Monthly Archives: September 2014

Sunday Morning Forum 2: Concerning the Service of the Church

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The Holy Eucharist, the principal act of Christian worship on the Lord’s Day and other major Feasts, and Daily Morning and Evening Prayer, as set forth in this Book, are the regular services appointed for public worship in this Church. BCP p. 13

What is being assumed in this statement?

  • Christian worship is not a “flat” undertaking; the Eucharist is the principal act, the point from which all other worship derives.
  • If someone said they worshiped God in their work or play—say, gardening or building something or playing golf with a friend—is that worship? How might such activities be understood in relation to the Eucharist?
  • Worship is an “act”? But who is/are the agent(s) doing the action? Us? God? Both together? Do you see worship as primarily a passive or active undertaking, or both?
  • It’s expected that the Eucharist be celebrated on the “Lord’s Day” (Sunday) and other major feasts. What is the significance of the “Lord’s Day”? How do the day and the rite reinforce each other?
  • Daily Morning and Evening Prayer, while not the principal act of worship, are included with the Eucharist as the regular services appointed for public worship. How does the Daily Office tie together our Sundays with our weekdays?
  • Worship as described here is assumed to be public. What are the implications of that? Continue reading

Sunday Morning Forum 1: Introduction to SMF

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General desire for more Christian education, formation, reflection, and nourishment.

6-week trial last spring — some positives; some negatives.

St. Joseph’s: lots of activity; very little breathing space!

Are we on the same page? Where have we been? What are we doing? Where are we going? (Individually and collectively) Continue reading

Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost — Rev. Dr. David Marshall

A community of grace and truth

(Romans 13:8-14 & Matthew 18:15-20)

Today’s readings from Romans and Matthew both prompt us to reflect on the life of the Church, how we live together within the Body of Christ. In these readings we find two rather different visions of the Church: on the one hand, the Church as a community of grace, of love, acceptance and welcome; on the other hand, the Church as a community of truth-telling, inconvenient truth-telling, and moral challenge. Grace and truth. Acceptance and challenge. How do these come together in the Body of Christ?

Writing to the Christians at Rome, Paul stresses that love is the very heart of the Christian life. God has revealed many commandments to put our life with each other on a just and peaceful basis: no murder; no stealing; no adultery, etc… But, just as Jesus had done, Paul teaches that underlying all these negatives is the positive command: love your neighbor as yourself. What could be simpler or more attractive than this vision of a community of people who love one another? The Church seems a comforting place to be.

But the Church is also a challenging place to be. Continue reading