concerned about the people. It’s not that either Jesus or the church we find in Acts did not make hard choices. They made lots of them. But Jesus and that early church were people focused, seeing the individual.

In that sense, it was easy to see why Mike is quick to deflect any attention away from his self, his own personal achievements. This isn’t humility, so much as fact. A leader following the example of Jesus will never accomplish anything on their own. So no servant leader should ever be able to rightly take the credit. The credit for accomplishments is shared as the leader’s job is to equip and empower the next level of leadership to take charge.

“Develop your people and they will exceed your wildest expectations,” Mike said. “If I make my people successful, then me, my ship, and my base will be successful.”

For Mike this translated into being concerned about the families of his crew. No sailor preoccupied with the needs of the family can serve to his full potential. Similarly, it’s a matter of trying to see what the sailor needs. What training should he be sent to? What further communication does he need to understand the task at hand?

And then there is fun. Submarine service involves sacrifice for both the sailor and the family. For Mike this meant that fun had to be built in to the job. “You can laugh in the workplace and still get the job done right,” he said.

Making room for laughter is a matter of balancing the need to meet performance objectives, with the need to create an environment in which people can thrive. People thrive when they are enjoying what they do.

This is why a servant leadership style is effective. Servant leadership means showing genuine concern for those you lead and taking their needs seriously. Get this right and you can lead by influence rather than oppression.

For Mike the motivating factor in living out his faith is that he wants that whatever he does, to be done for the Lord. This comes through in some of his favorite verses of scripture (Colossians 3:13, Philippians 2: 13, and Ephesians 6:5-9) each of which speaks of doing what you do as if it is done for God.

Although Mike doesn’t endorse the following, he noted that one the other ways of meeting objectives is to force people to do what you want. For example, a boss can scare people with the threat of losing their job and control their every move and action so they do exactly what is needed. In this manner, Mike said you can get people to do what you want for the short run. But in the process you will also find that they will only do what you ask and will never look for ways to improve.

“Some leadership styles depend on success at any cost, including the cost to people,” Mike said in observing that he could never have been that kind of leader.

This is part one of a two-part article which will conclude in next Friday’s paper. Next week the conversation with Mike McKinnon continues with a look at some of the practical aspects of living into this style of leadership.

Labels:

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

10/25/2007

Transcendence


Transcendence refers to things that lie beyond the ordinary range of perception or are beyond human experience, at least in any usual sense. At its best, a worship service is transcendent in that it speaks directly to the heart in ways beyonds words. Garrison Keillor wrote of this in a recent essay on the experience of an Anglo-catholic high mass that he attended with a small congregation:
It was formal high Mass, none of that "hi and how are we all doing this morning" chumminess, and the homily only summarized the scripture texts about healing, it didn't turn into an essay on healthcare. Ten voices strong and true in the choir and positioned as they were under the great arch of the chancel, their tender polyphonic Kyrie and Gloria infused the whole building with pure kindness.

The singing was O my God just heartbreakingly good. There were less than 30 of us in the pews, fewer than the names on the prayer list, and to hear "Behold, how good and joyful it is; brethren, to dwell together in unity" sung so eloquently as the priests swung to their tasks was to be present in a moment of extravagant grace that does not depend on numbers or any other measure of success for its meaning, just as the Grand Canyon does not depend on busloads of tourists to be magnificent. Most of our brethren, bless them, are off enjoying brunch or reading the funnies or lifting weights at the gym, and our faithfulness does not make us better people. We simply happened to walk by and see this vast canyon of God's love and stand looking into it....

But here in an old brownstone church at an ancient ceremony, there is a moment of separation from all the griefs of this world. Ten men and women are singing a cappella, "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless his holy name," and their voices drench us fugitive worshippers kneeling, naked, trembling, needy, in the knowledge of grace, and when we arise and go out into Baltimore, the blessing follows us.
The full essay from which this excerpted is online at Slate.com here Sunday morning coming down.

I have to acknowledge that King of Peace is probably more of the "hi and how are we all doing this morning" worship experience than of the nature of the transcendence of an Anglo-Catholic High Mass. I do know that in both styles of worship one meets God who does transcend our experience. But I sometimes have said that low church folks anticipate heaven more than high church folks, but that is probably because those in a high church tradition worship there each time they gather.

I think the trick for me is to open myself up to that experience of the God beyond experience when I come to worship. It's easy to get caught up in the who is there and what is going on, but also important to allow oneself to be present to the One who is there whose presence we can miss if we allow ourselves to be too busy to hear the still small voice of the divine.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

Labels:

8 Comments:

  • At 10/25/2007 7:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    There is something to be said for the tranquility of a High Mass. I had a difficult time opening myself up to God's voice last Sunday. It was so loud in the church before the service and during Communion. My conversations with God were once again interrupted by several conversations that could have been held in the entry hall before or after the service.

    It seems that reverence in the presence of God has taken a back seat to socializing in the worship area. I've noticed there is silence and there is reverence during the sacrament of Baptism. The Eucharist is a sacrament, too, we receive every week that allows each and every one of us to spend personal and intimate time with the Lord.

    Those who are old enough to know better might want to keep our discussions down to a quiet whisper at this time. I love each and every one of you in our congregation and I can't wait experience fellowship with you--in the entry hall. I love God too, and I would appreciate some time with Him without hearing the latest college football scores as I pray.

     
  • At 10/25/2007 7:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You're right. Church is about being with god and praying to him. Not just reciting prayers and then talking to our friends about football. So listen
    ladies and gentalmen, lets pray to god and not talk in church and disrupt other people. Lets talk in the social hall before and after mass.

     
  • At 10/25/2007 8:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Football? Something is wrong here, terribly wrong. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are on a team, but not with football. Church is for God and Jesus. Please remember that. Bless us all.

     
  • At 10/25/2007 8:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Lord have mercy. God is the one in the church that's important at the moment. I mean come on, FOOTBALL?!?!
    Whats wrong with that is during the mass, ecspecialy Communion. We need work on that.

     
  • At 10/25/2007 8:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    We do need work on that. Chat in the hall's BEFORE AND AFTER church mass. Not DURING. May God help us with this.

     
  • At 10/25/2007 8:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think God doesn't like conversations during mass, ecspeically Communion. Let people talk to God. Football isn't God. Work on this.

     
  • At 10/25/2007 9:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Your right. I never thought about this. I will try to make a differance. So should you people. May God help us.

     
  • At 10/25/2007 9:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    May God help us with this problem. I have trouble talking to God as well. People do need silence during Communion so we can remember Christ our Lord. Whoever posted this post, may God bless you! :)

     

Post a Comment

<< Home

10/24/2007

Wildfire Response and Prayer

battling southern California wildfires

Our first response should be prayer.
Yet, prayer also follows action.
Our diocesan staff, clergy, and lay leaders
are working to provide shelter and pastoral care
to those affected by the fires.
—The Rt. Rev. James Mathes, Bishop of San Diego.

The southern California fires blaze on as the scale of the disaster becomes staggering—more than 500,000 people evacuated and thousands of homes destroyed, tens of thousands more emperiled. The Rev. Canon Howard Smith of San Diego said of the blaze, "This is the worst I've ever seen. It's scary. I've never experienced fire this way, it's a terrible thing." He went on to speak of the response saying, "We are trying to coordinate housing between the people who have housing to offer and those that need housing."

Like other faith communities, Episcopal Churches are opening their doors to those evacuating their homes. Eight Episcopal churches in the Diocese of San Diego are housing evacuees. Information on those churches and how to aid them in their efforts is online at the Diocese of San Diego website.

Episcopal Community Services and the National Association of Episcopal Schools are aiding in the response. click here to donate to Episcopal Relief and DevelopmentThe Diocese of San Diego has also been assured the Episcopal Relief and Development is moving to respond quickly to the needs of those effected by the fire, both in the short term and over the longer recovery. ERD has set up an account dedicated to southern California wildfire relief efforts. There is an Episcopal News Service article on the response San Diego diocese shelters evacuees from raging wildfires.

The Diocese of San Diego offers this prayer:
We thank you gracious God for the gift of fire, fire which enables industry, fire which propels our cars, and fire which keeps us free from winter’s chill. But this day, O God, your gift has again turned dangerous and destructive. Humbly we ask your intervention in our county to help save us from the blowing winds and growing fires that threaten our neighbors. Bring a change in weather to this district, that the winds may drop and the ocean’s moisture may weaken the burning flames. Send helpers to our neighbors who suffer shortness of breath with the smoke in the air. Protect those who fight these fires, and heal those who have suffered burns. Sustain those who have lost homes. Help us each in our own way to be good neighbors to those who need our compassion and care. And at the last, heal us within, that fires of jealousy and the winds of intemperance may die down, that at the last we may dwell in peace and find in you our soothing balm. By the grace of our savior we pray this. Amen.
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be moved,
and though the mountains be toppled
into the depths of the sea;

Though its waters rage and foam,
and though the mountains tremble at its tumult.

The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.
—Psalm 46:1-4

Labels:

2 Comments:

  • At 10/24/2007 9:19 PM, Anonymous denise said…

    That's so lovely that folks are reaching out to help. I'll make sure the kids bring in their UTO boxes this weekend.
    However, I can't help but shake my head at the folks that have been on the news this week who are saying when they can they will rebuild right on the same property...wildfires in California aren't a new thing. Maybe this magnitude is rare, but every year there are wildfires in the fall. I guess though, the same could be said for anywhere you live. We run the risk of hurricanes ever year...will I move? NOPE! :D

     
  • At 10/25/2007 6:20 AM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    More on the Episcopal Relief and Development Response is online here in an updated article ERD to help those displaced by Southern California wildfires; Presiding Bishop calls for prayers.

     

Post a Comment

<< Home

10/23/2007

Gossip

I like to say that gossip travels faster than the speed of accuracy. We all know times when gossip has assassinated someone's character quickly and cruelly. So I was surprised to read that some researchers think of gossip as positive, feeling that gossip was an evolutionary tool that helped humans decide who to trust and who not to trust. In the New York Times article Facts Prove No Match for Gossip, It Seems the author tells of a recent study showing that in a game setting designed to test gossip,
most people passed on accurate gossip and used it for the common good. They rewarded cooperative behavior even when they themselves weren’t directly affected by the behavior.
gossip cartoonThen in two rounds, participants were given both hard facts and gossip, knowing that they were being given "facts" and told what others participating in the experiment thought. The researchers found that they were 20% more likely to follow the gossip rather than the facts.

The lead author of the study wondered why one would believe the gossip even when you knew the facts, he guessed that "we are just more adapted to listen to other information than to observe people, because most of the time we’re not able to observe how other people are behaving." He may be right, but I still think he needs to get out of the lab more. A week in middle school would have taught him more about gossip and its effects than a stack of hypothetical studies set in a lab environment.

Look at what the Bible has to say about gossip. These are all the verses using the term in the New Living Translation:
Leviticus 19:16
"Do not spread slanderous gossip among your people. "Do not try to get ahead at the cost of your neighbor's life, for I am the LORD.

Psalms 41:6
They visit me as if they are my friends, but all the while they gather gossip, and when they leave, they spread it everywhere.

Psalms 69:12
I am the favorite topic of town gossip, and all the drunkards sing about me.

Proverbs 11:13
A gossip goes around revealing secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence.

Proverbs 16:28
A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends.

Proverbs 20:19
A gossip tells secrets, so don't hang around with someone who talks too much.

Proverbs 25:7b-10
Just because you see something, don't be in a hurry to go to court. You might go down before your neighbors in shameful defeat. So discuss the matter with them privately. Don't tell anyone else, or others may accuse you of gossip. Then you will never regain your good reputation.

Proverbs 26:20
Fire goes out for lack of fuel, and quarrels disappear when gossip stops.

Romans 1:29
Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, fighting, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip.

2 Corinthians 12:20
For I am afraid that when I come to visit you I won't like what I find, and then you won't like my response. I am afraid that I will find quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfishness, backstabbing, gossip, conceit, and disorderly behavior.
"What everybody knows" and reality are not always connected. Look at the odd article also found in the Times that tells how crime is going down in Japan, but sales are up on bizarre disguises (such as a Coke machine and manhole cover) to protect people from danger Fearing Crime, Japanese Wear the Hiding Place.

I go back to my earlier statement that gossip travels faster than the speed of accuracy and prefer the proverb above "quarrels disappear when gossip stops" to the reserachers' idea that gossip could have developed as a way to help a group function better. What do you think?

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

urban camoflague, one of these machines is a person in hidingThe Coke machine costume referenced above is hiding
a person on the right.

Labels:

6 Comments:

  • At 10/23/2007 7:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It's been a dream of mine to live in Japan as a Coke machine as long as I can remember... :)

    Gossip is bad any way you look at it! A little bit of scientific research can go a long way to justify our sins in the name of human nature. I am capable living within the codes of moral conduct without listening to gossip and passing judgment on others. It's just not as fun to simply rely on facts without the juicey stories behind them. That's why God gave us free will(power)!

     
  • At 10/23/2007 1:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm another "anonymous." I have to admit. I love gossip. People fascinate me and I love to hear news of their adventures, exploits or even their misadventures. Malicious gossip is another thing altogether. I'm in my 60s and I learned when I was a teenager that my mother divorced my father when she was pregnant with me because she found out he had syphillis. Lately, I have learned, a not-very-nice woman from my hometown found my mother's medical records in a doctor's office and has beenn showing them to everyone. As it happens, I have always told anyone who seemed interested about my father's venereal disease, and I would do so again. But the idea of someone gossiping about something that happened almost 70 years ago, and about my dead mother, is just disgraceful. Also, who cares? But that is just an example of how some folks can do damage with gossip.

     
  • At 10/23/2007 2:37 PM, Anonymous Denise said…

    The man in the lab reminds me of the reason I tend to shy away from philosophy most of the time... I'd rather get out and live my life instead of analyze it. I have seen people argue with plain fact just because so-and-so told them different many many times. Maybe it's because we're more apt to trust someone we know than a book, a law, etc. Ever wonder about old-wives-tales, and people that you know who are highly intelligent yet still believe them? One day I'm going to sit d-ray down and go through my list...I just hope his Mom didn't tell him a bunch too. hehehe

     
  • At 10/23/2007 3:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    2nd Anonymous,

    It's OK to listen to people's own tales and stories of their adventures, exploits and misadventures. Those are factual. People don't tend to gossip about themselves.

    Gossip is malicious and usually ends up hurting somebody. Simply asking yourself whether or not a bit of information should be shared will tell you if it is gossip. If it shouldn't be shared, then it's gossip. If it will hurt somebody then it's gossip. If the story is questionable, then it's gossip.

    It is really awful that this woman is spreading horrible gossip about your father. Even if it is factual, she's hurting you by doing it. And, you're right--who cares? Your father made a mistake, but it's over now! This just goes to show that gossip is also pointless!

    BTW: Denise,

    I do agree with you that the scientific researcher saying that gossip is positive to human nature is wasting his time because we all know how we are anyway. We know gossip is wrong, but it's still intriguing and it is still done. I don't get the connection of old wives tales and gossip though. Are you saying that we, as intelligent human beings, should be above gossip and old wives tales?

    I disagree, however with your views on philosophy. Our greatest philosophers were given the gift of intricate thought, so that those, who don't like to waste their time in deep thought can go out and simply live. Philosophy does exercise and expand the mind, and some of our greatest thinkers have actually changed the way we are living our lives. I don't see thoughtfulness as a waste of time.

     
  • At 10/24/2007 9:40 PM, Anonymous denise said…

    For the wives tales, I meant to equate wives tales with gossip and to demonstrate how they can possibly be harmful or at the least make a not so "smart" person believe things that aren't true, especially if they're spread by our elders. One example would be my Grandmother told me of her parents swallowing a finger full of Vick's vapor rub everyday, and because of that they lived to be 82 and 90+. But, my great aunt had a piece of her jaw and gums removed from cancer of the mouth (smoking). My grandmother was convinced it was because of the menthol cigarettes she smoked, even though I tried to explain to her that any cigarettes can lead to cancer. It's something she believed and tried to spread to a younger generation. She told me lots of things, never go to bed with your hair wet, it makes you sick, never go outside with your hair wet, that makes you sick too, etc. Lots of things her mother told her that now just seem silly, as silly as break a mirror and you'll have bad luck, etc. Was she ignorant? Maybe, but she is also a master electrician, a certified ceramic instructor, can sew every garment but a brassiere worked from the time she was 13 until she was 58 and raised three children and two grandchildren. So, should a highly intelligent person be above gossip and old wives tales? Maybe. Does that mean we will? Probably not!

     
  • At 10/25/2007 11:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Since it is that time of year, maybe we should have a post blogging about superstition and old wives tales(and how they relate to us as Christians of course).

     

Post a Comment

<< Home

10/22/2007

Backroads

Victoria and I have long loved traveling backroads and even wrote a book about it once (Touring the Backroads of North and South Georgia). So yesterday, I packed my Nikon for the drive to Vidalia and enjoyed discovering a few things along the way. Here are some of my random views from the trip:

looking forward and back
roadside flowers
a picturesque independent Baptist Church
An Edsel for sale
ditch water reflections
cloud patterns
the reason my allergies are bothering me
I find an easy connection between creation and faith that looking through a lens only amplifies. As the Psalmist declares in Psalm 19:1, "The heavens declare the glory of God" and for the person of faith, the reflections of nature in the water of a ditch reveal God's glory as well. I know none of the beauty in the world proves God's existence to the died-in-the-wool Atheist, but I revel in God's promiscuous act of a creation that formed a world more beautiful than necessary for function alone.

“During the French revolution Jean Bon St. Andre, the Vendean revolutionist, said to a peasant, ‘I will have all your steeples pulled down, that you may no longer have any object by which you may be reminded of your old superstitions.’ ‘But,’ replied the peasant, ‘you cannot help leaving us the stars.’
Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892) from his Treasury of David

“When you go out into the woods or on to the beach at look at the beauty of creation, what do you go to see? Do you go to see the glory of God? It is to little purpose to view the beauty of creation, to wonder at the marvels of the universe, if we do not seek, if we do not see not God’s glory there.”
Isaac Watts (1674-1748)

I also enjoy the little surprises that are the norm when traveling backroads.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

4 Comments:

  • At 10/22/2007 8:08 AM, Anonymous Linda+ said…

    Great pictures! Was the Edsel in working condition?

     
  • At 10/22/2007 8:14 AM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    The Edsel looked to be in GREAT shape. It is on the right side of the road as one drives north from Baxley to Lyons, Georgia. Go take it for a test drive...

     
  • At 10/22/2007 9:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Rev. Linda,

    Does your sweet little Honda know about this Edsel inquiry? :)

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

    No, my Honda is oblivious to my inquiry about the Edsel. So please do not say anything to it because that would be Gossip. (see "gossip" blog above for guidelines.)

    Peace,
    Linda+

     

Post a Comment

<< Home

10/21/2007

Visitors Expected

Annunciation, Vidalia
Today, I am celebrating communion and preaching at The Episcopal Church of the Annunciation in Vidalia, Georgia. I will stay after the worship service to speak with leaders in the congregation as they think out loud about their search process for a new priest. They aren't considering hiring me. My job today (in addition to leading worship) is to help them consider what to think about as they move ahead with hiring someone to replace the rev. Ron Southerland who has been their priest of 18 years.

The church's website carries the intriguing name of visitors-expected.org. The church uses that same tag line on their signs. This fits well with my own attitude in sweeping up the church hall and other areas in advance of our worship services which is "This is God's House and we've got company coming!"

I know that King of Peace and any church can get well used during the week and so it takes some last minute sprucing up, but this is just part of the anticipation of getting God's House in order for our worship. In what other ways can we live into expecting visitors? What does a church look like and act like where visitors expected that might not be the case if we think that everyone who should come to our church already does?

Y'all who attend King of Peace enjoy the Rev. John Rogers who will be celebrating and preaching today at King of Peace and I will see you at church the next time you come. We'll be expecting those who attend regularly as well as visitors!

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

Labels:

3 Comments:

  • At 10/21/2007 2:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Rev. Rogers is enjoyable, and he does something that just amazes me...He gives a whole wonderful sermon with no notes and doesn't even hold on to the pulpit for support!

    The Episcopal Church of the Annunciation is very beautiful, but I'm happy that you're not looking for employment there! I didn't know that individual churches hired their own pastors. In the Roman Catholic Church, you have to take who the Bishop sends, no matter what.

    It would be interesting to know what criteria, other than experience, goes in to the hiring process of a pastor. And, what if he/she doesn't work out?

     
  • At 10/21/2007 4:40 PM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    Annunciation, Vidalia is a beautiful church. Their current building was completed about a year before ours.

    I also preached from the midle today with no notes. Their pulpit didn't look as comfy as ours and not near as good a feel to hold on to. It was a nice change up to handle a 12 minute sermon from no notes.

    A new priest is hired through a process in which a parish works together to create a profile that tells about the church and what they are looking for in a priest. Then that committee usually looks through the Church Deployment Office files of priests looking for a church. So, I have a CDO profile with The Episcopal Church but it is marked that I would not consider a call from another church. Anyway, it is usually listed various places and then the deployment officer for the Diocese works with a church to get a short list of candidates. Then the prospective priests are interviewed, visited where they are and then a few or less are invited to come for a test drive of the new church. At some point, the call committee and the vestry seek the Bishops approval of the person they have selected. This is given in most all cases and the hire is made.

    I saw all this having watched the process from afar. As a church planter, I never went through that system, but was hired by the Bishop to start a church.

    If the person doesn't work out, there are steps for either an unhappy priest or unhappy congregation to go through. A congregation can't just fire a priest without the Bishop's approval. In theory the Bishop, priest and church board must all agree to disolve the relationship. In practice if either the priest or congregation is unhappy, it usually works out for things to come to an end. That said, Episcopal priests tend to be in place for a decade or more before a move.

    peace,
    Frank+

     
  • At 10/21/2007 7:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thanks for the informantion!...And...great job preaching without notes or a comfortable pulpit!!!!

     

Post a Comment

<< Home

10/20/2007

How Much More

In this weekend's Gospel reading Jesus tells an odd story in which God is compared to an unjust judge saying,
"In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, `Grant me justice against my opponent.' For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, `Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.'" And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"
It is a way to make a case that Jesus likes a lot in which he argues from the lesser to the greater. So, in this case, if even an unjust judge will do what is right when someone cries out continually, how much more will God grant justice to those of us who are continually crying out about the injustices we see inthis present age.

A sermon on this reading in the archives is Persistent Prayer and the Silence of God.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

Labels:

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

10/19/2007

Sanctuary

So show your love for the alien,
for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.
—Deuteronomy 10:19

Good Shepherd's steepleThe word "sanctuary" means "an especially holy place within a site of worship." Sanctuary also means "a place of refuge or protection." Good Shepherd of the Hills Episcopal Church in Cave Creek, Arizona tries to provide both a holy place for worship and a place of refuge and they are taking heat for it.

The self-proclaimed "Little Church with the Big Heart" was on ABC's Nightline program last night as that show considered the Imigration debate. An article on the church's ministry is here Nightline to feature Arizona Congregation at the Episcopal News Service. An article on the segment itself is online here America's Toughest Sheriff Takes on Illegals.

The controversy is this: In 2000, the Town of Cave Creek asked the church to allow workers to gather in its parking lot from Monday to Saturdat as a place where employers can find day laborers. Good ShepherdOut of that beginning, came The Good Shepherd Dayworker Program which matches individuals willing to work in a day labor capacity with those in need of temporary workers. The program is self-supporting with workers earning $8-$10 per hour paying the program a dollar a week to take part. Private donations and donations from other churches also support the program. It was, according to the church, designed to offer, "a safe place, no questions asked, for employers to meet laborers." On a given day, 35-50 workers take advantage of the program.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio shows the pink underwear he makes inmates wearThen the sheriff started targeting vehicles leaving the church, searching them for illegal aliens. Once rounded up, they are taken to the county jail where Sheriff Joe Arpaio wants everyone to know that he can always make more room at the county jail, with its always flashing neon "vacancy" sign and signature pink underwear for inmates. According to Nightline,
He's built a tent city to handle the overflow. With no air conditioning in the blistering desert heat and just two spare meals a day that cost the county 15 cents each, the conditions there rival the prison for enemy combatants in Guantanamo Bay. The jail seems geared to punishment, rather than rehabilitation.
Good Shepherd's Rector, the Rev. Glenn Jenks says that the sheriff misunderstands the basic drive fueling the illegal imigration,
The drive that brings them here is one of the most basic and powerful drives, and that is for a father to feed his children. And I think a lot of people underestimate that -- they think that if they can just make it a little uncomfortable for them they'll go home. Some will, but the vast majority won't. More will just come. And they'll keep coming and keep coming.
But the church has become a flash point for some. Last year, the American Freedom Riders targeted the church program. See a Sonoran News article American Freedom Riders Return. The AFR believes churches and other nonprofit organizations facilitating illegal activity should have their nonprofit charters revoked, which is something the group has discussed pursuing.

The town still stands by its original request as the town manager recently confirmed,
From our side as the town's administration, we think the Episcopal Church is one of the best assets in our community.
photo of the nearby desert from the church's websiteThe program has become a "signature ministry" of the church according to its rector who says that goals is letting day laborers "know they're cared for, loved, welcomed and safe. Just the fact that they are here on a daily basis reminds us always of why we're here."

What do you think? Is the church providing sanctuary in the sense of a safe place, a refuge, in a positive sense? Or are they simply harboring illegal activity?

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

The county's jail
The county jail as photographed by Nightline
There is also a tent city jail for overflow


"Then I will draw near to you for judgment;
and I will be a swift witness against...
those who oppress the wage earner in his wages,
the widow and the orphan,
and those who turn aside the alien
and do not fear Me,"
says the LORD of hosts.
—Malachi 3:5

Labels: ,

6 Comments:

  • At 10/19/2007 9:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow! Hot topic! I pray that all our responses will remain within the IRENIC realms!

    I think there are two questions that we need to ask ourselves as Christians: How would Jesus handle the immigration situation? Is there a middle ground between loyalty to our God and loyalty to our country concerning those in need?

    Let's take a look at the story of the laborers in the fields. The workers who worked part of the time were paid the same wages as the workers who labored all day. Is that fair? Is it fair that our ancestors "labored all day" to pay the price for our benefits and that illegal immigrants can come in later and reap the same rewards?

    HE says it is. And even with that said, my heart still searches for a middle ground between the Good Shepherd of the Hills Episcopal Church and Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

     
  • At 10/19/2007 9:39 AM, Anonymous kenny said…

    Very tough topic with many, many contributing factors.

    First, I disagree with the comparison to the laborers in the fields. The issue is not one of being late to our country but one of their right to be here at all. In a free market, companies should be able to hire whomever they want at whatever rate they deem necessary, within the law.

    Mexicans are in a tough situation where corruption and incompetence have ruined a good place to live. This drives the people to look for something better.

    No problem so far. The US is a country built upon immigration. But our laws covering this are pretty tough and restrictions on the numbers may be too tight. There's a great desire to come here anyway, though, earn some money, have children who automatically become citizens, and take advantage of the people here who have extremely charitable hearts.

    There are also plenty of businesses with lots of political power who fight changing the system that exists because it would interrupt their flow of cheap labor.

    On the other side are American workers who aren't able to get those jobs and are being punished for following the rules.

    In short, there's plenty of responsibility (blame?) to go around for this problem.

    I'm a supporter of stronger borders (for this and national security reasons but that's another discussion), punishment of companies who hire illegals, deportation of those who are illegally here, better immigration policies, an amendment to somehow modify automatic citizenship, etc.

    The real problem is how to get there from here with the minimum amount of abuse. We are talking about human beings here and they do have a basic right to be treated as such.

     
  • At 10/19/2007 2:43 PM, Anonymous denise said…

    Maybe a smarter idea would be to spend the money the immigrants would earn on items they need and just give it to them, and take the rest to help fill out the proper paperwork to be here legally.
    Fair or unfair, the law is the law and the Church, and it's congregation are not above it. They could probably make a bigger statement and change if they'd vote and write letters to their legislators, protest, etc. than breaking the law, not to mention what kind of example they are setting for their members?

    Thing is, when you publicly break the law, makes folks wonder what other laws you will break, good intentions or not.

     
  • At 10/19/2007 4:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Actually, the church is not breaking the law by acting as a sanctuary. ANYBODY can take refuge in a church because of this and the law can't touch them. That's why the sheriff has to wait until the immigrants leave the church property before he can apprehend them.

    And yes, there are times in history when God's law has been above the law of the land. For example,and this is merely an example, when the Jews found sanctuary in Christian homes when hiding from the Nazis. I would hope that my heart would have told me to harbor a Jew rather than turn him over because it's the law. I believe the church in this story is trying to reach out in God's way.

    God's law is perfect in that we treat our neighbors as ourselves. That's why this immigration situation is difficult. There's got to be a solution somewhere that would be fair to all involved.


    And, I don't get the difference between buying them things with their wages and allowing them to keep the money they earn. They're still working here illegally. Or, are you saying we should donate? That would be a good thing. It is also a great idea to help them become legal. Maybe the church should spend time initiating this first with these immigrants.

    I'm not saying that I'm in agreement with people working here illegally or that I am above the law. I just wonder what the world would really be like if God's law ruled and everyone abided by it.

     
  • At 10/19/2007 8:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I now oppose illegal immigration, somewhat to my surprise. We must make jobs available first to our own country's poor people. The church could provide the same important services to poor Americans who often look in bewilderment at undocumented Hispanics building houses or doing other work in this country. Would it cost employers more to hire Americans? Almost certainly. Would that increase prices for the rest of us? Almost certainly. Do we have a Christian responsibility to fight poverty here? Certainly. I do not wish Mexicans or other Hispanics ill. Not in any way. I support aid to other countries and I would support it to Mexico, Guatemala and other nations whose poorest people risk their lives to move here. Let's not forget our own poorest in the meantime.

     
  • At 10/22/2007 9:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think everyone who has commented is missing a key piece of information. The reason businesses hire these illegal aliens is because not only are they cheap labor but they are taking jobs that "hardworking Americans" won't deign to take. The truth is, Americans are spoiled; it's hard enough finding Americans willing to work for minimum wage, which, by the way, those employers would have to pay plus benefits(and they don't want to do so).

    In addition, paying Americans or legals minimum wage plus benefits would raise the cost of the product. And would Americans pay those prices? We have, much too willingly as far as I'm concerned, paid the ever-increasing gas prices while still driving gas guzzling vehicles. But would we pay twice or three times the amount for an apple?

    Most of the world sees us (America) as inordinately selfish and extremely rich. And, compared to a lot of the world, we are. So, why wouldn't immigrants want to flood our shores where making less than minimum wage is still ten times more than they make in their country?

    Is there a solution? Not as far as I can see.

     

Post a Comment

<< Home