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Saturday, February 26, 2005


Just had a nice, intense conversation with one of the old saints here at my Episcopal Church. He's read the Windsor Report and now has seen results of the Primates Meeting last week. He is convinced that if ECUSA is no longer connected to the Church of England and the Anglican Communion he cannot remain in it. But where to go? And leaving is painful.

I've had conversations with clergy both young and old. "How can we leave our pensions?" they ask. A conversation with another parishioner reveals the pain at the thought of leaving, when she was married there, her children baptized and her parents and a child buried in the church's cemetary in the side yard. Her plot is there too. And then of course there are numerous stories of churches not wanting to leave their facility or fighting in court for it.


More about our Advance

Rick Richardson's presentation was also excellent. We had to read his book Evangelism Outside the Box, which was excellent but didn't live up to the hype.

After reflecting up his book and comments, and some of my personal experience, I think the church is keeping people from coming to Christ. Jesus they have some interest in. The church they do not. Rick used the term "evangelical subculture" which I find hard to define but resonate with nonetheless. I think I'm finding that some of my COLLEAGUES don't want to be part of the church, even thought they love and follow Jesus.

Now certainly it is true that "he who does not have the church for his mother, does not have God for his father" but what do you do when you can't stand the church, in general. God they like. His people are ...

Sure I read about the emerging church. But it's only emerging in a very few places and eventually it will have emerged. Then what? There just has to be a better way to do church.

Prayer & Evangelism Associates

The Covenant Prayer & Evangelism Associates held their annual Advance this past week in Mundelin, IL at at a Roman Catholic seminary. We have an annual Advance because we don't retreat. Our time together was from Tuesday afternoon until Thursday at noon, and it was rich.

It was a great event. Let's see ... who was there: Julie Moraga, Gordon & Geneva Christensen, Robert Owens, Adam Edgerly, Anita Elseth Eyer, Lon Allison, Gary Walter, Carla Erickson, Art Greco, Paul Knight, Debbie Blue, Don Peres, Rudy King, Dallas Anderson, Roland Boyce, Bill Anthes, Dwain Tissell, Marcus Putnam, Bill & Lisa Orris, Dan Johnson, Dave Rasmussen, Ted Nordlund, Rick Mylander, Greg Ralston, Wayne Smith, Rick Lindholtz, Martha Swanson, Eric Stratmeyer, Dave Olsen and Rick Richardson.

As you can see, I was in some high powered company. I remember back in 1996 when Lon invited me to an Advance, when it was held up at the Covenant conference center on Lake Geneva, WI. I was having a great time. We prayed, worship, strategized and learned together. It was marvelous in every way. At breakfast on the last day, Lon asked me if I wanted to join the team. I had no idea that was coming.

I remember stuttering to him, "Uh Lon, I don't know, uh, I'm way out of my league here." I still feel that way. I look at these other godly men and women and their incredible ministries, and I'm still schocked and awed to be on the team with them.

Gary Walter preached on Tuesday night and it was so refreshing. I can't remember the last time I heard that high quality of a sermon. He spoke about investing in things that will outlive us: his children, the next generation, the lost & the poor. I was convicted and ministered to.

Dave Olsen also did a presentation about the state of the church in America. Now that guy is smart as hell to begin with, so I knew it was going to be good. But I was absolutely unprepared for the conclusions of his data. According to his data, in the year 2000 18.7 percent or 52 million people are in an orthodox Christian church (Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant) on any given week. And the number is declining. Estimates suggests that has dropped one percent in the past 4 years. In 1990 it was 20.4 percent. The overall US population increased by 13 percent in that decade.

More bad news. Regular church attenders, defined by attending church 3 out 8 Sundays, which could be a minimum of 21 times a year, are about 23-25 percent of the population.

Sure we can thank God that the Covenant Church has increased 57 percent in the past decade, almost exclusively through new church starts. But I'm still stunned. That has put some urgency in my soul. The Church has fallen asleep and doesn't know it. Europe here we come.

One of my favorite Urban Legends ...

Do you know the name Paul Cain? I first heard of Paul from Jack Deere, who spoke of him as a powerful prophet. In Dr. Deere's book, Surprised by the Voice of God, he gives a short bio on Paul.

I heard this story at a conference one time when someone was talking about Paul Cain. One time Paul was prophesying at a church where he would point to unknown people in the audience and call them by name. Then he would proceed to give a prophecy or word of knowledge about each one. He did this for about 24 (I don't remember the exact #) people in row with dead-on accuracy. On the 25th, he spoke a word about healing to a man and was done.

After the service was over, that 25th man and his wife came up to Paul. They asked if he was sure that "word" was for him because the name Paul called him by was incorrect. Paul stopped to think and pray for a moment, and said he was sure. The couple said all the things Paul said about this man's life were correct, it was just the name. Paul called him by the wrong name. So Paul was puzzled and prayed again. He was sure what he had spoken was intended for that particular man.

They thanked Paul and as they were about to go their separate ways, the man's wife asked him, "Weren't you adopted as a child?" Yes indeed he was adopted. And after calling his mother to find out , yes indeed, Paul Cain had called him by his birth name. Whoa!

Now that was a good day in church.

There are rumors that Paul was discredited recently. I still like the story.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

VirtueOnline-New Genetics Study Undermines Gay Gene Theory

I find it amazing the countless number of people that believe as certain fact that homosexuality is absolutely genetically linked. Here is a significant article to say otherwise and it will get very little press time. It's sad how our ethics come from journalists.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

News from David Virtue

Next week will be very interesting in Ireland. There are plenty of orthodox Episcopalians wanting schism now. As one priest has said to me, "The divorce is final. We're just discussing who gets the cars and kids." But these Anglicans move slow so I'm not really optimistic any thing big will happen.

Monday, February 14, 2005


A thing of beauty ...

Friday, February 11, 2005


I watched some shorts here recently. Here are my recommendations:
Saving Jackie — a documentary set in Cleveland about a crack addicted mom and her children, one of whom goes to film school and makes this documentary.
Love and Laundry — another documentary about a couple in love.
Estes Avenue — a religious flick! It's not exactly squeaky clean. There's a "G-D" in here but it goes with the plot. Very creative.

I'm not sure about recommending The Sailor's Girl. It's not really R-rated, maybe PG-13, but the plot itself is really unique.

I didn't watch all of them and they're not all worth watching. But if you need to waste sometime, here's a great option.

Thursday, February 10, 2005


St. Brad, Archbishop of Abet, published a list of Covenant related people, who have blogs. My name was there. In fact, you may be reading this blog because you saw my name listed there.

My blog consists of my various ramblings about theology, culture, my family & life and sometimes wine. Whilst I am thoroughly evangelical in theology, evangelical culture makes me nauseous and so I like to poke fun and belittle some days. I also blog about the current Anglican crisis and the nonsensical organization called the Episcopal Church. I have offended people on occasion and have been known to delete or change entries when the offended asks. I like to blog about God at work in my life.

Why "ultrarev"? Here's the deal ... In the Anglican Church, they have various titles for varying callings within priesthood.

If you are a ordained a priest you are The Rev.
If you are a Dean of a cathedral or district, you are The Very Rev.
If you are a Bishop, you are The Right Rev.
If you are an Archbishop, you are The Very Rev. and you can also called a Primate.

I just didn't want to be outdone. When I was a pastor in OH I used to irreverently refer to myself as the Most Rev. But then one kind man in my church, whom I love and miss dearly, Ed Palmer, started sending me mail addressed to The Ultra Rev. Steven M. Evans. And so, it stuck. So now I am the Bishop of My Desk.

However, after serving as an Associate Pastor in an Episcopal Church for over 2 years now, I am considering a promotion to The Supreme Rev.

Thanks for visiting. Comments encouraged.


Need access to a password protected web site? You might find it here.

Episcopal Vocabulary

Just in case you don't speak Episcopal and have always been wishing you did — well, ... first, I would suggest learning Spanish. It's a more widely known and useful language, but if you must, visit this site to learn Episcopal.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


What are you giving up for Lent this year? In years past when it was more consuming of my life, I would give up reading Apple Computer news for Lent. That is not so much an idol now.

So what about this year? Today is Ash Wed after all, and I should have something to start with today but I'm still thinking. I'm pondering giving up The Drudge Report and Newzjunky, even possibly, Virtue Online, my sources of world, local and Anglican News. I momentarily considered giving up internet surfing completely but then I remembered that fantasy baseball season is almost upon us and that would never work.

What about you?

Remember that you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.

Christians gather on Ash Wednesday to mark the beginning of Lent's baptismal preparation for Easter. On this day, the people of God receive an ashen cross on the forehead (a gesture rooted in baptism), hear the solemn proclamation to keep a fast in preparation for Easter's feast, and contemplate anew the ongoing meaning of baptismal initiation into the Lord's death and resurrection. While marked with the ashes of human mortality, the church hears God's promise of forgiveness and tastes God's mercy in the bread of life and the cup of salvation. From this solemn liturgy, the church goes forth on its journey to the great baptismal feast of Easter.

People: We confess to you and to one another, and to the whole communion of saints in heaven and on earth, that we have sinned by our own fault in thought, word, and deed; by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.
Leader: We have not loved you with our whole heart, and mind, and strength.
We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We have not forgiven others, as we have been forgiven.
People: Have mercy on us, Lord.
Leader: We have been deaf to your call to serve as Christ served us.
We have not been true to the mind of Christ.
We have grieved your Holy Spirit.
People: Have mercy on us, Lord.
Leader: We confess to you, Lord, all our past unfaithfulness.
The pride, hypocrisy, and impatience in our lives,
People: Have mercy on us, Lord.
Leader: Our self-indulgent appetites and ways,
and our exploitation of other people,
People: Have mercy on us, Lord.
Leader: Our anger at our own frustration,
and our envy of those more fortunate than ourselves,
People: Have mercy on us, Lord.
Leader: Our intemperate love of worldly goods and comforts,
and our dishonesty in daily life and work,
People: Have mercy on us, Lord.
Leader: Our negligence in prayer and worship,
and our failure to commend the faith that is in us,
People: Have mercy on us, Lord.
Leader: Accept our repentance, Lord, for the wrongs we have done.
For our blindness to human need and suffering,
and our indifference to injustice and cruelty,
People: Have mercy on us, Lord.
Leader: For all false judgments, for uncharitable thoughts toward our neighbors,
and for our prejudice and contempt toward those who differ from us,
People: accept our repentance, Lord.
Leader: For our waste and pollution of your creation,
and our lack of concern for those who come after us,
People: Have mercy on us, Lord.
Leader: Restore us, good Lord, and let your anger depart from us.
People: Hear us, Lord, for your mercy is great. Amen

St. Brad's Book Review

St. Brad, Archbishop of Abet, has recently published an insightful book review of One With God: Salvation as Deification and Justification by Veli-Matti Karkkainen, a Finnish scholar. Brad makes it sound like a fascinating read!