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More or Less Church

Joanna Depue "DJ/Deacon J" writes original songs and liturgies, does daily Farm office work and records Barbara's eMos on The Geranium Farm. A singer and dog trainer she utilizes healing touch in her private massage practice. PLEASE share YOUR original ideas for worship, special liturgies, prayers, songs, sermons and noteworthy blogs right here.
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Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday Focus: Beyond Belief

John 20: 19 - 31

Thomas wants proof. And who can blame him. Things had been going so well. Just a short while ago Jesus had triumphantly entered Jerusalem. Thomas found himself in the entourage of a super-star. Then suddenly his whole world collapsed. Jesus was arrested and stuck up on a cross. Scared out of their minds, the disciples were on the run. Thomas was certain that he and his friends would be next on the hit list. So he’s hardly in the mood for all this happy talk about Jesus returning from the dead. Unless he gets rock solid evidence that he can see and feel, he’s not going to get swept up in some fantasy. And then the risen Jesus delivers proof beyond all doubt.

Thomas had stated adamantly that: I will not believe. Now he proclaims the risen Christ as: My Lord and my God. So now that Thomas believes and the other disciples believe what does that mean? Do they conclude: Well this has all been very interesting. But we have nets to mend and fish to catch. See you in temple sometime. What was the real impact of the Resurrection on their lives? What is the real impact of the Resurrection on our lives? For an answer we turn to another Thomas, Thomas Merton who tells us: It is not enough to believe in the Resurrection, we must participate in it.

The Resurrection changes the whole ball game. Now we are both the beneficiaries and the legacy of the risen Christ. We are the beneficiaries because now life has new meaning. We are showered with grace. We are cleansed of our sins. We are meant for eternal happiness. That’s because Jesus was not just another gentle holy man who ran afoul of the tough guys and got the chop. Sadly, history is full of those stories. But the risen Jesus is infinitely different. He is God, the Son of the Father, come to earth for our salvation, in total command of both life and death. As his legacy, our lives were never meant to be business as usual, with a religious flourish thrown in at Christmas and Easter.

You may believe in the Universal Theory of Relativity, but unless you are a practicing atomic physicist, that belief has little impact on the way you live your daily life. Not so with belief in the Resurrection. We are the living legacy of the risen Christ. Beyond private, personal belief, our lives are meant to proclaim: He is risen. Christ lives in us. He is risen in us. We are the Body of Christ …the risen Christ.

For us the Resurrection cannot be some abstraction, only peripheral to our real lives. As Christians, the Resurrection gives us meaning and direction. It necessarily shapes our thoughts and actions. Thomas Merton captured this centrality when he wrote that Christianity gives us the power to confidently face the inevitability of suffering and death “… because the Resurrection of Jesus has robbed them of meaning.” In the risen Christ, death is not a destination. It is a passage. Beyond belief in the Resurrection lies actively living and sharing the joy of the Resurrection… both now and in eternity. And that’s as good as life ever gets. Alleluia!  

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Electronic Common Prayer App!

Church Publishing Inc. has announced that they now offer "BCP on the Go!"  Below is a recent email from CPI (

Looking for all of the worship services and devotional content of the BCP along with the full lectionary texts in one app? Look no further than the eCP app!

Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad (except first generation), and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.
eCP offers the following features:
  • An interactive Calendar with complete access to Years A, B, & C of the RCL for Sundays and Holy Days, Daily Office, and Lesser Feasts and Fasts lectionary texts in the NRSV
  • Feast pages include title and color in addition to presenting multiple feasts in order of precedence
  • Most commonly used services from the 1979 BCP, fully hyperlinked to lessons, Collects of the Day, and  Psalms
  • The complete Daily Office with readings and Psalms for each day in both Years 1 and 2
  • Canticles supplemented with all of the alternatives from Enriching Our Worship
  • Psalm options for the Daily Office include both Psalms Appointed and the Thirty Day Psalter
  • Swipe left/right navigation through Services, Psalms, and other indexed material  
  • Bookmarking of content for easy access throughout the app.

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