Ad Orientem II: Uniting Words and Actions

Ad Orientem II: Uniting Words and Actions

I recommend that you read the first article in this series before the current one. Since most of you won’t, I am also placing the link at the end of this post.

In the early 1990’s our liturgy was radically transformed (reformed if you prefer), and regardless of the motives and purposes (let’s assume they were all good) I suggest that they were guided by a transient spirit of that day and were both unnecessary and an overreaction to temporal concerns.  The changes left us with an order that dis-united actions and words. We became accustomed to saying things we have no intention of doing and doing things which are contrary to what we say and sing. Continue reading “Ad Orientem II: Uniting Words and Actions”


A postscript for our Church in desperate times

The Church attempts vainly to interject itself as a relevant participant in the solution, but too many of those who are in a position to speak for her have already corrupted her witness. Do you think the people do not notice that it is those of you who have refused any correction by the church who now seek to tell others what they must do because the church says so?   Do you think the people do not notice that it is those of you who have devised clever schemes to discount the plain sense of scripture who now wish to tell them what scripture plainly calls them to do?  Our Bishops, boards, and agencies have left themselves woeful unprepared to meet a challenge such as this. It is tragic because I know how sincerely they hurt for the people. I believe they greatly desire to bring the healing. I trust that they know the way. But, they will no more be permitted to bring that message than David could be permitted to build the temple. Yet, God has not left us without hope. There is a balm, but it must come from the pews and pulpits.

Return. Return to the Church. Return to the Eucharist. Return to the living God truly present. Return in silence, and learn to love. Welcome all those who are returning.

(Original post is here)

Pastoral Response to Desolation and Despair

Pastoral Response to Desolation and Despair

 On this home by Horror haunted – tell me truly, I implore —

“Is there – is there balm in Gilead? – tell me – tell me, I implore!”

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.”

The Raven, Edgar Allen Poe

Go up to Gilead, and take balm,

O virgin daughter Egypt!

In vain you have used many medicines;

there is no healing for you.

The nations have heard of your shame,

and the earth is full of your cry;

for warrior has stumbled against warrior;

both have fallen together.

Jeremiah 46:11 Continue reading “Pastoral Response to Desolation and Despair”

Ad Orientem: Uniting Words With Action

Ad Orientem: Uniting Words With Action

When I fall on my knees with my face to the rising sun,  O Lord, have mercy if you please

The irony of this wonderfully composed Eucharistic hymn is that the pastor leading it has no intention of doing either (falling on their knees or facing liturgical east). An equally great irony is that it was introduced into our hymnal the same year that our Book of Worship instructed us to stop doing these things. Perhaps, if the words were changed to fit our actions, “As I stand on my feet to praise the ones with whom I eat,” then it would add more import to the next clause: “O Lord, have mercy…” Continue reading “Ad Orientem: Uniting Words With Action”

All the Knees That Have Not Bowed to Baal

All the Knees That Have Not Bowed to Baal

The pastor steps off the plane bringing him from a Las Vegas book signing on stewardship…jumps into the back of the limo and while the driver speeds along the pastor changes into blue jeans and t-shirt. Arriving at the church just in time to take the stage following a rousing, rocking, musical exhibition, and, as the spotlight hits, he begins to speak on behalf of a God who said, “Blessed are the poor, for theirs is thekingdom of heaven…” The comedy is that nobody laughs.


Continue reading “All the Knees That Have Not Bowed to Baal”

See Rock City

See Rock City

Preached on the occasion of arriving in a new charge. Those who are accustomed to reading books older than they are will recognize the inspiration of John Bunyan.

 Philippians 3:10-14 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Pressing towards the Goal. Continue reading “See Rock City”