Posted by: celticanglican | April 17, 2015

One Day at a Time

celticanglican:

Some very sound advice for all of us

Originally posted on Pastor John Keller:

Just past the familiar opening phrases of serenity, courage and wisdom in Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer comes this statement:

Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time,

The prayer invites us to stay focus on the present , not to be trapped by  past regrets or future anxieties.  To live fully alive today, not drifting off to yesterday or tomorrow.

This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24)

“So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” (Matt 6:34)

boarding-a-plane-11282012-113858_horiz-largeI have struggled with this.  I remember preparing for a wonderful vacation trip with my family, but even as I boarded the airplane, my mind raced ahead.  In my mind’s eye I could see myself boarding the plane to return, the vacation over and done.  I felt…

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Posted by: celticanglican | April 14, 2015

A Monastic Witness is Still Needed Today

In_Jerusalem_20

By Loopstation (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

It seems like there’s always some glaring example of poverty and its trickle-down effects each time you turn on the news. There is no single solution to ending poverty. However, we can learn some lessons from early monastic movements and how they shaped the Church.

A common reason people don’t see the important role these groups play is because they are often portrayed as medieval innovations. Some see the members of such groups as solely participating in prayer, without involvement in outside communities.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Consider the following:

  • The seeds of what would later evolve into monastic communities were planted during the early days after Pentecost (Acts 4:32-35)
  • Early Celtic monastic communities, particularly in Ireland, often consisted of larger settlements that included both religious and members of the larger community
  • The Franciscans have a long history of devotion to the poor that exists today
  • The first Anglican and Episcopalian religious communities were founded to help the poor
  • Clerical religious order members today serve in some of the neediest parts of the world
  • Anglican and interdenominational orders often admit both married and single members, and most don’t live in a monastic community
  • Monastic-style groups are also becoming popular in some evangelical Protestant groups
Posted by: celticanglican | March 23, 2015

A Very Real Spiritual Hunger

The Baptism of the Armenian People

During this final week leading up to Holy Week, we celebrate the life of Gregory the Illuminator (d. 332 AD). Although country borders may change and the unreached groups that the Church preaches the Gospel to may change, peoples’ hunger for God that they may not recognize as such doesn’t.

One of the readings for Gregory’s feast is Paul’s “Mars Hill” speech from Acts 17:22-31. Just like in Paul’s day, we live in an age where there is a serious spiritual hunger. God is exactly what many are seeking in their lives, even though they may not realize that it is God that they seek.

Although some of the major “world players” in the religious field are different, today, we still live in a world where all things spiritual fascinate people, from near-death experiences to shows about paranormal topics. Even when spiritual subjects aren’t totally within the realm of orthodoxy, we shouldn’t see it as something to condemn out of hand.

Instead, we should acknowledge the fact that so many people have a desire for God, regardless of how they express it. Will we help them or hinder them in their journey?

Posted by: celticanglican | March 16, 2015

In Lent, But Not OF Lent

Rose-vestment-bishop-willesden

Many people wonder why the Sundays that fall during Lent are called Sundays IN Lent, not OF Lent. Are these Sundays truly part of the penitential season? In short, the answer is no.

You might not realize this, but the Sundays that fall during Lent aren’t counted as part of Lent’s 40 days. This is because every Sunday in our tradition is a scaled-down Easter service. We remember the redeeming work that occurred on that first Resurrection Day every time we gather on Sunday.

There is somewhat of a different atmosphere, if you will, at the services that happen during Lent. The hymns are a little more subdued, and you won’t hear Alleluias, except during funerals. However, celebrating the Pascal feast is always at the forefront of the celebration.

A period of penitence and reflection on our own mortality and what we can do to be better witnesses to Christ is good for the soul. However, even in the midst of the season, we celebrate Laetare Sunday, also known as Refreshment Sunday. This lessening of the penitential nature of the season helps point us towards that hope that we all anticipate.

Posted by: celticanglican | January 19, 2015

A Charge and a Challenge

1 Peter 5:1-4

Today, Western liturgical churches celebrate an event that receives a relatively brief mention in the Bible, but has shaped how some groups view ministry and apostolic succession in a major way. Regardless of where you stand on these issues, Paul’s letter to Peter emphasizes exactly what every Christian leader needs to keep in mind:

  • Leaders are among those who share the glory that will be revealed – it’s not the exclusive ‘property”, if you will, of leadership or even a select part of Christ’s Body.
  • Leaders are charged to serve willingly, and the Church suffers when someone’s heart isn’t in it or there are other motives. For example, ideal leaders should have a genuine calling and not be placed in ministries simply to “inherit” one from a parent.
  • It’s not about, or shouldn’t be about, doing it all for personal gain or becoming famous. When a priest or other clergy member loses sight of this, he or she is no longer acting as an authentic representative of Christ.

As we remember St. Peter’s confession, let’s pray for our own parish and congregational leadership.

Posted by: celticanglican | January 3, 2015

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 10,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Posted by: celticanglican | December 14, 2014

Where Did All This Pink Come From?

Q. I just visited an Episcopal church this Sunday, and both priests (a man and a woman) had pink vestments, and all the altar hangings were pink. Why?

A. This is a good question, especially when you’re used to seeing violet or blue during the rest of Advent. Rose (though sometimes called pink) is a color associated with joy.

The Third Sunday of Advent is also known as Gaudete Sunday, from the Latin word meaning rejoice. Philippians 4:4-5 (the “rejoice in the Lord always” passage), was traditionally an entrance song on this day. This passage is one of the readings used today.

If you use an Advent wreath, you’ve probably noted that one of the candles is pink. This is in keeping with the practice of Gaudete Sunday as well.

Posted by: celticanglican | December 7, 2014

Advent Conspiracy

Posted by: celticanglican | November 27, 2014

A Blessed thanksgiving to All!

EnterHisGates

Posted by: celticanglican | November 18, 2014

Affirming/Reaffirmation Your Faith If You’re Baptized

An Episcopal church group I’m a part of on Facebook recently had a question raised by a woman who was baptized in the Catholic Church as an infant and had been part of other groups throughout her life. She wanted to know if she could be rebaptized in an Episcopal service.

In short, the answer would be no, because we take “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” pretty seriously. Water baptism in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, regardless of the denomination, initiates Christians into the church as a whole. However, there are a few ways in which a new member may reaffirm their baptismal commitment. The following from St. Benedict’s Episcopal Church in Smyrna, GA offers some helpful information on confirmation, reception and reaffirmation.

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