Recently I helped inter the remains of almost 300 persons who had been lingering, unclaimed, on storage closet shelves in the county coroner’s office. Some of them had been there since the 1940s. Most are men; some are women. Maybe a third bear the name of “Baby Boy/Girl, Unknown.” Our city cemetery made space available for them all in a new public crypt.
Mark has been a constant puzzle to me. I didn’t much care for it for a long time. His sense of urgency and spareness of narrative left me feeling I was reading the Cliff Notes of scripture. That began to change a few years ago when I took a hard look at whether Mark was as immediately this and immediately that as I assumed.
This is an article about worship in traditions other than one’s own, but it begins with CPE. Most clergy have benefitted from, or endured, at least one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) during their seminary years. It’s a form of onsite practical education, most often in a hospital, in pastoral counseling. I don’t know what the curriculum is like these days.
What are supply
clergy? Are they merely ordained persons who are authorized to use the
costume, magic words and hand motions needed to legitimize an hour of
worship while the life of the congregation goes along without them quite
well, thank you very much?