Loving the Sacred through Word and Image. The Ferryland – New Foundland Iceberg Easter 2017. A Word Press Production.

Presbytery

Sunday Sundries … It’s Friday but Sunday’s a Coming …

Compassion.jpgI once heard a preacher preach a sermon many years ago, when I was a boy. And the thought was … “It is Friday, but Sunday’s a coming …” and this thought was repeated in succession … “It’s Friday but Sunday’s a coming …” And he repeated these words until they caught up in fire-like fervor and the crowd was on their feet repeating … “It’s Friday but Sunday’s a coming…”

The reference was to Christ dying on the cross, on Friday, we all wept for him, in his humanness and brokenness. And we sat vigil on Saturday through the darkness in the hopes that He would rise again. And that came to pass, as Sunday dawned and the stone was rolled away, Jesus had risen from the dead, and in that there was victory over death … It’s Friday, but Sunday’s a coming …

Today all over the world people are coming together to pray for the little ones and for their families, and also for the children still alive today. We join their prayers and we say … “It may be Friday, but Sunday is coming …”

*** *** *** ***

I was sitting here last night as I usually do, Tumbling and farting around. And someone I know said to me that “Wouldn’t it be nice to just get shit faced drunk?” And this isn’t a thought that I usually entertain very often. Having just taken my cake, I should be wrapped up in the whole celebration in the knowledge that I haven’t taken a drink in more than 11 years. But for the Grace of God. And one day at a time.

But last night, I sat here and entertained the thought all the way through to its tragic end. It was like a yearning in my chest that I was for a few moments “thirsty!” And I sat here and thought about what it would feel like to just go out and get shit faced drunk …

I don’t usually entertain people who drink heavily nor do I spend time reading someone’s writing about just how much they drank the night before and how much alcohol that they imbibed. It is painful to read, to watch and to know. But so many young people I know today find comfort at the bottom of a bottle. it is a rite of passage to be able to drink others “under the table,” but that’s just the start of a long and sometimes never acknowledged drinking problem. shit happens.

So I was good to read from the book tonight and that there were a handful of beginners in the room who also needed to hear about “the solution.” And that for us, there is a solution. It is all laid out in the book. Along the reading we stop to skip back to the appendices II – Spiritual experience.

“Most emphatically we wish to say that any alcoholic capable of honestly facing his problems in the light of our experience CAN recover, provided he does not close his mind to all spiritual concepts. He can only be defeated by an attitude of intolerance or belligerent denial.

We find that no one need have difficulty with the spirituality of the program. Willingness, honesty and open mindedness are the essentials of recovery. But these are indispensable.

There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance – that principle is contempt prior to investigation… ” Herbert Spencer.

Snow is falling over our fair city tonight. And the expectation is for more as the week progresses. It was a good day. The snow began early this afternoon, falling slowly and sparsely, but as the night went on, picked up speed.

I left early because I had a couple of stops to make on the way. And that was quick. Our Zeller’s here at Alexis Nihon will only be open for two more days, the final push to rid the shelves of useless items goes on in earnest. Soon the store will close and begin its transformation into a brand new Target store.

The church was open and bright. Thankfully the heat was on and it even got toasty as the meeting started. We sat a full compliment. We read a fair chunk of words and we completed the chapter, “There is a solution.”

These are the times when we find ourselves in a quandary about what we are going to do with ourselves, and for many, how am I going to get through the holidays without a drink … I think the worst time to get sober, is over the holidays. But this was the time that I came into the rooms in 2001. Just weeks shy of Christmas and New Years. And thanks to my fellows I did not drink, one day at a time. And here we are some 11 years and a few days more.

*** *** *** ***

A friend said to me tonight that he was troubled by the tragedy that took place on Friday. That it is bringing up memories of his childhood, coming from the life he did, deep seated anger still resides in his soul. Our man will be sober 24 years tomorrow. And he is seeking God in ways, never before sought. Trying to find something that he feels he lacks.

Tragedy happens. And God knows that only the human who committed the crime knows just what he was doing, or not doing. Gay men and women, and Gay marriage did not bring upon this town a tragedy so horrific that it is almost unspeakable. The killing of innocents. The killing of Children.

And let me profoundly say to the depraved family that has vowed to picket the funerals and wakes of little children, You are evil … And you should be stopped. I do not name you by name, because to do so would give you press. Surely everyone who will read this will know of whom I speak.

Gay Marriage, Fags and community at large did not bring this wanton tragic event to befall this town and these little children.

And how dare you speak that God is angry for gay marriage and killed these little children because God was angry …

I pity you fuckers. and God wept.

It is far too easy to get angry, because anger so deep seeded can upset our applecart of life. It does no good to harbor anger in our souls. Anger does us no good in sobriety, and when it comes up, we look at it, acknowledge it and quickly let it go, for this too shall pass. Do not let the sun go down on your anger.

Many people are suffering. Little children are dead tonight, and there isn’t anything we can do to bring them back. So we must surrender the little ones to God, who is love, life and peace. God did not smite the little ones because of anything. God had nothing to do with the killing of innocents. Don’t you dare even speak those words, because to do so would be to utter blasphemy.

God has NOTHING to do with the killing of innocents.

We will move past this in time. Time will heal the wounds of those who mourn, and one day, the sun shall rise, and it will be glorious.

Pray God, that he blesses the meek and small. Pray God that these little children are carried to the arms of the loving God in his endless mercy and tenderness. Eternal rest grant them and may perpetual light shine upon them.


Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori & Integrity Sign Call to Action, “No More Bullying”

Courtesy: Ihaterenton

Lifted from: Walking with Integrity

For Immediate Release: October 18, 2010

Today, as leaders of Christian communions and national networks, we speak with heavy hearts because of the bullying, suicides and hate crimes that have shocked this country and called all faith communities into accountability for our words or our silence. We speak with hopeful hearts, believing that change and healing are possible, and call on our colleagues in the Church Universal to join us in working to end the violence and hatred against our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender brothers and sisters.

In the past seven weeks, six young and promising teenagers took their own lives. Some were just entering high school; one had just enrolled in college. Five were boys; one, a girl becoming a young woman. These are only the deaths for which there has been a public accounting. New reports of other suicides continue to haunt us daily from around the country.

They were of varying faiths and races and came from different regions of the nation.The one thing these young men and women had in common was that they were perceived to be gay or lesbian.

Each in their own way faced bullying and harassment or struggled with messages of religion and culture that made them fear the consequences of being who they were.

In the past two weeks, cities like New York have seen major escalations in anti-gay violence. Two young men attacked patrons of the Stonewall Inn, legendary birth place of the LGBT rights movement in the United States, locking them in the restroom and beating them while hurling anti-gay epithets.

Men on a Chelsea street, saying goodnight after an evening out, were attacked by a group of teens and young adults, again hurling anti-gay slogans and hurting one person badly enough to require emergency treatment. And nine young men in the Bronx went on a two-day rampage beating, burning, torturing and sodomizing two teenage boys and their gay male adult friend for allegedly having a sexual relationship. “It’s nothing personal,” one of the now arrested said. “You just broke the rules.”

What are the “rules” of human engagement and interaction that we, as people of faith, want to teach our congregants, children and adults alike, to live by?

Many have responded from within and beyond the faith community offering comfort and support to the families and friends of Billy Lucas, Seth Walsh, Asher Brown, Tyler Clementi, Raymond Chase and Aiyisha Hasan. Our hearts, too, are broken by the too soon losses of these young and promising lives, and we join our voices to those who have sought to speak words of comfort and healing.

Many others, however, have responded by adding insult to injury, citing social myths and long-held prejudices that only fuel division, hatred and violence – and sometimes even death.

We, as leaders of faith, write today to say we must hold ourselves accountable, and we must hold our colleagues in the ministry, accountable for the times, whether by our silence or our proclamations, our inaction or our action, we have fueled the kinds of beliefs that make it possible for people to justify violence in the name of faith. Condemning and judging people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity can have deadly consequences, both for the victims of hate crimes and those who commit them.

There is no excuse for inspiring or condoning violence against any of our human family. We may not all agree on what the Bible says or doesn’t say about sexuality, including homosexuality, but this we do agree on: The Bible says, “God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God and God in them.” Abiding in love – together – is the rule we must all preach, teach, and seek to live by.

People of faith must realize that if teens feel they will be judged by their church, rejected by their families and bullied by their peers, they may have nowhere to turn.

Too many things go unspoken in our communities. It’s time to talk openly and honestly about the diversity of God’s creation and the gift of various sexual orientations and gender identities – and to do that in a way that makes it safe for people to disagree and still abide in love.

It’s time to talk openly and honestly about the use and misuse of power and authority by those we entrust with our spiritual well-being.  It’s time to make it safe for our clergy colleagues who are struggling to live what they preach, to get the help and support we all sometimes need.

The young people who took their lives a few weeks ago died because the voices of people who believe in the love of God for all the people of God were faint and few in the face of those who did the bullying, harassing and condemning. Today we write to say we will never again be silent about the value of each and every life.

To that end, we pledge to urge our churches, our individual parishes or offices, our schools and religious establishments to create safe space for each and every child of God, without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity. And we ask you to join us in that pledge.

Today, we personally pledge to be LGBT and straight people of faith standing together for the shared values of decency and civility, compassion and care in all interactions. We ask you, our colleagues, to join us in this pledge.


Rowan Williams issues ‘profound apology’ to gay Christians

Found on: UK Times Online – Here.

Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

The Archbishop of Canterbury issued a “profound apology” to the lesbian and gay Christian community today.

In a powerful address to the General Synod, Dr Rowan Williams warned that any schism within the Church would represent a betrayal of God’s mission.

But he made clear that he regretted recent rhetoric in which he has sought to mollify the fears of the traditionalist wing of the church.

The Archbishop is from the Church’s liberal wing and a man who once espoused equal rights for gays within the Church. More recently he has adopted a conservative line for the sake of Church unity.

Today he said: “There are ways of speaking about the question that seem to ignore these human realities or to undervalue them.

“I have been criticised for doing just this and I am profoundly sorry for the carelessness that could give such an impression.”

Addressing the even more contentious debate over gay ordinations — something which threatens to split the Church farther with the expected consecration in May of Canon Mary Glasspool, a lesbian, as a bishop in Los Angeles — Dr Williams said it had not been helped by those who ignored the fact that many worshippers were gay, as well as many “sacrificial and exemplary priests”.

He made it clear that there was blame on all sides of the argument that has brought the Church to the brink of splitting. He pleaded for Anglicans angry over gays and women bishops to cease fighting, admitting that he and other bishops might have to settle for a two-tier communion.

In his wide-ranging address at Church House Westminster, Dr Williams said that the ordination of women bishops should not go ahead at the expense of the Church’s Anglican Catholic wing, which is currently assessing an offer from the Pope to move over to Rome into a new Anglican Ordinariate.

Dr Williams admitted: “Most hold that the ordination of women as bishops is good, something that will enhance our faithfulness to Christ and our integrity in mission.”

But this good was jeopardised by the potential loss of traditionalists and some evangelicals who oppose women bishops.

Referring to proposals to give women bishops a lesser level of authority, he said the reform should not happen if it is done in such a way that that will “corrupt it or compromise it fatally”.

Dr Williams said that attacks on the Anglican Covenant, a new unity document intended to find a way to keep the 38 provinces under one umbrella, were mistaken.

“There is no supreme court envisaged and the constitutional liberties of each province are explicitly safeguarded,” he said.

Referring to tomorrow’s debate tabled by a lay member from the Chichester diocese calling for the Church of England to recognise the breakaway new traditionalist church in the US, he said: “Certain decisions made by some provinces impact so heavily on the conscience and mission of others that fellowship is strained or shattered and trust destroyed.

“The present effect of this is chaos — local schisms, outside interventions, all the unedifying stuff you will be hearing about, from both sides, in the debate on Lorna Ashworth’s motion.”


Rowan Williams issues 'profound apology' to gay Christians

Found on: UK Times Online – Here.

Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent

The Archbishop of Canterbury issued a “profound apology” to the lesbian and gay Christian community today.

In a powerful address to the General Synod, Dr Rowan Williams warned that any schism within the Church would represent a betrayal of God’s mission.

But he made clear that he regretted recent rhetoric in which he has sought to mollify the fears of the traditionalist wing of the church.

The Archbishop is from the Church’s liberal wing and a man who once espoused equal rights for gays within the Church. More recently he has adopted a conservative line for the sake of Church unity.

Today he said: “There are ways of speaking about the question that seem to ignore these human realities or to undervalue them.

“I have been criticised for doing just this and I am profoundly sorry for the carelessness that could give such an impression.”

Addressing the even more contentious debate over gay ordinations — something which threatens to split the Church farther with the expected consecration in May of Canon Mary Glasspool, a lesbian, as a bishop in Los Angeles — Dr Williams said it had not been helped by those who ignored the fact that many worshippers were gay, as well as many “sacrificial and exemplary priests”.

He made it clear that there was blame on all sides of the argument that has brought the Church to the brink of splitting. He pleaded for Anglicans angry over gays and women bishops to cease fighting, admitting that he and other bishops might have to settle for a two-tier communion.

In his wide-ranging address at Church House Westminster, Dr Williams said that the ordination of women bishops should not go ahead at the expense of the Church’s Anglican Catholic wing, which is currently assessing an offer from the Pope to move over to Rome into a new Anglican Ordinariate.

Dr Williams admitted: “Most hold that the ordination of women as bishops is good, something that will enhance our faithfulness to Christ and our integrity in mission.”

But this good was jeopardised by the potential loss of traditionalists and some evangelicals who oppose women bishops.

Referring to proposals to give women bishops a lesser level of authority, he said the reform should not happen if it is done in such a way that that will “corrupt it or compromise it fatally”.

Dr Williams said that attacks on the Anglican Covenant, a new unity document intended to find a way to keep the 38 provinces under one umbrella, were mistaken.

“There is no supreme court envisaged and the constitutional liberties of each province are explicitly safeguarded,” he said.

Referring to tomorrow’s debate tabled by a lay member from the Chichester diocese calling for the Church of England to recognise the breakaway new traditionalist church in the US, he said: “Certain decisions made by some provinces impact so heavily on the conscience and mission of others that fellowship is strained or shattered and trust destroyed.

“The present effect of this is chaos — local schisms, outside interventions, all the unedifying stuff you will be hearing about, from both sides, in the debate on Lorna Ashworth’s motion.”


From Rev. Bryan Franzen

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Rev. Bryan Franzen
Head of Staff at First Presbyterian Church Highstown
Read during Fall Presbytery meeting

At the root of this issue before us today is whether or not people who are gay be able to receive and be received fully into the Body of the church? Let us not kid ourselves. Full inclusion for Gay and Lesbian people means that churches would not patronize the individual but reach out to include them in all of its sacraments, ceremonies, ordinances, and offices.

This is where the issue of ordination, and marriage, enter into the dialogue. When we accept GLBT people into the church we must truly accept them as full participants of the Body, not a weak link since they bring their gifts which God has bestowed on them. However I must state that I really do not think that the underlying issue is the sexual acts performed (or perceived to be performed). Rather, it is a power issue.

Through my ministry both here and in Iowa, I have had many discussions with Gay and Lesbian youth and adults. From their stories and struggles I have come to see the importance of working with them in ways that are not patronizing, but real and honest. And I have come to see, it is as unnatural for a homosexual to be in a heterosexual relationships as it would be for a heterosexual in a homosexual relationship.

I believe that the position that many churches currently hold against sexuality has nothing to do with the actions, rather it is a label bestowed by the group in power upon the those who have no power. I believe that this is rooted in our society and learned at an early age. I also have suspicion that the debate has far more to do with differentness than sexual orientation.

Thinking back to the schoolyard, I start my argument with the asexual term “Gay” which is often brought into a child’s vocabulary long before the child has a clue as to the sexual connotation of that word. Often the label Gay was given to the child that did not fit into the mainstream crowd. Also labeled Queer or Fag, the titles given to the child on the playground did not denote a sexual orientation or really have anything to do with sexual acts; they were a mark of separation from the norm of the greater culture.

As a child begins to develop their sexual identity, if they do have natural homosexual tendencies, they are often forced to make a choice of denying the primal understanding of themselves or accept being different from the power community and possibly reap the persecution. Even if they accept their sexual orientation, most of the time their openness within a community has little to do with the act of sex; rather it has to with honest relationship. Unfortunately, the persecution which they receive is based on perceived sexual acts, Also known as the unknown. People have a natural fear of the unknown, but to persecute people for that fear is wrong!

I do believe that the church’s current stance on homosexuality has very little to do with the actual act of homosexuality. It is an issue of power over the powerless!

The real question before us tonight is whether or not Gay and Lesbian people are part of the covenant with God. The answer, looking at the whole of the Bible has to be yes. GLBT people are not singled out nor are they restricted. In fact they are not even discussed outside of orgies and sex worship. As a community they are standing at the doors of our church and I think the ultimate fear of the members of the mainline church is that they may change us, maybe even force us to be honest and re-examine our relationship with God.

As a church we need to accept them and stop letting the fears of this world guide the relationship we have with God.

I found this posted by The Pastor of Disaster on his new blog:
Open Doors/More Light Presbyterians – Where its at…