Every Lord’s Day at our Eucharistic celebration we have Readings, or Lessons, from
the Old Testament, Psalms, Epistles and Gospels which are selected according to
a calendar of readings known as a Lectionary. Using a lectionary helps
ensure that we have a wide range of the Bible read to us (The whole council of Scripture).It also joins us with many other Christians in
many other traditions who use the same lectionary (The Revised Standard Lectionary) and hear the same scripture
read on that day.
Some, however, feel that lectionaries limit the preacher in listening to the Holy Spirit and selecting the text upon which to preach. I invite your thoughts.
catechisms and bishop visits behind me, I had a chance to reflect on some books
I have been reading.Mary Patterson gave
me a copy of a book she herself was reading1.Given the strong emphasis on Bible study in
this church, this book reminded me that Biblical knowledge is not an end in
itself, but as St. Paul tells us in Romans 6:12, we are to be… transformed by the renewal of
[our] mind, that [we] may prove what is the will of God, what is good and
acceptable and perfect.”In other words, our study is not just to make
us smarter, it is to make us different.
Recently I had lunch with the new Lutheran pastor
in town.I noted one particular
book he was
reading titled Simple Church. I
promptly called up the book on my Kindle when I returned to the church.Again, the book talked about the Christian
life as transformation, a process of coming more and more to “love God, love
others and serve the world.”2
is what God desires. He offers to make us a new creation.Here is a metaphor about being transformed by our
relationship with Christ. It is like building ourselves a new house to live in…
First, we build a Firm Foundation: §A personal and intimate relationship with
God §Learning to simply “be” in Christ. Here are some ways we are doing this
here at Holy Trinity: §Sunday worship. §Our private prayer life. Next, we build on our Firm Foundation: §Growing in our knowledge and love of the
Lord. §Immersing ourselves in the family of God. §Learning what it means to follow and obey. §Learning what it means to really
love others. §Progressively becoming like Christ. Here
are some ways we are doing that here at Holy Trinity: §Sunday worship. §Tuesday women’s group. §Wednesday fellowship and study. §Saturday men’s group.
Then, little by little, we move into our new home: §Maturing in the Faith §“Being, Knowing and Doing” the things of
the Christian life. §Taking on the Fruit of the Spirit
(Galatians 5:22-23): Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness,
Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-control. §Actively loving God, loving others, and
serving the world. §Sharing in word and deed the Good News of Christ. 1Milfred Minatrea, Shaped by God’s Heart, John Wiley and Sons, 2004. 2Thomas Rainer, Eric Geiger, Simple Church, B&H Publishing, 2003
most important thing we do together as a church family.It is God’s desire (actually His 4th
Commandment) that we keep holy the Sabbath and honor Him in worship.Lord’s Day worship is not an option for our
personal contact with the Lord and our corporate obedience as a church
family. As the Ancient-Future Movement in the Church
highlights, and as the late Robert E. Webber articulates in his many books, Anglican
worship (liturgical worship in general) has both an ancient and a future
dimension.Our ancient liturgy connects
us with the saints who have gone before us, and liturgy places us in continuity
everywhere and throughout time with the universal church and the historic apostolic
faith.The liturgy also has a future
dimension in that it propels us forward into the future that God has for
us.Our worship lifts us heavenward and
becomes for us a dress rehearsal for that time when all the saints will gather
around the Lord’s Banquet Table forever. Father Rob
The late Rev. Terry Fullam, the once Rector of
St. Paul’s Church, Derien, Ct, upon first coming to that parish, expressed his
overarching expectation for that congregation.His expectation was that they will find themselves opening up more and
more to the Holy Spirit, in which case they will find themselves growing and
expanding in their relationship with God.
As the Rector of Anglican Church of the Holy
Trinity, I would like to claim Terry’s expectation as my own for this
parish; that is, that they will be continually growing and expanding their
relationship with God.As their priest,
they have expectations of me, one of which I hope is that I will assist them in
living into this expectation I have of them.
Within the context of a church family, this
expectation of an ever-expanding relationship with God has four growing edges-
growing intimacy with God in worship.
growing knowledge of God through study of the Scripture and the exploration of the
things of the Kingdom.
in service to the Lord and in being Christ to the world around us.
growing obedience to Christ in the Great Commission by introducing others to
Christ and bringing others into the fellowship of God’s family.
It is very appropriate for them to expect
much of me as their Rector, but God has called me to also expect much of them.
The Rev. Dr. J.I Packer who is with the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) is one of the leading evangelical theologians of our time.He was also the chief editor in the production of the English Standard Verson (ESV) of the Bible. The following is extracted from a "Living Church Magazine" article on J.I.
Packer by William Murchison, February 7, 2010.
Packer said at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Dallas on Jan. 9, 2010 that he yearns
for the return of catechesis, “Bible-based, Christ-centered, declarative in
style,” at a time when “the Christian value system is virtually disappearing
from schools.”“We are drifting back
learning is part of the calling of the Church,” he said. “It has to be taught
in all churches at all times…”He called
it “ridiculous to think that no more learning of the Faith is necessary after
confirmation has taken place.”Recovering the traditional emphasis on careful, lifelong instruction in
Christian faith “will be totally uphill all the way,” he said. “We shall be
challenging the dominant trends in our culture, and it won’t be easy…”
the catechism should be a regular, continuing project for churches,” Dr. Packer
said.“Crucial topics include the
authorship of Scripture; the reality of God’s being; the holiness of God’s law;
the centrality of Jesus Christ; the graciousness of salvation; the power of the
Holy Spirit; and the praiseworthiness of God.”
Packer urged Christians, “Pray for your clergy, stand behind them as they seek
to adjust congregational patterns to the need for intensive grounding in the
Christian essentials. Every parish priest should be — among other things— a