Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 160 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Friday, March 30, 2007

A neat quote today from St. Cyril of Jerusalem

"Be not ashamed of the cross of Christ...but openly seal it upon your forehead, that the devils may behold the royal sign and flee trembling far away.
Make this sign at eating and drinking, at sitting, at lying down, at rising up, at speaking, at working."

St. Cyril of Jerusalem

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Unbelievable turn of events in the Diocese of Albany

This article saddens me, the hear about faithful bishops leaving ECUSA for other parts of the Vineyard......

Bishop Herzog Joins the Roman Catholic Church 3/29/2007 - The Living Church Magazine

The Rt. Rev. William H. Love, Bishop of Albany, has appealed for unity following news that his predecessor has entered into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. The Rt. Rev. Daniel Herzog retired as Bishop of Albany Jan. 31. Bishop Love said he learned of Bishop Herzog’s decision in a letter dated March 19 which he received upon his return from the spring retreat of the House of Bishops.

“The recent retirement and subsequent departure of both Bishop Dan [Herzog] and Bishop Dave [Bena] from The Episcopal Church can’t help but have a major impact on each of us and our diocese,” Bishop Love stated in a letter. “One of my greatest concerns as your new bishop is that others in the diocese are also struggling with the current issues that threaten to divide the Church. Please know that I am here for you as we work through these issues.“As your bishop and brother in Christ, I appreciate and give thanks to God for you and every member of our diocesan family. I need you as we move forward.”

In his letter to Bishop Love, Bishop Herzog stated that his decision was based on more than three years of focused prayer and study.

“My sense of duty to the diocese, its clergy and people required that I not walk away from my office and leave vulnerable this diocese which I love,” he wrote. “I believed that it was my responsibility to provide for a transition to the future. Your subsequent election and consecration discharged that duty and has given me the liberty to follow my conscience, and now resign my orders and membership in the House of Bishops.

“It is certainly no reflection on you or your ministry which Carol and I both admire and respect and for which we pray daily. Needless to say, we have only fondness and appreciation for you and the diocese in whose ministry Carol and I have invested the past 35 years of our lives.”

Bishop Herzog’s departure comes less than a month after it was revealed that before his retirement, Bishop Herzog had agreed to transfer the canonical ministry license of Bishop Suffragan David Bena to the Anglican Church of Nigeria. Bishop Love said both former bishops remain “good friends” and will continue to be welcome at all diocesan functions.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A wonderful donation to St. John's

For the Feast of the Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38), March 25th, an anonymous donation of a statue of Our Lady of Walsingham was given to St. John's.
Walsingham, in Norfolk, England, is the home of a 11th century Shrine of the Holy House of the Holy Family of Nazareth. It was a place of great devotion and pilgrimage for Kings, Peasants, and everyone in-between.
At the Reformation the Shrine was destroyed and the treasury sacked to pay Henry VIII's increasing debts. The ground, but not the memory of this Holy Place, lay fallow until the early 20th century. It was then that Fr. Alfred Hope Patten, parish priest of Walsingham, revived the Shrine and had it rebuilt. Once again it has become a place of great pilgrimage, holiness and devotion to Our Lord and his Mother. Walsingham is the only apparition site recognized by the Anglican, Roman, and Orthodox Churches, all of whom have a presence there.
The Walsingham Statue has been placed in the Chapel, in the oratory under the Annunciation Window.
Info on the English Shrine can be found at
The American Proto-Shrine can be found here

It's that time of the year....

....when I over-do it to start the baseball season!

Yesterday, with it being 75 degrees and sunny, and my day off, the boys and I packed up the equipment and went to the ball field to practice hitting. Each boy got two at bats, with over 30 balls in the bucket (plus a few extras here and there). And William got a third go around to show Mommy his hitting skill when she and Meg returned from the kiddie park.

So over 225 pitches later, after the winter off, I can't lift my arm over my head. It was so sore last night that it actually woke me up from my sleep! But ice and several Advil later, and it is starting to feel a bit better!
Andrew and Sam will be playing Double A together, on the Giants, here in Grosse Pointe Park. William is playing Single A on the GPPLL Orioles.
Practices start this weekend...I will try to avoid throwing batting practice to start!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Polity as idol, again

Again from The Living Church article

The Presiding Bishop said some members of the House of Bishops are convinced that the leaders of other provinces of the Anglican Communion do not understand the polity of The Episcopal Church. Archbishop Williams and the primates’ standing committee should come and “hear from us about concerns around polity issues, how this church is governed, that we do not make decisions lightly or easily, but after lengthy conversation and deliberation through a very reasoned process,” she said.

Or it could be that they understand it better than they think, and recognize that it is not working, bringing about teaching and polity that contrary to Scripture! The unconverted having a vote over matters of doctrine is certainly not a positive attribute...and I am not just talking about General Convention.

There has to be a mininum standard of what the Church believes - that being Scripture as the Church throughout the ages has understood them....not committing the sin of chronolotry - making the modern times the idol!

I voted for it before I voted against it.....

Having heard all about Ms. Schori's support in Tanzania of the Primates Communique, and the great hope that she would promote the plan and process to the American bishops so that they could find a way to stay in communion with the Anglican Communion and make a way for traditionalists - her 'truth' comes out. In both the Episcopal News Service article (the official propaganda arm of the Episcopal Church) and the Article in The Living Church (much more reliable...which I say as a foundation board member), pasted below, we hear.....

Asked whether her support for the actions taken by the House of Bishops served to revoke her signature on the primates’ communiqué, Bishop Schori responded that she had not signed the communiqué in Dar es Salaam. Her assent had been verbal, she said. Archbishop Williams had gone around the room asking all the primates if they could live with the agreement. Bishop Schori said she told the primates, “I would bring this back to the House of Bishops," “explain it” to them, and “seek the will of the house.”

Asked to clarify her comments, the Presiding Bishop said the “best way to gain a consensus” among the primates in Tanzania was to support the communiqué, however, “she was not able to speak for the whole House of Bishops.”

So, in other words, I supported the communique to get out of there looking good, but now I can blame the other bishops.....Pray, Pray, Pray for the Episcopal Church!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

What is old is new again

As the Traditionalists in the Episcopal Church continue in amazement that having taken one step forward (the Primate's Communique, signed by our own Presiding Bishop too) and now two steps backward (invalidation of the election of Mark Lawrence to be bishop of South Carolina by the same P.B. over technicalities, and now the House of Bishop's rejection of the meat of the Primate's Communique), today's feast day is a wonderful reminder that trouble is nothing new for traditionalists in ECUSA, particularly for Anglo-Catholics in the Church.

Today is the Feast of Bl. James DeKoven. He is a member of the Episcopal Church's calendar of Lesser Feasts and Fasts and is of particular interest to me and has points of connection to this parish as well.

He was a professor at Nashotah House (my seminary) from 1855 to 1859. He also administered the local prep school (now St. John's Military Academy in Delafield, WI), and assisted Bishop Jackson Kemper at St. John's Chrysostom Church in Delafield where I was a seminarian assistant and had the privilege of preaching from his same pulpit. He was later the Warden of Racine College, now the DeKoven Retreat Center.

In 1874 he was elected the Third Bishop of Wisconsin, to succeed the first Rector of St. John's, Detroit, later second Bishop of Wisconsin, William Armitage (who had died, and was buried from St. John's, Detroit, at Elmwood Cemetery with Fr. DeKoven preaching the sermon).

But as a "High Churchman" with a belief in the catholic nature of the Church, the real presence of Christ in the Sacrament, and the use of Ritual in worship, he was deemed unworthy of the Episcopacy and was turned down for 'consent' by the majority of the dioceses of the Episcopal Church. He was elected Bishop of Illinois the next year and was turned down again.

The ECUSA Lesser Feasts and Fasts records this portion of a speech he gave at General Convention in 1874 concerning ritualism. "You may take away from us, if you will, every external ceremony; you may take away altars, and super-altars, lights and incense and vestments;...and we will submit to you. But, gentleman...to adore Christ's Person in his Sacrament - tha ti shte inalienable privilege of every Christian adn Catholic heart. How we do it, the way we do it, the ceremonies with which we do it, are utterly, utterly, indifferent. The thing itself is what we plead for." (p.176)

Of course, the issue now isn't ceremonial, ritual, etc. Even unitarians and other heretics wear chasables now! Now the issue is whether Jesus Christ is uniquely Lord, the Bible is the Word of God, and whether we are to submit to him and it....or make it up as we go along.

And of course we commemorated his feast today at Holy Communion in the Chapel, with candles, cross, chasable, incense and the service of benediction as well! Fr. DeKoven would be pleased.

photos - James DeKoven, the original chapel and hall for Nashotah House, St. John Chrysostom Church Delafield, and Taylor Hall at Racine College.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Happy St. Joseph's Day!

May the foster-father of our Lord pray for us!

especially those of us who are asking him to help us to sell a house!

A Novena (nine day) Prayer form, asking St. Joseph to pray for us for a special intention...... (see note below about saints/novenas)

Saint Joseph, I, an unworthy child, greet you. You are the faithful protector and intercessor of all who love and venerate you. You know that I have confidence in your intercession to Jesus. Therefore I humbly invoke you and commend myself, with all who are dear to me and all that belong to me, to your intercession. I beg of you, by your love for Jesus, not to abandon me during life and to assist me at the hour of my death.

Glorious Saint Joseph, spouse of the Virgin Mary, obtain for me a pure, humble, charitable mind, and perfect resignation to the divine Will. Be my guide, my fatherly example, and my model through life that I may merit to die as you did in the arms of Jesus and Mary.

Loving Saint Joseph, faithful follower of Jesus Christ, I raise my heart to you to implore your powerful intercession in obtaining from the Divine Heart of Jesus all the graces necessary for my spiritual and temporal welfare, particularly the grace of a happy death, and the special grace I now implore:

(Mention your request).

Guardian of the Word Incarnate, I feel confident that your prayers in my behalf will be graciously heard before the throne of God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Concerning Novena's and Praying with the Saints - Remember that we are not praying TO the saint, but asking the Saint to pray for and with us, as we would ask a friend, family member, or priest to pray for us to our only mediator and advocate to the Father, Jesus Christ our Lord. Also note that the intention has primarily an intercession for our increased faith and holiness, before our other needs or desires! Finally, remember that VENERATION is a form of respect for God through his saints or holy things (bowing as the cross passes in Church is a form of veneration). We venerate the saints for their holy example of loving Jesus, and holy things for who they point to - GOD! Worship is due to God alone. Veneration is not worship.

An expensive way to spend your day off

Monday's in Lent are my day off, instead of Fridays (Stations of the Cross, Good Friday).

Today we had to go to Lowes to get a new washer. The 11 year old Hotpoint washer we bought in Charleroi, PA gave out on Saturday, and this morning the repair guy opened the front to find oil all over the inside - sign of a dead transmission. To replace the transmission would cost more than what we paid for it originally.

Having gone to Lowes with a cheap $350 washer in mind, we gave in and went 'green' and got a water and energy saving front loading machine, which of course cost more. If we save the $150 a year in water/energy as they suggest, it will be worth the extra money soon.

It arrives tomorrow morning to several backed-up loads of clothes to be washed!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Quote from those who just don't get it....

Being a bishop is all about theology. They are to uphold the faith of the Church! Yet here is a quote from a group in the Episcopal Church that just doesn't get it. It is from an Episcopal News Service article.

Episcopal Majority describes itself as a “grassroots organization committed to the values and vitality of The Episcopal Church and working to neutralize the negative influence of the American Anglican Council (AAC), the Anglican Communion Network (ACN), and related groups.”
The group’s statement also noted, “There should be no ‘litmus tests’ for theology – no ‘litmus tests’ at all, beyond those already established in our canons and Book of Common Prayer.

Of course, no mention of the standards of SCRIPTURE, which involves THEOLOGY, which is the STUDY OF GOD!

PRAY, PRAY, PRAY for these folks....

Friday, March 16, 2007


One of the wonderful slings and arrows the traditionalists endure is being called Pharisees. We seem to think the law (actually scripture) is worth following as God's revealed Word and trustworthy guidance! And therefore we are like the pharisees in Jesus' time.


Remembering of course Jesus' real stab at the pharisees, as he said to his followers, is that they kept the outward appearence of the law without affecting their hearts, or worse - bound heavy burdens on others while not keeping them themselves. Jesus said that our righteousness must SURPASS that of the scribes and pharisees! And most traditionalists take that to heart, and allow it to change their hearts as well as keep the teaching and have mercy on others. This all being slung on us by those whose solution is to toss aside the scriptures in order to keep the 'spirit' of the teaching (ie...their own interpretation based on their base desires).

We get a great example of pharisee-ism by the woman who is in the office of Presiding Bishop.

Despite the fact that the bishop-elect of South Carolina has assured the church of his intention to follow the Windsor Report and recent Primates Comminque from within the Episcopal Church, and has fended off the untrue charges that the process was not done properly by the diocese, AND most importantly received the necessary consents from a majority of the Bishops and Standing Committees - Ms. Schori has invalidated the election because three overseas dioceses sent their approval electronically, not by the signed piece of paper, by the deadline.

Talk about following the letter of the law and not the spirit! They claim scripture is culturally/historically conditioned and therefore can be disregarded (it can't), and yet they can't bow to a change in communication because they have made an idol of the Canons (written rules in the Church).

Hypocrite is another word that comes to mind.

Meanwhile the rest of the Communion must be shaking their heads, amazed that the Episcopal Church is sticking it to another traditionalist after Ms. Schori promised in Tanzania to work with us, signing the communique.

PRAY, PRAY, PRAY for the Church and the House of Bishops meeting this weekend!

Articles on the issue can be read at

St. Patrick's day at WJR

I had a great time this morning at The "emerald" tower of the Fisher Building here in Detroit for the WJR St. Patrick's Day Party!

My dad used to work for ABC Radio, and he remembers these parties in the 1970's and 1980's that were a lot more rauchous! Now it is pretty tame, with coffee and snack served instead of an open bar!

I enjoyed speaking with many people there, including Fr. Russ Kohler at Most Holy Trinity, Heather Carmona at the Woodward Ave. Action Association, fellow DAC Beaver Marv Burke (who worked at ABC TV when my dad was at the radio side), the presidents of the Parade Company and The Historic Museum in Detroit, and Fr. Richard Ingalls, Jr. from the Mariner's Church.
From WJR I had a chance to chat with Ann Thomas (producer for the Paul W. Smith Show), weatherman John McMurray (who said to say hello to dad), Steve Courtney the sports guru and fill in host when Paul and others are away, investment advisor Ron Humanny (found out we have a friend in common, DAC Beaver Mike LeVan) and of course host Paul W. Smith (pictured here), who is also a fraternity brother of yours truly (he was a Psi U at Michigan in the 1970's, I was at Pennsylvania in the 1980's).

I had a couple of cups of Decaf coffee (gave up the caffeine for Lent), and got a pin and coffee cup for my collection (now my 6th year in a row), and had a wonderful time.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Common Sense evaluation by the Bishop and Standing Committee of Quincy

Here is a communique about The Primates Communique from the Bishop and Standing Committee of Quincy, Illinois. I was ordained a priest by Bishop Ackerman, and later served as Rector in a parish where he was rector a few years before (St. Mary's, Charleroi, PA). Bishop Ackerman is the "Keith, my Bishop Protector" that I pray for during Communion. He is the Minister General and Bishop Protector of the Franciscan Order of the Divine Compassion, of which I am a third order member.


Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6).
To the Beloved Clergy, People, and Companions of our Diocese:
We write to thank each of you who have been diligently praying for direction for our Diocese at this very difficult time in the life of our Church, our Diocese, and the Anglican Communion, and to ask you to remain steadfast in those prayers.
The statements of the Primates of the Anglican Communion, meeting recently In Tanzania, have made it clear that in some essential areas of theology and practice the Episcopal Church has moved outside the bounds of apostolic teaching and practice as received within the Anglican Communion and has not made a fully acceptable response to the Windsor Report.
If you have not read the Primates’ Communique, you can find it, and the proposed Anglican Communion Covenant, at the following link, or your priest can obtain a copy for you.
The Primates, in a more-than-gracious gesture, have again pleaded for reconciliation within the Communion and offered the Episcopal Church a final opportunity to stop, repent, and return to acceptable Christian teaching and discipline. They have set a deadline of September 30th for a response. If the House of Bishop does not make a clear and “unequivocal” covenant to abide by the requirements of the Windsor Report by that date, we expect there will be timely further action by the Primates.
Some of you, like us, have concerns and questions about the proposals set out in the Communique. We continue to assess these proposals, but we need to hear from you. We will hold three special Deanery Convocations in the next few weeks to which all of you are invited. The time and place of each Convocation will be published via our email servers, our website, and by announcement in each church. The Bishop and members of the Standing Committee will be present at each Convocation. We urge you to take part so that we may hear from you, and you may hear from your brothers and sisters around the Diocese. You will help us chart our course of action in the coming months as we await the response of the House of Bishops. It is especially important that members of your Vestry or Bishop’s Committee and your elected Synod delegates make every effort to attend their Deanery Convocation so that they are fully informed.
We must be mindful that the struggle of the present moment goes beyond the internal difficulties of the Episcopal Church. The actions of 2003 General Convention have endangered the unity and trust of the Anglican Communion itself. These actions have escalated into a crisis which we can not avoid and which we must address in the interests of the unity and faithful witness of the Diocese of Quincy.
Most importantly, we want you to know that as we wait, we are not waiting passively. As we honor the request of the Primates to give the leaders of the Episcopal Church one final chance to amend their course, we, your Bishop and Standing Committee, will be diligent to assure the Diocese of Quincy a secure home with faithful Anglicans in America, and around the world.
We appeal for your continued patience. Let us continue to encourage one another, and not lose hope. If at times we feel “stuck,” we might remember St. Paul in prison. Some of his most powerful witness came during those times when he was the Lord’s “ambassador in chains.” Nothing must prevent us from proclaiming the Gospel.
Our prayers for the Lord’s intervention must be unwavering, so let us join St. Paul in exhorting one another to prayer:
To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that utterance may be given me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
Please do not hesitate to contact any one of us directly with your thoughts and concerns. We each pledge to you that we will speak boldly on behalf the Gospel - and our Diocese -in the coming months.
Faithfully in Christ,
The Rt. Rev’d. Keith L. Ackerman, SSC Bishop
The Very Rev’d. John R. Spencer President of the Standing Committee
The Rev’d. Jim Marshall, Obl. OSB
The Rev’d. Robert Dedmon
Mrs. Lois Shawl
Mrs. Joan Quigg, Obl. OSB
Mr. Robert Fairman

Cheering for the Quakers!

No, not the religious sect -

My college basketball team from the University of Pennsylvania (that is Penn, not Penn State - Ivy League compared to Big Ten).

We have a very small chance of beating Texas A&M, but as far as basketball programs without scholarships (no athletic scholarships in the Ivy League), they put together a good team every year. After last season Penn lost its long-time coach, Fran Dunphy, to cross-town rival Temple University, but the new coaching staff has picked up right where coach Dunphy left off!

The game is at 3:10pm to day, for those wanting to see the game!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Flashback photo

Imagine standing on the corner of Adams and Woodward, where the Proof Bar is now (recently Sibley Shoes), and looking toward St. John's.

Today, it is a clear view on our side of the street, since there is nothing but asphalt parking lots between Central Methodist and St. John's.
But this is what it used to look like, before Woodward Avenue was widened to 5 lanes, parking, and turning median, in 1936 (St. John's was pushed back 60 feet for the widening). Notice in the distance, on the right side of the road, St. John's Bell Tower.

These photos are a part of a series on Woodward Avenue, the Main Street of Metro Detroit.

It can be found at

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Today's Service

It was good to have Bishop Gibbs here at St. John's today for our Triennial Diocesan Visit, and for Confirmations as well. As I said at announcements, Bishop Gibbs and I certainly have theological disagreements, but God is still in charge and we both are striving and praying to advance His Kingdom as our Lord sorts it out for us. There are not many bishops left that will respect our theological traditions and use the 1928 Prayer Book service, but Bishop Gibbs was certainly more than willing and able - and for that we are grateful as well.

I had shared with the Vestry two weeks ago that I planned on having us pray for the Bishop at Coffee Hour to send him off to The House of Bishops, but it became apparent to me that it should be done right there in the Sanctuary at announcement time, and I was glad to have so many people come up and lay hands on him and pray for him. May God use him at the House of Bishop's meeting this week as a reconciler, and to open Him and all the bishops to the powerful indwelling and direction of The Holy Spirit.

The parish made a very favorable impression on him and his wife Karlah, and he will take that with him this week to the House of Bishop's meeting! Let us continue to pray for him, and for The Episcopal Church in the coming week.

Congrats and Blessings on our Confirmands
B. Webster Burton
Douglas Cooke
Aaron DiGuilio
Christopher DiGuilio
Kimberly DiGuilio
Jennifer Koutsimbas
Ian Reilly
G. Samuel Sells
Andre Smith

Friday, March 09, 2007

Goings on in the Diocese of Michigan

After receiving three phone calls from individuals either telling me, or trying to confirm, the info below, I called the Diocesan Offices for the info from the 'inner sanctum'. And then I received a letter in the mail confirming the first bit of news.

St. Paul's Cathedral has elected Canon Scott Hunter (currently Canon to the Ordinary of the Diocese of Michigan) to be the next Dean of the Cathedral. Dean Bancroft retires this spring and Canon Hunter will be in place immediately (actually they will overlap by a month). As Canon to the Ordinary he is a familiar person to the Cathedral and it should make for a smooth transition.

And there is a new Canon to the Ordinary - Lisa Gray (currently Canon for Youth and Young Adult Ministries).

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Defects in the lectionary for the Daily Offices

We publish in our weekly Chronicle the weekly daily office lectionary, so that parishioners can tear out the page and put it into the prayer book to use for Morning and Evening Prayer. We publish the new (1979 BCP) lectionary so we are "on the same page" with the rest of ECUSA when reading scripture at MP and EP. However, every once in a while I am reminded that some of the defects found in the Episcopal Church 2007 were aimed back in the 1970's with the revision of the prayer book and lectionary.

Why would I say this? Well, the Old Testament lessons do skip around alot, skipping large portions and geneologies. But the New Testament lessons for the most part follow along sequentially from day to day. BUT - if you are not following closely, you would miss that certain verses are skipped. This is the case this week!

As we are reading St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans at Morning Prayer, on Tuesday we read Chapter 1, verses 16-25. On Wednesday we are assigned verses 28- Chapter 2, verse 11. WHAT HAPPENED TO VERSES 26 and 27?

Here they are (excluded from the lectionary.....)
26For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

So, from now on Tristan, Paul and I (the office staff) will try to see if a few verses are being dropped here and there, and add them back in the Chronicle. And of course - PRAY, PRAY, PRAY for the Episcopal Church!

ADDENDUM - I received an email from a friend updating me on this......
I saw your post on the omitted verses in Romans this week, something I'd noticed myself in Proper 6 of Year 2 but hadn't realized also occurred this year in Lent. Anyway, I thought you'd be interested to know that those verses weren't read in the 1928 Prayer Book either. The 1928 Lectionary stops at Rom. 1:25 and then picks up at 2:1 at Morning Prayer in the week following Epiphany I and also at Evening Prayer after Trinity XIII. The 1945 revised lectionary stops at 1:17 and picks up at 2:1 at EP in the week after Trinity IX.
We've been in trouble for a long time!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Laugh for the day

I received an email from the Alliance for Christian Media, the owner of the Episcopal Media Center offering items for sale.

I nearly fell over when I saw this being offered.

Flip flops with the Episcopal Shield on them, which leaves the Episcopal Shield as an imprint underneath as well.

I laugh not just because of what the item is (I can't stand wearing flip-flops and can't understand how anyone can wear them anywhere but perhaps a shower in a locker room), but because the title was "EPISCOPAL FLIP FLOPS" which sounds much like a statement about the Episcopal Church's inability to promote traditional doctrine.

In addition, after hearing for years from the more 'progressive' in the Church that "schism is worse than heresy", they are starting to say that membership in the Anglican Communion is not that important afterall (ie...schism!). That is an Episcopal Flip-Flop!

They also have a collar for dogs - and the collar a priest wears is referred to as a dog-collar (particularly the full type like Fr. Bedford wears). Gives a new perspective to it all!

How to Study the Bible

Paul Erlandson sent a great link to the St. John's Email list, that I share here


The author hits it right on the head.

I too have been dismayed by the misappropriation of Scripture by Katherine Schori. She used the Transfiguration/Last Sunday of Epiphany readings, when Peter says, "let us build three tents/tabernacles" to chide traditionalists who 'want to build structures and stay still' concerning doctrine when in fact the tent/tabernacle WAS PORTABLE! Peter was wrong because The Tabernacle is reserved for the Divine (Jesus only), not Elijah and Moses. Her sermon had nothing to do with what Jesus did/said that day.It is always wrong to preach by starting with your own point, and then trying to twist scripture to fit it!

Note from the Archbishop of Canterbury on the lastest meeting

Some TEC bishops seem to be doing the, "what the primates communique really means is...." dance, and it seems ABC Rowan Williams want to clarify in a letter once more to all the primates what was agreed on in Tanzania, with some of his own explination. Part of is a reminder that they understand the TEC has a different polity, using the General Convention to make big descisions (remember the "how dare they tell ECUSA what to do" responses). but these things cannot wait 2 years, and Bishops certainly have the duty to guard The Faith (THE Faith, not something they want to make up as time goes along!!!). Also - alternate oversite is to be set up for traditionalists which should end interventions by outside juridictions.

Below is a portion, and remember that their findings are based on the reaffirmation of the decision of the Lambeth Conference 1998 that human sexuality is only properly expressed by a man and woman in holy matrimony, as well as the Windsor Report on communion.
The full text can be found at
.... and therefore we have asked the House of Bishops to clarify the response of The Episcopal Church in their two meetings in March and September this year. To address these requests to the American House of Bishops is not to ignore the polity of The Episcopal Church, but to acknowledge that the bishops have a key role, acknowledged in the Constitution of that church, in authorising liturgies within their dioceses and in giving consent to the election of candidates for episcopal order. A clear response on these questions is also needed in the near future: we cannot wait for another General Convention for further clarification. A readiness by the leadership of The Episcopal Church to live by that same formal standard of teaching on these matters which applies elsewhere in the Communion is perhaps the first and most important step in the way forward.

The second element to which we addressed ourselves in Dar es Salaam was the matter of those congregations and dioceses within The Episcopal Church who have sought alternative pastoral oversight because of their theological differences with their diocesan bishop or with the Presiding Bishop. I believe that it was our intention at Dar es Salaam to encourage The Episcopal Church to adopt a scheme of extended pastoral oversight which sufficiently addressed the concerns raised by some of our number at Dar es Salaam to ensure that there was a body of bishops in The Episcopal Church to whom the care of such congregations could be entrusted with confidence. The primates have therefore recommended that those bishops who can identify with “the Camp Allen principles” – essentially those bishops who have publicly committed themselves to affirm the Windsor Report and its recommendations – should work as a body with the Presiding Bishop to develop a scheme along the lines proposed by her for the establishment of a Primatial Vicar, which would meet the concerns expressed. Once a sufficiently strong scheme is in place within The Episcopal Church then this should be sufficient for all dissenting congregations and dioceses to find their home within it. In other words, interventions in the jurisdiction of The Episcopal Church will be able to cease once there is sufficient provision within The Episcopal Church for the adequate pastoral care of such congregations.

To speak on our behalf in the development of such a scheme, and to monitor developments within The Episcopal Church, the primates have agreed to appoint a Pastoral Council, to which we have invited the Presiding Bishop to nominate two members. I believe it is important to move swiftly to the appointment of one of our number to act as the Chairman of this Council, as well as making the two nominations allotted to the primates, and to this end I would like to remind you that nominations are requested at the earliest opportunity. The kinds of qualities the Council will probably require include skills in canon law, administration and mediation, as well as pastoral insight and of course availability. At the very latest, I would ask you to send nominations to me by Friday, 16th March.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Wow - a busy week past....

Updates coming soon - last week was really busy!
First week of Lenten Schedule: confession times, Thursday evening Communion, Alpha/etc., Friday Stations of the Cross
Plus a Vestry Meeting last Wednesday, and completing the newsletter.

On Saturday Sam had his Discovery Imagination academic competition, and his team won their age group/catagory and now move on to State Championships. We were at Utica H.S. from 9am to 7pm. Busy day.

Happy Birthday to my brother Mike (34). He is celebrating by going skydiving in Florida with his fiancee and my sister!