Wednesday, October 17, 2012

This Preacher Needs Help

If you have not come across this some other way, these are brief video reflections I post on the weeks I am preaching about some of the challenges of the upcoming Sunday's scripture readings.  Feel free to subscribe on YouTube or find them on the Cathedral website or Facebook page.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Angels, Animals, and Saints (and Public Liturgy)

There is just over a month between the feast of Michael and All Angels (Michaelmas) on September 29 and All Saints Day.  Early on in that month comes St. Francis Day (October 4), with the Blessing of Animals in many places.  I have taken to thinking of these weeks as the time of Angels, Animals, and Saints, lifting our vision and imagination to a wide and deep view of creation and beyond, blazing spiritually like the fall foliage in this part of the world.  It begins our movement toward the end of the liturgical and then calendar year.

The Blessing of Animals is another of the ways churches "take it to the streets", not unlike Ashes to Go.  It always generates interest and enthusiasm beyond the regular church going crowd and, in a small city like Erie, usually brings the news media.  I wonder if it isn't another of those signs of the resurrection in the ruins of Christendom?  For this event, the sheer joy of God's creation, bigger than our thoughts and words, looms larger than the troubles of the day.  Affection abounds and wildness gets a foothold in our (reasonably) ordered ways.  Faith, hope, and love are evident all around.  Whatever the challenges to what is happening in our churches in these times, the Blessing of Animals is an example of vitality on the margins where church and culture meet.