It’s been an exhausting week. You spent much of it at the hospital, praying for a dying Christian, giving comfort to a grieving family. You missed time with your own family to be a pastor to the parish. You sat with a beloved parishioner’s children as they argued over how they wanted the funeral and burial to go. […]
Quite a few new priests have never officiated a funeral. We have had many requests for a simple overview, and we reached out to Fr. Lee Nelson for such a post. We also include a funeral planning guide that can be used to work with individuals and families in planning. This post assumes the ability to hold a public […]
“We could call ‘halfway believers’
Only halfway read Ephesians
Only if they knew what I knew
I was never new till I knew of
True and living God, Yeshua
The true and living God
Somebody pray for me.”
Since last week, I’ve been listening to Kanye West’s new album Jesus is King and not just enjoying it, but finding myself inspired by it.
This is an album that […]
This coming Sunday and in today’s email, the church plant I serve will have a “first” of sorts – the first time the Banns of Marriage will be published. The Banns of Marriage are an ancient custom and have been canonically binding in the West since the 13th Century. Bann in the Middle English simply means “proclamation,” and the […]
The Stranger is to be Welcomed as Christ Himself: Benedictine Wisdom on Welcoming and Pastoring Strangers, Visitors, and Newcomers
Fr. Dale Hall recently wrote an excellent post about welcoming people all people in the Benedictine way. This post is about what that might look like in a local parish.
“Let all guests who arrive be received like Christ,
for He is going to say,
“I came as a guest, and you received Me” (Matt. 25:35).
And to all let due […]
It’s time for a little honesty. Just you and me talking. There are parts of pastoral ministry you hate, hate, hate. You’d rather clean toilets. You’d rather go to the dentist. For a root canal. You drive by garbage collectors and think: that’s appealing!
Sometimes, our lofty ideals, our devotion to Jesus just isn’t enough to keep us going in ministry. […]
This past week I wrote as a pastor doing one of the prime things a pastor is called to do, namely, the work of a public theologian. The Church’s conviction is that she is called to proclaim the truth in charity, not merely to herself alone, but to the whole world. This requires both clarity and engagement. The Church’s […]
So you want your church to grow, do you?
Listen, I get it, every pastor wants their church to grow. And it’s not just selfish ambition, although there will always be some of that. On our best days, we know the hard work we put into preaching and pastoral care, in equipping our people to serve in […]
“when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, […]
Almsgiving is not a word that we use often today. We will often speak of “mission support” or “charity” or something akin to “philanthropy.” These terms certainly speak of the mission of God, or of His call to us to be a people of love, but the traditional term for the Lenten discipline has been simply “almsgiving.”
With the Season of Lent upon us, I’m setting out to explore the traditional Lenten disciplines of fasting, almsgiving and prayer. These disciplines are taken from the opening verses of the sixth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, right in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount. See how Jesus begins each section of this sermon:
Lent is drawing near! The word “Lent” comes from the Old English lencten, meaning spring-time, when the days lengthen. You’ve probably already noticed that! Lent covers the 40 days, excluding Sundays, before the great Paschal Feast of Easter, which is always celebrated in the Western Church on the First Sunday after the first full moon following the spring […]
Many people coming to Anglicanism from other Christian traditions are surprised by the use of the term parish. They had always referred to their church as simply “church” or “congregation.” But now, this word parish is used. What is a parish? It it different? And if so, how? And why?
Let’s lay out two understandings of what defines a parish. The first is a canonical designation, […]
On Hearing Confessions
Let’s just face it, many Anglican priests today are ordained with little to no training in hearing confessions. Many attended seminaries in the Evangelical or Reformed traditions and for them, the practice is foreign. Many came into Anglicanism in churches which never emphasize it, and so, they have never really thought about it. After my last article was […]
A few months ago here in Waco, Texas, where I live, a man was given 50 years in prison without parole for stealing a rack of pork ribs.
He was a repeat offender, and he had threatened to pull a knife on the grocers who caught him with the rack of ribs tucked up his shirt. He was lying about […]
The Anglican spiritual theologian Martin Thornton once remarked that “the genius of St Benedict cannot be confined within the walls of Monte Cassino or any other monastery.” In continuing a discussion of the so-called Benedict Option, and what it means for Anglicans, my suspicion, and what is becoming my conviction, is that we Anglicans hold to a tradition which […]
In the last week, you may have heard the phrase “the Benedict Option.” It was coined by the Christian commentator Rod Dreher in reference to Alasdair MacIntyre’s assertion in his seminal work After Virtue that in the midst of ideological and moral confusion, we need a new Saint Benedict to build communities of ecclesial culture and learning. Many are saying […]
“Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” John 20:21
In many missionary circles it is often said: “The Church doesn’t have a mission. God has a mission. And His mission has a Church.” Quite right! God the Son, Jesus Christ Our Lord was sent into this world by the […]
“…that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11)
There are many ideas prevalent today as to just what a church should do. Some will say that the Church […]
Part One: Our World Needs More Churches
We live in the midst of one of the greatest mission fields the Church has ever seen. In North America today, there are almost 160 million unchurched and unreached people. We are reaching a point at which American Christians have a greater opportunity for mission staying exactly where they are than heading overseas. The Barna […]
One of the best pieces of advice I have ever received also left me damaged and wounded, but only for a time. “You come off as needy,” he said. “And people can smell it.”
Sure, we all have needs and none of us is self-sufficient. But after the defensiveness wore off, I realized he was referring to a kind of […]
As a priest, I have buried so many who never gave the slightest thought to what their families would do, what decisions would need to be made, how to provide for their loved ones. This kind of planning is a great comfort in this life to me and to my loved ones. But is it morbid to think about and plan […]
I want to take you back with me to the year 1548. It is the year before the very first Book of Common Prayer, and it is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. For many centuries you and your family have come into the church the day before to have your confession heard, and on this day, you have come to receive […]
A series by Fr. Lee Nelson, special for Anglican Pastor.
On Building a Culture of Catechesis
Wendell Berry, in his 1977 Book the Unsettling of America, argued that agribusiness was taking the practice of farming out of its cultural context and away from families. It was a prophetic work, and in the years since, we have seen continued decline in family farming […]