September 30, 2006

Taking A Break

Well whether or not it was sacrilege, adding Jesus to my friends' list put me in the hospital for 2 days and brought me home minus my appendix. While the percoset wears off I'm going to take a break from rational and coherent thought and just thank God for his grace, his healing power, and for my awesome wife who takes such good care of me, an grouchy patient indeed.

While I'm on hiatus, I wanted to pass along this post by Diana Butler-Bass, a former professor of mine at VTS, on Jim Wallis blog on belief-net. It really hits to the core of what it means to be "emergent." Enjoy fellow Red-Letter Christians.

September 26, 2006


So I'm about to add Jesus to my friends list on mysapce. What do y'all think about that?

i'm not a literal creationist mind you...

By that I mean I don't believe (anymore) that God created the world in six 24-hour time periods. The second creation story in chapter 2 however is one of great interest to me. Especially, I find the second story of the creation of animal life and ultimately women to be particularly fascinating.

Two questions come to mind when I read the part about God taking a rib from Adam and creating from it. First, I wonder when this began as an oral tradition? Secondly, I wonder when humankind first figured out that women have one more rib than men. Seems an interesting coincidence to me.

I had a conversation at a party this weekend with a friend of a friend. He's a devout Lutheran who works with youth and young adults and is deeply involved in small group Bible study. Everytime we run into each other the conversation turns to work (for me) as he runs through all that he's been struggling with since last we spoke (welcome to my life - i know). Anyway, I'm not really complaining about this becuase it keeps me from the extremely awkward conversations that abound in a party like this one. So this weekend we were chatting about creation. He being an engineer has always struggled with the 6-day creation thing but had an even harder time with evolution (sounds a lot like me acutally). We spent most of our time talking about how God might exist in evolution (micro or macro - though micro is easier for me to swallow). *Wow this is a long story* So then I come back to this spiritual practice and what awaits me, but another call to belief in the creative power of God through this amazing story that seems to have some scientific evidence behind it. Wow, 2 days and 2 revelations. I'm so glad to be back in touch with God.

September 25, 2006

one of these things is not like the others

In reading the propers for 10/8 I couldn't help but notice a couple of things. First, and most obvious is the direct link between Gen 2 and Mark 10. "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." A part of me noticing this was noticing just how (seemingly) different the Hebrews reading is. Yet in re-reading it there is still a sense of becoming one flesh through our salvation. We are sanctified by one who comes from the Father, just as we come from the Father. While this sanctification will last forever we are still expected to put forth some effort toward continuing the process, "We must pay greater attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. For if the message declared through angels was valid, and every transgression or disobedience received a just penalty, how can we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?" Sure salvation is a free gift from God, but its kinda like getting a puppy for Christmas. The puppy is free, but if you want it to grow up to be a well-behaved dog (or at least you want it to live) you must put forth some effort.

The other thing I noticed relates directly to my last post "so my prayer life is in the toilet, so what?" Did you see that collect? Its the "more ready to hear than we to pray" one. It kills me. Thank you Lord for putting it on my heart to get back to this blogging thing just as this collect comes up in the church year. Amen.

September 22, 2006

a new thing

so my prayer life is in the toilet, so what!?!

the so what is every day i feel a little less charitable and a little more angry. so beginning monday i'm getting back to my spiritual discipline and bringing it to a bored seminarian.

if there is anyone still reading this blog after my pitiful summer please help to keep me accountable.

September 14, 2006

more of that hope

+Peter Lee, co-convener of the New York Bishop's meeting, has issued a statement to his diocese. It reads as follows:

September 13, 2006

Dear Friends:

As you know I have just completed a three-day meeting which I co-convened with Bishop John Lipscomb of the Diocese of Southwestern Florida at the request of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The purpose of our meeting was to address the many complex issues that face our church as one of the 38 autonomous provinces of the Anglican Communion and of the Communion itself.

You no doubt will have read the statement we adopted this morning which says, in effect, we have not reached a conclusion. I feel as though I am writing you with that sentiment an awful lot these days. While each of us in that meeting and many church observers are finding this process frustrating, especially as we operate in a culture which desires quick, decisive action, I am reminded of the lesson from the Epistle of James this past Sunday and the call to us to be quick to listen and slow to action.

In that spirit, I want to share with you my sense of hope coming out of this meeting. While it is true we did not reach a conclusion, the level of candor and charity shared in our meeting was remarkable. I am hopeful that as we continue to meet, the Church will reclaim its historic generous orthodoxy and its respect for diversity and offer the Anglican Communion an example of faithfulness in unity and mission.

I am grateful to the Archbishop of Canterbury for his care for our Church at this time and the sensitivity with which he has asked leaders of our province to assemble to address the complex issues within our Church. I look forward to our next meeting.


Peter James Lee

Bishop of Virginia

So here's someone on the inside (who admittidly stands deeply within the Episcopal Church) who seems to feel the same way as ++Williams and for that I'm grateful and hopeful. So long as the process continues we learn from the mutual fonds of affection.

September 13, 2006

a deep sense of angst... a deep sense of hope

In case you haven't heard the Lee/Lipscomb (not Iker as I mistakenly said yesterday) meeting came to an end today with the following statement.

[ENS] The following statement was issued this morning on the Anglican Communion News Service:

A group of bishops met in New York on 11-13 September at the invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury and in consultation with the Presiding Bishop to review the current landscape of the church in view of conflicts within the Episcopal Church. The Archbishop of Canterbury had received a request from seven dioceses for alternative primatial pastoral care and asked that American bishops address the question. The co-conveners of the meeting were Bishops Peter James Lee of Virginia and John Lipscomb of Southwest Florida. Other participating bishops were Presiding Bishop Frank T. Griswold, Presiding Bishop-elect Katharine Jefferts Schori and Bishops Jack Iker of Fort Worth, Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh, James Stanton of Dallas, Edward Salmon of South Carolina, Mark Sisk of New York, Dorsey Henderson of Upper South Carolina, and Robert O'Neill of Colorado. Also participating was Canon Kenneth Kearon, the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion.

We had honest and frank conversations that confronted the depth of the conflicts that we face. We recognized the need to provide sufficient space, but were unable to come to common agreement on the way forward. We could not come to consensus on a common plan to move forward to meet the needs of the dioceses that issued the appeal for Alternate Primatial Oversight. The level of openness and charity in this conference allow us to pledge to hold one another in prayer and to work together until we have reached the solution God holds out for us.

This communiqe is quite foreboding to me in that it points to the degree to which the bonds of affection have been breached. This statement says, for the first-time, out loud that this is not merely an issue about human sexuality, this fracture runs much, much deeper. But for its final line it appears as though nothing is going to make this better. And yet, it seems to me that ++Williams doesn't quite get that.

It's a positive sign that these difficult conversations have been taking place in a frank and honest way. There is clearly a process at work and although it hasn't yet come to fruition, the openness and charity in which views are being shared and options discussed are nevertheless signs of hope for the future. Our prayers continue.

Those who have figured it out, including those were participants in the meeting, are making statements and blogging left and right (no pun intended). Basically there all saying, its over. This makes me sad. This makes me think that the final fence is about to be built and sides (which I've fought taking) are about to finally be taken. Now I realize some of these folk have been doomsday preachers since the beginning, but for the first time their doomsday reality seems to jive with my sense of the tenor and direction of the conversation.

We must continue to hold one another in prayer. We must continue to seek a way forward. We must remove ourselves from the bumper sticker theology world we live in and return to a place of grace, a place of accountability, and a place of hope. C'mon, what do you say... Let's quit letting other people throw hand grenades at each other and work this out together, on the ground floor. After all, we're functionally congregationalist anyway.

September 11, 2006

a bored seminarian?

So it seems as though I should change the name of this blog. If there is one thing I'm not this year its "bored". Between classes, meetings, the ciricle, saturday trips, and field ed I'm working my ass off (which I could stand to do a little more of by way of exercise if you catch my drift).

Anyway I've had enough time to keep up with reading through my google homepage every day (although academic texts are still on the back burner) and I have to say I haven't been this intrigued by the events of a month ever. Between Bishop Wimberly's meeting of "Windsor Bishops", the Archbishop of Canterbury's requested meeting led by Bishop Lee and Bishop Iker and the Global South Conference things certainly are moving forward (all that's missing is a meeting of Progressive Christians - though I may have missed that one on my radar).

The Times had an interesting article regarding the "two-church solution" which I've been assuming isn't going to happen, but if, like it said, ++Williams is planning on inviting everyone (yes, that means +Robinson and ++Akinola) to Lambeth in '08 it might be the only way.

The "two-church solution" leads to lots and lots of questions. First and foremost in my mind is who gets brought back into the fold in The Conservative Episcopal Church USA? Will AMiA be back? Will the Reformed Episcopal Church be back? Secondly, will they agree on woman's ordination? Further, will they agree on the Book of Common Prayer? Much to discern.

And so I continue to pray for the Unity of the Church.
Almighty Father, whose blessed Son before his passion prayed
for his disciples that they might be one, as you and he are one:
Grant that your Church, being bound together in love and
obedience to you, may be united in one body by the one Spirit,
that the world may believe in him whom you have sent, your
Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in
the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (BCP, 255