Off with their heads!

It seems like scarcely a week goes by without some statue being pulled down by a mob or some building being renamed or currency redesigned with a less morally fraught visage. The mob raises their fist in righteous indignation, “Thomas Jefferson was a bad person. He owned slaves. Pull him down.”

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The Eve of Destruction

In 1965, singer-songwriter Barry McGuire released his song the “Eve of Destruction” with lyrics that seem as applicable today as they were 55 years ago. China is sailing an aircraft carrier formation with jets and bombers flying over Taiwan. Russia is massing 80,000 troops on the Ukrainian border. Iran is enriching Uranium to near bomb-level concentration, Syria is a mess from proxy-wars, and Myanmar is approaching civil war. Climate refugees from hurricanes and droughts are streaming from Central America northward while U.S. politicians and trolls use the victims of a tragedy to score petty points.

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Rational Theology

For several years, I have relied upon a website as my go to place for in-depth and way out there etymology, history and theology. The commentators know the Jewish and Christian scriptures in Hebrew, Latin, Greek, Syriac and Coptic. They are scholars and they are also physicists and mathematicians. Their insights connecting theology to modern science are often profound. Recently I learned that this collection of scholars and theologians are connected to a place called the “Center for Rational Theology” located in Belgrade, Serbia.

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Teenage Terrorists and Thinking Beyond the Church Youth Group

No, I’m not talking about ordinary adolescent angst, but actual terrorists. This is a global phenomenon affecting Hindu extremists, anti-Semitic extremists, Trump supporters, racists, homophobes, and every other kind of nationalist or hate group you can imagine. ALL of them are recruiting teens.

Why is this happening?

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From Members to Disciples

I have never been comfortable with the classic, church definition of a “member” or what the Episcopal Church refers to as a “Communicant in Good Standing.” According to our canons (rules defining how the church operates), a member is someone who is baptized, attends church, gives to the church (is “known to the treasurer”) and who “works and prays for the spread of the kingdom of God.” The Episcopal Church (and most others) have all kinds of forms and reports for counting people and reporting on the spread of the kingdom of God every year.

But are these numbers and reports accurate and helpful in measuring the spread of the kingdom of God?

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Lent 4 – 03142021

Download the worship bulletin for this service here;


Will they come back?

We have lost a lot of people as this little church in this little town. Some left before the pandemic in disputes with the rector, in disappointment that Grace couldn’t regain its glory years, in addictions, in family disputes, and in broken marriages. People quit coming until the view of the church on Sunday mornings was painful to see. Then the pandemic hit. There was no church to attend anywhere. Now we are reopening with social distancing, and people ask, “Will the ones who fell away come back?”
 


Fact, Reason, and Human Decency

A professor of constitutional law in Minnesota has developed an Instagram following of 400,000 people dedicated to the idea of substantiated facts and the truth, even if it is not what her followers want to hear. In the era of outrageous lies and conspiracy theories, this one woman and her non-partisan crusade for facts and truth gives me hope.
 
Is there room for fact, reason, and human decency in the church I wonder?
 


What is Truth?

The question Pilate asked Jesus (John 18:38) before sentencing him to a brutal execution is as valid today as it was then. Not only is this a great question to ponder, but we might do well to review some of the “top 40” of Jesus’ teaching. In Matthew, Chapter 5 and 6, Jesus teaches us. Read more…



An Epiphany

The word “epiphany” literally means the “out shining” of light. In English, it has come to mean an experience of God which is often mystical and powerful. It can also mean a sudden perception of the meaning of something or an intuitive grasp, an insight.  In church usage, the celebration of the Feast of the Epiphany today (January 6) commemorates the visit of the three kings or magi to present their gifts to the Christ child. It marks the first appearance of Jesus to the Gentile world. It is the manifestation (out shining) of God to the world.

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