Thursday, February 21, 2008

Heard any of These?

This is great. Out of Ur has a post on Canadian sermon types:

The Hockey Fight: Staggers unsteadily, swinging wildly, but lands a punch or two.

The Igloo: Goes 'round and 'round until a final capstone is dropped in.

The Curling: Kind of incomprehensible, but everybody seems to have a good time.

The Maple Syrup: Boils source material down to about 1/50th its starting volume.

The Mountie: When it's most dressed-up, it doesn't arrest anybody.

The Lacrosse: Fast, hard-hitting, and it's hard to see the points as they're made.

The Canadian: Overly apologetic.

The Snowmobile: Loud and a bit obnoxious, but takes you places you otherwise wouldn't go.

The Beaver: Dams everything in sight.

The Maple Leaf: Has 11 points; always ends up falling to the ground.


I've heard a lot of "The Curling" and "The Mountie", but I'm probably most guilty of "The Lacrosse."

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Off to Toronto

I just booked flights and accommodation in Toronto for a conference on church planting. St. Mary Magdalene, along with one other Anglican and two other Lutheran parishes, are in the process of planting a daughter church in Sage Creek - a development that is just beginning to break ground in the south of Winnipeg. (Sage Creek is also where Karen and I are building a new house. I think we'll call it the Parsonage.)

I do believe at least one other blogger will be there - and as we didn't get a glass of beer together at General Synod, maybe it will happen in TO. And if the beer happens to give anyone gas, at least we know how to pray about it . . .

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

To Laugh or to Cry

We received a worship resource here at the parish called "Enough for All", an ecumenical service on the theme of caring for creation. It comes out of The Primate's World Relief and Development Fund and two other ecumenical partners. All good and well. There's some good stuff in there, and we will probably use some of it for our intercessions on an upcoming Sunday.

However, one particular prayer jumped out at me. It goes like this (emphasis mine):

We pray for the air - which sustains us with every breath, and regulates a climate where life can flourish. Help us to understand our dependence on a stable atmosphere and recognize our need to reduce dangerous accumulations of the polluting emissions that we humans are responsible for. Teach us to change our careless and wasteful behaviour for the good of the world.

God of the Winds and Gases, show us your glory and hear us.

Hmmmmm. I wonder what we think God might be hearing.

I laughed out loud when I read this. Somebody wrote this for real? With a straight face? I would never be able to pray this without giggling.

But after thinking about it for a minute, I felt a little different. That this can pass over an editor's desk, let alone be written so carelessly for use in Christian worship, that this may well be prayed somewhere: this makes me want to cry.

God help us.

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Saturday, February 02, 2008

Chrysostom on the Transfiguration Redux

I'm preparing to preach on the transfiguration tomorrow, and in so doing, I took a look at an old post.

That looking back has created a certain amount of angst.

The post is good - I like it a lot, and my thoughts haven't strayed too far from what I wrote then. But can hardly imagine saying anything quite like this tomorrow. But why not? Am I not giving the parish enough credit? Why am I tempted to make things simpler tomorrow? Is this not the good news? Don't we deserve more than simple platitudes and life-lessons in preaching? That post is not simple, nor is it platitudinous. But I'm feeling consistently pulled towards moral simplicity and platitude as I prepare my sermons. I still don't do it that often. But I do know how much people love it when I do.

Part of me wishes that that post would preach. Chrysostom is brilliant. But, I'm absolutely sure, even though I really wish I could preach something like this tomorrow, when I get into that pulpit nothing like it will be in my manuscript.

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