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.

7/31/2008

Be swift to love

Life is short and we never have enough time for gladdening the hearts of those who travel the way with us. Oh, be swift to love! Make haste to be kind.

—Henri-Frederic Amiel, (1821-1881)

Labels:

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

7/30/2008

Our Bishop at Lambeth


Lambeth PrayerI ran across the above photo of a sea of bishops and spouses at the once every ten years gathering of Anglican Bishops around the world known as The Lambeth Conference. You can see them circled in the photo below. There is also a picture with our Bishop in a slideshow of the Bishops lined up for a group photo set to the sounds of them singing Amazing Grace while the photographer lined things up. Bishop Louttit is at the top in the first photo of the show: Bishops in Full Voice. And in the small photo below they are shown at the Millennium Development Goals Walk the bishops made together.

Some say the fate of our centuries old communion rests with this meeting. Perhaps it does. I think the fate of the communion rests with Jesus Christ and the work of God's Holy Spirit. But that's just me. I am holding the Louttits in my prayers.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

Labels: , , ,

2 Comments:

  • At 7/30/2008 9:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Please look at anglicans online this week and notice the links at the bottom to the Lambeth Walk. I find the youtube video of Robert Lindsey very joyful. Also, have your read the letters section this week on Anglicans Online?

     
  • At 7/30/2008 10:22 AM, Anonymous FrSteve said…

    I LOVE it. The Bishop of Georgia at Lambeth wearing a seersucker coat.

     

Post a Comment

<< Home

7/29/2008

Ripple Effect


The shooting at the Unitarian church in Knoxville has been much in the news. It is a church my sister- and brother-in-law once attended and where they knew some in attendance during the shooting. It is also the church pastored by the brother of my fellow Diocese of Georgia priest, Sam Buice. His brother, Chris, was away, not quite back from a sabbatical.

So I have these distant connections to a church I have never attended (and whose theology I don't share) which show how far ripples go out from tragedies. How many people were effected by the shootings at Virginia Tech? How many affected by the double murder a few weeks back here in Camden County? The ripples go out to far distant shores as people reassess their lives in the wake of senseless tragedy and loss.

The ripples sent out by good actions never seem to go as far as those of evil. The Unitarian Church in Knoxville worked on issues homelessness and economic injustice and yet they were targeted as liberals (see the AP article). His evil intent and violent actions have gained far more attention and sent out such overwhelming waves of fear, anger and an inexpressible sorrow at the human condition.

We can stand with this church against the violence by showing love and compassion all the more despite the harm others may do. We trust that the ripples that flow outward from acts of love and kindness also effect others far distant from the initial source. We hope that the good we try to do is stronger than the evil others seek to perpetrate.

We see the violence. We give thanks that the man didn't kill an injure as many as he wanted. And we continue to live the best we can, trusting that the ripples of love and compassion will create a stronger tide to turn back the waves of hatred and fear.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

Labels:

1 Comments:

  • At 7/29/2008 7:44 AM, Anonymous kelly said…

    The ripples sent out by good actions do out weigh those sent out by evil actions. Good actions tend to go unnoticed because of the news media that concentrates more on "bad" news. So, it does look like evil prevails but that is not true.

    I believe there is more good in this world than evil. Love is conquering and will continue to do so; we're just not able to see it most of the time.

     

Post a Comment

<< Home

7/28/2008

Laina Paige Phillips

Laina is baptizedLaina's parents look on during her baptism this past Easter

Today we lay to rest the mortal remains of a dear child of our congregation, Laina Phillips. We will give thanks for her short life at funeral service at King of Peace at 3 p.m. this afternoon. A brief graveside service at Oak Grove Cemetery will follow the church service.

Merciful God, you grant to children an abundant entrance into your kingdom, in your compassion, comfort those who mourn for Laina, and grant us grace to conform our lives to her innocence and faith, that at length, united with her, we may stand in your presence in the fullness of joy; for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen

3 Comments:

  • At 7/30/2008 8:26 AM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    The sermon from Laina's funeral is now online here: An Autobiography Written in Smiles

     
  • At 7/30/2008 10:17 AM, Blogger Laura said…

    I'm glad to have known Laina, if only through the sermon and the photograph. Losing a child is uniquely painful, and I send my condolences to her family and her extended church family.

     
  • At 7/30/2008 7:30 PM, Blogger Wendi said…

    I had the privledge of taking care of Laina when she was in the hospital. She had an unbelievable smile and was the prettiest baby. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayes. As a mother who has buried two daughters I know all too well the pain. But there is joy in faith and knowing that you will one day see your angel again. Smile when you think of her because she was such a special blessing and is smiling down on you now. I never had the chance to meet you Cory but my heart goes out to you as well as Natalie. Nat you are a wonderful Mom and I love you. Love, Wendi RN

     

Post a Comment

<< Home

7/27/2008

Remembering Baptismal Waters


Above, the Bishop of Bradford (UK) David James showers confirmation candidates with water 'as a reminder of their baptism.'

At King of Peace, our baptismal font, when not in use for baptisms, is by the door to this sanctuary and filled with Holy Water so that you can be reminded of the waters of baptism and ask for God’s blessing each time you enter. The German Reformer Martin Luther said that the Christian life should be a daily baptism. For the one with eyes to see, all waters are reminder of the spiritual cleansing God offers. The Methodist scholar Lawrence Stookey is known to shout to students hopping puddles on the way to class in rainstorms, “Remember your baptism, and be thankful!”

As you go out into the rain, let every raindrop be a reminder of the water of baptism where God adopted you as his own child and is always ready to be with you in renewing that commitment.

from a sermon in the archives Baptized Again and Again

Labels:

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

7/26/2008

Life and Action and Response

Why else would he talk about heaven in terms of farmers and fields and women baking bread and merchants buying and selling things and fisherman sorting fish, unless he meant somehow to be telling us that the kingdom of heaven has to do with these things, that our treasure is buried not in some exotic far off place that requires a special map but that “X” marks the spot right here, right now, in all the ordinary people and places and activities in our lives.—Barbara Brown Taylor
In tomorrow's Gospel reading, Jesus tells of the Kingdom of heaven by means of parables. Here are a few of them:
The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed in with three measures of flour until all of it was leavened.

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.
Lindy Black has written of these short takes on the coming kingdom saying,
It seems to me that the Kingdom of God is more of a verb than a noun; the reigning of God, more than the reign. Jesus is not really comparing the kingdom to 5 THINGS, but rather 5 ACTIONS. For example, he doesn't say that the kingdom of heaven is like A PEARL; he says it's like a merchant IN SEARCH OF pearls. It's like a mustard seed... that SOMEONE TOOK AND SOWED, like yeast... that a woman TOOK AND MIXED; like a treasure... that someone FOUND AND HID; like a net... THAT WAS THROWN. It may sound really obvious, but all of these THINGS are useless... unless they are used!

So the Kingdom of God is not some lifeless thing that we can look at and appreciate: it is life and action and response to God's call.

Labels:

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

7/25/2008

Spiritual, but not religious

Being an Episcopal priest makes it difficult for me to convince someone that I am not religious and that I don’t care much for organized religion. Yet, I know I am not alone. There are many other pastors who store little or no faith in religion and who look suspiciously at religious institutions.

This doesn’t make us hypocrites. It means we are trying to be honest. So if you consider yourself spiritual, but not religious, you are far from alone.

Historically, we are in good company with the great reformers of the faith from Francis of Assisi to Martin Luther. They worked within religious structures, but they too were spiritual first, and religious only to the degree it was necessary.

Paradoxically, we find the same attitude in the Bible. The word religion was negative, almost a dirty word. The New Testament Greek word for “religion” is “Thraiskos.” The word came from the Island of Thrace which was known for excessive religious devotion. In other words, the folks on Thrace were seen as fanatics and the word religion means that you are “like the people on Thrace.”
It’s like the way we use the words Barbarians and Vandals, which once referred to nations who would not have seen themselves as bad guys, as words for people who are unruly and destructive for no reason. The word for someone from Thrace came to be used to describe a religious person. It is more like our word religiosity, which means “an excessive devotion to religion.” Perhaps we are not so very different in calling someone “religious” and meaning it negatively.

In contrast to this, the New Testament Book of James states, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” This is “good religion.” It is not excessive religious devotion. It is faith that is lived out as well as merely believed.

A desire to live out the faith that is in me is why I serve within organized religion while not being fully convinced that religious institutions are good. What I have discovered won’t surprise you, but it is important to remember—religious institutions are made up of humans and we humans are quite capable of bad as well as good.

We naturally find pastors and other church leaders who commit sin. In fact we won’t find any who don’t sin in some ways, even if they are working hard to live up to the mark God has set for them. We also find that the religious institutions themselves, as a whole, can do some harm.

I find that the only thing worse for me than organized religion is disorganized religion. When left to my own devices and desires, without the structure to support me, I am less capable of fully living into my faith.

Frank's photo of a redwoodYes, I can go for a hike and commune with God in nature. I find God so fully present out in the wilds that I am never surprised when someone says they like to be with God in that way. My wife, Victoria and I, hiked the whole Appalachian Trail in 1988, living for six months in the woods as we walked from Georgia to Maine. We well know of God’s presence in nature and continue to enjoy being with God in salt marsh and swamp, as well as mountaintop.

Yet Christianity is, by design, a team sport. We need a community of faith around us. We need to worship in company with other worshippers. We need to be challenged by others to take further steps on our spiritual journeys. Without that community of support, we are more likely to take a very long break sitting by the side of the path leading closer toward God.

It could be that this is just a weakness within me and many others. We could connect to God alone, but we aren’t that good at it, so we need the support of others. The truly spiritual don’t need a church.

Spending time at the bedsides of the gravely ill and the dying will quickly disabuse you of that notion. When it comes time to die, or when the fear of death hangs thick in the air, everyone needs someone to hold their hand. God created us for companionship and we need and thrive on that contact with others. As imperfect as they are, churches provide that community.

Beyond this, there is the good we can do together that none of us can accomplish alone. Churches pool the resources of the congregation and are able to provide ministries that individual Christians could not fund. When it comes to giving widows and orphans the support they need, churches and denominations are pretty good at this.

ruins of Reddemer Church in BiloxiIn the wake of Hurricane Katrina, I went down to Biloxi, Mississippi to work in a program of Lutheran-Episcopal Disaster Response. I worked alongside Christians from around the country representing several denominations. As we worked in rebuilding the home of a Sheriff’s Deputy whose insurance payout fell far short of replacement costs, other Christians were working all around the city in efforts put together by their denominations. Organized religion proved that organizations have strengths which individuals lack.

So, here is my justification for spending my days and nights on organized religion. I am first and foremost a sinner, saved by the life-giving sacrifice of Jesus. It is my relationship with God which compels me more and more into relationships with other people. Jesus taught that we are not just to love God. We are to love God with all our hearts and to love our neighbors as ourselves.

In the 500s, a Christian writer named Boethius wrote, “A man content to go to heaven alone will never go to heaven.” That’s not so different from the Book of James saying that the good kind of religion would never leave widows and orphans helpless. Or perhaps it is like Christians all around the country realizing that they can’t sleep peacefully knowing that their brothers and sisters on the Gulf Coast are living in FEMA trailers.

The trick is to take part in organized religion and let it build up your faith and take you further down the path toward God without becoming religious. This isn’t as difficult as you might think, because that same Holy Spirit you feel nudging your heart heavenward while standing in a grove of redwoods is also present in the church around the corner.

Just don’t get so enmeshed in church politics or problems with people in the pews that you loose sight of the Spirit’s presence working in and through that imperfect community of faith. You’ll be able to live more fully into your beliefs with that flawed community than without it.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor
The above is today's religion column for the Tribune & Georgian.

Labels:

4 Comments:

  • At 7/25/2008 8:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Were you raised Episcopalian? Is that why you chose to Pastor in this particular faith?

     
  • At 7/25/2008 8:44 AM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    Anonymous,

    Actually, I was a Methodist for the first 10 years of my life, a Pentecostal for the next ten years (Church of God and Assembly of God) and came to The Episcopal Church 25 years ago. The faith I found there was the Christian faith I had found in the other denominations. That was the same. But the liturgy spoke deeply to me as did the sacraments. I also found that Episcopalians read a LOT of scripture in church and I loved that. It felt like coming home to become an Episcopalian, but it didn't feel like leaving behind everything I had been. It was and is a good fit for me, even though I know that is not true for everyone and I'm great with that. Finding the right fit so that you can more fully live into the faith that is in you is important.

    I was ordained eight years ago, so while having been in other denominations, as a pastor I have only served within The Episcopal Church.

    peace,
    Frank+

     
  • At 7/25/2008 1:53 PM, Anonymous Matthew Ellis said…

    When I first began exploring the Episcopal church, I came upon an essay written by The Rev. George Ann Boyle entitled "Spiritual But Not Religious". Here is an excerpt from that essay, which I think you might enjoy:

    It's not about having answers as much as it is about engaging a story. It is about your story and how your story connects to an ancient story of desert wanderers that, in time, came to see that humanity and this energy they called God mingled and existed through Christ and thus, exists in all of humanity.

    http://www.episcopalchurch.org/visitors_33028_ENG_HTM.htm

     
  • At 7/25/2008 3:58 PM, Blogger November In My Soul said…

    Fr. Frank,

    I know you had a rough afternoon. Our prayers are with you and your family as well as with the family you were with.

    And I enjoyed the conversation.

    WT

     

Post a Comment

<< Home

7/24/2008

Born Out of the Spirit


The birth of the church two thousand years ago was not the result of some marketing strategy. Nor was it an attempt to introduce a new religion into the world. There was not some massive plan with a seven-step or five-point strategic vision to achieve certain programmatic objectives. There was no goal of building an institution that would vaunt some hierarchical structure and exercise power in the world.

The church was born out of the Spirit of God. Its purpose was to witness to the saving activity of God, not as proffering a deal, cause, or spiritual assistance but to be a transparent sign in which and through which Jesus is encountered, experienced, known, and lives. The church's relationship to Jesus is not simply to be identified with a historical person. The church's identification with Jesus is its DNA. Jesus not only gives the church its DNA. Jesus is the church's DNA. Jesus abides or lives in the church (John 15:4 and others). Thus, Jesus can speak about his being "the vine" and the church being "the branches" (John 15:5). Vine and branch are of the same DNA, The church as the Body of Christ is more than just a metaphor. It is reality.
—The Rev. Rick Barger, from A New and Right Spirit

Labels:

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

7/23/2008

The Spirituality of Sweet Tea

Brazilian Luiz Coelho, who is a seminarian back home and has studied at Savannah College of Art and Design's Atlanta campus, writes of Tea and theology:

From “dinners on the grounds” to Shrove Tuesday pancake suppers, food, community and conversations have always been part of our Church life. The rich noise of children running around the parish hall and vivid conversations between parishioners of different sorts still can be heard in many of our Churches across the world. In many places, however, this community life centered around food and conversation is dying, often substituted by an innovative “consumer Gospel”, which produces short term growth, but in the long run has increasingly contributed to empty houses of worship.

art by Luiz CoelhoSadly, I do not belong to the slow sweet tea generation. Raised in a middle class apartment, I did not have the possibility of playing with neighbors on the street and hearing my mother's call to come inside for dinner. To be true, I barely knew my neighbors' names. Only in the Summer, when I would spend some free time at my grandparents' cottage, did I have the opportunity to enjoy the slow life of the good old times”: playing with their pet (a dog named Perigoso - “Dangerous” in English – who was anything but dangerous), helping my grandfather harvest fresh vegetables, playing with the neighbors' kids, jumping in trees and getting dirty. And, at the end of the afternoon, we would always drink refreshments and chat for a while in front of their house. The neighbors were always invited to join the conversation, after all, everybody was part of a “big family”.

That's how Churches are supposed to be: a big family. However, the “community” aspect of church life is emphasized in our “modern” world less and less. Many search committees now expect priests to be much more like business administrators who are able to celebrate a quick liturgy rather than spiritual leaders called by God to announce the Good News of Jesus Christ. Furthermore, with a schedule filled with committee meetings, there is little time for visiting the sick, talking on the phone with parishioners or even enjoying a cup of coffee or a glass of sweet tea at the end of the afternoon.

Luiz CoelhoParishioners also have less and less time for Church affairs. Sunday school is rarely heard of in some places. Coffee and refreshments, usually served after the main service of the day, are taken “to go” as people run to their cars, ready to drive to the nearest restaurant. There is little time for weekday activities, including longtime parish programs and traditions, which risk being extinguished within a couple of generations.

It is necessary to reclaim the “spirituality of sweet tea” in our world: the long talks, the hugs, the common meals and warm conversations. Yes, the world has changed, and the Church inevitably has to adapt to a fast-paced society. However, the essence of Christian community life cannot change. Some regard it as early Christians' most impressible aspect and wherever it still persists, the Church is strong and active.

Maybe it is time, then, to use community life as a tool for church growth and evangelism. Younger generations, often so technologically savvy, lack the “people” aspect of daily life. If the Church will provide a warm and welcoming environment, where all are known and cherished by their brothers and sisters in Christ, it surely will be able to reach the unchurched. Our Episcopal/Anglican identity provides a solid and traditional liturgy, complemented with a comprehensive and inclusive theology. When allied with intentional Christian community, which naturally flows from our liturgy centered around the Eucharist, Christ is made truly present among us and a conduit is created that enables people to find wholeness in God in Christ.

The full essay is online at his blog: The Spirituality of Sweet Tea

2 Comments:

  • At 7/23/2008 8:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I always tell my family and friends that I don't know what I would do without my Church family. Being a military family it is even more important to us to have a Church family that is so warm and welcoming! Every week I know I will have hugs and smiles to look forward to and adult conversation :) I love that we all don't rush out the door but take the time to visit after service to see how our church family is doing. I know our family will remember this church as a place filled with love and laughter and people you can count on. We love you all!!
    Amber and the boys :)

     
  • At 7/23/2008 9:29 PM, Anonymous Barney said…

    I love you! You love me! We're a happy family...

     

Post a Comment

<< Home

7/22/2008

Taking miracles where you find them

I left out of the house early this morning to be at Wolfson's Children's Hospital this morning to pray with Laina Philips this morning before her open heart surgery. A very sweet six-month old girl, Laina seemed quite vexed with me this morning. I held her while she made sucking motions and I didn't feed her. I think Laina is convinced that I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed as I couldn't figure out she wanted milk. But I prayed with her and her parents and other family and off she went for what turned out to be a relatively short and successful operation.

This afternoon when Deacon Jay Weldon and I returned, Laina had a new line in her chest where they glued her back together after the surgery. She also had tubes coming out all over, but otherwise seemed to be sleeping peacefully. In between they had cut into her chest, stopped her heart, made a surgical repair then got her young heart going again. It felt miraculous. I know we were surrounded by vast amounts of medical equipment as well as combined years of experience and knowledge that were hard won. But the ease with which they did this seemingly impossible task was humbling.

I give thanks for the skill and care of the whole medical team. I also give thanks to the Great Physician, Jesus Christ, and for the many prayers from Laina's family including her King of Peace Church Family.

This prayer for Doctors and Nurses is on page 460 of the Book of Common Prayer:
Sanctify, O Lord, those whom you have called to the study and practice of the arts of healing, and to the prevention of disease and pain. Strengthen them by your life-giving Spirit, that by their ministries the health of the community may be promoted and your creation glorified; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

2 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

7/21/2008

Gas for going to mass?


Reuter's reports on what people will do for free gas including two churches responding to the high price of fuel. The first is Higher Ground Church is Mesquite Texas whose day care vans were siphoned for gas. Pastor James Green said, "All he had to do was come and ask us and we would have bought him a tank of gas."

Or maybe they should have attended St. Ann's Catholic Church in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts, where the Rev. Edward McDonagh has a drawing for a $50 gasoline card at every weekly mass. The article goes on to say,
The drawings are symbolic gestures and not intended to boost attendance, he said.

"When Jesus was at the wedding feast of Cana, the groom ran out of wine, he produced the wine for them," he said. "In that spirit, we feel that this might be comparable."

Labels:

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

7/20/2008

Look, look on Jesus


Look, look on Jesus,
poor and crucified,
look on this Holy One,
who for your love has died,
and remember as you contemplate the sacred mysteries,
this Jesus whom you gaze upon, loves you most tenderly.

Saint Clare (1194-1253) in a letter to Agnes

Labels: ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

7/19/2008

A Mixed Body

Frank's photo of wheat growing in a roadside ditch in Israel

In tomorrow's Gospel reading Jesus tells his followers that
The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away.
Jesus did not mention just any weed. He actually mentioned Tares, which refers to the "bearded darnel" or lolium temulentum which was a grass that looked like wheat until the ears appeared. In other words, the weeds and the wheat looked alike until you saw their fruit. This fits Jesus' teaching elsewhere that you know someone by the fruit they produce, with good trees producing good fruit and bad trees producing bad fruit. The real downside to the Tares is that the seeds were a poison and so if you wait until the harvest you will have poisoned your field for next year.

So as he always does in his gardening stories, Jesus turns good gardening advice on its head to show us the world as God sees it. As God sees the world, we leave the weeds and wheat together until the end of time. Let the plants grow until they have time to bear their fruit and then be judged not for the company they keep, but for their own actions. Elsewhere Jesus tells of the good fruit of the kingdom as being things like caring for widows and orphans in their distress, visiting those in prison, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and so on. These are not how one earns one's way to heaven, but they are instead the fruit of someone who sees others and their needs the way God sees them and then reaches out in love to make a difference.

Frank's photo of the Ramone Crater in IsraelThe grace in this parable is that humans are not to judge. We are not to try to weed our churches until they are purified bodies with no weeds among the wheat. Instead we are to be patient and wait as God is patient and waits and we are to remain a mixed body of wheat and tares, not knowing which is which and often being wrong if we tried to guess. We trust that this mixed body is what God called us to be.

Though the parable leaves no room for a tare to become wheat, Jesus other teaching does allow for that possibility. And so we hope that the tares will come into a relationship with God which will transform them into wheat between now and the judgment. And so we keep the threshold of the church low, not looking to block certain types of people, but welcoming all into our mixed body where we all work together toward the coming kingdom. We also pray for the parts of ourselves that remain weeds will be dealt with between now and the judgement. We don't expect to find perfect people in any church where we are allowed to worship as none of us is perfect.

A sermon on this passage is in our archives here: Wheat Among the Weeds that tells how Augustine of Hippo used this passage and some similar teachings to deal with some real problems in the church of North Africa in the 300s.

peace,
Frank+
The rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

Labels: ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

7/18/2008

The Power to Tell Others


We closed out our Kids in the Kingdom Week on God's Amazing, Terrific, Incredible, Outstanding, Life-Giving, Wonder-Working Power with a look at how God gives us the power to tell others the Good News of God's love of God. We learned of the story of Pentecost (photo above) and how the Holy Spirit working through us gives us God's Power to do all the great things we hear about during our fun-filled week.

All the photos from the week of fun are online at God's Power photos.

Labels: ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

7/17/2008

The Power to Live Forever


Today in our Kids in the Kingdom Week we explored the Power to Live Forever through talking about Jesus' death and resurrection. We showed how Jesus body would have been wrapped for burial as we told what the women would have expected to find in the tomb on the morning following Jesus' resurrection. Then we showed them the same spot with no wrapped body, but with neatly folded wrappings as we talked about how we can have that same power to live forever through our faith in God.

More photos are online at God's Power photos.


Labels:

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

7/16/2008

The Power to Be Brave


During Kids in the Kingdom Week today, we heard the stories of David defeating Goliath and Peter walking on the water as we learned how God gives us the power to be brave. Thanks to some "non-Newtonian fluid" in the form of a thick soupy mixture of corn starch and water, the kids could experience "walking on water" too.

Below, a full cup of water is held in place with a wet index card. Even when turned upside down, the card held back the water from falling until a light touch on the card. Photos from today are online here: God's Power photos.

Labels:

1 Comments:

  • At 7/16/2008 8:28 PM, Anonymous kelly said…

    I have been a bit worried. The first day, y'all tied the kids up. The second day you blindfolded them. But today, you had them walking on water!!!! KUDOS!... and, Way to Go! :)

     

Post a Comment

<< Home

7/15/2008

The Power to Be Helpful




Our Kids in the Kingdom Week focused today on the power to help others. We learned about how Jesus healed a man of blindness using a mix of spit and mud and we heard the parable of the Good Samaritan and a story about Habitat for Humanity in addition to crafts, songs, games, snack and more.

More photos are online at God's Power photos including a few more photos from yesterday.


Labels:

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

7/14/2008

The Power to Be Thankful


Our Kids in the Kingdom Week got off to a great start today as we began looking at God's amazing, terrific, incredible, outstanding, life-giving, wonder-working power by considering how God gives us the power to be thankful in good times and bad. Photos from today are online here: God's Power photos.

Labels: ,

3 Comments:

  • At 7/14/2008 10:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Max, don't hit your sister!

     
  • At 7/15/2008 8:00 AM, Anonymous kenny said…

    A headstand on that floor... I hope you didn't crack any tiles. ;)

     
  • At 7/15/2008 10:51 AM, Anonymous kelly said…

    Father Frank,

    Is the head standing position useful for getting those creative juices flowing? :) The pictures are great. EVERYBODY looks like they're having a great time! Especially you!

     

Post a Comment

<< Home

7/13/2008

Only the Seeds

Lindy Black relates the following story:
A woman had a challenging dream—that she walked into a new shop in the mall—and to her surprise, found God behind the counter. "What do you sell here?" she asked. "Everything your heart desires," said God. "Everything."

Hardly daring to believe what she was hearing, the woman decided to ask for the best things a human could wish for. "I'll take some peace of mind and love and happiness and wisdom and freedom from fear, " she said. Then as an afterthought, she added, "Not just for me. For everyone on earth."

God smiled. "I think you've got me wrong, my dear," God said, "We don't sell the fruits here. We only sell the seeds."

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

7/12/2008

The impossibly extravagant harvest


In tomorrow's Gospel reading Jesus tells of a man going out to sow seed, some falling on stony ground, some thorny, some on the path and some on good soil.

John J. Pilch has written of how this parable was heard would depend on one's position in society:
In today’s parable, the first question is, who is the sower? In the ancient world, sowing preceded plowing. Still, the manner of sowing described in this parable is sloppy and wasteful. If the sower is a landowner, the peasant audience would despise his waste of precious seed.

If the sower is a tenant farmer or a day laborer, the peasants would sympathize with his careful sowing which ends up wasting seed anyway because conditions are so difficult.

The impossibly extravagant harvest gives a clue to the identity of the sower. On average, one might expect a four- or five-fold return on sowing. Thirty-, sixty-, and a hundredfold boggle the imagination.

If a wasteful landowner realized such a profit, Jesus’ parable is hardly good news to the peasants who made up 95 percent of his audience.

But if the sower were a peasant, then the good news is that the crop will satisfy the landowner, provide seed for next year’s sowing, pay all taxes, and still leave enough for the peasant to feed the family.

Moreover, since it is clearly God and not human effort that produces this humongous harvest, the “something other” or “something more” that the parable intends is now very clear. The scenario describes sowing and farming, but it really points to a loving and provident God who looks after needy peasants.
Knowing that the harvest would be plentiful in that real context allows the hearer to know that the sowing of the Gospel would also result in the harvest desired by the master.

Labels:

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

7/11/2008

What Comes Before



I wanted to write something in support of the Narcotics Anonymous group we have that meets twice weekly at King of Peace as I know how valuable they are to our community. The result was today's religion column for the Tribune & Georgian: Take a Couple of Big Steps.

The article goes a little further afield than addictions though as so often addictions are the end result of patterns of behavior that can be stopped sooner. We look at the addictive reaction, such as illegal drug use, but we don't look enough at what comes before. What was one's state of mind right before that drug use. That sense of loneliness, or boredom, or anxiety, or whatever it was, is the root of the problem. What follows is a way to self medicate for that problem. Binge eating or drinking and other self-destructive acts don't happen in a void. They are the result of not dealing healthily with the issue that comes before those responses.

I pray that the column will help at least one person look at the problems that come before the response and will seek a way to change those patterns of behavior which are destuctive.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

Labels:

2 Comments:

  • At 7/11/2008 1:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I started drinking because it opened me up and I am better able to deal with what is going on. However, it also has a down side I get braver. Sometimes, not a very good outcome.

     
  • At 7/12/2008 10:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    OK, whatever!!

     

Post a Comment

<< Home

7/10/2008

Episcopal Youth Event


Our own Kalyn Dial is at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas for Episcopal Youth Event, the huge every three years gathering of youth from across The Episcopal Church. The group from the Diocese of Georgia is pictured above with Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori and Kalyn is at left below, looking less intense and more grace filled than the others in the photo.

Labels:

1 Comments:

  • At 7/21/2014 5:41 AM, Anonymous Philadelphia wedding venues said…

    Don't second guess the potential these guys have to turn into a magical venue when the lobby at the club closes. I loved every minute of my wedding and I owe it all to them.

     

Post a Comment

<< Home

Heaven Alone

A man content to go to heaven alone
will never go to heaven.

Boethius (480-525)

Labels: ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

7/09/2008

In Every Flower


I see his blood upon the rose
And in the stars the glory of his eyes;
His body gleams amid eternal snows,
His tears fall from the skies.

I see his face in every flower;
The thunder and the singing of the birds
Are but his voice – and carven by his power,
Rocks are his written words.

All pathways by his feet are worn,
His strong heart stirs the ever beating sea,
His crown of thorns is twined in every thorn
His cross is every tree.

—Joseph Mary Plunkett, 1916

photo by Griffin Logue

1 Comments:

  • At 7/09/2008 9:21 AM, Anonymous kelly said…

    Griffin is a young woman of many talents! :) Beautiful photograph!

     

Post a Comment

<< Home

7/08/2008

An ounce of love

Love one another as I have loved you.
—Jesus

If I have all faith so as to remove mountains,
but do not love, I am nothing.
—Saint Paul (I Corinthians 13:2b)

The soul is made of love and must ever strive
to return to love. Therefore, it can never find
rest nor happiness in other things. It must lose
itself in love. By its very nature it must seek
God, who is love....
—Mechthild of Magdenburg (1210-1285)

Let us say that a person knows much
about God and spiritual things,
even to the point of imagining
he or she knows what God is.
Without Love, this person will never be Godlike,
or share in the divinity of God.
—The Way of Jesus, anonymously written around 1350

Beware you be not swallowed up in books!
An ounce of love is worth a pound of knowledge.
—John Wesley (1703-1791)

You could be a holy prophet, get a blessing off it,
Or you could fast for fifty days,
You could shake hands with the devil,
or give your life to God on the level,
But without love you ain't nothing.
—Larry Norman, Righteous Rocker

I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts,
there can be no more hurt, only more love.
—Mother Teresa

I feel the weight of the world on my shoulder
As I'm gettin' older, y'all, people gets colder
Most of us only care about money makin'
Selfishness got us followin' our wrong direction
Wrong information always shown by the media
Negative images is the main criteria
Infecting the young minds faster than bacteria
Kids wanna act like what they see in the cinema
Yo', whatever happened to the values of humanity
Whatever happened to the fairness in equality
Instead of spreading love we're spreading animosity
Lack of understanding, leading lives away from unity
That's the reason why sometimes I'm feelin' under
That's the reason why sometimes I'm feelin' down
There's no wonder why sometimes I'm feelin' under
Gotta keep my faith alive till love is found
Now ask yourself
Where is the love?
—The Black-Eyed Peas, Where Is the Love

Labels:

2 Comments:

  • At 7/08/2008 12:51 PM, Anonymous kenny said…

    For Jay,

    Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love.
    There's nothing you can do that can't be done.
    Nothing you can sing that can't be sung.
    Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game
    It's easy.
    There's nothing you can make that can't be made.
    No one you can save that can't be saved.
    Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be in time
    It's easy.
    All you need is love, all you need is love,
    All you need is love, love, love is all you need.
    Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love.
    All you need is love, all you need is love,
    All you need is love, love, love is all you need.
    There's nothing you can know that isn't known.
    Nothing you can see that isn't shown.
    Nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be.
    It's easy.
    All you need is love, all you need is love,
    All you need is love, love, love is all you need.
    All you need is love (all together now)
    All you need is love (everybody)
    All you need is love, love, love is all you need.

    - The Beatles, All You Need is Love

     
  • At 7/08/2008 8:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm living on the love he left me
    And he gave me so much love in such a little time
    And that kind of love is hard to find
    One day we'll meet again in that sweet by-and-by
    But til we're back together
    I'm living on the love he left behind

     

Post a Comment

<< Home

7/07/2008

The God You Don't Believe In

The Rev. Brian McLaren offers an interesting take on atheists he has known over at the On Faith forum:
"According to a new Pew survey, 21% of American atheists believe in God or a universal spirit, 12% believe in heaven and 10% pray at least once a week. What do you make of this?"

I love this question and the reality to which it points, namely, that people are complex and perpetually surprising. What the finding about atheists suggests to me is something that I came across many times in my work as a pastor: when people call themselves atheists, they often mean not that they don't believe in any god at all as the term would indicate, but they don't believe in a particular version or description of God.

I think of a fellow who attended my church for several months and then told me how much he enjoyed my sermons. "I agree with everything you teach," he said, which surprised me since I was pretty sure my wife wouldn't say that! Then he quickly added, "Except for one thing ... I don't believe in God."

A small detail apparently? I asked him to tell me more about that, and he replied, "It's my sister. She has always been annoying, but a few years ago she became a fundamentalist Christian, and now she's completely unbearable. She constantly causes family fights and seems determined to make everybody she meets feel guilty."

I replied, "So you're afraid if you believe in God, you'll become a pain in the neck like your sister."

He replied, "Yes. That's it exactly."

I took a risk: "Do you think I'm a pain in the neck, since I obviously believe in God?"

"Oh, not at all," he replied. "You and the people at the church are wonderful."

"So, if you could find a way to believe in God the way some of us do, and not the way your sister does, maybe it would be OK?"

"Wow, that really helps me," he said. A few months later, he did come to a deep faith in God, which continues to grow today. A lot of pastors have learned from similar experiences to ask people, when they say they are atheists, "Tell me about the God you don't believe in." More often than not, we can say, "I don't believe in that kind of God either. I can't blame you for being an atheist if that's the understanding of God that you're rejecting."

Of course, many people are more "orthodox" atheists of the naturalistic sort, refusing to believe in anything beyond physics and mathematics. But according to the Pew data, there are a significant number out there who at first seem to be simply illogical by claiming both atheism and belief in some sort of deity ... but with further conversation, it turns out they have an interesting spiritual story full of unresolved tensions, and that story isn't finished yet. Which is true of us all.
Other respones are here: What atheists believe.

Labels:

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

7/06/2008

More Like Thee

Lord of the loving heart, may mine be loving too,
Lord of the gentle hands, may mine be gentle too.
Lord of the willing feet, may mine be willing too,
So may I grow more like thee
In all I say and do.

—author unknown

Labels:

1 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

7/05/2008

My Yoke Is Easy


In tomorrow's Gospel reading Jesus concludes some sayings with,
Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
A yoke is what oxen wore to pull the plow together in a field. Yoke's are for work and service. Yet, with a yoke one is tied to another who pulls too. Jesus says "take my yoke upon you." We do not go it alone, Jesus is yoked with us, pulling with us. This is what makes it easy and light and in this we find ourselves refreshed.

Labels:

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

7/04/2008

The torch of freedom

bumper stickers King of Peace gave away after September 11
from the Book of Common Prayer:

Lord God Almighty, in whose Name the founders of this country won liberty for themselves and for us, and lit the torch of freedom for nations then unborn: Grant that we and all the people of this land may have grace to maintain our liberties in righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

7/03/2008

Ordination Photos


Jay Weldon's ordination service last night was a wonderful liturgy with incredible support from Carol on the piano, Debbie singing the litany and the whole ensemble who sang beautifully. The service was very well attended as everyone joined together in prayer for God to bestow the ministry of the deacon on Jay. We are thankful to Bishop Louttit and his wife Jan for their ongoing support of our congregation and to all who came out for the worship service.

We have a lot more photos in quick-loading thumbnails clinked to larger versions of each photo here: Ordination Photos.


Labels: ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home

7/02/2008

Make Him a Deacon

Tonight at 6:15 p.m. Bishop Henry Louttit will be at King of Peace. God willing and the people consenting, he will ordain Jay Weldon as a deacon. Like all those who seek to become a priest, Jay is expected to serve as a deacon for a period of no less than six months and typically a little longer.

Deacons have a servant ministry of caring for the poor. To help Jay live into this role, and not just in name only, he has taken over King of Peace's benevolence ministry for the remaining six weeks of his time at King of Peace. As such, he is in daily contact with people in Camden County who are in need. He is providing some direct assistance from King of Peace and guidance as to where other assistance may be found.

The service tonight makes plain the role of the deacon. At the crucial point of laying on hands for ordination, the Bishop will pray,
Father, through Jesus Christ your Son, give your Holy Spirit to Jay; fill him with grace and power, and make him a deacon in your Church.

The Bishop continues
Make him, O Lord, modest and humble, strong and constant, to observe the discipline of Christ. Let his life and teaching so reflect your commandments, that through him many may come to know you and love you. As your Son came not to be served but to serve, may this deacon share in Christ’s service, and come to the unending glory of him who, with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.

The People in a loud voice respond Amen.
Come tonight to add your prayers to those of the congregation and our Bishop as God makes Jay a deacon in Christ's one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church.

Labels:

3 Comments:

  • At 7/03/2008 8:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Is Jay leaving King of Peace??

     
  • At 7/04/2008 8:44 AM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    Jay arrived here justover a year ago with a plan that he would leave about now. He came to get involved with and work in an Episcopal Church while the congregation and the Diocese of Georgia discerned with him whether he was called to ordained ministry in The Episcopal Church. Were that to happen, he would then go for a further year of studies (he has a Masters in Divinity now) at an Episcopal Seminary. He received the necessary approvals and will leave in mid August for a year at General Seminary, the oldest of the 11 Episcopal seminaries. He will study for a Masters in Sacred Theology and at some time more than six months from now, he will be ordained as a priest. On graduation he return to the Diocese of Georgia to work in a church.

    So, all of that is to say, yes Jay is leaving as was planned when he arrived. We'll miss him. We'll miss Alison. I am glad they came to live and minister among us and with us.

    peace,
    Frank+
    The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

     
  • At 7/04/2008 7:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thank you, I now understand. Jay and Alison came to King of Peace just before my children and me. We will miss them but we are so very proud of Jay and also of Alison.

     

Post a Comment

<< Home

7/01/2008

Youth Group Pool Party Photos


On Sunday, the youth met went to the Schwaller's home for a pool party. The rain held long enough and a good time was had by all. As shown in an earlier post some of the group then went to back the church for a little acolyte training/practice to make for a full day. Thanks to the Schwallers for hosting the group and taking these photos!





Labels: ,

1 Comments:

  • At 7/01/2008 9:13 AM, Anonymous kelly said…

    It is very interesting that when kids from King of Peace get together in a pool, one of them seems to walk on water! (top picture) I believe Miriam walked on water last summer. :)

    Special kids from King of Peace!

     

Post a Comment

<< Home