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I grew up in the Presbyterian Church in New Orleans. New Orleans is a very Catholic city, and I was keenly aware of being in the Protestant minority.

As a teenager, I was fascinated by Presbyterian theology. I attended church regularly, attended vacation Bible school, and went to church camp. I recorded the sermons of our Scottish minister for radio broadcast. I even preached once.

After high school, I became less devout, although I tried to date Presbyterian women. (Well, that came to naught!) I sang in several church choirs, only one of which was Presbyterian.

In the Army, several of my fellow Army bandsmen took me to Episcopal churches from time to time. I liked the music but was somewhat mystified by the 1928 prayer book liturgy. Once I was married, by wife Betty and I occasionally sang together in choirs.

Betty, who grew up Unitarian, was converted by her best friend and her Episcopal priest, after which we attended an inquirers’ class together. By this time, I had concluded that it was unlikely that salvation depended on the exact set of Episcopal Church shieldtheological notions to which one subscribed. My existing positive feelings toward the Episcopal Church were strengthened by my discovery that it was unusually tolerant of theological differences. Betty and our son were baptized together, and Betty and I were later confirmed by the Episcopal Bishop of North Carolina. For many years thereafter, we sang together in Episcopal church choirs.

For more than two decades, my church was St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Besides singing in the choir, I became Audio-Visual Coördinator. I served on the Worship Commission and on various committees.

As I became more involved with the Episcopal Church, I began to seek out church resources on the Internet. Although gratified by much of what I found there, I also learned of the reactionary crusade against moderate and liberal thought within the Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion,  a campaign with its counterparts in other mainstream denominations. I have sometimes described the crusaders as militant traditionists; they called themselves “orthodox.” The movement was closely allied with reactionary (“conservative”) politics in the United States itself. Moreover, I discovered that my own diocese was being undermined by this movement.

In fact, I realized that the head of my own diocese, Bishop of Pittsburgh Robert W. Duncan was a major player in what I viewed as the program to undermine the Episcopal Church I had come to know and love. I became an Episcopal Church activist, defending both my local church and the wider Episcopal Church. I became involved with what became Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh and rose to be its first president. I was instrumental in creating Via Media USA, a group that united similar groups in other threatened dioceses. I also developed the No Anglican Covenant Coalition, which sought to counter reactionary attacks on the multinational Anglican Communion.

 What you will find below is an eclectic collection (a farrago, if you will) of Christian-related and church-related materials—essays, poetry, advice, and resources. I hope this will be interesting to both Episcopalians and non-Episcopalians. Some of it may even be of interest to non-Christians. Some entries address battles in the church wars. Other essays on church battles can be found on my blog. Some items below—the poetry, for example—are in sections of Lionel Deimel’s Farrago other than Church Resources. If you want to return here after visiting such a cross-listed page, click the Back button of your browser. Or click on the Up button at the top of the page, then on the Church Resources button at the left of the page to which that link takes you.

— LED, 3/26/2023

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Entries below are listed oldest first.  Go to bottom

Ultreya Witness—talk from Cursillo reunion about faith and action

Haiku Meditations on the Church Year—short poems about the church year (in Poetry)

Low-cost Lighting Controls—somewhat technical discussion of how I added a wireless remote to our church lighting controls

Some Personal Reflections on Hymns—essay on hymn texts

Construction Update Bulletin Board: A New Model for Parish Communication—article about a useful mechanism for keeping parishioners informed during difficult times

Web Resources for Episcopalians—annotated list of links to Web sites relating to the Anglican Communion and Episcopal Church.

O Lord the Invisible—hymn (in Poetry)

An Easter Vigil Memoir—essay on the service that is the climax of the church year

Agape Kiwi—a dessert recipe (not limited to church use)

Accokeek—poem about a very strange battle in the war for the heart of the Episcopal church (in Poetry)

Accokeek Links—resources related to the dispute between Christ Church, Accokeek, Md., and the Diocese of Washington. The brief filed with the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals by Bishops Iker and Duncan can be found here.

Some Practical Guidelines for Improving Parish Communications—an essay on the difficult topic of parish communications

A Warning to Catholic Bishops—isolating parish property may not be an inspired idea (in Commentary)

The Quecreek Mine Disaster—poem with spiritual overtones concerning the 2002 Pennsylvania mine accident and rescue (in Poetry)

Christian Unity—poem about what is most important for Christians (in Poetry)

Ordination—poem about ordination (in Poetry)

Prayers for Peace—some prayers from the Book of Common Prayer as we face possible war with Iraq

Christian Morality in the White House—why not everyone (or even every Christian) is pleased with President Bush’s brand of morality, 4/3/2003 (in Commentary)

Positions on the Election of V. Gene Robinson—statements by bishops and organizations on ratifying the election of openly gay priest V. Gene Robinson to be the Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire

9/11 Memorial—poem about a church service on that infamous evening (in Poetry)

Open Letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury—letter to Rowan Williams (dated 8/28/2003) concerning the fallout from the confirmation of Gene Robinson (see above)

Martha’s Ordination—another poem about another ordination (in Poetry)

Authorities—hymn (in Poetry)

Glorious Companions Plus One—a poem written as a homework assignment in a church class about noted Anglicans (in Poetry)

Property Constraints—what to do about the property when an Episcopal congregation decides to leave the church

Waiting for the Lambeth Commission Report—a poem anticipating the October 18, 2004, public release of the report of the Lambeth Commission on Communion (in Poetry)

A Collect for Unity—an original collect

Sermon for May 29, 2005—some thoughts on salvation and reading the Bible

Peter—an obituary for a priestly friend (in Poetry)

Canon Mary Changes Her Mind—limerick and explanation of how the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh deals with its parishes (in Poetry)

Two Papers on General Convention 2006—Background and analysis of proposed resolutions for the Episcopal Church to respond to the Windsor Report

Once More, Clearly and Charitably: Deimel and Wells on the Issues before Us—a liberal/conservative dialog about issues facing the Episcopal Church, with Christopher Wells

Is the Episcopal Church About to Surrender?—a last-minute plea to General Convention 2006

What Has the Diocese of Pittsburgh Done This Time?—more surprising moves from the Diocese of Pittsburgh and reaction to it, including my report on the attempt to remove the diocese from Province III

The Church Faces a Foreign Policy Challenge—essay by Christopher Wells and me reflecting on the recent experience of The Episcopal Church’s General Convention in dealing with the Anglican Communion

Robert Duncan Limericks—poems about a schismatic bishop (in Poetry)

No Consents: A Crucial Test for The Episcopal Church—the case for denying consent to the consecration of the Rev. Mark Lawrence as the next Bishop of South Carolina

More Thoughts on Provinces in The Episcopal Church—a critical look at the justification for the Diocese of Pittsburgh’s removing itself from its province in The Episcopal Church

The Annotated Mark Lawrence — commentary on the recent Q & A from the Very Rev. Mark Lawrence offered in support of his being consecrated Bishop of South Carolina, 12/12/2006 (in Commentary)

Bovine Sue—obituary for a church activist (in Poetry)

Responding to the Study Guide—my answers to the questions about the draft Anglican covenant asked by The Episcopal Church

Farewell, Nano; Hello, Lou—limerick on the occasion of the departure of an interim rector (in Poetry)

Schism—commentary on the Pittsburgh schism (in Poetry)

Realign with Me—song of realignment (in Poetry)

The Big Mistake—what’s wrong with the Palm Sunday liturgy

Streamlining Choir Rehearsals—minimizing fumbling with music

Christopher Becomes a Deacon—poem for the ordination of Christopher Wilkins (in Poetry)

Scripture for the Ridley Cambridge Draft—what I hope is a useful tool for evaluating the Ridley Cambridge draft for an Anglican covenant

Reflecting on the Archbishop's Reflection—some thoughts about Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams’ “Communion, Covenant and our Anglican Future”

I Was a Proud Southern Christian—autobiographical poem about how I got to where I am today philosophically (in Poetry)

Poem for Mary—poem for the consecration of Mary Glasspool (in Poetry)

Another Collect—a prayer inspired by the conflict over the Anglican Covenant

“Catholic” and the Book of Common Prayer—why is “catholic” sometimes capitalized and sometimes not?

That They All May Be One—another poem about the nature of Christian unity (in Poetry)

Essays Favoring the Anglican Covenant from The Living Church—Links to interesting pro-Covenant essays from the U.S. magazine The Living Church

“Hawk!” the Herald Angels Sing—A parody of a familiar Christmas carol (in Poetry)

For Gwen—poem for the ordination of Gwen Santiago (in Poetry)

Heavens and Earth, All of Creation—hymn (in poetry)

Holy Eucharist—hymn (in poetry)

Observations on the Parable of the Good Samaritan—the parable seems not to get it quite right

Collect for a Troubled Nation—a prayer inspired by a new president

Prayer for Memorial Day—a prayer acknowledging those who died unnecessarily for their country

“Amen” in the Book of Common Prayer—“amen” is printed in different ways in the prayer book; some should be changed

Welcome to My Church—ads promoting Episcopal Church parishes originally published by Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh

Collects for Various Situations—prayers for Anglican and national situations

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