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.

8/31/2008

Hope, anger and courage


Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.
Augustine of Hippo (354-430)

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8/30/2008

Mistaken Identity

In tomorrow's Gospel reading Matthew says that
Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.
The Apostle Peter is horrified to hear Jesus talk like this. He says, "God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you."

Jesus is trying to teach his disciples in the clearest of terms about what is going to happen, but they can't hear it. They can't see who Jesus is and what he must do, because they still see him not as the Messiah he must be, but the Messiah as they want him to be. It is a case of mistaken identity.

Many seem to want Jesus to be a priest and king in the sense of King David, who will lead them to overthrow the Roman's and to purify Judaism. Jesus is instead the Son of God come to set all humans free from their bondage to sin and to connect them to a new life lived more fully in a relationship with God.

How do we mistake Jesus' identity and mission still? In what ways do we miss who Jesus is because of who we want him to be? For some of us, this comes in seeing Him as a divine vending machine dispensing the miracles we want as we want them. For others it comes in a savior so non-judgmental that we can live as we will and just call it Holy. Or for others, He is a big meany Hell-bent on seeing us burn for our sins. With these false images of who Jesus is and how he wants to be involved in our lives, we can still fall into the trap of mistaken identity.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

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8/29/2008

A Good Shepherd

Victoria and I are heading back to Camden County today from Augusta. We drove up yesterday afternoon to be present for the ordination of Loren Hague to the priesthood. Loren served as an intern at King of Peace before seminary and in that one month really became a part of the life of the church (here's a sermon of hers for us Fast Food Theology). Now three years later, I was honored to preach at her ordination service. In the sermon I said in part,
It’s a perfect fit to be here at the Church of the Good Shepherd, with the Gospel reading in which Jesus refers to himself as The Good Shepherd, while gathered to ordain Loren Hague to the ministry of shepherd, or pastor, in Christ’s one holy catholic and apostolic church. We have plenty of shepherding images to go around this evening.

Loren at King of PeaceYet when Jesus called himself The Good Shepherd, he did so at a time when shepherds were not considered good. Shepherds were held in such low esteem that a shepherd was not allowed to testify in court in the Israel of Jesus’ day. Distrust of shepherds came at least in part as shepherds spent most of their time away from the owner of the sheep. The owner who had no idea how many lambs wear born that year. So shepherds would sell off a sheep or two at bargain prices to make a little extra money for the herding duties. Shepherds were assumed by many to be liars and no better than thieves.

Calling yourself, The Good Shepherd was a little jarring to the ears. “Good Shepherd” being an oxymoron on par with “military intelligence,” “legal ethics,” “Microsoft Works,” or “entertaining sermon.”
I went on to explain how Loren is neither a hired hand nor The Good Shepherd and to explain what it means to be a priest. The full text of the sermon is online here: A Good Shepherd.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

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  • At 8/30/2008 11:32 AM, Blogger Loren said…

    It was so wonderful to have y'all here!! THANK YOU to the King of Peace family for being such a big part of my formation!!

     

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8/28/2008

A place for divine love

Show me your hands.
Do they have scars from giving?

Show me your feet.
Are they wounded in service?

Show me your heart.
Have you left a place for divine love?
Fulton Sheen (1885-1979)

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8/27/2008

Even if every Christian fails



Australian pastor Michael Guglielmucci told worshippers, friends and his own family that he was sick. It turns out he was telling the truth. But what he tikd them was a lie. He said that he had cancer. He even performed his hit Christian song Healer while wearing an oxygen tube. He now says the problem was porn adiction and that everything else was a ruse to hide his real problem. An article in Australia's Herald Sun reported,
DISGRACED pastor Michael Guglielmucci has finally told of fabricating a terminal cancer battle to hide his 16-year obsession with pornography.

"This is who I am ... I'm addicted to the stuff, it consumes my mind,'' he said of pornography in his first interview on Today Tonight since the story was first revealed on AdelaideNow last week.

"... I'm sick and this is why I had to come up some sort of explanation of what was happening in my body.''

Pastor Michael GuglielmucciThe shame of his addiction manifested itself physically, resulting in him losing his hair and purging his body.

"I don't know how you can fake vomiting all over yourself night after night after night, I'm not that good an actor,'' he said.

To conceal the two-year cancer lie which he hid from his wife and family, he sent phoney emails to his loved ones from non-existent medical practitioners.

"I've been living a lie for a long time,'' he said.

"I've been hiding who I am for so long. "I can honestly say to you that the last two years have been hell for me physically, emotionally, but I never sat down and said ... let's try and fool the world.''
I don't care to cast stones. He made his claims. He's been forced to tell the truth and will now live with the consequences.

The video above is an angry one with text over the screen as the pastor introduces his hit song with words from Isaiah's propehcy about Jesus. Here's the thing...even though Pastor Guglielmucci lied about cancer, it doesn't make Isaiah words a lie or Jesus' life, ministry, death and resurrection a lie. We Christians will let one another down. We will fall short of the glory of God. Yet, even if every Christian fails to follow Christ fully, it merely means we fall short, not Jesus.

The yoth pastor is reaping what he sowed. I will not add the sin of judging to his sins of lying and others. I pray that he will be healed—really truly healed in body, mind and spirit. I also pray that those hit hardest by his lies will also find healing and forgiveness.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

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3 Comments:

  • At 8/27/2008 6:52 AM, Anonymous kelly said…

    In reality, the pastor has a devastating sickness/addiction that is just as bad as alcohol and drug abuse. It consumed him, and when he lied, he was under the influence of his addiction/satan and at his weakest point. Like every addict, he had to hit rock bottom before he could finally face the truth.



    He did eventually face the truth about his addiction and confessed his sins. I forgive him. It appears that he suffered great physical and emotional turmoil during this ordeal.Now the pastor, his family, and everybody he lied to are at the point where healing can begin-- with forgiveness.

     
  • At 8/27/2008 10:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I'm not so sure I completely agree with Kelly's comment. It did consume him and when he lied he lied with full knowledge of his actions. This addiction may be a disease but he made these decisions/choices willingly.

    His addiction is not the same thing as Satan. To blame it on Satan goes too far plus Satan didn't need his help he was doing a good job on his own of disgracing himself and his so called convictions. To hold him in anything short of full accountability does him a terrible diservice.

    Imagine for a second just how far he went to cover his tracks. An oxygen tube? Using God's word to continue his lie. Maybe some jail time would be appropriate.

     
  • At 8/27/2008 11:29 AM, Anonymous kelly said…

    Satan does take advantage at our weakest moments,especially when there is addiction. Most addicts do make poor choices and decisions. Look how far an addict will go to lie, steal and cheat to cover and support the addiction.

    There are people who are not addicted to anything that lie, steal and cheat too. All sinners make the choice to sin willingly.

    Its all sinning. But, the difference is in the sinner who is willing to finally admit to his sins and change for the better.

    I'm not saying that justice shouldn't be served. It should. So should forgiveness be served in order to facilitate the healing in all who were hurt by the pastor and his sins.

     

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8/26/2008

You've Been Left Behind LLC

A Massachusetts company wants to sell you post-rapture bandwidth to take care of family and friends. You've Been Left Behind LLC will, for $40 a year, offer you 250-Megabytes to store emails of info for up to 62 email addresses. How will they know when to send the data? Their website say,
We have set up a system to send documents by the email, to the addresses you provide, 6 days after the "Rapture" of the Church. This occurs when 3 of our 5 team members scattered around the U.S fail to log in over a 3 day period. Another 3 days are given to fail safe any false triggering of the system.
The Better Business Bureau notes that the company is legitimate, but "As with any such offer, it is always best to protect such sensitive information and think hard on which entities you wish to have such personal information."

The company says it wants to help you contact loved ones with financial information after you vacate the planet and that they hope this will lead to your loved ones coming to faith in Jesus Christ. I'll take it at face value that the folks' hearts are in the right place. With all that said, it seems still to be the bizarre business plan to profit off end times theology. Further, a business plan in which they obviously discussed the fail safe of what percentage of people they could count on. They couldn't be sure that they knew God's will 100% and so they went for best three out of five as a plan. I like the humility in the plan, but I can all too easily imagine the meeting where they realize they can't be sure that everyone of them is really Christian and so build in the 3/5s rule.

This is perhaps the worst example I have seen of where rapture theology can lead and its why I have preached about this before The Problem with the Rapture.

Jesus said that the Kingdom of God has come near. We need to focus on the here and now and trust God to handle the life of the world to come. I'm not knocking people whose theology I don't agree. I just won't be dropping $40 a year into helping their marketing plan pay off.

That's my take. What do you think?

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

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  • At 8/26/2008 6:35 AM, Anonymous kelly said…

    Big LOL!!!!!!!!!!!

    Sorry, but its just too early for me to take something like this seriously.

    The person who buys into this is assuming they will be included in the rapture and their loved ones will not. Or, if the entire group of friends and loved ones are included in the rapture, then this company has all the financial information "LEFT BEHIND."

    You are much nicer than I am Father Frank. This is just too ridiculous for me! :)

     
  • At 8/26/2008 8:04 AM, Anonymous kenny said…

    I'm guessing they want cash up front...

     

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8/25/2008

The thankful heart


The unthankful heart... discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!
Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887)

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8/24/2008

Compassion

Compassion is sometimes the fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else's skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.
Frederick Buechner (1926- )

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8/23/2008

We Are Named

In tomorrow's Gospel reading, Jesus asks his disciples who others say that he is and then he asks them directly, "Who do you say that I am?" Peter replies, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." Jesus then gives Simon, the name Peter, for Petros or "Rock."

The Rev. James Ligget has written of this passage saying,
So, in spite of movies to the contrary, Peter really was Rocky I, the first person to have that name. Remember that names and naming were very important in the Hebrew mind—a name was the summary of the existence of the thing named. To change a person’s name—as God changed Abram’s name to Abraham, and Jacob’s name to Israel—was to alter fundamentally that person’s identity, relationships, and mission. To give a person his or her name was, in some way, to shape their destiny.

The Apostle PeterIt still works that way: to confess Jesus as the Christ is to be changed, it is to be given, by him, a new name—it is to be given identity and mission in relationship to Jesus. That was acted out visibly with Peter—it continues to be true among us. The service of Baptism in our Prayer Book is probably the finest such service the church has used for 1,500 years. But there is one part of the old service, the service in the 1928 Prayer Book, that seems even more appropriate. That was where, immediately before the Baptism itself, the sponsors were asked to “name this child.” (Remember that? [BCP, 1928, p. 279]) This made great and wonderful good sense. When it comes to our true identity, the name of every Christian, like Peter’s name, is given in Baptism as a response to the gift of faith. That’s why our first name is also called our “Christian name.”

And part of our name, part of the identity we receive from the Lord, is the same as Peter’s. He is Rocky I, the first rock of the edifice the Lord (not Peter, but the Lord) is building. That structure is the church. Peter is the first stone of a building, the first called for the new Israel, the first named for a great task. Upon him and the other Apostles, upon their faith and upon their person, Christ builds his church. And so the Lord continues to build it. We are, in this respect, like movie sequels. You are Rocky 5 billion, or whatever—same director, same plot, larger cast. We continue to be called to be who Peter was called to be. Through us, and by us, Christ continues to build his church. Through us, Christ continues to be present to his world.
The fulltext of his sermon is online here: We Are Named

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8/22/2008

A Challenge

hugging in churchPJ Jordan came into my office at the church on Tuesday with a challenge to consider how we might encourage people to use the connections we already have with other people to make the world a better place. For PJ, this almost always takes the form of a smile, a kind word and letting someone else go first in line. But she also tries to hug two or three strangers a day, first asking if the person minds a hug.

So my first answer was that PJ and I sat down and crafted today's religion column for the Tribune & Georgian which shares this idea and challenges others to take up random acts of kindness as an ongoing practice. The article is online here: Random Acts of Kindness.

After my meeting with PJ, I went to the post office and let the person in line behind me go first. He smiled and I felt great. Now it's your turn...

peace,
Frank+


A previous YouTube video of the year on free hugs.


The youth at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Brunswick are also online offering free hugs on video.

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  • At 8/22/2008 8:14 AM, Anonymous Kelly said…

    Another Challenge: Accepting those random acts of love from others! I must admit, a lot of the time I feel guilty when somebody wants to do something kind for me. I think,"No, I should be the one doing this for you. My life is fine. I don't deserve this."

    Well, maybe I don't deserve it. But, the other person deserves their chance to do Jesus' work too. Its a challenge for me to remember that.

    Are there any takers who need to perform some random acts of kindness in my yard? I don't see grass anymore--only live oak debris. JUST KIDDING!!!! REALLY!!!

    Seriously, Fay has provided us with many opportunities for those acts today! :)Hope y'all fared well through the storm!!!

     

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8/21/2008

Love that overflows


We should seek to become reservoirs rather than canals. For a canal just allows the water to flow through it, but a reservoir waits until it is filled before overflowing, then it can communicate without loss to itself. In the church today, we have many canals but few reservoirs.
Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153)

Joe Cook photo
If we attempt to act and do things for others or for the world, without deepening our own self-understanding, our own freedom, integrity and capacity to love, we will not have anything to give to others. We will communicate nothing but the contagion of our own obsessions, our aggressiveness, our own ego-centred ambitions…
Thomas Merton (1915-1968)

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8/20/2008

Blessed with discomfort, anger, and tears

May God bless you with discomfort
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships,
So that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger
At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,
So that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace.

May God bless you with tears
To shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war,
So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them
And turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness,
To believe that you can make a difference in this world,
So that you can do what others claim cannot be done.
Amen.


—a Franciscan Blessing

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  • At 8/20/2008 5:23 AM, Anonymous Rhonda said…

    May we all be so blessed

    Thank you!

     
  • At 8/20/2008 4:01 PM, Blogger Mike said…

    One of my favorite blessings.

    OK ... here's why I'm really commenting.

    On Sept. 25, Episcopalians and others around the world will be participating in World MDG Blogging Day to raise awareness about the MDGs while world leaders are meeting in New York to chart their progress.

    I'd love it if you'd consider taking part. We've got more than 100 blogs signed up already ... and that's just after one day!

    You can find out more at www.mdgbloggingday.org or on Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/mdgblogday.

    Feel free to contact me if you have any questions (mkinman@gmail.com)

    Thanks for considering this and God bless you.

    Christ's peace,

    Mike+
    Mike Kinman
    Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation (www.e4gr.org)

     
  • At 8/20/2008 5:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What are MDGs????????

     
  • At 8/20/2008 9:59 PM, Anonymous Rhonda said…

    Millennium Development Goals

    8 goals agreed to by the world's nations in 2000 that represent the largest concerted effort ever to end extreme poverty

    This is a good site to get some info.

    http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/

     

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8/19/2008

Olympic-sized strength and courage

Moses in the Olympics
Jean Fitzpatrick wrote an essay for Episcopal Cafe in which she muses on lessons from the Olympics:
What can we learn from the Olympics? Like their predecessors on Mount Olympus, the athletes offer us a larger-than-life narrative that reflects our own struggles. There's are the inspiring stories: Michael Phelps winning his 14th Olympic gold medal, breaking one world record after another. Not bad for a young man with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The women basketball players from Mali, marching in flowing white robes in the opening ceremonies. Yes, they lost to New Zealand hours later, but—coming as they do from a country where women are subject to genital cutting, poor access to education, and domestic violence—their presence alone is amazing.

And then there are those who try too hard: the supposedly teenage tiny Chinese gymnasts who, as the famed former coach Bela Karolyi put it, "look like they are seven and may be still in diapers." Gary Russel Jr., the 20-year-old bantamweight boxer from Maryland, who collapsed in an effort to weigh in at 119 pounds. And all those cyclists on steroids.

So much focus on striving to win always leaves me uneasy. If the last shall be first, I find myself wondering, how do you defend years of training to go for the gold? Most of us know what it means to want to be the best at school or in the office, or to get our way in relationships. These yearnings don't generally bring out our most loving or generous selves. And yet there's something in us that wants to grow, to discover the limits of our talents and sensibilities. How do we tell whether our desires are greedy or life-giving?

In the church we aren't always as helpful as we might be. Often I wonder why the most "spiritual" people—especially women—who come seeking my help have the worst lives. I don't mean that they are the poorest in material terms. Instead, often they seem to believe that being a good Christian means losing in life, especially in relationships. They don't voice their needs and wants. They don't speak their truth.

If I suggest that it's time to focus on themselves, I see them wince. "That sounds...proud," they say. Or "That's not very Christian."

"'Jesus said, 'Love thy neighbor as thyself,' I often tell them. 'You're forgetting about the self part."

When we try to manipulate or muscle others out of our way in order to have power over them, then we're like Olympic athletes on steroids. But reaching out to others in love isn't for anyone who's afraid to dive right in and try their best. It demands the strength and courage and passion to struggle, to stick with a situation and seek understanding, and to speak up for justice and truth. As Ram Dass famously put it, "We must first be a somebody before we are ready to be a nobody." I'm thinking of that as getting in touch with your inner Olympian.

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  • At 8/20/2008 9:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh my, I wish I saw myself as a lioness.

    But then I would have to have faith in myself first.

     

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8/18/2008

Frank is baptized


Daudi and Olivia Ndahana have arrived back in America for Daudi's second and final year of his study for a Master's Degree at Nashotah House Seminary. They were at St. Paul's Church in Brookfield, CT yesterday (a major sponsor of his studies) for their son Frank's baptism. We look forward to having the three of them with us at Christmas.



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  • At 8/18/2008 5:22 PM, Anonymous Kelly said…

    Baby Frank is sooooo precious!!! I love the way he's holding on to the pastor's ear in the first picture!

    Are the other children back in Tanzania? Will they be able to visit for Christmas too?

     
  • At 8/19/2008 6:43 AM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    Prisca, Felista and Jonathan are at boarding schools where they will be for this whole school year. They will not be able to visit the United States at all during their parents' stay here.

    It will be tough for all of them and is part of the sacrifice they are all making for the good of their church which needs Daudi to further his education.

     
  • At 8/19/2008 7:19 AM, Anonymous kelly said…

    What a strong and faithful family! If only they could bottle that strenght and faith for people like me!!! :)

     

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The holy, infallible church

I believe in the holy, infallible church, of which I regret to say at present I am the only member.
—attributed to
Archbishop of Canterbury William Temple (1881-1944)

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8/17/2008

Eucharistia



This just in from the Things-That-Make-You-Go-Hmmm Department...Father Matthew has an interesting recent video on Eucharist.

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  • At 8/20/2008 11:41 AM, Blogger All Saints Episcopal Church said…

    OK, am I weird if I say this makes complete and total sense to me?

    (Maybe because daily reading of the Washington Post was part of my spiritual discipline for years ...)

    Kit

     

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8/16/2008

The Olive Branch




The latest issue of our newsletter, The Olive Branch, is now online here: August 2008.

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How Prayer Changes Things

In tomorrow's Gospel reading, Jesus encounters a Canaanite woman who wants him to heal her daughter. In the curious exchange that follows, Jesus first refuses and then the woman seems to cause Jesus to change his mind. I preached a first person sermon (from the perspective of Saint Peter) on this a few years ago called Food for the Dogs which began:

I knew that woman was going to be trouble the moment I laid eyes on her. She was not one of us that was for sure. Her clothes, her jewelry, everything about that woman was Canaanite. As soon as we saw her, all of us disciples worked to keep ourselves between her and Jesus. Making sure her type doesn’t get too close is part of what a good disciple does for their Rabbi.

Not that I was surprised to see a Canaanite. We were walking near the border of Israel. In that area we often saw pagans in the towns and on the road. But good Jews knew to steer clear of people like that. And the Canaanites left us alone for the most part. They didn’t care for us and we certainly didn’t care for them. Canaanite’s were lower than Samaritans. That’s why we all called them dogs. Dogs. Wretched little dogs nipping at your heals.

Don’t look so shocked. You just don’t understand the bad blood between us Jews and those people. After all Canaanites were the remnants of the evil tribes who had lived in our land before Moses brought our ancestors out of Egypt. Canaanites were the nasty idol worshipping scum Joshua conquered as we took possessions of the Promised Land. Those people were depraved. You don’t know what sick practices they found normal. Canaanites sacrificed their own children to their idols! I don’t know the half of what those people did in their rituals myself and it still makes me sick.

The Canaanites were the ancient enemy who now lived on the borders of our land. The disgust I felt on seeing a Canaanite was mixed with a bit of fear, an ancient apprehension. A Canaanite always got the hair on my neck standing on end. Even the women, but especially that woman.

You always knew that Canaanites had no idea about how a decent person was to behave, but this woman was unbelievable. As soon as she saw Jesus through the pack of us disciples trying to keep her at bay, the Canaanite started calling out to him. Yelling like an idiot. What did that cur think she was doing? A woman talking to a Rabbi was strange enough, but we knew Jesus didn’t bother with that tradition. He always spoke with women as well as men. But this woman was bellowing through the crowd, yelling the strangest thing.

“Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David!”
“Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David!”

She had her words so perfectly right when she was so completely wrong. It’s like hearing a precocious child explaining some complicated bit of learning. The words are all right, but you can’t quite believe the one saying them has any idea what they just said.

To finish reading the sermon, follow this link: Food for the Dogs.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

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  • At 8/17/2008 6:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Today's sermon was so very difficult to hear.

    I'm sorry!

     
  • At 8/18/2008 8:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I enjoy reading your sermons. When will yesterday's be online?

     
  • At 8/18/2008 10:11 AM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    It won't be online. I try to balance writing sermons out with giving some without a printed text. I will write them out for months at a time and then take a few weeks to give them without notes, to make sure I don't stay too text-bound in terms of the written words of my sermon. It's a way to keep myself fresh. Yesterday I had a couple of notes, but no written out sermon. Just a clear direction and an outline in my head. Sorry.

     

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8/15/2008

Tragedy and Beauty

Painted Buntings like this one live here in Camden County
The Rev. Christopher Webber writes for Episcopal Life Explanations for tragedy, and beauty, still beyond reach in which he considers tragedies of life and how free will accounts for much, but leaves some things unanswered. He concludes:
I remember the title of a book by J.B. Phillips, Your God Is Too Small. If you, denier or believer, have all the answers, you do not know God. God, by my definition — and my definition is as likely to be wrong as anyone else's — is not limited to my logic. The God I can understand is not God.

But I have other questions that need to be answered. They are like Job's, but focused differently: "Have you considered the rhododendron? That mass of flame bursts out again predictably every year and reminds us of the omnipresence of beauty. The daffodils give way to the lilacs and the lilacs to the peonies. Is there a need for all of them? Would the balance of nature be any less balanced if there were no lilacs? Why is the world so filled with beauty, and why are we so moved by its existence? If the presence of evil leads you to question the existence of God, do you not also have to consider the presence of beauty?"

I'm with the questioners in wanting answers but not so confident of human mental capacities that I expect all the answers soon. We are, after all, asking about a Creator, and no answer will be satisfying that looks only at part of the picture. There's more than disasters to account for: Explain to me also, please, the existence of beauty.

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8/14/2008

Some other virtue


God has been very good to me, for I never dwell upon anything wrong which a person has done, so as to remember it afterwards. If I do remember it, I always see some other virtue in that person.
Saint Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)

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  • At 8/14/2008 6:23 AM, Anonymous kelly said…

    Saint Teresa of Avila is considered a doctor in the Roman Catholic Church as well as a saint.

    She is one of my favorite saints. Something about her always seems to "pop up" on the days when I need special guidance. And today, I definitely needed to hear/read her words on this very topic! :)

     

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8/13/2008

Pray for Holy Cross, Billings

Lillis Chapel is where the new congregation will meet

The Rev. Linda McCloud, who spent some months last year working from King of Peace, is now in Billings, Montana. She is serving as a church planter there and her new congregation, Holy Cross Episcopal Church, is set to start August 24 at 10 a.m.

Please pray for Linda and for the Holy Spirit to guide people to her as she builds this new congregation which seeka to restore all people to unity with God and with each other in Jesus Christ. You may visit them online at www.holycrosschurchbillings.org.

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  • At 8/14/2008 1:23 PM, Anonymous Thor said…

    Not to be nosy but what happened at Honey Creek? Is there an active congregation?

     
  • At 8/14/2008 3:47 PM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    Pastor Linda McCloud resigned as the Vicar effective the First Sunday after Easter. I took over as priest-in-charge to provide pastoral oversight. Various clergy are filling in each Sunday and the church has continued each Sunday at 10 a.m. through the summer and is now working this fall to attract new folks to the congregation of a couple dozen communicants through direct mail and personal invitation. They are also working with the Diocese of Georgia to hire a new Vicar. I have only been able to be with them once on a Sunday since I took over, but every priest who goes on Sunday reports loving the experience and we have high hopes for the coming months.

    peace,
    Frank+
    The Rev. Frank Logue

     

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8/12/2008

Forgiveness and Redemption

On December 9, 2007, Matthew Murray entered New Life Church in Colorado Springs with an automatic rifle, two handguns, and 1,000 rounds of ammunition. Earlier he had entered the Youth With a Mission (YWAM) training center for missionaries near Denver and shot four of its staff members, killing two. He drove 65 miles south to 10,000-member New Life Church, "got out of his car and started firing in the parking lot. David Works, shot twice in the torso, was among those seriously wounded. His daughters, Stephanie, 18, and Rachael, 16, were shot with him inside the family van. Stephanie died at the scene. Rachael, mortally wounded, would die later at the hospital."

By the time armed security guard Jeanne Assam killed Murray, two were dead and three were injured. Far less than the intended tragedy. The Summer 2008 issue of Christian Today's Leadership Journal carries the story New Life After the Shootings. The article ends with a story of reconciliation as the parents of the shooter were invited to tour the church to see the place where their son died:
A few days after this interview, Pastor Boyd quietly contacted the family of Matthew Murray, "Would you like to come to the New Life campus … to see the place where your son passed away?"

Overwhelmed with gratitude, Ron and Loretta Murray admitted they had longed for this very thing, but they'd felt they would be invading what they knew had been a tragic and difficult situation for the church. So they had stayed away.

Now they agreed to come. Boyd then asked them if they'd be willing to meet with the Works family. They said they would. He asked the Works, in turn, if they'd be willing to meet with the Murrays. Surprisingly, they also agreed.

Before the meeting, Boyd spent some time alone with the Murray family, retracing the steps of Matthew Murray on the church grounds, up until the place in the hallway where their son passed away. Many tears and hugs were shared as they grieved and prayed together over the tragedy.

Later, in Pastor Boyd's office, David and Marie Works joined the Murrays.

"What happened there in the two hours in my office … was the most significant ministry moment I've experienced, maybe in all of my life," Boyd said. When they first entered the office, the two families embraced. They sat, wept, and cried together, Boyd said, for "I don't know how long."

Then they prayed together. Later Jeanne Assam was invited to join them. When Jeanne, who had undoubtedly saved many lives but had been forced to shoot the Murray's son, walked into the room, "the Murrays embraced her and hugged her and released her from any guilt and remorse. The dad looked at Jeanne and said, 'Please know we're so sorry that you had to do what you did. We're so sorry.'"

We are reminded in the Bible not to repay evil with evil—not to be overcome by evil but to overcome it instead with good. The families involved in these tragic events are showing how to live out their faith by clinging to what is good in the face of unimaginable pain.

"We can talk philosophically about repentance and redemption and going forward with God," Boyd said, "but what I saw in that room in my office was the greatest testimony of forgiveness and redemption that I have ever seen. It was a testimony that God really can restore and redeem."

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8/11/2008

Make Me a Christian


We've moved well beyond entertainment which pits Christians against lions. But the Britain's Channel 4 is looking to throw Christians and atheists together for a new "reality" TV show called "Make Me a Christian."

In this corner, we have (pictured above) the Rev. George Hargreaves, founder of Operation Christian Vote and the Christian Party (UK), a female Church of England vicar, an evangelical preacher, and a Catholic priest. In the opposite corner we have a less than random sampling of 13 non-Christians including a lesbian schoolteacher, an avowed atheist biker sporting requisite tattoos, a white Muslim convert, a womanizer, a couple pregnant out of wedlock, a couple of parents too busy for their kids, and a witch who lap dances for a living.

The goal is not to convert their hearts and minds to belief in Jesus Christ as savior and Lord. The objective is to get the group to act more Christian. So according to Channel 4's website,
The mentors visit the volunteers in their own homes, to get a picture of their lives and to give them guidance. The parents are asked to spend 15 minutes each day with their children. The lesbian is ordered to get rid of her explicit pictures and books. The young man and his pregnant girlfriend are given some instruction in the basics of Christianity. The lap-dancing manager is discovered to have more than a passing interest in witchcraft and magic - her books and ceremonial paraphernalia are taken away. The womanising 20-something is persuaded to agree not to 'look lustfully at a girl'.
David Waters writes,
I suppose we can't fault TV producers who are trying to make a buck for thinking that Christians are merely people who get straight A's in behavior, or that becoming a Christian means cleaning up your act in three weeks or less.

Even church leaders have a hard time deciding what it means to be a Christian. Some say you become a Christian in an emotional, born-again instant, others say that being a disciple of Christ is a lifelong process of spiritual discipline. Some say it's all about your own personal beliefs, others that it's all about doing for others.
I haven't seen the show and so I don't have a reasoned critique. But I can't imagine wasting my time watching it if it was broadcast here, not least because of the disconnect between reality and reality TV in which actions are not done in a vacuum, but knowingly played to the camera while we all pretend it's how they would act without the impending TV show. That's without bringing up the reality show techniques that ensure the drama needed to boost ratings. I don't blame TV producers for wanting ratings. I just wonder at labeling it "reality." It's like labeling Hostess Twinkies all natural because at some point in distant memory wheat and corn were involved in making the snack.

A show based on converting folks to Christianity may get some viewers, but is likely to fall short of the Rev. Hargreaves goal of starting a nationwide revival in Britain. Changing someone's outward actions to more closely conform to a biblical ideal without any real conversion means you want to change yourself in significant ways without asking for the help of the Holy Spirit. It's a great way to make someone superficially more Christian for a time (while cameras are filming). But like a vaccination, it will likely only expose the participants to a weak strain of Christianity so that he or she never wants to look more closely at the faith again. It's a good thing Jesus was resurrected otherwise this show may well have him rolling in his grave.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

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1 Comments:

  • At 8/11/2008 8:23 AM, Anonymous kenny said…

    Has anyone else ever suffered from eyeball seizures? :)

    The first thing that occurred to me when I read this was the odds. 13-4? What are they afraid of? You might say that the 4 are professionals but looking at the resume's of the others it's not like they're amateurs...

    Next, I noticed the goal. It's not to convert but to get them to act "more Christian". Just what does that really mean? If acting like a good person was all that was needed, then I know a lot of people who have absolutely no use for Christianity whatsoever. Everyone would agree that they're good people. They don't need anyone to help them "clean up".

    Really, though. I think you've got it right, Frank. It's all a show. It has nothing to do with reality. And it's certainly not likely to provoke lasting, meaningful change.

    On the other hand, what are the clergy trying to do here? Why did they agree to this? Granting them the benefit of the doubt, I'd say that they're doing the best they can in a last-chance hope to attract some attention to the church. But are they really getting the kind of attention they should be striving for? I have my doubts about that as well.

    They're cleaning up people (?) but are they really spreading the Good News? It seems they more likely spreading the stereotype that church is to impose some rules on your behavior and that you can earn your way into God's favor.

    "Come on get ready for the ride of your life
    Gonna leave long faced religion in a cloud of dust behind
    And discover all the new horizons just waiting to be explored
    This is what we were created for"

     

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8/10/2008

A Sacramental Universe



The Rev. Wallace Marsh and I made the above video together with the staff and participants of Happening #81 last weekend. Wondering what a sacrament is? Click the link above...

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8/09/2008

Don't Be Afraid


In tomorrow's Gospel reading Jesus' disciples are rowing across the Sea of Galilee in a storm and see him walking on the water. They were afraid, but he calls out for them to take heart and not be afraid, then,
Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?" When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."
Blooming Catus blog offers these thoughts on the passage:
“Do not be afraid.” The scriptures make this announce- ment over and over again. These are usually the first words out of angel’s mouths. Abraham, Moses, Mary, Joseph, shepherds tending their flocks, Paul sitting in a jail cell, the women looking for Christ’s body at Easter and disciples rowing a boat in the strong wind all hear these words. In all, these words occur almost 100 times in the scriptures. Apparently, humans are very fearful creatures and we are in need of faith to function properly in the world....

Fear comes in many forms, private and public. It knows no ideological boundaries and none of us are ever completely free of it in making decisions. Letting go of fear and facing ourselves is as frightening as the thought and stepping out of our safe boats and walking across the water as if it were dry land. I’m not sure Jesus really expected Peter to walk on water and I certainly don’t expect to walk on water any time soon. I struggle to have faith and to honestly face my fears. But I’m willing to believe that there is life outside the boat, constantly rowing into the wind. I trust in faith that Jesus point the way to the shore. With Jesus near me, the rising seas of my fears will not have me.
The full text of the reflection is online here: Don't Be Afraid.

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3 Comments:

  • At 8/09/2008 9:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    There are times our faith is very strong, then at times, we look around us and see what scares us. This is when my faith is questioned, I fear what I cannot control and my faith is almost lost.

    If we can for a moment hold on tight to that faith and use it as an anchor to hold us tight. We can get through anything. To be able to hold onto even an ounce of our faith that the Lord will be with us and see us through.

    When we take our eyes of the Lord and start looking to the things that are tempting, scaring or controlling us is when we will sink.

     
  • At 8/09/2008 9:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Fear is a natural and instinctive mechanism that we have for physical survival.

    Faith is what we nurture for the survival of the soul.

    I don't understand why it is so easy to allow fear to overwhelm us and penetrate our souls, and it is so very difficult to cultivate our faith to that extent.

    Fear grabs hold of us while we so desperately try to maintain a grip on faith.

     
  • At 8/09/2008 1:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Does God give us difficulties to strengthen our faith or to test it?

    We can say to Him, I trust you and have faith that this is happening for a reason. God takes back what he gave me and I still have faith that it was done for a better reason than I can understand.

    What is it called when we do not understand but still believe that God will reveal why some day.

    This is my question.

     

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8/08/2008

Communion

Nigerian-born author and Jesuit priest Uwem Akpan (pictured below) wrote for The New Yorker of his experience in trying to shake off two boys begging for food before going to the mass. Then inviting the boys inside, "hoping that they would shake their heads and withdraw..." They accepted the invitation into the large church. He goes on to write,
I handed my furled umbrella to one of the boys so that I could hold their hands to control them. We walked up the central aisle to join the sparse congregation that ringed the sanctuary, the big Guadalupe mural looming beyond the altar. Suddenly, they scrambled out of my grasp. When I looked back during the first reading, I spotted the crooks sitting on a pew, playing with the umbrella. I was beginning to get angry. If they ran off with my umbrella, how would I get home? Throughout the readings and homily and the Offertory and Consecration, the kids chatted away. I could see their mouths, wide open, moving in never-ending prattle.

New Yorker IllustrationAs I walked back to my seat after receiving Communion, I was unsettled to see that they had slipped into the line going up the aisle. They were very quiet now, their gaze fixed on the golden ciborium as the priest took out the wafer to place on the tongues of the faithful. Occasionally, the boys glanced at the other children in the line and copied their gestures, joining their palms together, bowing their heads. Then they would watch intently the mouth of someone who had just received. Fear gripped my heart—fear that some churchwarden would be incensed by their sacrilege and, as in the church of my youth, drag them outside by the ear; fear that the priest would deny them at the last moment; fear that I might never risk as much for the Body of Christ. I held my breath, already feeling guilty that I had set them up for a possible fall.

As soon as the two boys had received Communion and turned away from the priest, they chewed hastily, with exaggerated movements, their mouths like the mandibles of a spider devouring an insect. Then they lost their composure and hurried out excitedly. After Mass, they returned my umbrella.
The full text of the article is online here: Faith and Doubt: Communion. Fr. Akpan is the author of the acclaimed Say You're One of Them.

Today's religion column for the Tribune & Georgian is online here: A Prescription for Anxiety.

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  • At 8/08/2008 6:59 AM, Anonymous kelly said…

    Father Akpan's honesty is beautiful! He reminds us that priests are human too. Sometimes we forget that because of y'all's "special connections!" :)

     

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8/07/2008

Infinite Worth

After a recent Holy Week, Paul, one of our pastoral interns, reflected in a small group on an experience he had the previous week. Paul had made a run to the grocery store after our Good Friday worship. not the way to measure worthWhile standing in the checkout line he noticed the cover of one of the magazines in the display rack, which featured a very attractive teenage girl. She was well endowed, thin, physically fit, and scantily clad. One the cover were these words: "You can have a body just like this one!"

Paul said that after being immersed in the church's story in the intensive way that Holy Week immerses us and experiencing how it is that Jesus Christ's death was God's affirmation of the infinite worth of all human beings, this encounter with the magazine's cover message angered him. The cover was from a world that exists in opposition to the church. As the cover begged to invite him into the false promise it offered, he said he was carrying in his soul an image proffered in our worship center that night: the accusers pointing their fingers at Jesus.

Paul worked among our high school youth, which included a particular young lady whose genetic make-up meant that she would always be heavy. She regularly had to endure some dehumanizing bullying at school, and Paul experienced the magazine as a cultural statement of the world pointing its finger at this girl. Outside the church, the world saw a fat teenager who probably had little going for her. Inside the church she had infinite worth and was a leader among our youth.
—The Rev. Rick Barger in A New and Right Spirit

4 Comments:

  • At 8/07/2008 6:52 AM, Anonymous kelly said…

    When, exactly, did the media cease to become a source that provided objective information? Now, its satan's tool, bombarding us everywhere we go with false images of what we should be and telling lies about what we need to be successful, fullfilled and happy.

    Its overwhelming, especially to our youth. Sadly, some would rather die than not be perfect in the eyes of their peers.

    What a battle we parents and the Church fight everyday to open their hearts to the truth when our children, in their vulnerability, easily believe the lies over true love.

     
  • At 8/07/2008 7:59 AM, Anonymous kenny said…

    One size definitely doesn't fit all. Why would I want to look like a teenage girl?

     
  • At 8/07/2008 10:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I measure and weigh myself every morning and have since I was about 11 years old.

    I have always tried to look better and now, as I am getting older, I find myself trying even harder.

    My husband said just last week I need to loose weight now so I can look better for him.

    It's not just the media, started with my father and went to my husband.

     
  • At 8/08/2008 6:40 AM, Anonymous Kelly said…

    Anonymous,

    It could be that your father was trying to keep you at a healthy weight and went about it the wrong way, unknowingly damaging your self esteem at a very early age.

    As for your husband, the media, in just about every medium, overwhelms us with images of women and its concept of perfection.

    You are correct in maintaining weight to stay healthy and active. And, this doesn't mean "skinny". But, to do so to support your husband's idea of perfection is wrong.

    Remind your husband that we are ALL created in God's image and His love is unconditional. You are beautiful no matter what!

    I would be willing to bet that your husband is no Brad Pitt! :)

    Be blessed and be healthy!

     

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8/06/2008

The death of God Is Dead

Christianity Today carried a story in a recent issue that tells of how the God Is Dead movement in theology was sidestepped by a movement within philosophy that found other proofs of God's existence to still be intellectually viable. The article is here: God is not dead yet: How current philospher's argue for his existence.

The arguments are fairly basic and things that have occured to many people of faith like the cosmological argument which says,
  1. Everything that exists has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause.
  2. If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God.
  3. The universe exists.
  4. Therefore, the explanation of the universe's existence is God.
There is also the moral argument:
  1. If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties do not exist.
  2. Objective moral values and duties do exist.
  3. Therefore, God exists.
This view would go on to say, "God wills something because he is good. That is to say, what Plato called "the Good" is the moral nature of God himself. God is by nature loving, kind, impartial, and so on. He is the paradigm of goodness. Therefore, the good is not independent of God. Moreover, God's commandments are a necessary expression of his nature. His commands to us are therefore not arbitrary but are necessary reflections of his character."

1966 Time cover storyThe author of the article, William Lane Craig is a research professor of philosophy at the Talbot School of Theology. He contends that putting together these and other logical arguments for God's existence is vitally important as while aetheists are working to show that belief in God is not intellectually possible, Christians should be prepared to demonstrate that it is. He still sees conversion as a work of the Holy Spirit and concludes writing,
Christians who depreciate natural theology because "no one comes to faith through intellectual arguments" are therefore tragically shortsighted. For the value of natural theology extends far beyond one's immediate evangelistic contacts. It is the broader task of Christian apologetics, including natural theology, to help create and sustain a cultural milieu in which the gospel can be heard as an intellectually viable option for thinking men and women. It thereby gives people the intellectual permission to believe when their hearts are moved.
I agree that we need to be able to make an account of the faith that is in us in such a way that those who do not believe feel challenged to open their hearts up to first the possibility of and then the reality of their loving creator.

A related sermon from the archives is Thoroughly Postmodern Paul.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

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8/05/2008

The Sin of Racism


Over at The Washington Post and Newsweek's online religious forum On Faith, they asked their panelists
Three in 10 Americans acknowledge feelings of racial prejudice, and yet 9 in 10 say they believe in God. How does racial prejudice reflect on one's religious beliefs?
Columnist Cal Thomas writes in reply
If we go to Scripture for the answer to that question, we find "If anyone says 'I love God,' yet hates his brother, he is a liar." (1 John 4:20) There isn't any wiggle room in that.
The Rt. Rev. Jane Holmes Dixon recalls her seminary professor, the Reverend John Wolverton saying, "Racism is a stench in the nostrils of God Almighty." She says,
Truth to tell, I remember few of the Bible stories we were taught to encourage those prejudiced views: something about Ham, one of Noah's sons, and his descendants being condemned to slavery and Paul, the great evangelist, telling Onesimus the runaway slave, to return to his master, Philemon. Mostly, it was not a sin of commission, rather one of omission; we were not taught that all humankind was created in the image of God and there was no explanation of Jesus embracing all who came to Him. Neither do I remember sermons that promulgated racism. I do remember that people of color did not come to my church, and that we laughed at the African American liturgies that we watched through the windows of their churches on Sunday nights. I was taught at home that people of color were less human than we.
I certainly find that judging someone based on race is absolutely irreconcilable with all of scripture, including the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. But I don't doubt the polls. I too see that there are folks who are Christian and (while they would not think of themselves as racists in the white-hooded sense of the term) do prejudge people based on the color of their skin. I know that I might, if asked, give myself a clean bill of health on prejudice and still have vestiges of prejudice in my life.

We are not good judges of our own views. It is our actions rather than our words that speak the loudest. Or put otherwise, your actions are speaking so loudly, that I can't hear a word you are saying. And in this, no one has clean hands. All of us prejudge others, if not based on race, then on friends, clothes, car, job or something else. It is too difficult to get to know everyone well and so we make snap judgments based on a variety of things, and for many this includes skin color. We are all guilty in this no matter our skin color or background.

The fact that we all do this to some degree does not make it OK. The fact that scripture teaches clearly that God made everyone and loves everyone should cause us to stop and think rather than to jump to judging someone before we get to know him or her.

That's my take. What do you think?

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

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5 Comments:

  • At 8/06/2008 3:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    We do all pre judge others to a certain extent whether that person is over/underweight or blessed/not blessed with social graces or even stepping out of an expensive car -- some people would label that person "successful" while others would label him/her a "snob." And no one would have uttered the first "good morning" to that person before jumping to a conclusion. As Christians, we are called to be more. While we are more conditioned to not consider skin color so much, we are not as conditioned to consider our thoughts/judgements about the well-heeled visitor in church who might need our kindness as much as the person who is not so well put together that we go out of our way to welcome because we feel more Christian when we do. I enjoyed this blog -- as Christians we have to be aware of our preconceived notions of ALL people regardless of how they appear on the outside.

     
  • At 8/06/2008 7:54 AM, Blogger averagecandy said…

    "your actions are speaking so loudly I can't hear what you're saying" Best quote ever, I'm going to have to remember that for my kids.
    My father is what you would call a bigot out loud, but at heart loves all people. I've seen my dad write a check out to cash to help out a black friend, a check he new he couldn't afford, but then turn around and drop N-bombs just because someone cuts him off on the highway. Thankfully I learned early on to recognize a jerk when I see one. Interestingly enough, we have never used the word black around our kids to describe a person, or any other color name. So far it seems like this small change in our vocabulary has had a huge effect, race is a non-issue to my kids. If I accomplish nothing else with my kids, I have accomplished this.I have put two loving kids in the world. My daughter won't have to worry about who she falls in love with like I did. I think that's pretty cool.

     
  • At 8/06/2008 8:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Averagecandy,

    "Thankfully I learned early on to recognize a jerk when I see one."

    It is quite a talent that you have that you can recognize a jerk before getting to know that person.

    Hmmmmmmmmm...is it OK to have a prejudice against jerks?

     
  • At 8/07/2008 4:41 PM, Blogger averagecandy said…

    Anon,
    I didn't say immediately. I've known my dad for 27 years now, I think it's safe to say I've gotten to know him well enough to say he's a jerk. I'm not prejudiced against any particular group of jerks, I dislike all jerks equally. Prejudice means to dismiss, dislike or to disadvantage someone in advance. I wait until I *know* someone is a jerk to dislike someone. I give everyone a fair shake, and I think anyone who knows me would back me up on that.

     
  • At 8/07/2008 8:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Averagecandy,

    I was a bit confused because you said that you recognized a jerk when you saw one, not when you got to know one.

    Thanks for clearing that up. I am sorry that you have a "jerk" for a dad. Maybe someday you will forgive him his shortcomings and have a good relationship.

     

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8/04/2008

Your input requested...

The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia will have a new bishop by February 2010. Our beloved Bishop Louttit (pictured at left during the dedication of King of Peace) is retiring in time for his 72nd birthday as Episcopal church canons (rules) require. In the Episcopal Church, bishops are selected by the whole diocese, with both clergy and the folks in the pew taking equal part in the decision.

Before we get that far down the road, the group charged with overseeing the process is holding Town Hall meetings to listen. They want to hear from everyone in the Diocese who wants to express his or her opinion on who we are as a diocese and what we need.

All of the information is at www.georgiabishopsearch.org, which is at the website which will keep us all updated on the ongoing process. The closest meeting to King of Peace will be held at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Brunswick from 3-5 p.m. on Saturday, August 23. The youth of the diocese will also have a meeting as will the clergy. This meeting is for anyone in the church who wants to put in his or her two cents to the process.

seal of the Diocese of GeorgiaThe end result of the meetings will be a profile of our diocese pulling together these various views on who we are and what sort of gifts we need in the next Bishop of Georgia. Then in November of this year, based on what we say we are looking for, there will be a process whereby candidates may be nominated for the election to take place about a year from now.

You are also requested to pray as we do not want merely a good person to be our bishop, or even the person who seems to fit the job. What we want is God's will and nothing less, so the whole process needs to be enveloped in prayer.
Almighty God, giver of every good gift: Look graciously on your Church, and so guide the minds of those who shall choose a bishop for this Diocese, that we may receive a faithful pastor, who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

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8/03/2008

Worship Prayer

Holy God—in this precious hour, we pause and gather to hear your word– to do so, we break from our work responsibilities and from our play fantasies; we move from our fears that overwhelm and from our ambitions that are too strong, Free us in these moments from every distraction, that we may focus to listen, that we may hear, that we may change. Amen
—Walter Brueggemann, from Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth

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8/02/2008

Happening



I'm at Honey Creek with 77 others for Happening #81, a high school youth event led by teens for teens. We are off to a amazing start. The photo here and the ones below are of Griffin giving a talk called Please Listen to What I'm Not Saying about the masks we wear in which she pulled off layers of clothing marked with labels for masks like "artistic" and "cool" and asked people to see beyond the facade to the real person beneath. It's 7:15 a.m. and the day here starts in 45 minutes and will continue through midnight. I look forward to dropping back down to King of Peace for the services in the morning.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

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1 Comments:

  • At 8/02/2008 11:45 AM, Blogger Victoria said…

    I am so proud of Griffin and Kalyn! Not only are they both on Team for this Happening, but they've managed to remain best friends since they met at Honey Creek on June 4, 2000. And as they start their senior year of high school, they have both grown into amazingly talented and responsible young women.

     

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God Is Good—all the time...

In our Gospel reading for tomorrow, Jesus shows his compassion for the crowd who has come to listen to his teaching by feeding them using just five loaves and two fish.

In preaching on this passage, Ken Kesselus said,
In today’s Gospel we encounter hungry people being met by a suggestion from the disciples that Jesus send them away to get something to eat. But Jesus had something else in mind. Maybe it was his way of saying, “God is good.” But the disciples didn’t know to reply, “All the time.” So Jesus told them not to send the hungry people away but to give them something to eat themselves. He was saying, “You don’t think there is enough for these hungry seekers, but the truth is—there is enough because God will provide....”

This does not mean, of course, that people of faith will have no problems or misery. But it does mean that God will give us the grace and aid to bear the load as we overcome and move through whatever may befall us.

Ours is not a faith of easy answers and unrealistic solutions. Jesus entered life and died on the cross for us, showing us that in whatever we experience, in whatever may trouble us, in whatever distress or threat we feel, we need not fear because God is in it with us. God will lift up in our midst what we need to make it through, because God is good: All the time.

God is not far away and aloof from us. Jesus shows us that God does not stand outside of life, but is right here with us, beside us in our broken and troubled and suffering world. St. Paul reminds us that nothing in existence can ever separate us from the love of God, revealed in Christ.

In whatever crisis or issue we face in life, in whatever trouble may come our way, the power of God’s love will provide what we need. From the midst of the Body of Christ, God will lift up the resources to accomplish his loving purposes, because God is good: All the time.
The full text of his sermon is online here: All the time

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8/01/2008

Honey Creek



Honey Creek is the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia's camp and conference center on Dover Bluff Road at the north end of Camden County, here in the southeast corner of the state. I have worked at the camp for summer camp, retreat weekends and the like for eight years and have even been an attendee at events there. During those visits I have taken photos of the grounds which I combined this week into the above poster. You can see a slightly larger version of it by clicking on the photo above. You can order a poster of your own at cost by clicking here: http://honeycreek.imagekind.com.

I arrived at Honey Creek last night and am working today with the team for the high school retreat, Happening, which starts tonight and runs through Sunday afternoon, though I will pop back down to King of Peace to preach and celebrate at our two services Sunday morning. In the meantime, I will work with the teens to put on an almost entirely teen-led event for teens, I which they open up to one another about their lives and the role Jesus has in them. It sure beats working for a living.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

PS: For adults looking for something similar, ask me about the upcoming Cursillo retreat at Honey Creek.

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