Sunday, February 22, 2009

Service with a Smile

Today was the day for the annual Chili Cook-Off at ECOOS. All proceeds going to the Rev. Ronal King's Food for the Poor. This year $1000 was raised, and the Rev. King was left praisin the Lord! Amen!

Today's sermon was delivered by the Rev. Mary Cat Enockson who focused on the ministry of service and steered clear of controversy, or so I thought. I was a bit surprised by the dark hand of Deep Pew that reached across the crock pot just as I was about to dive into a pot of "19 Spice Italian Chili." I was handed a note written in a shaky scrawl, and sent a wink of that one shriveled eye. I knew that I had probably been beaned by a screwball.

"What is the difference between a religion of charity and care for the poor, and the Episcopal Church?" Pew had written on the back of a service bulletin.

I thought, and thought some more, and thought back to the sermon looking for answers. But Pew had vanished in a Pepto-Bismol blur before I could belch out a response.

So I sat pondering the question, and retasting the chili.

We did hear something in the sermon about seeing Christ in the faces of those who serve. Those faceless individuals who work nights at the shelter for battered women, surely, that must be one difference.

Or maybe not. As Christians are called to love, to serve, and to "proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus' sake." (2 Corinthians 4:3-6) That is what we heard in today's lessons, and it is one of those strange things we do. To serve others as a slave for Jesus' sake is uniquely different. Followers of the Lord such as the Rev. Ronal King walk the walk and talk the talk. That must be what Pew was getting at.

Cynically, I have to admit that Pew was probably thinking about the Episcopal Church in its un-christian dealings with disgruntled parishes and Dioceses. In its propaganda, revisionism, "unworkable theology" and lawsuits, the Episcopal Church has become the Master rather than the slave. 815 has become the "evictor," locking congregations out of their church homes and forcing them to seek the shelter of foreign Bishops. Rather than helping feed these homeless ones, your pledge plate dollars are going to the pockets of 815's attorneys whose task is not to transfigure but to disfigure our Father's places of worship into "$properties$" for dispute.

Dropping my spoon, I looked at the Rev. King and realized that the poor will always be with us. The poor attorneys at 815 need us to feed and cloth them, so chip in, have a chili fund raiser, and don't forget to lower the car windows when you drive home.


  1. For a real eye opener regarding the mission and priorities of the national church, take a look at the proposed 2010-2012 budget. Notwithstanding the PB's quarter million dollar salary and the $1.6 million office expense for the PB, you might want to take a look at the line item for litigation. Bumping legal expenses from $400,000 to $6 million will allow David Booth Beer's law firm to build a new wing to house all those neo-pelagian attorneys who will be suing honest Christians. And to support these ungodly expenditures, the 0.7% line item for MDGs has been eliminated (last year this amounted to $924,000). It seems that executive and legal salaries and perks will trump charitable activity and the Lord's work every time.

  2. I think the increase in the line item for litigation is in anticipation of new departures predicted to occur after July 17, 2009.

  3. If the HOB/D repeals B033, you can count on it.