Continuing Home

The ongoing saga of a Continuing Anglican church home, as seen by a member of the laity.

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Just minutes ago I read that there appears to be an impending split in the worldwide Anglican Communion, with my former church (mentioned in the previous post) on the outs.

It is sad, but I think the church Fathers have some strong teaching regarding communion with heretics.

,,, and visits Holy Trinity (Greek Orthodox)

I learned during this trip that I am not the only member of my committee annoyed with having meetings on Sunday morning; I think there are at least four of us, but it was a German member who brought it up. Unfortunately even as chairman I am unable to fix it.

Had I had this knowledge earlier I would have tried harder to do for them what I was able to do for myself in New York last January and did again this week -- arranged the working group meetings so that I had some time free (following the early-morning committee chairs' breakfast meeting, which eliminated any possibility of an 8 AM service).

But in any even, I knew I had some time free Sunday to attend a service. The only question was... where? A search for an Anglican church in Salt Lake turned up only an AMiA church 20 minutes' drive from downtown. But for all I might have been willing to overlook their "west-facing" altar, I had no car. There was an Episcopal cathedral a few blocks away, but I was a little put off by the online photo of the woman rector with the woman bishop (so many changes in the quarter-century since I left!), but the absolute killer was the service at 11:30 (too late) and besides, it was "Rite II."

Side note: It is my personal opinion that whoever wrote TEC's Rite II was liturgically stone deaf. I'm not exactly an expert or connoiseur of liturgy; when I left (P)ECUSA I'd been using the '79 for 15 years, though I'd developed a preference for Rite I. It was only after rediscovering the majesty of the 1928 BCP at St. Bartholomew's that I began to realize what we'd almost lost. But this is simply my opinion.
So... what to do? After some broader searching I discovered there was a Greek Orthodox cathedral some four blocks away. I had no particular reason to go except that I've had a Greek Orthodox friend for some years now (he's on the other end of the country, but we exchange notes often) and I was curious. But when were their services? I started searching and found a website. But service times were not prominently posted. The telephone was not answered on weekends. Not very visitor-friendly.

But I persisted and found the "summer schedule" buried in an online copy of a parish newsletter. When I finally discovered this I was already a bit late for "Orthros" (Matins), but no time was given for the "Divine Liturgy." So I went.

First impression: *beautiful* church! And almost nobody there. Mental images: Two men singing in Greek, the priest doing incomprehensible things mostly behind the screen, his prayers often covered up by the singing (I did hear "Kyrie Eleison" frequently), the thurible with 12 bells (no bells on our Anglican thuribles), men in suits bringing things up, even behind the screen, and removing them. Okay. I had little idea what was going on.

But there was a point where it clearly switched to the Divine Liturgy, and I began to recognize the service, for all the order was different and it was half in English and half in Greek. The Creed was in modern English else I suspect it would have been nearly verbatim with ours.

Quite an education in the 24th Article of Religion, " a tongue not understanded of the people." Though the bulletin notes weekly Greek classes and they certainly knew the one prayer said in Greek by all (but me).

It was a beautiful service, if a bit alien to me.

But sadly, at the end I learned the truth of my friend's remark: "We are a very exclusive religion! :)" Not a word to the obvious visitor.

Makes me very happy that we have our Evangelism Group!! The Great Commission lives on here, at least.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Wandering Anglican departs again...

...and this time it's a week of meetings in Salt Lake City. So I'll miss yet another of the Evangelism Group classes being held Wednesdays of this month. Tried to look up Anglican churches in Salt Lake City, but the prospects didn't look good. I'll look again in a bit, but then again there will be little time, I'll be downtown without a car, and I've a minor foot issue that says long hikes might not be a good idea.

More next week, I guess.

Update: Updating the church website, I noticed I'll be missing the Men's Fellowship breakfast again. And the one of the Evangelism Group classes, on the topic "Christianity & Science: Conflicting or Complementary that I've managed to attend was interesting.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Camp Cookie is (back) On

I'd noted in a post a month ago that Camp Cookie might not happen this year, because Kathy was going to miss this fall's Kairos Prison Ministry. In the meeting week before last in Berlin we learned that the fall meeting had to be rescheduled because Vienna is just too popular in September and it was impossible to book both hotel rooms and meeting space. So now we're on for late October and Kathy can work Kairos.

The Camp Cookie "campers" better get ready -- she needs something like 100 dozen cookies!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Off the Hook

Fr. Daniel sent a note to "the usual suspects" to advise that tomorrow morning's class will not be held due to choir practice (I think this is still regularly scheduled for the 3rd Sunday of the month but I'm away enough I am not certain). The only disheartening thing was the extremely short list of "suspects" (there might have been five of us attending), but then again most of the usual suspects are away much of this month, as Fr. Daniel noted Wednesday evening.

For me this may be a good thing, because my body clock is still not quite on schedule after last week's trip. One morning I wake up early, the next late, but with the size of the swing steadily decreasing.

The extra hour will probably be welcome.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Mobile Morning Prayer

Perhaps it's a sign of our hurried times. A long time ago Drew (or was it Fr. Daniel?) pointed out the convenience of the website The Daily and Occasional Offices (1928 Book of Common Prayer), because it presents the Psalm, Old Testament and New Testament readings as designated by the Lectionary, without requiring one to look them up, find them, place bookmarks, etc. Very convenient, which is why it's linked from the home page of St. Bartholomew's website (lower right corner, "Daily Offices Online").

All well and fine, but before the supper preceding the Evangelism Group's class Wednesday night, Matt noted that he now had the site bookmarked in the browser on his cellphone (or mobile or handy, whatever one calls it) for even more convenient access.

I had never thought of doing that, though I might try it on my Internet-enabled mobile also!

I guess this gives a whole new meaning to the term "cellphone service."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Capella, in Four Part Harmony

It's been a busy time since the last post here, running off to Berlin for a few days, getting back late Saturday night, and dealing with jet lag and changes at home. Today I began to get back in the groove, assisting at a service tonight for St. Barnabas. It was a little confusing when I checked the Ordo Kalendar to be sure of my reading (for the Epistle) -- it said today was "St. Bartholomew's" but I knew that was August 24th. Fr. Daniel confirmed there was a little error in the Ordo Kalendar.

The service went just fine for all the turnout was small, just three families. But when it was time for the Gloria, Fr. Daniel figured he had some good voices (not mine) and directed us to Hymn 739(?) and suggested we all sing it in four parts, a cappella. It was beautiful!

Afterwards we had a nice little supper, and then the second installment of the Evangelism Class. I've been like much of the class this month... traveling. I missed last week's class due to travel, I'll miss next week's class due to travel (a week of meetings in Salt Lake City), and so it goes for most of the rest of us who aren't home sick. Maybe we'll have to redo this some other month.

Monday, June 02, 2008

We get a sign!

Two of them, actually.

Thanks to Gordon and one of his sons, new signs were erected Friday by the entrance and exit to our parking lot.

Hopefully Fr. Daniel will no longer be dealing with potential parking lot collisions with folks who've decided to use our parking lot as a place to turn around on along Avondale Road.

Thank you, Gordon!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Ban the Cross!

This situation is one that is difficult to write about without venturing into political realms, but I am going to try.

Today, just prior to his sermon (with visual aids) tied to the Service Propers and in particular the Gospel (Luke 4:16-24, go read it!), on how we compartmentalize our lives in service to property, employment and family, leaving the least proportion to our faith --and those of us who attended Scripture Study this morning were at east prepared for this much-- he delivered a bit of a shocker to us in terms of his his wish to post a notice about the upcoming choir camp (more details forthcoming) at some local public schools.

Okay, there was a submission deadline missed by a day and I have no problem with that; the schools are off the hook. (In my day job I too have to set submission deadlines and there are good reasons for those deadlines.)

But Fr. Daniel was told that his notice might be rejected anyway for content... and the offensive content was the cross in the background of this photo (approximately as appears below, and there was text about the camp in front of the photo -- you really had to study the notice to even see the cross.) This is "offensive"?

But after that Deacon Ed advised us that the local Veteran's Administration (VA) hospital recently removed the cross from its (tiny room, used mostly by Roman Catholics) chapel because "it might be offensive" to others.

This picture, taken less than 6 months ago in Vienna (Austria) is part of what upsets me. The Viennese today might feel some guilt about what happened decades ago, for all that it's in living memory, but... a public display of a Menorah on a central city street in a place once upon a time less than friendly to Judaism...? From the position of one who has friends of other faiths, I hope it's out of something more than guilt.

In the U.S., it seems, Christians are being driven into compartmentalizing our faith by those who would as soon see it dead. And maybe we here in the Pacific Northwest, the least-churched part of the country, are going to be in the forefront.

Stay tuned.