Thoughts from David Lucey & Tracey Kelly
School is back, virtually, for now. What will St. Francis be doing about Sunday School?
“Well, then, we’ll just have to take care of that,” John said. John had just heard from his young office assistant that she was barred from undergraduate admission to the University of Virginia because she was a woman.
This blog borrows its moniker from another short-lived blog of mine from the middle of the first decade of the 2000’s. Its purpose was to deal with the practical applications and practice of the Christian life.
Last week, “What happened to Jesus’ disciples? Part I” answered the questions about what happened to St. Bartholomew; Judas, Iscariot; and James, the brother of John? What about the other identifiable Apostles?
This coming Monday, August 24, is the feast of St. Bartholomew, the Apostle. Who is he? What did he do? How did he die? For that matter what happened to the disciples after Jesus’ arrest?
This Saturday, August 15, is the Feast of St. Mary the Virgin. What does the Episcopal Church think about the “virgin” birth? Was Jesus really born without a biological father?
In a time of grief and fear, of isolation and overwhelming need, hope comes in the form of loaves and fishes, hotdogs and apples.
When can we expect to worship out of doors together and will it be with communion?
The Parable of the Wheat and Weeds is tough one, but there is room in my mountain field for both cultivated roses and wild Queen Anne’s Lace.
Why are we still on a Eucharistic fast at St. Francis? Can’t we have communion virtually?
The short answer to this assertion is, no, Mary Magdalene was not a woman of ill repute. The longer answer to this assertion has a lot to do with a great many Marys in the New Testament, resulting in the heightened possibility of confusing them; a general carelessness, if not misogyny, around the identity andContinue reading “Episco-fact: Was Mary Magdalene a woman of ill repute?”
Especially now, when our political identities seem so very partisan and so very prominent, how does a preacher preach to a congregation whose membership is not primarily red or blue, but purple?
St. Francis has moved from in-person worship to online worship quickly and very professionally. It has also moved to greater content on social media. How did we do this and can we continue?
Are there any national holidays that are also on the church calendar? The simple answer to this is yes: Thanksgiving Day, the fourth Thursday in November; and Independence Day, July 4. Both of these national holidays are listed in the Book of Common Prayer, 1979 as major feasts under the section Holy Days. Like allContinue reading “Episco-fact: Holy days and national holidays”
Where are we in the process of regathering? The short answer is that we, and the whole Diocese, are very early in the process of regathering. At the last Vestry Meeting, Monday, June 15, the Vestry took the position to move cautiously in the process of re-opening the church. We perceive that in person churchContinue reading “FRANCISCO-FACT: The process of regathering”
What is the Vestry doing for the church during this time of COVID-19 and social distancing? The role of the Vestry has not changed much since we initiated Zoom Worship, and its work may actually have increased as the church has moved to Zoom Meetings, Bible Studies, and Christian Formation. It might be helpful toContinue reading “Francisco-fact: Vestry work in COVID time”
We will not be gathering again in our sacred space as a community…. well, not yet. But where does that leave us, now? We remain in a time of holy longing. But God does not live in the churches we build. God for whom we long is already close by.
What is the difference between being a disciple and an apostle? Except for Judas, Iscariot, what happened that the remaining eleven should have their descriptor changed? The definitional difference in these words is easy. A disciple is a student, someone being taught, formed, or disciplined into a way of living, learning, or being. An apostleContinue reading “Episco-fact: Disciple or apostle?”
The character of Easter changes beginning on the Feast of the Ascension; forty Days after the Feast of the Resurrection. We acknowledge this moment in our prayers, hymns, and readings which direct us, the Church, to consider the impact on our lives of Jesus’ bodily movement from the kingdoms of this world into the kingdom of God.
We will begin praying for birthdays and anniversary celebrations this Sunday, May 17, the 6th Sunday of Easter. It is clear that just as St. Francis is a place where we enjoy being with one another, it is also place where we enjoy celebrating with one another.
If I want more people praying for the people I know and love, how can I ask others at St. Francis to pray with me? Prayer is certainly more powerful when being exercised in community. St. Francis is committed to this way of praying.
Will we ever worship in person again and when will that be? Church is something where gathering and sharing in-person are deeply apart of what we do. To do so without fear and concern is also important. We at St. Francis and the Diocese are working toward that reality—being God’s people in community and unity.
We are living in a time where doubt and uncertainty about the near future life is front and center to our daily emotions and reflections. What are we to think of Thomas the Twin; was he a doubter?
We made it to Easter (the Feast of the Resurrection), what now? This week we will hear the story from the Gospel of John when the disciples, after the resurrection, are gathered in an upper room, mostly doing nothing, as they tried to comprehend what happened.
Jesus came out of the empty tomb, into an empty burial ground. On that empty Sunday morning, even more empty than this church right now, only Mary Magdalene appeared. Perhaps, today is the most authentic Easter ever.
This year, I read about Jesus washing the disciples’ feet, and I can see for the first time the tenderness of him touching them at all. What I see, most of all, is what is around the edges of this scene. This story does not tell us about service in the abstract. It tells us about the choice to love in a particular time and place—a place which is, in a way different and yet also like ours, frightening.
How will St. Francis do the Liturgy of the Palms now that we cannot gather for Palm Sunday and the distribution of Palms is prohibited by stay in place orders? As with all our liturgies for the second half of Lent, Holy Week, and the first part of Easter this year, we will be focusingContinue reading “FRANCISCO-FACT: Staying in Place and Processing with Palms”
Jesus approached the village of Bethany and the grief of family and friends moved him to tears. Lazarus emerged from the grave and was transformed. At a time of physical distancing, the world is more connected through shared common experience than at any other time in human history. Will we be transformed when the timeContinue reading “Jesus wept, and Lazarus emerged.”
The age of digital community may be receiving a supercharge in this time of responding to COVID-19, but such ways of gathering have been in the works. Jesus proclaimed: “where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am among them” [Matthew 18.20]. As far as I can tell, he did not describe how the two or three are to be gathered.
In the Bible, wells are meeting places. And at a time of fear and uncertainty, the need to remain connected is even more important. Being in together in relationship is what will get us through this public health crisis. But when we are restricted from gathering together, where are our wells? Where are our meetingContinue reading “Building new wells”
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