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 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!


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.

Posted by: celticanglican | November 11, 2014

An Awesome Book to Read if You’ve Lost a Loved One

Tear Soup: a Recipe for Healing After Loss by Pat Schweibert is a book I can’t recommend enough. A short, easy read, it has some of the best help for coping after a loss that you’ll find. I’m very grateful to my rector for bringing this book over after a devastating loss in the family.

While some might conclude that it’s a kids’ book because of its pictures and short, easy to read text, it has a lot of “meat” for adults in it, too. Many bereavement books for adults written in chapter format have a lot to get through when you’re not in a position to digest a lot. A short, quick read is good in these situations.

The story follows a woman who makes up a batch of “tear soup” after the loss of a loved one. Because it doesn’t name the person’s relationship to her, it’s easy to adapt the principles in the story to any grief situation. Some of the most important takeaways in this book for me were:

  • The fact that grief is a very personal thing. No two people will have the exact same “recipe” for grief.
  • Understanding the fact that sometimes people don’t know what to say. Some of what comes across as insensitive or trite is just being at a loss for helpful words.
  • It’s not written from a religious perspective, but does address the fact that a person’s faith might be impacted by grief. I feel comfortable recommending this book to both Christians and non-Christians.

There are also helpful discussion questions in the back that you could use as a family or group of friends.

Posted by: celticanglican | November 4, 2014

Some Interesting Trivia on Celebrations from the Past Week

What’s the difference between Halloween, All Saints’ Day, All Souls’ Day and Days of the Dead?

What are your favorite traditions related to these celebrations?

Posted by: celticanglican | October 27, 2014

Discussing Religious Differences…Without a War

Some of the most enjoyable time I spent online was as a volunteer AOL messageboard host in the Spirituality area. I saw some examples of great discussions among people of different persuasions, as well as examples of how NOT to engage in discussion. Here are some tips you might find useful:

Know Exactly What You’re Talking About

In many cases, people attack a belief system or set of beliefs without actually understanding it. Examples include some people with a Oneness view accusing Trinitarians of believing in multiple gods or some non-theists assuming all Christians are fundamentalists. If you have a basic understanding of the other person’s actual beliefs, you will be in a better position to reasonably discuss the issue at hand. Each of us will make mistakes with our information sometimes, it’s whether we learn from it that makes the difference.

Don’t Be Disrespectful

Implying that somebody else is stupid, brainwashed, etc. because they don’t see your view won’t get either of you anywhere. Derogatory comments against other peoples’ beliefs (magic sky God, Paptist, PROtestant, tritheist, etc.) are often seen as inflammatory and usually only make people angry. Two good rules of thumb:

  1. Give others the same respect you expect to be given to your beliefs.
  2. Prefacing a statement with “I believe that” or “I don’t believe that”  sets a more positive tone.

Use Intelligent Discussion Techniques

Do your own “homework” on issues you don’t agree with or have trouble understanding. While it’s tempting to rely on “copy and paste” arguments, don’t make the mistake of letting others think for you. When your discussion involves Scriptural passages, avoid proof-texting and read them in context. Using logic and reason in your discussion makes a huge difference.

Posted by: celticanglican | October 21, 2014

Leading by Example

In 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10, we hear about how early Christians in Macedonia and Achaia were brought to Christ largely by the example of believers who persevered in spite of heavy persecution. Leading by example is something that perhaps isn’t given enough due credit. We live in a world where “showing off” is not only okay in many’s eyes, but is even encouraged.

When a lot of people think of preaching the Gospel, they think of it in verbal terms only. In many cases, the prevailing thought is the more hellfire and brimstone, the better. Is this really what Jesus’ earliest followers would have us do?

Think about the witness of the early Church. Many Christians suffered and died for their faith. Others risked it all to be examples of Christ to those they encountered. In its own way, the Roman Empire’s persecution may have made the early Church grow though their goal was to end the new faith.

Christians in our time are suffering persecution for their faithfulness. Let’s pray that they may be true examples to all they encounter.

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