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Sunday, October 31, 2004

New Job

I hope this week to announce my new job as the details get finalized. They have to check my references, which means I better get some checks in the mail, and finalize a couple of other details. I feel good about this. I never cease to be amaze into the bizarre adventure outlined on my resume ... emphasis on adventure. I don't think at any point I could go back in time and have predicted what was coming next, although certainly I would have liked to. Graphic Artist. Adoption Caseworker. Admission Counselor. College teacher. Solo pastor of Dysfunction Junction. Assoc. Pastor & media specialist in an ECUSA church and now this ...

I think next I will push the mass evangelism paradigm out of the early part of last century, into something more relevant and pomo. Essentially, Bill Hybels and the seeker methodology is mass evangelism every week. I think he's on to something, even though his strategy is beginning to be dated. My very close friend who lives in the area says Willow is experiencing some trauma as the boomers are now becoming entrenched in their ways towards the up & coming generations.

Do you watch Letterman or Oprah? (side bar: I've seen Rev. T.D. Jakes on Oprah recently. What a godly man.) I'm thinking of an evangelistic event, held in a public place, with thousands in attendence, where a call for commitment to Christ will be made and the overall strategy will be a blend of Oprah, Letterman, Len Sweet, Bill Hybels, U2 & realty TV. I think I'll have Bono as my first guest, although doing it live will leave no opportunities for bleeping the f-bombs.

Imagine an evangelist with the compassion of Oprah, the humor of Letterman, the gospel passion of Hybels and the understanding of culture like Len Sweet ... all wrapped into a 2 hour nightly event with great music and an opportunity to shack up with Christ. We would definitely have to have some kewl freebies to give away.


My boss and Rector, Fr. Don Turner retired today. It was hard at the communion rail to see him in tears. In coffee hour he mentioned how communion was such an 'intimate' moment. He could barely speak when he got to me at the rail.

He enjoyed himself in the service. The processional wound its way around the church with Jeff Wise as Thurifer leading the way, while we sang St. Patrick's hymn "I Bind Myself ..." Fr. chanted most of the service including the Gospel reading which is always interesting. I stood in the balcony videotaping a variety of scenes. I got great footage of the hand bell choir which plays up there.

I'm not sure what really gets Fr. all excited about services like today ... the chanting? ... the incense? ... processing around the church? I dunno. It just doesn't seem like that big of a deal to me. Although I do like the incense, particularly when it gets going good and the place looks like the blue haze I used to see in the bingo hall as a kid. It was particularly interesting during the OT lesson, where God said their incense was an abomination to Him, and here I am in an ECUSA church and the blue haze. The irony did not go unnoticed. I wonder if God was speaking those words even today.

Robert Gagnon article

Robert Gagnon is the premier biblical scholar dealing with homosexuality. He trashes "Nicholas Kristof, a columnist for the New York Times, has produced an ill-informed op-ed piece on the Bible and homosexuality: "God and Sex" (New York Times, Oct. 23, 2004)."

Kristof uses all the lame arguments you have heard before. Gagnon refutes them all well. Why the editors of the NYT embarass themselves and publish ignorance is beyond comprehension. I have yet to hear even one good argument supporting the notion that homosexuality is normal, safe and not sin. What I see happening, is that the arguments keep getting pushed, over and over and over and over again in public forums, and the messages are being believed because of the mass publicity.

Perhaps evangelists could take notice of such strategy.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Episcopal Church Promotes Idol Worship

This was nearly the first time I dropped an f-bomb on my own blog, but I used uncharacteristic restraint. Lord have mercy.

The Episcopal Church has lost it. They are apostate. My world is very messy at the moment, being connected with them. While the pay is good and so is the wine, and I know I'm a missionary here ... but I can't in good conscience encourage anyone to become Episcopal. And I would never want my kids to think of themselves as Episcopalians. My wife is just mortified to tell people her husband is a pastor at an Episcopal Church.

I am just absolutely stunned at the linked article. I'll have to figure out who is really promoting this but it appears that it is an arm of the national church.

Lord have mercy.

New US President

I'm voting for St. Brad of SoCal for President of the US. That guy is sharp. And he'd be the first president to hold press conferences in Birkenstocks. Would you move the US capital to Turlock?

Wingfield Encounter Update

I met evangelist Steve Wingfield tonight. He was here for dinner and then a concert of prayer and kick-off for our Encounter, scheduled for next June. I was impressed. I am so stinkin' cynical and skeptical and he passed the initial 'sniff' test. He didn't smell like a fake in any way.

We had nearly 100 people for the rally, which was good, considering I spent the time slotted for me to publicize it in bed with the flu. My band rocked the place with Here I Am to Worship, Shout To The North & One Name.

Ever seen The Harvest video? We played it tonight for this event. I've seen in countless times, even as recently as Sunday when in Scandia, PA for a school of evaneglism. And I still cry every time ... cried tonight ... cried on Sunday. As soon as those combines come rolling over the hill for the harvest, I just lose it and start begging God for revival to come. I really long to see the Spirit of God poured out in power, signs and wonders, with conviction brought upon the people of God, a new wave of holiness sweeping over us, people released from the bondage of addiction, families healed ... something so big that the news media just can't talk about anything else. That would be so kewl.

Revival started in this town over 180 years ago with Charles Finney, so I'm thinking we're about due. Finney was born in the area, moved away and then came back where he experience his conversion and began is preaching here. Come Holy Spirit Come!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Home from Scandia

I have spent the past 3 days at the Evangelical Covenant Church in Scandia, PA, where I did a School of Evangelism for them and Bethlehem Covenant in Warren, PA. Scandia is a country church, seemingly out in the middle of no where, yet they have a great pastor, James Swanson, and a really vibrant, growing ministry there. 632 miles round trip.

Also got to have some fantastic Mexican food with my beloved friend Brad Bergfalk, who is making a mess of things at Zion Covenant Church in Jamestown, NY. Mas Negro Modelo por favor.

They don't have high speed access in Scandia yet. I found it frightening how 'wired' I am. I had to catch myself about six or eight times ... "Oh you can down load that at .... uh ... hmmmm .... it might take you six days but you could down load that." I clearly could not go back to having dial-up very easily. That would be excruciatingly painful. I checked my mac.com email once while I was there and it took over an hour. No mas.

And how would I ever do ministry with high speed access? I must google about 75 times a day, and even more when I really need just the right picture. Monday is always a big google day as I begin searching for a new career after going through that pastor let down after Sunday. Lord have mercy on my unfaithful heart. But I am pointing people to resources, offering resources of my own and searching for resources for others every day. All that, let alone managing a fantasy football team and keeping track of Anglicanism around the world and how it is falling apart.

I am destined for for a machine that goes with me everywhere, even Scandia, and keeps me connected but my cell phone only got a bar and a half there. I felt like I was working without one of my arms the past couple of days. And I just hate when the other owners in my fantasy league get to the waiver wire before I do! Aaaarrrrrgggggghhhh!!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Regret, Apologies & Repentance

For days before the Windosr Report came out, the leaks were saying that the Episcopal Church had to apologize to the rest of the Anglican Communion, which some interpreted that the church had to repent. However, the exact language of the Windsor Report states that the Episcopal Church ought to express regret. I don't think all of those things are the same. Apologize. Repent. Regret.

Seems to me that Regret signifies that one feels badly about the choice they made or the timing of that choice or the outcome of that choice. One who regrets does not necessarily say that they are Sorry.

Now Sorry indicates not only does one feel badly about the choice they made but also admits they were wrong for said action. Sorry admits culpability.

But repentance goes a step further. Repentance says not only was I wrong but I will stop doing said action or won't do it again and will change my ways. The Hebrew word for repentance is shuv, which roughly means to do a U-turn, turn back, change directions.

I think the Eames Commission, who produced the Windsor Report, missed the mark and will come to regret their choice of words in this report. i'm not sure they will feel sorry though. That would require them to understand they were wrong. And it is clear by choosing the word Regret instead of Repent for the Episcopal Churches actions, they do not understand right from wrong.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Joan of Arcadia & me

This past week on Joan of Arcadia, God asked Joan to take in a stray wild cat. Joan hates cats but she did so reluctantly. She ended up having to give it to her boyfriend Adam, who then accidently let the cat loose. Joan ended up adoring this cat and they searched all over for it. At the end, the cat and Adam run past Joan in the park and up the tree.

She encounters God again and He says to her, "That's just his nature, Joan." In frustration she asks why she was given him if he was just to runaway and thought she was to help change him. God says something to the effect of, "Maybe the cat was sent to you." (and not vice versa). Meaning she was the one needing changing.

That reminded me of when I served this church in OH. i was sure, and to some extent am still sure, I was sent to help grow that church to health and see it blossom. But the church nearly killed me through its gossip, mean spiritedness, deceit, and carelessness. During one of my lowest points there, one of my closest friends gave me a morsel of wisdom that has not left me: "Maybe you weren't sent to that church but it was sent to you."

My boss, Fr. Turner, preached this past week about what God can do in us as we struggle through trials, persisting in prayer. A similar theme.

I wish the whole journey wasn't so painful. Sure I suppose I wouldn't change as much and my character wouldn't be molded into Christlikeness instead of the narcissistic creep that I normally am. But can't there be another way? Every now and then I wish for a good ol' fashioned pentecostal revival to sweep over me, where I would be slain in the Spirit and wake up renewed, full of the Spirit, joyful, etc.

Windsor Report 2

My good friend Chris Boyle at the Diocese of CNY offices sent this missive today:

Hello all,
To limit your clicks and make things a little simpler the links below
will take you directly to the Windsor Report of the Lambeth Commission
on Communion. The top link will take you to what is essentially the
gateway page for the report. Using that page you can view sections of
the report by clicking on the links on the left. The second link is a
PDF version of the full report (it is 500k and will take at least a few
moments to load even with a fast connection), if you would rather print
it out and read it in its entirety.

Windsor Report

Windsor Report PDF

Peace, Christopher

Christopher Boyle | Communications Office
Episcopal Diocese of Central New York | cny.anglican.org
310 Montgomery Street | Syracuse NY 13202
315.474.6596 | cboyle@cny.anglican.org

The Windsor Report available

I have made the Windsor Report available at my web site. It is 108 pages long and tedious reading, but very suitable for those with a scholarly bent or insomnia.

I'm on page 22 right now and will comment after I finish reading it.

Friday, October 15, 2004


We've gone from having a baby with a cold, to three kids with strep throat, to one daddy with the flu, all within two weeks. Our house looks like a tornado hit us. Thank God mommy is not sick. If she gets sick, we are sunk.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Go Astros!

I have been a baseball fan my whole life. Love the game. When I was a kid my Pop got me playing a table-top baseball games called APBA. You roll dice and then look on your players card for what happens.

About the time I got into it, the Houston Astros started to come into their own. They had those rainbow colored uniforms that I loved with the bright orange hats with navy blue stars (and vice versa). JR Richard and Nolan Ryan were their great pitchers. They had great players like Bob Watson, who scored baseballs one millionenth run, Jose Cruz, Terry Puhl, Cesar Cedeno, Enos Cabell, Joe Morgan, Rafael Landestoy, Alan Ashby, Joe Sambito, Ken Forsch and others, including one of baseball's all-time best names: Joaquin Andujar. I've loved them ever since. And they annually break my heart.

This year at the All-Star break I had had enough. They were supposed to be good but were terrible. No mas. I'll be a Padres fan now, being a minister and all, that sounds like the right thing to do. But alas, I am a fair weather fan and back on the Astros bandwagon as they have won their very first post-season series ever.

Go 'Stros!!!


An update since my last post. I have now been contacted by 3 Covenant Churches in the past 4 years — a new one this week, although, I did kinda start the conversation. We'll see where it goes from here.

For those of you who don't know, the Vestry here at Trinity has decided to make my position half time salary with benefits as of January 1. So I am looking at my options everywhere. I have one job offer with a parachurch organization that is very appealing and a non-Covenant Church interested in me also.

Whatever I do, I hope to bring honor and glory to God Almighty. I am grateful for so great a salvation through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

GLC Pastors & Spouse Retreat

The Great Lakes Conference Ministerium went on retreat to Lakeside, OH and these are some pictures to document what pastors do on retreat.

I am having a contest with the following pictures Great Lakes Conference Superintendent Dick Lucco. Awards for the best Picture Titles, Thought Bubbles or Photoshopped in any way. Please be creative. Winning entries will be published here.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

I'm Back

Been away for my 15th year college reunion and then to the Great Lakes Conference Pastors & Spouse Retreat in Lakeside, OH. More tomorrow with pictures.

Friday, October 01, 2004


We have the wrong candidates, in the wrong election, at the wrong time.

Our nation is in so much trouble. This is such a sad time. How do you vote when you really don't want either of these fools? When they spin, that is intentional deception. By the way, I believe deception is still a sin.

They are intentionally attempting to use technique to persuade us, that involves portraying themselves in the best light and their opponenet in the worst, no matter how marginally true that might be.

What do you do if you are left without a candidate? How do you vote?