Sunday, July 29, 2007

You've Got to be Kidding

Today we were blessed with Bishop Henderson's presence at the Episcopal Church of Our Saviour. I give him good marks for his sermon, although I have to wonder why he struggled with today's readings. He sounded like he grappled with the notion of bargaining with God as Abraham did over just how many righteous would it take to spare the rest of the city of Sodom(Genesis 18:23)? Hmm..., now why would any leader in TEC have problems with that? I find the scripture reassuring. As long as there are a few in TEC that are righteous, perhaps the rest of us will be spared God's wrath. On a personal note, I love the Jewish humor of the story of Abraham bargaining with God, who in the end simply walks away from the bargaining table. I also like the human side of the parable of the man who does not want to get out of bed to get some bread for his neighbor (who ate all of his own instead of setting some aside for guests?). I too hate to be called at night with requests for things that should have been taken care of before bedtime. And why was the Bishop troubled by the way the man had to persist in his request for bread? If the neighbor holding onto the bread represents God, then my take on this is don't bother God after bedtime because He is a bit grumpy before He has that first cup of coffee. Bishop Henderson reminds us that God may answer, "Yes, No, or Later or in the word's of Jimmy Carter "You've got to be kidding.'"
Today's scriptures can lead us into interesting ground for discussion, so I will take the positive side of things and instead of calling them "difficult" I would label them as "learning experiences."

One more issue, and that has to do with "Abba" and the Lord's prayer. Is there a translation that uses "Abba" in place of "Father?"
And is an Aramaic version of the Lord's prayer authorized? If so, name the Aramaean who proof read it? If not, I will be happy to write one for you.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Dan Brown, The Apostle to the Apostates?

I was initially turned off today by Mary Cat going into the "Da Vinci Code" mythology. I was not sure if she was spreading the Gospel according to Dan Brown or not. Today is the Sunday on the Church calender that we remember Mary Magdalene. I think we could have stuck with what the authorized Bible has to say about Mary. One can always look to the web to find Mary revisionism. In fact seems to have formed the basis of today's sermon (in case you were among the throngs absent). The fact that in today's Gospel, Mary is sent to tell the twelve of Christ not yet ascended should have provided plenty of material for a sermon on feminine leadership. As far as I know, Athanasius left the gnostic gospel of Mary out of what we in the pews should be taught, but he is currently portrayed as a bad man, who deprived us of early Christian thought. No matter, now that the gnostic gospels are on-line ( ) we may someday see their return to the pages of "The New American Revolutionary Bible" (don't even try to Google that) and we can hear about them every Sunday (The top reason for being Episcopalian).

If we had to listen to the Gospel according to Dan this week, next week I would like to hear more on the Geneaology of American Liberal-Progressive Gnosticism I doubt we will hear that one!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Top Ten Reasons for Being Episcopalian

It took a lot of will power to keep from buying this shirt that I saw at a Church store (see link to view the shirt and the original list or maybe to buy one). I had to revise the list since you can't satisfy all Episcopalians all of the time, and I wanted to be a little offensive today.

Number 10. You can handle snakes if you want, just as long as it is done in the privacy of your own home.
Number 9. You can believe in dinosaurs, just don't agree with their opinions.
Number 8. Male or Female or in between, God made them, we ordain them.
Number 7. You had better not check your brains.
Number 6. Mental gymnastics (to justify your position)
Number 5. Summer vacation from Church is God's gift to Episcopalians (in part because He needs a break).
Number 4. Free wine on Sunday's and more at supper club!
Number 3. Nobody needs to feel guilty about wearing a dress in Church.
Number 2. You can be Baptised or not, come on in the water's fine!
Number 1. No matter what you believe, you can teach it to the Church.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Via Media

Hold the phone! In today's sermon, Fr. Dunbar asks us to stick to the "via media" when facing controversy, but then goes on to talk about "liberal" Paul and his letter to the Galatians. We cannot even try to talk about a via media before our words betray our human weakness, our natural tendency to classify people, things, and ideas. A little voice in my head said, "Here we go, look out for 'conservative' bashing." Sure enough, by putting Paul in the liberal camp of Christianity many might be left thinking "I sure would hate to meet a conservative." I would like to read Paul's blog to the Church today. I wonder how he would be classified by the Internet gurus. Would he be called conservative, liberal, reasserter, reappraiser, revisionist, apologist, chauvinist, homophobic, someone with visions of Christhood, or maybe someone with a martyr complex? Once labelled, I doubt Paul would agree, but they would label him somehow. I do agree with Fr. Dunbar that the via media is the best path, unfortunately people on the left or right hand side of the road think they are already in the middle and that any sideways movement would put them off the road altogether. Hmm...W.W.P.D? He might just shake the dust off his feet at us!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Physician Assisted Suicide Bombers

Here is a new headline I dreamed up. “Physician Assisted Suicide Bombers.” Maybe Dr. K. can find a new niche.

Blame socialized medicine for the physician shortage in the UK which leads to an easier path for “radical islamic muslim terrorist doctors” to enter the country. The US should take heed as we accept more graduates from foreign medical schools to make up for fewer US graduates going into the medical profession due to decreases in reimbursement and increases in litigation and bureaucratic hassles.
Which oath takes precedence, the Hippocratic oath or the jihadist oath? Better check through the medical records of these docs to see if any patients had their souls sent to Allah before their time. At least they didn't try to blow up a hospital, I guess the Hippocratic oath held sway there.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Parish Survey

I am having trouble completing my parish survey. There is a section where I am asked for an opinion on the dollar amount of this fundraising campaign. I hesitate because none of the choices sound realistic. $500,000 is still needed to retire the debt on the leaky parish hall. Until we can retire the debt, I am not optimistic about new projects. I am glad there are people pushing us along. Dreamers have a role to play in the Church, but true visionaries are the ones capable of propelling schemes such as ours along by sheer power of will. The true visionary has the conviction of the Spirit as his/her strength. If the Holy Spirit leads us in this direction, so be it. Until then, I think I will do the typical Episcopal shrug and go on living with our peeling paneling, our moldy sanctuary, silent bell tower, and exposed portico. There are worse things to live with. We could live in New Hampshire.