Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Third Advent

I'm quickly coming to the realization that Christmas will soon be upon us whether I'm ready for it or not. I seem to be ahead of the game this year on a personal level, but I'm not sure I'm ready on a professional level. Normally this is reversed. But I guess in a way this is the lesson for advent....We are never ready for Jesus Christ, whether he comes to us in great humility in a manger, or in the face of a stranger in need on a street corner, or in great triumph to judge us all. All I know is I'm not always ready. Lord help me to be ready.

In the mean time, here is something that will help...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Kenyon Ranked #1 Most Beautiful Campus

Kenyon College, the Episcopal Liberal Arts College in Gambier, Ohio, founded by the Rt. Rev'd Philander Chase has been named the most beautiful college campus in the US.

See the story here.

Hurrah for Kenyon!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

REV. on TV.

For going on 5 years now, I have been unable to get BBC America on the TV. It has been a sore spot for me seeing as it was a favorite of mine before moving from Cincinnati to Portsmouth.

One of the reasons I like the BBC and British TV in general is for the interesting array of clergy depicted in its shows. Whether it was Gerry from the "Vicar of Dibley," or Fr. Peter from "Ballykissangel," or Channel 4's "Fr. Ted," from Craggy Island or any one of the many others, I appreciated the fact that each of the characters had depth.

Unfortunately for TV viewers in the US, clergy are portrayed in only 2 ways; licentious abusers of power, or desperately soft, good hearted fools whose sole purpose in the plot line is to get taken for a ride.

So here is yet another BBC example of a real live priest, who is neither a child abuser nor a simpleton, but a normal human being trying to do the best he can with what God has tossed in his lap...

Here is a review of REV by Bishop Alan Wilson.

Below is a taste of the article by Bishop Alan....

For all its tendency to self-parody and caricature, I like Rev. It’s a noble enterprise. Those who wrote it know whereof they speak. Adam sits in his Church trying to pray the office, wishing God would bloody do something, but secretly suspecting he won’t until his unworthy servant has made it through the next funeral. It’s a ministry that resents all the distractions, until it realises that the ministry is the distractions.

There’s holiness in the unglamorous, haphazard, but profoundly kind and patient way C of E vicars do urban ministry, even in some of the crazier characters vicars encounter. It’s highly implicit, always understated, rarely obvious. Light very occasionally streams in serendipitously, but the grind is always there. You just have to pray for people, and try to help them make the best of themselves, and never give up.

I hope you will take the time to read the article and the web reviews. Sadly, Americans will be unable to see the REV even with BBC America. Who knows why, but it is not playing on this side of the pond right now. Maybe we're not ready for it yet? But here's hoping the DVD's will some day be released.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010


I came across this post from Fr. Steve this morning. Good content and commentary on giving and the is a taste with the link to the full article following...

I read everything I can from the Alban Institute. Alban is the congregational development research organization par excellence. The following article (I know it’s long, but a very interesting read) came in my inbox this morning. It speaks somewhat to the theology that as church members (those who participate in the work of the Church) we are not owners. The Church is not ‘ours’ as if we could possess the Body of Christ. The paradox of church membership, as Archbishop of Canterbury William Temple once said/wrote, is that: The Church is the only society on earth that exists for the benefit of non-members....

Check out the entire article here...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Easter Thursday

I'm preparing a devotional study during Eastertide using the New Church Teaching Series' "Ethics After Easter." Issues for consideration focus on how the events of the Resurrection of Christ change and impact the life of the christian as well as the world around them. It looks to be a good study.

As I was preparing this morning, I stumbled across this online travel article about the top 12 destinations to see while they were still around. Of course some the the obvious ones included Barrow, Alaska, and its vanishing tundra environment. Venice and the melting snows of Kilimanjaro were but two others. But the real surprise was literally my backyard, Appalachia. With mountain-top removal becoming more and more the norm, some say Appalachia is becoming endangered.

Take a look here.

It made me think. And then it made me sad. I don't know if I should feel that way during Easter Week?

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Holy Week Reflection

The Archbishop gives his thoughts on Holy Week in a special video message. Holy Week is 'a week when we discover in a way we don't at any other time just we are and just who God is'.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


There is a phrase from the burial office in the Book of Common Prayer that states, "In the midst of life, we are in death." I understand why it is there. I even understand the theological grounding for it being there. But I also think the reverse is true as well, "In the midst of death, we are in life."

Here is a picture of the youngest member of my parish. Born just a few hours ago. What joy and love he is bringing into the world. Joy for his family, joy for his church, joy for his community. How precious is new is an in-your-face reminder of God's life in the world. A Life that brings light to us all, even when our own lives can be overwhelming.

The tenth anniversary of my grandfather's death was yesterday...It is hard to believe he has been gone that long, partly because the day he died, my cousin gave birth to a baby girl and she turned 10 yesterday. Yep, I think it true, in the midst of death, we are in life. And oh, what a wonderful life it is...Thank you Lord!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Rite I please...

I'm using Rite I and the Decalogue in Lent. If you are an Episcopalian, you know exactly what this means...Victorian language, heavy emphasis on human sinfulness and need for repentance. If you are not an Episcopalian, you probably don't care and can stop reading here!

My choice for using Rite I and the Decalogue during Lent has nothing to do with whether I prefer one to another, or whether I believe one to be more or less holy than another. My choice for using them is far more pragmatic and has a lot to do relationships.

Now I can already hear some of you say, “what does Rite I or Rite II have to do relationships?” Since I started supplying for a church in January, they have one combined Sunday service rather than two, and the format has been mainly that of the former 10:30am service. Some of the 8 o’clock folks have felt a tad disengaged with this. As a result, some have chosen to stay home rather than attend Mass. As a way to reach out to them, I chose to use a simpler service during Lent…a few less hymns, traditional language and more moments of reflection in the service.

Over the years, I can easily say that the two of the most important lessons I have learned are these; (1) Knowing that I can’t always have it my way; (2) Knowing that successfully working with others often requires compromise. These are lessons that come when you commit to being in relationship with others, and these lessons can only be appreciated when those relationships are allowed to mature.

They are good lessons, and fantastic ones to practice during a time like Lent when we are encourage to allow God to take us out of our comfort zones and into a deeper fellowship with Him through self-examination, prayer and fasting.

So I hope people appreciate a little change in the Sunday morning worship. Because even though change can be scary, it can often bring us into a closer relationship with God, our neighbors and ourselves.