Posts Tagged ‘episcopal’

If you are a Christian, read this. If you are also a parent, think about this. And if you have ever been a pastor, feel this. Because it’s an odd place to be.

Meet Rev. Donald Armstrong.

This pastor from Colorado meets all three of the aforementioned requirements and ties it all together in one extremely odd way.

A Colorado Springs police detective said in an affidavit released Tuesday that the Rev. Donald Armstrong may have misappropriated $392,000 from a Grace Church trust fund. Police took financial documents and computers from the Grace and Episcopal Church in November after an 18-month investigation.

the-6th-college-senseHeinous, right? Unforgivable, certainly. Why, in the name of all that is holy, would this pastor seemingly exorcise his faith and his fellowship? With this one twist:

Authorities say a pastor who is part of a theft investigation used money from a church trust fund to pay for his two children’s college education.

Oh. Well, uh, yeah. Sure. Um…

So, I’m pontificating actions like this are liable to make a preacher cuss, but then you stick his kids in the equation. What he did is wrong, without question. But his motives? Without reservation. Man, is the economy that bad?

What do you think? Inquiring minds want to know.

gods-top-10Huzzah! Another list for HiScrivener to enjoy, although this one is a tad more newsworthy.

Recently, Time magazine (with a little assist from FaithWorld on Reuters) came out with its conspicuous collection of the “Top 10 religion stories of the year.” Hrm, let’s see, shall we?

  1. The Economy Stumps Religion – Saddleback. Rev. Wright. The “Huckster”. Infamous endorsements. Evangelicals jump ship and get romanced by an elephant. And all that gets trumped by a recession?! Ah well, we tried to keep God in the headlines.
  2. Never Count the Mormons Out – Being a PR type, you are always thinking for a way out of a crisis. Considering the ballyhoo the FLDS stirred up in Texas and Mitt Romney swooned nationally, the holy skivvies got together and figured out a way to get back in the good graces of the media – protest gay marriage. Yeah, that’ll fix ’em.
  3. The Pope Wows the States – During John Paul’s trek to beatification and sainthood, swarthy priests and their impious relationships with altar boys monopolized headlines, so the new guy had to find a way to shine a light a sweetness on the Vatican. Maybe B16 has heard of the greatness of “A Tribe Called Quest,” because he went on an “Award Tour” from NYC to DC. Good times on those frequent flyer miles, Il Papa.
  4. The Canterbury non-Tale – Anglicans. Episcopalians. Poh-tay-toe. Poe-ta-toe. What’s the difference besides each being on the the other side of an ocean? Oh yeah. that whole “You can be gay, and still be an effective witness for Jesus” thingy.
  5. America’s Unfaithful Faith – Somethings in life are worth shopping – homes, cars, wardrobes. However, faith is not one of them, and this story shows that folk don’t care because denominations were being swapped out like rolls of toilet paper. Once someone gets done with personal business in the confessional… well, you get the analogy.
  6. Tibet’s Monks Rebel – And who says the Olympics are always predictable? What’s sad is some think the Dalai Lama was behind this massacre. Wonder if Richard Gere had to say anything about his BFF?
  7. The Birth of the New Evangelicalism – It’s been an interesting year for the Church. While some say the religious right has taken a turn for the “left”, others – as in this story – say they have gotten more vociferous than ever. I suppose something should be for those youth groups after all.
  8. The Challenge of Recession – It’s hard to give an offering when you have nothing to offer, but somehow the Church will overcome. Otherwise, we will all be singing Kumbaya in some field with the tarantualas and tumbleweeds. Hey wait, maybe those compounds are on to something?!
  9. When Kosher wasn’t Kosher – When I think of child labor and sweat shops, I think of cheap cotton sweatsuits and fancy girlie clothes, not Kosher meat. When this story came out, synagogues everywhere were reconsidering their menu… and possibly what’s in their closet.
  10. Extraterrestrials May Already be Saved – I knew I was on to something! What is still the most popular post of “The Writing on the Wall,” is now one of the biggest faith-based stories of the year. Good on ya’ Wall Watchers. And to think, the Vatican still employs a dude who consults his Tarot cards more than his Bible. We still have work to do.

Not my idea. I just work here. IJS.

Man, this is a depression. Even the Church can’t stay in business, at least the Episcopal one, which seems to have to more people leaving it than tourists in India and the Middle East.

According to Catholic News Wire, Fort Worth becomes the fourth diocese to get biblical and create a mass exodus from the Episcopal Church.

Why? Is it how eerily closely assimilated they are to the Catholic Church without all those pesky indulgences? Maybe it was the eggheaded marketing campaign about slicing carrots that got more people laughing and pointing than consuming Vitamin C?

No, it was this:

A husband wearing a dress and skirts to teach Sunday School in church, another pastor wants to perform same-sex unions. Young people crave a safe haven. Bible churches have something steady and secure to hold onto. In The Episcopal Church (TEC) we have shifting sands, relationships of every sort are accepted. We are on a collision mode. The Diocese of Ft. Worth is held in trust for the diocese not beyond to the TEC. The notion of a national church is mythical,” she [some lay chic noted in the story] said, according to VirtueOnline.

Hrm. You mean having a pastor in drag prosletyzing about living a life of righteousness isn’t actually Feng Shui pablum?! Say it isn’t so! When I was seminary, I can’t tell you how many conversations I had with intellectuals and theologians about how I wish I could see two dudes tonguing each other down in a pew and use that for an illustrated sermon on “David loved… and I mean, loved… Jonathon.”

Yeah, I didn’t think so, and evidently, neither did Fort Worth Bishop Jack Iker:

“This diocese stands for orthodox Christianity, and we are increasingly at odds with the revisionist practices and teachings of the official leadership of The Episcopal Church. The Episcopal Church we once knew no longer exists. To contend for the faith as traditional Episcopalians has brought us to this time of realignment in the Body of Christ.”

Here, here. I mean, the Brits aren’t clones of their American cousins across the bay, but when the Anglican Church and John Cabot set sail for a brighter frontier satellite church, they weren’t planning on all this hullabaloo. Who’s next? Probably some diocese in California.

Oh no, not the whole homosexual loves Hollywood uber-tolerance thing. I was talking about carrot farms. Geesh, people!

What’s it say about the nation’s capital and our untrustworthy government needing so much prayer that the church footprint is so multifarious, it requires a nickname for the street?

See “God’s Avenue”.

And even though there is no more real estate for Jesus’ excavation crew, there are many churches on the aptly dubbed boulevard doing a heckuva lot interior decorating for one particular family new to the area.

obamawrightwhiteyThe choices are abundant. Numerous, thriving congregations are an easy walk from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Just across Lafayette Square from the White House is St. John’s Church, an Episcopal parish known as the “Church of the Presidents,” where presidents as far back as James Madison have worshipped. St. John’s has a standing invitation: Pew 54 is the President’s Pew, reserved for the nation’s leader…

Whatever choice the Obamas make, it is sure to be analyzed through the prism of Obama’s relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who was Obama’s pastor for 20 years at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.

And there’s the rub. Choosing a church should be a prayerful consideration – not a political one. But since Obama and his nefarious former pastor entered the news cycle, the President-elect must consult his PR team before he talks to a pastor. Sad, but true.

Dude has to go to church. After all, he practically promised Christians everywhere that God would be on his short list for Vice President. However, where does he go? Let’s see if we can help by denomination:

  • Truer words were never spoken in this instance

    Truer words were never spoken in this instance

    Baptist – The word is sound, but if he goes to a Baptist church in “Chocolate City”, the Obamas will feel like a bastard child at a family reunion. Next?

  • Catholic – Tradition. Regalia. Pomp. Circumstance. And in this town, Latin. Yeah, not so much for the first daughters.
  • AME – This is where church shopping becomes unfair. This denomination is rooted deeply in the black community, but if that man… with that name… with that church past… goes to that church… all the moderate Obama lovers out there will go berserk.
  • UMC – It’s “church”. They have “women” pastors. But this church has split over foundational tenets more times than a big girl’s panty hose. Maybe not.
  • UCC – Seriously? Even though there are a few in the town that would love to have the first family rejoicing in their pews, the first country still hasn’t forgotten what your last UCC pastor did. Move on.
  • MCC – Uh-huh. You know those multi-colored unity flags are flying high in an attempt to attract the wandering eye of the BarackStar, but let’s get real. If they go here, that won’t be a pot o’gold at the end of the “rainbow,” that will a Pandora’s box of expletives hurled in their direction.

With a seemingly no-win situation, I would recommend having a Bible study at the White House, prep your communications team for the much-ado-about-nothing “Church and State” arguments and rotate the heavy air-quoted “spiritual counselors to the President.”

Ah, that sounds like a political church service to me. Lovely. Only one caveat to the BarackStar, when you are tithing at your backyard service, be sure to pay in cash. I’m just sayin’.

Kill the Wabbit!Bet’cha didn’t know that one?

You may have grown up watching Warner Bros. cartoons. Your kids have seen “Space Jam.” But evidently, throughout the decades, Mr. “What’s up, Doc” was laying the groundwork for the worst advertising campaign in the history of the Church.

In a moniker, the Episcopalian Church (U.S. spin-off of the British Anglican practice) has daftly developed, “Get closer to God. Slice carrots.” Read it again. It doesn’t help. It’s just that harebrained (Yeah, pun intended. I’m here all week and twice on Sundays).

Did I miss something? There have been HiScrivener stays at Seminary, Church, on-air and my own prayer closet and I don’t believe this revelation of Vitamin C has ever thundered against my medulla. OH! I get it. Carrots will help your… wait for it… vision. (Man, I’m on fire today. Whew!)

That’s gotta be it. I have to believe the house that unveiled C.S. Lewis has a tad more intelligence and acuity for multimedia interest than this brilliance. You know, if the leaders of the Episcopal Church paid top dollar for this ballyhoo, I have dibs on sending these nimrods other e-mail campaigns for cash. Such as:

Thanks, Wall Watchers. Oh, and please pass this on to 13 of your closest friends or you’re just not cool.

Now, for your viewing edification. A stroll down Amnesia Lane.

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