Irenic Thoughts

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

2/28/2010

Internal Change

I gave up coffee creamer for Lent one year. By the end of the tenth day, I began to love black coffee.

That's the year I learned that it isn't giving up things that counts. Me? I became aware that only internal change really counts.
—Joan Chittister

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  • At 2/28/2010 11:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I agree completely. It's part of the spiritual journey, not giving up some random material thing. For me it's adding to connection with God and continuing on my journey with enhanced awareness of the Holy.

     

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2/27/2010

A Different Approach



It is impoosible not to notice the strong commitment the Diocese of the Dominican Republic has to starting and running Episcopal Schools. The idea is not new, I know from visiting Santa Cruz School in Santa Fe which has been open for 90 years. We met more than one school director who had gone through her school as a student.

The assumption here is not that every church must have a school, but they are very common. The assumption instead seems to be that feasibility studies should be done to determine if a church can support a school.

While I am no expert on private schools, I do know something of preschools and was very impressed with their rooms and their teachers. All over the DR, I saw commited teachers working with students, many of whom were at the school on a scholarship.

Our situation is not the same with regard to educatuion. Nevertheless, what would The Episcopal Church in America look like if we more readily assumed a feasibility study was in order and started schools at every church where one is needed?

As this gets posted automatically on Saturday morning, I will be making my way back to Orlanda by plane and Camden County, Georgia by car.

peace,
Frank+
President, King of Peace Episcopal Day School


A flag corps tat performed on Friday, the last day of school before the DR's independence day.


Tar Drazdowski in front of The Episcopal School of the Transfiguration located on the edge of the diocesan camp in the mountains. She has arranged for every child at the school who needs a scholarship to have one through donations from her church and elsewhere. They are $300 per student per year.

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2/26/2010

Vibrant Faith


We march with the congregation of La Reconciliation from their existing small church to their new church building. The church is best known in the community for helping build 22 simple houses similar to a Habitat for Humanity project.

Yesterday, our team from the Diocese of Georgia experienced an amazing welcome from the congregation of La Reconciliation in Azua, Dominican Republic. Words fail to convey the experience of the Holy Spirit as we sang and danced with fellow Episcopalians. Their vibrant faith is contagious. The church grew from 15 to more than 100 in a year and continues to grow. Their new church building is under construction and we joined them in praying there.

peace,
Frank+


Victoria dances with the congregation of La Reconciliation in a very poor part of Azua in the Dominican Republic west of Santo Domingo

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  • At 2/26/2010 12:58 PM, Anonymous Amber said…

    Father Frank
    Thank you for sharing all the pictures and stories this week. This one really touched my heart. I could hear them clapping, singing and see everyone dancing in my heart.
    Safe travels to you and God bless you and Victoria!!

     
  • At 2/27/2010 12:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Fr. Frank and Victoria,I was not aware until tonight that you had been posting from the DR, but I really enjoyed reading all of your stories and looking at all of your wonderful pictures. I wish I could have gone with you! It's very touching to see the love that you and Victoria, as well as the others, brought to the places you visited. They looked so happy having you all there. Thank you so much for taking time to share with us. I Love you both! Melodie

     
  • At 3/01/2010 4:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This is just so uplifting to see and read about. What wonderful things you both did there and what memories I am sure have been created. God Bless You Both

     

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2/25/2010

Sustained Support for Haiti

The most urgent work in the Dominican Republic at present is their sustained support for their own mother diocese of Haiti. The diocese is sending food through to keep displaced Haitians fed by the thousands in the 26 refugee camps run by The Episcopal Church. In addition, important work is taking place on the border town of Jimani (pronounced Yih Mah Nee). The Rev. Jesus Mosque is the priest there at San Pablo Apostol Church.

Working with Episcopal Relief and Development the diocese here has established a Relief and Information Center in Jimani. A building with dormitory space is now under construction. Those of us here from the Diocese of Georgia plan to put together a trip there. I wish I had pictures, but the relief and construction workers have priority and at present we can't get to Jimani. Instead we have been in direct contact with those here who will make a return trip from the Diocese of Georgia possible. The logistics are now in place.

This will not be an easy trip. While safe to travel and to stay there, we need to put together a team that can come two months from now to complete the dorm. This will mean sleeping on the floor of the dorm under construction as the work is completed. We anticipate a painting and finishing work crew that will bring supplies and get the dorm useable by the steady stream of relief workers who will continue to be needed in Haiti for the coming years.

Do you feel called to this trip? Are you ready to go to work on a construction project that will matter for years to come? Are you willing to be led and to put your own ideas of how things should happen aside in order to get the work done? For those willing to rough it a bit, the upcoming week-long work in Jimani may be the most important thing you do this decade.

For those looking for something less challenging, there are two options: 1) the team that comes will have to have a Home Team offering support and prayer and, 2) we are also setting up other trips here to areas less challenging and more easily accessible and workable. Information will be forthcoming soon on several trips.

peace,
Frank+

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Microcredit - Big Changes


At right is Salón Fantasia Joanna, which was started with a microcredit loan offered through a program of the Episcopal Diocese of the Dominican Republic.


Beauty Salon owner, Joanna, in front of her salon. Inside is a small sales counter for various related products, which is itself another small business funded through the microcredit program.

Small loans, some as little as $100 US, are making big changes in the lives of women in the Dominican Republic. The microcredit program run by the Diocese of the Dominican Republic helps with start-up cost as well as business know how to give the loan recipients the best possible start in a new venture.

Follow up is the key and the program has spiritual as well as economic components to support the women as they start their businesses. Rather than individual loans, the program works with small groups of women, which means those getting a loan have mutual support. Each group comes together every 15 days for some spiritual support and to go over their businesses. By providing such close support, the program boasts a 100% payback rate on its loans while the businesses themselves enjoy a 94% success rate.

This microcredit program had note been offered on the border with Haiti due to issues with contraband sales in the area. In the wake of the earthquake in Haiti, the program is finding a home one the border to meet the needs of shop owner and customer alike and the Diocese of the Dominican Republic is finding ways to make sure the businesses succeed.

Each local microcredit program is designed to become self-supporting in the third year as it makes all new loans from the money paid back from earlier loans. In this way, donations to the program becoming self-perpetuating so that the money given keeps on giving to the women of the DR.

This is yet another innovative way that The Episcopal Church is responding to the very real needs of the people in the communities they serve.

peace,
Frank+


Down the street from Joanna's beauty shop is a small shop selling goods off the front porch of the owner (at far right). This store was also started through the microcredit program.

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Capacity Building


The current building for San Padro y San Pablo

Among the churches we visited today was the little store-front style church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in a very poor and somewhat dangerous area of Santo Domingo. We met Pimpa, a lay woman who was one of the founders more than 20 years ago. We also visited the construction site of the new two story building, built higher off the ground as the area is prone to flooding, particularly if hurricane season brings a storm ashore. The new building will include a school and will serve as a shelter in case of a storm.

This type of capacity building is common in the Diocese of the Dominican Republic, which has doubled the number of church buildings in the past decade to 70, with at least two new buildings being built each year and four under construction now. I was reminded of King of Peace's own story several times today while hearing people talk in the DR about their vision and their work. I am amazed at the diocesan support these churches are able to receive. This sort of capacity building that was ongoing is part of what is allowing The Episcopal Church in the DR to be the major conduit for aid to Haiti. More on that later.

peace,
Frank+


Pimpa and the current pastor, the recently ordained Deacon Adolpho


Inside the present church.


The new church under construction.


In the nave of the new church building.

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2/24/2010

Compelling Vision


An open window in an empty room, where San Gabriel Church in Consuela dreams of having a vocational school.

I am accustomed to discovering and casting vision and yet I was humbled in travelling around the Diocese of the Dominican Republic yesterday. At every turn there was another pastor caring for two or three churches and a school or two. Yet, none were anywhere close to being satisfied with the present level of service to their communities, much less present attendance in worship.

We could see vision that had reached fruition in former classroom space no longer needed since a new larger school had been built nearby, so it was turned into a medical rehabilitation ward attached to their medical clinic. Then at Buen Pastor we saw how a group of Churches in Tampa, Florida had come back year after year to help build and furnish the church, surrounded by the school expanding downward into preschool and hoping to get into day care for even younger kids. At both Santa Cruz Church in Santa Fe and San Gabriel Church in Consuelo, the congregations dream of creating vocational schools to add to their ministry. By adding short-term programs, they hope to help get unemployed people in their towns back in the work force, or even better, newly there after school so that they can save money to go to a university.

One disappointment was that the only road into a growing Haitian community was closed by road work and so we could not see for ourselves the need. But we could read on their pastor's heart his concerns for expanding capacity in a poor sugar cane growing area for the Haitians there.

This brief report doesn't begin to scratch the surface of the amazing vision that Dominicans have for what The Episcopal Church can do for the communities it serves. I am humbled by their quiet confidence that God will provide a way forward.

peace,
Frank+


A medical rehabilitation area at San Esteban Church in San Pedro, using what was three former school classrooms, connected through knocking doorways in the concrete walls.

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2/23/2010

Still Trembling


The Diocese of the Dominican Republic van picking us up at the airport in Santo Domingo

Deacon Bob Snow is an Episcopal missionary who works in Santo Domingo. He said attendance at the English speaking service in his Church of the Epiphany has doubled in recent weeks with attendance from refugees from Haiti. One man told him at the last service as he asked for prayers, "I am still trembling from the earthquake." This was true both physically and emotionally. There are many pastoral needs flooding into churches here on this other side of the island of Hispanola.

The Rev. Jean Bruno has been one of the priests in the Diocese of the Dominican Republic doing a heroic work to get aid into Haiti. On an ongoing basis, they are sending two large trucks of food over to Port au Prince to keep the thousands fed in the 26 camps being run by The Episcopal Church in Haiti. Even though the relief effort is increasingly dropping out of the news, the work here continues day by day as this remains the major staging area for all the work in Haiti.

Some at King of Peace will remember Fr. Bruno. He is the Haitian-born priest who preached at King of Peace on April 6, 2003. He was in our diocese to be with us at our diocesan convention to represent the DR and enjoyed being with an Episcopal Church in America meeting in a house. An audio file of his sermon remains online here: Losing Your Life to Find It. Just follow the link, scroll down to April 6 and press play.

It's Monday evening as I write. The rice, beans and chicken for supper was wonderful. The ceiling fan is circling away above and music plays through the window screen from nearby in the neighborhood. Tonight we have Internet access. We will not during the day tomorrow, but may well tomorrow evening in Santo Domingo.

I will keep y'all posted on our progress as I am able. Today we got brought up to speed on a lot of opportunities for assistance in places we will be seeing in person throughout our travels. More on that later.

peace,
Frank and Victoria Logue


Looking out of a clay tile opening in the wall in the hallway in our dorm at the Bishop Kellog Center in San Pedro, Dominican Republic.

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2/22/2010

Diocese of the Dominican Republic

Victoria and I are flying to the Dominican Republic today to discover the needs of the Companion Diocese to our own Diocese of Georgia. We'll be working to see two to three places each day through Friday, and finding ways to communicate the needs so that churches can see how to get involved in making a difference. In the wake of the earthquake on the other side of the island, the Diocese of the Dominican Republic needs ever more to expand its ability to reach out sharing Christ's love with all in their communities as well as the needs coming across the border. We will be all around the DR side of Hispanola listening to their stories, seeing what there is to see and finding ways to share what we discover.

peace,
Frank+
The Rev. Frank Logue, Clergy Journalist/Storyteller

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2/21/2010

Sermons We See

I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day;
I'd rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way.
The eye's a better pupil and more willing than the ear,
Fine counsel is confusing, but example's always clear;
And the best of all the preachers are the men who live their creeds,
For to see good put in action is what everybody needs.

I soon can learn to do it if you'll let me see it done;
I can watch your hands in action, but your tongue too fast may run.
And the lecture you deliver may be very wise and true,
But I'd rather get my lessons by observing what you do;
For I might misunderstand you and the high advise you give,
But there's no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.

When I see a deed of kindness, I am eager to be kind.
When a weaker brother stumbles and a strong man stays behind
Just to see if he can help him, then the wish grows strong in me
To become as big and thoughtful as I know that friend to be.
And all travelers can witness that the best of guides today
Is not the one who tells them, but the one who shows the way.

One good man teaches many, men believe what they behold;
One deed of kindness noticed is worth forty that are told.
Who stands with men of honor learns to hold his honor dear,
For right living speaks a language which to every one is clear.
Though an able speaker charms me with his eloquence, I say,
I'd rather see a sermon than to hear one, any day.

—Edgar Guest

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2/20/2010

Settling for Less

In tomorrow's Gospel reading, Jesus is tempted in the wilderness after his baptism.

Barbara Brown Taylor wrote in 1998 on this week's readings for the Christian Century,
Do not bother looking for Lent in your Bible dictionary. There was no such thing in biblical times. There is some evidence that early Christians fasted 40 hours between Good Friday and Easter, but the custom of spending 40 days in prayer and self-denial did not arise until later, when the initial rush of Christian adrenaline was over and believers had gotten very ho-hum about their faith.

When the world did not end as Jesus himself had said it would, his followers stopped expecting so much from God or from themselves. They hung a wooden cross on the wall and settled back into their more or less comfortable routines, remembering their once passionate devotion to God the way they remembered the other enthusiasms of their youth.

Little by little, Christians became devoted to their comforts instead: the soft couch, the flannel sheets, the leg of lamb roasted with rosemary. These things made them feel safe and cared for—if not by God, then by themselves. They decided there was no contradiction between being comfortable and being Christian, and before long it was very hard to pick them out from the population at large. They no longer distinguished themselves by their bold love for one another. They did not get arrested for championing the poor. They blended in. They avoided extremes. They decided to be nice instead of holy, and God moaned out loud.

Hearing that, someone suggested it was time to call Christians back to their senses, and the Bible offered some clues about how to do that. Israel spent 40 years in the wilderness learning to trust the Lord. Elijah spent 40 days there before hearing the still, small voice of God on the same mountain where Moses spent 40 days listening to God give the law. There was also Luke’s story about Jesus’ own 40 days in the wilderness during which he was sorely tested by the devil. It was hard. It was awful. It was necessary, if only for the story. Those of us who believe it have proof that it is humanly possible to remain loyal to God.

So the early church announced a season of Lent, from the old English word lenten, meaning "spring"—not only a reference to the season before Easter, but also an invitation to a springtime for the soul. Forty days to cleanse the system and open the eyes to what remains when all comfort is gone. Forty days to remember what it is like to live by the grace of God alone and not by what we can supply for ourselves.

I think of it as an Outward Bound for the soul. No one has to sign up for it, but if you do then you give up the illusion that you are in control of your life. You place yourself in the hands of strangers who ask you to do foolhardy things, like walk backwards over a precipice with nothing but a rope around your waist or climb a sheer rock face with your fingers and toes. But none of these is the real test, because while you are doing them you have plenty of people around and lunch in a cooler.

The real test comes when you go solo. The strangers put you out all by yourself in the middle of nowhere and wish you luck for the next 24 hours. That is when you find out who you are. That is when you find out what you really miss and what you are really afraid of. Some people dream about their favorite food. Some long for a safe room with a door to lock and others just wish they had a pillow, but they all find out what their pacifiers are—the habits, substances or surroundings they use to comfort themselves, to block out pain and fear.

Without those things they are suddenly exposed, like someone addicted to painkillers whose prescription has just run out. It is hard. It is awful. It is necessary, to encounter the world without anesthesia, to find out what life is like with no comfort but God. I am convinced that 99 percent of us are addicted to something, whether it is eating, shopping, blaming or taking care of other people. The simplest definition of an addiction is anything we use to fill the empty place inside of us that belongs to God alone.

That hollowness we sometimes feel is not a sign of something gone wrong. It is the holy of holies inside of us, the uncluttered throne room of the Lord our God. Nothing on earth can fill it, but that does not stop us from trying. Whenever we start feeling too empty inside, we stick our pacifiers into our mouths and suck for all we are worth. They do not nourish us, but at least they plug the hole.

To enter the wilderness is to leave them behind, and nothing is too small to give up. Even a chocolate bar will do. For 40 days, simply pay attention to how often your mind travels in that direction. Ask yourself why it happens when it happens. What is going on when you start craving a Mars bar? Are you hungry? Well, what is wrong with being hungry? Are you lonely? What is so bad about being alone? Try sitting with the feeling instead of fixing it and see what you find out.

Chances are you will hear a voice in your head that keeps warning you what will happen if you give up your pacifier. "You’ll starve. You’ll go nuts. You won’t be you anymore." If that does not work, the voice will move to level two: "That’s not a pacifier. That’s a power tool. Can’t you tell the difference?" If you do not fall for that one, there is always level three: "If God really loves you, you can do whatever you want. Why waste your time on this dumb exercise?"

If you do not know whom that voice belongs to, read Luke’s story again. Then tell the devil to get lost and decide what you will do for Lent. Better yet, decide whose you will be. Worship the Lord your God and serve no one else. Expect great things, from God and from yourself. Believe that everything is possible. Why should any of us settle for less?

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2/19/2010

Atheists Pastoring Christian Flocks?

"The world needs and expects believing priests."


This rather self-evident statement was made to the clergy of the Diocese of Georgia by then Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey at a clergy conference at Honey Creek. I agrre and can say as clearly as possible that I know in my bones and it does not contradict what I know with my brain, that there is a God who made us, loves us and wants to redeem us. I believe the Bible that we read here each week and try to pattern my life to follow its teachings. I do not have to cross my fingers when saying the Nicene and Apostle's Creed.

George Carey went further though. He said, “Do I doubt? Of course. Every thinking person doubts. The opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty.” Carey said doubts and uncertainties can be God’s spirit leading us beyond the lesser truths where we have stopped along the way to a fuller understanding of who God is and how God acts in our lives. He went on to say that the faith we should have then is an active faith not afraid of working through doubts and uncertainties to greater truth. I also agree and in my ministry have tried to encourage folks not to pack doubts away, but to ask questions, find answers, using the doubts learn and grow.

I mention all of that because I ran across two newspaper articles that caught my attention. Religion News Service article tells that a regional body has reviewed the case and determined that a self-proclaimed atheist can continue to serve as a local pastor of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands. Pastor Klaas Hendrikse first made news with his 2007 book, Believing in a God That Does Not Exist: The Manifesto of an Atheist Pastor in which he said that God does not exist, but refers to God instead as "happening." The article, Dutch Aethist Pastor Won't Face Discipline quotes the pastor as saying he has reached a goal and is "very satisfied with the result."

In Australia, there is news of a Roman Catholic priest not being removed from the priesthood, but being forced out of his Brisbane Church in the article Priest Doesn't Believe in God from the Rockhamption, Australia paper The Morning Bulletin. That article quotes the priest, Peter Kennedy, as saying,
He doesn’t believe in the priesthood anymore, nor the virgin birth, nor the infallibility of the Pope. In fact, he doubts that Jesus ever existed and although he is the spiritual leader of a 500-strong Christian community, he says he no longer prays because there’s 'no one to pray to.'
His church was large by Australian standards with 500 members, and was growing at the time he was forced out.

I find it sad that these Christians leaders became unbelievers and continued in the pastoral and preaching roles. And I am certainly not lashing out against their denominations as retired bishop John Shelby Spong of The Episcopal Church has published similar and if we went poking around, I am sadly confident we could find others who have come not to believe who continue as pastors in most denominations. But to do so would take a look at the heart, which only the Holy Spirit can do rightly.

I wish they would find it within to go sell shoes or something. If your doubts have overpowered you, find another way to make a living so that the life-changing, life-giving message of the Gospel can be proclaimed.

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

peace,
Frank
A convinced Christian, trying to live it out best I can

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  • At 2/19/2010 7:38 AM, Blogger James F. McGrath said…

    I suppose what I wonder is how a minister should deal with doubt. Should they not talk about them from the pulpit? Won't that give the congregation the misleading impression that a minister is a person above such doubting, as well as preventing either side from getting the comfort, support and conversation they need in such circumstances?

    I guess the key question is at what point a minister ought to decide that his or her beliefs have changed so radically and permanently that they ought to leave the ministry...

     
  • At 2/19/2010 9:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    These people's hypocrasy is astounding! Wolves in sheeps clothing!Even more astounding is that their chuches/denominations do not defrock them.

     
  • At 2/19/2010 9:41 AM, Blogger A Christian Kvetch said…

    This comment has been removed by the author.

     
  • At 2/19/2010 9:45 AM, Blogger A Christian Kvetch said…

    I am a retired Baptist pastor now attending and occasionally preaching at an Anglican Church.

    During the 1960's I was active in the civil rights and anti-war movements. Several friends of mine who were agnostics or atheists enrolled in seminaries when they finished their undergraduate studies. Why? Because seminary students and pastors were exempt from the military draft. They had originally planned on careers in psychology or social work but changed to pastoral ministry to avoid going to Viet Nam.

    I had a long talk with an agnostic just weeks before he went to Union Theological Seminary in NYC. He rationalized that he could do the counseling in the church that he otherwise would have done in an agency or private practice had he gone on to a doctoral program in counseling psychology.

    I knew several other young men who made similar choices to avoid the draft, even though they did not believe in the gospel they would soon be preaching.

    I think that explains a lot about the state of the church in the United States today.

     
  • At 2/19/2010 6:30 PM, Blogger Clarence said…

    Friday, February 19, 2010
    I was in the Episcopal church before I was born. To me, there are no gray areas in the word of God. And the instructions I read in that word is, Bet not only my life on this word, but my soul as well. What can I do? Pray! Not only for them, but also for me. Are their sins worse than my sins? Every Christian church in the world has left the written word of God and inserted the word of Man in it's place. The story is obeying God's ten commandments will not get us into heaven. Maybe not! But not obeying them will certainly keep us out of heaven. My question is this. Does what these unbelievers do diminish the power of God? Somewhere it's written, "Have we not done wonderful things in your name" (Jesus)Do you remember the reply?
    Clarence

     
  • At 2/22/2010 3:53 PM, Anonymous Susan Church said…

    George Carey said:“Do I doubt? Of course. Every thinking person doubts. The opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty.” I am more worried about those who pastor with rigid certainty for I think that there are far more of them though they rarely get news coverage.

     

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2/18/2010

Ash Wednesday Photos


Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


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  • At 2/20/2010 1:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I sure regret not being there for this Ash Wednesday service. Missing the ash smudge is regrettable and desheartening. Perhaps it is necessary for me to experience the next 40 day alone. And the other regret is missing a chance to meet Fr. Frank Logue face to face.

    Clarence (Swamp Yankee!)

     

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2/17/2010

Shrove Tuesday Photos


As Lent begins today with Ash Wednesday services at the hospital at 2 p.m. and at King of Peace at 7 p.m., we have another successful Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper behind us.

Courtesy of a great kitchen crew we had some wonderful food to share. Then we enjoyed bingo in a more Mardi Gras mood as we donned beads and cranked up the zydeco music. Thanks to all who put on a great event!









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The Heights I Cannot Reach

I love the heights I cannot reach,
I love the truth I cannot preach,
I love the song I cannot sing,
I love the joy I cannot bring.

For heights some foot persistent reached,
For truth some prophet-soul has preached,
For notes some minstrel-heart has raised,
And Joy revealed, O God be praised!

Heights glacial though I may not scale,
Dwelling within life's shadowed vale,
Drinking from low-descending brook,
Yet to heights I still will look!
—Ernest Earle Osgood, Rector Emmanual, Brook Hill, VA (1903-1925)
From the Dove Tales newsletter of the church

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2/16/2010

Prepare Now for the Joy of Easter

The season of preparation for Easter, known as Lent, begins tomorrow. Lent is the forty days plus the six Sundays before Easter. For centuries, it has been observed as a special time of self examination and penitence. Lent is a time for concentration on fundamental values and priorities, and is not a time for self punishment.

If you have found yourself away from church and wondered about it another try, Lent is the perfect time. For centuries, Lent has offered a chance to try the fellowship of the church one more time. In fact, Lent developed as a way to receive people back into church. If you are questioning your own faith and wondering what you believe, this could be the perfect time to come back to church.

To learn more about this season, we offer the following links:

Keeping a Holy Lent
A web page with more information and a complete schedule of King of Peace's own Lenten schedule for 2010.

Keeping a Holy Lent Booklet
This has information on Lent as a printable booklet, which does not contain information on King of Peace's schedule and so is ready to be used by any other church with our blessing. Our logo is on the front, but you can paste your church's information over the logo and print up brochures for your congregation.

Prepare for Easter's Joy
A religion column for our local newspaper that tells about Lent for an readership assumed to largely not be familiar with the practices of the season.

Shrove Tuesday
Today is Shrove Tuesday. The day is named for the "shriving" or confessing that was traditional on this day before beginning Lent. This day is also known as Mardi Gras, or "Fat Tuesday," because it was a time for eating the things from which one would abstain during Lent. Pancake suppers are traditional as they were a way of using up some of the ingredients not needed during Lent. King of Peace will have a pancake supper tonight beginning at 6:00 p.m. The food is donated and so the meal is free. We will also have bingo for prizes following the meal.

Ash Wednesday
The first day of Lent is marked with a special liturgy. The theme for the day, though not for all of Lent, is that we stand as sinners condemned to die, but for God’s grace. This is symbolized by the imposition of ashes on the forehead, with the words, "You are dust and to dust you shall return." In the Old Testament, ashes were a sign of penitence (feeling regretful at offenses) and mourning. We will host the Ash Wednesday service (on February 17, 2010) at 2 p.m. in the chapel of the hospital and a second joint service with St. Mark's, Woodbine will be held at King of Peace at 7 p.m.

A Note on Fasting
Ash Wednesday is one of two days of special observance (the other being Good Friday) for which fasting is particularly recommended. While this usually refers going without food for the entire day, this practice is not practical for all persons, including, but not limited to, diabetics. Use your own discretion in determining how you can best observe this day, but do consider some form of fasting as you observe Ash Wednesday.

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2/15/2010

God is a missionary God

Mission is not primarily an activity of the church, but an attribute of God. God is a missionary God. It is not the church that has a mission of salvation to fulfill in the world; it is the mission of the Son and the Spirit through the Father that includes the church. There is church because there is mission, not vice versa.

The Church must not think its role is identical to the missio Dei [mission of God]; the Church is participating in the mission of God. The Church's mission is a subset of a larger whole mission. That is, it is part of God's mission to the world and not the entirety of God's work in the world.
—Jürgen Moltmann

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2/14/2010

February 14th worship



It was a full and rewarding morning at King of Peace. The sermon (shown above) included "magic" rings as we considered dealing with reality rather than perception as we let go of the illusion of control and trust God. At the early service five couples renewed their wedding vows and 20 couples did so at the 10 a.m. worship service. At 10 a.m. Dustin and Iverson were baptized. Then following that service, we had a covered dish in celebration of King of Peace's move from being a mission to being recognized by the Diocese of Georgia as a Parish. All of this sounds disconnected and too full, but it was a great morning with a common thread of trusting God with our lives running through all the various parts.












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