Saturday, January 31, 2009
The hymnal included a section from John Wesley's A Plain Account of Genuine Christianity, which I found to be timely given a recent Wednesday evening discussion during which I talked with my congregation about lifting up and guarding the reputation of our sisters and brothers in Christ from other denominations. While we certainly have our disagreements, there are plenty of good Christians in other denominations. Just as we all know some "Nazarenes" by whom we would not want non-Nazarenes to judge us(!), so too, we ought to look at others the way we would hope to be looked at, with great Christian love and generosity.
Mr. Wesley cautions: "Be not prejudiced against [the Christian] for his name. Forgive his particularities of opinion and (what you think) superstitious modes of worship. These are circumstances but of small concern and do not enter into the essence of his character. Cover them with a veil of love." Amen.
Since I removed Fr. Peter's blog, I decided to add a blog. This one is "Where Good Guys Wear Black." It is written by a local Anglican in the United Episcopal Church. While I've only made it to his church twice (they worship on Saturday afternoons, which is just not the best time for this pastor!), I received a warm welcome from him, from (then, Fr., now) Bishop Wesley Nolden (gotta' love the first name!), and Presiding Bishop Stephen Reber.
At the time I first met David+, he was simply Mr. David Straw (or perhaps he was, at that time Deacon; not sure). Since then, he has not only become Fr. David Straw, but "The Venerable David Straw, Archdeacon." - (For those who aren't familiar, becoming "Archdeacon" is not like being "downgraded" from elder/presbyter/priest to deacon. It means that he is on the bishop's administrative staff, and he gets to wear a purple cassock. - How cool is that!) - Anyway, congrats to David+ and +Wes.
For those not familiar with the United Episcopal Church, you will discover, by clicking on the sidebar, that it is one of the "continuing" Anglican churches. It is not a part of the newly forming Anglican Church in North America. You will find, by reading David's+ blog, they are "old school" (i.e., they use the 1928 BCP).
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Adapted from Morning Prayer in John Wesley's The Sunday Service of the Methodists in North America.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Friday, January 2, 2009
During the Advent Season (yes, I know this is a bit late, but as I said, below, I took a bit of a hiatus from blogging! Anyway, during the Advent Season . . .) the Board of General Superintendents issued an episcopal Christmas letter. Among many things covered in that letter was the fact that during the year of 2008, the Church of the Nazarene surpassed the 1.8 million member mark! - Praise be to God!
The letter did not give the current total of Nazarenes in the United States, but the last I recall the U.S. membership was someplace between 600,000 and 700,000. The letter did indicate that the U.S. church took in nearly 39,000 members in 2008. That is second only to the African church, which received 62,000 members. The U.S. church has taken in over 30,000 new Nazarenes annually for a decade.
While I commend the entire Wesley Covenant Service to all, I offer, here, the shorter adapted version from the Nazarene hymnal and invite all who will to join in this prayer at the beginning of this New Year: