July 2017 Convocation Newsletter
The Rt. Rev. Pierre W. Whalon
A review of "Revealing Heaven: The Christian Case for Near-death Experiences" (by John W. Price) Since the publication of books by Raymond Moody and Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, there has been a great deal of literature on the phenomenon of near-death experiences. There are battle lines drawn. On the one hand are mainstream scientists and other skeptics, who categorically reject these experiences as anything more than hallucinations created by a dying brain. On the other are authors like John Price, who as a chaplain has heard hundreds of these reports, and is convinced that they are authentic insights into the afterlife.
The Institution of the Rev. John Perris as Rector of Christ-the-King Church, Frankfurt, Germany. We have today a new beginning. And also another chapter in the ongoing story of Christ-the-King. It is appropriate, in a way, to institute your Rector on the first Sunday of Lent. Now I am not saying that after today Fr. John will be shoved out into the desert to be tempted of Satan! Of course, there will be moments… but we can say that the Holy Spirit has moved in the usual mysterious way to shove John and Cat and Alex into Germany.
Ash Wednesday 2014, Cathedral of the Holy Trinity. Today is no feast, for sure. It is a Fast, one of two obligatory fast days for Episcopalians, the other being Good Friday, of course. How you observe your fast is up to you. Many people choose to “give something up” for Lent, beginning today. That is abstinence, not fasting. Fasting is the reduction of food consumed. The point is, either way, to mark a difference in our usual routine. This difference is...
Last Epiphany 2014: Transfiguration. On this Sunday before Lent starts, the Church repeats the story of the Transfiguration of Jesus, as it is known. Big word, “transfiguration.” It is, as Paul would write in a different context, “the revelation of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” The connection between God’s action in Israel’s past, shown by the great prophet of the Law, Moses, and the great wonderworker, Elijah, and the future that God is bringing about, comes through clearly.
Today is a great Sunday: called “Stir-up Sunday” because we prayed earlier that God would stir up the power of the Spirit and come among us. What a powerful prayer — no pun intended. And God is answering that prayer today. It is also called “Gaudete Sunday” which is Latin for “rejoice”, quoting Paul’s injunction to the Philippians to “rejoice always and again I say rejoice!”
...After prayerfully listening to the Word read, we then hear the Word expounded in the sermon. Confronted once again with the question of faith that the Gospel puts to us, we respond with conviction, “We believe.” Only then are we ready to pray, ask for forgiveness, make peace with God and each other, and finally move to making the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. The Creed is therefore the hinge, so to speak, between the liturgy of the Word and the sacrament. As the Eucharist flows from our need...