Thursday, July 24, 2014

Why I think Pope Francis is a Pretty Groovy Guy

Well, my first inclination is just to be like, "Because he is!" and throw down the mic. But I know that wouldn't really have the effect I'm going for.

In all honesty, though, I've been following what the pope has been doing since he was elected for one, because Benedict's abdication was so atypical, but also for two, because Fr. Jorge Bergoglio started off his papacy with things that seemed like sheer lunacy. Of course, now those lunatic things have become somewhat normal for him as a public figure, but they persist in being so simple and revolutionary for the Roman Catholic Church as well as Christianity at large.  So I guess I need to jump on the bandwagon with my Francis crush. Or at least I'll admit that I'm in good company writing about him (seriously, this is the most recent thing I've seen about him on the Religion News Service... and there is plenty more where that came from).

Borrowed from Devoutly Catholic

So what are these lunatic things that make me so enchanted with this groovy religious leader for whom I am not obligated in any way, shape, or form to give obeisance? Oh, let me count the ways:

Friday, July 18, 2014

Why Do We Do This Church Thing on Sundays?

So I've been looking over the past couple of posts that I've made to my blog and I'm observing that I've had a string of really heavy topics for the past few weeks. And while I think it's important to do that, I also think it's important every so often to look for more lighthearted fare. So let's talk about the Christian day of worship!

As a matter of fact, I have been having conversations lately that involve the question "why do so many Christians find it necessary to worship on Sunday morning?" These conversations have not been particularly weighty, but I've enjoyed them and they've been on my mind, thus I'm writing about the topic. Let's begin.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

What's a Deacon? or, This Is a Question that Requires Participation

What would I do without Episcopal Church Memes?

At one point in time, I had written in my "about me" section (which you can always find in the menu bar at the top of my blog or right now at this link), that deacons were the "designated liturgical Other." This is an uncomfortable statement to make, because the implications are paradoxical. I was challenged on this statement at one point in time because describing the diaconate like that isn't very kind. Additionally, it's most definitely not the ideal reputation that we, as deacons (or in my case, candidates in formation to be deacons), are striving to make for ourselves. Nonetheless, I make the statement as an observation of the way that things are in my context. That means that if anyone wants to challenge me on any point that I make in this post, I will welcome it so that I can clarify the observations I've made in my part of the world and so that I can listen to what you see in yours.

All that being said, let's first examine how things work prescriptively before I describe what I observe.

Monday, July 7, 2014

In the Words of Popeye: "I Yam What I Yam," or, Maybe That Was YHWH...

So I'm going to do something slightly odd here; I started writing this post and then changed my mind... but I want both beginnings. So I'm going to give you both and you decide which you want to read... you won't hurt my feelings, as long as you read at least one.

But before you begin, please be aware that this post, regardless or the beginning that you read, is another effort on my part to articulate what I mean when I say that "I am what I am."

Original Beginning
On Thursday, June 26, a good friend of mine, Vant Washington, was ordained to the diaconate. I've mentioned Vant on my blog before, in regard to his preaching. Along with him were a few other candidates who I have become acquainted with through various events that happen in the Episcopal Church in Minnesota. All told, including my friend, there were 14 deacons ordained that evening, as well as two priests.

Vant is the one in the corner of the picture with black hair...
you can only see the top half of his head and he has his eyes closed...
a very flattering picture that I borrowed from Bp. Prior's blog

It was a wonderful celebration, my dry explanation notwithstanding. I heard afterwards that the 16 candidates who came into the worship space that evening had the entire range of emotions from holy-crap-this-is-happening-I'm-not-ready, to this-is-what-I've-been-working-toward, to the simple I'm-exhausted. What's more is that the entire place was packed. I know that in the picture I provided above, there is nobody who is not vested, but just imagine at least ten times the number of people in the picture; family, friends, faith community members, all gathered to support and lift up these individuals for ordained ministry. It was moving. And it was really hot with that many people stuffed into what seemed like a cavernous worship space.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

I'm Coming Out, or, Everybody Needs Somebody

Everybody has something to come out of the closet with. No matter what it is, it's always hard to come out and publicly declare something that you know is taboo. I mean, there are times that you can declare something to a group that you're a part of, when you know that they'll affirm you and support you. But when there is something you need to admit, knowing full well that it may put you out of somebody's good graces (to put it mildly), that is the closet out of which you need to come.

So here I am publicly declaring that I am an Advocate.