Monday, May 12, 2008

Monday Morning Bits & Pieces

So it's a drippy day in the neighborhood! Not sure if it's heavy fog or drizzle or sprinkles but it's definitely wet and gloomy -- perfect weather for a walk around the blog block! And here are some bits & pieces I found along the way:

Our friend Giles Fraser was "spot on" in his Church Times column "Do people need saving from this?"

Walking With Integrity has good news about fundraising efforts for our work and witness at Lambeth Conference -- a $10,000 challenge grant brings us ever-closer to our goal!

Episcopal Cafe offers an interesting interview with Brian McLaren (of emerging church fame). I found it of particular interest because [A] I'm helping lead a book study of McLaren's book "Everything Must Change" at All Saints starting May 27th and [B] sources tell us that McLaren has been tapped by the Archbishop of Canterbury to be one of the keynote speakers at Lambeth ... stay tuned on that one!

On "the other side of the street" Titusonenine is still trying to get someone excited about the old news/non-story of supposed canonical violations in the deposition of former bishops of TEC by the House of Bishops. Never mind that the charges were "a dog that won't hunt" to begin with and the Presiding Bishop issued an explanation of the process last month -- they're still trying to turn it into "an issue." How about training some acolytes, visiting some shut-ins or raising some money for relief efforts for the cyclone in Myanmar or the earthquake in China, guys! (See also: WWJD!)

On a more cheerful (and productive!) note, if you missed Michael Hopkins' sermon from last week ("Can I Get A Witness?") it's not too late to get inspired (as I was) by his challenge to put our faith into both action AND words:

From the sermon, here's Michael's witness:

"I am a Christian because the biblical story in general and Jesus in particular helps me make sense of life. Jesus teaches me and empowers me to be a person of compassion, a doer of justice and a lover of all people, even those very different from me.

Following Jesus and living in the church has changed my life for ever. It has given me the strength I need to get through many things life has thrown at me, and it is constantly challenging me to be a better person.

I find Jesus is present with me in his working through other people in my life, both friends and strangers, and in those things we in the church call “sacraments.” One of these, the weekly celebration of Communion, is at the center of my life because in the simple meal of bread and wine shared with my sisters and brothers I experience myself to be fed by God in a way I could ever do on my own.

That’s the beginning of my witness. For the rest you have to join me in living life as I struggle to live as God would have me live—sometimes succeeding and sometimes not. The good news is that God is with me whether I succeed or fail."

Now that wasn’t so hard, was it?

I challenge you to go home and write two paragraphs about why you are a Christian and how it makes a difference in your life. It will help to have done it that next time you are given an opportunity to tell. And, once again, if we don’t get better at telling, we can’t blame anyone but ourselves that nobody knows who we are.

Can I get a witness?

And let the people say, AMEN!

Here endeth the walk around the blog-block. Happy Monday, all!

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