“Fine Isn’t a Feeling. But You Should Try Again…”

For the next few weeks, we’ll be talking about Human Spirituality—what it would mean to have a physically, emotionally, and intellectually-appropriate spirituality. (We might have called it “Incarnational” or “Sacramental” Spirituality, but I like “Human.” It’s more accessible, and better able to address anti-humanness.) Some ways of being “spiritual” are on a collision-course with Christian doctrines of Creation, Incarnation, and Sacrament (which, if you’re not familiar with the theological landscape, are biggies). And, I suspect, as we digest what God is after in “the redemption of humanity,” we’ll see the problem with those ways of being “spiritual.” In Eden and in the Incarnation, we see true humanity. Body, feelings, ideas, and soul not “cut off” from each other, but reconciled and whole. If we believe that this is God’s end-game, shouldn’t our spirituality work towards that and not against it?  By Dcn. Adam Salter Gosnell I was at a men’s small-group. At the beginning of the meeting, before we got into the content itself, the leader asked us to “Check In.” A Check In turned out to be pretty simple: in 3-5 minutes, how are you doing physically, emotionally, spiritually? I happened to go first. So, I talk about “physical”: here’s how I’ve been sleeping, I’m not really exercising, etc. When I was done, next was “emotional,” so I said, “I’m doing fine.” And this leader, in a moment I will cherish for the rest of my life, smiled. And said, in the most loving way, “Fine is not a feeling. But you should try again…” You have to understand a bit about me to understand the crazy of...

“Buddy, I think they think I have a body…”

For the next few weeks, we’ll be talking about Human Spirituality—what it would mean to have a physically, emotionally, and intellectually-appropriate spirituality. (We might have called it “Incarnational” or “Sacramental” Spirituality, but I like “Human.” It’s more accessible, and better able to address anti-humanness.) Some ways of being “spiritual” are on a collision-course with Christian doctrines of Creation, Incarnation, and Sacrament (which, if you’re not familiar with the theological landscape, are biggies). And, I suspect, as we digest what God is after in “the redemption of humanity,” we’ll see the problem with those ways of being “spiritual.” In Eden and in the Incarnation, we see true humanity. Body, feelings, ideas, and soul not “cut off” from each other, but reconciled and whole. If we believe that this is God’s end-game, shouldn’t our spirituality work towards that and not against it? By Dcn. Adam Salter Gosnell I remember the first time I visited an Anglican church. It was here, actually, at CTR. Rebecca and I went to the 11 o’clock service and we spent nearly the whole time trying to figure out when we were supposed to do what. Afterward, I remember stepping off the curb into the parking lot and I said to Rebecca, “Buddy [don’t judge me, that’s what I call her], I think they think I have a body.” What an odd thing for a Christian to say, “Buddy, I think they think I have a body.” But it was the stained glass, the bowing, the incense, even the congregational responses. Some church services, I could be at home on my couch with my laptop. But at...

Rachel Weeping

By Fr. Ray Pendelton Whenever there is a loss of life or an event that leaves a significant void within us it is important to provide for a time for healing. The serºvice that has been entitled, “Rachel Weeping” is that kind of opportunity. Loss of life in the womb is a powerful and significant experience that leaves a mother with an ambiguous set of reactions. The expected joy of receiving a child has been lost and there is a grief reaction. The same set of complex reactions take place for many who have been through the experience of abortion. This latter is a choice that cannot be undone. Many find this a time of sadness coupled with guilt and a mixture of emotions. It is important to find a time and place to reflect on these losses and to experience God’s grace and healing: and where it is appropriate to experience God’s forgiveness for actions taken that are now regretted, as in the case of abortion. The “Rachel Weeping” service is such a place. This service includes a time of quiet reflection and a timely teaching on God’s special grace to meet the needs of grieving persons. Each person is given an opportunity to reflect, to write a note and perhaps even to give a name to an unborn child. Each person is given a white rose, representing the child. As each persons senses that they are ready, the notes and roses are brought to the altar and placed there as a memorial response. Sometimes it is a member of the extended family who joins this time of...

How to Read the Bible

By Dcn. Adam Salter Gosnell If the Bible and I had a relationship status on Facebook, it would be “It’s complicated.” Okay so, yes, on the one hand, the Bible is God’s word to us. Yes, it is a treasure that “excelleth all the riches of the earth” (from the Preface to the King James Translation). Yes, the lector finishes the reading and says, “The Word of the Lord,” and we (me included) respond, “Thanks be to God.” But on the other hand, the Bible is a terribly frustrating book. For example, since I’ve become an Anglican I’ve been reading a lot of Psalms (because apparently Morning and Evening Prayer are a thing). And you wouldn’t believe (or maybe you would) how much of the time I read passages like this one: I pursued my enemies and overtook them, and did not turn back till they were consumed. / I thrust them through, so that they were not able to rise; they fell under my feet…. those who hated me I destroyed. / They cried for help, but there was none to save; they cried to the Lord, but he did not answer them. / I beat them fine as dust before the wind; I cast them out like the mire of the streets” (Ps 18:37-38, 40b-42). And my response is less like, “The Word of the Lord,” and more like, “The Word of the Lord?” (And that’s not even all! Sometimes when I’m reading a book that quotes a big block of Scripture, I skip it. And let’s not even get into ways we’ve all see the Bible (ab)used...