About John Roop

John is a Knoxville, Tennessee native and was a third generation member of the Christian Church, where he served as deacon, elder, and teacher. He and his wife, Clare, were drawn to the Anglican Church by the rhythm of the daily office, the richness of liturgy, and the presence of a sacramental worldview. John was ordained to the priesthood in May 2015. He looks forward to continued ministry at Apostles Anglican Church. John and Clare have one daughter who is currently in college studying secondary science education.
John is a Knoxville, Tennessee native and was a third generation member of the Christian Church, where he served as deacon, elder, and teacher. He and his wife, Clare, were drawn to the Anglican Church by the rhythm of the daily office, the richness of liturgy, and the presence of a sacramental worldview. John was ordained to the priesthood in May 2015. He looks forward to continued ministry at Apostles Anglican Church. John and Clare have one daughter who is currently in college studying secondary science education.

A Year of First Blessings

070So, you now know the origin of this blog title: First Blessing. It is also traditional that first blessings are too special to be restricted to one day; the new priest gives first blessings for an entire year. So, I have set my heart and hand to writing these public reflections of […]

By |2016-05-13T09:35:29-05:00May 17th, 2016|Categories: For Pastors|Tags: , , , , |1 Comment

New Fire

firstblessingsBannerIt was dark as we gathered for the Great Vigil of Easter and the items were tucked out of sight, so I doubt anyone noticed their presence. I had carefully prepared the kindling for the new fire and was poised to strike steel to flint, praying for a spark, […]

By |2019-01-04T22:39:27-06:00April 19th, 2016|Categories: Anglicanism|1 Comment

Longing for Simplicity

firstblessingsBannerWilliam of Occam (ca. 1287-1347), an English Franciscan friar and theologian, is perhaps best known for his heuristic principle, Occam’s Razor. It is stated in various ways:

If two hypotheses explain a phenomenon equally well, prefer the one with fewer assumptions.

Do not multiply entities unnecessarily.

I used to tell my physics students that […]

By |2019-01-04T22:40:51-06:00February 3rd, 2016|Categories: Anglicanism|0 Comments

What Do I Call You?

firstblessingsBanner“What do I call you?” the bank teller asked as we conducted some routine financial transaction – a question prompted by the collar I was wearing.

“I am an Anglican priest. Sometimes we are called Father and sometimes simply by first name. Whichever you please is fine.” This is what I wish […]

By |2016-01-21T08:54:44-06:00January 21st, 2016|Categories: For Pastors|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

Herding Cats

firstblessingsBanner

Comedians often use humor as social commentary. A joke can slip through our defenses, expose our hidden hypocrisy, question our cherished beliefs, scrutinize our preconceived notions, and all this while making us laugh at ourselves. Such jokes are nearer parables than we often realize. They are humorous precisely because we recognize […]

By |2015-12-15T07:47:57-06:00December 15th, 2015|Categories: For Pastors|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Pastoral Prayer

firstblessingsBannerA priest is asked to pray – a lot. Sometimes it is as designated or honorary pray-er, as at a church dinner. “Father N., will you bless the food, please?”  Anyone could do this, of course, but it often falls to the priest.  While it is a token moment, it is also […]

Eucharist and Forgetfulness

firstblessingsBannerThe modern habit of doing ceremonial things unceremoniously is no proof of humility; rather it proves the offender’s inability to forget himself in the rite, and his readiness to spoil for everyone else the proper pleasure of the rite (C. S. Lewis).

One of the greatest of the abundant joys of celebrating the […]

By |2019-01-08T17:36:21-06:00October 24th, 2015|Categories: For Pastors, Sacraments|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Wearing the Collar

In my diocese there are no policies, no rubrics, no real guidelines on when and where a priest is to wear the clerical collar.  The decision is informed by a troika of local custom (what your fellow priests do), common sense (church services but not church picnics), and personal preference.  For a  new priest, there is a trial-and-error feel to […]

By |2020-05-22T14:26:55-05:00October 23rd, 2015|Categories: For Pastors|Tags: , |8 Comments

Healing and Wholeness

hospital bedAs you are outwardly anointed with this holy oil, so may our heavenly Father grant you the inward anointing of the Holy Spirit.  Of his great mercy, may he forgive you your sins, release you from suffering, and restore you to wholeness and strength.  May he deliver you […]

By |2018-07-10T13:36:45-05:00October 22nd, 2015|Categories: For Pastors|Tags: , , , , |1 Comment

A Baptismal Affront

Thebaptismal font Baptism of young Children is in any wise to be retained in the Church, as most agreeable with the institution of Christ (Article XXVII).

For several reasons — Clara and James prominent among them — I’ve been thinking much about baptism lately.  These two beautiful children recently became my […]

By |2019-01-08T17:34:33-06:00October 21st, 2015|Categories: For Pastors, Sacraments|Tags: , , , , |1 Comment

That’s Not the Gospel

DSC_6006My parish hosts a monthly Eucharist at a local residential care facility.  This month I offered the following reflections on Mark 9:14-29.

Priests spend a fair amount of time in hospitals visiting the sick and praying with them and for them.  Some of those we visit are young and generally very healthy […]

By |2018-07-10T13:36:45-05:00October 20th, 2015|Categories: For Pastors|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Ministry, Not Magic

128So now, Father, we ask you to bless and sanctify, with your Word and Holy Spirit, these gifts of bread and wine, that we may partake of his most blessed Body and Blood.

What happens to the bread and wine in and through this prayer of epiclesis, when the priest invokes the […]

By |2018-07-10T13:36:46-05:00October 19th, 2015|Categories: For Pastors|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

First Among Equals?

DSC_5895cropJust had a profound insight in my seminary class…The insight is this:  I believe in the validity of the ordained priests AND the priesthood of the believer.   The principles are held in tension.   How?   By seeing the ordained priest as merely the first among equals among a congregation […]

By |2018-07-10T13:36:46-05:00October 18th, 2015|Categories: For Pastors|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

A Tale of Two Nursing Homes

Nursing HomeLast evening my family stopped by Walgreen’s for soft drinks, chips and candy.  Another family — dear friends — visited Dollar Tree to purchase a variety of inexpensive gifts.  A few minutes later we met at Peaceful Haven, a local nursing home, one that provides services for those at the […]

By |2018-07-10T13:36:46-05:00October 17th, 2015|Categories: For Pastors|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Words, Words, Words

113In the beginning was the Word.

The preachers’ dilemma:  words used to communicate the deep mysteries of God are like mallets used for brain surgery — blunt and clumsy instruments, ill-suited for the task.  Yet, they are what we have in that brief liturgical window allotted the sermon each […]

By |2018-07-10T13:36:47-05:00October 16th, 2015|Categories: For Pastors|Tags: , , , |0 Comments