Monday, November 10, 2003
Church, Church & More Church
Ethan was sick this weekend and Hollie was up with him last night, so she stayed home this morning and I decided to visit Messiah Lutheran (ELCA), just a stone's throw from our apartment. I would have been late for Grace or Auburn's services, but I arrived at Messiah a few minutes early. The pastor, Dale Farley, welcomed me as I walked in.
I sat down and then stood up to enter the courts of the Lord with the 45 or so saints at Messiah. What a delightful service. I have no desire to become Lutheran, but I love Lutheran liturgy, and every once in a while I need to worship at a Lutheran church. It can be so refreshing. Liturgical, celebratory, musical, familial - I certainly understand why the BH Triumvirate (Jordan, Meyers, and Leithart) are always trying to work stuff into the liturgy from their Lutheran upbringings. (As an aside, the artwork on the front of Messiah's program was in the exact style of the artwork on RLP's blog; I wonder if it was by the same artist?)
I had found and appreciated Pastor Dale Farley's article on local ecumenism, and enjoyed talking with him after the service. He knew about Auburn Avenue, jokingly said he wondered if those people's cars even turned left, and later (interestingly) added that he wasn't surprised that a guy from Auburn Avenue would like Braaten & Jenson.
Pastor Farley is also currently leading St Thomas Episcopal's 8am service since St Thomas' former rector, Walter Baer, recently moved to a church in New Orleans and since the two churches have (not surprisingly) become close. (Fr Baer wasn't really known for conservatism, though, so the Diocese of Louisiana is probably a happier fit than the Diocese of Western Louisiana.)
[Speaking of which...in his recent diocesan convention address, Bishop MacPherson said that he "will not lead this diocese out of the Anglican Communion." He went on to say that "the Episcopal Church (USA) may be moving in what some call a more 'progressive' way, but we are not going in that direction. We will follow the Archbishop of Canterbury and historic Anglicanism." I found it interesting to note that he did not say he won't lead the diocese out of the ECUSA.]
Tonight was Auburn Avenue's Second Sunday evening service (which consists of a time of congregational prayer, a couple Psalms, a church history lecture, and a bring-your-own meal together, followed by a few very familiar hymns), and tonight Pastor Steve lectured on Gerbert - no, not the puppet - the pope during the years 999-1003, aka Pope Sylvester II. Auburn Avenue Second Sunday is always a good time.
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