An Update on Jay+
The updated church website, redesigned since Father Jay has been there is online at: stpatricksalbany.org which offer his sermons online here Sermons.
Labels: Diocese of Georgia
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.
Labels: Diocese of Georgia
The diagnosis of the world’s sickness (and, therefore, of the individuals who comprise the world) is that the power to love has been wrongly directed. It has either been turned in upon itself or wrongly given to the wrong things. The outward symptoms, and the results, of this misdirection are plainly obvious (at least in other people) in what we call “sin” or “selfishness.”—J.B. Phillips, Your God Is Too Small
The drastic “conversion” which God-became-Man called for is the reversal of the wrong attitude, the deliberate giving of the whole power to love, first to God, and then to other people. Without this reversal He spoke quite bluntly of a world doomed to destruction. Where it genuinely takes place He spoke plainly of men being able to “know” God, to begin a new quality of living which physical death is powerless to touch.
John said to Jesus, "Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us." But Jesus said, "Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward."The Rev. Ken Kesselus writes on this passage saying,
Where do we find commonality? ? Why not begin by looking to our earliest roots? Those who can declare that “Jesus is Lord” are not against us, and therefore are for us, and for Christ. Those who can follow the steps of Jesus, taking up their crosses and denying themselves for the sake of God and God’s children are not against us, and therefore are for us, and for Christ.The full text of the sermon is online here: Drawing a Circle
The story of today’s gospel is about the disciples’ attempt to draw a circle around Jesus and themselves – shutting out the one who was casting out demons in Jesus’ name. Perhaps a concise, powerful poem by Edwin Markham can help us remember that Jesus ordered the disciples not to exclude that man and to recall that those who are not against us are for us.
In his poem “Outwitted,” Edwin Markham writes:
“He drew a circle that shut me out –
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in.”
Labels: Gospel reading
Labels: Episcopal Churches
When we deal with each other, we should do so with the sense of awe that arises in the presence of something holy and sacred. For that is what human beings are: we are created in the image of God.—–National Conference of Catholic Bishops, Economic Justice for All
sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, "Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all." Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, "Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me."John J. Pilch offers some interesting cultural notes on the role of children in the time of Jesus:
In antiquity, childhood was a time of terror. Infant mortality rates sometimes reached 30 percent of live births. Sixty percent were dead by the age of sixteen. These figures reflect not only the ravages of unconquered diseases but also the outcomes of poor hygiene.
Moreover, while Western cultures tend to place children first and risk everything to save the child above all, ancient Middle Eastern cultures would place the child last. The medieval Mediterranean theologian Thomas Aquinas taught that in a raging fire a husband was obliged to save his father first. then his mother, next his wife, and last of all his young child. When a famine came upon the land, children would he fed last, after the adults. Such priorities are still common in many non-Western cultures.
Within the family and the community, the child had next to no status. A minor child was considered equal to a slave. Only after reaching maturity did a child become a free person with rights to inherit the family estate. When Jesus compares his adult compatriots to children who do not know how to respond to cultural cues (Matt 11:16-19), he effectively insults them....This does not mean that children were not loved or appreciated. Mediterranean discipline fuses love with violence as parents explain: “We only do this because we love them.” Even God disciplines “him whom he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives” (Prov 3:11-12).
Children are loved because they provide “social security” for parents. Obviously if they survive to adulthood, they also assure family continuity. Children are so greatly desired in the family that a wife will never be fully accepted into the patriarchal family setting until she bears a child, preferably a son. The emotional bond between that son and his mother is the strongest of all ties in the typical Mediterranean family.
By asking the disciples to extend hospitality (“to welcome”) a child, a creature of low status in their culture, Jesus further shames these grown men. Hospitality is extended to complete strangers to guarantee safe transit in unfamiliar and hostile territory. To extend hospitality to children (“to welcome them”) would be a laugh to everyone else in the culture. Further, though guests are not expected to reciprocate hospitality, they are expected to broadcast the kindness of the host far and wide, thus extending his honorable reputation. Unpredictable children couldn’t be counted upon to do that, so why bother?
Jesus teaches that life is full of surprises. True honor can be found in the most unlikely places.
Labels: Gospel reading
He does much who loves much.—Thomas à Kempis, Imitation of Christ
He does much who does what he has to do well.
He does well who serves the common good rather than his own will.
The Gospel is not one thing in the midst of other things, to be directly apprehended and comprehended. The Gospel is the World of the Primal Origin of all things, the Word which, since it is ever new, must ever be received with renewed fear and trembling. The Gospel is therefore not an event, nor an experience, nor an emotion—however delicate! Rather, it is the clear and objective perception of what eye hath not seen nor ear heard. Moreover, what it demands of men is more than notice, or understanding, or sympathy. It demands participation, comprehension, co-operation; for it is a communication which presumes faith in the living God, and which creates that which it presumes.—Karl Barth, The Epistle to the Romans
—Mother Teresa (1910-1997)
Without expectation, do something for love itself, not for what you may receive. Love in action is what gives us grace. We have been created for greater things—to love and to be loved.
Love is love—to love a person without any conditions, without any expectations. Small things, done in great love, bring joy and peace. To love, it is necessary to give. To give, it is necessary to be free from selfishness.
Labels: Bishop search
On September 12, a Special Convention of the Diocese of Georgia will gather in Dublin to elect the tenth bishop of our Diocese. The election will be from a group of six nominees selected by our Nominating Committee. Our diocese, larger than the countries of Portugal or Austria and dating back to 1733, is a family of seventy-two congregations. By and large, we have been a happy and responsible diocese.Pray today for the Holy Spirit to be felt in a mighty way in the electing convention and for God's will to be done. Results will be posted as they are available online at www.georgiabishopsearch.org
There is no one Anglican procedure for selecting a bishop. In The Episcopal Church, the diocesan convention is divided into two electoral groups, clergy and laity. Each group votes separately for a nominee (termed a Vote by Orders) until each group has given one nominee a majority of their votes. That person is then the bishop-elect. The number of ballots varies from few to many. In other Anglican Provinces the procedures differ, from appointment by the Queen in England, to an election in which representatives of all dioceses participate, as in the The Church of Ireland. Our way reflects the American democratic approach, which also recalls the style of our Congress.
Our election then will be ratified by a majority of diocesan bishops and Standing Committees of The Episcopal Church. This is because all bishops are a part of and responsible to a greater whole, The Episcopal Church, in which they participate in its life and governance. When such consent is obtained, a date is set with the Presiding Bishop for consecration of the bishop-elect. At present, consecration of the bishop-elect is tentatively planned for 23 January 2010 in Savannah, the See City. All bishops are invited to participate in the consecration. A minimum of three is required by ancient canon, the Presiding Bishop normally being the chief consecrator. Oftentimes many more attend.
We would all do well to review the liturgy or the Ordination of a Bishop beginning on page 512 of the Book of Common Prayer. We will find therein what really is expected of our Bishops.
+ HW Shipps
From a Christian point of view of course we do want a peaceful world, and I think September 11 did actually make people aware not only of vulnerability and how transitory life is, but there are forces of good and honor and justice which speak to us of God and his love for us.—George Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury
Once you get into the video a bit, you can't help but be warmed a little by the message of God's unconditional love. Far from the complete scope of the Gospel, but certainly a part of it...
The world is too dangerous for anything but truth,—William Sloane Coffin, Jr.
and too small for anything but love.
There is no doubt he accepted and loved rich and healthy people, especially those who knew their own wounds and poverty. But he always had time for the marginal and the dispossessed, the maimed and the broken. If we were to measure the amount of space in the Gospels devoted to the hurt or poor and compare it to any other pet issue we cherish as the “litmus test” of our faith, there is little doubt that the sick and needy are more important than any other reality.The full text of the reflection is online here: The Word Encountered.
Witness Jesus in the Gospel of Mark. He attends to the deaf man, a passive mumbler. He draws close. He touches him and prays. And his power shines forth. If we say that we are disciples of Jesus, if we hold that he is not only our savior but our way as well, then his manner of concern must in some way be our own.
Our attentiveness and care for each other and especially for the poor is not a tactic to win us paradise. It is rather our grateful response to God’s promised love for us in our own poverty and disability.
Perhaps this is why it may well be the old bag lady in the back, so marginal to the world, or the quiet penitent near the door, reluctant to approach the altar, who brings a greater gift of prayer than any of us laden with talent or largess.
Labels: Gospel reading
As America's children go back to school, how would you advise the Texas board? How should religion be taught in public schools?Columnist Chuck Colson writes,
Professor George P. Landow, from my alma mater, the very liberal Brown University, said, "[Without the Bible] it's like using a dictionary with one-third of the words removed." Professor Ulrich Knoepflmacher at Princeton said that the lack of "Bible knowledge is almost crippling in students' ability to be sophisticated readers."American Baptist pastor Willis Elliott observes the irony that religion has made a comeback in Russian schools, but not American ones. While Rabbi Brad Hirschfield writes seeking a middle ground,
Most Americans are somewhere in the middle on this issue, as we are on most of the so-called hot button issues. We know, even if we are believers, that there is a difference between teaching about the history of religion in America and preaching the Gospel to a captive audience of children in our nation's classrooms. Most people would like to see the former and reject the latter. But they need leaders who will advocate for that sane middle ground which neither turns teachers into preachers nor ignores the role of religion in general or Christianity in particular, as crucial to our shared history.I think that the rabbi is right in his middle ground approach. I also agree with Colson that learning the language and stories of the Bible make any one in the West better able to understand the ongoing conversation in literature and philosophy that springs from the Bible.