Welcome and thank you...

...for joining me as I journey to ordination to Holy Orders in the Episcopal Church USA. I will journal my hopes and fears, my joys and disappointments that I experience in the process. I'll think aloud my pastoral theology and my theology in general along with my observations about the ECUSA.

If you're looking for in-depth theological discussions or arguments, you've come to the wrong place. However, if you wish to walk with me on this journey - welcome and thank you.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I Shall Return

I am working on a project and will return in a couple of weeks. That's one of my pet peeves about myself - I tend to lose myself in new projects that really excite me. I am writing curricula for a young adult education program that I'm starting at my local church. My priest says he is interested, but he's said that before. He is contemplative, but everyone is not of course. I think there needs to be more variety and the parish in it's current state does not appeal to young adults. My aim is to change this, but we shall see. Church folks are the most resistant to change.

If it doesn't work out at my local church, I intend to go forward independent of my parish's support. Someone has to and that someone might as well be me.

Your prayers are requested and needed.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Fullness of Time: First Sunday after Christmas

The Collect:

Almighty God, you have poured upon us the new light of your incarnate Word: Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Lectionary Reading

Isaiah 61:10 -62:3
Psalm 147
Galatians 3:23 - 25; 4:4 - 7
John 1: 1 - 18

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his son, born of woman... (Gal. 4:4)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Feast of St. Stephen


We give you thanks, O Lord of glory, for the example of the first martyr Stephen, who looked up to heaven and prayed for his persecutors to your Son Jesus Christ, who stands at your right hand; where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen

Lectionary Reading:

Jeremiah 26:1-9, 12-15
Psalm 31
Acts 6:8 - 7:2a, 51c - 50
Matthew 23: 34 - 39

Stephen's life intrigues me no matter how often I read about him. He is described as a man with a good reputation, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom. The writer of Acts goes on to say that Stephen was full of grace and fortitude. Stephen was also a prolific preacher who was highly skilled in logic. He was so skilled that he was conspired against. Religious folks lied and their lie led to Stephen's death by stoning.

When I read about St. Stephen I am so humbled by his willingness to serve. He didn't claw his way to the top, to "apostleship." He didn't have a need to work side-by-side with the men in charge. No one is named as a disciple of Stephen. Yet his gift made room for him as he made room for his gift. By all accounts Stephen was a brilliant man, an intelligent person who served, who spoke the truth, and who was killed because of it. (Haters will take you out!)

In celebrating the Feast of St. Stephan I give thanks for that great cloud of witnesses who came before to leave a testimony of their faith. It is their testimony that keeps me connected to the Church of Jesus Christ. Otherwise I would probably not bother showing up. I trust and believe God from anywhere that I am, but it is because of these saints, Stephen and others, who were martyred and persecuted for the Gospel's sake that keeps me physically in church and emotionally attached.

I pray that I make room for my gifts, that I am available to the Spirit, and that I act upon the strength and courage granted to me to love and serve God and others with gladness.

Collect is from the Book of Common Prayer.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Rejoice! Rejoice! It's Christmas...

God provides. Jesus is born. The LORD is with us.

So begins the annual Christmas letter written by my rector. Such simple sentences, such a profound message.

A stack of letters were adjacent to the Sunday bulletin; I grabbed both, walked to a pew, genuflected, and sat. There is always silent meditation before both Sunday Masses. So I sat down to get centered, to meditate, to pray, and to still my spirit. Once my breath was at a steady, calm pace. I look at the letter to admire the design of the paper - I had not planned to read it until after Eucharist ended. But the Holy Spirit had other plans and she bid me to come. Read. Read it again. Then again. As each lesson was read: Old Testament, Psalm, Epistle, Gospel - I heard those words echoing in my ear. God provides. Jesus is born. The LORD is with us.

I nearly had a Pentecostal experience from my childhood days: I felt lightheaded and was sure I would be "slain in the Spirit" right there. Oh my! I could barely contain my joy. God provides. Jesus is born. The LORD is with us.

What a beautiful reminder of my who my Source is. Blessed assurance! God provides. Jesus is born. The LORD is with us.

It's Christmas praise God.

Photo is of Uganda Nativity set made of banana fiber available at magellantraders.com

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Fourth Sunday of Advent: Here I Am Lord

The Collect:

Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at his coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Lectionary Readings:

2 Samuel 7:4, 8-16
Psalm 132
Romans 16: 25 - 27
Luke 1: 26 -38

Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word. Luke 1: 38

The Collect is from the Book of Common Prayer.