Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.

11/30/2007

The Olive Branch




The latest issue of our newsletter The Olive Branch is now online at kingofpeace.org/ vol8no10.pdf and will go into the mail today.

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Celebrate Advent


Advent begins this coming Sunday, December 2. Advent comes from the Latin word adventus, meaning "coming" and is the four Sundays before Christmas and the days in between. The season of Advent has been set aside as a time of preparation for Christmas since at least the last half of the 6th century. Advent is a time for self-examination and asking for forgiveness as the church is preparing for Christ’s Second Coming even as it prepares for Christmas.

Advent WreathTo assist in observing this season, King of Peace provides a free booklet, Celebrating Advent in the Home available in print form at the church and online: .PDF format here. Included is a nightly Advent Wreath service as well as other practical suggestions for marking the four weeks leading up to Christmas.

We also offer web pages with information on the season here: Celebrate Advent.

One more way to share the joy of Christmas is to send a note of thanks to a soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine serving overseas this year. There is a program by Xerox to help you do just this: Just Say Thanks.

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

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6 Comments:

  • At 11/30/2007 7:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    ADVENT??? CHRISTMAS??? Is it that time of year again? I haven't noticed!!! :)

     
  • At 11/30/2007 8:02 AM, Anonymous kenny said…

    You haven't been to WalMart lately, have you? :)

     
  • At 11/30/2007 9:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wal-Mart? Is that the place with the Christmas tension so thick that you can cut it with a knife? Haven't noticed. I also haven't noticed that my neighbor took down HALLOWEEN LIGHTS and replaced them with Christmas lights and a tree in the window on November 1st. I haven't noticed all the Christmas carolling on the radio several weeks before Thanksgiving either. And what about all the pressure from the media to Buy, Buy, Buy? Nope, haven't noticed!

    Actually, I have noticed that I am completely frustrated with the "Christmas" season before it has arrived. I want to crawl under a rock! Maybe I can crawl under the small rock that sits outside of a manger in Bethlehem a peer out at just the right time to bask in the glory of the Wonderous Miracle that this season should truly be about! Thank goodness Advent is here so I have time to prepare!

    See you at Wal-Mart. :)

     
  • At 11/30/2007 9:12 AM, Blogger Rhonda said…

    I have a question about the wise men. When did they visit Christ? Was it when he was a baby, or when he was a toddler? I have been told that He was a toddler.

    We know that Herod, according to Matthew killed all the male children under the age of 2. Why male children under the age of 2 if Jesus was just being born?

     
  • At 11/30/2007 5:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The 12th day of Christmas is when we recognize the 3 wise men coming to see Jesus. So, since they are part of the Nativity scene, I guess Jesus was an infant. (How long did the Holy Family live in the manger anyway?)

    Harod was playing it safe by killing the males 2 and under because he wasn't exactly sure when Jesus was born. There had been rumors of His birth for a long time before He was actually born.

     
  • At 12/01/2007 11:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Actually, the gospel says that they came to the house where the child Jesus and his mother were. I would guess that meant they were no longer in the stable.

     

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11/29/2007

What Makes Us Moral?

Even the Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law,
instinctively follow what the law says,
they show that in their hearts they know right from wrong.
They demonstrate that God’s law is written within them,
for their own consciences either accuse them
or tell them they are doing what is right
—Romans 2:12-15


The current Time cover story asks this question and seems to answer from science, particularly biology, that we are hard wired this way. Then come further questions about why some are moral and some are not. As the article puts it:
We're a species that is capable of almost dumbfounding kindness. We nurse one another, romance one another, weep for one another. Ever since science taught us how, we willingly tear the very organs from our bodies and give them to one another. And at the same time, we slaughter one another. The past 15 years of human history are the temporal equivalent of those subatomic particles that are created in accelerators and vanish in a trillionth of a second, but in that fleeting instant, we've visited untold horrors on ourselves—in Mogadishu, Rwanda, Chechnya, Darfur, Beslan, Baghdad, Pakistan, London, Madrid, Lebanon, Israel, New York City, Abu Ghraib, Oklahoma City, an Amish schoolhouse in Pennsylvania—all of the crimes committed by the highest, wisest, most principled species the planet has produced. That we're also the lowest, cruelest, most blood-drenched species is our shame—and our paradox.
The full text of the Time article is online here: What makes us moral?

We were discussing this very thing last night at church in the series on Questioning Your Faith as part of a discussion on whether other religions can be true too. Given my particular line of work, it shouldn't be too surprising that I think we were hard wired with morality written on our hearts. The wiring isn't too precise to be sure as we can debate which killing is justified and which is prohibited even while instinctively knowing that taking life in general is wrong. Biology may find that takes place genetically, and I have no beef with that description. Either way, we do have a sense of right and wrong and the free will to choose to violate that moral code if we wish.

To make things even more interesting, they offer an interactive online quiz full of moral dilemmas: The Morality Quiz which you can take and then how you stack up against others who take the quiz.

And if you are still up for another moral dilemma, what about this article A Hoax Turned Fatal Draws Anger but No Charges about the 47-year old Mom who created a fake identity on MySpace.com to harrass a neighboring 13-year old girl. The teen ended up committing suicide. Nothing the Mom did in harassing her is illegal, but the violation of "Love your neighbor as yourself" is so grievous that it can't help but make heaven weep. Should all moral wrongs be illegal? If so, who determines what is immoral for purposes of law?

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

I will put my laws in their minds,
and I will write them on their hearts
—Jeremiah 31:33

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  • At 11/29/2007 8:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow...Tough quiz! Its one thing to say how I would react on a computer quiz, but honestly, if these situations became reality for me, I can't say what I would do.

    The article about the 47 year old mother and the teenage girl is horrifying!!! Since there are no laws on their side, I pray that the teenage girl's family will place the situation in God's hands and allow Him to fight for justice. I pray that they will have the strength to wait for His timing.

    I can't believe there are no laws governing mental cruelty as abusive in this situation; especially since it drove a young girl to take her own life.

    So sad!!!

     

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11/28/2007

Blog Posting Faithfully

"For Christ's sake, stop!" declared the president of the Southern Baptist Convention, the Rev. Frank Page, pleading for civility in the Baptist blogosphere. Episcopalians and Anglicans duel incessantly over their faith and future in the Anglican Communion. Catholics focus on every topic from liturgy to law to spirituality.

These are faith bloggers — uncountable voices who contest, confess and consider religious beliefs, doctrines and denominational politics in their posts.

Although every faith has its bloggers, U.S. Christians may be among the most vociferous of the watchdogs, philosophers and ecclesiastical groupies.
This is from a USA Today article Bloggers Keep the Faith, Contentiously that covers the incendiary blogs from people of varying denominations. As to the opening quote, Southern Baptist leader Frank Page was vaulted to president of the denomination partly based on favorable blog coverage, but once on the job he discovered how negative they can be. He wrote in a column for Baptist Press,
Lost people are seeing the deep division and sometimes hatred that is flowing forth among churches and among those who are involved in convention discussions. For Christ's sake, stop!
I too have seen negative blog posts and much more negative comments, sometimes concerning people I love (like our Bishop) and I wonder what this has to do with Love God and loving our neighbors as ourselves.

I think that blogs are wonderfully democratic in that not only can everyone have one, you only get readers to the degree that people find it worth their time to drop in. So perhaps I am not so surprised that some people want to vent their spleen in a blog so much as I am dismayed that the blogs that post such anger remain popular.

I'll try to keep things more peacable in this corner of the kingdom. I hope that's fine with y'all. Toward that end I offer the following dumb joke from BeliefNet's Joke of the Day:
A minister, a priest and a rabbi went for a hike one day. It was very hot. They were sweating and exhausted when they came upon a small lake. Since it was fairly secluded, they took off all their clothes and jumped in the water.

Feeling refreshed, the trio decided to pick a few berries while enjoying their "freedom." As they were crossing an open area, who should come along but a group of ladies from town. Unable to get to their clothes in time, the minister and the priest covered their privates and the rabbi covered his face while they ran for cover.After the ladies had left and the men got their clothes back on, the minister and the priest asked the rabbi why he covered his face rather than his privates. The rabbi replied, "I don't know about you, but in MY congregation, it's my face they would recognize."

3 Comments:

  • At 11/28/2007 8:36 AM, Blogger Rhonda said…

    Speak gently. It is better by far
    to rule by love than hate.

    Speak gently. Let no harsh word mar
    the good you may do here.

     
  • At 11/28/2007 12:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Nicely said, Rhonda! And...about that joke...VERY FUNNY!!!! Luv dumb jokes! :)

     
  • At 11/28/2007 2:03 PM, Anonymous denise said…

    hehe Good joke! And a good message.

     

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11/27/2007

The Creator

Frank's photo of fall foliage
Infinite and wise is God,
The God who does not reveal
The mysteries of his little insects,
And his minutest creations
That our eyes cannot see.

Wise and infinite is the God
who does not reveal
The mysteries of his worlds and constellations,
And his greatest creations
That our imaginations cannot grasp.

And because we cannot see,
Because we cannot understand,
Because we cannot grasp
All his mysteries,
We can but marvel,
And muse,
And humbly bow to worship Him.
—W. Leslie Richards,
Cerddi’r Cyfnos, Gwasg Gee, 1986
(trans. Cynthia and Saunders Davies)

For those of with our hands still raised in the Sunday School class wanting to ask questions just the same, our Questioning Your Faith series will look at the question "Can other religions be true too?" tomorrow evening (Wednesday) at 7 p.m. at King of Peace. And for those who want to worship, the study will follow the 6:15 p.m. worship service as it does each week.

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11/26/2007

Financial Planning Up in Smoke

Saturday and Sunday, we celebrated the Feast of Christ the King, during which we recognized those who joined King of Peace during the past year. We also received financial pledges for the coming year. The pledges were offered to God on the altar and then at the end of all three worship services this past Saturday and Sunday, they were burned unopened.

Many times I am asked how King of Peace can run a church without pledges. It is an odd question as no other financial enterprise relies on pledges as churches do. No store gets customers to pledge their support for the coming year, naming how much they will spend. Business make financial plans based on cash flow and as untheologically sound as it must sound, that's how we plan the budget at King of Peace. We can make a coming year's budget by knowing we will get what we are getting now and in faith assuming that the amount will grow. In seven years it has not failed us yet.

Being fiscally responsible, we do plan what services we would cut in order to bring the budget in line with lesser giving. But, we trust God to find the support and we never have to get to that plan B.

The sermon is now online: Who Jesus Was and Is—the Jesus of History and the Jesus of Faith.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor





Elissa
A covered dish lunch that followed the 10 a.m. service

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  • At 12/04/2007 10:33 PM, Anonymous mkl said…

    Back in my banking days I had a boss who wasn't happy with the year-end numbers for his division. He came up with the "clever" strategy that we managers were to call all of our best( read wealthiest) customers and ask them to pledge an amount that they would deposit before the end of the year, thereby making our bottom line look better. How embarrassing!
    On the other hand, offering a financial pledge to God so that the work of His church can continue and in thanksgiving for His many blessings is a very rewarding experience. I hope my ex-boss was able to find that out for himself.

     

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11/25/2007

A Thousand Qualifications

Click to see more about this painting

In his book, Who Is Jesus? Leander Keck quotes an E. Borowitz as writing this painful-to-hear-because-it-sounds-true observation,
The notion of Christian cross-bearing seems to us to die the death of 'a thousand qualifications.' By the time Christian teachers are done explaining what it means to take up ones' cross and suffer with Christ one seems only to be authorized to consider it virtue to endure one's bourgeois troubles.

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11/24/2007

The Kingdom of Jesus

In this weekend's Gospel reading, Jesus is crucified with a sign over his head reading "This is the King of the Jews." This weekend is the Feast of Christ the King. Roman Catholic preist and author Andrew Greeley writes of our Gospel passage,
This is a medieval feast which uses the metaphor of "king"—a powerful one in those days—to describe the role of Jesus. Today the implications of such a metaphor are harder for us to comprehend, though the fascination with the late Princess of Wales suggests that we still like royalty and royal families—though perhaps we don't quite understand any more the tragedy that is inherent in royal leadership.

In fact, the kingdom which Jesus preached was the kingdom of his Father in heaven, a kingdom of forgiving love with no royal trappings at all, a kingdom which had always been there but which now (through Jesus) were beginning to recognize for the first time. The kingdom of Jesus is summarized in the words of the Our Father—forgive us as we forgive. No matter how many times we say that prayer, the meaning seems to allude us. We expected to be forgiven, but we don't want to forgive.
Note:
At every service this weekend, we will recognize those who joined the church within the past year with a prayer and a small gift. We will also receive pledges for the coming year and will burn them unopened at the conclusion of each worship service. Following the 10 a.m. service on Sunday, we will have a covered dish lunch.

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11/23/2007

Church Business

On this most commercial day of the year, it seems appropriate to consider church business. According to the New York Times, mega churches are way into enterprise. In an article Megachurches add local economy to their mission the paper says,
the online public records of just over 1,300 of these giant churches shows that their business interests are as varied as basketball schools, aviation subsidiaries, investment partnerships and even a limousine service. At least 10 own and operate shopping centers, and some financially formidable congregations are adding residential developments to their portfolios.
King of Peace certainly doesn't operate at that scale and yet we did start King of Peace Episcopal Day School which employs 18 persons. I know that St. Paul the Apostle Episcopal Church in Savannah has been successfully involved in housing development and Christ the King in Valdosta opened a coffee house and bookstore and also helped lead development in their downtown area. I am proud of all of these ministries that benefitted people in the church's communities.

But at what point do churches cross the line from ministries that genuinely fill needs in the community into the area of competing with for profit businesses while having the advantage of being tax exempt? What is good ministry? What is too much business and not enough ministry?

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

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2 Comments:

  • At 11/23/2007 10:01 AM, Anonymous Linda+ said…

    That "Splash Kingdom" thing -- do women get in with no questions asked?

    Peace,
    Linda+

     
  • At 11/23/2007 10:20 AM, Blogger Loren said…

    I immediately think of being called to be IN the world but not OF the world...not separating ourselves but ministering to all people.

     

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11/22/2007

With Thanks

We were scheduled to meet at 8 a.m. this morning to begin packing Thanksgiving meals for delivery to 262 Camden County residents. By 8:11 more than 20 people were busily packing meals and more food and people kept coming in. The meals started heading out at 9:15 and were all delivered by 10:30 a.m. Thanks to June, Kristen, Austin and a group of helpers too large to name.








Almighty and gracious Father, we give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we pray, faithful stewards of your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
You might also be interested in this USA Today article pointed out by a reader: Florida teacher chips away at Plymouth Rock Thanksgiving myth.

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11/21/2007

WITATTDABILOTKOPJW?

I want to get a bracelet with those letters on it. The saying comes from Leander Keck's book Who Is Jesus?. In a section on what it looks like to live a Christ-like life, the New Testament scholar writes,
Such a life is not formed by asking, What would Jesus do?, for the moral life in view here does not result from astute second guessing; it comes from asking, rather, What is the appropriate thing to do and be in light of the kind of person Jesus was? For the person who asks this, being accountable to Jesus may be difficult, but it is not onerous. The disciple who has internalized Jesus does not experience accountability as a burden but as an opportunity to give a discernible Jesus form to the moral life. He or she knows that Jesus leaves his mark on those who test him—and are grateful for the case....

Although the Beatitudes and other expressions of God's grace are as hard to assimilate as the stern sayings that point to the utter seriousness of the present, both summon the follower to keep reshaping one's moral life until it reflects more clearly and deeply the Jesus event and its vision.
Part of what Keck is doing here in his writing is to emphasize "being." Who am I supposed to be, because of who Jesus is. He seems to think that those marked by Jesus will have their moral decisions formed by the experience.

If I tried to shorten, I get something like "Who should I be, because of who Jesus was?" which gets the right thought, but WSIBBOWJW? isn't a much better bracelet. Or I could try "Who would Jesus Be?" meaning, given who Jesus was, how should I be in this circumstance. But in the end, I think it is an idea that won't fit on a bracelet, but does fit neatly in one's heart and mind. It's not a question so much as asking, "Should I reach out to this hurting person and show them God's love, is that what Jesus would do?" But try to live into being the person Jesus is and you will find yourself showing that love without even stopping to look at the bracelet or ask the question. That will just be the kind of person you are.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

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2 Comments:

  • At 11/21/2007 10:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Yes, I agree. But in the event of an extreme circumstance when we may forget who we are, I would like a bracelet that automatically snaps and stings us back to Jesus! :) Especially during the trying times of the HOLIDAY SEASON!

    My son and I were shopping the other day (guess where), and after a while of trying to politely manuever our way through the crowds and being met with grumpy frowns and eye rolling, he asked, "Why is everybody sooooo miserable?"

    It would have been nice to see some bracelets snapping to remind us of who we really are! What ever happened to "The more the merrier?" and "Peace on Earth, Good Will toward men (and women and children)?"

    So sad!

     
  • At 11/21/2007 8:57 PM, Anonymous Linda+ said…

    If we need to ask, I think a simple "Who is Jesus?" bracelet would work, because you could actually fit those letters into the space alloted. This might remind us that Jesus said, "Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me." (Matthew 25:40

     

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11/20/2007

One with our enemies

“Never fight evil as if it were something
that arose totally outside of yourself.”
—Saint Augustine of Hippo (354-430)

[Augustine] was reflecting Saint Paul’s “all have sinned and fallen short.” It is tempting, of course, to believe that some have sinned—for example, “that evil empire”—or that “most have sinned, but not us.” Paul’s insistence, however, that all have sinned makes an important point: if we are not one with our enemies in love, at least we are one with them in sin, which is no mean bond, for it precludes the possibility of separation through judgment. That is the meaning of the injunction “Judge not, that ye be not judged.”
—William Sloane Coffin (1924-2006)

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11/19/2007

The Incarnation vs. Cyberspace


I remember clearly retired bishop Marc Dyer saying, "The Incarnation is not virtual reality." He was no web-fearing Luddite, yet Bishop Marc realized that God becoming human in Jesus was a real time event in the real world and so Christianity also involves real people getting together in real ways. This doesn't mean that we don't or can't find God in cyberspace. I like to think Irenic Thoughts is one of millions of places on the vast World Wide Web that grounds readers in things divine.

This came to mind when I saw the New York Times article on a boot camp to help South Koreans break their Internet addiction. The nation boasts a large and growing number of wired citizens tapping in to their fast, inexensive web access. The article notes,
It has become a national issue here in recent years, as users started dropping dead from exhaustion after playing online games for days on end. A growing number of students have skipped school to stay online, shockingly self-destructive behavior in this intensely competitive society.

Up to 30 percent of South Koreans under 18, or about 2.4 million people, are at risk of Internet addiction....They spend at least two hours a day online, usually playing games or chatting. Of those, up to a quarter million probably show signs of actual addiction, like an inability to stop themselves from using computers, rising levels of tolerance that drive them to seek ever longer sessions online, and withdrawal symptoms like anger and craving when prevented from logging on.
The article tells of a government funded program to break the cycle of Internet addiction for those mostly male users considered to be at the highest risk. The article tells of the treatment:
They also follow a rigorous regimen of physical exercise and group activities, like horseback riding, aimed at building emotional connections to the real world and weakening those with the virtual one.
This article reminds me that while Christianity should make use of cyberspace, it should be done in a way that grounds what is on the web in reality. For Jesus was very real and very realistic. He was very earthy. While I like to think he has no problem with our using the Internet as a tool, I can't kid myself into thinking that a he came to save a virtual world.

Bishop Marc was right. The Incarnation is not virtual reality. Whatever we do in terms of the time and emotional energy spent in cyberspace, it should help us to better connect to real people in the real world. An email to a friend going through a difficult time can make the difference, but it will never beat a hug, or even sitting quietly by someone in Intensive Care Unit.

That's my take. What do y'all think?

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

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5 Comments:

  • At 11/19/2007 9:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You're right! Hugs are so much better!!! A few years ago, I issued the "I Love You" challenge to all of my friends and family online. It seemed too easy to send Love via the computer, but to say, "I love you" face to face was so difficult. I asked everybody that I knew online to practice saying "I Love You" to at least three people each day, face to face.

    That night I attended mass with several of my "online" friends. Before the service, our priest, who was in my email address book, got up and said, "I just wanted to tell y'all that I love each and every one of you." I don't have to tell you what happened during the Peace that evening! :)

    So, yes, the internet is a great tool to establish and maintain contact. But, the REAL WORLD with hugs and I love you's is extra wonderful by comparison!

     
  • At 11/19/2007 11:02 AM, Blogger Rhonda said…

    So true Father Frank, for me it is much easier to say things via e-mail. A fault of mine, I am much braver writing my feelings than being present to see the reaction of the person I am talking to.

    A Hug is much better in person as is an I Love You! We often need that touch or smile. Just to know can make a world of difference.

    About 6 months ago I spent the last week of my husband’s grandmother’s life in the hospital sitting with her so she would not be alone. It made a difference, in her last days and in my life. We never got along very well but in the end we loved each other more. She had said the words I longed to hear I Love You! These words will be with me forever because I heard her say them.

    This human contact is what matters, an e-mail is wonderful but it will never replace the touch of another’s hand, arms a smile or I love you.

     
  • At 11/19/2007 12:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I love you Rhonda! I didn't get to give you a hug after the service yesterday! Sometimes the internet can help make up for those lost moments, but its never as good as the real thing!

     
  • At 11/19/2007 12:54 PM, Blogger Rhonda said…

    Thank you, I love you too! And your cyber hug!! lol.

     
  • At 11/20/2007 1:12 PM, Blogger Loren said…

    I had lunch with Bishop Dyer today and told him he was mentioned on your blog. He said "hmm...do I want to know what he said?" :)

     

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11/18/2007

Daughters of the King and Kids in the Kingdom

King of Peace's altar flowersToday, we chartered the Susanna Wesley Chapter of the Daughters of the King. Our chapter now includes Debbie, Janis, June and their chaplain, Deacon Jennifer Highsmith. The pledges made to prayer and service are a great example to us all of how we should seek to live out our faith in our daily lives.

After the 10 a.m. service, we celebrated a Kids in the Kingdom Sunday by connecting communion and Thanksgiving. As the kids learned, Eucharist means "Thanksgiving." I showed them the vestments I wear and spoke about them. I also showed them up close the sacristy and the vessels and linens for the altar as we talked about why we set the time apart as holy time. Then I connected our weekly Great Thanksgiving of the Eucharist with Jesus Last Supper with his disciples, a meal offered in thanks with family and friends. Not so different in kind from our own Thanksgiving feasts. Then the kids made centerpieces to take home naming the things for which they are thankful to God.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor


Diocese of Georgia DOK President Cindy Coward with me and our daughters.


All the Daughters of the King at the service including daughters from Savannah and our neighboring DOK Chapter at Christ Episcopal Church in St. Marys.


Kids making crafts for Kids in the Kingdom.

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Daughters of the King

Daughters of the King logoDuring the 10 a.m. worship service today, we will create the Susanna Wesley Chapter of the Daughters of the King and admit its first members. The Daughters of the King is a lay Order for women who are communicants of the Episcopal Church. Members undertake a Rule of Life, that incorporates both a Rule of Prayer and a Rule of Service. By reaffirmation of the promises made in baptism, a Daughter pledges herself to a life-long program of prayer, service and evangelism, dedicated to the spread of Christ's Kingdom and the strengthening of the spiritual life of her parish.

The object of the Order is the extension of Christ's Kingdom through Prayer, Service, and Evangelism. Their motto is:

For His Sake . . .

I am but one, but I am one.
I cannot do everything, but I can do something.
What I can do, I ought to do.
What I ought to do, by the grace of God I will do.
Lord, what will you have me do?

Susanna WesleyThe chapter at King of Peace is named for Susanna Welsey (1669-1742), the daughter of a pastor and the wife of another, she was mother of 19 children, only eight of whom survived her. Two of her sons, John and Charles Wesley, were Anglican priests who served in the Colony of Georgia.

A supermom, who homeschooled her children in Latin, Greek and the classics, she also created a prototype of Sunday School in her own home for her children and others. Susanna said, “I am content to fill a little space if God be glorified.” She filled more than a little space—Susanna's life and witness had a lifelong impact on her sons who themselves had a tremendous effect on the spread of the Gospel and the history of Christianity.

I give thanks to God for the women who will today dedicate their lives to prayer and service through the Order of the Daughters of the King.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

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11/17/2007

Habitat's 10th Birthday


As a three-time president of Habitat for Humanity of Camden County, I was proud for King of Peace to be able to serve as the host for the group's tenth birthday bash. A good time was had by all as we recounted the 23 houses built and the lives change one family at a time.
The Birthday Cake

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The Church at the Cross


In this weekend' Gospel reading we get a scene with Jesus and his followers in the Temple in Jerusalem:
When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, Jesus said, "As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down."
Then Jesus goes on to talk about signs of the end of times in speaking of wars and insurrections and persecution of Christians.

John Pridmore writes of this passage in England's Church Times saying in part,
We live in the same period of "salvation history". The first of the "last things" has already taken place. The Temple is no more, even if, sadly, many of our subsequent church structures can be seen as pathetic attempts to rebuild it. Now we live in the interval between the first and the final of those last things.

This is the era on which the second half of our Gospel reading focuses. It is the age when believers are betrayed by family and friends, when they are arrested and persecuted, when they are put on trial, imprisoned, and executed. Jesus's predictions are literally fulfilled in the events Luke records in the second of his two volumes about the beginnings of Christianity, in the book known to us as the Acts of the Apostles. Again, his first readers will have registered, as we do, how clearly Jesus saw what was coming.

Betrayal, arrest, imprisonment, and execution: the writer of these notes confesses that such trials have not overtaken him since removing to Hove. Nor will they be the experience of most who read these comments. We are not Filipino Christians working in Saudi Arabia, nor are we among the tens of thousands of believers reportedly enduring torture and starvation in North Korean labour camps, nor are we Pentecostal pastors locked in shipping containers in Eritrea, nor do we run Christian bookshops in Gaza.

Nor does Jesus speak of the times when Christians have been the perpe- trators rather than the victims of perse- cution—even if some of the horrors they have inflicted have been on each other. But whether the Church is persecuted or persecuting, it is always the Church at the cross. There we are either sharing Christ's sufferings or inflicting them. We carry his cross, or nail him to it.

The first of the last things was the destruction of the Temple. No longer do those golden walls blaze with the light of the rising sun. Now we must wait and pray for grace to bear what may be required of us. If the days are dark, it is the darkness before dawn.

As George Macdonald used to say: "The light is only the other side of the hill." That promised light is greater than the light that touched the Temple with fire. Our Old Testament reading tells us to look east. There—soon—"The sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings."
The full text of his essay is here Second Sunday before Advent. In the King of Peace archives is the sermon These Things Must Take Place.

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11/16/2007

GodTube

GodTube is the Christianity-focused YouTube which has drawn millions of viewers to watch a little girl recite the 23rd Psalm. The Church Times has the article today GodTube website seeks to bring gospel to the young. Below are four of the sites top rated and most viewed short films.

Lifehouse: Everything Skit

The story of this skit is online here: Jesus 'Everything Skit' Draws Millions.

23rd Psalm

The little girl watched and loved by millions

Thank You, Jesus

A video of the song Via Delarosa made with scenes from The Passion of the Christ

The Bridge

This video made for Forest Pointe Church in Belmont, North Carolina, is based on excerpts from Most, a short film about life and death choices that was nominated for an Academy Award.

For some Episcopal videos, there are always Father Matthew and Father Steve.

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11/15/2007

Become What You Are


You are God’s viceroy, God’s representative.
You are God’s stand-in, a God Carrier.
You are precious; God depends on you.

God believes in you and has no one but you
To do the things that only you can do for God.

Become what you are.

—Archbishop Desmond Tutu

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11/14/2007

On the vocabulary of church and baseball

The Rev. William Willimon was once named one of the 12 most ifluential speakers in the English speaking world. The Methodist Bishop has recently blogged about changing his view on the task of preaching and I wonder what the people listening in the pews think of his view. He wrote in part:
Sometimes in leaning over to speak to the modern world, I fear that we may have fallen in! Bishop William WillimonWhen, in our sermons, we sought to use our sermons to build a bridge from the old world of the Bible to the new modern world, the traffic was only moving in one direction on that interpretive bridge. It was always the modern world rummaging about in Scripture, saying things like "This relates to me," or, "I'm sorry, this is really impractical," or, "I really can't make sense out of that." It was always the modern world telling the Bible what's what.

I don't believe that the Bible wants to "speak to the modern world." Rather, I think the Bible wants to change, convert the modern world.

The modern world is not only the realm of the telephone, the telegraph, and allegedly "critical thinking," this world is also the habitat of Auschwitz, two of the bloodiest wars of history, and assorted totalitarian schemes which have consumed the lives of millions. Why would our preaching want to be comprehensible to that world?....

the pulpit in the chapel at Honey CreekRather than reaching out to speak to our culture, I think our time as preachers is better spent inculturating Twenty First Century Americans into that culture which is called church. There is no way that I can crank the gospel down to the level where any American can walk in off the street and know what it is all about within fifteen minutes. One can't even do that with baseball! You have to learn the vocabulary, the rules, and the culture in order to understand it. Being in church is something at least as different as baseball.

Forming the church through our speech, laying on contemporary Christians the stories, images, and practices which make us disciples is our most challenging task as preachers.

The point is not to speak to the culture. The point is to change it.
The full text is online here: On NOT reaching Our Culture Through Our Preaching.

The pulpit at King of PeaceI wholeheartedly agree about scripture seeking to transform our culture. However, I also think there should be a balance in preaching that Willimon seems to miss in moving from one pole to another. Just as I think sermons should balance speaking to the head (intellect) and the heart (emotions), I think we can not transform culture until we have spoken to it. What do you think? Should preaching speak to the culture or seek to transform it?

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

PS: Start Questioning Your Faith Tonight
The seven session study begins this evening at 7 p.m. Scroll down for complete information.

3 Comments:

  • At 11/14/2007 8:13 AM, Anonymous jim said…

    There seems to be a few ideologies to follow in "transforming the world."

    1. You could mold it from the outside without interaction with it.

    2. You could be inside of it and invite it into community with the Gospel.

    The first option may be possible without ever speaking to the culture. It will also result in a conformed world that fits into the change agents view of what the result should be like. However, the second option requires the wolrd to be spoken to. The world must enter into the scripture with us and dialogue with it and the Holy Spirit. Then together we all change. As much as we are in the world and not of the world, we are in the world enought that we must remember to be transformed along with it.

    So, my impression of where Willimon is going here is a hyperbole illustrating us being transformed by the culture. It would seem like the polar opposite would for the scripture to completely transform the world. The real middle is probably a place where we are all invited into the scriptures and we are transformed together by the grace and power of God.

     
  • At 11/14/2007 4:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Jim,

    I agree with you. Very well said! I couldn't have said it better myself. Actually, I couldn't have said it at all, so, good job!

     
  • At 11/14/2007 4:57 PM, Anonymous Linda+ said…

    This reminds me of the list I once saw entitled "Why I stopped going to baseball games." The list included:
    The parking lot was too crowded.
    Every time I went, they asked me for money.
    The seats were hard.
    The people were not friendly.
    The game lasted far too long.
    I only knew one of the songs.

    Peace,
    Linda+

     

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11/13/2007

Got Questions?

We're all ears.

Got Questions, we're all earsAt King of Peace, we have always valued doubts and questions as signs of active faith. This is why we are offering a chance for you to question your faith with us. We don’t promise easy answers to life’s tough questions. We do promise to listen, really listen. We’ll give you some answers to think about as we prayerfully listen to how God is working in our lives.

Each night below we will meet from 7-8 p.m. to hear a short talk, then have a discussion based on the talk and some relevant passages from the Bible. Please come and encourage anyone you know who is asking questions to join you.

Schedule
November 14
Why does God allow suffering?

November 21
Is there a conflict
between Science and Christianity?

November 28
What about other religions?
Can they be true too?

December 5
What does Christianity say about sexuality?

December 12
Does life have meaning? Why am I here?

December 19
What happens after we die, really?

January 2
How can I read and understand the Bible?
Can I believe it?

There is a PDF of the Questioning Your Faith flyer if you want to share this with someone. The first session is tomorrow evening at 7 p.m.

10 Comments:

  • At 11/13/2007 10:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Will the sessions help me keep the faith I have? I fear it is fading.

     
  • At 11/13/2007 10:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Anonymous,

    Could you be mistaking losing faith with feeling disconnected from God? I've been there so very many times. I came to realize that during those times if I were losing faith I wouldn't feel so isolated, lonely, dark and angry. If there were truly a loss of faith, I wouldn't have these feelings because I wouldn't care.

    The fact that you fear losing what you do have exhibits tremendous faith. The fact that you are looking for a way back to Him shows that you know He is there. We all have these doubts and fears at times, but that is God drawing us closer to Him.

    I don't believe that faith can be lost. Maybe misplaced, or set on the back burner, but never really lost. Does that make sense?

    These sessions may have been presented to you as a way of easing your fears and doubts so you might feel connected to Him again.

    Many prayers and Blessings!!!

     
  • At 11/13/2007 12:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I don’t have tremendous faith, all I have it the hope that I can keep what I do have.
    Then again Hope is the denial of reality I have been told.

    I am so disconnected with God now that I am finding it hard to pray each day and I feel lost. I don’t know who I am anymore.

     
  • At 11/13/2007 1:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Anonymous,

    Know that I am praying for you and know that I have been right where you are, maybe for different reasons, but in the same place.

    Hopefully, what I'm about to tell you may give you a place to start. About 3 years ago I was at my wits end with God. I couldn't feel Him, I couldn't pray; I was consumed with depression and anger. Nothing I did seemed to get His attention and I felt abandoned.

    One day, I walked into my church and decided to lay it all on the line with God. I sat in that church and wrote God an eight page letter leaving no stone unturned with how I felt. I folded the letter and left it unsigned on the altar. I walked out of the church with the attitude, "Ha! I guess I told Him!" Well, everyday I felt the need to say more and more to God, so I wrote more letters leaving them on the altar.

    This went on for a few months. Then one day, my pastor at the time finally confronted me. He said that he knew I had been the author of the letters and that he was praying over them and leaving them with the Blessed Sacrament in the Tabernacle. He told me as long as I wrote he would help me get my letters to God.

    After about a year, I finally had no more words to write. My priest said, "Now that you've had your say, are you ready to listen?"

    It took a year of purging for me to realize that part of prayer is listening to Him. Once I got out all of my anger and resentfulness I was able to finally understand that I wasn't making room or time for His response to my prayers. I was consumed with so much that I couldn't see Him. I thought that I was abandoned, when in fact He was there through the whole ordeal allowing me the time to learn for myself and focus on Him once again. When that happened, so did our connection.

    Don't give up praying. When you say you don't know how to pray anymore, maybe its time to listen. Start by sitting quietly just ten minutes everyday and focus on blessings. Know that you have me and others that will pray with you and for you.

    Don't ever give up! God loves to hear from you, no matter what it is you have to say. Try to stay focused and continue to worship in church and attend the studies and sessions that are offered. We are there for you.

    Again, I am praying for you!!!!

     
  • At 11/13/2007 1:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have decided the best thing for me to do for a while is leave the church. I, well I just don’t even know what I need or want for that matter.

    I read a book recently that was helpful and I will find more and keep going. This will I hope open me up again to the thought that the Lord will find me again. Or I should say I will find the Lord again.

    I hate this feeling of being lost that I have, I can’t describe how my heart hurts.

     
  • At 11/13/2007 4:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Anonymous,

    I hate it that you are feeling lost too! I know how it hurts and it is indescribable. I am especially sorry that you feel the need to leave your church. Do you have a support system of family and friends that will pray with you and listen to you? Is there anything that I can do?

     
  • At 11/13/2007 8:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have been talking to my priest and he has helped. But I feel like I am just taking space. Talking and not making sense.Taking his time. He has done what he can and I can't ask for any more. I don't have family support but I know that friends from the church would listen but I feel like I have brought sadness and concern because of my situation and I hate that feeling. Not that they make me feel bad, I feel better there than anywhere. I love Church! I love the people in it.

    I just don't know what to do.

    You have helped me, you listened

     
  • At 11/13/2007 8:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Anonymous,

    I can tell you this one thing for sure. You are not just taking up space; you are a child of God! I am willing to bet that more times than not you have been a support system for your friends, listening to them and helping them through tough times. You were doing God's work. Now you need them. It is their opportunity to do God's work, not because they have to, but because they care! That's concern and it's alright for people to feel that.

    It is alright that you need your friends, your priest and your church. Personally, I feel honored when somebody in need reaches out to me, and I know your friends feel honored that you have chosen them to help you!

    Please don't leave your church. It's a place where you feel love. Not only do you feel love from others you also feel the love you have to offer. Love is always a two way street. Don't take concern as pity or sadness. Staying connected to God's children and their love is, in fact, staying connected to Him.

     
  • At 11/13/2007 9:07 PM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    I don't know who your priest is, but I know priests, and the clergy I know like to be needed probably more than the next person (to a fault generally). And any person struggling with their faith and the tough questions of life is a large part of what one is ordained to help someone through.

    And the church as a whole is a hospital for sinners, not the refuge of the perfect. Removing yourself from church in a time of need is something like removing yourself from food and water when you are hungry and thirsty, with similar effect.

    To another anonymous writer, I loved the story of writing letters to God. Writing yourself to the point of being able to listen. Powerful stuff.

    As to the original question about this study and fading faith...the study is not designed for that exactly, as it is designed to help people think through with others some common big questions of life. But the discussion time should be lively and helpful in this circumstance.

    peace,
    Frank+

     
  • At 11/14/2007 12:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thank you Father Frank and Anonymous.

     

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11/12/2007

Teen Is Not a 4-Letter Word


I remain clueless as to why it is difficult to get adults to assist with youth programs for their churches. Many parents want to run and hide when the idea of working with middle and high school students is brought up. Yet, I have found working at youth events to be some of the most rewarding time in my ministry.

I just spent the weekend serving as a spiritual director for New Beginnings #32, a middle school retreat of the Diocese of Georgia. I love these weekends, especially as they are led by teens for teens with the talks given by teens and small groups led by teens. Adult participants and leaders are on hand, but their roles are in the background. The real work of ministry is done by the teen leaders.

At New Beginnings, there were three of us taking part from King of Peace. Kalyn led the games and gave a wonderful talk on friendships. Kyle was a participant attending his second New Beginnings and I served as one of two priests. I have served at several New Beginnings weekends as well as other diocesan youth events. Once again it was an amazing weekend of listening to what is going on in the lives of teens. Much of it is heartbreaking, as you hear the teenagers side of a broken home with a teen working to adjust as his or her parents' marriage falls apart. You also get to see up close the real work that goes into a teen deciding what they believe rather than just accepting all their parents' beliefs as their own.

Through it all, I enjoy watching that transition as children work their way to adulthood in the environment of Honey Creek, our camp and conference center where the teens do such a good job of providing each other with a base of love and support.

The best thing an Episcopal parent in south Georgia can do for their child is to encourage him or her to take part in Diocese of Georgia Youth Events. And for adults who are interested in assisting in ministry for and with teens, taking part in chaperoning these weekends is also highly recommmended.

Upcoming events are:
Winter Blast (grades 9-college), December 14-16 at Honey Creek

Happening #80 (grades 10-12), January 11-13 at Honey Creek

Convention Lock-In, Augusta (grades 8-12), February 8-9 in Augusta

High School Work Weekend (grades 9-college), February 29-March 2 at Honey Creek

Spring Fling (grades 6-9), March 7-9 at Honey Creek

New Beginnings #33 (grades 7-9), April 3-6 at Honey Creek

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor






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3 Comments:

  • At 11/12/2007 11:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The weekend looked like a great success for our youth and adults!

    I was not aware that you needed chaperones. I didn't even know about the retreat until last week. I am usually the only adult at home on the weekends in our house, but I could have worked something out to at least be there part time. Maybe my middle schooler could have participated part of the time too.

    I so enjoy high schoolers and middle schoolers. Next time, just ask and we'll work something out.

     
  • At 11/12/2007 11:41 AM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    Part time participation is, due to the nature of the events, not possible. You have to be there from beginning to end and all of the activities in between 24 hours. That said, it is a wonderful opportunity and one for which some training is required in that the leaders must have taken Safeguarding God's Children, which is offered by the Diocese and announced at King of Peace directly to those taking part in assisting with the youth group. So the place to start is with helping Jay and Alison with our youth, getting the training and then looking ahead at the schedule above and picking a weekend to which you can commit. Brochures on all the events are always available in the hall at King of Peace. The events have been poorly advertised in our church. I'll take the blame for that and seek to improve.

     
  • At 11/14/2007 1:17 PM, Anonymous denise said…

    Don't be too hard on yourself, that's my pastor you're talking about!!!

     

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