Saturday, January 28, 2006


I realize this is a bit late, but I thought I should talk a little about our experience last week in Seattle. As with England, the main purpose of our trip was to look into the emerging church conversation, trying to get a better idea of what the movement is about. Unlike England, this time we were only visiting one Church, Church of the Apostles (COTA) and their Pastor/Abbess, Karen Ward. We had a wonderful time, and I would like to thank Karen and all of the Apostles for their hospitality.

We first became interested in this group through their website, which is fabulous. As we poked around, we realized that this was a group that really understands what it means to be a community. We then discovered the CD, "Ordo," which they put out and we were hooked.

Their weekly worship is fascinating. They have taken the basic Ordo of a mass, and then done some things to make it distinctly contemporary and fitting to their context in Freemont. The service is much less formal than you would find in a traditional Episcopal/Lutheran church, but I think most people from either of these traditions would recognize the basic pattern of worship. Scripture is read and responded to, there is a sermon (followed by interactive stations to engage the message), the community prays for themselves and the world, and then they celebrate the Eucharist.

I am excited to see what the future holds for their ministry!

Friday, January 20, 2006


We just returned from the UK where we had a wonderful 10 days exploring the country and the "fresh expressions" of the church of England. We had the opportunity to meet with many of the big thinkers in Emerging Christianity in the UK. Jonny Baker, Pete Ward, and Ian Adams were all extremely helpful.

Throughout the journey, I was reading a book by D A Carson called "Becoming Conversant with the Emerging Church." This is rather interesting because it comes at the Emerging Church from an outsider's perspective, offering both praise and criticism. My biggest concerns are with the missiological aspect of emerging Christianity. Being "missional" is one of the big objects of the movement, but many of the churches I have come in contact with have not been able to reach the unchurched. Thus there is a lot of transfer growth, but not a whole lot of new believers.

Carson also has some interesting points about the difference between modern and postmodern theology. It sometimes makes me wonder if postmodernity and Christianity are compatible? How much should the Church become "postmodern" and at what points do we need to draw the line.

I'm looking forward to asking more questions when we Visit Karen Ward and Church of the Apostles this weekend. Yes, we really did spend only one day in WI between trips to the UK and Seattle!

Canonical Exams

Ever since the Michaelmas term ended, it seems as though Carrie and I have been running from one thing to the next. I spent the week after Christmas studying for my Canonical Exams (or as Carrie calls them, the "big priest exam") which I then took the following week. I was able to pass in all areas, getting distinction in Liturgy, Pastoral Theology, and History. The only snag was with my sermon which was too much of a blend between teaching and preaching. I will preach another sermon this semester and, God willing, this should resolve the issue!