Bishops C Fitzsimons Allison, Mark Lawrence, and Alden Hathaway at the recent concluded diocese of #SouthCarolina Clergy conference (Greg Snyder photo) #theology #encouragement #parishministry pic.twitter.com/syb7CObGe2
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) October 24, 2018
Category : Ministry of the Ordained
He added: “American culture is probably the least Christian culture that we’ve ever had, because it’s so materialistic and it’s so full of lies. The whole advertising world is just intertwined with lies, appealing to the worst instincts we have. The problem is, people have been treated as consumers for so long they don’t know any other way to live.”
Mr. Peterson’s entire pastoral career unfolded in a single small church that he founded in 1963: Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air, Md., a suburban town of 8,000 northeast of Baltimore. Affiliated with the Presbyterian Church USA, his parish began with a few dozen people; decades later it had only 500 members and Sunday service attendances of about 250.
He liked to be called Pastor Peterson or Pastor Pete. “Ours was an informal congregation, and except for the children and youth, most of the people in it were older than I and addressed me by my given name, Eugene, which was fine by me,” Mr. Peterson wrote in “The Pastor: A Memoir” (2011).
The Rev. Eugene H. Peterson, a Presbyterian minister who challenged the mass marketing of Christian evangelism and wrote a shelf of books on religion — notably “The Message,” a series that recast the Bible into everyday English — has died https://t.co/uzuulm3IvF
— New York Times Books (@nytimesbooks) October 24, 2018
(CT Pastors) Ministry Lessons from the Life of Eugene Peterson 8 church leaders share what they learned through his books, letters, and friendship.
Choose your words carefully.
Relevance is irrelevant.
Pastoral ministry is serious, consequential work.
There is no ministry in the abstract.
Every step is integral to your journey.
Christ is all we have to offer.
Sabbath is a gift.
We loved Eugene Peterson. Here's what we remember most about this pastor's legacy https://t.co/ATyV5dk3ej
— Christianity Today (@CTmagazine) October 24, 2018
The Reverend Darren Howie is a former thief and was addicted to heroin.
He spent a decade in and out of prison – and was once told by a prison chaplain, when he weighed just six-and-a-half stone, that he would die once he left prison.
However, Mr Howie got clean through a Christian rehabilitation programme….
You are never beyond the love and redemption of God. To think otherwise is a perverse idolatry.
The ex-heroin addict who became a priest – BBC News https://t.co/s4JjqDSiRH
— Fr. SJM-C+ (@FatherSJMC) October 23, 2018
Spurgeon’s friends and even casual acquaintances remarked on his hearty laughter. His humor also found expression in his sermons and writings, for which he was sometimes criticized. Spurgeon responded that if his critics only knew how much humor he suppressed, they would keep silent.
At the same time, Spurgeon’s life was saturated with suffering. We know about his sufferings intimately owing to his frequent and candid descriptions of them.
What torments did Spurgeon suffer? How did he reconcile his painful experiences with his view of a gracious God?
In many congregations, the discipline of theology is simply not valued. Congregations may like having a “smart pastor,” but they are unsure how his or her interest makes a difference in the church’s ministry. Theological study is often viewed with suspicion, a particular brand of nerdiness—the Baptist minister is a Spurgeon fan, the Catholic priest roots for Aquinas, and the Reformed pastor wears Jonathan Edwards t-shirts. Theology is all well and good—as long as it does not keep pastors from more important tasks.
In fact, with so many people to care for, sermons to write, skills to master, who can justify the slow work of reading theology (let alone reflecting or writing theologically)? There is no room for the church father Athanasius when marriages are falling apart, people are on hospice, and membership is shrinking.
It’s no wonder that so many pastors who feel the tug of theological reflection abandon it after a few months or a few years in the pastorate. So how can those with a vision and sense a calling to do theological work keep this vision and calling alive as they serve the local church?
Read it all (my emphasis).
— Bob Clark (@BobtheClark) October 18, 2018
(Spectator) Harry Mount reviews ‘A Field Guide to the English Clergy: A Compendium to Diverse Eccentrics, Pirates, Prelates and Adventurers; all Anglican, some even practising’
As the wordy title of this book and the name of its author suggest, this is a faux-archaic, fogeyish journey around England’s oddest vicars. The Reverend Fergus Butler-Gallie is, though, the real thing: a young curate in the Church of England. Yes, he’s given to sometimes tiresome jocularity: he describes himself as ‘a Bon Viveur first and foremost, with a soupçon of Roguishness and Prodigality’. But, still, his essential thesis is right: the Church of England has produced some real oddballs in its time, and this is an entertaining gallop through several centuries’ worth of them.
For 400 years after the Reformation, the Church of England was the ideal Petri dish for nurturing eccentricity. Take plenty of money, lots of free time, a good education, power and class confidence, and vicars were bound to overindulge their whims. Well, at least until the second half of the 20th century — when the collapse of religious feeling, the decline of the Church’s wealth and power, and the selling-off of the finest vicarages and rectories brought a sad end to clever, rich, eccentric, educated vicars….
Kendall Harmon’s Sunday Sermon–How are we as Christians to understand Work? (For Labor Day) https://t.co/39gSLFKZAO #theology #pneumatology #christianity #southcarolina #preaching #parishministry #LaborDay2018 pic.twitter.com/RFmaX9F7Y7
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) September 4, 2018
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) September 3, 2018
The Rev. Robert S. Graetz was virtually alone among Montgomery’s white ministers in supporting the bus boycott that helped galvanize the civil rights movement.
That’s when the bombings began.
As the white pastor at an all-black Lutheran church in Alabama in the 1950s, Mr. Graetz was just 28 years old when he became a recurring target for the Ku Klux Klan.
“The noise awakened us,” Rosa Parks, who was a neighbor of the Graetz family, wrote of a 1957 attack.
In the brief, handwritten document, Mrs. Parks described decades later how she and her husband went quickly to the Graetz family’s home after the bombing. The area had been roped off by the police.
“They said we could not enter. Rev. Graetz spoke to me and said, ‘Come in Brother Parks and Mrs. Parks,’” she added. “We went and offered to help. We began sweeping the floor and picking up.”
He was virtually alone among Montgomery’s white ministers in supporting the bus boycott. That's when the bombings began. https://t.co/ittfECXPqF
— NYT National News (@NYTNational) August 24, 2018
Studies show that pastors experience anxiety and depression at a rate that is disproportionately high compared to the rest of the population. Due to the unique pressures associated with spiritual warfare, unrealistic expectations from congregants and oneself, the freedom many feel to criticize and gossip about pastors with zero accountability (especially in the digital age), failure to take time off for rest and replenishment, marriage and family tensions due to the demands of ministry, financial strains and self-comparison, pastors are prime candidates for relational isolation, emotional turmoil, and moral collapse.
Studies also show that some pastors face unreasonable, even impossible, demands placed on them by their people. I am NOT one of those pastors, thanks to a church that both receives my gifts and embraces my limitations. All in all, the people of Christ Presbyterian Church treat me with extraordinary love and kindness. But, sadly, not all pastors are as lucky as I am.
Dr. Thom Rainer, a leading pastoral ministry guru, once conducted a survey asking church members what they expected from their pastors. Specifically, Dr. Rainer wanted to know the minimum amount of time church members believed their pastors should give each week to various areas of ministry, including prayer, sermon preparation, outreach and evangelism, counseling, administrative tasks, visiting the sick, community involvement, denominational engagement, church meetings, worship services, and so on. On average, the minimum amount of time church members expected their pastors to give to the ministry was 114 hours per week.
— Covenant Seminary (@CovSeminary) January 26, 2018
Pastoral ministry certainly has its peaks and valleys, but overall, most pastors are very satisfied with their vocation and feel energized and supported in their work. They particularly love preaching and teaching—a task most feel they are good at—but are regularly frustrated with the lack of commitment among their parishioners. In partnership with Pepperdine University, Barna conducted a major study—The State of Pastors—of how Protestant senior pastors in the U.S. navigate life and leadership in an age of complexity. In this infographic, pastors weigh in on the best and worst parts of their job.
Pastor, which do you love more: the pulpit or the people?
A new study of senior pastors reveals what they're most passionate about. https://t.co/pBcbOtclYo
— David Murrow (@murrow5) August 8, 2018
(ENS) TEC Diocesan bishops who blocked same-sex marriages take reluctant first steps toward allowing ceremonies
A recent Kendall Harmon Sermon: Living as a Christian with suffering and Weakness (2 Corinthians 12)
If I could explain Anxiety or Depression in an image… this would be it.. so powerful pic.twitter.com/kOfkZi9pT9
— mo (@Mo_xjk) July 9, 2018
When Bill finally finished talking it felt like it was my turn to speak, to offer advice, to minister. I stayed silent. I could feel myself shrinking even more within my borrowed chaplain suit. Looking for an escape from the room and the awkwardness, I spoke timidly.
“Thank you for sharing so honestly,” I said. “I appreciate your advice.”
Bill looked away as I rose and moved for the door. Like everyone else in Bill’s life, I knew I’d be more comfortable once I didn’t have to look at him anymore, once he was invisible again. It wasn’t until I grabbed the door handle to exit that I remembered my calling. “In this room you represent the presence of God.” I was not there to represent the chaplaincy office of the hospital. I was not there to represent a young seminary student named Skye. I was there to incarnate the presence of God, if only for a few minutes, to an utterly broken man who had lost his dignity.
I looked back at Bill and was reminded of Peter’s encounter with the lame beggar at the Beautiful Gate. “I have no silver or gold,” the apostle said, “but what I do have I give to you” (Acts 3:6). I had no advice or wisdom for Bill, but I did have the presence of Jesus. I could give him that. I returned to my chair by his bed.
Such a great story. There is something in here for the burned-out pastor, the addict, the pastor serving in a situation where words are not enough … its a great read. https://t.co/YZtI2Jy2Yx
— Carolyn Moore (@CarolynCMoore) July 14, 2018
Once, as Tom Junod described in a profile for Esquire, Rogers met a 14-year-old boy whose cerebral palsy left him sometimes unable to walk or talk. Rogers asked the boy to pray for him.
The boy was thunderstruck. He had been the object of prayers many times, but nobody had asked him to pray for another. He said he would try since Mister Rogers must be close to God and if Mister Rogers liked him he must be O.K.
Junod complimented Rogers on cleverly boosting the boy’s self-esteem, but Rogers didn’t look at the situation that way at all: “Oh, heavens no, Tom! I didn’t ask him for his prayers for him; I asked for me. I asked him because I think that anyone who has gone through challenges like that must be very close to God. I asked him because I wanted his intercession.”
And here is the radicalism that infused that show: that the child is closer to God than the adult; that the sick are closer than the healthy; that the poor are closer than the rich and the marginalized closer than the celebrated.
But perhaps the most significant distinguishing mark of US Christianity is the pervasive individualism that saturates the culture and the church, which differs from the community centered values in other parts of the world.
“We go to funerals of people we don’t know, simply because they are Ethiopian and are part of our larger community,” said Endashaw Kelkele, pastor of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church of Denver. “Not many Americans go to funerals of those they don’t know.”
His colleague, Ermias Amanuel, offered another example. “In the US, people drink coffee alone! In Ethiopia, if you have coffee, you share it with someone.” When people are dependent on one another, community is more important. Self-sufficiency and independence lead to breakdown of community.
This individualism affects more than just social interactions. At times, individualism trumps theology.
Jay Kim, a South Korean who now pastors a Presbyterian Church in Alliance, Nebraska, said, “The church in Korea is more interconnected, so much so that sometimes you feel like people know you too much. But in the US, though we go to the same church, the attitude is ‘your faith is your faith and my faith is my faith.’ Though they come to a Presbyterian church, many do not really follow Presbyterian doctrine.”
Read it all (emphasis mine).
This article is a shot across the bow of American churchianity. Learn from these immigrant pastors as they describe their culture shock with the American “gospel.” 👇🏼💯 https://t.co/RIThASk8DR
— Jim Eaton (@jimeatonmd) July 5, 2018
It’s not the scandal that does the damage, they say, but the cover-up. What happens if the cover-up is itself covered up? This is the question that the Church of England must face with the publication of an extraordinary report into the occasion, eight years ago, when it gave itself a pass mark on the issue of sexual abuse. A report then published, prompted by scandals earlier in the decade, was meant to measure the extent of historic sexual abuse known to the church. Instead it produced the frankly incredible claim that there were only 13 cases in 30 years that had not been dealt with properly.
Now that Peter Ball, a former bishop of Lewes and of Gloucester, has been convicted of indecent assault and been sentenced to 32 months in jail, while Lord Carey, who as archbishop of Canterbury attempted to rehabilitate him and suppressed some of the evidence against him, has been barred from working as a priest in retirement, it is time to review the church’s earlier self-examination. The Ball case is only the most visible of what is now obviously a considerable load of past cases. The archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, along with two of his bishops, has been formally reported to the police for alleged inaction over the case of one of their priests who was as a young man raped by an older priest.
So it is disappointing to see that the church has managed to produce another report that appears to argue that the original clean bill of health was the product of perfectly innocent misunderstandings.
Watch and listen to it all.
The Rector Of Saint Helena’s, Beaufort, writes his parish about the current situation in the Diocese of South Carolina
Stay the Course
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
On Thursday, I returned from the Aliquippa mission trip to attend the meeting of diocesan clergy with Bishop Lawrence and our legal counsel. It was hard to leave the team and the wonderful work they are doing, but the Lord made it clear that I needed to be at this meeting and to prepare for our time together on Sunday. It was also quite evident that our mission team was in capable hands under the leadership of our new Student Minister Camden Windham and our dedicated adult leaders. Please continue to pray for the team as they finish their work and return home Saturday evening.
Being together with the clergy and Bishop Lawrence was a blessing; I was encouraged to stay the course. Our legal battle in terms of property is far from over. Our Vision still guides and directs us in our ultimate purpose of reaching lost people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We were reassured yesterday that, contrary to the claims of TEC that all is settled, there are many months in court ahead. If we dwell on this protracted journey, we may be discouraged or tempted to lose heart. Let us fix our eyes squarely on Jesus Christ and dwell on the calling we have in this missionary moment. His Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth and will be the power we need to press on faithfully.
I will have more details on Sunday morning at the Rector’s Forum at 9:15 am. Please make plans to attend if you are able. In The Weekly eNews, we will post all of the pertinent information and links for those who are out of town or otherwise unavailable. Please know that your Vestry and your clergy stand ready to field your questions and guide you to helpful resources. Unfortunately, much of the path that lies ahead is unknown. But we cling to that which is known — the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross and the eternal victory of the empty tomb.
Truly the best is yet to come,
–(The Rev.) Shay Gaillard is rector, Saint Helena’s, Beaufort, South Carolina
The Rector of Saint John’s, Johns Island, South Carolina Writes his Parish about the recent US Supreme Court Decision
(LA Times) ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’: The documentary that shows how Mister Rogers made goodness desirable
It had a simple set and minimal production values. As a host, it employed an ordained Presbyterian minister whose flashiest move was changing into a cardigan sweater. A likely candidate for legendary television success “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” was not.
Yet for more than 30 years, Fred Rogers’ Pittsburgh-based public television half-hour was a small-screen powerhouse, entrancing generations of wee fans and even influencing public policy. Not bad for a man who believed “love is at the root of everything … love or the lack of it.”
Although Rogers died in 2003 at age 74, the excellent “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” is the first documentary on him, and Morgan Neville is the ideal filmmaker to do the job.
A documentary veteran who won the Oscar for the entrancing “Twenty Feet From Stardom,” Neville is an experienced professional who knows what questions to ask and, working with editors Jeff Malmberg and Aaron Wickenden, how to assemble the answers.
— LAT Entertainment (@latimesent) June 7, 2018
The Prince of Wales has been asked to give a witness statement to a public inquiry about a paedophile bishop who was jailed after abusing young men.
Peter Ball, 85, was jailed for 32 months in October 2015 for offences against 18 teenagers and men.
The former Bishop of Lewes and of Gloucester carried out the abuse between the 1970s and 1990s.
Prince Charles exchanged a series of letters with Ball, whose Gloucester diocese covers his Highgrove home….
The rector of Christ Church, Mount Pleasant, preaches on approaching the Supreme Court decision Theologically
Timely Sermon Addressing Legal Issues from Ted Duvall:
This past Sunday, the Rev. Ted Duvall, the Rector of Christ Church, Mount Pleasant, gave a helpful sermon addressing the on going legal battle. Listen now.
The rector of Christ Church, Mount Pleasant, #southcarolina preaches on approaching the Supreme Court decision Theologically https://t.co/oc0aQOHiny #scotus #law #religion #parishministry #preaching #anglican pic.twitter.com/GyodtjLqdG
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) June 7, 2018
Kendall Harmon’s Sermon for Trinity Sunday 2018–3 Basic Questions about the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity
A #Prayer to Begin the Day from the Euchologium Anglicanum 'O God, who hast made thyself known to us as Trinity in Unity and Unity in Trinity, in order that we may be informed of thy love and thy majesty' https://t.co/WR59JyYYgd #holytrinity #christianity #anglican pic.twitter.com/inzhKbERM8
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) June 1, 2018
It is now evident that the wedding was planned in order to avoid breaking the letter of each denomination’s law while clearly violating their spirit. The Baptist Union of Victoria prohibits its ministers from conducting same-sex weddings but has no equivalent prohibition on its buildings. The Anglican Church prohibits both minister and building. Thus we have the use of a baptist building, with Anglican ministers who are not technically officiating at the wedding although they clearly take a significant part in it (Rev. Moore essentially conducted the service). Finally a former baptist signs the paperwork.
It is a clear challenge to the teaching, doctrine and good order of at least 2 major denominations.
The last few weeks have been excruciating for the Southern Baptist Convention and for the larger evangelical movement. It is as if bombs are dropping and God alone knows how many will fall and where they will land.
America’s largest evangelical denomination has been in the headlines day after day. The SBC is in the midst of its own horrifying #MeToo moment.
At one of our seminaries, controversy has centered on a president (now former president) whose sermon illustration from years ago included advice that a battered wife remain in the home and the marriage in hope of the conversion of her abusive husband. Other comments represented the objectification of a teenage girl. The issues only grew more urgent with the sense that the dated statements represented ongoing advice and counsel.
But the issues are far deeper and wider.
Please keep the family and loved ones of the Rev. Creighton Evans in your prayers. Creighton died on May 17, 2018 following a year-long illness. Funeral arrangements are still being made. We will send out another notice when they have been announced.
Born June 17, 1953 in Charleston, S.C., he holds a B.S. in Psychology from the College of Charleston and an M. Div. from Trinity School of Ministry. He married his wife, Nina Evans, on July 1, 1978. He was ordained a deacon on June 18, 1994 in the Diocese of South Carolina and a priest Jan. 4, 1995.
From 1994 – 1998 he served at St. Matthias, Summerton. From 1998 until 2008 he served at All Souls in North Fort Myers, FL. Between 2008 and 2013, he served as interim rector in both South Carolina and Florida. In 2013 he accepted a call to serve as the Rector of All Souls Episcopal Church in Okinawa. He had intended to retire from that position later this summer.
(Former Diocese of #SouthCarolina priest) The Rev. Creighton Evans RIP 'Please keep the family and loved ones of the Rev. Creighton Evans in your prayers. Creighton died on May 17, 2018 following a year-long illness' https://t.co/CeVfqDvtVJ #death #parishministry pic.twitter.com/ywSdp1vlbX
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) May 21, 2018
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We are warned repeatedly in the Scriptures (Psalm 131:1, Romans 11:33-36, etc.) that there are many things our infinite and perfect God is doing that are beyond our comprehension and understanding, yet He is working all things together for our good (Romans 8:28). From time to time by the power of the Holy Spirit, God shows us what I call Kingdom convergence — the ability to glimpse His guiding hand in the midst of things that might not initially be seen as connected. Allow me to give three examples in the life of St. Helena’s today.
- “Why the Battle?” Series — Through this teaching series at the Rector’s Forum and the availability of these resources online, many of us are gaining a greater understanding of how important this Gospel struggle is to the greater call of discipleship. We are truly dealing with different worldviews and seeing the necessity of being sharpened in our ability to speak persuasively for our position.
- Recent TEC Court Filings — Imagine how important it is for us to be united in this stand for the Gospel when we got word yesterday that TEC has asked the State District Court to begin to distribute the properties of the diocese and the parishes to TEC based on their winner-take-all strategy (read the motion HERE). Never mind the fact that the US Supreme Court is still considering our petition for writ of certiorari, this is a tactic that is designed to deflect our attention and begin to strike doubt in the hearts of our church members. This is why it is so important that we stay focused on our Vision.
- Fripp Island Summer Services — Kingdom convergence is so visible here because we are moving out with raising up worshipping communities this summer at Fripp Island. This is not a time to shrink back, but a time to be bold. My encouragement is that God has raised up this outreach through the members who live on Fripp, and we as a Body are being drawn into this fine prayer and planning through the work of servant leaders. The long and the short of it is that St. Helena’s will offer a beach service at 9 am on Fripp Island in front of the beach club beginning Sunday, May 27, and going through July 8. This is an outreach service designed to sow the seeds of the Gospel to the numerous weekly visitors to the island. Kingdom come!
All three of these things and many others are going on in the life of St. Helena’s. We are being guided by the Holy Spirit and our Vision to stand firm and continue to be focused on the least, the last, and the lost. I hope you see the Kingdom convergence that I do. Indeed, “God is working His purposes out …”
–(The Rev.) Shay Gaillard
Rector of Saint Helenas, Beaufort, writes his Parish https://t.co/157w0AFuDi 'Imagine how important it is for us to be unitd in this stand 4 the Gospel when we got word..that the new TEC diocese has askd the State District Court 2 begin 2 distribute the properties' #southcarolina pic.twitter.com/juN6i752zh
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) May 13, 2018