Monday, February 05, 2007

Bizzy, Bizzy, Bizzy

Yesterday was INDEED a "Super Sunday" ... a great day of worship and celebration at All Saints Church. I had more fun preaching than a preacher should have. We had amazing music by our youth and adult choirs. And then Part One of our Parish Annual Meeting included the election of a fabulous new vestry, a "best ever" Report on the State of the Parish from retiring Senior Warden Bob Long and a report from our Stewardship Chair that pledged income topped $4 million and is still coming in.

And then the Colts kicked butt in the Super Bowl.

And THEN, how thrilled was I when I got up at "o'dark thirty" to head for the airport to fly to Raleigh (for Consultation and Urban Caucus Meetings) to find this cover article in today's "USA TODAY":
You can (and should!) read it all at the link above, but here's a foretaste of the witness she offers on our behalf to a church moving forward in faith:

She sees two strands of faith: One is "most concerned with atonement, that Jesus died for our sins and our most important task is to repent." But the other is "the more gracious strand," says the bishop who dresses like a sunrise. It "is to talk about life, to claim the joy and the blessings for good that it offers, to look forward.

IN USA TODAY!!!!!!!!!!

It was enough to convince me to travel in my collar today so as I migrate through airports past travelers reading the ubiquitious USA TODAY I can invite question and get to say proudly, "Yep, that's MY church!"


uffda51 said...

Hi, revsusan. Great story in USA Today.

I am struck by the phrase "exclusivity of salvation through Christ," which ties in with your story from yesterday's sermon about the colleague who asked, “What’s the point of being a Christian if the Jews get in?” Is heaven merely a restricted country club to our “traditional” friends? Or is it like a rock concert, with only a chosen few getting a backstage pass?

A couple of weeks ago I was honored to deliver the eulogy at the funeral of my dear friend Harvey. Harvey died of a heart attack at 55. He was my friend through thick and thin for 30 years. He left behind his beloved Marilynn and her four children, his mother, and his Little Brother of eleven years from the Big Brother program.

Harvey was Jewish. The Jewish service was incredibly moving. Since two of Harvey's closest friends were cantors, they both sang at the service - one male, one female. Hundreds of people attended. To have been chosen to deliver this eulogy was the greatest honor of my life. Harvey was a true mensch. I miss him very much.

I wonder if I should have closed with “Goodbye Harvey, it’s too bad you and everyone else here are going to Hell. Thanks for the use of the hall.”

When Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father but by me,” he was referring to the people who heard his message. I don’t believe he said this to condemn the billions of souls born over the next 2,000 years in cultures with different miracle birth and flood stories than our own, not to mention those born before Jesus lived. Since Jesus himself was Jewish, it seems particularly absurd that the Jewish people would be barred from heaven. If we are all created in the image of God, why would He restrict the afterlife eligibility guest list to a small group of judgmental Christians? If God delivers “the peace that passes all understanding,” why should any of us presume that we can begin to understand it?

Ann said...

Yesterday a Jewish cantor attended the 8 o'clock service - he asked to sing song of peace - Shalom to all chlldren. I said - okay - not knowing if he could really sing or if he was whatever. But just after the confession and before the Peace - he sang - no warm up - just a solo unaccompanied line in Hebrew. It was electric. The Peace was never so enthusiastically passed at an 8 a.m. service. A moment of grace.

rone said...

Dear Susan:
Thanks for posting a link to your blog in your comment on titusonenine. I'm an Episcopal seminarian whose theology is probably not the same as yours, but I appreciate your comments and your input on that site. Actually, I have never posted a comment on that or any other blog, but I do read around quite a bit and felt compelled to share my thanks for your reading and commenting on a blog that holds a predominantly different view point than your own.
I'm very sorry to hear of the loss of your friend, Harvey.
Peace in Christ,

Pfalz prophet said...

Revsusan, I'm a regular lurker on your blog. I have 2 questions. Did you wear your collar on your flights to/from NC? Did you get any comments?