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Recently, I heard about a church search committe looking for a new pastor. They interviewed two candidates. One was more mature, with greater life experience. The other had a young family and was fresh out of college.
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On Tuesday evening I heard a lovely reflection on the encounter of Jesus with travellers on the road to Emmaus as told in Luke 24.
I am a priest.
In my role as a priest I perform a sometimes bewildering array of functions. I lead public worship. I accompany people in rites of passage. I share leadership in a community of faith. I preach, teach and give spiritual support to people in a variety of life circumstances. I pray with people “in good times and in bad.”
But there is one thing I do as a priest that for me more than any other captures the essence of priesthood and connects the varied tasks I perform.
I probably should not admit it in public. And please do not tell anyone in the parish where I work, or inform my bishop.
As much as Pierre Berton in his book,The Comfortable Pew identified a church that continued to exert tremendous influence in the culture of his day, he also described a church in which he saw a few problems.
Everyone in the Christian Church seems to agree that the way we in the church have been doing business for the past fifty years is no longer working.
The Revd Lynda Barley is the Church of England’s Head of Research and Statistics. Who knew the Church of England had a “Head of Research and Statistics”?
They say confession is good for the soul. And we are still in the season of Lent. So, what better time to engage in a little self-flagellation.
In response to my reflections on “People In Pain”, I was sent an article written by Rachel Naomi Remen in the September 1999 issue of Shambhala Sun. It is called “Helping, Fixing or Serving?” http://www.shambhalasun.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2328
People who connect themselves in some way to the Christian church represent a baffling diversity of opinion about many issues. You do not have to go far in the church to find a robust debate about almost any important matter relating to life, spirituality, and the institution of the church. It is sometimes difficult to imagine how such a variety of opinion can ever coexist in one communal expression.