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Sunday into Monday and Beyond

Posted by Heather, August 23, 2012

There are many blues and country-western songs that reference the dichotomy between what you do on those wild weekend nights and what you do on Sunday morning. Lyle Lovett sings “You went to church on Sunday” to which the backup chorus hums in agreement, then sings, “ You got drunk the night before,” and the chorus moans in agreement. You can imagine the chorus shaking their heads. Now, I’m not so worried about folks going beyond the pale on Friday and Saturday nights. I am sure that it happens now and then and it is important to address in your life if you are partying too much. But for me, the bigger question is how does Sunday stick around into Monday and beyond?

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Off To College

Posted by Pierce, August 15, 2012

Much has been made of the value of college education. Some believe it is unnecessary and after all we need plenty of backbone to do the unskilled and semi-skilled jobs that make the world go ‘round. Others warn that without a college education, you may be jeopardizing your future for a good salary and benefits. In between are those who claim that a four-year college degree is bound to disappoint because jobs will not be there or jobs that are fulfilling will be scarce. Still others believe that those who cannot afford college should be paid a living wage. Some remedies that are offered include scaling back what universities do, for instance, research libraries and the removal of philosophy departments because they are unprofitable and too costly to be provided for all students. I wince at the idea since that is where I spent most of my time in college.

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Dwelling Places

Posted by Jason, August 8, 2012

I have just returned from a wonderful week at the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM) summer course in Newport, Rhode Island. Every year, the RSCM sponsors several camps in different locations around the country. It’s a week of intensive singing and preparation for services. The Newport course was amazingly successful. With over 100 participants (mostly children – treble voices), the sound was thrilling and finely polished. It was a delight to have some of our own choristers present and participating.

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Summertime and the music is easy: Not!

Posted by Ann, August 2, 2012

Have you ever had the feeling of complete stimulation, creative challenge, and deep exhaustion, all while operating at the edges of your comfort zone? That is how I spent the week last week. I have just returned from teaching and leading worship at the Mississippi Conference on Church Music and Liturgy. The Mississippi Conference, in its 37th year, is designed primarily to support church musicians in smaller parishes, to expose them to new music, to feed their souls and to charge them up for another year of parish ministry. Every year they invite a clergy person and two renowned musicians to be the faculty. Together we decided on a theme in January and planned the music. Our theme was looking at the sometimes fraught relationships between clergy and church musicians.

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Pay Attention to Signals

Posted by Pierce, July 26, 2012

You might have read the story of James E. Holmes appearing in court for the first time after the mass shootings in Aurora, CO. Everyone writing about it made it clear that the families of the victims were present. In a way, most of us were present through them too. We all want answers. We all want justice. An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, as they say.

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Sabbath Time

Posted by Heather, July 25, 2012

A more reasonable person would have already written their blog post before going on vacation. But this still reasonable person was busy at full tilt before going away on vacation, and so this did not get done until on vacation. My husband and I have tried really hard to be fully on vacation and to not be working at work things. Like many of you, both of us have work that does not stay neatly in the 9 to 5 work world (or even in the 8 to 6 work world!). So, when we can really be away, it is good for all of us -- each of us as individuals, the two of us as a couple and as parents, and the four of us as a family.

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Opinions on our Church

Posted by Ann, July 23, 2012

Since General Convention, the Episcopal Church has been taking quite a beating on op-ed pages and in the blogosphere. I was particularly incensed by Ross Douthat’s (Washington Post, Sunday, July 15) suggestion that we are losing numbers because of our liberal tendencies and lack of theology.

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2012 Olympics

Posted by Pierce, July 18, 2012

Many of us are glued to the television watching the pre-trials for the Olympics in anticipation of the day when the torch reaches London. Contrary to its origin, the Olympic games have become rites of national pride vetting one country against another with the occasional excitement of a Cinderella country that produces an unexpected champion. Obsessive tabulation of each country’s medal count is a reminder that these games serve political purposes.

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The Advantages of a Regular Routine

Posted by Jason, July 11, 2012

I'll be honest -- I often have wondered if I didn't work for a church, would I go to church regularly? I'd like to think I would, but I can't really be certain. It doesn't mean I have doubts about my beliefs, rather, I'm just not sure how active I'd be on Sunday mornings.

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The Busy Trap

Posted by Ann, July 3, 2012

OK, I am completely convicted by the Sunday, July 1, NY Times op-ed piece by Time Kreider called The Busy Trap. Just that morning at church, I had twice responded to a parishioner’s question, How are you?, with not one but two of his “default responses:” I had answered, “Crazy busy,” to one and “exhausted,” to the other. Even now, as I reread the article, my mind is throwing up all kinds of excuses like: “ A priest’s work is never done.” Or the defense: “But it’s really true!”

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