Saturday, December 27, 2014

Liturgical Schizophrenia

In my area (and I suspect in many areas of the country) people are working longer hours, which makes attending midweek services and Bible studies difficult. The traffic in my area around DC compounds the problem. So the question is: what to do with those festivals of the church year that fall during the week? If they are important festivals I want my people to commemorate, is it better to observe them on the nearest Sunday or stick to my liturgical guns and keep them on a weeknight?

Hi, my name is Pastor Peasant, and I am a "liturgical schizophrenic."

What I mean is that I do both. Some festivals (like Epiphany) I observe on the nearest Sunday, but some (like Ascension) I thus far have resisted moving and continue to celebrate on either Wednesday or Thursday night. As I think about it, I have no set of criteria I use to determine this - just some I do and some I don't. I know churches and pastors of many denominations wrestle with this also. So if you are reading this, what do you think? What should be done? And why? What criteria should be used?

I have spoken to some pastors who will stick to their guns - no. matter. what. A festival is a festival that is to be celebrated on. that. day. and will be - even if no one comes. I am sympathetic to them, but also ask why? Yes, we are teaching our people the importance of the church year and liturgical celebrations and the proper rhythm of Sundays and festivals, but if a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it . . .

I am also sympathetic to those who observe festivals on the nearest Sundays. The people are then there to celebrations these, though it does displace the Sunday, which robs the people of those part of the church year.

So what to do? I don't have a good answer and will probably continue in my schizophrenic state. But it is on my mind . . .

Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Nativity of Our Lord

A blessed Christmas to you all!

What Does Pastor Do on Christmas Eve?

Well . . . paint the bathroom, of course! Really, I did. Since we moved into our house last year (which needed some work and painting) we've managed to paint and fix many things - all except the master bath. It was painted a really bad orange color and had gaudy and ugly fixtures. So, I've been trying to get it done for Christmas - kind of a gift for my wife. We had the shower re-done, finally got someone to install the new shower door (long story), and now I've been trying to replace the vanity, mirror, light, fixtures, and repair and paint the walls.

Been making slow progress, working around everything else that needs to get done this season. But yesterday, I really wanted to get the new vanity installed and working. So had to finish painting where it goes. Done. But then when I went to install it, the drain on the new sink does not match up with the drain coming out of the wall! UGH! I really don't know why - we bought a very similar vanity and sink combo (shape and size-wise) to the one we're replacing, but the drain's far enough off that I couldn't get it done yesterday. :-(  So I need to wait until tomorrow to go to Home Depot and see if I can get what I need to fix it.

But - good news! - larger than expected attendance at church last night! As I've written here before, my congregation gets smaller at Christmas, not larger. In DC, everyone is from somewhere else, so many of my congregants travel over the holidays. Add to that some nasty illnesses going around, and my expectations were pretty low. But I was wrong! :-)  Still not as high as a usual Sunday, but nice to have as many as we did. Now looking forward to the Divine Service this morning . . . but first, to cook breakfast for my family! Started a new tradition last year of doing this - cooking a really big breakfast for everyone.

So a merry and blessed Christmas to you all!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Stupid Quote of the Day

From the Associated Press:
The Shahada translates as "There is no god but God and Muhammad is his messenger." It is considered the first of Islam's five pillars of faith, and is similar to the Lord's Prayer in Christianity.
First, get the translation right. "No god but God" - really?
Second, similar to the Lord's Prayer? You're kidding me, right?


Sunday, December 14, 2014

What Happens at Pastor's . . .

What happens at your pastor's open house? You never know . . .  Here are pictures of one of my confirmands:



Symphony Selfie

Here is a picture of the symphony my daughter plays in - they took a group selfie after their concert a week or so ago.  :-)