The Measure of Christ’s Gift

Draughting Theology

Paul is careful, very careful, to make sure the Ephesian Christians know from whence their help has come.  As he lays out before them the various gifts of the Spirit, he is sure to mention that these are not merited or earned, but are given through grace by the measure of Christ’s gift.  It is a somewhat archaic turn of phrase, which the New Living Translation tries to make more understandable by rendering it, “he has given each one of us a special gift according to the generosity of Christ.”

The Church, to her credit, has continued to try to remind Christians, especially those who are called to leadership, that the gifts they will utilize in their ministries are precisely that: gifts.  In the Examination of a soon-to-be-ordained Priest, the Bishop, finishes the prologue with these words, “In all that you do, you are to nourish Christ’s people from the…

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Why you may want to check your beliefs

Ben Irwin

"For centuries, gay people  were thrown out of their families, thrown out of their churches. We were jailed. We had hormones inflicted on us. We went through unbelievable trauma in the 80s and 90s, in which 300,000 young people died. Where was the church?" –Andrew Sullivan

Evangelicals are starting to acknowledge the harm they’ve done to the LGBT community.

For example, at this year’s Q conference in Boston, Gabe Lyons told those gathered that the church ought to repent for how it’s treated gays and lesbians. Then he went a step further, offering a public apology to Andrew Sullivan (in response to the above quote).

Megachurch pastor David Whiting began a recent sermon on homosexuality apologizing for the “hatred, anger, dislike, and disdain” churches have shown to gay people. With visible remorse, he acknowledged that “Christians have gotten a reputation for being homophobic because many Christians are homophobic.”

Reflecting on the Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage, Christianity Today editor Mark Galli called on evangelicals to repent of homophobia, fear, and prejudice.

Atlanta pastor Dewey Smith took heat for a recent sermon in which he compared the dehumanization of gays to the experience of blacks at the height of the slave trade. “We have done what…

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Shout for Joy

The Daily Cup

“For you have made me glad by your acts, O LORD; *
and I shout for joy because of the works of your hands.”

Psalm 92:4

Today is the Feast of William White, Bishop of Pennsylvania, 1836.  The verse above comes from the set of readings appointed for his feast day.

This verse from Psalm 92 can be read in a couple of different ways… First, the joy-filled acclamation of one who firmly believes in the power and righteousness of God.  And I believe that most Christians find it easy to rejoice when things are going great–when God seems to be “on our side,” and in our estimation everything is, “as it should be,” in our lives.

But, what about the times when God seems to be against us–and we all have those times in our lives when things come undone.  Those are most easily identified when the issue…

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The Daily Cup

The term “call” is often used in the church, and even sometimes outside of church, as a suggestion that God is talking directly to us, informing an action or direction in life. People are called to service of all kinds – service to God, to the poor, to country. While I’ve always been taught to walk carefully away from anyone who actually claims out loud to hear the voice of God, I can only believe that God’s “voice” takes many different forms, and it’s good to be always listening.

George Herbert seems to have another kind of “call” in mind though in his poem from 1633. The Call, one of the poems in his collection The Temple, seems to be a calling out to God, rather than a listening for God’s instructions. These are words of invitation, not command. Please come my way, my truth, my life, my…

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Jul 17 – William White

A Great Cloud of Witnesses

Illumination - William White

William White
Bishop of Pennsylvania
17 July 1836

click here for books on or by William White

From the Satucket Lectionary

William WhiteBefore the American Revolution, there were no bishops in the colonies (partly because the British government was reluctant to give the colonies the kind of autonomy that this would have implied, and partly because many of the colonists were violently opposed to their presence). After the Revolution, the establishment of an American episcopate became imperative. Samuel Seabury was the first American to be consecrated, in 1784 (see 14 Nov), and in 1787 William White and Samuel Provoost, having been elected to the bishoprics of Pennsylvania and New York respectively, sailed to England and were consecrated bishops on 14 February by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Archbishop of York, the Bishop of Bath and Wells, and the Bishop of Peterborough.

William White was born in Philadelphia in…

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Jul 19 – Adelaide Teague Case

A Great Cloud of Witnesses

Illumination - Adelaide Teague Case

Adelaide Teague Case
29 July 1948

click here for books on or by Adelaide Teague Case

From the Satucket Lectionary

[Jan. 10, 1887-July 19, 1948] First woman appointed to teach at an Episcopal seminary (Episcopal Theological School, Cambridge, MA). Her interests were Christian education and social reform, and she took part in many educational, social and ecumenical movements including “The Episcopal Pacifist Fellowship.”

— from Holy Women, Holy Men

Dr. Case received her Ph. D. from Columbia and taught Religious Education there for many years before joining ETS later in her career. Her doctoral thesisLiberal Christianity And Religious Education, was published as a book in 1924 and is still in print. Further information may be found in a short biography by Sheryl Kujawa-Holbrook.

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Jul 22 – Saint Mary Magdalene

A Great Cloud of Witnesses

Illumination - Mary Magdalene

Saint Mary Magdalene
First Witness to the Resurrection + Apostle
22 July NT

click here for books on Mary Magdalene

From the Satucket Lectionary

Mary Magdalene, by PeruginoMary Magdalene is mentioned in the Gospels as being among the women of Galilee who followed Jesus and His disciples, and who was present at His Crucifixion and Burial, and who went to the tomb on Easter Sunday to annoint His body. She was the first to see the Risen Lord, and to announce His Resurrection to the apostles. Accordingly, she is referred to in early Christian writings as “the apostle to the apostles.”

Mary Magdalene, Mary of Bethany (sister of Martha and Lazarus), and the unnamed penitent woman who annointed Jesus’s feet (Luke 7:36-48) are sometimes supposed to be the same woman. From this, plus the statement that Jesus had cast seven demons out of her (Luke 8:2), has risen the tradition that she had…

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