Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Toxic Water

A friend emailed me a link to this story. It is about water quality in Newport, RI. Not pretty.

Toxic Harbor


As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, it is appropriate to recount the foundations of the feast...Let’s turn now to our friends at Wikipedia.


Monday, November 23, 2009

A Chicken Farm, the Union and a Priest

“This American Life” has a great story about a poultry plant in North Carolina, and the efforts of labor to organize. A labor representative sought the help of the local Episcopal priest. A manager of the plant was a member of the parish. The labor rep hoped the pastor could bring the Gospel into the discussion and influence the manager.

You have to listen to the podcast. It displays so many of the tensions that exist in the Church and the world. You can skip the first two acts by moving 25 minutes into the broadcast.

A Pastor and his Flock

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Notice, Listen and Pray

I caught an interesting segment on “This American LIfe.” Ira Glass interviewed Jim Henderson, an evangelical Christian rethinking evangelism. Henderson believes that Christians should move away from making a sales pitch to building relationships. His advice is for Christians to take notice of people around them and consider their lives. When Christians are in conversation with acquaintances, they should concentrate on listening and not interrupting with their own stuff. Finally, Christians should simply pray for others, for their well-being, for their journey and trust that something could happen. Henderson refers to his methodology as “doable evangelism.”

How simple and novel. Christians building relationships and opportunities for interactions of substance, based in faith and hope. Sounds like someone I know...

This American Life Podcast Jim Henderson's Website

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Canterbury and Rome Sit Down

BBC provides a sketch of a meeting between the Pope and Archbishop of Canterbury. Closer relations..Interesting.
So Anglican Orders mean something?

Closer Ties

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The End

The scriptures contain many references to a time of completion and culmination. The Book of Revelation presents wild symbolic imagery, pointing to a time of God’s presence. The letters of St. Paul take the impending culmination and God’s reign as a given. In the Gospels, Jesus makes use of apocalyptic imagery.

The following portion of Mark is one such text. In the Revised Common Lectionary, this was the Gospel text assigned to last Sunday.

Mark 13:1-8

As Jesus came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, "Look, Teacher, what large stones and what large buildings!" Then Jesus asked him, "Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down."

When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, "Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished?" Then Jesus began to say to them, "Beware that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name and say, `I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is still to come. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. This is but the beginning of the birth pangs."

The Revised Common lectionary assigns the following text from Luke to the First Sunday of Advent.

Luke 21:25-36

Jesus said, "There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on the earth distress among nations confused by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will faint from fear and foreboding of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see 'the Son of Man coming in a cloud' with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."

Then he told them a parable: "Look at the fig tree and all the trees; as soon as they sprout leaves you can see for yourselves and know that summer is already near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

"Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly, like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man."

Thinking about and preparing for the culmination of God’s reign are part of the Christian vocation. Advent is a perfect time to be more intentional about our thought and preparation. In preparation for the annual celebration of the Feast of the Incarnation, the lectionary pushes us beyond it to pondering the ultimate purpose.

Part of my preparation will be reading and facilitating a discussion on The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation. This book is dedicated to a serious consideration of apocalyptic imagery and thought, beyond the distorted message of fundamentalism. The author, Barbara R. Rossing, is a New Testament professor at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. She holds degrees from Harvard and Yale. Rossing was a presenter at the Trinity Institute, an annual conference at Trinity, Wall Street.

I hope you will consider joining me in study and discussion. Click HERE to read reviews.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


One of the great benefits of our time is access to so much of the world from our offices and living rooms. With a few key strokes or a click of the mouse, I can find information about most anything. News from around the globe is constantly and consistently at our fingertips.

The access we enjoy is a great asset because it bolsters our awareness of the rest of the people on this planet, and it gives us a sense of the intricate ways in which we are connected to each other. Being conscious and engaging those like us, and those that seem most different can be a powerful force of energy. Knowledge and awareness are the precursor to action.

One of the resources I enjoy is the Day 1 site. It is a collection of videos and articles by some of the most interesting Christian thinkers working today. There are thoughtful sermons and essays of great impact. Click the highlighted link to go to Day 1.

Day 1

I offer it to you that you might engage with fellow pilgrims on the path. I hope you will find the material enlightening, and that it will generate questions and conversation. Being with people of faith, even electronically, is powerful.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wall Street Gets Vaccine

Reports are surfacing about special distributions of vaccine. Certain medical professionals and civil servants have always received priority status, but this one seems odd.

Bankers get vaccine