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.

2/29/2008

The Sacraments



Above is the video I was working on when I learned my father died. I had just finished shooting the raw footage and was importing the files to the computer for editing when I got the call. Gina Jenkins took over the project, did a great job with it, and dedicated it to my father.

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2/28/2008

Only a Few Things Are Forbidden

The truth is, of course, that the curtness of the Ten Commandments is an evidence, not of the gloom and narrowness of a religion, but, on the contrary, of its liberality and humanity. It is shorter to state the things forbidden than the things permitted: precisely because most things are permitted, and only a few things are forbidden.
G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

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2/27/2008

In the midst of the messiness

The Rev. Peter M. Carey writes in a Lenten reflection,
I take wisdom from the words of the deranged prophet figure in the 1984 film, The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai across the 8th Dimension: “Wherever you go, there you are.” And, so, here we are. It is here and now that God breaks into our lives, not in some other place or time. It is here that God is, not only in mountaintop experiences, not only when we go away on retreat, not only in the midst of nature, not only in the midst of a concert hall, not only in the exhilarating rush of endorphins when we exercise.

One of the Desert Fathers said: “Your cell will teach you all you need to know.” This does not mean that we all have to become monks. For the monk, the cell was his everyday place; it was his place of work. This going to one’s cell was not a retreat from the work of the monk, but was encouragement for the monk to go to his place, to seek God in the everyday place.

Frank's photo of biking on Little Saint Simons IslandRowan Williams claims in his book, The Trial of Christ, that “hardest place to be is where we are,” for if we want to turn our selves toward God, we must first work to be fully present, which can be hard when our minds leap forward and back, and we multitask ourselves away from where we sit. Cultivating attention may offer us a deeper sense of beauty, if we have eyes to see. As Buddhist master, Thich Nhat Hahn claims, “The present moment is a beautiful moment.” And if we truly embraced the present moment, we might, indeed see the beauty of this place, and even see God.

So in the midst of the messiness of raising three children under 5, God is there. In the balancing of the checkbook, God is there. In the waiting room of the hospital, God is there. In the boring meeting, God is there. In the frustrating traffic jam, God is there. Lent might be a time when even in the rush of our appointments and commuting and to do lists we can be attentive to the place where we are, and attentive to God.
The full text of his reflection is here: Just One Thing. Peter also recommends this Lenten video:



As for me, I've been seeing other blogs again. At Episcopal Café, they reprinted something I wrote for the Episcopal Church and the Visual Arts Sketchbook called Christian Grafitti and over at Ask the Priest I answered a question from a reader asking When did early Christians start using the Old Testament as scripture?

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

1 Comments:

  • At 2/27/2008 7:12 AM, Anonymous Irenic Thoughts said…

    "As for me, I've been seeing other blogs again."

    OH! I'm speechless...

     

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2/26/2008

Unfaithful Faithful?


An article in The New York Times, Americans Change Faiths at Rising Rate, Report Finds tells of a Pew Trust funded study which found, "that 44 percent of Americans have switched religious affiliations." The study also noted that 20 percent of men and 13 percent of women have no religious affiliation. This term does not mean atheist or agnostic, but those together with people who are "nothing in particular" when it comes to religion.

The decline in brand loyalty for denominations is not surprising. Sticking to one denomination come Heaven or Baptismal waters was more common in a time when people kept a job for most of their adult life and left with a gold watch and a healthy pension. Today loyalty is down all over and this is true of churches as well. There is a downside in that it can be good to find a church that challenges you and this may be found in staying put. That sort of stability says that the church (which is the people) matters more than the pastor or programs or whatever else changes that causes someone to leave. But many times, changing churches may be the best way to be more faithful about attending church, and what is wrong with that?

I think the plus side of changing is that one can also find the right church for him or her (or their family). This matters so much that whether one is an Episcopalian in this town and a Methodist in that town may matter less. We certainly see this at King of Peace which is less melting pot and more hearty stew, with people from a variety of denominational backgrounds coming together.

We may as well not get too set in denominational prefence anyway. Once we get to heaven, denominational distinctions will matter not the least. There we will be one as we worship our one Lord.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

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  • At 2/27/2008 7:57 PM, Blogger November In My Soul said…

    Not to disagree but I believe that jumping church without understanding some of the beliefs of a particular denomination can lead one down some strange paths. Are Baptists, Episcopalians and Pentecostals really interchangable?

    For instance after proclaiming myself to be Lutheran I later discovered that Lutherans (at least ELCA) believe (please correct me if I am mistaken)that when you die you stay in the grave. Your soul stays with you until Christ's return. Imagine my surprise. There are also Protestant leaders who do not believe in the literal resurrection of our Lord. If Christ has not risen from the dead trampling down death by death we are all lost. The validity of the Church stands or falls on Christ's literal resurrection.

    I guess all this church jumping would be fine if all churchs taught and believed the same things but they don't. Or maybe people just want to believe they do.

    Please understand, I used to believe which church you attended didn't really matter. In fact after our Lutheran congregation went belly up I really thought we would just start a house church. Again, imagine my surprise when I felt the Lord leading me to Orthodoxy. All I knew about them were their funny hats.

    As you know Father I struggled with this for a long time. My wife, my daughter and I all became catechumens and remained as such for a year. Father Ted would not let us be chrismated and take communion (which is the body and blood of Christ) until he knew that we knew what we were getting into and that we understood at least the basic core beliefs. We believe we have found the ark of salvation and Father Ted was absolutely right to protect it. You cannot just jump into Orthodoxy. Look before you leap.

     
  • At 2/28/2008 7:07 AM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    "I guess all this church jumping would be fine if all churchs taught and believed the same things but they don't."

    I know that churches believe different things and so logically they can not all be equally correct. There is a Truth to be upheld and that Truth is (to use your example) that Jesus was bodily resurrected. I believe what Paul wrote in the 15th chapter of I Corinthians, that Jesus was bodily resurrected and so shall we be. In find this beautifully expressed by John Updike in his poem Seven Stanzas at Easter. So do I think this is Truth, yes. Do I think that same bodily resurrected Jesus can be present in churches and in people who express a belief in a spiritual resurrection, yes. And I guess that is where we differ. I believe Jesus' words to Nicodemus, "that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." The statement was not "whoever believes in the exact set of doctrinal answers as the one pure church, which will be my only means of salvation shall not perish, but have eternal life."

    And if I was looking for the one true church with the right beliefs (which from my wide reading in Orthodoxy I can say I love their theology and insistence on telling the whole story of Christ) I would also look for a church with outward practices in line with that theology and for me I would not serve in a church with a screen to separate the priests from the people. The gains in a sense of mystery are offset by how disconnected that practice is from what we see in the life and ministry of Jesus. I also find the role of women in the Orthodox Church to not be in line with Jesus' own life and teaching. I find the vestments of Orthodoxy to be marvelous and to contribute to a sense of worshipping God in the beauty of holiness, but there is no reason to think this is the only way to worship God as they have more to do with Byzantine court dress than the scriptural revelation of God. So we disagree and that is fine. And when I go to an Orthodox Church's blog, I will expect them to stand up for that church's teaching. And here at Irenic Thoughts, one may expect an answer that fits with an Episcopal Church.

    I love you my brother and trust that you will take this response in the irenic spirit with which it is offered. Sometimes words fail, but I know that the same Spirit is in each of us and I will have to count on that Spirit to teach us all Truth and to hold us together in love in the meantime.

    love,
    Frank

     
  • At 2/28/2008 8:12 AM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    In fairness to Lutheran teaching, the statement on the Son of God in the Augsburg Confession sounds very orthodox and even in keeping with Orthodox teaching:

    "Also they teach that the Word, that is, the Son of God, did assume the human nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin Mary, so that there are two natures, the divine and the human, inseparably enjoined in one Person, one Christ, true God and true man, who was born of the Virgin Mary, truly suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried, that He might reconcile the Father unto us, and be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for all actual sins of men.

    He also descended into hell, and truly rose again the third day; afterward He ascended into heaven that He might sit on the right hand of the Father, and forever reign and have dominion over all creatures, and sanctify them that believe in Him, by sending the Holy Ghost into their hearts, to rule, comfort, and quicken them, and to defend them against the devil and the power of sin.

    The same Christ shall openly come again to judge the quick and the dead, etc., according to the Apostles' Creed.

     
  • At 2/28/2008 10:55 AM, Blogger November In My Soul said…

    Father Frank,

    As you know, I love you and your family in Christ and have great respect and admiration for the life you live and the work you do. I know how sincere you hold your beliefs and your love for the Anglican Communion. I also suspected you would feel compelled to respond.

    If I said anything hurtful about the Episcopal Church I apologize, that was not my intent. My intent was to point out that there are valid differnces between denominations and that those who move from one to the other should understand what they are getting themselves into.

    As for the role of women in Orthodoxy, you know how we venerate the Theotokos. You also know that the role of women in Orthodoxy was a major stumbling block for me. But with the ability to stand on the inside looking out I know that women are held in equal esteem with men. If my memory serves me the Episcopal Church was nearly split asunder over the question of whether or not to ordain women.

    As for the vestments, what does it matter? It is no more outdated than wearing a clerical collar.

    As for the issue of a literal resurrection, without it how can we be sure of Christ's divinity? Without it how can we explain the actions of the Apostles after Christ's death? The Romans and Jewish leaders had only to produce the body to undercut the small ragtag first believers.

    But I digress. We could agree to disagree about these things until kingdom come and I am way off on a tangent from my original point.

    Thank you for all you do and for being such a wonderful friend, confidante and brother in Christ.

    Also, I apologize for stirring all this up as you mourn over the death of you father. Please forgive me.

    William

     
  • At 2/28/2008 9:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Father Frank and November in My Soul,

    I see two highly intellectual individuals here who are both so very right!

    Since you have both been led by God to your own Truth, how can any of it be wrong?

    If there were only one true religion and one true doctrine, then why would God lead his children to so many different paths to Him?

     

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2/25/2008

Taking the Church to the Street

The Washington Post has two important videos about Ecclesia Ministries, a ministry of presence to and prayer with the homeless founded in 1993 by the Reverend Debbie W. Little. The first video is below, the second is along with an article online here Taking the Church to the Street:

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2/24/2008

Thankful

I am thankful for the support of King of Peace on the death of my father.

In other news...www.kingofpeace.org is back online as of about 10 minutes ago and my email is promised to be working within the half hour, though I will not get any emails sent since last Tuesday.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

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2/23/2008

That Day at the Well

Last Saturday, I offered the following meditation for the Women's Prayer Day, it was based on tomorrow's Gospel reading from John 4, about Jesus meeting a woman at a well in Samaria:

I remember the heat that day. The blazing hot sun beat down mercilessly. I didn’t mind at all. The heat was fine with me. The heat was why I went to the well at noontime anyway. No respectable person went to the well in the heat of a Palestinian day. That’s when I went. It was easier that way. No sideways glances. No odd looks and whispered remarks. They might have talked about me, but they would not have spoken to me anyway.

I was the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time.

As I approached the well, I could see that someone was already there. A traveler no doubt. Who else at this time of day? As I got closer, I could see by his manner of dress, that he was a Jew. A Jew, heh? Well that settles it. I wouldn’t have to worry about this one. No need to draw water for him, or even speak to him. Jews and Samaritans don’t mix. Especially not Jewish men and Samaritan women. It is simply not done.

Samaritan Woman at the WellThe Jews view us Samaritans as beneath them. It had been so for hundreds of years. We worshipped the same God, but disagreed on where the Temple should be located. But there was more to it than that. Two hundred years earlier, the Samaritans had fought with the Syrians against the Jews and the Jews had destroyed the Samaritan temple. There was bad blood between us and Jews.

I looked more closely at the man as I got to the well. He was obviously hot and sweaty from a morning on the road. He must belong to the group of Jewish men I passed on the way out of town. As I began to draw water the man did the most amazing thing. He asked me for a drink. That was not right. It simply wasn’t done. What was the man thinking?

I wanted to put this Jewish man back in his place. I asked, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?”

The man smiled. I didn’t expect that. I did know that any food or drink touched by a Samaritan was unclean for a Jew. The way he was acting was scandalous. And yet I was surprised. Others seemed to see me as insignificant. Not worth wasting their time on.

But this man was different. I know what you are thinking. It wasn’t like that.

He asked me for a drink of water. A simple request. He had nothing to use to draw the water. It was a hot day. He was obviously thirsty. It was only natural. But this natural act went against everything I was raised to believe. I knew that somehow in drinking water drawn by me would place this Jewish Rabbi at some risk. What if the men who had ben with him came back. What would they think of their teacher then?

Then the man said the oddest thing. He said, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who I am, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” I didn’t understand. I look back on it now and laugh, but I really had no idea what he was talking about. I said, “But sir, you don't have a rope or a bucket," I said, "and this is a very deep well. Where would you get this living water?”

But that wasn’t enough. I thought back to our common ancestor, the one who dug the well. I said, “And besides, are you greater than our ancestor Jacob who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his cattle enjoyed?” I would come to realize that Jesus was much greater than our ancestor, Jacob. But I didn’t know that yet.

Jesus replied so lovingly, “People soon become thirsty again after drinking this water. But the water I give them takes away thirst altogether. It becomes a perpetual spring within them, giving them eternal life.”

Samaritan woman at the wellLiving water. That sounded wonderful. Living water would be much fresher than well water. I got excited about this living water. The man has promised that he can give her water so that I would never thirst again. Never again would I come to this well in the heat of the day. This living water is just what I needed. I had no idea yet that he was speaking of the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit is the life giving water that will quench our spiritual thirst. Once that thirst has been quenched, we will be spiritually thirsty no more. I know that now. But at the time, I was just thinking of not having to go to the well again.

That’s when everything unraveled. Jesus asked me to go and bring my husband back with me. The question cut me down. It was the same old problem again. I was so ashamed. I looked down at the ground. I waited. I didn’t dare look him in the eyes. I just kept staring at the ground and said, “I have no husband.”

He smiled again. He looked pleased. It was as if I had passed some test. Later I realized he was just glad that I had told the truth. The truth that he already knew. Jesus said, “No you have had five husbands and the one you have now is not your husband.”

This is the point in the story where everybody gets it wrong. They hear my story and wander off down the wrong path. Because of Jesus’ comments about my husbands, I have been branded a sinner. Because of Jesus’ comments about my husbands, I have been branded a tramp. Because of Jesus’ comments about my husbands, I have been dismissed as insignificant.

But that’s not what Jesus did. Jesus never dismisses me. Jesus did not pronounce me a sinner in need of repentance. Jesus did not denounce me as a tramp. The Bible tells you that I had had five husbands, but it never mentions divorce or infidelity. I might have been on the margins of my own society. I might have been afraid to mingle with the women from my own town. But Jesus never said that it was my fault. He knew. He knew me better than anyone.

That is why I found the courage to say what came next, “Lord, I can see you are a prophet,” and then I asked him the burning theological question of my people. I said, “Our ancestors worshipped on this mountain, but you people claim that the place where one should worship God is in Jerusalem.” This was really important. I knew that this man could point me to the true worship of God.

Then Jesus explained that where we worship God is not as important as how. He told me that we are to worship God in Spirit and Truth. And if we open our spirits to worship God in Truth then where we worship doesn’t matter. We can worship God anywhere.

Samaritan Woman at the WellI was amazed at what the man, the prophet, told me. I knew in my heart that he was speaking the truth. I could feel it. I said, “I know the Messiah is coming and he will announce all things to us.” But what I really meant was “Are you The One? Are you the Messiah?” Jesus knew me statement as a question and answered me saying, “I who speak to you—I am he.”

Just then, the disciples come back to the well. But that didn’t matter to me anymore. I had spoken to the Messiah. He was right there at Jacob’s well. I couldn’t contain myself. I ran from the well, leaving my water jar hanging on the edge of the void, where I had been only moments before. I went to town and gathered people together. I began shouting excitedly, “Come and see a man who has told me everything I have ever done! Could this be the Messiah?”

They believed me. Notice this. They believed me. Me. The woman who didn’t go to the well when others were drawing water? They believed me? Maybe they never despised me. It was my own self esteem that was so low that I was the one who didn’t dare be around them. But now it was different. The Messiah had come. I couldn’t be afraid. The message was not about me. The message I had for my people was about God. And they did listen and believe.

Amazing. Jesus’ own disciples had just come to this town, yet they didn’t evangelize the people. They came and went without changing a thing in my town. But me, the woman who no one noticed changed everything. I was empowered by the spirit of God to proclaim the good news of God’s kingdom to my own people. Though I would never have guessed this could have happened as I went out to the well that day, I became a leader of my people. I led them to God, in the person of Jesus, the Christ.

What about you? Do you think that God can’t or won’t use you? Or have you, like I had, forgotten your own worth as a child of God? If so, you are in danger of surrendering yourself so completely to others, that you have no life of your own.

Don’t get me wrong, Jesus did teach that we are to serve others and put others needs ahead of our own. But putting others ahead of yourself is not all that Jesus taught. He also taught that all of creation is valuable to God. All creation has a unique worth in the eyes of our creator. When you don’t value your own worth as a unique and special creation of God, it can lead to sin. Not valuing yourself as God values you can lead to neglecting your own inner life and burying the unique talents God has given you.

See how Jesus responded to me when others ignored me and when I avoided them as well. Jesus saw the truth in me. Jesus saw me as a priceless gem—a child of God. Jesus revealed his Kingdom to me and invited me in.

Samaritan woman at the wellI arrived at the well considering myself worthless. But I heard and responded to Jesus’ call and in doing so regained my own sense of identity. Then, I didn’t just follow Jesus; I led my people to him.

We are all God’s children, loved and adored by our creator who is calling us home. Not one of us is insignificant to God. Not one of us is unworthy to lead God’s people.

Because your worth as a human is not about who you are in the eyes of others. Your worth as a human is determined by who you are in the eyes of God. And to God, you are a beloved child. You are fully known and deeply loved. This I promise you.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

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2/22/2008

Thomas Odom Logue, Jr. (1934-2008)

My Father died yesterday at his work. It was a massive heart attack which took him suddenly, but not unprepared in an eternal sense. He loved his work as a Civil Engineer (not that those two words go together) and was very happy to be still engaged in challenging and meaningful work at 73. While I know he would not have wanted to have died this young, he did want to die with his boots on, still fighting the good fight and keeping the faith and in that he suceeded.

I will be the co-celebrant and preacher at a memorial service this Sunday, February 24 at 2 p.m. at my father's church, St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Douglas, Georgia. A funeral service will follow on Saturday, March 1 at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Athens, Georgia at 2 p.m. My mother requests that in lieu of flowers, any memorials be made to King of Peace, a church he was proud of and enjoyed visiting.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

5 Comments:

  • At 2/22/2008 9:39 PM, Anonymous The Schwallers said…

    Mrs.Logue, Father Frank, Miss Victoria and Griffin,

    All of our love and prayers are with you and your family at this time!

    Many Blessings Always!!!

     
  • At 2/23/2008 12:06 PM, Blogger Thomas said…

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Our "piece" of the family was saddened by the news.

    Ann Poole Nelson and Family, Granddaughter of Maggie Logue and Cliff Owdom

     
  • At 2/24/2008 8:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Dear Aunt Judy, Frank, Victoria, and Griffin,
    We are truly saddened by your loss. We want you to know that you are in our thoughts and prayers during this time of loss.
    Much love,
    Kathleen, Matt, Thomas, and Patrick Moore

     
  • At 2/24/2008 9:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    To my dear Aunt Judy, my cousins Frank, Victoria & Griffin - and all of the Logue family,
    We pray for peace and comfort for you all in this time of sorrow. Know that while we are all mourning Uncle Tommy's time of passing... he is dancing with the Lord. May peace reign in your hearts.
    Much love,
    Susan &Brad Cooper &
    Bradford & Kathleen Cooper

     
  • At 2/24/2008 5:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Dear Aunt Judy, Frank, Victoria, Griffin, and all of my cousins,
    We are so sorry to hear of Uncle Tommy's passing. We are praying for you at this difficult time. May the good Lord provide peace and comfort to all of you.
    Love,
    Mary Beth & Bryan Kelley
    Montgomery, AL

     

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Secular Reasons to Support Communities of Faith

For today's column in the Tribune & Georgian I worked with my earlier blog entry on the book Bowling Alone. The column says in part,
It is possible to be a Christian without having a church home, in the way that it is possible to be a burning coal, but not be in a fire. Coals not in the fire tend to go cold, while those surrounded by other coals tend to burn more brightly. In that same way, your own faith will burn more brightly once you find the right church home. And beyond that the evidence suggests that your participation in a church community will be better for you in some real, tangible ways and it will make this community a better place.
The full text of the column is here: Secular Reasons to Support Communities of Faith

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2/21/2008

Web Hoax Gone Too Far

When my sister-in-law first blogged abou 90-Day Jane, a woman with a blog about the 90 days before she committed suicide, I was never tempted to write about it and share that site. I didn't visit it myself. However, the site has since been shut down and the woman behind it revealed to have created the blog as a kind of experiment. She says,
90DayJane[The blog] was meant to pay tribute to Christine Chubbuck, a newscaster who shot herself in the head live on-air in 1974. She was very vocal about her depression to those around her and gave every indication of her exact intentions leading up to the event. Her story both inspired and terrified me because I can truly empathize with her rage and even her isolation. I wondered how Christine's life and subsequent suicide would play out in our time. Would the internet be yet another place of isolation to her or an escape?
So how did people on the Internet react? Well "Jane" says,
People have been more real and heartfelt than I thought was possible. I owe them a debt of gratitude for showing me the difference between people's reactions and their true feelings. I understand. I do want everyone to know that I accepted no money for 90DayJane despite multiple offers from television, film, books, etc... I will not release my identity and I ask not to be contacted for any type of promotion. I want only for the people who wrote to me to know that I hear them and feel the same way. Your emails touched me so much.
So in the experiment, the blog creator who called herself 90-Day Jane was looking for a reaction and she got a positive one, in addition to the people who were less than supportive. I wish she hadn't tried the stunt and yet I feel oddly relieved that she found people to be supportive. I also know that the stunt created an unfortunate false moral dilemna and made real cries for help on the Internet harder to hear with such a public known hoax.

But the reaction, both positive and negative is not really surprising. She created a hoax that placed every reader in the anxious place of deciding what to do, how to react. And yet through that she found positive people trying to offer her real comfort. The Internet is a tool and so is as value neutral as other tools. Like a hammer which can be used to create or to kill, the Internet can be used for good or evil. The challenge is create something good out of this powerful tool, rather than using it to toy unfairly with people's emotions.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

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1 Comments:

  • At 2/21/2008 8:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I agree. This "experiment" was simply not a nice thing to do. I also find it pointless as the outcome was rather predictable. What did she expect from tugging at people's heartstrings anyway?

    I think the person behind 90-Day Jane was using this "experiment" as a form of self entertainment. If she's that bored and needs to see how much people really care then she needs to go to church and do some work for the Lord.

     

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2/20/2008

kingofpeace.org is down (for the moment)



The church's website and email are down. The problem has been reported and will get resolved in the fullness of time. In the meantime, don't count on technology. But the church is fine and we'll gather together (as usual) to worship this evening at 6:15 p.m. and to take another step in the Odyssey of Faith as Father John Rogers presents the Exodus from Egypt at 7 p.m.

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Sick

Some of Father Steve's best work, and that's saying something:

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  • At 2/20/2008 11:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I agree! A wonderful piece of work by Father Steve.

    I also agree with what he said about coming to the church it is a place where people help you up and take care of your inner needs.

    KOP is an example of this.

     

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What good can one person do?

Dorothy Day facing arrest
People say, "What good can one person do? What is the sense of our small effort?" They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time.

We can be responsible only for the one action of the present moment. But we can beg for an increase of love in our hearts that will vitalize and transform all our individual actions, and know that God will take them and multiply them, as Jesus multiplied the loaves and the fishes.

Dorothy Day (1897-1980)

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2/19/2008

Church Proud of Youth Pastor Confessing Murder

Calvin InmanYou never want to see any pastor's mug shot running in a newspaper. But this story is one of an attempt at atonement. The Houston Chronicle carries the story Youth minister's admission breaks 1994 stabbing case of a recently ordained man who has confessed to murdering a store clerk in 1994. Leaders of the 800-member Elim Church were obviously surprised by the confession. But the pastor, Ron Niessen told reporters,
It was a situation that was on his conscience. He knows it's the right thing to do. His desire is to help other kids not make the same mistakes he did.
The youth minister, 29-year old Calvin Wayne Inman, confessed the murder to Niessen, the pastor of the Pentecostal church where he worked. Niessen encouraged him to tell the police. I would have done the same.

Part of seeking God's forgiveness is not to look for cheap grace, but to own up to your sins. This youth pastor did so. It was not easy for him as this admission will have serious consequences as the youth minister was married with two children. His confession will not undo the pain and suffering he has caused, but confession to the authorities and not just in private to God was the right thing to do. It will also allow the youth minister to move on with his life in a way not possible otherwise. That's my take on it. What do you think?

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

13 Comments:

  • At 2/19/2008 7:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It is right that he confessed his sin and even better that he will pay the price for his crime. Where I come from, there is always an act of pennance given after the confession to atone for the sin.

    My question is how did this story of the confession to the pastor get out? Is a Pentecostal confession done before the entire congregation? Maybe that part of the story came to surface when he confessed his crime to the authorities. Just curious.

     
  • At 2/19/2008 7:18 AM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    From what I have read, it seems that private confession led to turning himself into the police, which led tothe story going public.

     
  • At 2/19/2008 8:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I agree Father Frank, if you are not able to talk of your sin aloud it will eat you up inside. You will never be able to move on with your life in the way you are called to. Especially when it is being a youth minister, as well as being a father.

    But it is breaking that silence that is the hardest, after that it must be easier.

    Am I correct? Do you think it can be easier to talk after the silence has been broken?? Or is confessing your sin enough?

     
  • At 2/19/2008 9:02 AM, Anonymous kelly said…

    Anonymous,

    I agree that the hardest part is taking that first step to admit and confess the sin. It may not be easy at this point to follow the righteous path, but, no matter how difficult that path may be, it allows for the healing process and reconciliation with the Lord to begin. Looking ahead to a positive outcome and accepting the consequences for the sin makes the journey all the more worthwhile.

     
  • At 2/19/2008 9:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What if your sin was allowing this thing to happen, not that you had a choice but that you didn't trust that someone would listen and help. When you talk about it do you think it makes it easier for you to ask forgiveness??

     
  • At 2/19/2008 11:01 AM, Anonymous A Seeker said…

    Maybe he was afraid he would burn in Hell, isn't that what Pentecostals preach?

     
  • At 2/19/2008 11:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I know of a few others who do also.

     
  • At 2/19/2008 11:37 AM, Anonymous Kelly said…

    Does God forgive us our sins if we confess them out of fear of burning in hell? I believe the first step is truly being sorry for our sins and then confessing them to God. With that reconnection and the grace we receive from God's forgiveness we can begin to heal. For some, confession to God is all it takes to start the healing process. For others, more work may be involved, and maybe, taking those steps are easier after the initial confession. I believe it all depends on the individual and the gravity of the sin.

     
  • At 2/20/2008 12:51 AM, Anonymous A Seeker said…

    Isn't forgiveness God's decision? Who are we to make assumptions about matters that are His prerogative?

     
  • At 2/20/2008 10:29 AM, Anonymous kelly said…

    A Seeker:

    I was not making assumptions about forgivenss from God, but merely posing a question in my mind brought up by your previous comment about the Pentecostals. That's a question that I would pose to all religions that preach the fear of hell.

    The rest of my comment was a reply to Anonymous above your first comment. I was stating how I believe the healing process begins with confession. Frankly,though, I don't think people who confess out of fear are being completely true to themselves and therefore may have a difficult time healing from within.

    Maybe I should ask some other questions. Do people who confess out of fear alone really want to be forgiven? Are they confessing just because their church says they should to stay out of hell? Would they still ask for forgiveness if they had no fear of hell? Only God knows...

    You're right about it being God's decision to forgive, for only He truly knows what's in a person's heart.

     
  • At 2/26/2008 2:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think it was the wrong thing to do. He's moved on with his life, doing better not only for him but his family too. Now, so that he can have a clear conscience, he's robbing his children of a father and his wife of a husband. Yeah, they can be proud of him for doing "the right thing", but the fact is he won't be there. We do get caught up in this God who will take revenge on us, when all God wants is us to be sorry we hurt Him, repent, and love Him. Calvin had done that, and that's all that is commanded of him.

     
  • At 2/26/2008 4:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Calvin may have done all that is commanded by God, but maybe he needed to do the pennance for himself. After all, he committed a crime and took the life of another human being. He probably needed to feel like justice has been served by paying the price and providing closure for everyone affected by the crime.

     
  • At 12/01/2011 2:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This is coming late in the conversation but Calvin is a part of my congregation. I applaud the fact that he stood up and confessed. Not too many people would do that in the best of times much less in a situation like what he faced. Everyone making comments seemed to have forgotten that he was a 16 yr old at the time. Would any of you think the same way if it were your child? I am not saying that what he did was right or wrong, what I am saying is that we seem to be judging him and using God as the reason for that judgement. Everyone will meet Jesus at their appointed time and judgement is something we all need to leave in the capable hands of God.

     

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2/18/2008

YouTube Sacraments

On his YouTube Channel, Father Matthew is working on an entertaining and educational series on the sacraments. So far he has covered:


Baptism


Reconciliation (private confession)


Confirmation

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8 Comments:

  • At 2/18/2008 9:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Baptism: Are the shells symbolic? I've noticed the shell at KOP too used during Baptism.

     
  • At 2/18/2008 11:17 AM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    Yes, shells are a symbol of baptism. Early Christian art showed John the baptist baptizing Jesus by pouring water over him as he stood in the Jordan using a shell. This goes back to the catacombs and so is quite ancient. However, the why is hazy. It seems to have been an early artistic rendering of the scene that then effected practice, so that shells were used in pouring over the water. Or more likely, clergy had come to use shells and this was interjected back into the scene at the Jordan. Shells as a reminder of baptism are why we have shell stepping stones at King of Peace leading from the parking lot to the front door of The Preschool.

     
  • At 2/18/2008 11:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thank you, Father Frank! I'm glad to know this. :)

    Another question while I'm thinking of it (and this has nothing to do with Sacraments): Why do some churches use Amen pronounced AHHHmen and some say it with the long A?

     
  • At 2/18/2008 3:53 PM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    No matter how one says it, Amen is an assent to all that has come before. It's a you say po-tay-toe I say po-tah-toe sort of difference, but I too have noticed it tends to fall out along church lines and have heard long A in the amen as being more Catholic, but don't know that to be true.

    I don't have a dog in this fight and say either. It's not like the how to say pecan debate about which I have strong feelings.

    peace,
    Frank+

     
  • At 2/18/2008 4:28 PM, OpenID jimmorrow said…

    It's not like the how to say pecan debate about which I have strong feelings.

    It's "pee-can." Wow. That looks strange in writing.

    ..not "peh-cahn."

     
  • At 2/18/2008 4:29 PM, OpenID jimmorrow said…

    ...and this is why we have standardized phonetic pronunciation notation:

    [pi-kahn, -kan, pee-kan], dictionary.com.

     
  • At 2/18/2008 5:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ahhhhhhmen to pee-cans and Ayyymen to peh-cahns!

    Thanks! I got more than I bargained for today!:)

     
  • At 2/22/2008 10:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    pi-cahns are 8 dollars a bag at the store.

    pee-cans are the ones you pick up in your Mama's yard.

     

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2/17/2008

Stations of the Cross

Today was a Kids in the Kingdom Sunday and thanks to creative and hard-working moms, we once again had a kid-appropriate stations experience with object lessons along the way. While the story of Jesus' passion and death are not easy to share with children, doing so is the only way to give them the hope of the resurrection and the fullness of what we believe as Christians, so I am thankful to Kelly, Amber, and Rhonda for making this happen and to Melissa, Gina, Kristen and Geoff who also helped on site, as well as Victoria and Griffin for getting lunch.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor


Getting underway at the first station.


Working our way along the trail.


Wripping a piece of cloth to share with the kids after talking
about Jesus' being stripped of his garments.


Showing a large nail while telling how
Jesus' forgave those who killed him.


Feeling the nail and laying out the objects.


Going back over all the objects and their meanings.

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3 Comments:

  • At 2/17/2008 8:54 PM, Anonymous Kelly said…

    The pictures are awesome! We don't get to see the expressions on ALL of the children's faces while we're handing out the props. We're all standing behind the children while Father Frank is explaining each station. So, THANK YOU Amber, you did a great job capturing each moment in time!!! :) New day job maybe? :)

     
  • At 2/19/2008 7:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thank you Kelly, I had a blast doing it :)
    Amber

     
  • At 4/13/2008 4:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow, what an awesome idea! The pictures were great. We see Christ in the faces of the children. You have created a wonder way for people who are curious about what Christians do and what Christians look like for those who seek to know what this life is all about. Thanks be to God! Tar+

     

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Prayers Ascending?

The Rev. Ann Fontaine writes for Episcopal Cafe about where our prayers go saying in part,
Every so often someone will ask for prayers and a common response is “prayers ascending.” My questioning mind thinks – hmmm, ascending? Going up? Where? How? Since the photos of earth came back from the astronauts in space, I have had the question that the Russian cosmonauts were asking, "Where is your God? We've never seen Him out there in space. We circled the globe again and again, and He wasn't out there!" If God is not out there and there really is no “up” in realms of outer space where do I locate God when I pray? Where and how do I think about God when I pray? I suppose that there is no need for location when it comes to God and prayer but it helps my praying to think of a direction.

Much of our religious language speaks of an “up there” - words that have now become an anachronism. Can the metaphor hold our religious imagination? Without location is there a place where God dwells and where we can direct our prayers?
She later concludes in writing,
When I pray for someone I believe my prayers are received by the Love that is God and directed to those who need them. For me God is located in the midst of us. My prayer is often that the person will feel surrounded in and borne up by prayer. I don’t think that my prayers have taken off for outer space or gone to an unknown location. My hope is that the prayers are wrapping any one who needs them in a comforter of prayer. I hope the recipients will feel that prayer is carrying them through their days and they feel that peace that passes understanding as they receive healing or strength in their lives.

Jesus says in Luke 17: “For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you.”

And that is where I put my heart and my prayer. Where do you think your prayers go? Or does it matter to you?
The full text of her essay is online here: Prayers Ascending?

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2/16/2008

Women's Day of Prayer

The Daughters of the King sponsored a Women's Day of Prayer today led by Victoria Logue. A dozen participants reflected on two meditations on Jesus' encounter with a Samaritan woman in John 4 and created prayer pouch crafts. A special group labyrinth walk and a meal and a concluding service of Noonday Prayer were also part of the mini-retreat.



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The reconciling love of God

In tomorrow's Gospel reading, a respected Jewish leader named Nicodemus comes to Jesus at night for a serious discussion. Part of their discussion is this exchange,
Nicodemus and Jesus"Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above." Nicodemus said to him, "How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother's womb and be born?" Jesus answered, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, 'You must be born from above.' The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit
Jesus goes on to tell Nicodemus, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him."

This famous encounter is one I last preached on in a first-person sermon from Nicodemus perspective that is online here: The Untamed Wind—God's Spirit.

Jirair Tashjian of the Christian Resource Institute has a different take on the encounter, comparing it to older forms of the faith and newer communities that come out of them. He writes,
The old religious community of Judaism and the new Christian community of John are encountering each other in this text. Can God do anything for Nicodemus type groups who have been around a long time? Can such groups recognize the new thing that God may be doing through newcomers on the scene like the community of Jesus that John represents? This is an age-old question. What will Roman Catholicism do with Martin Luther? What will Lutheranism do with Pietists? What will the Church of England do with the Wesleys? What will Methodism do with the holiness movement? And finally, what will the holiness movement do now after a century and a half of existence? Is there any hope of newness for the likes of Nicodemus?

However, the story in John 3 cuts the other way too. How will the new Johannine community under Jesus respond to old-time stalwarts with long traditions like Pharisaic Judaism represented by Nicodemus? The temptation for newcomers is to become arrogant and look down their nose on folks like Nicodemus. How will the holiness movement view mainline denominations? How will Protestants speak to Roman Catholics?

Unfortunately there came a time when Christianity would no longer converse with Judaism except in angry words. But in John 3 the two communities are still carrying on a conversation. And perhaps that can provide a model for us to follow. The model is none other than the reconciling love of God who gave his Son to the world and has called into existence a faith community whose task it is to engage in the same act of reconciliation and redemption. God did not send the Son to condemn the world but to save it.

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2/15/2008

Evening Prayer with a Side of Fish 'N Chips

This evening at King of Peace began with Stations of the Cross at 5:30 p.m. on our Stations Trail. Then we held Evening Prayer at 6 p.m.and a Fish 'n Chips dinner at 6:30 p.m. The turnout was wonderful for this hugely success first time event. Thanks to all who worked behind the scenes to make the evening possible. The next Fish 'n Chips FryDay is March 14. Below are a few photos of the fun. Click on any picture below to see a larger version of the photo.









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1 Comments:

  • At 2/16/2008 7:10 AM, Anonymous Kelly said…

    Poor lonely Joe...out there fryn' fish... all by himself...

    Thank you, Christian, for keeping "That Guy" company! :)

     

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The Collapse and Revival of American Community


Faith communities in which people worship together are arguably the single most important repository of social capital in America.
—Robert D. Putnam

I'm reading the book, Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. In it, Harvard professor of Public Policy Robert D. Putnam charts a significant social change of the last third of the 20th century in which Americans changed their behavior patterns in ways that caused us to become more disconnected from one another. We did this without conscious thought about how important those communal bonds were to our health, education, safety and happiness.

At its heart, the book is about the idea of social capital, which refers to the real value to the individual and the society of all “social networks.” It turns out that there is a massive amount of data to suggest that while we are busily running around, our business doesn't have us more involved with others but less. Participation is down across the board from the PTA, to the church, to political parties, from what it was in the 1950s. But the connections formed in these groups held great value for us as a society.

Putnam says that the problem has been looked at individually, so that the Elks Club or the PTA has seen this as an Elks or PTA problem. But the problem is much broader. The issue was put succinctly by Yogi Berra who said, "If you don't go to somebody's funeral, they won't come to yours." He was right. Putnam argues that society depends on general reciprocity, which means that I do nice things for people not in the hope that they will do something nice, but confident that others will do something for me down the road. It's not a tit for tat, you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours, like the Volunteer Fire Department T-shirt slogan advertising a fundraising breakfast with the words, "Come to our breakfast, we'll come to your fire." It's a more Golden Rule, if we all treat each other well, then we will be treated well.

No where does Putnam seem more concerned than with the church where he sees the move in the 1960s and 70s as toward a private faith with no public expression. He writes,
Privitized religion may be morally compelling and psychically fulfilling, but it embodies less social capital. More people are "surfing" from congregation to congregation more frequently, so that while they may still be "religious," they are less committeed to a particular community of believers....

It is not my argument here that privitized religion is morally or theologically frivilous, or that inherited religious traditions are inherently superior.
Putnam is not pushing a theological agenda, but noting an important change in our cultural behavior. The reason this matters is that
Where once we could fall back on our social captial—families, churches, friends—these no longer are strong enough to cushion our fall. In our personal lives as well as in our collective life, the evidence...suggests, we are paying a significant price for a quarter century's disengagement from one another.
I see this in my own ministry that so often I am the one to meet with people in crisis. I am the one to try to help them negotiate a health crisis or a job crisis and so on. This is not only fine, but I enjoy doing it. Yet, many of the people I speak with do not already have a church home and are looking for me (and God) as their source of hope. God backs me up well and I can bring some help and some comfort, but nothing like the ongoing participation in a community of faith. I see others who are better connected who get real help through the connections they have in church and the community at large. I have seen and experienced enough to know that Putnam is on to something.

scratching each other's backsI am still reading and he is no working through the what change occured how, toward a conclusion of what he feels we can and should do about the problem. But for now I share his premise that social capital is as real as money or things and the networks of connections we have with other people are important to our health and happiness. I agree with him. What do you think?

In the archives are the related religion columns Why a Non-Believer May Want a Church and the more theological Get Connected which looks at this from the Doctrine of the Trinity.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

Unless religious impulses find a home in more than the individual heart and soul, they will have few long-lasting public consequences.
—Martin Marty

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6 Comments:

  • At 2/15/2008 9:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I agree! People need to be connected to people whether or not they think that's the case.

    The more we involve others, I believe, the better the outcome. There is a lot of "If I want something done I need to do it myself" mentality in our society which creates isolation.I see many organizations that get individuals to join and then ignore what they have to offer. Reaching out to others and involving them in your visions allows them to feel needed and useful. Pretty soon you will have a community of people working together for a common purpose or goal, and usually, the outcome is better than orginally perceived.

    I say reach out to people, pull them in and take what they have to offer. The more the merrier! Everybody needs to feel like they are useful and have contributed.

     
  • At 2/15/2008 11:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I very much agree!!

    It took me a while to find a church that I felt at home in. I never felt comfortable in any of them. Then I came to KOP and wow!! I found my church home. Yes I desperately needed KOP when I came to it and I still do but it took me reaching out and in turn people reaching back to make me realize what I had been missing.

    Yes I can pray at home and worship from home but I didn't have that involvement with others who feel the way I do. The helping hand and also being able to help. I feel I am giving and not just taking from the lord and it makes me feel got to give. I have made friends who mean the world to me and I to them. I am blessed to have found a church family like KOP even if it did take me so long.

    True reach out and help them in.

     
  • At 2/15/2008 11:23 PM, Blogger November In My Soul said…

    I wonder if at KOP you found The Church?

     
  • At 2/16/2008 9:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    November,
    I' not sure I understand. Of course, King of Peace is not simply a church, but together with other churches of many denominations it is part of The Church, the larger Body of Christ. Is that what you mean?

     
  • At 2/16/2008 2:41 PM, Blogger anything but typical said…

    I understand what November is asking. And yes, my experience at King of Peace has been one of finding The Church, a group of people living out the Kingdom of God together, and not just a group of people together for social reasons. Although, we do a lot of social things together that help to build the sense of community.

     
  • At 2/16/2008 10:25 PM, Blogger November In My Soul said…

    "And yes, my experience at King of Peace has been one of finding The Church, a group of people living out the Kingdom of God together, and not just a group of people together for social reasons."

    Anything But Typical you are correct in part. By The Church I mean the Ark of Our Salvation, The Church catholic. I guess I was trying to discern if church meant a place where I feel accepted and appreciated or The Church where I celebrate the eucharist, the assembly of persons that allows for the celebration of the Eucharist. Did the writer mean The Church as defined by the Orthodox Church?

    I am not trying to split theological hairs but the Church into which I was chrismated is distinctly different from the Lutheran church which I at one time attended.

     

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2/14/2008

To be grateful

To be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives is easy, but to be grateful for all our lives—the good as well as the bad, the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow, the successes as well as the failures, the rewards as well as the rejections—that requires hard spiritual work. Still, we are only grateful people when we can say thank you to all that has brought us to the present moment.

As long as we keep dividing our lives between events and people we would like to remember and those we would rather forget, we cannot claim the fullness of our beings as a gift of God to be grateful for.
-Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey

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  • At 2/14/2008 3:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Nouwen. He always gets to the heart of our hearts - and souls. I think we often confuse gratitude with happiness. I am grateful for all of my life, but that doesn't mean it has always been, nor will always be, happy. My father taught me that at a very young age.

    Today, at this moment, I am grateful. And, at this moment I am happy.

    Happy Valentine's Day All -
    Maggie

     

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2/13/2008

Life after life after death

Time carries an article in which noted New Testament scholar and Anglican Bishop of Durham N.T. Wright tries to set the record straight on heaven. He says,
Our culture is very interested in life after death, but the New Testament is much more interested in what I've called the life after life after death — in the ultimate resurrection into the new heavens and the new Earth. Jesus' resurrection marks the beginning of a restoration that he will complete upon his return. Part of this will be the resurrection of all the dead, who will "awake," be embodied and participate in the renewal. John Polkinghorne, a physicist and a priest, has put it this way: "God will download our software onto his hardware until the time he gives us new hardware to run the software again for ourselves." That gets to two things nicely: that the period after death is a period when we are in God's presence but not active in our own bodies, and also that the more important transformation will be when we are again embodied and administering Christ's kingdom.
The full article is here: Christians Wrong About Heaven, Says Bishop.

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  • At 2/13/2008 3:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The thought of being "downloaded"...I was hoping to escape technology when my "time" comes!:)

     
  • At 2/14/2008 6:52 AM, Blogger goodfornowt said…

    Am I the only reader who can make no sense of this talk of living after death, and feels that the Church has more important things to do here and now?

     
  • At 2/14/2008 7:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Goodfornow,

    You just may be, for this is the Lenten season where we prepare for Jesus' death and RESURRECTION. Jesus taught about life after death and eternity in the Kingdom with our Father.

     

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2/12/2008

What in the world?

In response to the question: What in the world is The Episcopal Church doing? One reliable answer is providing disaster relief. Episcopal Relief and Development follows in the wake of disasters and works with partners to provide sustained assistance. The most recent example is Tornado-affected areas receive ERD outreach. The relief is in response to the killer tornados that left more than fifty people dead in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee on February 5. It is in this sort of response that denominations shine as disaster response is something we do together as churches that no one church could do alone as I saw first hand working in a combined Lutheran Disaster Relief-Episcopal Relief and Development Reponse in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. That work continues even as support goes to this new tragedy.

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2/11/2008

Making Up Religion


According to an article in USA Today, there are 40-50 new religious movements created in America each year. This boggles my mind. I knew about the top American-made religions of Mormonism, Scientology and Jehovah's Witnesses. But are there really that many others?

The articles main purpose though is to tell of Stephen Prothero's religion class at Boston University, where he has students devise a religion as a way to learn about the main parts of a religious faith. The professor tells of Dessertism, which preaches the stomach as the way to the soul; The Congregation of Wisdom, which honors Jeopardy! phenom Ken Jennings as its patron saint; and Exetazo, which dedicated to sorting out the pluses and minuses of all the other religions so you can find a faith tailored to your own unique personality. The professor writes,
What strikes me most about my students' religions, however, is how similar they are. Almost invariably, they mix fun with faith. (Facebookismianity anyone?) But they do not mix faith with dogma. My students are careful — exceedingly careful — not to tell one another what to believe, or even what to do. Above all, they want to be tolerant and non-judgmental. Most of the religions my students developed were fully compatible with other religions. They made few demands, either intellectually or morally. Repeatedly, their founders stress that you can join their religion without leaving Catholicism or Judaism or Islam behind.
He goes on to note that this is like what theologian H. Richard Niebuhr accused liberal Protestants of in the 1930s, which was preaching "a God without wrath (who) brought men without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross."

This is not surprising as I find that many folks prefer the "cafeteria plan" of faith. Take a little Native American spirituality and throw in a dash of Buddhism and call that your spirituality. The downside is that these personal spiritualities never seem to include the discipline common to any mainstream religion, which is certainly to be found in Christianity (especially in Lent). The end result of the cafeteria plan is a hollow faith that can't get one through the tough times in life. Amusing in a dorm room conversation, but pointless in an emergency room or in the oncologists office.

The professor ends by challenging religious leaders to be in dialogue with the spiritual, but not religious younger generation and to adapt in ways to not leave them by the wayside. The full text of his article is here: Is religion losing the millennial generation?

I am very sympathetic to that task, but trust that the end result will still need to be some form of discipline in which it makes a difference that you are a Christian and you make a difference because you are a Christian. The end result can not be to simply baptize the way we already want to act and call that Christianity. Right? If not, you can always try Pastafarianism and the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

2 Comments:

  • At 2/11/2008 8:12 AM, Anonymous kenny said…

    Keep your noodly appendages to yourself!!

    To misquote, "I don't have a problem with science. What I have a problem with is science posing as religion. If there is (was) a Sagan and he's intelligent, then I would guess he has a sense of humor."

     
  • At 2/12/2008 1:10 AM, Anonymous denise said…

    I always knew you were a true believer and follower in the FSM.

     

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2/10/2008

Silence!

We are commanded to stop (literally)... rest, relax, let go, and make time for Him. The scene is one of stillness and quietness, listening and waiting before Him. Such foreign business in these busy times!

Nevertheless, knowing God deeply and intimately requires such discipline. Silence is indispensable if we hope to add depth to our spiritual life.
-Chuck Swindoll

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2/09/2008

Who We Are

How come opportunity knocks only once,
but temptation beats down the door every day?
-anonymous

In this Sunday's Gospel reading Jesus goes out after his baptism by John for forty days of prayer and fasting in the wilderness to prepare for his ministry.

In John Milton's Paradise Regained, the poet retells the story of Christ's temptation. Milton presents the three temptations of the story in the Gospels but with embellishments.
First, the devil approaches Jesus disguised as an elderly shepherd searching for a lost sheep. The shepherd beseeches Jesus to change the stones to bread, not just so that Jesus can feed himself, but also so that Jesus can feed the poverty-stricken people who live in this isolated, rural area. Of course, Jesus recognizes the shepherd's true identity and does not fall for the trick.

Later, Satan tries to convince Jesus that he should obtain glory and also be a king, since God the Father is a powerful king. Jesus explains that the time for his kingdom has not yet come and that the pursuit of glory could lead to downfall, as it did for Satan.

Satan also shows Jesus a vision of Rome and says that Jesus can expel the emperor if Jesus draws from the devil for help. Jesus responds that maybe he should expel the devil, who has made the emperor the way he is in the first place.

Finally, the devil troubles Jesus with disturbing dreams. When Jesus awakens, the devil says that the dreams portend what awaits Jesus if he keeps obeying the Father. Jesus can free himself from it all by throwing himself down from the pinnacle of the Temple, but Jesus does not give in to this temptation, either. Instead, Satan plummets back into hell.
Anna Carter Florence suggests that the text
warns us against “. . . the temptation to have faith in what we do rather than who we are.” The devil tempts Jesus by saying, “If you are the Son of God, then do something.” In times when we are famished, we are quick to forget that we are the baptized, God's beloved, and we start to think we need to prove ourselves. The devil tempts us to think that God's love is conditional instead of unconditional, that we need to earn grace, instead of remembering God's mercy and giving thanks.
Jesus answered the temptation saying:
"One does not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God."
"Do not put the Lord your God to the test." and
"Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him."

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A Life Like Yours

Be such a man, and live such a life,
that if every man were such as you,
and every life a life like yours,
this earth would be God's Paradise.
The Rt. Rev. Phillips Brooks (1835-1893)

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2/08/2008

Diocese of Georgia Convention

The 186th Convention of the Diocese of Georgia completed its main business session today at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Augusta. We passed a budget, approved a change to the church canons (laws) that will permit King of Peace to apply to be a parish next year (instead of in 2011) and elected people to offices, including me as a Deputy to the General Convention of The Episcopal Church which next meets in 2009. The big news, however, was that our Bishop, Henry Louttit, announced his intention to retire on the consecration of a new bishop. He called on the Standing Committee of the Diocese to take on the work of selecting a new bishop. They will name a nominating committee who will create a slate of choices and the people and clergy of the Diocese will select their bishop in an election to take place in less than 18 months. Tomorrow we will ordain three persons to the transitional diaconate (they will be ordained in priests in 6 months or so) including Loren Hague, who served as an intern at King of Peace the July before she went to seminary.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor


The convention met in the gym at The Episcopal Day School.


Bishop Ernest Shalita, retired Bishop of Muhubura, Uganda and current Bishop Missioner for African Team Ministries spoke at the convention and had dinner with the King of Peace delegation.


Fred Richter and the Rev. Cynthia Taylor listen to the debate on the convention floor as insurance issues are considered.


Mary Miller from Trinity, Statesboro follows along with the printed Treasurer's report as it is presented.


The Rev. Jim Shumard of St. Francis, Savannah speaks to the convention and gets a laugh.


King of Peace's delegation with Bishop Shalita, and the Rev. Dann Brown who serves as the chaplain to the University of Georgia.

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  • At 2/12/2008 10:58 AM, Anonymous Maris said…

    Loved seeing the picture of Dr. Fred Richter! He was an English professor of mine at Georgia Southern! He's great!! Maris

     

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