George Herbert: A Rookie Anglican Guide to the Priest and Poet

Posted on February 26, 2024
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George Herbert, perhaps the greatest devotional poet in the English language, was also a faithful pastor to a small country church. When I was a student, Herbert helped lead the way of my pilgrimage to Christ. As an adult disciple and priest, I have continually refreshed my spirit by dipping back into Herbert’s prose and…

(An) Anglican(‘s) Opinion: Priests are not Sacramental Specialists

Posted on March 9, 2017
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This post is a part of Rookie Anglican, a blog dedicated to Making Anglicanism Accessible. “The more things change, the more things stay the same.” ~ Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr T.F. Torrance’s astute observation applies as much to the Church today as it did to ancient Israel: “the tendency to make the sacrificial priesthood independent of the…

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…

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 Rector: A Rookie Anglican Guide

Posted on April 27, 2016
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(Recently, I published a blog post on the Role of the Vestry or Church Board here. This is its companion piece on the role of the Rector or Sr. Pastor.) Over the years, I have been through many different periods of growth and development as the Rector and Sr. Pastor of Christ Church. I have made mistakes along the way;…

What Do I Call You?

Posted on January 21, 2016
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“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 I had said,…

Rubrics

Posted on December 28, 2015
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So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter (2 Thess 15, ESV throughout). I recently ran afoul of the rubrics – not seriously afoul (a minor “infraction” so my stole will not be yanked) and not truly of…

Herding Cats

Posted on December 15, 2015
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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 some grain of truth…

Things Done In Secret

Posted on December 1, 2015
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As a new priest, I am careful to follow the liturgical rubrics in the prayer book as well as those that exist as a matter of local custom: bow here, make the sign of the cross now, kneel during this part of the service, extend arms in orans for this prayer, lay hands upon the…