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Showing posts from May, 2014

What We Do Here, Easter 6A

There he is, Paul standing on the steps of the Areopagis--a place that served administrative, religious and educational function for the Greeks--addressing an extremely well educated group of Greek Gentiles.  
Using philosophical terms that his hearers would have understood, Paul praises the Athenians piety and shows respect for their customs.  He references famous Greek writers in his explication of the nature of our relationship with God. He does all this because he is introducing a new vocabulary to a new congregation.  He takes a language with which they are familiar--that of the Greek writers and philosophers--and uses it to bring the good news of God in Christ.  He identifies a spiritual desire in the Athenians and using the kind of words and language with which they were most comfortable, sought to give them something tangible as “they searched and groped for God”.  
Searched and groped for God--what a wonderful phrase.  Isn’t much of what we do here in this community meant to he…

Because We Gather, A Sermon for Easter 4A

One of the gifts this congregation brings to the table is a passion and concern for liturgy.    People have spoken to me about their interest in creating and participating in liturgy which reflects our Anglican heritage, liturgy which emerges from our traditions as Episcopalians, liturgy with beauty equal to the beauty of this building, liturgy which emerges out of the specific context of this place and these people, liturgy which reflects our communities creativity and diversity.  
Exhaustive and thorough conversations mark every liturgical decision.  There have been at least three rounds of what were essentially Holy Week play by plays as various members of our community have discussed what they have felt worked and did not within those liturgies.  Yesterday, the liturgy and music committee met to engage in discussion about both our Holy Week and Easter liturgies thus far.  
We spoke about our mutual desire to craft worship that meets the needs of the gathered community.  We spoke of …

A prayer for the Kidnapped Nigerian Schoolgirls #bringbackourgirls

Tonight, May 7th at 6:30pm CST, people are invited to pray aloud the names of Nigeria's kidnapped girls. Pray these names tonight wherever you are and feel free to share this invitation to prayer with others.  Feel free to use and adapt the following prayer, one I wrote for our congregation, as you pray.   The list of names includes both Christian and Muslim students and was sourced from http://www.punchng.com/news/can-releases-names-of-180-abducted-schoolgirls/  A Prayer for the Kidnapped Nigerian Schoolgirls O God of Mercy, you who call us to release the captives and comfort the afflicted, we pray for the Nigerian Schoolgirls who were abducted.  May they find light in the darkness and compassion in unexpected places.  May they be a comfort and strength to each other and in this time of fear may they be emboldened by hope and strengthened by your presence.   We pray for the searchers, that they may have the resources necessary to enable the safe return of these children.  We pray for…