A Good Story: Narrative as Theodicy

“If God, why evil?” When men first announced the death of God these four, short, stabbing, syllables were thought to be the nails in the Creator’s coffin. This riddle may not have been the instrumental cause of his death, but it was certainly thought that it would prevent any future resurrection on his part. Unfortunately for them, scoffers have a [...]

By |2020-07-27T14:13:46-05:00August 6th, 2020|Categories: Opinion, Theology|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

The Story of Our Hymns: The Storm Is Passing Over

This is the fourth in a series on sacred hymns, the story behind them, their text, a recording, and a simple companion devotional. “When the world is tossing me, like a ship upon the sea, thou who rulest wind and water, stand by me.” - Charles Albert Tindley Every Hymn Has a Story Charles Albert Tindley was born in Berlin, [...]

By |2020-07-22T09:54:34-05:00August 3rd, 2020|Categories: Liturgy & Worship|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Never Enough: The Beautiful Insufficiency of the Diaconate

Deacons cannot absolve, bless, or consecrate. These "ABCs" of the diaconate are often the first and most consistent way that people describe the order today, inadvertently defining the most foundational of the Holy Orders by what deacons cannot do. I have attempted to add parochial reports to the list, but it neither follows the alphabetic scheme nor works out consistently [...]

By |2020-07-22T09:54:22-05:00July 30th, 2020|Categories: Theology|Tags: , |4 Comments

Bridging the Divide: Anglicanism and the Supernatural

Since the beginning of the modern era, westerners have typically divided the world into two categories: natural and supernatural. The natural world is thought to contain everything that can be proven by science, can visibly be seen; it’s the world of evidence, facts, and reality. In other words, it’s the “real” world. The supernatural is then considered the realm of [...]

By |2020-07-14T12:05:47-05:00July 20th, 2020|Categories: Theology|Tags: , |0 Comments

What is Anglo-Catholicism?

Whether you’ve been Anglican your whole life or are just starting to explore your local parish, chances are you’ve encountered the terms “Anglo-Catholic” and “Anglo-Catholicism.” What exactly do these terms mean? (How) is Anglo-Catholicism different from Anglicanism? What do Anglo-Catholics believe, teach, and do? I want to try to begin answering these questions in a simple way. This article is [...]

By |2020-07-09T16:26:10-05:00July 13th, 2020|Categories: Anglicanism|Tags: , |1 Comment

The Story of Our Hymns: There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood

This is the third of a series on sacred hymns, the story behind them, their text, a recording, and a simple companion devotional. “God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform; He plants his footsteps in the sea, and rides upon the storm.” ~William Cowper Every Hymn Has a Story William Cowper was born in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, England [...]

By |2020-06-22T08:06:19-05:00June 22nd, 2020|Categories: Liturgy & Worship|Tags: , , |3 Comments

The Consolations of Compline in Quarantine (and Beyond)

In the shadow of a global pandemic and the uncertainty it has brought to every aspect of life, I have found myself drawn again and again to the Compline service in the Book of Common Prayer. I have especially found deep comfort in the service’s collects and prayers, which deftly blend a realism about the contingencies of life with an [...]

By |2020-06-17T09:47:41-05:00June 18th, 2020|Categories: Daily Office & Prayer|Tags: , , |1 Comment

The Future of Orthodox Anglicanism (Review)

With an admirable diversity of contributors, this book is a bracingly informative look at the challenges involved, even within “orthodox Anglicanism,” in defining what it means to be an Anglican Christian. What is Anglicanism? Good Question! In September 2018, Beeson Divinity School held its first annual Anglican Theology Conference, entitled “What is Anglicanism?” Speakers included: Mouneer Hanna Anis, bishop of [...]

By |2020-07-07T16:06:32-05:00June 12th, 2020|Categories: Anglicanism|Tags: , , |2 Comments

The Story of Our Hymns: All Creatures Of Our God And King

This is the second of a series on sacred hymns, the story behind them, their text, a recording, and a simple companion devotional. “A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.” - St. Francis of Assisi Every Hymn Has a Story St. Francis of Assisi was an Italian Catholic friar and preacher. Although never ordained to the Catholic [...]

By |2020-06-04T10:03:16-05:00June 4th, 2020|Categories: Liturgy & Worship|Tags: , |2 Comments

Preaching Pentecost: The Person and Work of the Spirit in a Time of Coronavirus

Pentecost is, for many of us and our congregations, the Sunday (or season) in which we turn our attention to the person and work of the Holy Spirit. The reality, however, for many of the people in our pews, is that the Spirit is often conceived of as more like the Force from Star Wars than a distinct divine person. [...]

By |2020-05-21T17:33:54-05:00May 25th, 2020|Categories: Church Year, Preaching|Tags: , |0 Comments

The Story of Our Hymns: “Abide with Me” by Henry Francis Lyte

This is the first of a series on sacred hymns, the story behind them, their text, a recording, and a simple companion devotional. “Many a man who has labored in obscure places, practically unnoticed and un-praised by his own generation, has achieved a fame after his death that grows in magnitude with the passing years,” E. E. Ryden says of [...]

By |2020-06-04T10:11:04-05:00May 22nd, 2020|Categories: Liturgy & Worship|Tags: , , |1 Comment

Ascension Day: A Collect Reflection

Ascension Day Almighty God, whose only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven: May our hearts and minds also there ascend, and with him continually dwell; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. Some Collect Housekeeping Note that the ACNA collect is a bit different from the two collects [...]

By |2020-05-21T16:50:56-05:00May 21st, 2020|Categories: Anglicanism, Church Year|Tags: , , |0 Comments

My Anglican Journey: A Sunday Service that Directs Me to Christ

“Is this it?” The thought snuck into my head every Sunday. Despite the faithful preaching, there was something missing from the standard order of three songs, a prayer, announcements, sermon, final song, lunch at Chipotle. It wasn’t that I was looking for more components that suited my preferences. I wanted to come to church and worship God, not to be [...]

By |2020-05-18T10:22:19-05:00May 19th, 2020|Categories: Anglicanism|Tags: |2 Comments

Rogation Days in Coronatide: Beseeching the Lord of the Harvest

During Rogation Days last year, I joked with our priest about making the drive to our home to pray over and bless our little garden patch for the spring. Rogation Days seemed like a charming ritual, sweet and a little antiquated. After all, if our zucchinis failed, there was the farmer’s market, the grocery store, the bulk warehouse, all waiting [...]

By |2020-05-21T16:51:29-05:00May 18th, 2020|Categories: Church Year|Tags: , |1 Comment

Rogation Days: A Rookie Anglican Guide

Days of fasting and prayer in the midst of a feast season seem counterintuitive. However, Rogation Days remind us that our lives and seasons are in God’s hands. What does “Rogation” mean? “Rogation” comes from the Latin noun rogatio, meaning “asking" (the verb is rogare, "to ask"). When are the Rogation Days? The Sixth Sunday of Easter (the fifth Sunday [...]

By |2020-05-13T15:19:05-05:00May 13th, 2020|Categories: Church Year|Tags: , |1 Comment

How to Pray as a Family at Home? Here Are Some Tips for Family Prayer

Family Prayer, sometimes called Family Worship, is a cornerstone activity of the Christian family’s life. In it, we come together to sing, read Scripture, and pray. Yet, this activity can feel daunting and unfamiliar. What do we read? What do we pray? How long should it be? How often should we do Family Prayer? My goal is to help you [...]

By |2020-04-29T10:46:43-05:00April 29th, 2020|Categories: Daily Office & Prayer|Tags: , |3 Comments

Anglican Definition: What Does “Anglican” Mean?

What does "Anglican" mean? This is a great, common, complicated question! First, let’s get this out of the way: It’s “ANGLican,” not “ANGELican.” We don’t worship angels! “Anglican” Means “English” Next, let’s go to Merriam-Webster. On its own, the word “Anglican” simply means “English”—“of or relating to England or the English nation.” When applied to a segment of the Christian [...]

By |2020-05-08T14:34:12-05:00April 23rd, 2020|Categories: Anglicanism|Tags: |1 Comment

Christian Feasting vs. Cultural Feasting: What’s the Difference?

Fasting is intuitively a bodily and a liturgical act. The Liturgical Year invites us to "days of discipline, denial, and special prayers" in Lent, Fridays outside of Christmastide and Eastertide, Rogation Days, and Ember Days (BCP, pg. 689). While intermittent fasting has recently been a diet fad, ordinarily fasting in our North American context is connected to the Church Year. [...]

By |2020-04-21T16:11:28-05:00April 22nd, 2020|Categories: Church Year|Tags: |1 Comment

Baptizing a Convert from Islam with an Anglican Liturgy

I didn’t even remember the phone call. One evening when I was loafing around the house an Arabophone brother called me from a foreign country and had some questions about our small Arabophone fellowship, Kanisa. What did we believe? I answered: we had an evangelical orientation and confessed the Apostles’ and Nicene creeds. Did we belong to a particular denomination? [...]

By |2020-04-14T17:02:49-05:00April 20th, 2020|Categories: Sacraments|Tags: , |3 Comments

Should We Pray Written Prayers? Didn’t Jesus Tell Us Not to Repeat Prayers?

Jesus teaches us how to pray by example and by explicit teaching. Embedded within the Sermon on the Mount written in the Gospel according to Matthew, there is an instruction from Jesus that seems to speak directly against repeating our prayers to God. “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and [...]

By |2020-04-14T17:05:11-05:00April 16th, 2020|Categories: Daily Office & Prayer|Tags: |4 Comments

Eastertide in the Time of Coronatide

Today is Easter Tuesday, the third day of Eastertide, which for Christians traditionally marks a period of fifty festal days. This past Sunday, Christians gathered across the country, dressed in their finest (or most comfy) and raised the roof with their hallelujahs. They likely greeted each other, through their digital screens, with shouts of “Christ is risen!”, to which others [...]

By |2020-04-15T08:42:47-05:00April 14th, 2020|Categories: Church Year|Tags: , |2 Comments

Praying Around the Table: Making a Prayer Space in your Home

Now that the family is together every day and worship is virtual, families begin to wonder how to keep their children growing in the faith. Family devotions begin to seem more necessary. But how to begin? How to keep everyone’s attention? Maybe you’ve tried before, but things didn’t seem to work. You want family devotions to be a joyful family [...]

By |2020-04-08T16:52:58-05:00April 9th, 2020|Categories: Daily Office & Prayer, Liturgy & Worship|Tags: , |0 Comments

Interactive Easter Vigil for Home Use with Music Selections

Are you at home for the Easter Vigil? We have created an webpage with a guided tour of the Great Vigil of Easter, BCP 2019, with music links for streaming. You can learn more about Holy Week and the Easter Vigil here. Visit the Great Vigil of Easter Page The liturgy normally assumes a church gathered, but this has been [...]

By |2020-04-08T12:51:21-05:00April 8th, 2020|Categories: Liturgy & Worship, Miscellaneous|0 Comments

Zoom Church: Five Tips for Engaging Young Children in Worship at Home

For the past three Sundays, we’ve joined Christians around the world in worshipping from our living rooms. As a mom of three children under five, it’s heartbreaking to see their disappointment at not being able to go to church. They miss church. Of course they miss it—so do I! On Palm Sunday, as we marched around the living room with [...]

By |2020-04-08T12:12:13-05:00April 8th, 2020|Categories: Liturgy & Worship|Tags: , , |0 Comments
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