Some parts of the Church observe a “Church Year” or Liturgical Calendar that gives some shape to the topics emphasized through the year. Like Christmas (and the run-up to it, Advent), and Easter. We mark the time between Christmas and Easter thinking about the various events in the earthly life of Jesus, and continue that through Pentecost, which starts the history of the Church. After Pentecost, we think more about how the life, death, resurrection and continuing presence of Jesus affects us in the here and now, culminating with “Christ the King” Sunday, the last one before the cycle starts again.
This Sunday is the first in that “ordinary” time, and is called “Trinity Sunday” where now that we have thought about God the Father, talked for months about Jesus, and last week reflected on God the Holy Spirit, we look at the Blessed “Three-in-One” – The Holy Trinity, which we Christians hold as the fundamental understanding of God.
It is always interesting to me to see what different preachers have to say on this Sunday…
This morning at Hope Episcopal Church we had a visit from our newest Bishop Suffragan, the Rt. Rev. Jeff W. Fisher. For those not up on our “episco-speak” code, a Bishop Suffragan is an assistant bishop , analogous to what our Roman Catholic brethren and sistren would call an auxiliary bishop.
Bishop Fisher was at Hope church for a confirmation, and this was my first exposure to him. After the last decade and more, I am suspicious of our house of bishops; I do not know him, but I know something of his background, and from whence he comes. I should be at peace trusting him, but sadly, at least for me all of our bishops are suspect until proven sound.
Happily, in one small act, Bp. Fisher won me over.
I have announced and asked for prayers in too many places for me to pretend it is still a secret, at least a secret from anyone to whom It would matter. I am actively exploring the possibility of leaving my church of the last dozen or so years for another, yet to be discovered. And I hate the process. Continue reading
This morning, we had a guest preacher, the Rev. John Newton, Canon for Life-Long Spiritual Formation for the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. He preached mainly from the Epistle reading for the day, from first chapter of Ephesians. He started in what I thought was headed for a standard corporate-church theme of God’s blessings (“we need to realize that God has already blessed us, yadda, yadda, yadda …”) Yes, he went there, and I can’t totally fault him for that; he has an excuse in that the point is correct.
But then he went somewhere more interesting. Continue reading
Very interesting message this past week from the Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle, Bishop of Texas (Episcopal). Now, having participated (on the losing side) in some minor ways in the recent wars of the Episcopal Church, I am not automatically receptive to most bishops, including my own. But here I think Bp Doyle got it exactly right:
He was preaching from John 20:19-26, The post-resurrection appearance of Jesus to the disciples in the upper room. Continue reading
“My place in Redeemer & vice versa, ”compare and contrast “ with life in general and personal history, with particular emphasis on the themes of plans and expectation (see subtext “Judas”)…”
OK, yesterday eve (well, late afternoon!) when I finally got to bed after staying up like I was half my age, I couldn’t write what I wanted. But I was too full to properly resist, so I at least assigned a theme for myself, noted above. Upon reading my “assignment,” today, I am dismayed, and thankful on behalf of my non-existent class, that I do not teach High School English, nor do I assign term papers.
I have been dodging this topic all morning, and my available time is near an end. Some would say I have been dodging this topic for 20 years, maybe 25. Time to get to it… Continue reading
By way of explanation, I have alluded to my coming to the Anglican Communion in the form of the Episcopal Church. The parish was “Church of the Redeemer, Episcopal”, which has had a widely reported existence over the last 40+ years. It has indeed been remarkable, not easily shoved into one ecclesial pigeon-hole. The physical building has this Sunday (27 February, 2011) been “secularized” meaning it is no longer set apart as a church. The life of that physical plant is at an end, due to an unattainable cost of essential repairs. The life of the parish continues, but it leads into a mist through which none but God can yet see.