Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Waking from the slumber

I feel as if I have awakened from a slumber here in the blogosphere. Looking back, my last post was wishing folks merry Christmas, and today we commemorate Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent...It all seems too surreal.

In the meantime, I went to Disney World with the family, hosted an Evangelism Conference for the diocese and have lost all track of time in the interim.

Back in the parish, things go on as they always do, from one season to the next. We are bond together in this half-light of time, complaining there isn't enough of it, always wanting more, and in the end not knowing what to do with the generous portion we've been allotted.

The Church at times suffers this angst as well. Recently, Anglicans of all stripes have been busy contemplating time...experienced in many places as counting down on different sets of clocks when the end of the Communion will take place. It's sad really. As with humanity so with its institutions. We are so caught up in our own mortality, individuals and the communion as a whole, that we fail to see the passing of time, poorly spent and fretted away. All the while each side claiming some imperative or mandate that to often hides worldly ambitions in the guise of Gospel principles.

Thank God for Ash Wednesday. Thank God for Lent and its reminder that we are but dust and to dust we shall return. If we take this with some seriousness, maybe we can begin to realize the great distraction that much of the current debate among us Anglicans truly is and begin using our time with more discretion. (I'm not belittling the convictions of any of the camps among us, but rather I am belittling the notion that we can reach unity through functioning like political parties.)

I'm brought back from this rant by some words read today out of one of the little used and greatly ignored gems of Anglican spirituality, The Book of Homilies...in its sermon against contention and fighting, these old proses ring true today...

We cannot be jointed to Christ our Head, except we be glued with concord and charity, one to another. For he that is not in this unity, is not of the Church of Christ...

Maybe we should give up fighting with each other as our Lenten discipline. It might be a little more productive than giving up chocolate...

5 comments:

Bill said...

As Lilly Tomlin used to say, "And that's the truth (bronx cheer)"

Anonymous said...

Fr. Queen -

I'm new to town, and have read through your blog as a way to try to make some decisions about which churches to visit as I try to find a spiritual home in Portsmouth. I'm unsure of how you and the congregation would react to a new member who is gay or lesbian.

Your blog seems to indicate some disagreement with the theology and decisions of the church administration and Anglican Communion - is that based on the arguments and divisiveness of the proceedings, or is it based on your disagreement with the policies related to lgbt members and clergy?

I look forward to your answer and to any further discussion this might promote.

Fr. Jeff Queen said...

Dear Anonymous,

It is a very good question you bring up. I am in some disagreement with the decisions of the Episcopal Church. For the most part, it is based on the way the decisions have been made. That is because I think it unreasonable for us to believe that we can make church policy based on majority rule.

All Saints' is a welcoming congregation. I know that because the former priest left the church for Rome because of his issues with national church policies and the local congregation. I think you would feel at home here if you are comfortable with diversity. But if you need a place were every one has uniformity of belief on all subjects...then All Saints' is not the place...I invite you to come and see.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Fr. Queen –

Thank you for your answer – and so quickly!

I do not expect complete uniformity, nor do I want that from a church. As a person who grew up Catholic, I am very “experienced” in the ways of a uniform church with only one path, one answer, and one authority. Anglican churches appeal because of the core beliefs and the commitment to a more inclusive and open church that welcomes women and may welcome those who are minorities of all kinds.

I will stop by at some point in the next few weeks and see how the church feels to me.

Thanks again – and I hope the discussions of welcoming and inclusiveness can continue.