BLOGFORCE Roundup – Why the Church?

This last week we began a three-part BLOGFORCE challenge about the church.  The challenge was, “What is the reason for the church’s existence?”  Who are we and what do we do?  The next question will be about Anglicanism, and the third about the Episcopal Church.  This week, we are asking about the worldwide church in all it’s diversity, faithfulness, and sometime failure.

Thanks to all those who participated!  Below are the abstracts and the links to the original Blog Posts.

Steve Pankey blogged:

My answer to “Why the Church?” is quite simply, because I think it is impossible to live the life of faith on our own. Saving the famous St. Augustine quote for someone more bold than myself, I’ll say this, the Church is a “wonderful and sacred mystery” all right, but I love her.

Evan Garner blogged:

Why church? Because we can’t help being the body of Christ. We are unavoidably the church—warts and all. But the church is both a human and divine institution, which means the incarnation gives us hope.

David Kendrick blogged:

In a world divided by sin and alienation, and in my own life of loss, hints of resurrection and reconciliation; the Church has been the closest thing to a cure that I have found.

Andrew Amanda Leigh-Bullard blogged:

Beginning with a haiku, as summer isn’t quite over. A bardic librarian demonstrates how the Church lives out its purpose, to proclaim the Gospel, through stories. There is an emphasis on a unity that celebrates all voices. A unity that challenges us as a church to listen, to hear the Gospel proclaimed back to us in the Holy stories of those we meet.

 Linda Mizwicki blogged:

That is why we need church, not to solve our problems, make us better people, teach us values, or give us answers, but to give us a space and a place to live with the mystery.   In the liturgy, I hear it, I feel it, I smell it, I eat it, I drink it, I bask in it, I love it.  I meet others, also imperfect, also beautiful, also beloved children of God, and I learn to love them, too. At church, the mystery of the grace of God in Christ loves me back.

Keith Voets Blogged:

The Church gives us a community in which we can develop our spiritual skills, keep one another accountable, and be reinvigorated and rejuvenated for our work of creating disciples and sharing Christ’s love in the world.  Church keeps us honest, it holds a mirror up to our faces so that we can see ourselves for what we are – beloved creations of God who are broken but who have been redeemed by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Robert Hendrickson Blogged:

The Church exists to proclaim salvation. We can differ on the precise nature of this salvation but we cannot debate that, by Love, Christ has come that all might be free. The Church’s primary function is first and foremost the adoration of that God who loves us. Out of that adoration flows love for that which He loves – our fellow humanity. Before our doctrine came a meal. The first Eucharists were offered in Remembrance before the books of the Bible were chosen and the Creeds written. The Church, existing before humanity realized it, offers the hope of partaking in the more that is of God. So we pray for more. We pray that we may know Christ and make him known.

Tom Lutes blogged:

So you want my TL;DR? Well, the question was “Why the Church? I say that we, the Church, are the community of people answering the call to be the hands and feet of Christ in the world today.

Nurya Parish blogged:

My first call out of seminary was to serve as New Congregation Minister for a church plant. I still believe this call was a miracle and evidence of God’s providence: in those days I was a Unitarian Universalist Christian – this was the only church available to me. Even though the church closed five years ago, a recent reunion and the gift of one of the church’s last pieces of property reminded me powerfully of the reason for the church’s existence. The church is the only institution whose sole purpose is to proclaim the good news of God’s reign.

David Simmons blogged:

The answer is easy, but the question is hard.  We are called to proclaim the Gospel to the ends of the earth, but why?  What is it the Good News is supposed to change?  The church is intended to be the community that enshrines the divine cycle of non-violence against the human cycle of violence.  We often fail spectacularly, and sometimes become complicit in the cycle of violence itself.  But ultimately, When we get it right, we stand against violence in our culture and in our own hearts, whether that is to others or to ourselves.

The Rev. David Simmons, BLOGFORCE Wing Commander


 Continue the Conversation on Twitter!

tweetchatActs8 will be hosting a one-hour tweetchat on the evening of this roundup (8/25) at 9PM EDT/6PM PDT.  Use the hashtag #acts8tc.



The editorial board of Acts8 reserves the right to decline submissions that are deemed offensive or do not uphold the Guiding Principles.

BLOGFORCE ASSEMBLE! Why the Church?

As the summer nears it’s sad ending, the BLOGFORCE turns to more serious matters.  There’s a lot of talk of restructuring and revisioning in the church.  Conversations are happening in many places at many levels.  But why should the church survive?  Any thought of “re” anything supposes something good that must be preserved.  What is that?

Today we begin a three-part BLOGFORCE challenge about the church.  This week, the challenge is, “What is the reason for the church’s existence?”  Who are we and what do we do?  Just to make this focussed, we are talking about the “small c” catholic church here.  The next question will be about Anglicanism, and the third about the Episcopal Church.  This week, we are asking about the worldwide church in all it’s diversity, faithfulness, and sometime failure.

The Rev. David Simmons, ObJN
Acts8 BLOGFORCE Wing Commander


How do I participate in the Blogforce?

Simply blog your answer on your own site, then:

1. Paste the code you can find here at the bottom of your post – note that it is code so you will probably need to switch to HTML view in your blog editor. It should look like this on your blog when posted or previewed:

2. Send the permanent link and a 120 word or less abstract to blogforce@acts8moment.org.  This should be done by no later than 5PM Central Time on Sunday.  On Monday, the abstracts will be re-posted with links.  At that point, the provided code will point to the round-up page instead of here.

The editorial board of Acts8 reserves the right to decline submissions that are deemed offensive or do not uphold the Guiding Principles.


tweetchatLook during the week for more information on our next Acts8 tweetchat, which is scheduled for August 25th at 9PM EDT using #acts8tc

BLOGFORCE Roundup – The Haiku

As the second part of the Acts8 BLOGFORCE summer fun, we challenged readers to write in with their Episcopal Haiku.    To recap – a little about Haiku:

From Wikipedia:

Haiku (俳句 haikai verse?)About this sound listen  (no separate plural form) is a very short form of Japanese poetry typically characterised by three qualities:

  • The essence of haiku is “cutting” (kiru).[1] This is often represented by the juxtaposition of two images or ideas and a kireji(“cutting word”) between them,[2] a kind of verbal punctuation mark which signals the moment of separation and colors the manner in which the juxtaposed elements are related.
  • Traditional haiku consist of 17 on (also known as morae), in three phrases of 5, 7 and 5 on respectively.[3]
  • kigo (seasonal reference), usually drawn from a saijiki, an extensive but defined list of such words.

And now on with the EpisKu:

Rodger Patience Blogged:

Snow Lantern (See photo on site)

Yukimi-gata
ordinarily holds snow;
these green days build peace.

John  Talbert e-mailed:

come through the red door
break bread and be forgiven
go forth, Christ in you

Andrew Amanda Leigh-Bullard Blogged several haiku, of which one is:

Worship

Candles and incense
Silence lingers after chant
Share a holy space

Rosalind Hughes blogged:

Vespers

Sunset on steeple.
Shadows lengthen; silence falls
Still, fire burns inside

Jonathan Sams blogged several haiku, of which one is:

Altar Guild forgot
Early Eucharist today:
Extreme repentance.

Patricia Marks emailed two haiku:

Newcomer amazed–
coffee-hour means cookies.
What a sweet welcome!

Talkative toddler
paraphrases the sermon.
At least he heard it.

Betsy Hellman wrote on Facebook:

On Haiku Wednesday
Opportunity abounds
To express your faith

Neil Alan Willard wrote on Facebook:

What makes sense of things:
scripture, tradition, reason,
intertwined with love.

Adam Trambley blogged several haiku, of which one is:

One thing is needed
for ECW and free lunches:
Refrigerators.

Julian Long wrote on Facebook:

I know I left you
(Or perhaps the Church left me)
But I still love you

Nurya Love Parish tweeted:

So much to offer
Here & now; this time, this place
ancient paths made new.

Grey Maggiano tweeted:

Joe is gullible.
Peter is an idiot.
God loves you, too.

Holli Powell tweeted:

The body of Christ
the bread placed between my palms
broken, just like me.

Hanna Proctor tweeted:

Cupped palms before me–
“This is Christ’s Blood, shed for you.”
My dead heart now beats.

Walking on water,
“Truly, you’re the Son of God”
Jesus saves Peter.

Brendan O’Sullivan Hale blogged several haiku, of which one is:

A few drops of water
Trickling across my forehead.
Now baptized, I wept.

he also tweeted:

Church with no AC
Mid-morning sun bakes the bricks
Hot Mass on Sunday.

Several people responded to a challenge from the Collect Call to make the collect for Proper 14 a haiku.

Hannah Proctor tweeted:

We think and we do
Live according to God’s will
Only through Jesus.

Andrew Amanda Leigh-Bullard tweeted:

Living by your will
Spirit that leads us to right
Grant to us O Lord

B Snyder tweeted:

in You we live and
move and have our being; guide
us into Your truth.

Tom Lutes tweeted:

Ground of All Being
Continue to think of us
And we live by you

Jennifer Dinzeo tweeted:

We need you, Oh, Lord
May your Spirit guide our feet
To live Jesus’ way


 Continue the Conversation on Twitter!

tweetchatActs8 will be hosting a one-hour tweetchat moderated by The Megan Castellan (@revlucymeg) on the evening of this roundup (8/11) at 9PM EDT/6PM PDT.  Use the hashtag #acts8tc.


Stay tuned for (possibly) more weighty BLOGFORCE challenges!

The editorial board of Acts8 reserves the right to decline submissions that are deemed offensive or do not uphold the Guiding Principles.

BLOGFORCE Summer Fun: The Haiku

Summer Fun continues with the Acts8 BLOGFORCE!  We’re doing some lighter subjects this summer, which started with the Grumpy Episcopal Cat meme last month.

This week’s challenge: Write a haiku about the Episcopal Church.

To quote Wikipedia:

Haiku (俳句 haikai verse?)About this sound listen  (no separate plural form) is a very short form of Japanese poetry typically characterised by three qualities:

  • The essence of haiku is “cutting” (kiru).[1] This is often represented by the juxtaposition of two images or ideas and a kireji(“cutting word”) between them,[2] a kind of verbal punctuation mark which signals the moment of separation and colors the manner in which the juxtaposed elements are related.
  • Traditional haiku consist of 17 on (also known as morae), in three phrases of 5, 7 and 5 on respectively.[3]
  • kigo (seasonal reference), usually drawn from a saijiki, an extensive but defined list of such words.

We’re not gonna insist on a particularly deep kiru, or that you use a kigo, but we do insist on a 5-7-5 pattern, whether your poem is sublime or doggerel.  Like this:

Via Media,
It sometimes gets so messy.
Ah, the liturgy.

The Rev. David Simmons, ObJN
Acts8 BLOGFORCE Wing Commander


How do I participate in the Blogforce?

You can send your haiku to blogforce@acts8moment.org and it will be posted to our roundup next Monday, or post it in the comments.  If you want to put it on your own blog:

1. Paste the code you can find here at the bottom of your post – note that it is code so you will probably need to switch to HTML view in your blog editor. It should look like this on your blog when posted or previewed:

2. Send the permanent link and the haiku to blogforce@acts8moment.org.  This should be done by no later than 5PM Central Time on Sunday.  On Monday, the haiku will be re-posted with links.  At that point, the provided code will point to the round-up page instead of here.

The editorial board of Acts8 reserves the right to decline submissions that are deemed offensive or do not uphold the Guiding Principles.


tweetchatLook during the week for more information on our next Acts8 tweetchat, which is scheduled for August 11th at 9PM EDT using #acts8tc

BLOGFORCE Roundup – Top Episcopal Grumpy Cat Captions

This last week, the BLOGFORCE was asked to explore the intersection between humor and faith by taking on the weighty task of captioning Grumpy Episcopal Cat.  Without further ado, here are the top five vote getters:

 

52232106

52219394

52225393

52215773

52213124

Continue the Conversation on Twitter!

tweetchatActs8 will be hosting a one-hour tweetchat on faith and humor moderated by Brendan O’Sullivan-Hale (@indybrendan) on the evening of this roundup (7/14) at 9PM EDT/6PM PDT.  Use the hashtag #acts8tc.


Stay tuned for (possibly) more weighty BLOGFORCE challenges!

The editorial board of Acts8 reserves the right to decline submissions that are deemed offensive or do not uphold the Guiding Principles.

Upcoming Acts8 tweetchat monday at 9 EDT!

tweetcatThis coming Monday, July 14th, Acts8 will host it’s second tweetchat!  Gather around your computer at 9pm Eastern/8pm Central for a facilitated discussion.  The subject, following on the BLOGFORCE Meme challenge, will be humor in the church. The hashtag to follow along is #acts8tc

Brendan O’Sullivan-Hale (@IndyBrendan), world-famous co-host of The Collect Call and renowned owner of Episcopal cats will be hosting.

The conversation will last about an hour, and it’ll be a great chance to meet other folks, and talk about this conversation.

Can’t wait to see you there!

tweetchat

BLOGFORCE ASSEMBLE! – The Meme

It’s now time for the BLOGFORCE to do something a little more serious – combine the literary power of LOLCats with the beauty of the National Cathedral. The venerable Grumpy Orthodox Cat meme has been around for a while, so this week we present “Grumpy Episcopal Cat.”   52078215 The Rev. David Simmons, ObJN Acts8 BLOGFORCE Wing Commander


How do I participate in the Meme?

  1. Go to Caption Image for Grumpy Episcopal Cat on memegenerator.net.
  2. Enter the top and bottom text, click on the little british flag for English and click “Generate”
  3. You can go to the main Grumpy Episcopal Cat page on Memegenerator.net and vote on your favorites.
  4. Share your meme submission far and wide.
  5. If you are one of the cat-loving co-hosts of The Collect Call, please don’t spam the meme.
  6. On Monday morning, the top 5 vote-getters will be posted here at Acts 8.  The meme generator will remain active.

BlogforceVertical

The editorial board of Acts8 reserves the right to decline submissions that are deemed offensive or do not uphold the Guiding Principles.

 


tweetchatLook during the week for more information on our next Acts8 tweetchat, which is scheduled for July 14th at 9PM EDT using #acts8tc

BLOGFORCE Monday Roundup: The Holy Spirit

Pentecost-of-many-tonguesThis last week, the BLOGFORCE challenge was: “Tell us the story from your time in the Episcopal Church that you have felt the Holy Spirit at work.”

Below are the abstracts of the blogged responses with links to the full posts.

Steve Pankey wrote in The Holy Spirit at Work:

“It’s late. It’s a Wednesday in Lent. He won’t answer.” I tried to make excuses, but I knew deep down that this was not the way she would have normally reacted. She, like me, had planned to return to PA, to be near home, to be close to family, so her enthusiasm about the possibility of moving to within 10 miles of the Gulf of Mexico was the first evidence of the Holy Spirit at work. Well, the first sign for me at least. She had received her first sign on the way home from work that afternoon, when the radio in her car malfunctioned and the only thing she could listen to was one song on the CD player. The artist? Lynyrd Skynyrd. The song? Sweet Home Alabama.

David Simmons wrote in The Scrum:

During the ordination of a priest, the candidate kneels before the bishop and the congregation sings the Veni Sancte Spiritus as the other presbyters present move forward to surround the candidate. The power is palpable. The change apparent. It isn’t magic. It’s not about the words or the manual acts. It’s not even about the Bishop. It is the gathered community of Christ, lay and ordained, that the Holy Spirit comes to, not the Episcopal magus. We are made in the image of God – the image of the complexity of the Trinity – but we can’t live into the fullness of that image. Perhaps that is the source of our human brokenness. God simply will not leave us comfortless, despite our efforts to the contrary.

Robyn Barnes wrote in Unschedulable Spirit:

We had volunteered to serve our Church on a national level; we had arrived for meetings. We came with agendas and hopes and goals. Committed to fixing, improving, changing our Church. More important than any of that, to all of us whether attending that Eucharist or worshipping at home, is the faith that keeps drawing us together.

Megan Castellan wrote in I’m so sorry for your loss, Emily Dickinson:

Sometimes the Holy Spirit comes in the middle of lovely, elaborate Sunday morning liturgies. Sometimes the Holy Spirit comes when you are tired, disgruntled, and looking for a dead bird in the middle of the night.
This is the latter.

Adam Trambley wrote in How we got a Coffee House:

The Holy Spirit works in unexpected ways.  Recently the Holy Spirit worked through lounge furniture, hospital music making, and a closing church to bring people together for a coffee house at St. John’s Church in Sharon, PA.

Brendan O’Sullivan Hale writes in Married.  Or Not.:

Should the church decide in 2015 or 2018 that it’s ready to declare marriage between members of the same sex a sacrament – great. But this “official” sacrament of marriage is one that I will never receive, because it is already mine. Last October Frank and I touched Jesus’s cloak and claimed our blessing. There’s nothing second rate about the sacrament we received – even if for the moment the Spirit demands we officially call it something different.

Continue the Conversation on Twitter!

Acts8 will be hosting a one-hour tweetchat on this subject moderated by Megan Castellan (@revlucymeg) on the evening of this roundup.  The first one will be tonight (6/16) at 9PM EDT/6PM PDT.  Use the hashtag #acts8tc.


Stay tuned for further BLOGFORCE challenges!

The editorial board of Acts8 reserves the right to decline submissions that are deemed offensive or do not uphold the Guiding Principles.

BLOGFORCE: The Holy Spirit in the Episcopal Church

Pentecost-of-many-tonguesWe’re now in the season of Pentecost, when we celebrate the work of the Holy Spirit in the church.  Episcopalians are somewhat suspicious of the Holy Spirit when found outside of a Eucharistic Prayer, because it seems so messy and out of order (For more about this, see last week’s episode of The Collect Call).

But the Holy Spirit is how Jesus is known to us post-ascension.  And we’re willing to bet that many of you have had experiences of the Holy Spirit at work inside the Episcopal Church.

This week, the BLOGFORCE challenge is: “Tell us the story
from your time in the Episcopal Church that you have felt the Holy Spirit
at work.”

The Rev. David Simmons, ObJN
Acts8 BLOGFORCE Wing Commander


How do I participate in the Blogforce?

Simply blog your answer on your own site, then:

1. Paste the code you can find here at the bottom of your post – note that it is code so you will probably need to switch to HTML view in your blog editor. It should look like this on your blog when posted or previewed:

2. Send the permanent link and a 120 word or less abstract to blogforce@acts8moment.org.  This should be done by no later than 5PM Central Time on Sunday.  On Monday, the abstracts will be re-posted with links.  At that point, the provided code will point to the round-up page instead of here.

The editorial board of Acts8 reserves the right to decline submissions that are deemed offensive or do not uphold the Guiding Principles.