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I have been active in my church, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania, for more than two decades. I sing in the choir and was a long-time member of the Worship Commission by virtue of my being the volunteer Audio-Visual Co-ordinator. I have been a member of the Communications Commission and have been on various committees involved with music and communications. Although I have never been on the Vestry, I once stood for election to it and have been a Sound mixer boardkeen observer of the parish’s governing body. I served a couple of terms on Parish Council, a kind of council of advice for the rector that, unfortunately, has been disbanded. I was on committees that brought our current organist and organ (separately) to St. Paul’s. I even filled in as Communications Secretary once when the previous secretary left her position.

My official work at St. Paul’s has mostly involved music, worship, computers, publications, lighting and sound, and building renovations. (I don’t do building renovations, but I have reported on them.) I may not be an expert in any one area of parish affairs, but I have learned a few lessons that may be of use to others.

I have not always been Episcopalian; I actually grew up Presbyterian. In fact, I was fascinated as a teenager with Presbyterian theology. When I discovered it, however, I was drawn to Episcopal music and liturgy. Most especially, I felt that my spiritual life was enhanced by observing the church calendar and participating in more structured worship. Somewhere along the line, I concluded that it was unlikely that salvation depended on the exact set of Episcopal Church shieldtheological positions to which one subscribed. The non-confessional Episcopal Church seemed a perfect place for me.

My compulsion for understanding that caused me to obsess on predestination, when I was a Presbyterian, was diverted into studying liturgy, when I joined The Episcopal Church. My search for on-line resources brought me an awareness of the current militant traditionalist crusade against moderate and liberal thought within The Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion, a campaign with its counterparts within Presbyterianism (among other denominations) and, indeed, within the body politic of the United States itself.

I now often describe myself as an “Episcopal Church activist.” This has developed, in part, out of finding myself in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, which is at the center of the “orthodox” revolt against Anglican comprehensiveness. My former bishop, Bob Duncan, and my diocese stood against much of what drew me to The Episcopal Church. I am now on the Board of Directors of Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh, having previously served two terms as President. I now find myself in a diocese abandoned by the disgruntled “orthodox,” which provides an opportunity to help rebuild the Diocese of Pittsburgh into a healthier Episcopalian jurisdiction.

What you will find below is a quite 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. Admittedly, however, many entries address current conflicts within The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. Other essays on our church struggles can be found in my blog.

Permit me to end with a navigational note: some items—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, 10/17/2008

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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 Anglican Communion sites and sites containing useful spiritual resources (click here for the same list with no annotations, a useful page to bookmark)

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

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

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)

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)

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 change

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