January 05, 2006

The Blog of Daniel

The Episcopal Diocese of Washington has started a blog for discussion of the NBC series: Blog of Daniel

The series premieres tomorrow night, and has sparked controversy and plenty of news items. We'll have something new to talk about at coffee hour - see you there!

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January 03, 2006

NBC Series "The Book Of Daniel" Premieres Friday

A television series about an Episcopal priest that premieres this Friday is generating a lot of interest - and a lot of controversy.

On the interesting side, "The Book of Daniel" features a man of God who struggles with personal demons, family conflict, parish problems, and a more conservative (but female) bishop. Also, his best best friend Jesus often drops by for a chat.

On the controversial side, at least one prominent conservative religious group has organized a letter-writing and emailing campaign to protest the series, claiming that the series "mocks Christianity." Which is ironic, when you consider the gulf that divides conservative and progressive Christians over most issues - this particular group is more interested in objecting to the portrayal of a (secondary) gay character in a positive way than defending Episcopal priests from being portrayed as human, fallible, or conflicted.

They are very quick to condemn Daniel's addiction to painkillers and his wife's fondness for her afternoon martinis. They disapprove of the They also have a problem with the way the "very unconventional white-robed, bearded Jesus" is portrayed. However, from all reviews I've read, Jesus is shown to be a kind, supportive figure who refuses to be Daniel's fortuneteller, but who offers him insights and friendship.

It's up to each of us to decide for ourselves whether this series is worth watching. It may turn out that it's just not that good - in that case, it will end its short run of 8 episodes and no one will care. On the other hand, it might turn out to be compelling, thought-provoking, and even entertaining, as it's billed as a comedy-drama.

The cast includes Aidan Quinn as Daniel, Ellyn Burstyn as Bishop Congreve, and occasionally Phyllis Diller appears as one of Daniel's parishioners (I bet she's a lot of fun at potluck suppers).

Here's a description of the show from the NBC website:

Emmy nominee Aidan Quinn (“An Early Frost,” “Plainsong,” “Legends of the Fall”) stars as Reverend Daniel Webster, an unconventional Episcopalian minister who not only believes in Jesus - he actually sees him and discusses life with him. Webster is challenged on many levels as he struggles to be a good husband, father and minister, while trying to control a nagging addiction to prescription painkillers, and an often rocky relationship with the church hierarchy, led by Bishop Beatrice Congreve (Oscar winner Ellen Burstyn, “Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore,” “Requiem of a Dream”), Roger Paxton, a senior warden of the parish and stalwart churchgoer (Dylan Baker, “Kinsey,” “Happiness”).

The reverend also has loving, but challenging relationships with his three children: Peter (Christian Campbell, “Trick”), his 23-year-old gay son, who struggles with the loss of his twin brother; Grace (Alison Pill, “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen”), his 16-year-old daughter who doesn't try to push her father's buttons but succeeds at it nonetheless; and Adam (Ivan Shaw, “All My Children”), his 16-year-old adopted Chinese son, a handsome and cocky high school jock with a wicked sense of humor. Keeping Webster grounded is his strong and loving wife Judith (Susanna Thompson, “Now and Again”), who is fighting her own fondness for mid-day martinis, as well as Jesus (Garret Dillahunt, “Deadwood”), whose frequent chats with Daniel serve to remind him of his strengths and weaknesses.

"The reverend?" Well, it's rare that the entertainment industry gets the details right on the proper way to refer to an Episcopal priest. For unintentional comedy alone, this may be an interesting series to watch. It's generating a lot of heat, but what is more interesting is the issues that it raises.

Some of us may be troubled by the rather excessive number of challenges Daniel faces, but no one has ever said that the life of a man or woman of God is easy, or that perfection is a requirement for the clergy.

The pilot for the new series was shot in Pasadena, Calif., at All Saints Episcopal Church to the great delight of the congregation.

“How cool is it that a progressive Episcopal priest has a shot at being a prime-time drama protagonist,” says the Rev. Susan Russell, associate rector. “How surprising might it be to many who tune in to find out there actually is a church where women can be bishops – clergy can be human – and there’s enough good news around to extend to everybody?” NBC has ordered 13 episodes.

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December 17, 2005

Jan 15 Is Companion Diocese Sunday

Chicago Diocese -- January 15 is Companion Diocese Sunday

Congregations are invited to remember our companion dioceses of Renk and Southeast Mexico in special prayers, collections, and in presentations by members.

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December 06, 2005

Advent Meal and Devotions Tonight

St Columba hosts the annual Advent meal and devotional tonight at the church at 630pm. Advent devotions will start at 7pm.

St Columba of Iona Episcopal Church
1800 W. Irving Park Road
(1 blk. W. of Barrington and Irving Park Road)
Hanover Park, IL

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November 27, 2005

Episcopal Relief Gifts For Life


A couple of Sundays ago, parishioner Bob Kalicki announced that he'd just bought a flock of chickens. He quickly explained that he had been intrigued by the gift offerings in the ERD Gifts for Life Catalog that had been posted on the parish bulletin board. For a very small donation, somewhere in the world a flock of chickens will be given to a family, and they will be given both sustenance and a source of income all in one gift (the amount of donation also includes training for raising poultry for the marketplace).

Another parishioner ordered the Gifts for Life catalog and advised the grown children of the family that if they wanted to spend money on presents for their parents, they might think about "buying" something that will really help other families somewhere in the world.

Imagine all the people in your family who are hard to shop for: think what good you can do in this world if you give gifts for "people who have everything" to help "people who have nothing." For relatively small amounts of money, you can help people gain access to clean water, basic health care, or learn how to start a family-run business.

So if you can't think of anything for your Uncle Joe, consider getting him a pig for Christmas, but be sure to explain that it's in a good cause.

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November 17, 2005

Faith Explorer

Wow! here's a great new resource for people exploring matters of faith. It's from the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago.

Faith Explorer: an online resource of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago

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The Church of The Seventh-Day Absentists

Members of the Church of The Seventh-Day Absentists can come from any denomination, and may decide on a whim to attend their "home" church one Sunday, and worship as an Absentist the next.

Sometimes it makes no difference where you worship, because God is always there with you anyway. However, this Sunday at Holy Innocents will be special; it is Committment Sunday, when we pledge our time, talents, and efforts to supporting our mission and our community. Completed pledge cards will be brought forward with the regular offering to be blessed.

Members of the Bishop's Committee will be calling and listening to ideas, concerns, and feedback... and also to remind everyone not to be an Absentist this Sunday. See you in church!

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November 03, 2005

Archbishop of Canterbury's Address to Global South To South Encounter

The Archbishop of Canterbury recently addressed a meeting of Anglican primates from the Global South, or Southern Cone. This meeting was previously billed as a possible "break point" of conservative African , South Asian, and South American provinces away from the Anglican Communion, or to form their own body.

From Archbishop of Canterbury | Sermons and Speeches

In other words, a catholic church is not a church that seeks a uniform global culture. The unity f the church is not cultural; it is in Christ "one Lord one faith, one baptism," and any number of languages and costumes. It's been said recently by a theologian that the catholicity of the church is really a kind of great protest against globalisation; the really catholic is the opposite of the globalised, because the catholic is about wholeness, about the wholeness of the person, the wholeness of local culture and language, therefore it's not simplyng the same fast-food shop in every village on the globe, and it's not like the global economy, in which people are drawn into somebody's story and somebody's interests which in fact makes others poor and excluded. The catholic is the opposite of the globalised because the catholic is about everyone's welfare, everyone's growth and justice. And particularly in our globalised world this witness to what I would call the truly catholic is perhaps more important than ever. The affirmation the rights and liberties of local persons but "rights and liberties" is a weak and perhaps misleading phrase; the language of rights has not stood us in good stead in the church. Let's say rather the Christ-touched dignity of every person and every culture. That is what the catholic church honours in its fullness and that is why the catholic church protests about a globalised system that works in the interests of a minority, whether in the church or in the world.

In other words, "all are welcome at this, God's table." This is how those who would exclude and divide are answered.

Via Father Jake Stops The World

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October 20, 2005

The Good Bishop

That's all Gene Robinson wants to be known for being: the good bishop, and not just the gay bishop.

According to the article, the Diocese of New Hampshire is doing very well, with most parishes reporting modest growth, especially from young families. And there's been a surge of applications for clergy positions in the diocese. Most are not gay, but think New Hampshire is the place for them to begin their journey.

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October 04, 2005

Francis of Assisi, Friar

Loyal friend is gone, but his spirit still inspires

He was the mayor of Baylor Street, proclaimed innocent by the neighbors even after the Fire Department blamed him for that suspicious blaze. He greeted shoppers at Whole Foods Market and offered spiritual insight to his best friend, an Episcopal priest.

Until his death Aug. 26, Sam Houston was a revered theologian "a rare canine version" whose near-death experience in a house fire 10 years ago gave him legendary status in some circles.
Tonight, on the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals, the Rev. Bill Miller will do his part to keep the Airedale terrier's legacy alive.

The Collect for Francis of Assisi, Friar

Most high, omnipotent, good Lord, grant your people grace to renounce gladly the vanities of this world; that, following the way of blessed Francis, we may for love of you delight in your whole creation with perfectness of joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Those of us who have pets give thanks for them today. Those of us who have lost pets remember them today. And all those of us who love animals, please consider donating "time and talents" to an animal rescue group today.

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October 03, 2005

Out Of Deep Waters: Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold speaks from New Orleans

From Episcopal News Service:

[Episcopal News Service] Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold visited hurricane-impacted churches along the Gulf Coast and in New Orleans September 19-20. In an interview with Episcopal News Service, Griswold speaks about the faith and determination of Gulf Coast Episcopalians and notes the resiliency and and "deep compassion" of the local community.

A video stream and downloadable MP3 of the Presiding Bishop's interview are available online at: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/3577_64854_ENG_HTM.htm.

An ENS article about the Presiding Bishop's visit to the Gulf Coast is available online at: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/3577_67676_ENG_HTM.htm.

ENS Podcast

For iTunes users, a podcast of the Presiding Bishop's interview is available at: http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=77908688.

To subscribe to ENS podcasts from any podcast capable software, the following URL must be used: http://episcopalchurch.org/ens_podcasts.rss.

A podcast is an audio file, most commonly in MP3 format, made available online in a way that allows software to automatically download the files for listening at the user's convenience.

Podcast software is required to select the programs you would like to download. The software can check the internet regularly and start a download whenever it finds something new. Free podcast software is available from iTunes, iPodder, jPodder, among others. Further information about podcasting for iTunes can be found online at: http://www.apple.com/podcasting.

If any of you are curious about the "podcasting" phenomenon, please drop an email to the webmistress.

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August 17, 2005

The Book Of Daniel

This could be really exciting news - it's only a mid-season replacement, but still it's intriguing: a progressive Christian point of view might be shown on network television as an alternative to the somewhate more conservative depictions of faith that are typical of TV drama.

Those of us who attended the enjoyable Via Media sessions may recognize the location; I believe it's the same church where they taped.

[Episcopal News Service] A new television drama featuring the struggles of an Episcopal priest with family, church politics and Jesus, his mentor and friend, and even his own nagging reliance on painkillers, is planned for the NBC 2005-2006 mid-season line-up.

"This challenging new series is our first announced drama for mid-season as we continue to seek different, out-of-the-box projects," said Kevin Reilly, President, NBC Entertainment, when announcing the new series.

" 'The Book of Daniel' is bold and surprising storytelling told by a great cast led by Aidan Quinn," Reilly added.

The new series also offers the Episcopal Church a rare product placement opportunity at a time when TIVO devices make it possible to excise paid commercials from home viewing. In 2004, the value of television product placements (a product or brand name inserted for marketing purposes into entertainment fare) increased by 46.4 percent over the year before, to $1.88 billion, according to the research firm PQ Media.

A pilot episode for 'The Book of Daniel' was filmed at All Saints Church in Pasadena, where Quinn portrays Daniel, a young, liberal priest and father who clashes frequently with his conservative bishop, Dr. Beatrice Congreve, played by Ellen Burstyn.

The series, set in upstate New York, would also feature Quinn's frequent conversations with Jesus, played by actor Garrett Dillahunt. Among his parishioners is long-time actress and comedienne Phyllis Diller.

The Rev. Susan Russell, an associate rector at the Pasadena parish, said the plot for the series is hopeful.

"It is one more indicator of how much issues of faith and religion are "in" right now," said Russell, who is also national Integrity president.

"How cool is it that a progressive Episcopal priest has a shot at being a prime-time drama protagonist," she added. "How surprising might it be to many who tune in to find out there actually IS a church where women can be bishops -- clergy can be human -- and there's enough Good News around to extend to everybody?" -- Episcopal News Service

I am just wondering a little about Phyllis Diller, but it could be interesting.

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August 15, 2005

Top Ten Reasons Men Give For Not Going To Church.

The following list is courtesy of the Rev. Steven C. Rice, St. Michael's Episcopal Church, Waynesboro GA. Do you know someone who gives one of these reasons?

The following list comes from a book reviewed in the Augusta Chronicle on June 18. The book is called (not surprisingly) "Why Men Hate Going to Church" by David Murrow. The Top Ten...Letterman style:

10. I don't have time
9. Church just doesn't work for me
8. It's boring
7. It's irrelevant to my life
6. I don't like the pastor
5. I don't want to talk about it
4. It's too long
3. They ask for money too much
2. It's for wimps
1. There are too many hypocrites there

Now, if we were to install a drive-through window along one side of Holy Innocents, with salvation Happy Meals to go (large drink extra), we might be on to something, because that would neutralize answers 10, 8, 4, 3, and 1 for certain and might take care of some of the others, too.

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August 12, 2005

Synergy Quintet August 28th!

Synergy Brass Quintet returns to Holy Innocents on Sunday, August 28th at 4pm. It'll be a hot time with cool music. Dessert will be served afterwards in the undercroft.

The group performs the week before at Ravinia on Sunday August 21st. More information will be posted when it becomes available - it could be fun to go to both concerts. Fan club members, please refrain from swooning and making spectacles of yourselves (you know who you are).

This picture was taken at last year's concert.

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July 13, 2005

Photos Galore

It was an incredible day in many ways - incredibly hot, incredibly hard work, and incredibly cool when the classic cars finally roared in and took their places on the lawn.

Full-size photos have been uploaded to the church gallery page, but here is a selection of the highlights. Click on the image to go to its page on the gallery site.

All the PT Cruisers lined up in the best spot on the site: the shady corner closest to the driveway.
Linda Milner and her grandson Michael got to go up on the lifting platform of Hoffman Estate Fire Department's Truck 22. Two trucks from HEFD came for a community education appearance; the second truck stayed longer, but left in a big hurry with sirens wailing, lights flashing, and the horn blaring. It was very exciting and it wasn't all for show; they returned to thank us for the invitation to put on a demonstration later, after they attended the scene of a minor traffic accident.
Linda and Susan share a laugh while in the background Katie works the raffle table.
Father Ted and Doreen kept their cool somehow at the baked goods table; Doreen's strategy was literally to "think cool." Earlier in the morning, Fr. Ted had presided at a very short outdoor Eucharist for the show crew before he headed over for the early service at St Columba's

He stayed in the clerical collar almost all day - now that's dedication to the cloth.

A truly fine wine-colored Mustang.
Nanette brought beautifully decorated cookies that were shaped like cars, trucks, and even fuzzy dice. The box alone was incredibly creative.
Remmer drives to the finish line - the only other section of the site with shade for several cars. There he set up a little area for his Ford, his futuristic tractor, and his camp chairs.
The incredible futuristic streamlined tractor. Definitely the most unusual vehicle in the show.
Katie! We need more Diet Pepsi! We need more Diet Pepsi!
By this time it was essential to drink lots of water and wear a hat, but Mark braved the heat while David wandered around taking photos.
If you look closely, the Corvette Club members have moved into the shade of the second fire truck. Seen from the lifting platform of the first truck. David also got to go up so he could take photos.
Of course, we couldn't have done it without Tim, grilling in the sun (in more ways than one, poor guy).

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June 22, 2005

To Set Our Hope On Christ

News from the greater Anglican church:

Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold joined six presenters at the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) meeting in Nottingham June 21, explaining that while the Episcopal Church includes diverse views on sexuality, common mission continues.

"Although certain actions by the Episcopal Church have deeply distressed a number of you, we have not come to argue," Griswold said. "I want to be clear that the Episcopal Church has not reached a common mind. However, it is our desire to be faithful to scripture. It is my hope that in the tradition of classical Anglicanism we will be united in Christ's love and called to serve the world in Christ's name."

The presentation came at the invitation of the ACC and in response specifically to the Windsor Report's request (paragraph 135) to outline "how a person living in a same gender union may be considered eligible to lead the flock of Christ."

A booklet titled "To Set Our Hope on Christ" was distributed as part of the presentation. [Link to the text: http://www.anglicanlistening.org ]. "We believe that God has beenng our eyes to acts of God that we had not known how to see before," the text states.

The booklet can be read online but it's a very long PDF file. However, the language in theng introduction and the first few pages is inspiring,hearted, and even beautiful.

The Anglican Listening website states:

Part of the distinctive tradition of Anglican listening and learning is identified by the 16th century English theologian Richard Hooker, who described Anglicanism as rooted in scripture, reason and tradition.

This triad of interrelationships is central to current conversations across the Episcopal Church as it seeks to respond faithfully to the request of Anglican leaders, via the 2004 Windsor Report, to learn more about sister and brother Anglicans internationally by participating in a careful process of intent listening.

These processes of listening and learning are recorded here, beginning with the 2005 observance of the Feast of Pentecost, which celebrates the gift of God's Spirit to the world, imparted through a multiplicity of voices.

It looks like there's a great deal of food for thought there - and much listening yet to be done.

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June 19, 2005

The Archbishop For York?

A former Ugandan judge and former Bishop of Stepney and also of Birmingham, Dr. John Sentamu will become Archbishop of York. He replaces Dr. David Hope, who stepped down to become rector of a "traditional" parish in Ilkley, York. Dr. Sentamu is seen as more progressive than his predecessor on many issues, but forms his own opinions on others. Dr. Hope opposed female clergy and other reforms, while Dr. Sentamu opposed the war in Iraq. However, what's more important is in the causes he supports: displaced auto workers, reducing in gun crime, reducing in racial tensions, and revitalizing people's involvement with the Anglican church. He hopes to get people as excited about their religion as they are about cricket and soccer.

As Archbishop of York, he holds the second most important post in the Anglican Church in Britain. It's conceivable that he could be Archbishop of Canterbury one day. He has vowed to ban homophobia in the Church of England. He is looking forward to "developing ways that will enable the Church of England to reconnect imaginatively with England".

After wrestling with an ugly word that is part of the story quoted below, I decided for the moment to leave it in. If we pretend that problems don't exist, they will eventually overwhelm us. We must face them. We must look each other in the eye and join together to combat them, just as the new Archbishop of York has pledged to do. We should remember his struggle and his example when we are in the midst of our own travails, and take heart and hope.

John Sentamu, the new archbishop of York, is a mould-breaker in more ways than one.

Not only is he the Church of England's first black primate; he is also seen as possessing street cred.

He is a trusted adviser to the government on race and the inner cities, yet does not shrink from criticising it.

And he speaks the sort of language most of us use, without taking refuge in ecclesiastical gobbledygook.


During his six years as bishop of Stepney in east London he was stopped and searched eight times by the police.

What upset him most was the sudden change in the officers' behaviour when they realised his identity.

He said: "When they discovered who I was, the way I was then treated was very different. They should treat everybody with respect, with dignity."

Another time, he recalls, four young white men spat at him and said: "Nigger, go back."

He replied: "You have wasted your saliva."

When he moved from Stepney to the West Midlands Dr Sentamu said he wanted to be known as the Bishop for Birmingham, not of it. - BBC NEWS | UK | England | The Archbishop with 'street cred'

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May 20, 2005

Episcopal Day at Six Flags August 16

Save the date: August 16 will be Episcopal Day at Six Flags Great America.

Event Date:Aug 16, 2005 - Aug 16, 2005 12:00 AM
Location:Gurnee, IL
Contact:Sue Cromer at
Web site:Visit http://www.epischicago.org/DownloadResource.cfm?RecID=285 for more information

Come join us for a day of fun for: families, youth groups, campus ministries, young adult groups, and parish organizations! Bring your friends! Tickets Only $25.00 (same price as 2004) (a $20.00 savings off the main gate price!) A special "Meal Deal" may be purchased for 9.50, redeemable for any one of four meal packages.

Additionally, the Schaumburg Flyers have a number of "promotional events" at their games this season, and also they are sponsoring something called "Pray Ball" where a small donation (3% of our total ticket sales) might be made to the church, based on the number of Flyers that get on base safely during a specific inning at a game we attend as a group. This would need to be set up in advance through Carolina at the Flyers sales office, and they would let us know what inning is "ours." It sounds like a fun outing, and many dates are available now.

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May 18, 2005

The Chocolat Pentecost

Somehow, we managed to do the Pentecost readings in our many different languages, even though a person or persons unknown had moved Father Ted's reading marker, and he began reading something completely other than we were expecting.

After a few seconds' tense silence on our part, wordless communication was exchanged somehow and he began with the words "Philip said to Jesus, "Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied." That was our cue.

All was well; very quickly a torrent of languages grew around the sanctuary. Some spoke more quickly and finished earlier, and some had more of a mouthful to pronounce and trailed off at the end.

Fr. Ted's sermon enlarged on the theme of differences between people, and communication in general. Even the slight hiccup at the beginning, he said, caused an interesting tension and gave our several readings the feeling of pent-up energy released (and not a little relief that we hadn't messed up).

Chocolat (Miramax Collector's Series)
Fr. Ted took as his "text" not only the Gospel reading for Pentecost, John 14 8-17, but events and characters from the movie Chocolat. In that movie, outsiders visiting an otherwise charming French village were treated very badly, because it was run like a medieval fiefdom by a member of the old aristocratic class, a real French count. And even villagers were treated badly, because they had to toe the old man's very rigid line, and the local priest had to suffer the indignity of having his sermons written for him.

And then a dangerous newcomer moved to town andd a very threatening business, right in the middle of Lent: a gourmet chocolate shop.

This beautiful chocolatier didn't attend church, treated everybody the same, and didn't knuckle under to social pressure to conform. And it's a good thing, because she single-handedly reconnected the villagers with passion, whether it be for food, life, or love. Even the village priest was inspired to give a moving Easter sermon while his patron lay unconscious in the shop window, about how Jesus wants us to live our lives for ourselves and others, and not mindlessly following rules.

There was something magical in the chocolate - but it was not an easy or a quick fix. Some characters struggled with the way others saw them and as they saw themselves, but most emerged better for it (with the exception of the count, who ended up passed out in the display window of the chocolate shop after a disastrous attempt to destroy the shop). A new spirit of tolerance and acceptance filled the little village, and people were much happier and more content.

As it happens, the French passion for fine, rich chocolate and good food in general is explained a little further in the current best seller French Women Don't Get Fat. It's an interesting book, but places a little too much emphasis on drinking Champagne with nearly every meal (the author is an executive with a well-known French Champagne house).

The ultimate lesson learned from the movie, aside from always insisting on fine chocolate and savoring it in small but rich bites, is that life should be lived with passion and joy, and that change should be embraced. And that people who are different from us often have the most to teach. We certainly experienced the differences Sunday, as we all struggled to pronounce French, Estonian, Polish, Spanish, Norwegian, Italian, Latin and Greek...many languages, but all saying the same thing.

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May 10, 2005

Stewardship Workshop

The date for this event was given incorrectly in Anglican Advance - the correct date is May 21.

Event Date: May 21, 2005 9:30 AM - May 21, 2005 2:30 PM Location: Grace Church, Oak Park Contact: Jo Anne Moore at

A program of year-round stewardship can transform the spiritual life of a congregation. This year’s stewardship workshop will feature presentations on stewardship planning, various ways to conduct a successful appeal, how to make stewardship a year-round process, and the theology of giving. Mike Stephenson, development director for the diocese, will lead the group presentations. Lay leaders from three congregations will present details of their most recent stewardship campaign, then lead small-group discussions on the specific needs of family-, pastoral-, and program-size churches.

To register, please contact Jo Anne Moore at the diocesan center, , or jmoore, by May 16. The cost is $15 per person, which includes lunch. Please make checks payable to the Diocese of Chicago, and note “Stewardship Workshop” in the memo line. -- Chicago Diocese -- Stewardship Workshop

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May 09, 2005

An Unexpected Treat

Bishop Persell was unable to be with us last Wednesday as preacher and presider at our combined service of Ascension Eve, and our prayers go out to him and to his wife Nancy. She was recovering from a recent medical procedure and Bp. Persell felt he needed to be at home with her.

However, we were in for a special treat; the Rev. Randall Warren, diocesan pastoral care officer, stepped in to preach a dynamic and exciting (and quite funny) homily. He preached on the literal incarnation of the Word and the church; how God breathes out and we breathe in, being inspired by Him. And how we breathe out and God breathes in, taking our praise and supplication.

Fr. Randall preached without notes, and he prowled about the chancel gesturing and telling personal stories illustrating his points about "doing" church, "being" church, welcoming people and leaving plenty of room for discourse between people of different beliefs. Fr. Randall is currently vicar of Christ the King in Lansing, IL.

The service was conducted by members and clergy from Holy Innocents, St Columba, Incarnation, St Bede, and St Nicholas. Far from being a solemn, "churchy" event, it was a fun evening of laughter, music... and some truly awesome desserts afterwards.

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May 04, 2005

Bishop Persell Visits Holy Innocents May 4

Bishop William D. Persell will be preacher and presider tonight, Wednesday May 4 at 7pm at Holy Innocents for a special service in celebration of Ascension Eve. The service is hosted jointly by Holy Innocents, St Columba of Iona, and the Church of the Incarnation.

Dessert will be served downstairs in the Undercroft (church hall) afterwards. Please join us tonight in welcoming the bishop to our communities!

For more information on Bishop Persell, see the his bio on the diocesan website.

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May 02, 2005

Ascension Eve May 4 7pm

Readings for Ascension Day, BCP

There are several choices for readings for Ascension Day. Bishop Persell will even have 2 choices for Collects:

Almighty God, whose blessed Son our Savior Jesus Christ ascended far above all heavens that he might fill all things: Mercifully give us faith to perceive that, according to his promise, he abides with his Church on earth, even to the end of the ages; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

or this

Grant, we pray, Almighty God, that as we believe your only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ to have ascended into heaven, so we may also in heart and mind there ascend, and with him continually dwell; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Whichever he chooses, it will be a memorable service. Don't forget to bring desserts to share.

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April 30, 2005

A Measure Of Success

Seen in the comments section of "Father Jake Stops The World:"

It is a truism that 20% of the membership does 80% of the work of a parish. If this is so, even roughly speaking, then it stands to reason that the key statistic is not how many show up on Sunday, but how many are active. "The ministers of the church," the Catechism says, "are laypeople, bishops, priests and deacons" (ECUSA BCP [1979], p. 855). This simple statement makes it clear that the work of the church belongs to the laity. The clergy are there to help the laity do that work.

What this means is that the primary function of a parish is to be a community of ministering people. It starts with offering worship on Sunday, "the work of the people," which is what "liturgy" means. The ability to offer regular Sunday worship is the sine qua non of every church. This is so fundamental that we often overlook it. New missions, and the tiny churches that dot the nation, however, understand it well.

But the work of the people is much more than that. Each one of us has a speaking part in God's drama of salvation. The meaning of a Christian's life is to discover that role, accept it, and learn to employ the specific gifts of the Holy Spirit in accomplishing that work. This means of course being part of the ministry of the local congregation.

Each congregation is therefore a seedbed—a "seminary"—for the individual ministries of each member. Those congregations that claim this as their primary role will succeed in helping birth the vocations of their members. The consequences of this will be enormous. First of all, the negativity of being a static or declining church will disappear, as well as the "category envy" ("we wanna be a corporate parish!") that all too often infest the thinking of parochial leadership. The higher the percentage of members who have claimed their ministry, the more joy a congregation will experience being who they are, rather than wishing they were another bigger, richer parish (Eph. 4:16). - Anglicans Online Essays | The True Measure of a Successful Parish, by Pierre W. Whalon

This enlarges on themes and topics that are being kicked around in our diocese, and adds new food for thought as well.

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April 23, 2005

Past Is Future

This is interesting, as Holy Innocents is pretty "high" on the liturgical scale of things (for this part of the country, anyway):

Choosing the "high church" or Anglo-Catholic format for the new service also was deliberate. Hawkins said several studies had shown that the post-Gen X group, known as the "baby busters," is attracted to high ceremonial worship as a reaction against the casual style of services preferred by their baby boomer parents.

"There is a critical mass of younger persons who are drawn to more formal styles of work," said Hawkins. "As a liturgical church, it's easy for us to do that, so we're drawing upon a part of our tradition that was not drawn upon previously." -- Episcopal Life

Even more interestingly, they use a trial version of the Eucharistic liturgy. There are a couple of nice pictures on the page as well.

This topic was raised earlier today in a workshop attended by several members of the Bishop's Committee.

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April 11, 2005

Hints from (St) Heloise

Another Episcopal blogger and priest, "Fr. John Wilkins," recently passed along tips for getting candle wax out of carpet. This is the sort of thing the Altar Guild has dealt with, but not everyone may know it. As there may have been drops of melted wax scattered about during the Easter Vigil at Holy Innocents, I'll include the link here.

Salt: Getting Wax out of the Carpet

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April 07, 2005

Evangelism Webcast April 30

The Episcopal Diocese of Texas and the Parish of Trinity Church-St. Paul's Chapel in New York are co-sponsoring a unique webcast focusing on the Episcopal Church and evangelism. All are invited to watch the live webcast, which is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Eastern time (9 a.m. Central) on Saturday, April 30. Viewers should log on to www.trinitywallstreet.org/evangelism. The webcast will also be available for on-demand viewing after its conclusion. - Episcopal News Service
There are viewing resources and materials available, as some Episcopal parishes will be acting as local hosts for the webcast. However, all are welcome to log on and watch from home.
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March 27, 2005

He Is Risen, Alleluia, Alleluia


The strife is o'er, the battle won, the Easter eggs have mostly been found. Alleluia!

Pictures from this morning's festival Eucharist of Easter at St Columba have been posted on the new gallery photo pages for both parishes. More photos are being added so please stop by and vote for your favorites.

The New Fire was kindled last night outside the door of Holy Innocents, and the flames leapt up from the brazier and shone into the darkened sanctuary. The Paschal candle was lit, and then as the altar party processed through the door, light came into the church. Gradually, the light was passed from candle to candle held by all members of the congregation, and the first half of the service continued by candlelight.

The songs of exaltation were sung, the many readings were read, and in the end the Resurrection was proclaimed. All went away filled with spiritual food. As there was a reception after the service downstairs, everyone also went away filled with actual food, and there was even a cake shaped like a lamb.

At one point during a hymn there was a small disaster; the large Paschal candle fell off its stand to the floor with a crash. The music continued. After a short but intense pause, the people sitting closest to the spot moved quietly and purposefully into action, since the altar party were pretty far away and something needed to be done to make things right. One lifted the candle up carefully and tenderly and helped the acolytes fix it more securely into the stand. Others quickly swept up the broken glass (the candle was topped with a follower which shattered when it fell). They all did what needed to be done quietly and efficiently, like a well-rehearsed damage control team, and got things put right just before the music ended.

It seemed like a metaphor for when things go wrong; sometimes with even the most carefully choreographed plans, they will go awry... but someone quite unexpected will be there, see the need, and offer assistance. Aside from the loss of the follower, it was actually quite moving to witness.

There was much laughter and gladness after the service (and not a little relief from those of us in the choir), and jokes about various small disasters that have occurred during the Triduum. No one really took my suggestion seriously that we should make them all annual traditions, but they certainly made this year one to remember.

The Blessing Of The Easter Baskets: Gentlekids, Start Your Engines

This morning's festival Eucharist at St Columba was a joyful celebration; not only were the pews packed with people of all ages, there was an Easter egg hunt immediately after the service, all around the grounds of St Columba.

The service was conducted similar to a Family Mass - children were given jobs such as carrying a small processional cross (topped for the occasion with Easter lilies) or torches or the Gospel. Some children wore special robes, some did not. All helped make the Easter celebration special and fun.

At the end of the service, all the children were invited forward to have their Easter baskets blessed - some didn't have baskets, but were given flowered fabric bags they could sling over one shoulder. There were one or two adults who also came forward to have baskets blessed. Then they were invited to join the procession out at the end of the service, which put them in "post position" at the door of the church, waiting for the checkered flag.

The littler ones were allowed a head start, and then the larger ones were released to run around looking for one of 200 or so candy and plastic eggs that had been scattered and hidden all over the lawns and in the trees. All the children but one headed off in the same direction, and one little boy had the entire front lawn and all its candy to himself for a while until the others caught on. However, there were plenty of eggs for everybody. It turned out that the children with flowered bags had an advantage, because the eggs tended to bounce out of the baskets, causing their owners to have to stop and retrieve their lost candy. Still, nobody really came up short, and some were quite successful. According to some watchful and suspiciously knowledgeable adults, not all the eggs were found.

There's always next year.

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March 19, 2005

Palm Sunday Tomorrow


This photo is from Palm Sunday 2003; that's our previous vicar, The Rev. Marion Kanour, in the scarlet cope. Rather than traipse around the entire building over the frozen tundra that is the church lawn, we opted that year to stick to the sidewalk that runs on 2 sides of the building. It was much easier on everybody's shoes and less disruptive to the singing.

Tomorrow we'll process with palms and glad singing, and then during the service the drama of the Passion is staged with readers. So we start with the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, and we end with the fury of the crowd and the indifference of the secular authorities.

The liturgical color for the day changes from purple (mourning, penitence) to scarlet (Passion, triumph) and then often switches back to purple or even black. At one parish I attended years ago, the choir had colored tabards in all the liturgical colors - they were double-sided for reasons of economy. The scarlet one had a black reverse, and on Palm Sunday they used to quietly slip off the tabards and turn them over to the black side at the point in the service when Jesus arrives at Golgotha. It was quite unnerving.

The drama will play itself out tomorrow and later this week as it does every year at Eastertide. Will you be there...?

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March 17, 2005

Next Via Media: April 5th - "Sin"

Via Media is a powerful resource for building Christian community, bringing people into the Church who previously have felt alienated or unwelcome. Our Church stands on the threshold of a marvelous evangelism opportunity, and the actions of General Convention 2003d the door. Via Media is the resource we need tothe door even wider and keep itfor all who seek the Good News of Jesus Christ.
The next Via Media Lenten program resumes on Tuesday, April 5th at 6:30pm at Holy Innocents (after Holy Week and Easter Week). The simple supper of soup, bread, and salad will be hosted by St Columba. The next topic under discussion will be Sin. That ought to be a lively topic!

This past week's discussion on "The Bible" ranged widely and enjoyably as everyone responded to the video, which this week featured two members of the Episcopal clergy who are also bloggers: AKMA, and Susan Russell.

There was much discussion of "the three-legged stool" of Anglican theology, where Scripture, Tradition and Reason are the legs that support our faith. This time, participants were given homework... which I've just remembered is one of those "things left undone" that will have to be tackled later.

Please try to make some time to come to the next Via Media meeting if you're in the area, it's an interesting and thought-provoking program, and the soup is good too.

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The Scent Of Jesus

My supervisor at work mentioned this yesterday, and I couldn't figure out what she was talking about: something about a scented candle that smells like Jesus. We joked around at the end of the day, speculating that Jesus would actually smell like sawdust, the dust of the road, wine, bread, olive oil, old sandals... and blood.

But then I ran across it in another Episcopal blog and a well known "tech/culture" blog, and realized it was, incredibly, a real product:

Now there's a candle that lets you experience the scent of Jesus, and they've been selling out by the case.

"We see it as a ministry, " says Bob Tosterud, who together with his wife came up with the idea for the candle.

Light up the candle called "His Essence" and its makers say you'll experience the fragrance of Christ.

Bob Tosterud and wife Karen say the formula is all spelled out in Psalm 45.

"It's a Messianic Psalm referring to when Christ returns and his garments will have the scent of myrrh, aloe and cassia," says Karen Tosterud.

Interesting, I would have thought it was a reference to King David, but that's the beauty of metaphor.

The candles are sold via a website and they've sold more than 10,000 so far. The lines from the Psalm that inspired this product are

Your throne, O God, endures for ever and ever, *
a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom;
you love righteousness and hate iniquity.
Therefore God, your God, has anointed you *
with the oil of gladness above your fellows.
All your garments are fragrant with myrrh, aloes, and cassia, *
and the music of strings from ivory palaces makes you glad.

Candles are important in our worship - there is a Presence light that burns perpetually in the sanctuary, and there are smaller votive candles in stands on either side. One side is devoted to Mary, with a small prie-dieu (kneeling stand) next to it. The other side is devoted to remembering the dead. During worship there are often a pair of torches that accompany the Gospel in procession.

On Maundy Thursday, a week from today, the Presence light will be taken from its normal position just to the right of the Tabernacle (the small gated enclosed cupboard behind the altar) and moved over to the side altar next to the remembrance votives, and the entire area will be dressed as an Altar of Repose, all in white and surrounded by lilies and other candles.

At Easter, a Paschal candle will be baptized by dipping it in the font, and nails will be pressed into it to form a cross. Candles don't just symbolize Christ for us, they often stand in for Him. Although ours aren't scented, the incense that we occasionally burn will have to do.

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March 14, 2005

Anglicans Online: Essay

Sunday's essay from the Anglicans Online main page is worth saving - they archive by date, but not by title. It addresses the tension between the ends of the spiritual spectrum in the Anglican Communion. Click the "More..." link for the full text.

Link: Anglicans Online | The online centre of the Anglican / Episcopal world

Hallo again to all.

The lines below are from a long-forgotten play*. They occur in a dialogue between Thomas (he of the doubts) and Saul (he of the pre-Damascus Road, still persecuting Christians).

Saul: It is easy to sneer at what you do not believe!

Thomas: Sneer is a harsh word. It is not so easy to be hot and cold at once, to be devoted and intelligent, to trust God and keep your mind dry. But we do what we can. Please God the Holy Ghost will always let people like me hover between the dogmatists and their victims. Faith is a great danger and a great temptation; one can be more wholly oneself in the name of faith than in the name of anything else.

Saul: Atheist! Prostitutes and atheists and drunkards — these are the disciples of Jesus.

Thomas: Say 'lovers and logicians and the common people', and it sounds quite different. The truth lies between the two … it is only a dead faith that is abusive.

'It is only a dead faith that is abusive'. That sentence has been rattling round our heads all week, as we ponder the dyspeptic state of the Anglican Communion at present. There is much that would pass for abuse being lobbed back and forth between dioceses, provinces, primates and a few thousand other interested parties. Of course much is elegant abuse, without an expletive in sight. But there is much cold anger, much turbulent emotion, and much that is, we suspect, not radiant with the love of Our Lord in everything from email lists to talking heads.

None of this is, perhaps, surprising. It is human, and we live in a fallen world. But if we claim to be Christian, shouldn't our disagreements be, in some way, different in kind from the spirit animating the angry missives on Letters to the Editor pages? Shouldn't the world be able to discern a difference in the quality of our disputes from those of the secular world? We should like to think that it would be possible for the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the USA and the Bishop of Nigeria one day to exchange a brotherly embrace. If they cannot — if any of us who deeply disagree on whatever matters cannot — what does that say about our faith? 'It is only a dead faith that is abusive'.

Striving to hold a higher standard for Christian disagreement doesn't mean 'making nice' — another name for hypocrisy — but it does mean that we are called to a deeper self-emptying love. A vaster fund of patience. A willingness to understand that when one person sees the followers of Jesus as 'prostitutes and atheists and drunkards', another sees those same followers as 'lovers and logicians and common people'.

There are serious issues on which people throughout the Anglican Communion disagree. We realise that they might be matters over which we may eventually divide, for we may reach the point where we conclude they are a clash of absolutes. But if it comes to that, would it not be better for the world to view the unhinging of the Communion as a spectacle of deep sorrow rather than bitter anger? 'It is only a dead faith that is abusive'.

It's a sobering thought, as we move inexorably towards Holy Week.

See you next week.

Cynthia McFarland
Brian Reid
Last updated: 13 March 2005
URL: http://anglicansonline.org

*Terror of Light, by Charles Williams. Our admiration of the Blessed Charles Williams is obvious; we hope our readers will excuse us for drawing from him frequently.

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March 13, 2005

Holy Week And Easter - The Triduum


Lent concludes at the beginning of the Maundy Thursday Liturgy. The Maundy Thursday Liturgy, the Good Friday Liturgy, and the Easter Vigil/Easter Day Liturgies all together are actually one liturgical observance called the Triduum (Three-day celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ). Our celebration of the Resurrection finds its most full expression when we together walk with our Lord through the events of Holy Week.

Maundy Thursday: washing the feet of his disciples. Jesus instituting the Holy Eucharist at his Last Supper. Watching with Jesus in the garden.

Good Friday: Standing with Jesus before Pilate. Walking the way of the cross with Jesus. Standing with Jesus at the Cross. Watching as his body is taken down, wrapped in a shroud, and carried to the tomb.

Holy Saturday: Waiting

Easter Vigil and Easter Day: The Lord is Risen! The Lord is Risen Indeed! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Please make every effort to join our yoked congregations in each of the services of Holy Week and Easter, so that we might together celebrate the fullness of the Resurrection.


Fr. Ted

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March 12, 2005

Holy Week Schedule of Services

You don't have to stop thinking when you walk into church. Come experience an atmosphere where faith and thought come together in a spirit of fellowship.

Palm Passion Sunday March 20th

St Columba at 820am, Holy Innocents at 10:30am


Procession and Liturgy of the Palms

Maundy Thursday March 24

Holy Innocents at 7pm


Eucharist with footwashing and Vigil. There will be a sign-up sheet posted for parishioners to cover each half-hour of the Vigil.

After the celebration of the Eucharist, the Reserved Sacrament, symbolic of the Body and Blood of Christ, will be processed to a side altar for a solemn Vigil of Repose. At the conclusion of the Vigil, the candles are extinguished, the flowers are taken away, and the altar is stripped in token of grief and mourning. In the end, all is silence.

This rite is part of the Sacred Triduum of the season of Holy Week and Easter. Keep watch with us, in sure and certain hope of the Resurrection.

Good Friday Liturgy, March 25th

St Columba at 7pm


The Reserved Sacrament is distributed for Communion, as there is no celebration of the Eucharist on this day.

Also a part of the Triduum, one's first Good Friday service in the Episcopal Church can be unnerving. Many fast for the entire day. Old, old hymns and chants are sung, and sound like funeral dirges. The feeling of sorrow or grief is tempered by hope, however.

The Great Vigil of Easter, with the kindling of New Fire

Holy Innocents SATURDAY March 26th at 8pm


In this, the first Festival Eucharist of the Easter Season, we go from darkness and silence to Light and joyful rejoicing as the New Fire is kindled and the words of the Exsultet are chanted.

In some Episcopal churches, the Vigil takes place on Saturday night, and the Rite of the New Fire is part of a pre-dawn service Sunday morning, with the coming of the Light into the world time to coincide with dawn. In the early days of the church, of course, the Vigil simply went all night. In these modern times, the services are combined into one late on Holy Saturday, the final day in the Sacred Triduum.

There will be no Sunday morning service at Holy Innocents, but there will be a Festival Eucharist at St Columba.

Easter Sunday, March 27th - Festival Eucharist

St Columba, 10am


A Festival Eucharist at St Columba's is a special event! We hope to have a choir in addition to organ music for this service. If you like to sing and have been too shy to show up at choir practice, please feel free to lift up your voice with us on this bright and glorious day of Resurrection.

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March 11, 2005

Via Media

The Via Media Lenten program continues on Tuesday, March 15th, with a program entitled "The Bible." This week it will be at St Columba, and the supper will be hosted by Holy Innocents.

If you haven't been able to attend one of the Via Media programs, take some time out of your busy week and drop by for some soup, thought-provoking discussion, and "face time" with your fellow Holy Innocents and St Columba parishioners.

Just as a reminder, there will be no meetings during Holy Week or Easter Week. Via Media will resume after Easter on April 5th.

via media is a powerful resource for building Christian community, bringing people into the Church who previously have felt alienated or unwelcome. Our Church stands on the threshold of a marvelous evangelism opportunity, and the actions of General Convention 2003d the door. via media is the resource we need tothe door even wider and keep itfor all who seek the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Volunteers are needed for hosting suppers and providing childcare. Please see Pat Hoesel at St Columba's or Colleen Muehl at Holy Innocents.

Via Media Schedule
6:30 p.m. Tuesday evenings
Date/Topic Location Meal Host
Mar. 15
The Bible
St Columba's Holy Innocents
Holy Week No Meeting (off)
Easter Week No Meeting (off)
Apr. 05
Holy Innocents St Columba's
Apr. 12
Thy Kingdom Come
St Columba's Holy Innocents
Apr. 16 - Retreat
So, What?
To Be Announced Holy Innocents &
St Columba's

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March 09, 2005

The Episcopal Church and Visual Arts

This website details the beautiful art that can be found in many Episcopal churches around the country.


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March 02, 2005

Blogging And The Church

Recently, an article about blogging appeared in the local newspaper. It noted the phenomenon of weblogging, how people are using it, and highlighted the growing fame and fortune of one couple who started a blogging software company called Moveable Type.

There are a number of Episcopal weblogs, some of them doing very creative or thought-provoking (or even amusing) things. Here's a sampling of just a few:

AKMA's Random Thoughts One of the world's better-known bloggers happens to be an Episcopal priest in Evanston. And he's on the faculty of Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, which is also a blog.

Salt Another Episcopal priest, who uses the "nom de blog" of Father John Wilkins.

Father Jake Stops The WorldAnd a third priest's blog - a nicely crunchy and though-provoking one. It's a trend? He's got an interview up at Faithful Progressive, which, yes, is yet another blog.

Going Jesus - a fun and even daffy blog of the Parish Administrator of the "Church of St. Ned of Flanders." In addition to being a big Simpsons fan and a dab hand at web design, she's starting "Skool for Deacons" and recently preached a short sermon in class. It's a refreshingly un-stuffy, un-churchy blog.

Letters from Edgewater is the blog of a Chicagoan from the Edgewater area. This is more in the 'personal blog of someone who is Episcopalian' line. There is an entire list of blogs (called a webring) full of similar blogs.

Every Voice Network A social activism site with a progressive Episcopalian focus. Beautiful design. They are very active in the Via Media movement, apparently.

Dylan's Lectionary Blog - an extremely useful, even indispensable blog with selections from and meditations on the Lectionary readings.

Readers may recognize some of the links, but the webmistress managed somehow to stumble upon some interesting new ones. Some are serious, some not so serious, as you will discover on your own. Happy browsing!

As it happens, this website is built and maintained using Moveable Type. The reasoning behind this is twofold - the webmistress finds MT much easier to use to create and maintain the website, and the blog piece is useful for quickly getting new information posted... and also for attracting the attention of the online, "unchurched" masses in the Chicago suburban region. Blogs are designed to be easily found, and show up on many different kinds of online indexes.

Thus, one goal for the site is to reach out to people in this area who may be looking for a church to attend - especially people who use the Web to "shop" or search for things they need. In the coming weeks, there will be some updates and design tweaks that will make it more and more obvious to the casual web-site visitor that Holy Innocents is a welcoming, inclusive, and caring place to worship.

Another goal is to somehow use the site to gather prayer requests - this would involve either enabling comments, or providing a link to an email address so that requests might be printed out for reading during regular services, or shared among others via email.


Yet more goals may include turning the "blog" part of the website into more of a group effort, with entries from clergy, lay leaders, and parishioners on topics of interest to our faith community and to the wider communities we inhabit. Also, we hope to get back into contact with former parishioners who have moved away from the area, as we will be putting together an "alumni" address list and also possibly working on a church history project. Upcoming fundraising events (such as the second annual Holy Innocents Car Show in July!) will be noted, along with ongoing spiritual development programs such as Via Media (Tuesdays in Lent). The Via Media program is in conjunction with our sister parish, St Columba. As we work to grow closer together as communities, we will be discussing the exciting prospect of sharing more programs with other small Episcopal parishes in our area in the coming year.

The possibility of a new group evangelism or volunteer project will be explored and announced here also. We will be deciding how we might not just physically keep the doors but methaphorically throw the doors of Holy Innocentsas wide as possible to welcome those who maybe have not felt welcome elsewhere.

We at Holy Innocents are beginning to discern what it is that we are called to do as Christians and as Episcopalians in this place -- the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Although our numbers are small, our faith is large. We invite you to come grow with us.

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