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swag with a mission

I was musing today about a variety of things -- the Anglican Communion, ecumenism, interfaith possibilities -- and found myself thinking once more that the most promising route forward is often working together around a shared sense of mission. And I thought to myself, "I wish I could get a t-shirt with the Anglican Communion's Five Marks of Mission":

  • To proclaim the Good News of God's reign
  • To teach, baptize, and nurture new believers
  • To respond to human need by loving service
  • To seek to transform unjust structures of society
  • To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth

And so I designed one. There are a variety of men's and women's t-shirts, sweatshirts, and tote bags with this site's icon of the Trinity with Blues Brothers-style hats and sunglasses and "We're on a mission from God" on the front:

Sarahlaughedmissionshirtfront

... and with the Five Marks of Mission on the back:

Sarahlaughedmissionshirtback

If you'd like clothing or a tote bag with this design, pop by the new SarahLaughed.net Café Press store. I have a number of other "I wish I had a t-shirt with this" ideas and don't want too bewildering an array of choices at the store, so I plan to rotate periodically which design is available. If you like this one, please do pounce on it! For each purchase, $2.00 goes to support SarahLaughed.net.

June 23, 2007 in Administrivia, Churchiness, Support This Site | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

what he said.

About the Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Olympia who claims to be both Christian and Muslim, I'll point to AKMA's post on the subject and say that I think he's spot on. I understand that it's not unusual for people to feel a need at some point or points on their spiritual journeys to explore other traditions. That's often healthy. I explored converting to Judaism at as a young adult, long before I started the ordination process. And while it's not hard to tell from my lectionary blog (and especially my entries on Pharisees) that I continue to respect the Jewish faith profoundly and continue to underscore points of commonality between Christianity and Judaism, I chose not to convert to Judaism specifically because it's not possible to convert to Judaism and still be Christian, and in the end, I knew that I was and would always be a Christian -- grafted on to Israel, according to my tradition, but not a Jew.

I don't share Bishop Warner's view that an Episcopal priest claiming to be Muslim and Christian offers "interfaith possibilities" that are "exciting." Real dialogue and real respect involve acknowledgment of real differences. I know far more of Christian tradition than I do about Islam, but even I know that there are fundamental differences that mean one cannot be both Christian and Muslim as well as many points of common ground that mean that Christians and Muslims can live in peace, learn a great deal from one another, and work together around common goals. My sense is that Christians best show respect for Islam and for Muslims not be pretending that our religions are really the same or that they are entirely compatible, but rather by listening deeply to Muslims and by working with Muslims to show that living in harmony does not mean singing in unison.

I don't condemn the Rev. Redding for wanting to explore points of connection between Christianity and Islam. Nor do I condemn her for converting to Islam. If she believed that Islam is right about Jesus' being a prophet and no than that, about Muhammad being God's prophet, and that Islam is the best path to God, it is more honest for her to convert to Islam than to continue mouthing things she no longer believes. But I am surprised, to say the least, that she felt the need to conduct her explorations and discernment under the glare of the media. I want to say to our Jerry Springer culture that it is possible to have a thought without issuing a press release about it!

And at the same time, I hope that the Rev. Redding is treated graciously. She's obviously wrestling with some very big questions, and she won't be helped in that process by people yelling at her. I hope she'll take some time off from work and away from the spotlight she's attracted to meet with her spiritual director, her imam, her bishop, and her friends, and also for extensive quiet prayer, study, and reflection over a substantial period of time. Whatever comes of her discernment, it will be conducted most fruitfully in peace, and I hope she finds the salaam she is seeking.

June 21, 2007 in Churchiness, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

U2charist sermon from Saturday

A number of folks have expressed interest in a copy of my sermon for the U2charist held this past Saturday sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan, Journey of Faith Church, and Christ Church in Dearborn, Michigan. I'll probably blog on it later this week -- it was a wonderful, amazing experience, thanks to the hard work of those who prepared it and the good hearts of those who participated -- but I've already posted my sermon from the service here.

(And aside from this most recent sermon, my sermons page is rather out of date; I've got it on my to-do list for this week to upload more of my recent sermons.)

June 18, 2007 in Churchiness, ONE campaign/Millennium Development Goals (MGDs), U2charist, Where's Dylan? | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

one sermon down, one to go

I've finished the sermon for the U2charist this Saturday in Dearborn. I'm excited about this weekend -- good people, rockin' liturgy, good times!

Now on to the lectionary blog for this week ...

June 14, 2007 in Churchiness, U2charist, Where's Dylan? | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

U2charist in Dearborn, Michigan

For those of you in the area, here's the press release with details of the U2charist in Michigan this coming Saturday. It'd be great to see you there!

Journey of Faith Church to host “U2Charist” service with music of the Irish band U2
Theologian Sarah Dylan Breuer of Cambridge, Mass. will preach.

DEARBORN, Mich. (May 21, 2007) – The walls of Christ Episcopal Church in Dearborn are expected to reverberate with the music of the Irish band U2 during a special worship service, known as U2Charist, beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 16, 2007. The church is located at 120 N. Military in Dearborn.

Hosting the service is Journey of Faith Church, formerly known as St. David’s in Garden City. Partnering with Journey of Faith will be the Episcopal diocesan office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries along with Christ Church of Dearborn and St. John’s of Plymouth.

“By Episcopal church standards, our services are highly informal in dress and style,” said Journey of Faith Pastor Mark Jenkins. “We’re trying to reach those who find less traditional approaches to worship more appealing. Hosting a diocesan U2Charist seems like a natural for us.”

Delivering the message for the U2Charist will be Sarah Dylan Breuer of Cambridge, Mass., who developed the idea of the U2Charist service in 2004. Since then the U2Charists have grown beyond their origin in the Episcopal Church to become a worldwide phenomenon.

The U2Charist service focuses on the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG), which have been endorsed by every nation in the world and many religious denominations, including the Episcopal Church, to eradicate extreme poverty and global AIDS.

“Our service will follow the pattern of Journey of Faith’s weekly worship service and incorporate multimedia featuring music from U2 including such favorites as “Where the Streets Have No Name,” “Yahweh,” and “One,” added Pastor Jenkins.

The band U2 has given permission to use their music in such services as long as emphasis on the MDG is maintained. Bono, the lead singer of U2, has been very outspoken on issues for social justice and has initiated several programs including the ONE Declaration, www.one.org, an effort to rally people in the fight against poverty and AIDS.

The public is welcome to attend the U2Charist. More information is available by calling the church office at 313-565-5512 or visiting www.JoFChurch.org.

About Journey of Faith

Journey of Faith Church is a small, open group that is highly informal in its dress and worship, which includes a blend of contemporary and ancient forms and prayers. Worship services are led by the Reverend Mark Jenkins and conducted in much the way early Christians worshipped with readings, reflections, prayer and table fellowship. Journey of Faith Church describes itself as being a “journey of faith,” offering a new approach to traditional religion by encouraging each person to experience the spiritual journey in a way that is authentic and honest. Regular services are held every Saturday afternoon at Christ Episcopal Church at 121 N. Military in Dearborn.

# # #

(Photo attached of Sarah Dylan Breuer)

Media Contacts:
The Rev. Mark Jenkins
Journey of Faith Church
313-565-5512
mark@jofchurch.org

Margaret Blohm, APR
Margaux & Associates, LLC
313-406-3467
mblohm@margauxpr.com

June 10, 2007 in Churchiness, ONE campaign/Millennium Development Goals (MGDs), U2charist, Where's Dylan? | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack