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Let John Chrysostom Preach His Nativity Sermon the Sunday after Christmas

Several years ago, I served as the Assistant Rector at a large Anglican Church. This meant, of course, that I had the wonderful opportunity of preaching cultural holiday weekends when attendance would be predictably low … i.e. Memorial Day Weekend, Labor Day Weekend, etc.

One of the key weekends that I always got to preach was the First Sunday of Christmas. […]

By |2020-12-14T16:43:42-06:00December 13th, 2019|Categories: Church Year, Opinion, Preaching|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

Taking Scripture and Women’s Ordination Seriously: A Response to Blake Johnson and Lee Nelson

Editor’s Note: Thank you to the Rev. Dr. Emily McGowin for writing this rejoinder to Fr. Blake Johnson’s and Fr. Lee Nelson’s responses to her original blog post about the in persona Christi argument against women’s ordination. While we invite this conversation (about McGowin’s original blog post) to continue in our comments section and elsewhere—and we plan […]

By |2020-01-14T09:39:57-06:00November 18th, 2019|Categories: Opinion, Theology|Tags: |21 Comments

The Problem with Making a Patristic Argument for the Ordination of Women: A Response to Emily McGowin

Editor’s Note (Greg Goebel): Fr. Lee Nelson has been a writer and supporter of Anglican Pastor from our earliest days. I asked him to write a response to the Rev. Dr. Emily McGowin’s post for our site. Meanwhile, Rev. Blake Johnson has also published a response on the Theopolis Insitute’s blog.

We present this […]

By |2020-01-14T11:32:34-06:00November 15th, 2019|Categories: Anglicanism, Opinion, Theology|Tags: |8 Comments

What Are We Missing? Ministry and Moral Failure

I know of a very talented ordained priest and colleague of mine who left his ministry; he was removed from the ordained ministry altogether. His bishop removed him. There was something he did to which he confessed, and he is no longer a priest. I do not know the details. I don’t need to know. My heart breaks for him, […]

By |2020-01-14T09:39:58-06:00November 7th, 2019|Categories: For Pastors, Opinion, Pastoral Ministry|Tags: |3 Comments

The Daily Office Is Not Enough: The Importance of Reading Scripture Devotionally

It was J. I. Packer who made an Anglican out of me.

Although I had attended a student-led Anglican service when I first became a seminarian at Regent College, it wasn’t until I moved to the Anglican church that Dr. Packer attended (and at which he sometimes led liturgy) that I was struck by the beauty and majesty of Anglican […]

By |2020-01-14T09:39:59-06:00October 17th, 2019|Categories: Daily Office & Prayer, Opinion|Tags: , |3 Comments

Not “Just” a Deacon

Handshakes and metal plates

I grew up around deacons. In my Southern Baptist upbringing, deacons were most commonly observed at the doors of the church offering handshakes and smiles. Otherwise, they were found in their other natural habitat: at the end of a pew passing or taking a metal plate. Often, this was an offertory plate, but on special occasions, those […]

By |2020-01-14T09:40:00-06:00October 3rd, 2019|Categories: Anglicanism, For Pastors, Opinion, Pastoral Ministry|Tags: |8 Comments

If Women Can Be Saved, Then Women Can Be Priests: A Critique of the “in persona Christi” Argument Against Women’s Ordination

Editor’s Note: The piece below represents the opinion of the author. Anglican Pastor does not take a site-wide position for or against women’s ordination. We do, however, require both clarity and charity. We ask that your responses to it do so as well.

After reading this piece, please see Lee Nelson’s response and Emily McGowin’s rejoinder.


The connection between […]

By |2020-01-14T11:31:08-06:00September 26th, 2019|Categories: Anglicanism, Opinion, Theology|Tags: |33 Comments

Finding a Place for Lament in the Anglican Church

Born a little on the melancholy side, I was always attracted to the bleaker parts of Scripture.

You know, the parts where a prophet would cry out to God for help, or where God would lament the betrayal of His bride. Or the psalms of lament where the psalmist feels desperate and horrifically abandoned. These passages captured my imagination like nothing […]

By |2020-01-14T09:40:01-06:00September 23rd, 2019|Categories: Anglicanism, Liturgy & Worship, Opinion|Tags: |0 Comments

A Tale of Two Weddings: How Far Should We Stretch the Liturgy?

Ah, Spain. A beautiful country where, every now and then, non-Catholics who are Christians get married. Or a Roman Catholic gets married to a non-Catholic, which often means no Catholic wedding.

And sometimes these folks come to us Anglicans.

Just how much can the Anglican liturgy be modified?

In this article, I want to share my own experience as an Anglican pastor […]

By |2020-01-14T09:40:02-06:00September 16th, 2019|Categories: For Pastors, Opinion, Pastoral Ministry|Tags: , |1 Comment

How to Become a Subversive Church

Bowing to Baal

I recently heard someone on the radio say that we (Americans) live in a “post-religion” nation. The radio personality went on to describe how America has become a land void of virtue, no longer giving spiritual matters much thought. In other words, America has become increasingly secular.

This is, in my opinion, untrue.

Allow me to suggest that the exact […]

By |2020-01-14T09:40:03-06:00September 5th, 2019|Categories: Daily Office & Prayer, For Pastors, Opinion|0 Comments

Anglican, with a Love of Icons

Emanuel Burke previously shared his Anglican journey here: “Anglican, for the Love of God.” In this post below, Emanuel shares about his journey into iconography. If you’d like to support his work, check out his Patreon page.


Icons? Aren’t they idolatrous?

Many Western Christians, particularly in America, have a difficult time understanding why icons are so meaningful and integral to […]

By |2020-01-14T09:40:03-06:00August 29th, 2019|Categories: Liturgy & Worship, Opinion|Tags: |5 Comments

John 17 Really Bugs Me: Church Unity and the Lack Thereof

Slightly edited from a sermon I recently preached at Church of the Savior in Wheaton, IL.


There are just some passages of the Bible that you can’t get away from.

Sometimes it’s because a passage is particularly inspiring, encouraging, or comforting. Think Psalm 23.

Other times, it’s because the passage really bugs you.

And I’ll confess that our Gospel lesson, John 17:20–26, […]

By |2020-01-14T09:40:04-06:00August 22nd, 2019|Categories: Anglicanism, Miscellaneous, Opinion|Tags: , |1 Comment

An Anglican Pastor’s Letter to His Congregation After the Dayton and El Paso Shootings

Editor’s Note: The following letter was written by Fr. Shawn McCain to his congregation, Resurrection Anglican Church in Austin, TX. It originally appeared on the church’s website. With Shawn’s permission, we’re sharing it with you as we pray together for justice and peace.


Rez family,

We are all still reeling from mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton. […]

By |2020-01-14T09:40:05-06:00August 7th, 2019|Categories: Miscellaneous, Opinion|Tags: |0 Comments

Learning to Love the Whole Church: Why I Decided to Join the Anglican Church in North America

If someone had told me ten years ago that today I would be an Anglican priest, I would not have responded with joy or even disappointment; I simply would have been confused.

Raised in a squarely evangelical culture, I grew up without conscious knowledge of liturgical denominations—and probably a degree of suspicion toward them.

I still remember the first time I […]

By |2020-01-14T09:40:05-06:00August 1st, 2019|Categories: Miscellaneous, Opinion|Tags: , |3 Comments

Are Anglican Churches Biblical, “Bible Churches”?

For many years, I attended a church that called itself a “Bible church.” I really loved it and am thankful for everything I received there. But many years later I started to reflect on what exactly that name means.

What does it mean to claim that your church is biblical, a “Bible church”?

First of all, it (at least implicitly) […]

By |2020-01-14T09:40:06-06:00July 29th, 2019|Categories: Anglicanism, Opinion|Tags: |8 Comments

4 Reasons Why I Now Celebrate Communion Facing The Altar, Not the People

Editor’s note: Here at Anglican Compass, we feature content from low church to high church, as long as it’s written with both clarity and charity. Even if you would never consider an “ad orientem” Holy Communion in your own church, I invite you to read about how and why Fr. Ben Jefferies has made the switch in his parish.


It […]

By |2020-12-15T11:05:25-06:00July 8th, 2019|Categories: Anglicanism, Opinion, Sacraments|18 Comments

Pastor, Let the Children Preach: Why You Should Let the Youth Group Invade Your Pulpit

For the last two years, I’ve been teaching Scripture, theology, and ethics at a small Christian high school that shares space with a local church. It took me a year and a half to realize that, on one of my classroom walls, half-hidden behind a filing cabinet and obscured beneath a coat of paint, was a Bible verse, written in […]

By |2020-01-14T09:40:08-06:00June 27th, 2019|Categories: For Pastors, Opinion, Preaching|Tags: |1 Comment

Should You Preach a Father’s Day Sermon on Father’s Day?

NOTE: If you’re looking for a Collect for Father’s Day, consider this one, written by Fr. Bryan Owen at Creedal Christian:

O Lord our God, creator of heaven and earth, through your Son Jesus Christ you have revealed yourself as a heavenly Father to all of your children. Bless, we pray, all earthly […]

By |2020-01-14T10:21:47-06:00June 3rd, 2019|Categories: For Pastors, Opinion, Preaching|Tags: |0 Comments

Get Dirty: 3 Reasons Why We Should Observe Rogation Days

The sixth Sunday of Eastertide, known as Rogation Sunday, is a day that Anglican pastors should get dirt on their vestments. This is not only encouraged, it’s expected. The psalmist said ‘all flesh is like grass,’ so it’s good that the people of God walk along grass in worship and praise a few times a year.

Rogation Days are a […]

By |2020-01-14T10:21:49-06:00May 24th, 2019|Categories: Anglicanism, Church Year, Liturgy & Worship, Opinion|Tags: |0 Comments

3 Reasons Why College Students Should Consider Their Local Anglican Church

For the first two years of my life at college, I slept in late on Sundays.

There was a hole in my heart I couldn’t seem to fill by partying on Friday and Saturday night, but Sunday service wasn’t the answer. The local church was just a place for people to come and be fake together. As a college student struggling […]

By |2020-01-14T10:21:49-06:00May 23rd, 2019|Categories: Anglicanism, Opinion|Tags: , |0 Comments

Talking Honestly about Anglicans and Alcohol

One of the earliest guides for pastors, the Book of Titus, tells a church leader to address drinking problems in the church, to instruct people “not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine” (Titus 2:3). The need hasn’t changed much.

The National Institutes of Health estimate that 17.6 million people—about […]

By |2020-01-14T10:21:50-06:00May 13th, 2019|Categories: For Pastors, Opinion, Pastoral Ministry|Tags: |1 Comment

Here’s How to Resist the Church’s “Conspiracy of Cordiality”

The following quote is from Stanley Hauerwas’ book Resident Aliens. It has hung in my office for years and I find myself reading on many occasions. As a college chaplain, I am often thinking about how to talk to my students about church; what it is, what it isn’t, why they need to be a part of it, and how […]

By |2020-01-14T10:21:51-06:00May 9th, 2019|Categories: Anglicanism, Liturgy & Worship, Opinion|1 Comment

5 Ways to Stop Gossip in the Church

In Anglican circles we all too often find ourselves dealing with the issue (sin) of gossip—spreading rumors and reports about others without first confirming the facts.

Recently, Archbishop Foley Beach addressed this issue on the ANCA website in an article titled, “A Christian Code of Ethics for Using Social Media.” He states:

Most of us have done it!! We have posted […]

By |2020-01-14T10:21:52-06:00May 2nd, 2019|Categories: Miscellaneous, Opinion|Tags: |1 Comment

Mother’s Day Sermons: Yes or No? (UPDATED 2020)

Mother’s Day sermons, at least in certain circles, can be a bit controversial. After all, Mother’s Day is not liturgical holiday, an official part of the Church calendar.

So, should you preach Mother’s Day sermons? In a word, yes. This year, let me say it even more strongly, “You’d better!”

(For all of our Anglican Compas content on preaching, go […]

By |2020-12-17T12:12:59-06:00May 1st, 2019|Categories: For Pastors, Opinion, Preaching|Tags: , , |0 Comments

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