Thursday, November 29, 2012

More Resolution News

More good news concerning my resolutions to next summer's Nazarene General Assembly!  My district's delegation met early this week and approved seven of my eight resolutions.  This, in addition to East Ohio's action (cf., my Nov. 21 post, below), means that all eight of my resolutions will make it to General Assembly!

The resolutions that my district approved that were not covered by links in the East Ohio post are as follows: Nazarene AnthemDeacons & Elders, and the Church Government Flow Chart

The one resolution that East Ohio approved, but my district did not approve was the one on Ordination & the Superintendency.  That means that four of my eight resolutions will be sponsored by two districts (so far!).  This is important, because weight is added to the resolutions when it is seen that more than one district is sponsoring them.  -  Hopefully, the Board of General Superintendents will have matching resolutions on baptism & membership and on deacons & elders, seeing that I presented these same resolution (essentially) at the last G.A., and they were then referred to the Board of General Superintendents.

As I understand it, at least some of my resolutions are being presented to another district committee.  If I hear more about that, I will post it.  It is my hope that others are presenting them to their district's delegation, as well.  -  If you would like to do so, but have questions on how to go about it, please let me know!  Time is running out!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Christ the King Sunday

This Sunday we will be celebrating Christ the King Sunday (or "The Reign of Christ the King")! - It is the last Sunday after Pentecost and the last Sunday of the Christian year. It is also the Sunday just prior to our entering into the holy season of Advent.

The observance of Christ the King Sunday is really a relatively new celebration. It was originally instituted by Pius XI, Bishop of Rome, for celebration on the last Sunday of October. However, after Vatican II, it was moved to its current location on the Christian calendar.

In honor of Christ the King Sunday, I am posting a copy of Charles Wesley's great hymn, “Rejoice, the Lord Is King,” which we will be singing at both Centenary and Main Street United Methodist Churches, this Sunday.  -  The hymn will be printed as it appears in the Sing to the Lord (Nazarene) hymnal and most other hymnals.  While we (at Centenary & Main Street UMCs) will be singing it as it appears in The United Methodist Hymnal, it seems that they have made some rather strange editorial changes in verses 1 and 4; changes that seem not to make sense.  The predecessor hymnal, The Methodist Hymnal, retains the hymn as appears elsewhere.

It is interesting (and puzzling) to note that this hymn does not seem to appear in volume 7 of The Works of John Wesley: A Collection of Hymns for the Use of The People Called Methodists.  If it had appeared in that volume, light may have been shed as to why the UMC hymnal changed the text.

Nevertheless, here is the hymn!
Rejoice, the Lord Is King
1. Rejoice, the Lord is King! Your Lord and King adore!
Rejoice, give thanks, and sing, And triumph evermore.
Lift up your heart;
Lift up your voice! Rejoice; again I say: rejoice!

2. Jesus, the Savior, reigns, The God of truth and love.
When he had purged our stains, He took His seat above.
Lift up your heart;
Lift up your voice! Rejoice; again I say: rejoice!

3. His kingdom cannot fail; He rules o'er earth and heav'n.
The keys of death and hell Are to our Jesus giv'n.
Lift up your heart;
Lift up your voice! Rejoice; again I say: rejoice!

4. Rejoice in glorious hope! Our Lord, the Judge, shall come
And take His servants up To their eternal home.
Lift up your heart;
Lift up your voice! Rejoice; again I say: rejoice!

This Sunday (and every day!) may we all rejoice and worship Christ our King, not only with our lips but in our lives, by giving up ourselves to His service, and by walking before Him in holiness and righteousness all our days (cf., "A General Thanksgiving," BCP). - May all glory be to God the Father, Christ our King, and the Holy Spirit! Amen!

This post was made from a combination of previous posts on this same topic.

Excellent Blog Post

Greg Crofford
I have recently discovered a blog that will likely be of great interest to the Nazarene readers of my blog.  In fact, for some time I have needed to update my blog roll, and this is certainly one blog that will be on the new list.  It is called Theology in Overalls.  It is the blog page of the Rev'd Dr. James Gregory Crofford.  Greg is currently the Coordinator of Education and Clergy Development for the Africa Region of the Church of the Nazarene, as well as the Director of the Institut Theologique Nazareen.

The particular article I want to point my Nazarene friends to is Nazarene or "Baptarene"? When Traditions Collide.  It was posted by Greg at the end of October, but I just found it.  It is an excellent article, well worth the read, and I am happy to point my readers to my new found colleague!  (Now, we just need to get him connected with the Wesleyan-Anglican Society!)

Thanks for this post, Greg!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

General Assembly Resolutions Report

While my own district's General Assembly committee will not be meeting until after the Thanksgiving holiday, I have received word that at least one other district has taken action on some of my resolutions for the 2013 General Assembly of the Church of the Nazarene.

My friend (and Vice President of the newly formed Wesleyan-Anglican Society), Eric Frey submitted six of my eight resolutions to his district's committee.  He has reported that the East Ohio delegation has approved five of my resolutions.  As I understand it, the resolutions approved are those dealing with the following:  Ordination & the Superintendency, Baptism & Membership, The Lord's Supper Article of Faith, The Ritual for Infant Baptism, and the Article of Faith on Baptism

East Ohio was a great help at the last General Assembly by sponsor the Baptism & Membership resolution, at that time.  That Assembly voted to sending it to the Board of General Superintendents, so I expect that they will be presenting their own resolution at the 2013 meeting.  My hope is that it will be one that affirms my resolution.

Thank you to Eric for submitting these to his district.  I know that there is at least one other district, besides my own district, that will be considering some of these resolution.  As soon as I hear the results of these meetings, I will be reporting them on this blog.  Of course, when General Assembly comes around, I will be posting the final actions.

The five resolutions, above, can be reviewed via the links provided.  These and the other three resolutions can be found on my blog under my August 22, 2012 posts.

If you are a Nazarene and are in favor of any or all of these resolutions, and if your General Assembly delegation has not yet met, I would urge you to copy these resolutions and present them to your District Secretary/Superintendent for their consideration!  (Even if they have met, you could contact your D.S.; they could still consider them!)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Responding . . . to a "Stylish Baptism"

Today, my friend, the Rev'd. Taylor Burton-Edwards, posted on the Wesleyan/Anglican Facebook page, a video.  It then appeared on the Sacramental Nazarenes fb page, and then on individuals' posts.  I think that Taylor's response sums it up: "Kyrie Eleison" (Lord, Have Mercy).
Take a look, and see what you think . . .


Now, the comments that I have read on Facebook and elsewhere have ranged from belief that this surely must be a spoof to that of being highly offended.  -  Well, it is NOT a spoof.  It is a video done by Leslie Birkland of the Big Rich Texas show on Style Network.  And, so, of course, one just shakes one's head when watching something like this.

However, the thought struck me.  Perhaps, instead of railing on Ms. Birkland for this (really horrible) video, we might ask the question of what would lead a person to make such a video.  Could it be that Ms. Birkland simply and honestly has no idea what Holy Baptism is all about?  Could it be, then, that she would be taken aback at the responses that this video is provoking?  And, if that is the case, could it be that she simply has never been taught about the Holy Sacrament (or about what Christianity is really all about)?  -  She has (in the video; I've never seen her show) implied, by virtue of being Kalyn's "godmother," that she is a Christian.  So, should we not treat her as a sister in Christ and, as Priscilla and Aquila did with Apollos, should we not seek to "explain to [her] the way of God more adequately" (Acts 18:24-26).

To that end, I tried to find a way to contact Ms. Birkland, but to little avail.  I could find no email contact or way to contact her via Facebook.  I was able to make a comment on her bio page on the Big Rich Texas site.  However, when I went back, I did not see it.  I do not know if it is working properly.  -  In any case, here is my open invitation, if Ms. Birkland happens to find this page, I would be happy to talk with her (and Kalyn, the young lady who was baptized) about the sacrament of Holy Baptism and the Christian faith in a less public manner.