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{ Monthly Archives } January 2009

Survey Says . . .

I’ve seen now a number of references to a study conducted by LifeWays Research claiming that the “unchurched prefer cathedrals to contemporary church designs” (as the LifeWays report/press release put it), or that unchurched people prefer “traditional” churches to “contemporary” ones.  Often, this study is used as confirmation by those who prefer “traditional” church architecture [...]

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Epiphany Baptisms

The New York Times had an interesting article recently, describing the Russian Orthodox practice of “Epiphany Baptisms”, which apparently involves cutting a cross-shaped hole in the ice on a river or lake, and then taking a plunge in: “Monday was Russian Orthodox Epiphany, and roughly 30,000 Muscovites lined up to dunk themselves in icy rivers [...]

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Liturgy for church committee meetings

If liturgy is public work, and vestry and committee meetings are where some of the work of the church gets done, then why do we run our church meetings using more of the rituals of commerce and government than rituals of the church? Charles Olsen of the Alban Institute offers some suggestions for Ways to [...]

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Talitha cumi

One of my favorite things about the nave at my church is the “Talitha Cumi” window. Mark’s story of Jesus’ raising a twelve-year-old girl from death is one of my favorite Gospel stories. And this is a wonderful image, presented in deep, rich colors: Jesus stands over the little girl, holding her hand, while her [...]

When nobody shows

If you hold a liturgy and nobody comes, is it a failure? My parish has held a Christmas morning service for years. Sometimes one person came; sometimes nobody. This year, as the new Assistant on staff, I offered to take charge of Christmas Day and do something different: a 4pm festal Evening Prayer service, followed [...]

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