My first “official” responsibility in my
new position took place a week or so earlier than schedule, as I
officiated at a memorial service on a sunny, breezy, southern Alberta
Saturday. It was a somewhat strange thing to be leading a service like
this before even attending a Sunday morning service!
Graham Standish wrote in one of his books about the typical church
meeting. The committee or governing board gathers. Someone offers a
prayer asking God to bless the work they are about to do. And then God
is asked to wait outside, perhaps go get a cup of coffee, while they do
their work. After they are done, they will invite God back in as they
pray for God's
As a church pastor I've been known to change things, but in contrast to
some of my colleagues I'm pretty cautious. Yesterday at our Missional
Learning Track (Disciples General Assembly), my friend Christian Piatt
described his congregational setting as "divinely inspired anarchy."
I'm not sure I can say that for me or my church.
last Saturday and Sunday I celebrated at the parish from which I
retired three and a half years ago. The rector was away at camp, and
his normal sources of backup were otherwise engaged. I imagine it took
some courage on his part to even ask me. To tell the truth, I was a
little nervous about it too. Things are done differently now. The
I couldn’t bear to watch any of the coverage of the Casey Anthony murder
trial. I heard snippets of information on occasion: intimations of
incest; a car that “smelled of death”; fist fights breaking out as the
curious and obsessed (the profoundly bored?) tried to get a seat in the
I love having a good conversation with someone who disagrees with me.
Over the years, I’ve had hundreds of these types of conversations –
mostly with colleagues in the church who disagree with me about the
place of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender faithful.