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

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

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

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 days time I will leave for […]

By |2019-01-10T16:54:35-06:00January 3rd, 2017|Categories: For Pastors|Tags: , , , , |4 Comments

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

We Can’t Do it

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 [focus] of a Pastor’s love, I […]

By |2016-05-05T09:24:50-05:00May 5th, 2016|Categories: For Pastors|Tags: , , , |1 Comment

What does the Rector do?

(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; I’ve had some blessed […]

By |2019-01-10T16:56:28-06:00April 27th, 2016|Categories: For Pastors|Tags: , , , |4 Comments

Call Me Mother

Since I was ordained as a priest two years ago, the question I’m most asked is, “What do we call you?”

In Anglicanism, people often refer to priests as “Father,” following Roman Catholic and Orthodox tradition. I have no intention to argue here about the use of that term, which can be controversial among lower church folks, but the practice is […]

By |2019-01-04T22:39:25-06:00April 26th, 2016|Categories: Anglicanism|Tags: , , , , |14 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

Top Posts of 2015

Thank you for joining us in 2015. Here are the most read articles posted in 2015.

#10 What They Are Saying About Advent

by David Roseberry. “For outlandish creatures like us, on our way to a heart, a brain, and courage, Bethlehem is not the end of our journey but only the beginning – not home but the place through which we […]

By |2019-01-04T22:41:05-06:00December 29th, 2015|Categories: Anglicanism|Tags: , |0 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

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