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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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God’s eye is on the guinea pig, as well as the sparrow

Posted by Heather, June 29, 2012

We have had a fair amount of extra drama in our house this week. After about a year and a third of delay for various reasons, we adopted a dog on Sunday afternoon. Midnight is her name and she is about five years old. My husband and girls are really excited and I’m coming along. (I think I have a sense of the work that a dog requires and a healthy fear that I will become the primary caregiver for the dog. But I am excited too.) We have had a guinea pig, Bella, for six months now. She was our starter pet, in a way, to make sure that everyone would participate in the care for a pet, even the not so fun care such as cleaning a cage.

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Vocation

Posted by Pierce, June 20, 2012

I was at breakfast the other day with a friend who described how she was having a midlife crisis. She had discovered that she was probably in the wrong line of work, had chosen the wrong husband, and throughout most of her life, had let other people make decisions for her. This is not an unusual story. She wanted to make her next move with discernment and care, to make the most of what is left of her life, her gifts and energies. So we talked. We didn’t come up with any answers at breakfast, but I know she is laying the groundwork for her next steps.

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Replacing the 1982 Hymnal?

Posted by Jason, June 13, 2012

A little over a year ago, the Episcopal Church undertook a detailed study to consider publishing a new hymnal to replace the Hymnal 1982. Episcopalians around the country took part in a lengthy on-line study. The results of this study may be found on the Church Pension Group’s website:

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The God of the Old Testament

Posted by Ann, June 3, 2012

Day nine of the Bible Challenge. I keep worrying that people are freaking out when they actually read Genesis. Several times I have heard good church-going Episcopalians say, “I don’t like the God of the Old Testament.” And it’s easy to see why. Asking Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Bargaining with Abraham about how many people of Sodom he will allow to live. Then there are the people of the Old Testament. How can such a holy book contain so many morally questionable and reprehensible stories as Abram telling Pharoah’s people that Sarai is his sister, so Pharoah can sleep with her and then deal kindly with Abram. Or Sarai suggesting that Abram sleep with Hagar to produce an heir, but then after Sarah bears her own son, casts out Hagar and Ishmael to the outer darkness. What about Lot’s daughters getting their father drunk to sleep with him so there will be descendants? Yuck! Or circumcising adult males for that matter? Ouch! I cringe as I read that and we’re not even half way through Genesis. I have to remind myself that this holy book has shaped faith communities for centuries, that humans have always been well… corruptible and troubled. That the God of the Old Testament loves us anyway, craves to stay in our lives when we go wandering and philandering. The God of the Old Testament creates a covenant with us and doesn’t give up on us even when we break the covenant. That sounds like a holy book.

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Pentecost

Posted by Pierce, May 22, 2012

On the first Sunday of every month, we invite people celebrating birthdays to kneel at the altar and we pray these words over them: “O God, our times are in your hand: Look with favor, we pray, on these your servants as they begin another year. Grant that they may grow in wisdom and grace, and strengthen their trust in your goodness all the days of their lives…” Beginning another year carries with it an element of renewal. It is, therefore, time for resolution. For the first half of our lives, we worry about getting older. But for the second half of our lives, we contemplate about leaving a legacy.

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Reality in Psalms

Posted by Jason, May 17, 2012

During Lent, I found myself noticing particular phrases in the Psalms that I had not previously seen. Then, as we went through Holy Week, the Psalms again seemed to be standing out to me. I was struck at how real, and human, the Psalms are. It is as if all of the emotions of the human condition can be found in the Psalms. And, they’re real emotions that I can easily relate to – not only joy, hope, and praise, but despair, hurt, and disappointment. 

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