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Location: Liverpool, NY

"In my house, I'm a big deal. That's all that matters."


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Friday, March 30, 2012

Churches and Numbers

I read this recently and laughed.  This truly is how many pastors and evangelists play fast and loose with attendance numbers. Of course, I never do.
VirtueOnline - News - Viewpoints - PB Sees Same-Sex Marriage as 'Done Deal*Parishes Lose Properties*More Lawsuits: During a Sunday morning service at Trinity Church Wall Street last summer, a longtime parishioner looked around during the reading of the Gospel and counted the worshippers. By her tally, there were 49 people in the pews of the historic lower Manhattan church - a meager turnout for the storied, 314-year-old parish.

She was puzzled, then, when the next week's church bulletin reported attendance at 113. Trinity's rector, the Rev. James Cooper, had apparently decided that tourists who wander in and out of the chapel should be counted as well, she was told.
It's funny these days ... after having worked for an evangelist I can't walk in a gathering anywhere without counting how many people were there.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Province of St Flannan

I"m not really sure if the Province of St Flannan is virtual or real, but what I do know is they have some smartphone apps available and are simple and good for you soul.  They have apps to observe the daily office, for icons, and the one that I'm enjoying is an app to do the Ignatian Examen.

More and more I find the Examan to be an ancient spiritual discipline for charismatics and Blackaby-ites who are looking to be attentive to the Holy Spirit and observe where God is already at work.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Healing Service at St. Andrew's Anglican Church in Syracuse & Bishop Doc Loomis Visits

Welcome to St. Andrew's Anglican Church, Syracuse, NY

St. Andrew's has planning a healing service for the past several weeks.  We have sensed God's leading to pray for the sick and oppressed.  But in a God-ordained moment, earlier this week, the Right Rev'd. Doc Loomis called to say he could come visit this weekend.  So he is going to join in praying.  Here's the announcement from our site:

Healing Services, March 11 & Welcome Bishop Doc Loomis

Our regular Sunday morning services at 8 & 10:30 am will focus on healing prayer. There will be time in the service set aside for praying for anyone who would like healing prayer for mind, body and spirit. We will also be praying for healing and strengthening of marriages. It will be done in a discrete manner to protect everyone's privacy. All are welcome but we strongly encourage you to come for prayer if you are battling addiction, chronic pain, depression & anxiety, seemingly hopeless situations, and, any and all kinds of illnesses. We love you and want to pray with and for you. Please invite your friends and loved ones who need healing and encouragement.
A late but welcome addition to our plans ... Bishop Doc Loomis of the AMIA will be join us this weekend and ministering as part of our healing prayer team. He will stay for family dinner and give an update on the the latest developments within the AMIA.

And there will be lunch after the second service.  It's going to be a good day.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Elderly in the Church

Elderly in church doesn't mean what it used to.

I pastor a small congregation that has an average Sunday attendance of 60-65. We have 4 90+ year olds with the oldest being 97. She recently beat pneumonia. For the second time in two years.

For years we have been hearing about how the church needs to ready itself for the boomer generation to begin to move into retirement years. I've read numerous articles about how massive leadership vacancies will need to be filled, how new ministries will need to be created for this niche audience, etc.

But most of that has been written with a paradigm in mind that they'll grow old and retired in their 60's and 70's. The article linked below talks about them, and now my generation of Xer's, working into our 80's. Lord have mercy. Recently we have seen news articles also that talk about the very real potential of people alive today living to 150.

The article below also notes the problem of living too long: being unable to pay for it. Certainly the church will need to be the prophetic voice against those who will want to selectively eliminate the elderly because they cost too much, or can't pay for themselves, or have used up enough resources, etc. But the church will also need to be ready to teach and embody Biblical principles of care for the impoverished (even if they were once the wealthy), loving thy neighbor, sacrificial giving and living, and respecting the dignity of life from conception to unfathomably aged.

How Americans Are Planning for Their Biggest Financial Challenge — Living Too Long | Credit.com News Advice

The Land of the Ultra Rev

For those who are new to the Land of the Ultra Rev, here is a little about me.

I've been married to my fantastic wife for 20+ years. We have 5 brilliant, beautiful, wonderful kids that we home school who can't keep their rooms clean. I love being a husband and dad, and going to Little League and I'm learning to enjoy watching soccer.  We live in Liverpool, NY.

I am the Rector of St. Andrew's Anglican Church in Syracuse, NY, having been ordained by Bishop Doc Loomis of the Anglican Mission in America.  We are a multi-generation congregation that enjoys the traditional prayer book Anglican liturgy with both contemporary and traditional music.

St. Andrew's

I also run my own web design and marketing firm, StevenEvansOnline.com. I love working on web sites for entrepreneurs, non-profits and businesses based in upstate New York but work internationally also.  As part of my business model I run ads from a variety of companies, especially Amazon.com.

I am also ordained in the Evangelical Covenant Church. I pastored First Covenant Church in Willoughby Hills, OH; served as an associate pastor Episcopal Church in Watertown, NY; and worked as a Festival Director for the Steve Wingfield Evanegelistic Association.

This blog consists of my various ramblings about theology, culture, my family & life and sometimes wine. Whilst I am mostly evangelical in theology, evangelical culture drives me crazy sometimes and so I often like to poke fun at it. I am extremely concerned about the state of the church in the United States. I like to blog about God at work in my life. I have offended people on occasion and have been known to delete or change entries when the offended asks.

I'm passionate about marriage and family ministries, evangelism, giving away the Bible, church planting, upstate New York State, the Evangelical Covenant Church, the Anglican Communion, good coffee, fantasy baseball and football, my friends and family. During good weather, you can frequently find me on my bike in Onondaga Lake Park or on the Erie Canal Towpath.

On the side bars of this blog you'll find various ministries I'm passionate about, some blogger friends, a list of the places I've visited the past few years, links to self help sites, as my life generally needs a lot of help. You'll also see some of my favorite artwork by William Bouguereau.

Why "theultrarev"?

Here's the deal ... In the Anglican Church, they have various titles for varying callings within the church.

If you are a Deacon, you are called "Deacon ..." or "The Rev. ..."
If you are an Archdeacon, you are called "The Venerable ..."
If you are a Priest you are called "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 the Presiding Bishop, you are "The Most Rev." and you can also be called a "Primate" or "Archbishop"

I just didn't want to be out done. When I was a pastor in Ohio I used to irreverently refer to myself as The Most Rev. Then one kind man in my church, whom I love and miss dearly, Ed Palmer, started sending me mail addressed to "The Ultra Rev. ..." and it stuck.

So now I am the Bishop of the diocese of My Desk, which is a relatively small diocese where I have a great deal of difficulty managing one cantankerous clergyman.

I am considering a promotion to The Supreme Rev.

Thanks for visiting The Land of the Ultra Rev. Comments are encouraged.

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