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Musings of an Anglican/Episcopal Priest

Month: August 2013 (page 1 of 2)

Daily Episcopalian

I left the following comment on this blog post predicting that the 1979 BCP will be the last printed Book of Common Prayer the Episcopal Church will ever produce. If the author proves correct, I don’t think it will be for the reasons he puts forward. What do you all think?

I seriously doubt this will be the case. I do think it will be many years before the BCP is revised, and personally I think it’s probably a good idea to let current controversies die down a bit to avoid a completely dated revision (it’s amazing how well the ’79 has held up given when it was being revised actually). I also believe there will be an abundance of downloadable liturgical materials, and the odd person here and there who uses their iPad or smart phone during worship, however, I don’t see evidence of this becoming predominant in the Episcopal Church. Indeed, I don’t think ebooks will really threaten all book sales, even in non-religious sectors. They’ll replace mass market paperbacks to a large degree, sure, and to the degree that technology allows annotation, ebooks may replace some study texts, but more important books will continue to be purchased in a physical copy.

To the extent that we do may use of electronic media for our liturgy, we’d do well to consider some of the drawbacks of the medium (see this insightful blog post for some thoughts on that: http://churchandmarket.wordpress.com/2013/08/13/why-i-dont-believe-in-the-bible-app/ )

I agree with the comment above about people spending too much time staring at texts rather than looking around. I have an ambivalent feeling about scripture inserts for just this reason. People really ought to spend more of their energy listening to the lessons, except for those folks who retain better by reading along. But inserts have meant the bibles haven’t left the pew racks except during teaching times for years.

That said, if we want to determine why people spend so much time looking down, we’d probably do well to look at the frequency of variation rather than the existence of the Prayer Book. Most long-time Episcopalians are *attached* to their BCP’s but they do not *need* them during Sunday worship, having memorized the central elements of the liturgy. A multiplicity of downloadable DIY liturgies isn’t going to make people look around more, it’s just going to deprive them of one of the central gifts of our tradition: stability. So what if their eyes are glued to words on a page or to a bouncing ball on a projection screen, neither will be seeping into their souls.

In terms of a full text bulletin vs. a more simple bulletin and the BCP, I have had experience with both, and I know how comfortable some visitors will be with a full text bulletin. At the same time, I know how labor intensive and wasteful they are. It’s interesting to me that Trinity Wall Street stopped using their full text bulletins a few years ago (assuming they haven’t started back) for precisely this reason. Being hospitable to those who are not familiar with our worship without the accessibility of a full text bulletin, or the benefit of a (well designed and tastefully implemented) screen can require patience on the part of the officiant and the congregation, as well as the allowance for longer pauses, but that can be a great benefit.

I will observe my 33rd birthday and my 7th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood in December of this year. I’d offer the suggestion that we be careful making blanket statements about what this or that generation will or won’t gravitate toward, or what the church will need to do universally. Certainly there will be congregations that use downloadable liturgies in the future, just as some use \u003Cem>Enriching Our Worship\u003C/em> regularly now. There will also be those that prefer the Book from the pew rack. As our parish has grown, it has been growing with young parents and just recently with more 20-somethings (quite a change for the congregation which had been primarily grey). I won’t say that these folks are representative of everyone in their demographic. Indeed, they obviously aren’t, given the size of the megachurches around us and the number of people in those age groups who attend them. But, they are the people in that demographic who *have come to our parish.* I’d caution against making decisions about the future based upon what people who don’t come \u003Cem>might\u003C/em> want, and instead look at what those folks in under-represented groups who \u003Cem>do come\u003C/em> were attracted by. That will help us build on our strengths rather than dilute them into who knows what.

The 1979 Book of Common Prayer is the last printed version of the prayer book that The Episcopal Church (TEC) will ever publish. Three rationales support that prognostication. First, a growing majority of TEC congregations struggle financially. They often lack the funds to meet their current expense…

Read it all: Daily Episcopalian

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The Muslim Brotherhood’s War on Coptic Christians

Far too much blood on too many hands…

“The Muslim Brotherhood is showing the world its true colors.

The group that “renounced violence” in an effort to gain political power is engaged in a full-scale campaign of terror against Egypt’s Christian minority. Brotherhood leaders have incited their followers to attack Christian homes, shops, schools and churches throughout the country. Samuel Tadros, an Egyptian scholar with the Hudson Institute, told me these attacks are the worst violence against the Coptic Church since the 14th century.”

Brutal murders, looting and burning, Facebook rumors. Egypt’s Islamist party is leading a campaign of deadly lies against the country’s Christian minority as the world watches.

Read it all: The Muslim Brotherhood’s War on Coptic Christians

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The Muslim Brotherhood’s War on Coptic Christians

“The Muslim Brotherhood is showing the world its true colors.The group that “renounced violence” in an effort to gain political power is engaged in a full-scale campaign of terror against Egypt’s Christian minority. Brotherhood leaders have incited their followers to attack Christian homes, shops, schools and churches throughout the country. Samuel Tadros, an Egyptian scholar with the Hudson Institute, told me these attacks are the worst violence against the Coptic Church since the 14th century.”

Brutal murders, looting and burning, Facebook rumors. Egypt’s Islamist party is leading a campaign of deadly lies against the country’s Christian minority as the world watches.

Read it all: The Muslim Brotherhood’s War on Coptic Christians

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Anglican church a ‘drunk man’ staggering ever closer to the edge of a cliff, Archbishop says

Whither the bridge builders…?

http://buff.ly/12st45e

Anglican church a ‘drunk man’ staggering ever closer to the edge of a cliff, Archbishop says

Read it all: Anglican church a ‘drunk man’ staggering ever closer to the edge of a cliff, Archbishop says

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“The Truth About the Hookup Culture Among College Students”: Maia Szalavitz

This is talking about college and not Middle and High School, but I should note that I’ve always found the high rates of sexual activity published in literature and articles to be a bit dubious, if only because I remember filling out one of those surveys in the 8th grade and they were not bastions of truthfulness, at least from the boys. Likewise, I remember the painful awkwardness of middle school and early High School… and because of that, assumptions of debauchery strike me as a bit strange.

“Despite racy headlines suggesting that college kids are increasingly choosing casual liaisons over serious relationships, a new study presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association finds that just under one-third of college students have had more than one partner in the past year…So kids aren’t hooking up more than they ever were, or even more than their parents did, which is what recent media coverage has implied.”

Maia Szalavitz reports: Recent claims about the hookup culture among college students are greatly exaggerated, it seems. Despite racy headlines suggesting that college kids are increasingly choosin…

Read it all: “The Truth About the Hookup Culture Among College Students”: Maia Szalavitz

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John Macquarrie

“Let us [assert] that the Church is already implicit in creation. We have seen that creation is the self-outpouring of Being, whereby there is getting built up a commonwealth of beings freely united in love. The Church is a necessary stage in this great action of Being, so that to believe in creation is already to believe in the Church, and there is a sense in which the Church was there ‘in the beginning’ and is coeval with the world.

“To make such a claim is to set aside as of little interest to theology the questions sometimes asked about the ‘origin’ of the Church — questions as to whether Jesus himself founded a Church, or as to when the Church came into being, say at the calling of the apostles, or at the Feast of Pentecost. As far back as we can go, there always has been a community of faith. Thus St Paul and the other early Christians saw the Church as the successor of Israel, the ‘Israel of God’. The Church (ecclesia) was the assembly that God had summoned, just as Israel was the nation that he had chosen.”

(Principles of Christian Theology, XVII.69.iii-iv)

Read it all: John Macquarrie

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http://amzn.com/k/tACShJkQRui52I8Mncc1dw

“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us…” 1 John 1:8

Read it all: http://amzn.com/k/tACShJkQRui52I8Mncc1dw

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Walton Goggins: Getting ‘Justified’ With Brother Boyd : NPR

I posted a few things about “Breaking Bad” last week. I haven’t seen “Breaking Bad,” but I have watched, and loved, the FX series “Justified.” It’s hard, given the character development in the show, but I believe my favorite character is Boyd Crowder, played with great skill by Walton Goggins, Here’s a great interview with Goggins on Fresh Air in 2010:

The Southern actor discusses playing a white supremacist turned born-again Christian on the critically acclaimed FX series Justified — and how he gets into the mind-set to play one of TV’s worst bad boys.

Read it all: Walton Goggins: Getting ‘Justified’ With Brother Boyd : NPR

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The Frightening—But Biblical—Moral Logic of ‘Breaking Bad’: The show’s heart is unshakably…

From my personal page earlier:

I haven’t watched “Breaking Bad” yet, but thus review makes me want to move it higher up the list. Thanks Eric, for sharing.

So, given the conflicting opinions, what are your thoughts on the show?

The show’s heart is unshakably retributive.

Read it all: The Frightening—But Biblical—Moral Logic of ‘Breaking Bad’: The show’s heart is unshakably…

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The Questions ‘Breaking Bad’ Won’t Answer

Conflicting opinions on “Breaking Bad.”

“For all its counter-culture cred, Breaking Bad is a tease. The show merely upholds the values of mainstream media culture, presented in a sponsor-friendly format and produced in cooperation with the Obama Drug Enforcement Administration.”

The show dramatizes the plight of middle-class men, but only reinforces the Drug War’s conventional wisdom.

Read it all: The Questions ‘Breaking Bad’ Won’t Answer

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