Clergy Political Activism: When should we get involved?

Posted on February 2, 2017
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Churches and clergy are supposed to be politically non-partisan. Sometimes clergy are able to participate in politics as individuals (such as voting), but for the most part, they are to refrain from partisan politics. We serve the King of Kings, and represent his Church, not a particular party. Our mission and calling is to proclaim…

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers…

Posted on January 3, 2017
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I’m here again…in not-so-sunny Florida for another session with this group. This time, it will be only a day for me. I have a commitment that has crowded by schedule. But I am re-posting my article from last year about the “Band of Brothers” I have met with for 30 years! In just a few…

The Anglican Pastor’s Guide to Email Sanity

Posted on September 22, 2016
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Here’s a statement I’ve never heard from anyone serving in ministry: “I love email!” Pastors commit their lives to serve God and his church for numerous reasons. Some love preaching the Gospel; some love offering pastoral care in nursing homes, hospitals, or prisons; others walk alongside students through teenage and college years. No matter the…

A Year of First Blessings

Posted on May 17, 2016
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So, 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 the life of…

We Can’t Do it

Posted on May 5, 2016
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In the 17th century, pastor and poet George Herbert wrote the book The Country Parson, one of the first manuals for pastors written in English.  He starts his book by acknowledging that he feels inadequate: the way to please [God], is to feed my Flock diligently and faithfully, since our Savior has made that the…

The Funeral: Pastoring in the time of Mourning

Posted on May 3, 2016
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A funeral is one of the most difficult things anyone may ever have to do. Even as “professionals,” it is often difficult to know what to do or what to say. Often we may not even know the deceased that well. They may have been a family member of a parishioner, or they may have attended our church…

How to Raise a Healthy, Digital Savvy Child

Posted on April 28, 2016
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Wearing a seatbelt, or practicing defensive driving are well understood and commonly used practices. These rituals or liturgies (bear with me on this) have been something our parents grew up with and have taught us. But our parents did not grow up with the internet (in all its glory and shame). So we have to…

Preaching Like a TED Talk?

Posted on April 17, 2016
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Sir Ken Robinson is a first-class speaker. I’ll never forget the first time I heard and watched his enthralling TED talk on the systemic flaws of education in our time. I listened to Robinson’s TED talk in the animated adaptation by the brilliant folk at RSA Animate. Robinson describes how the modes and methods of…

Falling and Getting Up

Posted on March 21, 2016
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The sign on the trail to the falls could not have been clearer. Do not climb on the rocks, it said. The rocks are very slippery, it said. You will fall, it said. I climbed on the rocks. They were very slippery. I fell – hard. Lying a bit dazed on my back, half in…

Want Your Church to Grow?

Posted on February 16, 2016
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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…