Dancing on the Head of a Pin

There is a legend of St Thomas Aquinas asking "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" At this blog we ask all questions dealing with our faith and spirituality. Some are down to earth, rubber meets the road questions, while others are more lofty...like, how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Top Ten Reasons Men Give for not Going to Church

The following list comes from a book reviewed in the Augusta Chronicle on June 18. The book is called (not surprisingly) "Why Men Hate Going to Church" by David Murrow. The Top Ten...Letterman style:

10. I don't have time
9. Church just doesn't work for me
8. It's boring
7. It's irrelevant to my life
6. I don't like the pastor
5. I don't want to talk about it
4. It's too long
3. They ask for money too much
2. It's for wimps
1. There are too many hypocrites there

The one reason that peaks my interest is #5 "I don't want to talk about." The fact that it's boring, irrelevant, too long, etc. are superficial reasons that may mask a deeper one - perhaps #5. What is it that men don't want to talk about? Could it be they (we) realize we are wimps and we need God? Is it because they (we) are hypocrites and don't want to join the club? What you do think?

Steve

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Morning Prayer

Starting in July, every Monday at St Michael's will begin with Morning Prayer. The hope is that ultimately, every morning will begin with corporate Morning Prayer. I make every effort to read Morning Prayer each morning when I arrive at the office. There is no better way to pattern our days. For those who can't read the entire Morning Prayer, the Prayer Book offers wonderful, short daily devotions for individuals and familes on pp. 136-140. If you are at the office and can't pull out your Prayer Book, the best site on the web is provided the St Claire Mission .

"Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray you so to guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget you, but may remember that we are ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Steve

Monday, June 27, 2005

Free Katie

I saw an advertisement for a t-shirt with those words, "Free Katie" the other day. Of course the shirt was referring to Katie Holmes, the fiancee of Tom Cruise. I have tried to avoid the hoopla over Cruise and Holmes, but the insertion of Scientology has peaked my interest. I have long known that Cruise was a Scientologist as are other celebrities including John Travolta. But I'm saddened by Katie Holmes' involvement. According to a recent news story Katie Holmes is a graduate of a Roman Catholic high school and will have to (if she hasn't already) renounce her Christian faith. The news article also listed some of the Code of Honor from the Church of Scientology. There are 15 statements in the Code of Honor which include:
-Do not give or receive communication unless you yourself desire it.
- Never fear to hurt another in a just cause.
- Never disparage yourself or minimize your strength of power.

Reading these sounded familiar to another "code" I once read. Here are some similar statements from a list of 11 "rules."
- Do not give opinions or advice unless you are asked.
- When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask him to stop. If he does not stop, destroy him.
- Acknowledge the power of magic if you have employed it successfully to obtain your desires. If you deny the power of magic after having called upon it with success, you will lose all you have obtained.

Where did this list come from? The Church of Satan.

Steve

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The New/Old Creed

Recently an Orthodox priest friend of mine, Fr Thomas Moore of Holy Apostles' Orthodox Church read our church bulletin and reminded me that that Creed we call the Nicene creed is technically (he would say more than technically) incorrect. The Nicene Creed used in the West contains the following phrase concerning the Holy Spirit: "who proceeds from the Father and the Son." The original wording of the Creed read "who proceeds from the Father." The Council of Toledo (not Ohio) inserted the filioque clause without the consent of the universal church. This is been a major issue for Roman Catholic and Orthodox relations in particular. In 1985, the General Convention of the Episcopal Church recommended the original wording of the Creed upon agreement from the Lambeth Conference and the Anglican Consultative Council, two of the important instruments of unity in the Anglican Communion. In 1988 and 1990 the Lambeth Conference and the ACC agreed with the changed and in 1994 the General Convention of the Episcopal Church agreed to make the creedal change with the next Prayer Book revision.

Why all the fuss? The "double procession" of the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son, leads one to believe that the Holy Spirit is subordinate to the Father and the Son. Orthodox (correct) teaching on the Trinity asserts enthusiastically that in the Trinity "none is afore, or after other; none is greater, or less than another; But the whole three Persons are co-eternal together and co-equal." This comes from the Creed of St Athanasius found on pg. 864-5 of the Book of Common Prayer.

Steve

Sunday, June 19, 2005

The Ultimate Subject

By ultimate subject, I mean the final subject. In other words: death. Friday a beloved member of St Michael's entered the Church Triumphant. Death is always difficult for us who are living. Fitzgerald Bates lived 73 years on earth. She was a school teacher, a cradle Episcopalian, and the first African-American member of St Michael's Episcopal Church in Waynesboro, Georgia. She was intelligent, funny, and wise. For the last few years of her life she was confined to a wheelchair. For Fitz, it didn't matter. Her life was full because God filled her life. On May 22, Fitz and I shared her final Eucharist from her hosptial bed. We joined in praise and thanksgiving along with the angels and archangels in heaven. In other words we mere mortals here on earth were mystically joined with the saints in heaven as we were united in doing what we were created to do: worship God in spirit and truth. At her funeral on Wednesday, we will celebrate the Holy Eucharist. We in the church of St Michael's - the church militant - will join our praise and thanksgiving with the saints in heaven - the church triumphant. In other words, we will be united with those who worship God in heaven for all eternal. Fitz Bates included. May her memory be eternal.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Archbishop of Canterbury on Blogs

Saturday, June 04, 2005

The Calling of Matthew

Sunday's Gospel Lesson focuses on the call of St Matthew. There is so much involved with his call - his social status as a "sinner," the nature of the disciples of Christ, etc. Sunday's sermon focuses on another aspect of Matthew's call - the fact that he got up and followed in the first place.

Friday, June 03, 2005

DaVinci Code Can't Unlock this Church Door

According to "The World Over," the weekly news program on the Eternal Word Television Network (Roman Catholic), the leadership of Westminster Abbey (Church of England) has denied producers of the movie "The DaVinci Code" access for filming scenes from the book. The reason for the denial rests on the fact that the book, written by Dan Brown which suggests Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had children (whose lineage can be traced to France), is "theologically unsound."