Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Grace appears in the strangest of places

I'm one of those emailers who is always filling up your mailbox with things I find interesting. Probably a bunch of it is dumped, but now and then something does have attention paid to it.

Yesterday I emailed a group of Episcopal friends as well as the Episcopal portion of my EFM group a humorous snippet about Episcopalians that resonated with me. It reportedly was adapted from an essay by Garrison Keillor.

This morning I got back an email from one of my EFM group who said in part:
"...On a more serious note, this paragraph hit home - I do believe this, people: Episcopalians, who love to sing in four-part harmony are the sort of people you could call up when you're in deep distress. If you are dying, they will comfort you. If you are lonely, they'll talk to you. And if you are hungry, they'll give you tuna salad!

I will expound on this ... but suffice to say, 'I saw all of this and more given to a close relative, by a church that had never set eyes upon her before she barged into their parish and cared for her until her death. If ever there was a way to illustrate grace, this would be it'."
How about that, I sent out a funny that returned to me a sermon. Guess you never can tell when you'll be struck by Grace.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Shutting Doors

Let's see; following their latest Council Meeting, the Diocese of Ft. Worth is now in line to join the Dioceses of Pittsburgh and San Joaquin, moving towards disassociation with TEC. The House of Bishops communique wasn't deemed sufficient for them.

Most recently, the Diocese of California in convention has approved three rites for trial usage, blessing same gender couple's unions, and is urging their Bp. to approve them. Seems they weren't satisfied with what came out of the H.O.B's Meeting either and have decided to take matters into their own hands, too.

So, despite the Church's leadership attempting to keep our TEC from walking off a precipice, the laity is still hell bent on marching straight into oblivion. I'm most fearful other Dioceses will also follow, according to their leanings.

I remember reading and saving a definition of the Elizabethan Settlement once as:
“… via media was the term applied to the Elizabethan Settlement of the 1550’s. … She (Elizabeth) set aside her personal preferences in hopes of gaining national unity and peace. The ‘middle way’ was applied to elements not essential to one’s salvation.

The brilliance of the Elizabethan Settlement was in the way it incorporated various Catholic and Protestant ideas of worship into a single entity. The middle road accepted divergent ideas on items of less importance, ...

… It was not having a large table with room for everyone and every view. … The historic middle way was not a compromise between competing theories about God. It was … ‘not a bridge but a causeway.’ It did not join together two differing religions but was a way through the middle ground of the one true religion. The historic via media did not open new doors to a new Church, but allowed entry through several doors to the same Church.”

I see us all as sinful before God and theologically don't differentiate between those of a greater or lesser nature. Distinguishing between sins mortal & venal is an exercise in futility, IMHO. By denying sinners access to the Church we immediately become unable to seat anyone in the pew.

So my question is: "Why can't we take time to 'do the theology' on these issues that divide us before we begin closing and locking doors on each other?"

Friday, October 05, 2007


I’ve just finished reading a news report that was broadcast on 20/20. I didn’t see it when it aired as I have come to believe that the news media everywhere no longer reports news, but only espouse their particular agendas. I include therein all major network nightly news, programs such as 20/20, all the Sunday AM political hacks, daily newspapers, etc. Consequently, my reading or listening to events of the day comes from either multiple financial journals (I’ve found that when it comes to issues regarding money, there’s no bias, only facts) or sources that admit they are pushing their agendas and make no effort to present themselves as evenhanded. I suppose that’s rather cynical, but that’s why they don’t waste my time. It causes me to do more research about items I find of interest but my opinions are thus my own and not fed to me like pablum or propaganda.

None the less, I was moved to tears by a story that 20/20 ran. Read it here and see if you can make it through without being deeply moved. It’s about everything that is right and good about our Armed Forces. I also worked my way thru most of the comments and was pleased that most respondents felt and reacted as I did. I guess my biggest issue with the whole thing is why wasn’t it worthy of “real” news reporting at the time? More agenda or bias, I guess…