This past Sunday was the Epiphany, the celebration of the incarnate Christ made manifest. It also happened to be the Sunday I decided to visit a congregation of the Metropolitan Community Church. The MCC is more theologically liberal than I am, so I braced myself for some hangups. But I also wanted to remain as open as possible to experiencing God in a different context. I’m glad I went.
On Nov. 6, our church building was both a polling place and a place for worship. At some point I began to see the latter as the main event.
Offering the elements to the unbaptized can be seen as a development and not a revolution, but it is a significant change. Is it a good one?
Much has been said about Pulpit Freedom Sunday already, but there's still a thing or two to add. First, let's talk about the political and legal aspects of the story. Reuters says it's "not entirely clear" why the IRS hasn't gone after churches making endorsements in recent years. I’d say the reason is actually pretty clear: the U.S. House of Representatives.
On September 9, when many of our members return from Labor Day vacations or summer travels, the gospel text from Mark and the sacrament of communion might be a powerful combination to welcome folks back to the gospel-centered community. Whether she knows it or not, the Syrophoenician woman’s reference to the table is a persuasive image for her audience. The table stands at the center of Jesus’ ministry.
Reconciliation requires relocation. To see the effects of our food choices, we have to get close to the land.
The broken communion evident at any eucharistic service is an outward and visible sign of an inward and invisible state of affairs.
When John Wesley sent missionaries to America, he said simply, "Offer them Christ." That's what the Chicago Temple sees itself doing, no questions asked.
In Bosnia, I was reminded that the God who shows up at communion is a God who brazenly seeks us out of the crowd.
Pope Benedict to the top Lutheran bishop in Germany (paraphrased): Have you heard about these new "evangelicals"? Scary stuff--and they're growing.