Ok. Nobody asked me. But I almost cannot help myself.

When I worship at a church, I always seem to critique the service in my head.

This morning, Anne and I worshiped at St. James’ in Lincoln City (Oregon). We’ve been there before (and liked it). But this year they have an interim. So it was a somewhat different experience. (more…)

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We are moving forward at St. George’s with presenting our 10:30 AM service (as we present our 9 AM service) as a PowerPoint presentation.  This idea caused some controversy with it was raised, but a two Sunday trial seems to have helped us see this as a useful step forward in our congregational life.  I’m excited that Deacon Bob has been setting up the equipment (he may finish tomorrow).  And we should be ready to go forward for real on the first Sunday in September.  Thanks to Bob and all those who helped with this.  We hope this will make St. George’s a more welcoming place for oldtimers and newtimers alike.

Ok.  Here’s an excerpt from Fr. Farrow’s blog as I found it at Brian’s site”

Yesterday I was listening to National Public Radio; the journalist was reporting that Episcopal USA had approved the advancement of lesbian and gays to the episcopacy. The journalist went on to mention that there are two such candidates to become bishops in California. NPR further reported that this decision had placed Episcopal USA on a collision course with more conservative members of the International Anglican Community and this at a time when tensions are already high over the consecration of Gene Robinson as a bishop.I sat there in my car after the news program ended and thought how amazing it is that these people prefer justice to security…. When I said my first Mass at my last parish, the choir sang, “All are welcomed here.” I winced when I heard them sing that song, because my predecessor had informed me that they would send LGBT parishioners across the street to the Methodist Church, since they could not offer them services at St. Paul’s.

The choir did not sing, “All are welcomed here” at All Saints Episcopal, but the community silently proclaimed that invitation by their actions.

You can see the original here.

Well, we’ve been to Philly, and I’m now sitting down in Brigantine (New Jersey).  We went to the 11 AM worhship at Christ Church this morning (home, at one time, to Ben Franklin).  It’s very much a historic church, but the people feel pretty well connected to today.  It has the old “half pew” system, numbered (I assume to denote who was originally allowed to sit in which pew) that I only remember seeing once before.  Not all that comfortable.  And it has wonderful clear glass windows behind the altar (unfortunately now viewing a rather ugly fire escape on a neighboring building).  But people were friendly, and it was a good service. (more…)

Jim Richardson talks about making a place for different kinds of people in his blog fiat lux.  Among other things he says:

Both can exist together if our values include hospitality — welcoming all people.  To practice hospitality, we need to find ways to live in the tension of accommodating, as best we can, the many reasons people come to church, the theological ideas they bring (or the lack thereof), and the tastes they have in worship and music. It may help to know that much of what we think of as tradition is sometimes not that old; traditions can grow up in a hurry in a church. The wording of the  “traditional” Lord’s Prayer dates from the 1880s (check out the Middle-English version sometime). Many beloved hymns began as beer hall tunes in the Reformation. Meanwhile, a number of supposedly “contemporary” church songs are now more than 30 years old.

If you are interested in more, you can read the whole article here.

Here’s an interesting excerpt from an Easter sermon on inclusion given by “the sarcastic Lutheran.”

As many of you know, last week Seth and I attended the Rocky Mountain Synod assembly – the legislative body for this region of the Lutheran church.  For more than 10 years my denomination has been talking about human sexuality.  Much like the early church who were convinced that gentiles could only become Christians if they changed into being Jews first (which, for the record, involved a rather unpleasant process), (more…)

I was reading Brother Adam again tonight and I enjoyed this:

In the course of teaching Bible and early monasticism over the years I have become aware, as I suppose is inevitable, that modern readers come to these texts with our own presuppositions. This is not exactly news. But it is also not always obvious to us when we are reading. We aren’t usually conscious of the biases of our own culture until we have something to compare it to (more…)