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Saturday, April 30, 2005

Episcopal and Anglican

So we had a staff meeting this past week where we basically go over calendar items and minor logistical issues. Some place in the middle of the meeting, my rector, Fr. vance, says begins to talk about thehttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gif sign out front. The sign is fairly worthless as it faces the street and is back behind some bushes and kind of under a tree.

Now Vance is our interim and doesn't want his name on the sign. Furthermore, if all the staff can't have their name on the sign then he thinks no one's name should be ont he sign. Since mine was the only name on the sign he infomred me it was coming off and instructed JJ our sexton to handle it.

He then drops this minor grenade: he tells JJ also to take off the Anglican on the sign because he dosen't want anyone to confuse us with that breakaway group. I think he means the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes. These are primarily Episcopal churches that have adhered to historic, orthodox Christianity while the rest of the Episcopal church continues on it's merry-little-apostate way.

Those outside of the Network are frequently called revisionists and it was fascinating to see it in my own parish this day. Vance stated clearly that he wants everyone to know that we are in full support of the Episcopal church and not part of some breakaway group. Absolutely hilarious! While the vast majority of The Anglican Communion believes that the Episcopal Church has "chosen to walk alone" and has begun to recognize the Network as the true expression of Anglicanism in the US, here is this local priest calling the Network a breakaway group.

I guess it's all a matter of perspective. How very post-modern.


I was practicing with my scanner and Photoshop this past week, scanning and touching up old photos. Here are some first attempts.

Chalk Art

I took these photos of my friend Patty Giles and her fabulous chalk art. She does this incredible thing where she plays some music while drawing on a canvas in challk. People sit there riveted, watching her draw for about 45 minutes or so and then she changes the lighting on her easel to a blacklight which brings out "hidden images". The first time I saw her do this it was literally breathtaking. The whole audience audibly gasped as she changed lights and images of Jesus appeared.


Blogging my own site today. Recently took some photos of the stained glass in Trinity Episcopal Church of Watertown, NY. I really like these ones. I took some more tonight and will see about getting them up in the next few days.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Founding Member of Korn Gives Life to God

What a great story about Brian Welch's conversation and freedom from drug addiction. Thanks be to God almighty, make of heaven and earth.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Gus O'Connor's Public House

Xorey's home away from home.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Porn Filters

Hmmmmmmm ... I was just thinking ... now that I have BJB's Naked Relgion blog on my site, that means there are all sorts of people who won't read my site because it can't get past their porn filter with the word "naked" in it. Perhaps we'll have to come up with an alternative post-modern spelling like "cool" became "kewl", so maybe "naked" could become "naykd"

Although, I guess my blog was already being censored back on March 17 when we had the nudity issue. My reading audience will probably dwindle from 10 to 5. Sounds like my church.


BJ Bergfalk has decided to get naked with us all and start his own blog. It's about time. So far his site is unencumbered with pictures of his back side but no doubt the eye candy is coming.

Trivia Question?

¿How many Mac's can you fit in a Honda Civic?

Yesterday, I fit 9 and probably had room for at least 1 more. I was setting up for an evangelism seminar yesterday at Faith Fellowship Church & School. They noticed I had a Mac and mentioned they had a bunch they weren't using. So they gave them to me.

Not that my wife was real happy about this because I already own 12 of them, bringing the total to 21, not to mention the printer situation. So here is my current inventory

From yesterday's acquisition:
2 iMac G3's (I'm guessing 266's, they're bondi blue)
1 PowerMac 5500/225
2 PowerMac G3's All-In-One's
2 PowerMac 5260/120PowerMac 5500/225
2 PowerMac 5400/200

These go with my current stash ...
eMac G4/1ghz
iMac G3/266
PowerBook G3/233 Wallstreet edition
Centris 610 (my first Mac)
Macintosh IIvx
Performa 6300
Performa 631
PowerMac 6100/66
PowerBook 100
PowerBook Duo 270c with docking station
Apple II+

And then I have 3 or 4 laser printers, a couple StyleWriters, 3 QuickTake 150's and a Newton. Hopefully next week I'll have a few more from Faith Fellowship.

Sunday, April 24, 2005


So far this year I have spent a couple days at Mundelein Seminary, north of Chicago .for the Prayer & Evangelism Associate Advance; nearly a week in Harrisonburg, VA for an evangelistic event; and about 24 hours in Detroit for the Great Lakes Conference Ministerium Annual Meeting. Next week I'm supposed to be in Barnegat Light, NJ for Fr. Don's institution as Rector but he fell and broke his patella. The plans are up in the air at the moment as he is going to have surgery. In June I have the opportunity to go to NYC for a church growth conference at St. Bart's Episcopal Church. Yeah, I know -- an Episcopal Church growth conference -- very funny.

It's shaping up to be a good travel year.


Tonight after ¡alive@5! the youth group and a handful of adults went to the Urban Mission. We help sort clothes and toys and whatever else Anita wants us to do.

One couple comes to help out with their 2 kids. He's on permanent disability with back pain so bad that some times it's literally painful to watch him move. And they're broke. Flat broke. Yet they come faithfully to help and give of themselves. The never complain, just work as best they can.

The church needs more people like that.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

MARITAL AIDS III: Are You A Generous Husband?

Another interesting site in this new culture of Christian marial support sites. I have subscribed to get a daily email about being a generous husband. Some days the tips are corny and other days extraordinarily profound. All-in-all encouraging me to be a better husband and man of God.

See my posts for other MARITAL AIDS on 3/18 & 3/22.

MARITAL AIDS IV: The Generous Wife

Guys would kill to have a true generous wife. You would see an entire male revolution if there were a bunch of generous wives around. Not to blame the entirey of male problems on women but generous wives could change the life of a man.

Take a look at the bulletin boards. Interesting discussion. Shock & awe.

Generous Husband & Wife books

I haven't read them yet but this appears to be something nice to buy for a wedding or anniversary gift.


I'm going on public record to say that BJ Bergfalk and Jason Condon ought to have blogs, and the Revinator ought to get off his lazy butt and blog some of the interesting stuff he knows about. Quit your whining about being so damn busy.

A painful story

I heard a painful story the other day. I think his name was Doug. He had a management position in the community. I think it was at a hospital. Until one day, he was down sized and out of work. His severance package ran out, lived off his savings and that ran out too. He actually was on the brink of bankruptcy.

He was also a Deacon in his parish, a Roman Catholic Church. Not paid staff, but had a vital role in the church performing weddings, preaching, visiting, etc. He was passionate about his ministry and seemingly loved in his church. These were his people and he had been involved in his parish over a decade. His family loved the church and they all felt at the center of it.

Just in time a job offer that met his professional skills and income requirements came to him. Everything was perfect about it except the overall organization: Planned Parenthood. He was Catholic afterall, and very pro-life but he was literally faced with bankruptcy or a job with PP.

What would you do? Is this a faith challenge?

He chose the job and began to pay his bills again. That didn't fly with his church. They released him from is Deacon duties. Parishioners began picketing his house calling him the "Deacon of Death." Comments were made every Sunday at church, even by kids to his kids. They were literally chased away.

So they became Episcopalians and love it, and their new church loves them. And nobody says a word about his job at PP.

What would you do?


I turned 38 years of age last month. I can't recall a time in my life that I have ever felt more insecure about myself and abilities. When I was younger as a graphic artist or caseworker or even when I first graduated seminary, I was occasionally nervous but always felt up to the task. I'm just lost and tired these days wondering if I belong anywhere.

Funny how this feels particularly pronounced after being at the Great Lakes Conference Ministerial Association Annual Meeting. There are a bunch of great pastors in this conference who are kicking ass and taking names for the Kingdom of God. And then there's me ... you know what they say about leaders with no one following? They're just taking a walk.

I think I expected more of myself by now. I'm not exactly sure what, but I think I imagined that the ministries I led grew huge. I used to have really huge vision for planting churches from northern New York to the west side of Cleveland. Now, I just envision getting through the day.

I've been wondering if this is just a stage of life thing. I know this guy in ministry in his early 20's who overflows in cockiness. You can't teach him a damn thing. I remember being like that. One time I knew it all too and now the only thing I am sure of is that I don't know jack. I wonder if someone out there remembers being like me when they were 38. Will it ever get better?

Well, enough whining for tonight. Maybe tomorrow will be really great.

Evangelists, Youth Pastors, Associate Pastors, etc.

I've been thinking and observing the role of evangelism in ministry and I have some questions and thoughts. Certainly I would like to know yours' also. Since it's what I'm most familiar with, I'll use the Evangelical Covenant Church as an example and paint with some broad strokes from there.

It seems that the day of the general associate pastor has passed. Very rarely are there associate pastors anymore, who do whatever the senior pastor assigns him/her or doesn't want to do. Everyone is a specialist now. If you are not a solo or senior pastor, you are hired for a specific duty, such as discipleship, spiritual/Christian formation, youth pastor, worship pastor/leader, gen x pastor, children and/or family ministries pastor, adult ministries pastor, senior adult ministries pastor, executive pastor, small groups pastor, teaching pastor, missions pastor, outreach pastor, etc. Of course there are many who make up their titles as they create unique positions: media pastor, women's or men's ministry pastor, minister of compassion and justice, etc.

There are almost no Evangelism Pastors, and when there are, they are always lumped with something else, i.e. Minister of Evangelism & Discipleship. My formal title is Associate Pastor of Evangelism and Youth Ministries. There are very few pure bred Evangelism Pastors, but even less, just plain Evangelist. It seems that everyone who is an Evangelist works for a para-church organization or makes up their own ministry.

Honest question: Do you know of a church with an Evangelist on staff? Let's take it a step up the food chain, do you know any denomination that has an Evangelist on staff? Perhaps a Director of Evangelism but what about an Evangelist? Anyone? Buehler? Now in the Covenant, we recognize there are people with the gift of evangelism and we call on them for special events, but they primarily have other jobs.

There's an assumption behind all this. It is assumed, or more likely imagined, that evangelism is incorporated into all those other roles. Pastors of Adult Ministries occasionally teach a Contagious Christianity course. Youth Pastors teach their teens how to lead another person to Christ or will likely do evangelism with youth. The Small Groups pastor teaches the small groups leaders to have an "empty chair" for a new person to become involved. And preaching or senior pastors are must know how to proclaim the gospel and give an invitation.

I think it is also assumed that every lay person can be or is supposed to be involved in evangelism or be a witness, but not everyone can lead worship or small groups or youth ministry. So we hire specialists for there areas that require and generally leave evangelism to everyone or a certain church committee.

Now despite the fact that some believe there is an official office listed in the Scripture for that of Evangelist and NOT for youth, worship or small groups pastor, I don't exactly think this is wrong. But I just wonder ...

What would the church look like if we had a paradigm shift, and we hired Evangelists or Evangelism Pastors as a priority BEFORE we hired youth or media pastors. There are plenty of stories of people who volunteered to lead the youth group and then became the youth pastor. What if we started raising up evangelists like that? What if we found those people with the gift of evangelism and began training them further. Then we got creative and developed a host of different opportunities for them to proclaim Christ and call people to faith, i.e. affinity events, or evangelistic small groups, or festivals, etc. What if our churches began developing a cadre of evangelists? They could lead evangelistic ministry teams in our communities attempting to reach every segment of the population.

Now as I type this, I don't really even believe it could happen. My mind keeps saying, what about ... what if ... how could we .... etc. Is there enough work for them? Would they peter out like the Alpha courses that churches do, which start big and eventually they run out of people to attend? Do we believe that anyone is gifted enough to be a local evangelist? Do we even believe the role of the evangelist is even culturally appropriate?

OK. So hiring evangelists is far out. But what about pastors of evangelism whose primary job is training personal evangelists in the church, creating servant evangelism teams, leading Alpha courses, etc. What if our churches started hiring for these positions first, and kept our youth, small group, visitation, media all volunteer led or hired for them secondarily? What would our churches look like?

I'm just wondering how our churches would look different if when hiring staff, we hired evangelists and pastors of evangelism first and then other positions second. What do you think would happen? I honestly don't know and I'm just wondering out loud. I'd love to hear your opinion.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Commital Service

A Christian bural service was held this morning at the Evans home for Cookie the Rabbit. Cookie passed away quietly in his sleep last evening after a very brief illness. Cookie was a beloved member of our 4-H Club where he rotated between members every two weeks. The Ultra Rev. Steven M. Evans officiated at the service with the Evans family and neighbors, the Aviste family, in attendance. Thanks to the Avistes for providing a nice cinder block for a grave stone.

Peace to his memory. †

Friday, April 15, 2005

Concert Pictures

The lead singer for Audio Adrenaline singing "My Father's House" in bleachers whilst borrowing a hat from a girl in the crowd.

Brian Haley -- drummer for Toby Mac

Todde Lawton -- bass player for Toby Mac

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Napolean Dynamite Sermon Series

Artisan Church in Rochester, NY is pastored by Brian Haak and Jason Condon. They rock. Here's an invite that is available for their peeps to download and invite other people. Reminds me of a Guinness commercial. "BRILLIANT!" It's killing me to not just move to Rochester and join these guys.


So I'm helping a friend with a resume, which leads me to use MS Word because I want to give it to here in a commonly used format. (heavy sigh) There are few things that bring an f-bomb to my mouth faster than MS Word. I recognize that I am a very biased Mac user and not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but it has come to the point that I won't take a future job if it involves MS Word and a PC. OK. I've said too much now.

Jefferson-Lewis BOCES

Did I tell you I'm in school right now? Sure enough. It came down to the end of December last year and I had some continuing ed $$$ to spend. So I bought a year's access to all the multimedia courses at BOCES. If I follow through (it's spotty at the moment) I'll be making web sites, doing better with photoshop and making very kewl movies.

St. Joseph's St. Patrick's Church

These are pictures of my mom's church from when she was growing up. My parents were married here. My Aunt Jane Ann & Uncle Dave still attend, and I think my cousins Tom & Cathy do also.

I took these pictures at my Great Uncle Harold's funeral back in January.

When I was a kid, the annual German picnic was held out in a field somewhere, but then it was moved over to the church parking lot. I remember my pop, uncles, Grampa and Uncle Harold working the beer tent. Always a jovial event.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Global Pastors Network

I heard of this site when I read James Davis' bio, as he is the co-founder, CEO & President of GPN. There are some free resources here.

Rock Stars, Evangelists, & Boxers

I'm home. Came home yesterday about 2:45 pm after an 8 hour drive from Harrisonburg, VA. I was there for the past 5 days working at an evangelist's crusade and attending the PEN Conference. Overall a great week.

Some interesting things to report from the week ...

I met Toby Mac and a couple of his band members. There are always rumors of rock stars being prima donas. Not true with Toby. Absolutely every little thing I did for him and his band they were effusively appreciative. He could not have been more humble, friendly or thankful. And what a fabulous show he puts on. I had never been to a rap show. Unbelievably high energy. Those guys are in incredible shape.

Jars of Clay and Audio Adrenaline were also great shows. Audio A did a kewl thing -- at the crusade there was a battle of the bands outside at the youth extreme day -- Audio A let the winner of the event, Sky Harbor, play a set during an intermission.

Pernell "Sweetpea" Whittaker, former Olympic boxer, responded to an altar call in prison by boxer Marvis Frasier. Sweetpea is apparently serving time for a cocaine related conviction.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Artisan Church - A New Rochester Church Community for Greater Rochester, NY

This site is pure eye candy -- just visually beautiful!

Jason< & Brian are planting a great church in Rochester, NY as a part of The Great Lakes Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church.

See their upcoming message series: The Gospel According to Napolean Dynamite: Biblical Lessons From an Unlikely Hero.

Monday, April 04, 2005

|| Persecution.org - International Christian Concern

This is an important ministry. I can't help thinking that we're in big trouble with God if we ignore his people that are suffering for His Kingdom. There are numerous resources available for individuals and churches to participate in the suffering of our friends in Christ.

Saturday, April 02, 2005


I'm saddened today at the passing of Pope John Paul II.

I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord;
he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live;
and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.

I know that my Redeemer liveth,
and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth;
and though this body be destroyed, yet shall I see God;
whom I shall see for myself and mine eyes shall behold,
and not as a stranger.

For none of us liveth to himself,
and no man dieth to himself.
For if we live, we live unto the Lord.
and if we die, we die unto the Lord.
Whether we live, therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.

Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord;
even so saith the Spirit, for they rest from their labors.

Wycliffe Bible Translators

Wyclliffe Bible Translators has incredible resources for churches and a huge vision for Bibles in every language. They need volunteers of every kind. You can schedule a speaker to come to your church or organization and tell about the incredible ministry of Bible translation.

Casing the Promised Land

Stan has some great posts today.

Irresistable Evangelism

You hardly need a book and leader's guide to do servant evangelism, but this looks like a great resource to get your church involved in doing evangelism.


And now something from my wife. We use this bread for communion. She makes this beautiful round loaves of bread with a cross cut into the top.

"Fast Yeast Bread"

4 - 4 1/2 cups flour
1 pkg (or 1 TBSP) active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup margarine (or butter)
2 TBSP. sugar (not sugar substitute)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg

In saucepan, heat milk, margarine and sugar just until margarine/butter melts. In large mixing bowl, add 2 cups flour, salt and yeast. When milk mixture is ready, add it to flour/yeast mix. Stir well with wooden spoon. Then, add egg and beat to mix thoroughly (use dough hooks on mixer, if available). Stir in remaining flour to get a stiff, not too sticky dough.

Divide into halves or quarters. Lightly grease pan for baking, shape dough as desired, cover and let rise for 30-45 min. in draft free area. Makes excellent dinner rolls, pizza dough (a bit sweet) or braided bread. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes. For a golden crust, lightly brush top of bread/rolls with eggwash (lighly beat 1 egg with 1 TBSP water) before baking.

Mark Twain

"Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer." --Mark Twain

Sponsor A Child - Compassion International: Compassion Sunday 2005

Our youth group sponsors a beautiful little girl named Silvia from the Dominican Republic.


April 24 is Compassion Sunday for 2005. I encourage you to host an event in your church and sponsor child. Compassion will send you all the free materials you need to host an event.

¡Hola! ¡Buenas dias!

When Pope John Paul II made a visit to Miami in 1987, delighting Miami's large Hispanic community, an enterprising Euroamerican shirt-maker decided to capitalize on the event. He made thousands of shirts which in Spanish were suppose to read "I saw the Pope." Unfortunately, he didn't bother to check his quip with those who knew the language. Rather than using the masculine definitive article "el," the shirt-maker used the feminine definitive article "la." Hence the shirts instead read, "I saw the potato."

Guestbook, Comments & Feedback Form

IBS is one of my favorite ministries. I buy Bibles by the case load here. Paperback NIV's come for about $48 a case.

At IBS you can get a free TNIV Bible, which The Karl Show calls the Devil's Bible.

For Those With Porn Problems



How the Episcopal Church is doing with Teenagers

National Survey of Youth and Religion

85% - all U.S. teens definitely believe in God
72% - ECUSA teens definitely believe in God

68% - all U.S. teens believe God is a personal being
61% - ECUSA teens believe God is a personal being

51% - all U.S. teens feel very or extremely close to God
36% - ECUSA teens feel very or extremely close to God

51% - all U.S. teens faith is very or extremely important in daily life
40% - ECUSA teens faith is very or extremely important in daily life

56% - all U.S. teens have made commitment to live life for God
32% - ECUSA teens have made commitment to live life for God

47% - all U.S. teens saying morality is relative
61% - ECUSA teens saying morality is relative

73% - all U.S. teens believe in a Judgement Day of divine
60% - ECUSA teens believe in a Judgement Day of divine reward/punishment

28% - all U.S. teens say some, most or all adults in their church are
46% - ECUSA teens say some, most or all adults in their church are

This material is used with the permission of Dr. Christian Smith, Stuart
Chapin Distinguished Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of
Sociology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Dr. Smith
writes: "I will restrict any more commentary on these findings, other than
to say I think they raise some soul-searching questions and hard
implications for those still invested in the" Episcopal Church. "What" the
figures "show is that" Episcopal Church "teens are doing *significantly
worse* across a variety of religion measures than the average of all U.S.
teens (which includes 16% of non-religious teens and 32% who attend
religious services only a few times a year or never)."

Always wear clean underwear

Always wear clean underwear in public, especially when working under your vehicle. From the Northwest Florida Daily News comes this story of a Crestview couple who drove their car to Wal-Mart only to have their car break down in the parking lot.

The man told his wife to carry on with the shopping while he fixed the car in the lot. The wife returned later to see a small group of people near the car. On closer inspection, she saw pair a of male legs protruding from under the chassis. Although the man was in shorts, his lack of underpants turned private parts into glaringly public ones.

Unable to stand the embarrassment, she dutifully stepped forward, quickly put her hand UP his shorts, and tucked everything back into place. On regaining her feet, she looked across the hood and found herself staring at her husband who was standing idly by. The mechanic, however, had to have three stitches in his forehead.

Sin Boldly: Old Lutheran Gift Shop

Now why can't baptists and pentecostals have this much fun?

Sin Boldly Lager T-shirt w/Pencil Holder: Old Lutheran Gift Shop

Would someone please buy this for me? I'm short on cash today.

Sin Boldly

Of course that last post reminded me of everyone's favorite Luther quote. Luther wrote a letter to his good friend Philip Melanchthon on August 1, 1521. In it he said:

"If you are a preacher of grace, then preach a true and not a fictitious grace; if grace is true, you must bear a true and not a fictitious sin. God does not save people who are only fictitious sinners. Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly, for he is victorious over sin, death, and the world."

"As long as we are here [in this world] we have to sin. This life is not the dwelling place of righteousness, but, as Peter says, we look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. It is enough that by the riches of God’s glory we have come to know the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world. No sin will separate us from the Lamb, even though we commit fornication and murder a thousand times a day. Do you think that the purchase price that was paid for the redemption of our sins by so great a Lamb is too small? Pray boldly -- you too are a mighty sinner."

Translated elsewhere: "If you are a preacher of mercy, do not preach an imaginary but the true mercy. If the mercy is true, you must therefore bear the true, not an imaginary sin. God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong (sin boldly), but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides. We, however, says Peter (2. Peter 3:13) are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth where justice will reign." -- Letter 99, Paragraph 13. Erika Bullmann Flores, Tr. from: Dr. Martin Luther's Saemmtliche Schriften Dr. Johannes Georg Walch, Ed. (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, N.D.), Vol. 15,cols. 2585-2590.

An unverified quote from Martin Luther

I saw this quote at someone else's web site and can't verify that it is an actual quote and pseudopigraphic. But I like it none the less.

“Whenever the devil harasses you, seek the company of men or drink more, or joke and talk nonsense, or do some other merry thing. Sometimes we must drink more, sport, recreate ourselves, and even sin a little to spite the devil, so that we leave him no place for troubling our consciences with trifles. We are conquered if we try too conscientiously not to sin at all. So when the devil says to you: do not drink, answer him: I will drink, and right freely, just because you tell me not to.” ~ Martin Luther

Springfest In the Valley :: April 8-10, 2005

I'm going here next week.