Archive for the ‘church’ Category

Make schools more like churches and less like prisons.

Friday, February 23rd, 2018

Sometimes really good ideas appear in unexpected places. I really like this infographic from a tech blog.

There are nearly a dozen really helpful ideas about making schools safer and more affirming places. Far better than arming teachers.

Religious Freedom

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

This is from Juan Cole. The post is about the importance of religious freedom to the founders. Islam is particularly mentioned as included in religious freedom.

But for those of us who identify as Episcopalians, there is this:

So not only did the Founding Generation not harbor a grudge against the religion of the British Crown (which had tried to crush them), they were perfectly willing to give non-Tory Anglicans high official positions in the new Republic. It would be as though the the current chaplain of the Senate were a former al-Qaeda member who had broken with Bin Laden and declared allegiance to the United States.

That is, the Founding Generation made a key distinction between religious practice and political loyalty, and had granted freedom of religion to non-Tory Anglicans.


Read the whole post.

What is a Deacon?

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

During summer, 2014, I was away from my home parish. While away, I served at Christ church Cranbrook and Holy Cross Novi, introducing these two churches to the diaconate. My sermon at Christ Church Cranbrook was picked up by The Record, the magazine of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan. It’s available online, so rather than copy it here, I’ll let you read it in The Record. You’ll need to flip to p. 14.

Good blog

Friday, March 30th, 2012

You might be interested in this post (or the blog) on Santorum (and others) and a new definition of religious freedom. My son Nate wrote it.

Muslims guard Egyptian churches

Sunday, January 9th, 2011

This hasn’t been reported nearly enough. Coptic Christmas Eve services (Jan. 7) were peaceful as thousands of Egyptian Muslims guarded Christian churches, in protest of the bombings of Coptic churches on New Year’s Eve.

Introducing Stephen Ministry

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

(Article written for St. John’s Episcopal Church, Royal Oak, MI, newsletter, News & Views.)

Stephen Ministry is coming to St. John’s.

Stephen Ministry is a way to extend pastoral care to people who need someone who is willing to listen and support them. Stephen Ministers complete 50 hours of training and then serve as lay care givers in a supervised, confidential ministry. Care receivers may be struggling with illness, aging, family issues, death of a loved one, or other problems. Stephen Ministers are not counselors, but caring listeners. They do not cure, they care.

At St. John’s we are adopting Stephen Ministry as a way of extending pastoral care beyond the clergy. We have ministries that do some of this already, with Mending Hearts and the Looking for Work group, for example. Stephen Ministry cannot replace these wonderful groups, but it can provide pastoral care individually where that is needed.

Stephen Ministries have been in operation for over 30 years, in thousands of churches of every denomination.  I just returned from a week of training as a Stephen Leader. Kathy Stricker will be going to the training in April. The 150+ lay and ordained people I trained with represent over 30 church bodies. One of the impressions I carried away from the training is the focus on providing a distinctly Christian ministry to hurting people. Those of us gathered last week might agree on very little of our theology, worship, music, or many other aspects of our faith. We never discussed those things. Yet we could meet, learn, pray and share together, united in our common desire to bring Christ’s love to others and see the face of Christ in those who are in need.

I think this is a great program that will be of great benefit to St. John’s and its people. You’ll be hearing more about it in the next several months.